Hypnotherapy counselling is counselling applied within the medium of hypnosis. It falls under the umbrella category of “talking therapies”. In October 2007, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said of talking therapies that they are “just as effective as drugs” in dealing with such things as stress and depression (but with the advantage of no chemically induced side-effects).

People require hypnotherapy counselling for a whole range of reasons: bereavement, depression, becoming a parent, sleep problems, panic attacks, confidence building, stress, or perhaps even simply to understand themselves better.

As with counselling, hypnotherapy counselling involves talking and listening, but, because throughout the majority of the process, the client is in a state of hypnosis (the state of focused awareness in which the critical faculties of the mind are temporarily suspended), the insights gained into a person’s situation often lead to rapid and enduringly effective problem resolution with little inner resistance and maximum commitment to change.

Hypnotherapy counselling aims to discover and address the root cause of a person’s problem and to identify and develop the inner resources needed to overcome that problem. Hypnotherapeutic techniques such as deep relaxation, direct positive suggestion, post hypnotic suggestion, regression, future-pacing, creative visual imagery and pseudo-orientation in time are employed to alter automatic physical and emotional responses, to change maladaptive behaviours and negative patterns of thought, and to provide support during the change process, minimising unconscious resistance, developing commitment, drive and focus, building self-confidence and boosting self-esteem along the way.

Hypnotherapy counselling is not a magic solution, and is very much client-centred, moving at a pace that’s right for the individual, but positive results tend to become evident very quickly.

Christine Woolfenden, clinical hypnotherapist of Echelon Associates, the Oxfordshire Hypnotherapy Practice, Charlbury, www.echelonassociates.co.uk employs hypnotherapy counselling to empower individuals to make necessary lasting positive change.

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