The most powerful forms of psychotherapy to one extent or another all use trance. Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy can assist us in engaging our deepest, primordial sense of knowing and healing. I’ve been in the helping profession for over 30 years, and I know of no greater tool for accessing this natural healer within.
My daughter has clinical hypnosis to thank for getting her started out peacefully in life — as in, the very moment she was born. She was welcomed into the comfortable and loving environment of her home and greeted by joyful parents, assisted by a Doula and mid-wife trained in medical hypnosis. Since I responded so well to trance interventions, I was able to enjoy an all-natural home birth that did not involve any medications or invasive interventions. Nicki was born less than 2 hours after labour (and the formal hypnotic suggestions) began.
That was almost twenty years ago, and I recall my Doula saying to me “you’re a natural – it’s like you were born for this.” I laughed and assured her that I wasn’t planning to have any more children after Nicki.
Now that I reflect on the Doula’s statement, I don’t think she was referring to my child-bearing abilities, but rather my ease with self-hypnosis.
I think that I was indeed born for this: using the mystical and often mis-understood power of trance to “give passage” to healing. My life’s work has been teaching people how to birth new awareness and consult with their natural inner brilliance through hypnotherapy.
Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis can be defined simply as a trance state of slower brain wave activity. In this state, we can align with our inborn capacity for increased focused attention and a quieting down of busy- brain. Hypnotherapy can be defined as a utilization of this trance state to assist people in changing or modifying perceptions, thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
Research tells us that our brain waves automatically slow down to trance-state levels about every 90 minutes. In a Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy session, we invite this natural brain-wave state of calm awareness to expand and essentially, to paraphrase the Beatles:“speak words of wisdom.”
My life’s work has been teaching people how to birth new awareness and consult with their natural inner brilliance through hypnotherapy.
The most powerful forms of psychotherapy to one extent or another all use trance. Therapists may not say (or even know) they are using hypnosis. Often, counselling professionals are unaware of how deeply into trance a client may go during a simple “closed eyes reflection” or guided visualization. This then becomes a missed therapeutic opportunity, because it’s during these states of slower brain-wave rhythms that the real magic in counselling can happen. This is when you’re most open to new ways of perceiving.
During hypnosis, you can easily bypass top-down processing of emotional pain, long-standing core issues and fear. In brain-speak, “top-down” processing generally refers to a reliance upon language-based centres and rational-thinking parts of mind to figure things out.
Have you ever tried to talk someone or yourself out of a panic attack? Or have you ever attempted to rationally explain to yourself why there’s no reason to feel depressed, experience anxiety, or have a particular phobia? Reasoning, language and words don’t always work so well. Sometimes, the rational thinking mind is more of a hinderance than help. Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy can assist us to engage our deepest, primordial sense of knowing and healing. I’ve been in the helping profession for over 30 years, and I know of no greater tool for accessing this natural healer within.
A Healing Art Bastardized
My colleague and friend, Robyn Schachter is Co-director of the York Region Stress and Anxiety Clinic. As a Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapist, she refers to hypnotherapy as a “healing art that has become bastardized.” I couldn’t agree with her more. In my personal view, a big part of the bastardization has been the rise of stage hypnosis and the public perception of hypnosis as a bag of party tricks.
In my view,stage hypnosis is to Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy what pornography is to romance. There’s no love or intention for healing involved, just entertainment at best and exploitation at worst.
For thousands of years, people practiced trance medicine with the assistance of local healers, a community shaman or medicine man/woman. There is evidence dating as far back as we can go in terms of recorded human history that hypnosis was used regularly in medicine.
The wide-spread misuse of this sacred healing art by untrained clinicians led to its fall from recognition as a valid and empirically supported intervention in the fields of psychology and mental health. The recent astronomical rise in a medicalization of mental health issues has served as another nail in the coffin of clinical hypnotherapy being recognized as a means for psychological growth and wellness.
Reclaiming The Medicine
We can no longer say that clinical hypnosis is not backed up by research. In the last decade, there has been a great deal of double-blind randomized clinical trials and increased outcome-based research funding resulting in clinical hypnosis showing up as a superstar in the medical literature, especially in areas such as pain management, PTSD, and anxiety. Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy can be seen as a reclaiming of a powerful, transformative medicine.
Trance-based interventions in mental health allow for a person’s unconscious and conscious resources to communicate with one another in new and illuminating ways. When those two forces of consciousness join together for healing, it can feel like entering an entirely new playing field — one that contains the kind of energy that grows confidence out of shame, courage from the depths of fear, self-love out of loathing, and perhaps most spectacularly… beautiful new life.
I believe it’s about time that we re-learn and re-claim this power we all have within us, and let’s use it for what it’s meant: our collective wellness, happiness and the good of this planet.
Upcoming Online Certification Training: Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy (Click here to learn more)