Saturday, 20 July 2013

Clinical Hypnotherapist at last!

2 weeks ago I graduated in Clinical hypnotherapy, clutching my certificate and thinking 'now what?'. I have focussed on this moment for the last year so if feels odd to suddenly be free to practise but not know how to start. I have a website which has my hypnotherapy page. I try to update regularly and there are some free downloads on that website including some explaining hypnotherapy and the particular use I make of it for chronic conditions. as a tool for re-arranging the mindbody link (where certain memories/traumas are encoded in the body) I find it unsurpassed.

I am aiming to  use it to help clients overcome any limitation whether that be physical, emotional or mental. There is so much trauma out there - and most of it not obvious. A lot of disease has its roots in childhood trauma; it may be something obvious like abuse but often it is something more indistinct - an unloving parent, lack of stability, etc. We may think we have 'got over it' because we have made lives for ourselves as adults but in fact there are lingering beliefs and values that trip us up. Feelings of unworthiness for instance, dog us at every step (particularly women I find though it's not exclusive to them). Ultimately we believe that we ought not to give up security to live the life we want - we ought to work harder, strive for the love that's missing in our lives, do more, be more, and so on. This is exhausting and the longer we 'try' the more we focus on not being true to ourselves. This is how we slowly but surely succumb to dis-ease and depression.

It's not easy to become aware of these subconscious beliefs - it's not simply a case of 'deciding' to let go. This is a process and it needs
  1. awareness - becoming mindful of what you tell yourself - the negative self-talk e.g  'I'm useless'
  2. challenge - here's where we ask the all important question - is that true? 'what at everything?'
  3. substitution - CBT therapists like myself use the term 'restructuring'. 'I'm good at other things'

Hypnosis makes this process infinitely more powerful as it talks to a deeper part of you that is holding on to these beliefs by switching off the analytical mind. You can't make these changes by willpower alone. You have to have access to that deeper part of you - and there are many techniques for doing this of which hypnosis, meditation, breath-work and bodywork (massage, Reiki) are some.

My reading and practice makes it clear that no one size fits all in this respect. Some people respond more to touch, others to a mindful exploration. That is why, in the end I have chosen to call myself a 'holistic therapist' and not one or the other. I treat the person not the disease/condition. This means I have to choose from a range of approaches and, working with the client, design a treatment plan. Nutrition is always a part because you can't work on a body that is struggling with toxins and expect it to work optimally. But ultimately, I use intuition and consultation with the client to work together to heal whatever they have come in with. This is true (w)holism. Interestingly the words whole, and heal come from the same root which signifies to me that for true healing we must become whole again. I'll leave with that profound thought...