Ever driven through a set of traffic lights and wondered a few seconds later if the lights were really on green?
Ever taken an instant disliking to someone within minutes of meeting them for the first time?
Ever walked out of your house and wondered as you head down the street if you really did lock the door?
We like to think that most of our day we are fully focussed and driven by rational thought. But this isn’t really true. Up to 80% of the day we are actually in some sort of trance state (you might call it daydreaming) where we are running on auto pilot and the thoughts floating around our heads are based on memories from our past, plans for our future or just interpretations of things that are on our mind. It therefore makes sense, that when there is something playing on our mind such as anxiety, or when we are engaged in a habitual behaviour such as smoking, that if we want to change we must address our brain in that trance state rather than the minority part of our thinking that you might call conscious thought.
To make sure that changes we make are as effective as they can be, we need to talk to the subconscious.
But you can see, if up to 80% of our day is spent in some sort of trance, then it’s a pretty easy step to start that conversation with the subconscious. We don’t need to swing a watch or talk in a woo woo voice!
So how can this be used? Well there are a number of areas that we can use it for. One where it is very effective is for phobias.
Phobias are basically anxieties – triggered by an object or event. For example spiders, flying, heights etc. Let’s take a fear of spiders. What is a spider in this country? Is it a tarantula sized monster with venomous fangs? No. It’s a small spindly legged creature. If someone were to sit and think rationally about a spider, they would think that all they had to do (if anything ) when they saw one was stick it in a cup, or even squish it with a shoe.
If you are afraid of spiders, this rational response is nowhere to be seen as soon as something even remotely resembling a spider is spotted (I am not excluding “fear of bits of string” here!)
Your heart is likely to start racing, your breath speeds up and you may even feel the need to scream and run away.
This is a protection response from your subconscious in response to a threat. The same response of fight, flight or freeze that kept us alive in the caveman days. Except in modern society it is unlikely that we will encounter a sabre toothed tiger and so those same fears and responses get mapped onto something more common. This is not your rational brain in control. It is your subconscious and while you are experiencing that fear you are in a trance state.
So with Cognitive Hypnotherapy all we do is use this trance state and have a conversation with your subconscious. A conversation you will be fully cognisant of. Using a background of scientific research around the mind and body and the best tools from other therapeutic approaches, we will reframe or diffuse that feeling, that response, such that it no longer happens. We don’t need to spend months gradually working it through. It is possible using hypnotherapy, to see significant change in a clients issue in just a few sessions.
That is what Cognitive Hypnotherapy is all about.
Any issue including smoking, phobias, stress and anxiety, addictions, childhood abuse, confidence etc can be helped.