Hypnotherapy and Hypnoanalysis as Psychotherapy or Complementary Therapy
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the use of complementary therapy or psychotherapy methods in a relaxed state known as hypnosis. Hypnosis or trance is a state where you are not asleep, and indeed your attention is more focused, just in a different way. This enables better change process learning and unconscious mind accessing. In contrast sleep would be most unhelpful! Complementary therapists tend to use direct suggestion and visualisation only. Multi modal and Integrative psychotherapists trained in clinical hypnotherapy tend to use a wider range of hypnosis methods including Hypnoanalysis, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy (a form of conversation based hypnosis). In conversational hypnosis no relaxation or trance is needed, the suggestion and imagery are woven into psychotherapeutic conversation.
What is Hypnoanalysis?
Hypnoanalysis is the use of psychoanalysis together with hypnosis. In the relaxed hypnotic state it is possible to track emotions and physical representations of thoughts and emotions more easily using hypnosis (or EMDR). Variations include word association and free association. Hypnoanalysis is a form of clinical hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. It is also known as Analytic Hypnotherapy and is based on forms of psycchoanalysis older than Freud.
A common use of analytical hypnotherapy today is in parts work, somatic processing and other mind-body related treatments. These are usually employed in cases like Complex PTSD / Trauma, and in addressing other developmental related issues.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) is the use of cognitive behavioural therapy (a form of psychotherapy), in a state of hypnosis. This allows for better focus, better emotional management with difficult topics and better learning and practice, especially if the routine is recorded and repeated.
What is Mindfulness based Hypnosis?
Mindfulness is a form of eastern psychology and psychotherapy often associated with meditation. Hypnosis is another way in which the various parts of mindfulness can be used. These include the analytic part, the meditation and the self analysis part, as well as enhanced breathing and visualisation exercises. All of these are used within the context of psychotherapy.
What is Sports hypnosis?
Hypnosis, often combined with NLP, is using the process of cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy together with visualisation based practice, and mindfulness emotional planning. This enables the practitioner to plan and implant new chosen cognitive behavioural outcomes at key parts of sports performance.
What is Performance Hypnosis?
Public speaking and performance are often anxiety producing for clients. Hypnotherapy can be used as a form of psychotherapy to tackle negative triggers, and put in positive feelings and expectations. Mindfulness methods such as MBSR are often useful, as well as forms of CBT including cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy as a form of psychotherapy.
What is conversation based hypnotherapy or hypnosis?
People often think that hypnosis is always formal, where a trance is planned, announced and entered into, However in reality we flow in and out of different levels of altered state similar to trance all the time. Perhaps when laughing, watching a film, day dreaming etc. So in conversation certain concepts, words and phrases can encourage this and allow the psychotherapist to use conversational or Ericksonian Hypnotherapy to guide, provoke, support, encourage or reinforce appropriately. This adds a great deal of power to psychotherapy sessions.
Specialist use of hypnosis
I have focused much of my hypnosis based work for a large part of my career on Trauma recovery. In 2020 I completed professional certification in the specialism of treating Trauma with Hypnosis, Neurology and Mind/Body therapy methods. Advanced use of hypnosis for trauma is a far more comprehensive and adaptable method than EMDR. Indeed much of EMDR is based on NLP, which in turn modelled and simplified the work of hypnotherapist Milton Erickson. EMDR provides a protocol driven and hugely simplified method for talking therapists not trained in the more comprehensive hypnosis based methods. I have taken master classes in EMDR to ensure I have studied this method as well, but as leading expert in trauma Bessel Van De Kolk said in an interview - to do hypnosis well for trauma you have to be "really smart", while EMDR is much easier.
Analytic Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy are available in my central Edinburgh practice. I (Stuart) are registered under hypnotherapy on the CNHC PSA Accredited Register.