I have worked as a practicing hypnotherapist for twenty years, assisting in the treatment of anything which has a psychological component. There is thus an extremely wide scope to the things to which hypnosis can lend a helping hand. I am trained as an analytical therapist and the focus in this type of therapy is upon seeking the underlying cause of a current effect, or symptom. Clearly this type of therapy doesn’t lend itself to a self hypnosis download; analysis in person with the help of a trained hypnotherapist is what is required. There is however a lot of “stuff” which does respond wonderfully well to a recorded self hypnosis mp3 download and in this case that recording may actually be more powerful and more effective than seeking an individual session with a hypnotherapist.
Why is this? It depends firstly on what you are seeking assistance with. Let me draw a couple of distinctions here. If you have a minor fear and are sure of whence that fear came, then an appropriate hypnosis cd is likely to effect a satisfactory cure; if, on the other hand you have a severe phobia and are really not sure why, then individual work is likely to be best. Similarly, if you are seeking an edge in public speaking, a hypnosis download will go a long way to help; if you freeze with stage fright, that is a different matter. Such things as sports enhancement, in that you are seeking to train your mind for success, will respond brilliantly to an appropriate hypnosis download. If you are preparing for an operation and wish to learn to relax and entrain your mind to expect a positive outcome, a hypnosis download will also do the trick.
As a broad guideline, if your issue is fundamental, unusual and unique you will need individual and tailored assistance. On the other hand, if the thing you are seeking is something that almost everyone would seek, a self hypnosis download is likely to do the trick. This of course is just a guideline and when you think about it, common sense will guide you as to what is best for you.
How, you ask, can a hypnosis cd be MORE effective than an individual hypnotherapy session? Essentially, the answer is that technology is the key. In a 1:1 session the therapist will guide you into hypnosis in a way that is appropriate to you, and make suggestions, and use visualizations to achieve what you want. They may or may not record the session. Assuming the session is recorded what you go home with is a copy of your exact session. That’s great. All well and good.
But it’s not a multi-track recording, where one thread of suggestion is aimed towards one ear, whilst another thread is fed to the other ear. In this manner suggestions can be tailored to go directly to the most relevant part of your brain, be it your logical mind or your creative mind, thereby enhancing their effectiveness. Not only that, the alternating of suggestions from one ear to another creates easier communication between the different areas of the brain, just as older style hypnotists used a swinging watch to create a similar effect visually. Suggestions can also be layered in such a way that even as you are consciously focusing on one line of thought, the other threads automatically bypass the conscious mind and slip unnoticed into your subconscious mind. Add to that the fact that you can also include music which is designed to in itself take you into an alpha-theta state, and you have an awesome hypnosis download. This can be amazingly powerful.
I often tell people that the use of multi-track recording techniques is like using a sledge hammer, which just HAS to ram the suggestions into place. You cannot escape from the suggestions, or indeed deny them. It just has to work.
And medical research does support the fact that a hypnosis recording can be just as effective as individual therapy. In a meta study on the effective use of adjunctive hypnosis with surgical patients, researchers at the Mount Sinai School of medicine in New York found that patients in hypnosis treatment groups had better clinical outcomes than 89% of patients in control groups. Not only that, they discovered that this result was irrespective of the method of hypnotic induction, be it live or recorded. (Montgomery GH, David D, Winkel G, Silverstein JH, Bovbjerg DH. “The effectiveness of adjunctive hypnosis with surgical patients: A meta-analysis” Anesth Analg 2002 Jun;94(6):1639-45)
Whatever you may decide is best for you, a self-hypnosis recording is always a recommended starting point. You can learn self hypnosis in your own home at very little cost. (You can get a FREE hypnosis download from my website.) And you will go deeper into hypnosis with practice. So, even when planning a visit to a therapist, you can prepare yourself well in advance of your session, simply with the use of a recording.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis downloads for health, well-being and success.