What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a method for enhancing responses to different types of positive suggestion.
What is hypnotic trance?
Many people traditionally assumed that hypnosis worked by inducing a special state of physical or mental relaxation, or an altered state of consciousness termed "hypnotic trance." However, most modern researchers now consider hypnosis to consist mainly of relatively ordinary physical and psychological processes, such as expectation and focused attention, which are used in a special way to create beneficial responses to suggestion.
Where does hypnosis come from?
Hypnosis was developed in 1841 by the Scottish surgeon James Braid who attempted to develop a method of treating his patients that employed focused attention upon "dominant ideas," and to do so based on a "common sense" philosophy and "well-established principles of psychology and physiology."
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is simply the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes, as opposed to stage hypnosis, etc.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a broad term that covers many different methods of psychological therapy. Most authorities recognise hypnosis as being one of the very earliest techniques of psychotherapy.
What is hypno-psychotherapy?
Hypno-psychotherapy is a modern term which describes the integration of hypnotic techniques, concepts and strategies within an integrative psychotherapeutic model. It is just psychotherapy which employs hypnosis.
What is comedy stage hypnosis?
For centuries different types of entertainers have delivered performances on stage, or more recently on television, in which they apparently used suggestion to demonstrate amusing or impressive behavioural responses among a group of volunteers. These performances probably pre-date hypnosis and were originally attributed to the alleged powers of animal magnetism, telepathy, etc. They often undoubtedly depend upon an element of showmanship and sleight of hand, however, and their relationship with hypnotherapy is somewhat ambiguous and the cause of much confusion among the general public. As many such shows involve considerable dramatic licence, it is advisable not to base one's preconceptions about hypnosis upon them.
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What is "evidence-based" practice in hypnotherapy & psychotherapy?
Evidence-based practice is simply a philosophy which emphasises the value of mainstream psychological and health research in the use of clinical hypnosis and psychotherapy. See our guidance in this area for more details.
What can hypno-psychotherapy be used for?
Hypno-psychotherapy has a very broad range of different applications. However, the areas in which research most consistently supports the use of hypnosis and related methods is in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, pain management, and stress-related or psychosomatic disorders. Hypno-psychotherapy may also be of benefit in overcoming certain habits such as nail-biting or smoking, and in personal development areas such as confidence-building or enhancing creativity.
How safe is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is very safe when employed by a competent professional.
Can I become stuck?
No. There is no more risk of being "stuck" in hypnosis than there is of being stuck in a daydream, or stuck in meditation or concentration; it just doesn't happen.
Am I under the therapist's control?
No. The general consensus among most modern researchers is that hypnosis does not make people any more compliant with objectionable or immoral suggestions than they would normally be in a similar situation. Put simply, you cannot normally be hypnotised to do things against your will.
Does hypnosis feel like being unconscious or asleep?
No. Hypnosis is accompanied by different feelings depending upon the content of the suggestions being accepted. If someone accepts the suggestion that their body is tense, heart beating fast, and mind alert during hypnosis then that is how they will feel, if they respond, and not as if they are drowsy or asleep. The vast majority of hypnotic subjects remember most of the things that happen during hypnosis, and are only likely to forget things that they don't find it particularly important to try to remember.
What is the benefit of hypnosis in psychotherapy?
Many expert clinicians over the years have reported that hypnosis seems to increase the effectiveness of other therapeutic techniques, and reduce the number of sessions required. There is now independent evidence from sophisticated modern research studies which supports this conclusion. So there is reason to believe that hypnosis can enhance psychotherapy, perhaps by facilitating relaxation, increasing expectation, enhancing imagination, and introducing a repertoire of additional techniques and strategies.
What is the purpose of the Register?
The Register exists to promote the philosophy and values of evidence-based practice in hypnosis and psychotherapy.
Who are the Register's members?
The members of the Register are exclusively hypnotherapists and hypno-psychotherapists who have pledged to adhere to an evidence-based approach to therapy, and who have received, or are undertaking, training approved by the Register. Members also, depending upon their grade, adhere to the Register's requirements for clinical supervision, CPD training, and all members are bound by the Register's code of practice and code of ethics
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