Updated: Sep 8, 2022
What is it?
Hypnotherapy is a treatment modality used at Trinity Psychology & Wellness to treat a host of conditions.
According to Psychology Today, Hypnotherapy is guided hypnosis, or a trance-like state of focus and concentration achieved with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist. This trance-like state is similar to being
completely absorbed in a book, movie, music, or even one's own thoughts or meditations. In this state, clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life.
A common and helpful use for hypnotherapy is in the area of trauma. The technique is effective because it helps to reduce the strength, power, and control of a past traumatic event on the autonomic nervous system within the body. Since the body stores traumatic events within the memory centers of the brain (limbic system), individuals will find themselves responding to situations in a reactive fight or flight manner or in a retreat-ive shutdown mode. The response is generally seen as out of proportion to the situation or event itself.
The therapy involves initial instruction and practice of certain basic "grounding" tools. This is because the individual must begin this type of therapy with confidence in being able to overcome their intense emotions. They are therefore instructed and given time to practice simple but powerful approaches to self-management and self-soothing that include deep, diaphragmatic breathing, muscle tensing and relaxing responses, strategic attention shifts and focus to certain sounds and smells in the room, and tactile placements of the feet and hands on solid surfaces or objects nearby (i.e., a pillow or the arm of the chair or couch). These techniques keep the client in the present, here-and-now, moment.
Next, the client is helped to recall certain incidents or memories of times when he or she felt the effects of the traumatic events of the past, without going to the traumatic memory itself. This is very important, since the actual memory of the core event may be too overwhelming to face, especially in the initial visits. In fact, it has been my experience that certain past events are best handled and accessed only when there is management of these intense emotions and not by going into the event or trauma in its fullness. The goal is the healing of the emotional effects of the traumatic event, and not the event itself. The healing of past trauma is almost a side-effect of the client gaining management of these intense feelings.
Next, while still within the context of safety, personal strength, and security, the client will spontaneously recall memories by regressing to past events, one spontaneous recollection at a time. There is no judgment placed on the client for their memories that may range from intense, embarrassing, funny, or completely innocuous. These memories are not forced or planned, but simply allowed to appear on their own.
The session ends with new insights and observations. I call these new insights or understandings divine revelations of wisdom. They are generally accessed when the client reaches a brain state known as Alpha/Theta relaxation. Here, the subconscious mind is able to connect with what I refer to as the unified "field" of God's holy presence. Alpha/Theta states provide a pathway or portal toward supra-spirituality that causes us to exit from the analytical mind and provide a completely new understanding beyond what the former conflicted mind generated in the past. Each person's moment in this context is unique, but consistent with what many describe as an embrace of God's love. Others who have written on the subject have referred to this love feeling as the most familiar unfamiliar feeling they have ever had.