Understanding Hypnotherapy

What is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?

NLP is the study of how you process information in your mind (not the information itself). Your memories are stored in the form of images, sounds, feelings, etc. in your mental filing cabinets and you experience positive or negative feelings depending on whether you have those memories stored with attached feelings that are positive or negative.

A person who has a phobia acts and reacts very differently to the event itself (because of the negative emotional trigger attached to that event) than a person who is non phobic, e.g. someone who has a fear of dogs does not react to the actual dog itself but to the thoughts sounds and feelings attached to their memory of what that dog represents to them. Someone who is phobic of dogs will have a negative feeling attached to dogs whereas a dog lover will experience positive feelings.

Using NLP we can change the feeling attached to a negative memory (without changing the actual memory itself) so that it is recalled in a different way. The memory then has a different emotional content and the next time it is recalled it has a different effect on the person.


NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. ‘Neuro’ is of the mind. ‘Linguistic’ refers to the science of communication that we use to see, hear, feel and talk internally with ourselves. ‘Programming’ refers to the fact that we are programming the way we communicate internally.

NLP was invented by Dr John Grinder, a well known professor of linguistics, together with Richard Bandler. Together they produced a linguistic model that identified the language patterns of a few gifted individuals such as Hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls of Gestalt therapy, anthropologist Gregory Bateson and Virginia Satir, well known for her work in family systems therapy. The synthesis of their findings, a blend of cognitive and behavioural science, resulted in the technology known as NLP. In the decades since its initial development, NLP has grown, changed and expanded, and it continues to do so today. NLP is often used as a vehicle for ‘fast’ or accelerated change. The technology of NLP means that the same changes can happen very quickly.

NLP is often used as a vehicle for ‘fast’ or accelerated change. The technology of NLP means that the same changes can happen very quickly.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a relaxed state of awareness where your conscious mind is quietened allowing your subconscious mind to play a more active part. It is not sleep nor is it unconsciousness, In fact the mind becomes more aware and focussed, listening and feeling in a different (more positive) way.

You already know what hypnosis feels like. You have experienced natural hypnotic states every day of your life, when daydreaming or driving or watching TV. These are those pleasant, dreamlike states where you “drift off”.

For example you (and everyone else) enter natural states of trance (hypnosis) several times a day, while driving (when you have driven several miles without recollection of the journey) and also when you become totally engrossed in something absorbing such as watching TV or reading a book (and time seems to speed up or slow down).

All Hypnosis is self hypnosis and is safe. Everybody can be hypnotised (providing that they choose to be). No one can be hypnotised against their will and nobody can be made to do anything that goes against their values.

The truth is that Hypnotherapy is the most time effective and long lasting means for making changes that you want to make in your life.

Nowadays, hypnosis is used successfully in the medical and dental professions and in many areas of personal development training such as increasing performance in sports, or career development, and raising a person’s level of self-esteem, confidence and competence in everyday life by enhancing memory, improving study habits, releasing blocked potential and instilling a more positive attitude.


What is Hypnosis? Dr Hilary Jones (GMTV)

There are many different definitions of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The following extract is taken from Dr Hilary Jones’ book ‘Dr, What’s the Alternative?’, which describes and assesses different types of alternative therapies. Dr Jones is a GP who has become well known through his TV appearances and many books on the subject of family health:-

A Definition of Hypnotherapy

“Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It does involve the induction of a trance-like condition, but when in it, the patient is actually in an enhanced state of awareness, concentrating entirely on the hypnotist’s voice. In this state, the conscious mind is suppressed and the subconscious mind is revealed. The therapist is able to suggest ideas, concepts and lifestyle adaptations to the patient, the seeds of which become firmly planted.

The practice of promoting healing or positive development in any way is known as hypnotherapy. As such, hypnotherapy is a kind of psychotherapy…hypnotherapy aims to re-programme patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. As the body is released from conscious control during the relaxed trance-like state of hypnosis, breathing becomes slower and deeper, the pulse rate drops and the metabolic rate falls. Similar changes along nervous pathways and hormonal channels enable the sensation of pain to become less acute, and the awareness of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea or indigestion, to be alleviated”.

What is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)?

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a powerful, effective, simple emotional release practice which is a form of acupuncture without needles and by simply tapping on certain points on the body while focusing on the negative emotions that you wish to release you could quickly and easily reduce (and even eliminate) fears, anxieties, cravings and negative feelings. It has been described as a form of “Psychological Acupuncture”


The tapping points are taken from the Chinese Medicine model in which there are pathways of energy that run through your body. When the energy is blocked and inhibited from flowing freely through those pathways you can experience mental and even physical pain.

According to Gary Craig, the founder of EFT “the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” And by tapping on a series of acupressure points EFT helps you balance the body’s energy system and restore the positive flow. Once those negative charges have been eliminated the positive intentions that were previously blocked can then be are even more powerfully reinforced by hypnotic suggestions.


I teach EFT to most of my clients and I’ve taught it to children under 10 years old and they love it. Once you learn it, you can use it over and over on issues unrelated to the ones you came in for. It’s a powerful tool and your toolbox is as close as the ends of your fingers.

What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a scientifically acknowledged therapeutic discipline utilizing hypnotic trance states. When utilized by a qualified hypnotherapist, these trance states can help individuals make dramatic changes in a relatively short period of time.