In some sense, therapy is a process that helps the client find a solution to their issues. And while a solution is a necessary component in resolving any issue, it is the client's ability to embrace both the problem and the solution, that ultimately sets them free. Easier said than done you might say and that is true because there's a vast difference between discovering the problem and/or solution and one's ability to embrace it! The main reason being, that most problems or issues are subconsciously driven. The difference between what we want to achieve consciously and what we actually achieve subconsciously is a dichotomy that plagues many people.
Identifying the issue:
An important factor, that cannot be understated, is knowing if the client's condition is emotional, a neurosis (mild mental condition) or a psychosis (a more serious, mental condition). Conditions like anxiety and stress, mood and depressive disorders etc. are considered a neurosis. Whereas conditions like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, (some) Bi-Polar disorders, personality disorders and psychotic depression etc. are psychoses. As a rule of thumb, neurosis (a term seldom used these days) most often involves environmental and lifestyle factors and one maintains a relative sense of reality. Whereas psychoses are more often genetic and one experiences delusions, hallucinations and/or an altered sense of reality. Nevertheless, both respond well to the appropriate type of therapeutic regime. In that sense, the major difference in the treatment of these conditions varies according to the condition and its severity. Generally speaking, the majority of people seeking therapy, have neurosis and often much of this can be helped by changes in lifestyle and/ or personal circumstances. How this is achieved varies but almost always involves changes in perception, mindset and language, i.e. reducing negative internal dialogue. Hypnosis allows the client to seamlessly adopt these new paradigms through the delivery of effective hypnotherapeutic interventions.
Going inside for a deeper look:
Generally, when one talks of emotional/mental/psychological issues, they often use or hear the term "subconscious mind." Explaining what this is, is not easy because it is the result of the subjective nature of the individual's brain and its subconscious processing ability! Nevertheless, what is generally referred to as the subconscious mind, is basically the processing that occurs within our brain; most often without conscious awareness! Many hypnotherapists talk about the subconscious mind as if it were a living thing, something they get to play and tinkle with, even alluding to making changes to it! Realistically though, the subconscious mind is merely a hypothetical-philosophical construct, meaning, it is not a real anatomical structure but rather, conceptual in nature. Nevertheless, it's a convenient way to make sense of something we know is happening inside our head, despite having no sense of where, why or how it actually happens!
The real driver of thoughts, feelings and behaviour is actually the brain and, mostly, it achieves these processes with the help of what we know of as memories! To make things more complex, there are several different types of memory, so a useful label for the subconscious mind would be the brain's internal messaging system (language). It is essentially a multi-variable -multi-level communication system. In conjunction with the brain's defensive mechanisms, one of the subconscious mind's primary objectives is its critical role in monitoring and activating survival (fight or flight) systems. By way of an example, we use telephones to communicate with people and while there are physical objects involved (the phones), there are clearly invisible aspects of the communication! The invisible aspects, i.e. how our voice travels through wires or radio-waves is akin to the flow of neurotransmitters in the brain. Every response, input and output is a consequence of this transmission and this, essentially, gives rise to what we call the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is somewhat similar but with varying levels of awareness, which largely depend on our state of mind and what is happening. In some sense, many of the life issues we face, are a consequence of the dialogue between these two perceptual constructs. The quality of one's life is dependent on the conflict-balance ratio. The more conflict there is, the more turbulent life becomes. Balance is akin to a state of resplendent calmness, everything is working optimally!
It is often high levels of inner conflict that lead a client towards seeking help because they know that life isn't going the way they want. Occasionally, attempts to make life better are met with resistance and this is mostly the subconscious brain. Uncannily, it's as if it knows you are trying to subvert its survival mechanisms? A problem, therefore, can be explained as the brain's subconscious desire to survive versus our conscious desire to thrive! The result, if there is a mismatch, is an emotional state of conflict and emotional limbo. For the sake of convenience, I will continue to use the time-honoured description of "subconscious mind." However, what I am referring to are processes that occur outside of conscious awareness and from within and across the brain itself!
The beginning leads to an end and the end leads to a new beginning:
Therapy is a process borne out of the client’s needs. This is foremost on my mind when I meet a client or answer any questions they may have prior to making an appointment. So, please feel free to ask as many as you like!
The solution to any problem is usually perceived to involve the subconscious mind. The difficulty, however, is in translating subconscious issues into an effective intervention and from there, into a workable and executable form of cognitive language. The hypnotherapist uses spoken language to communicate with the brain's auditory systems. Albeit the client usually has a sense that the hypnotherapist is talking to them! The hypnotic prescription (language) is then converted into meaning, via electrochemical transmission, and that is then processed throughout many brain regions at a cellular level. This is the level at which memories are stored and activated. It is very often a past experience, held in memory, that is at the root of most of a client's problems. But the intensity and longevity of any issue is usually a consequence of how our memories of that event evolve and then express themselves. Hypnotherapy is a very effective way to introduce these therapeutic interventions, via the auditory cortex, directly into the brain's multilevel systems. The hypnotist's voice, via the primary and secondary auditory cortices, is the catalyst of what we hear subconsciously and what the brain processes therapeutically! And one of the ways this change occurs is by hypnotherapeutically re-framing existing memories. This later leads to sleep-dependent memory consolidation/reconsolidation, when the client enters natural sleep. Sleep-dependent memory consolidation/reconsolidation is a process we each go through every time we sleep. Hypnosis accelerates the process, priming it for a secondary level of processing during nighttime sleep. If you change the expression, you change the experience and if you change the experience, you change the outcome!
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