Hypnotherapy, NLP and EMDR
Below are questions and answers that will give you more understanding of how these processes work and what you can expect during a session. Click on a question and the answer will be revealed.
Hypnosis is a natural process of relaxing your mind and body. It is a self-created state you slip into and out of on a daily basis, perhaps up to 20 times a day. Have you noticed how time flies when you’re on a computer? How about when you’re playing a video game? Some people can’t go to sleep without the hypnotic drone of the television in the background. Or perhaps you may have been driving, and didn’t even remember how you reached your destination. All of these are examples of hypnosis.
While you are in the state of hypnosis, you are aware of what is around you but so relaxed that any distractions simply fade away. Hypnosis is similar to the feeling you have when you settle down for a nap. Or begin to daydream about the weekend. While in this state, your conscious mind is quiet, while the subconscious mind is alert and accepts suggestions. It’s as if you have gone into a darkened, cozy room and shined a spotlight on one specific area of your life, an area you’d like to be different. Through this process, you can change the picture in your mind and reinforce healthy, beneficial new thoughts.
You have more control while in hypnosis than in your natural state of awareness. You will not say or do anything that you do not choose to during this work. You will remember and are influenced by the positive suggestions and changes that you create in your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is neutral and will accept whatever is programmed into it, whether positive or negative. It serves as the computer of your body, controlling your behaviors, in charge of your body’s reactions and creating emotions linked to a variety of situations from your past. For most of our lives, we have been affected by negative hypnotic suggestions from others, no matter how well meaning they were at the time. Have you caught yourself saying “I can’t do math,” “I’m too dumb,” “I am not an artist,” or “Speaking in front of an audience terrifies me”?
These negative suggestions block positive behaviors, growth and development. During hypnosis, suggestions that are made bypass that critical factor in your conscious mind. The subconscious mind is open and receptive to new thoughts and concepts. When given a suggestion that is within your belief system, the subconscious mind accepts it as reality. New strategies are created according to what you want, not what was given to you over the years. This is how hypnosis can help you reprogram new, more desirable thoughts, behaviors and attitudes.
Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP)
NLP is about how the brain works, influencing language and brain chemistry.
It is not therapy in the conventional sense; it’s about education and teaching you how to run your own brain, giving you almost instant results. Often referred to as open-eyed hypnosis, NLP uses the natural tendency of your brain to heal itself.
NLP helps you move an emotion or negative experience outside your body and mind, creating a visual image of how it looks and feels to you. Another visual image is then created, one more resourceful for you. After that image or shape is transformed, you will have a different perspective and are able to place it within the body. Reacting to outside scenarios and influences are a thing of the past. You will think and behave in a way that you choose.
Since moderations of your life are designed by you, all senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell can be engaged when creating this new world. Sometimes something as simple as altering the pace or tone of a bothersome phrase can move the subconscious mind into another perspective of a situation.
Joan worked with an overwhelmed grandmother caring for her two unruly grandchildren without much assistance from her husband. Through NLP, the grandmother immediately came up with the image of herself lying on the floor. Everyone else stepped on her or over her. She was truly a doormat. By working through that image and reframing it in roughly 10-15 minutes, she saw herself as a powerful woman. She also created a translucent bubble around herself for protection and was well able to make herself a priority and request assistance form other family members.
Another example would be combating depression. One of the easiest ways to begin releasing this symptom is to get up and moving (walking, dancing, cleaning house). If while doing this you can occasionally look up above you, accessing new visual images, you can create a new image of yourself with a different physiology. Having this different physiology shifts your inner feelings. New images and new physiologies equal new options and new strategies.
With NLP you are not committing to months or years of therapy. It can be easily and quickly implemented without the need for a deeper trance and is a very pleasant way to shift to a new way of being.
Eye Movement Rapid Desensitization (EMDR)
The leading treatment for trauma and PTSD
EMDR is a process that reprograms a past stressful event to a positive self-chosen belief. The incident can be a trauma, an injury/amputation, or a perceived threat.
The nervous system stores impressions of trauma (for instance: rape, car accident, sexual abuse, enforced isolation, PTSD) in the brain. These memories are often disjointed and create inner discord. Conscious knowledge (“I wasn’t at fault”) is at odds with the unconscious belief (“I deserved that punch in the jaw.”) When the mind attempts to bury the emotional pain of the memory, it produces behaviors that create an imbalance in both emotional and physical responses.
Memories and memory networks help you identify who you are as an individual. Memories are comprised of:
- Sensory input (images, sounds, smells, touch, taste)
- Thoughts (at the time of the event)
- Physical sensations (where the emotion is felt in the body)
The limbic system stores these memories within the brain. The amygdala, an ancient part of this system, holds these memories. It retains them and their emotional charge as a survival mechanism to respond to a perceived threat. When this occurs, the sympathetic nervous system triggers reactions of fight, flight, or freeze. This reflex happens within a quarter of a second, and results in reliving the trauma. Recurring anxiety, insomnia, depression, phobias, panic attacks, and the like are responses to avoid this emotional pain.
When stuck in old memories, there is no room for new behaviors. Like a broken record that repeats itself, it’s an unfinished story. Using different modes of bi-lateral stimulation of EMDR (hand taps, sounds, walking) specific memories can be processed and traumas resolved. Old ways and beliefs are released, opening the way for new patterns of positive behavior.
- So I can get better acquainted with you and what your needs are, please set aside an hour and a half for the first session. Our follow up sessions will be an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your needs.
- You will be seated in a most comfortable chair in a quiet, peaceful setting very similar to a cozy den at home. Soft music will be playing in the background and you will begin to unwind.
- We will chat about the issues that brought you in that day, focusing on the ones you’d like to work on. Seeing your life as it is when you come in helps me develop strategies to focus more clearly on your goals, assisting you in reaching your end results.
- The outcomes we set for your sessions will be determined by you according to the issue causing you the most angst.
- We will talk a bit about hypnosis; what it is, what it isn’t and dispel some common myths.
- When you are comfortable and your questions are resolved, we will move you into a deeply relaxed state. During this time, I will serve as a tour guide and a safety net. We will safely move into areas you’d like to be different.
- During the session, you will be free to refocus and re-experience those areas of discomfort, transforming them in positive and beneficial ways.
- Once the session is complete, we’ll talk about your experience. This will be when you’ll know that the session has helped you release old patterns.
- You’ll feel vibrant, more real and more at peace. Your senses will become alive, and you’ll feel ready to move into your new way of being. An inner resolution of those old ways has taken place.
- You’ll do this in a safe, confidential atmosphere, the secure environment of my office.
- Want to reinforce your new way of being? You will leave the office with a CD designed to support these new thoughts and habits.
- You can expect a follow-up phone call a day or two after the session, just touching in to answer questions and see how you’re doing.