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Q: What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy?

A: Cognitive Hypnotherapy was developed around recent discoveries from Evolutionary Psychology, Positive Psychology, Cognitive theory and Neuro Linguistic Programming and incorporates them into a modern self-empowering approach to therapy. It utilises the premise that there is no one single approach to resolving a problem and that each client’s treatment should be as individual as they are.

Q: How does it work?

A: By combining a wide range of tools from Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming and a unique pattern of language called Wordweaving, your experience of therapy can be tailor-made to you as an individual and therefore more effective at developing change. All of us at some time feel stuck when we get locked into behaviours, beliefs and habits which we know reduce the quality of our life, yet often we struggle to make the change that makes the difference. This is because our unconscious tends to keep the thought patterns that generate the behaviour, belief or habit out of our awareness. Recent research indicates that the unconscious mind is responsible for about 90% of our daily behaviour. For this reason, Cognitive Hypnotherapy helps us to bring our unconscious thoughts into our conscious so that we can see how we got into our problem and guide us towards a life without it. Perhaps it would help to think of our mind as a computer that has made some miscalculations. We need to go back and look at some old files we haven’t looked at in a while to discover the root cause of the miscalculation. Once that file has been brought to the screen to be looked at in more detail we can see what went wrong and make changes that resolve the problem for good.

Q: What is a trance and how is it used?

A: In Cognitive Hypnotherapy, we believe that trance states are a natural part of being human. If you have ever driven a route you are very familiar with, reached your destination and then weren’t able to recall any part of the journey, that is a trance state. Similarly if you smell something that reminds you of a time in your past that brings back all the feelings of that time, that too is a trance state. We go in and out of trances everyday, especially when we are ‘doing’ our problem. We therefore spend most of our day in some kind of altered state. It is very common for people to feel like their issue is beyond their control, as if some part of them takes over and makes them do the things they don’t want to do such as smoking the cigarette, eating the cake, running away from the spider or become sick rather than give a presentation. This is simply a consequence of our unconscious trying to keep us safe and is part of our natural fight or flight response to things we see as a threat. In this way, we enter a trance state whenever we experience our problems. Every time you do something you can’t control, you’re ‘hypnotised’ by your unconscious into seeing, feeling or doing things a certain way. In Cognitive Hypnotherapy therefore, the therapist helps to ‘de-hypnotise’ you so that you have control over those aspects of your life that you want to be different, and are able to see, feel or do whatever gives you the greatest freedom. Therefore as trance states are part of the pattern of your problem, they too are a powerful part of the solution and can be used to give you back the control over your life.

Q: Will I lose control during hypnotherapy?

A: No, you will always remain in control and would be able to break the trance at anytime if you did not feel comfortable. As Cognitive Hypnotherapy utilises light and natural trance states you are likely to feel in a relaxed state, a bit like day dreaming. Though you may close your eyes you will not be asleep. The state of hypnosis is in fact one of heightened awareness where it is possible for your mind to be aware of many more things than in the conscious state.

Q: What is Wordweaving?

A: As mentioned above, Gemma Holmes Cognitive Hypnotherapy incorporates the unique Wordweaving suggestion patterns created by Trevor and Rebecca Silvester and the Quest Institute. Branching away from the authoritarian suggestions of classical hypnotherapy, Wordweaving utilises words and grammar that are unique to each client, their subjective experience of their problem and what the solution may be.