– Cynthia Curry Adv Dip Chyp
We mostly think of hypnotherapy as a tool to help people solve major life issues. Problems, habits, patterns of behaviour that have caused untold pain, regret and ill health. When someone asks what you might go see a hypnotherapist for, the answer will often be to give up smoking, lose weight or overcome a phobia.
And it’s great that hypnotherapy is being increasingly seen as a viable, effective tool to create positive change in people’s lives in those areas where they have been stuck, often times for years.
Even more so, that it’s being increasingly accepted as an effective and fast treatment to help people overcome mental health problems, emotional and physical pain. Enabling people to recover from illnesses and live happier, healthier, symptom free lives, rather than simply masking or suppressing symptoms through use of pharmaceuticals, which is standard western medical practice.
And as healers, hypnotherapy practitioners can sometimes view the world through a bit of tunnel vision, narrowing our view of people so we may start seeing everyone we meet as being in need our help in healing.
However, I think we need to widen our perspective a bit and encourage the use of hypnosis outside of its designation as a therapeutic tool. There actually are people who live without the impact of trauma, pain or suffering in their lives and hypnosis can have a constructive, positive effect on them too.
The most obvious place where use of hypnosis as a tool for enhancement rather than healing is already in use, is in sports performance. Elite sports people in both team sports and individual disciplines already use hypnosis widely. Golf, tennis, football, athletics, all have star performers reporting on how hypnosis, visualisation or mental rehearsal have helped them enhance their skills and abilities, honed their reaction time and given them an edge over the competition. And this has filtered down to local level sports too, which is great.
And there are so many other areas where the confidence boosting, focus building, concentration enhancing, intuition improving, skill magnifying magic of hypnosis could help a person improve their quality of life.
Cast your mind back to a time when you were starting a new job or had just got promoted. Brilliant! Well done! And it’s all great until the day you have to step up and perform and then you hit a confidence crisis. ‘Will I be good enough?’ ‘Have I got the right skills to even do this, never mind be successful at it?’ ‘What if I mess this up?’ and worse, ‘What if my new colleagues don’t like me?’
I find that usually people apply for jobs they can do, they go for promotions in work because they think they could take that step up and be good at the job. They feel capable, they may even know they can do it but when that confidence crisis hits, they forget that, they may even forget how to do the job they were doing previously. Everything goes out the window.
Hypnosis can easily help with that, helping them stay calm, relaxed, confident and at ease as they take the reins of this new position, showing the boss that they picked the right person to hire.
And what about hypnosis and love? Of course, hypnotherapy is a great tool for getting over a lost love, the pain of a break-up or a divorce. However I think it’s also perfect to help someone who wants to find new love, enabling them to not only rid themselves of old pain and past judgements about the opposite sex but to stay relaxed and at ease when they start venturing out into the daunting world of modern dating.
There’s nothing that knocks a person’s confidence like romantic rejection, especially if you’ve been seriously involved or married for a while. Setting out to find a new romantic partner requires resilience, faith and a commitment to pursuing that goal regardless of the time wasters, the poor dates, the almost could have been something ones that will come before the right one shows up.
Hypnosis would definitely help someone stay relaxed, calm and positive throughout that process. A sense of humour would also help but I don’t know if you can hypnotise someone into having that!
At the other end of the romantic scale, I can see hypnosis as a great tool to help those getting married to adjust to a new life together, so they have more tolerance and respect for each other as the rose coloured glasses wear off.
The life milestone that possibly has the biggest use for hypnotherapy is retirement, not only for the retiree, but for their whole family! I have a friend who, once she turned forty, started planning her retirement, and when the UK government put the retirement age for women back from 60 to 65 years of age, she was almost hysterical. She’d put her life on pause for 20 years and that suddenly became 25 years before she could be, do and have the life she wanted to live.
In his autobiography Andre Agassi said of retirement, ‘one day your entire way of life comes to an end. It’s a kind of death.’
People plan for retirement, almost from when they start their working lives. Personally, I’d rather have work I love to do, and want to keep working right into my 80s, just like Joan Collins and the Queen.
However, for those people who want to retire, hypnotherapy is an amazing tool to help them transition from work life to retirement, supporting them in getting the best from the time they’ve been given to relax, develop new interests and create new passion and new joy in their lives.
Agassi, in a recent interview, talking about how he went on to start an educational foundation for underprivileged children now states that he wished that he’d retired earlier!
My point is that there are many, many ways hypnotherapy can be used in people’s lives. It’s wonderful that we have this amazing tool to help heal our wounds. I just think we should open our eyes to the possibilities of easing even the slight discomforts and enhancing the pleasure felt in the positive life changing events of a person’s life.
After all, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain of being too happy, too content, too relaxed, of life being too good.