It is remarkable to have to admit that I didn’t know what hypnotherapy was until I started training. I knew that it was an effective therapy for psychological and physical ills, but not why it was effective. I still shared to some extent the misconceptions that are constantly being reinforced by fiction on the one hand and by stage hypnotism on the other.
In fiction hypnosis is usually employed as a means to get people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do; on the stage it’s used to get people to do what they secretly want to do – be entertaining. No-one can be robbed of their will unless, paradoxically, they want to be robbed!
Hypnotherapy’s mode of operation belies the duality of mind and body. Mind and body act in concert, such that positive thinking produces chemical changes which in turn encourage positive thoughts – and vice-versa. This means that we can train the conscious mind to promote and maintain emotional and physical health by accessing the subconscious. The mind really can be the origin of good and ill.