The only things that most people “know” about hypnosis or hypnotherapy are what they have seen on the TV, in stage hypnosis programmes or somewhat dated movies. Unfortunately, these are most usually very sensationalist and inaccurate representations of what hypnosis can do and what the many benefits of hypnotherapy can be. I grew up with a very enlightened mother who introduced my older brother and myself, at a very early age, to the general principles of self-hypnosis, in a very simple, benign and inspiring way. We learned about positive thinking, about “programming” ourselves to sleep peacefully and deeply through the night, and even how to enhance our abilities to memorise poems or maths formulae to help us with our school work. I’m not sure how my Mum knew about such abilities, apart from her own experiences and a lot of reading, as it was not until many years later that she finally had the time and opportunity to actually train as a hypnotherapist and psychotherapist. But those early years’ learning experiences stayed with me throughout my formative years and are still with me, among many other enlightened and spiritual influences of my mother. Despite our differences in other ways, we both understood, instinctively, about the power of the mind and how it shapes your experiences and your very existence, and that it is ultimately up to you how you control it and make good use of it.
Despite these influences, I came to hypnotherapy kind of by the back door – although maybe part of it was a reluctance to follow in my mother’s footsteps, being something of a rebellious and “independent-minded” individual (again here, I am my mother’s daughter!). I initially trained and worked as a medical scientist, specialising in neuroscience – the influence of the brain and nervous system over our bodily functioning, health and behaviour… (or the power of the mind…?). In parallel, I studied and trained as a yoga teacher, which led me to teaching relaxation and meditation techniques, which incorporated the use of self-hypnosis, auto-suggestion, affirmations and therapeutic imagery. On another parallel, I also trained in and practised spiritual healing and counselling, using virtually the same techniques, if with a slightly different “bent”. Later I trained in a number of holistic therapies, practising in large part stress management and emotional therapy. Finally, following my mother’s passing, I had the time and opportunity (almost at the same age as she had) to study and train in hypnotherapy “proper”. I feel I have come home. I am now able to incorporate all those years and experiences and varied trainings into my approaches to my clients, to facilitate their healing on a variety of levels, according to their individual needs.
So, what is hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy teaches you how to harness the positive power of your own mind to enable you to take control of your life, your thought processes, your emotions and moods, your actions and reactions, your health and wellbeing – to become more aware of how you are using this immense power and to help you maximise its benefits. It helps you recognise how you might be sabotaging your own efforts and intentions, by identifying faulty thought patterns, beliefs and self-talk. It helps you realise how your thought processes influence your moods and emotions, and vice versa. And it helps you see how your habitual unhelpful thoughts and feelings (which you actually have the power to change, given the right methods and techniques) affect your behaviour, reactions, interactions with others, your general health and wellbeing, and ultimately the “colour”, “shape” and “success” of your life – your aspirations, desires, dreams and goals – both in the present and in the future.
Forget what you have seen on the TV and in the movies, or have read about in popularist magazines and newspapers. Hypnosis in nothing like that, and hypnotherapy has nothing to do with those portrayals. If you want to learn how to discover and optimise the power of your own mind, for your own health, wellbeing, success, emotional harmony, peace of mind, personal satisfaction, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and to bring about positive changes in your life, then I urge you most earnestly to give it a try!
Clinical, cognitive-behavioural and traditional approaches to hypnotherapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT), Reiki therapy, and training in relaxation skills, meditation, mindfulness and self-hypnosis are available from AJR Hypnotherapy Surrey, at clinics in Ashtead, Great Bookham and Ewell, which are close to Epsom and Leatherhead, Surrey (close to Junction 9 of the M25). Please visit other parts of this website, and/or phone or email for further information or to book an appointment (see contact details at top right of this blog page). I look forward to meeting you. Amanda Jackson-Russell, Clinical & Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapist, EFT Practitioner, Reiki Master, Relaxation & Meditation Instructor, MNFSH, Medical Writer & Editor.