New Year resolutions – we all start out with the best of intentions, but unfortunately for most of us they are made to be broken. Be it losing weight or quitting smoking; give your New Year resolutions a fighting chance by kicking off 2015 with hypnotherapy.

What is hypnotherapy?
Put simply, hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique to treat a variety of conditions from OCD to binge eating. A hypnotherapist may practice numerous methods; traditional hypnotherapy is based on the direct suggestion of symptom removal whereas cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy combines hypnosis with CBT.

How does hypnosis work?
Altered state theories view hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness that is different to an individual’s ordinary conscious state. On the other hand, non-state theories view hypnosis as a form of imaginative role enactment.

‘The hypnotized individual appears to heed only the communications of the hypnotist. He seems to respond in an uncritical, automatic fashion… He sees, feels, smells, and otherwise perceives in accordance with the hypnotist’s suggestions… Even the subject’s memory and awareness of self may be altered by suggestion, and the effects of the suggestions may be extended (post hypnotically) into the subject’s subsequent waking activity.’ – Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2004

The resolution: To lose weight
Exercise more, eat less and make healthier food choices. A simple equation, yet for many trying to lose weight feels unobtainable and depressing. With hypnotherapy it may be possible to change thinking patterns and gain control over cravings via the unconscious mind. With a new mind-set eating and exercising can be approached in a more positive, constructive way. Powerful suggestion techniques help eliminate negative thought patterns so that dieting feels like less of a struggle.

The resolution: To quit smoking
During a hypnotherapy session the patient enters a deep, relaxed state where the mind is more open to suggestion. A hypnotherapist will take advantage of this open-mindedness and vocalise powerful suggestions such as; ‘I do not enjoy smoking’ or ‘I am disgusted by the smell of cigarette smoke’. Hypnotherapy to quit smoking will always be more effective if the patient is actively choosing to quit as opposed to trying to give up to please others or because they ‘should’.

The resolution: To be more confident
Lack of confidence, anxiety and low self-esteem can be life-crippling and stop a person from reaching career goals or attaining happy relationships. Hypnotherapy tries to determine the root cause of low self-confidence and resolve the issue through suggestions and images. Hypnotherapy is a time to unconsciously rehearse new positive ways to think and feel and during sessions a patient can lay the groundwork for changes in their future actions.

The resolution: To pursue new career goals or make life changes
Struggling to make choices or follow through on aims can be closely linked with lack of confidence and self-worth. Confusion, procrastination and blocked thought processes; sometimes we do not believe in ourselves enough to do what we really want to be doing. Negative thinking, worrying and focusing on obstacles only ever holds us back. Hypnotherapy is a way to get re-focused and replace negative patterns with positive attitudes and a go-getter approach to life.

The resolution: To break a bad habit or an addiction
Hypnotherapists are often employed to help break bad habits and addictions from the minor such as nail biting to the severe including drug addiction and alcoholism. In a calm, open state, the patient is more open to powerful suggestions which counteract negative behaviour patterns. A hypnotherapist will try to help the patient gain control over their addiction and provide support to break destructive repetitive behaviours.

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