By Dr. Jenna Creaser, MD
Did you know there is wisdom that contains important, healing information held deep within your subconscious?
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic modality that harnesses the curious state of hypnosis to access the subconscious mind. It can help one change and heal in profound and meaningful ways. The best part; it is both effective and efficient. When some other modalities may not seem to reach the deeper “roots” of an issue, hypnotherapy can uncover and release blocks or unhelpful beliefs and patterns, and effect change without requiring long counselling processes or medications.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is derived from the word “sleep”, referencing the mental or conscious mind entering a sleep-like state. This allows other parts of the mind (the subconscious) to come to the forefront, where every past emotion, thought, and experience is stored. Hypnosis is most often defined as a bypass of ordinary mental mind in a profound relaxed state with increased suggestibility, and reduced peripheral awareness.
Hypnosis can happen intentionally during practices such as meditation or even unintentionally, “zoning out” during a long drive or watching television. Hypnotherapy involves an intentional, guided process which allows the client to enter a deep state of relaxation. Because of this, sessions often have a refreshing and restorative effect.
How does it work?
The goal of therapeutic hypnotherapy is to facilitate transformation via the exploration and release of emotional or mental blocks, through clarifying core beliefs, promoting change, and other psychological healing processes. Most of this work occurs within levels of the subconscious - levels that are typically not easily accessed through standard counselling or therapy. This allows the client to move forward in ways that are for their greatest wellbeing. The theory and techniques of hypnotherapy is quite cutting edge, although it has a long history. It first gained medical recognition as a legitimate form of treatment in the 1960s.
Myths and misconceptions
Sometimes clients may experience a sense of ‘losing control’ of their body or awareness. However, the entertainment industry often portrays a dramatic loss of control and/or a trance-like state, with extreme suggestibility and loss of memory - this is not representative of hypnotherapy. Don’t worry, you remain fully in control under hypnosis, and won’t be forced into doing something you wouldn’t want to! Memory is not lost, nor will you come out of a session not remembering what happened. Hypnosis also does not work if you don’t want to be hypnotized, and you can bring yourself back out at any time (although it is recommended to stay focused and relaxed through the whole process). Hypnotherapy is safe unless you suffer from psychosis or a significant personality disorder. For the best results, it should only be sought out when you are ready for real change.
Finding a practitioner
Most hypnotherapists are caring and well-intentioned professionals, however hypnotherapy is not regulated, thus one should exercise some caution when seeking a practitioner. Look for someone who has a certification recognized by a reputable school or training program, and a background in healthcare or counselling. There are many different types of hypnotherapy - choose one that speaks to you and feels like a good fit. Meet with the practitioner and ask questions about their practice and style, before doing a full session. Consider working with a provider who is both experienced and gentle in their approach. The most effective hypnotherapists tend to act more as a guide, and don’t force the process. A trusting and respectful dynamic between the therapist and client is of utmost importance. Overall, hypnotherapy is a powerful modality that is available to you now - it can even be done virtually!
If you are experiencing self sabotage, strong negative emotions that don’t seem to make sense, or feel stuck in old patterns, perhaps it’s time to tap into the wisdom of your own subconscious.
Dr. Jenna Creaser, MD, CHt
Dr. Jenna Creaser is committed to helping others live a more balanced and healthy life. Her career as a physician includes Rural Family Practice, Women’s Health, Maternity Care and Functional Medicine. After completing her conventional medical training, she continued to explore and gain experience in several other holistic modalities including Ayurveda, Yoga, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy and Plant Medicine.
Her training also includes Mindfulness, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Compassionate Inquiry (Dr. Gabor Mate’s CI training) and SoulStrong Intuitive Coaching & Hypnotherapy, among many other meditation and inner-healing programs.
Dr. Creaser believes quality healthcare requires a multimodal holistic approach, motivation, connection, and time. The most effective approach is balanced - it uses both modern science and ancient knowledge and practices. It is both evidence and intuitive based.
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