What Is Cognitive Hypnotherapy?

Let me begin by assuring you that I do not own a pocket watch, and I will not at any time ask you to cluck like a chicken or “look into my eyes…”

Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a modern approach based on recent discoveries from neuroscience. We take from a mix of different therapeutic influences including the most effective elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, Gestalt, Traditional Hypnotherapy and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP).

Our approach is fluid, flexible and designed in such a way that the client and therapist work together in order to achieve a certain goal. What this means is that Cog Hyp empowers you with the knowledge and skills needed to take back control of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Cognitive Hypnotherapy In Three Minutes

To get an idea of what we do, take a look at this great animation narrated by Trevor Silvester, my tutor and the founder of Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy.

How Cognitive Hypnotherapy Differs From Traditional (Authoritarian) Hypnotherapy

Cognitive hypnotherapy is based on three key principles that differentiate our practice from that of traditional hypnotherapy.

Trance is an everyday phenomenon:

Studies suggest that approximately 90% of our behaviour is unconscious. Let that sink in for a moment… We are only truly in control of our actions one tenth of the time.

Traditional hypnotherapy maintains hypnosis to be a state that the hypnotherapist must “put you under” in order to render you suggestible. We, on the other hand, understand hypnosis to be a naturally occurring, everyday state. And this is a good thing! If we had to consciously command every single daily task, then just tying our shoe laces in the morning would present a challenge.

So, if we’re at the mercy of our unconscious mind almost all of the time, then surely it must be the best place to begin affecting change to our thought processes, feelings and behavioural patterns. Cog Hyp helps you to understand these processes, and ultimately take control of the ones that serve you less than well.

All behaviour has a positive intention:

Although trance behaviour is always generated with the intention to fulfil a positive purpose, due to processing errors made by the unconscious mind (often in early childhood), some of these behavioural choices end up causing more harm than good.

For example, the fear generated by an individual with a flying phobia is designed to keep them on the ground and safe from the perceived threat of getting on a plane. This fear will be felt even though they know (consciously) that planes aren’t any more dangerous than the car they drive every day. 

Cog Hyp works by updating the unconscious mind with the conscious mind’s understanding of reality.

Everyone is unique:

The things that we are most likely to call “problems” can be understood as (negative) everyday trance states. That is, ineffective or damaging pieces of unconscious programming.

Our style of therapy aims to dehypnotise the client out of their problematic trance states in order to live life more happily, become more productive, achieve more… etc.

As every person’s problem pattern will be entirely unique, in Cog Hyp we don’t diagnose or label the issue. Nor do we use one-size-fits-all hypnotherapy scripts aimed at a particular problem.

Each individual receives a unique and personalised treatment plan to fit the way they experience their problem.

What To Expect From Your Sessions

The rate of development is entirely dependent on the individual client. This makes it difficult to accurately predict the amount of sessions you will need. As a rule of thumb, I usually expect to see clients for somewhere between three and six sessions. Having said that, some people will get what they came for in a single session. Either way, we’ll remain in contact between sessions to calibrate your improvement and organise sessions accordingly.

The Process

We’ll begin by discussing your problem in detail. We’ll analyse exactly how you experience it and the effect it has on your life. From there, we’ll plan your personal treatment programme together to ensure that we work in a way that suits you best.

Over the course of treatment, you’ll be given recordings of hypnotic suggestions to listen to at home. I’ll also give you a therapy diary to log your thoughts and development between sessions.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Sessions

Everyone is capable of change. Rather than being a magic spell that works for some and not for others, Cognitive Hypnotherapy is more like a process of mental reprogramming. Our sessions will guide you in learning how to think (and consequently, behave/feel/speak etc) in a new way. 

So, in case you’re wondering, the popular view that only a few people are able to by hypnotised is a myth. This idea was arrived at during the early history of hypnosis. It was based on results from a limited set of standardised tests from that time. Those tests did not adequately represent all that hypnosis (or hypnotherapy) has to offer, and are largely overlooked in contemporary practice.

Since I began practicing as a therapist I’ve noticed some common traits shared by the clients who seem to make the fastest and most pervasive changes in their lives. These things include curiosity and willingness to learn about themselves.

People tend to think of hypnotherapy as something that is done to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In Cog Hyp we see the trance state as something we’ve been doing to ourselves all of our lives, and that’s exactly what will happen in your sessions with me. You’re in control. I’m there merely as a facilitator and guide.