We are about helping people return to a high functioning state. This is based on the assumption of course that all of us have the internal resources to solve problems, move on from the past and work toward our future goals.
Fear, depression and anxiety are all naturally occurring states much like happiness, curiosity and calm and are dictated by our thought processes. All of us change state and move through theses states many times in the day without even noticing. Sometimes we get distracted, other times we make a conscious choice to ‘snap out of it.’ But what about the times when we can’t snap out of it? Sometimes, these states become ingrained in our minds and we find ourselves slipping into what feels like a pattern of anxiety or depressive thinking.
We believe that all states are really thought processes. In other words, every one of us has an unconscious process around all of their states, which is stored in the unconscious mind. If we accept the idea that everything we do in our minds is a process, then we have the power to change these thought process.
Not all thought processes need to be changed. We have thousands of short cuts in our minds, which work well for us every day. They help us to brush our teeth, drive the car and do more complex tasks. When our thought processes repeat themselves enough times, our unconscious mind stores these processes for us as a short cut. Our daily habits become automatic which is far more efficient and lets face it, less exhausting – requiring minimal effort to keep them going. Imagine if you had to think about every part of the process in getting dressed in the morning!
A person can be said to be a unique combination of thousands of thought processes, some working well, some not so well.
Hypnosis creates the opportunity to connect with the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind stores the thought processes as well as the resources. The concept of resources refers to our skills, abilities and capabilities. When we develop a skill, even as simple as cracking an egg or kicking a ball, the process is stored in the unconscious mind. When we practice to master a skill, we reinforce the neural pathways and embed the resource in our unconscious. Andre Agassi reported that his dad tasked him with hitting the ball against a wall for 1000 times a day from the age of 3.
If everything is a process, then turning our attention to our more emotional states leads to the logical conclusion that our habits of worry, anxiety and depressive thinking are much the same. These are states we have ‘practiced’ so much they have hung around. Smoking, procrastination and excessive worry are all thought processes.
Two things happen when we have a problem:
- We have created a process to support the continuation of the problem
- We have become disconnected from our resources.
So, what is a resource?
We have all been through hard times, achieved our goals and kept a cool head when the situation demanded it. These experiences stay with us in the unconscious mind as resources and over time build resilience in our character.
Hypnosis provides the ideal opportunity to make changes by working with the unconscious mind. Hypnosis creates a portal into the workings of the unconscious mind and allows the space for processes to change.
Milton Erickson, the founder of modern hypnotherapy says that hypnosis creates a climate for change. Hypnosis is not about making a person think a certain way but instead seeding helpful guidance to prompt the mind to find a better process. In this way of thinking, the human mind is rich with resources. The unconscious mind holds thought processes, resources and all of our possibilities as well.
If you start with the understanding that the mind enhances anything it focuses on, it makes sense why we can be captivated by our own internal thoughts. What is the quality of the thoughts? Are they predominantly positive or negative. Building on the idea that our minds enhance what it is we focus on, what is the purpose of therapy? Modern hypnotherapy has been called solution-orientated therapy as it purposely steers clear of concentrating on the problem in favour of moving toward resource and solution.
Dr Michael Yapko, a world-renowned expert in the field of hypnosis comments that hypnosis has largely been a field of positive psychology from the start as it concentrates on amplifying people’s strengths.
“We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.”