What is analytical hypnotherapy?
The theory behind hypnoanalysis or analytical hypnotherapy is that for some issues or concerns, there is a cause. The aim of the therapy is to uncover this cause and therefore resolve it. It may take several sessions though I have seen shifts in just one.
Having a trusting relationship is key, as you should naturally find yourself opening up and discussing things that may have been ‘bottled up’ from the past. These past events can often be the cause of a present day problem. The same theory is used by psychoanalytic therapists.
The difference between hypnoanalysis and psychoanalysis is the use of hypnosis. When someone is in a hypnotic state, their conscious mind falls into the background, allowing the subconscious mind to come forward. This is the part of the mind that tends to ‘store’ information about the ‘cause’ of certain problems.
For example, when asked, you may not remember a specific event that triggered a phobia. So your conscious mind may not be aware of it. Using hypnoanalysis, a hypnotherapist can communicate with your subconscious to reveal the event/cause in your subconscious.
Once the cause is found and addressed, there is room for new, healthy ways of thinking. Hypnotherapy and suggestion techniques are typically used to help this process.
Techniques used within hypnoanalysis
Two of the most commonly used techniques are free association and direct regression.
This technique was pioneered by Sigmund Freud. It involves simply letting your thoughts run free, moving from one to the other without judgment or consideration. As you do this within hypnoanalysis you speak your thoughts out loud, to your therapist.
With the guidance of a hypnotherapist, your thoughts will be directed towards the ‘truth’ that typically your subconscious may be resistant to. The idea is to identify events that may be the cause or root of your current concern.
Regression is a powerful tool used by hypnotherapists to access someone’s past through hypnosis. In hypnoanalysis, you may be asked to think about a recent event when you felt the symptoms of your problem (for example if you have a fear of lifts, it may be the last time you were in a lift). You will then be asked to really relive the experience and ‘amplify’ the feelings as much as you are able to.
Various techniques are then used to take your memories back to discover the original ‘event’ when you first felt like this. The height of your emotion should diminish as you get closer to the initial ‘event’.
The techniques used will be decided by your hypnotherapist who will assess which approach is best for you and your circumstances.
What can it help with?
Hypnoanalysis can help a wide range of concerns. It is worth noting however that in some cases, there may not be an underlying cause. Concerns that you believe do have an underlying cause, however, are certainly worth exploring with hypnoanalysis. Concerns that often respond well to this approach include:
- general anxiety
- sexual problems
- panic attacks
- alcohol addiction
- eating disorders
- low self-confidence
How long will the treatment take?
Hypnoanalysis can be long term though clients can see change quickly in as few as three sessions. The number of sessions you’ll require will depend completely on the nature of the concern you’re addressing and how you respond in sessions.
Is this approach right for me?
Hypnoanalysis is immensely helpful for most people. However, it may not be suitable for every circumstance. I always tailor the approach to the client.