To continue the discussion on hypnotherapy I would like to include the explanation given by Pieterse in an article entitled “What is HYPNOTHERAPY?” She believes that hypnosis is an altered state of mind where our focus narrows onto one specific thing and becomes very intense, to the extent that we are still aware of the environment, but it does not distract us. She explains Hypnosis very simply and accurately as a natural phenomenon we experience in our daily lives - especially whenever we focus intensely and perform a demanding task, e.g.concentrating on playing a computer game, watching a movie, daydreaming in a class or writing an exam.
Every one of us has the ability to be in a hypnotized state, but it must be entered into voluntarily.If a client is ambivalent about change, or is attending therapy on the advice (or insistence) of a third person such as their partner or parents, a successful outcome will be unlikely. Even though some people are more creative and imaginative and have a greater capacity to concentrate and visualise than others, anybody can make use of this type of therapy.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. We actually spend the majority of our lives in a hypnotizable state. When one is open to suggestion, the hypnotherapist guides the client into the trance (relaxing state) by using various induction techniques, according to what is most suitable for the client. Pieterse elaborates on “The Power of our Thoughts”, as all our behaviour is learnt. Even bad eating habits, our fears, negative self-image, panic attacks, anger outburst, depressive moods etc. have been learnt. We want to unlearn some of these as they are uncomfortable and causes us distress.
Due to our perceptions and our own interpretation of what has happened in a situation, we start to develop negative thoughts about ourselves. This causes us to feel certain emotions, which are not necessarily true, and as a result we act accordingly. It has been proven by quantum physics that thoughts are energy and can become reality if dwelt upon. As Trevor Modlin (Medical Hypnoanalyst practitioner and master trainer) points out in his book, “Prisoners of our Perceptions” , “...We live lives which keep us in our own mental prisons of who we are, what we can or can't do...”
Medical Hypnoanalysis (MHA) is dynamic, short term and directed. It is dynamic in that the treatment approach emphasizes causes rather than symptoms, explanations rather than descriptions and unconscious forces rather than conscious forces as being the ultimate origin of the psychopathology. It is short term in that in most situations less than fifteen sessions are required for the completion of the treatment procedure. It is a direct therapy in that the psychotherapy, upon making a diagnosis, follows a medical model of psychotherapy aimed at alleviating the symptoms by means of resolving underlying, unconscious causes (Susan Kriegler).