Paul Friend Hypnotherapy
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Tel:    (01543) 406319

Mob:  (07530) 371497

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a totally natural phenomenon which we all experience as part of our everyday lives.  It can be likened to daydreaming which we all do every 90 minutes or so throughout the day.  Other hypnotic states include being totally engrossed in a task such as driving a car, watching television, reading a book or simply listening to music.

During Hypnosis, the busy conscious mind is encouraged to take a back seat for a while.  This allows the unconscious mind, the part of us that knows exactly what we can achieve, to come to the fore and take on board everything that is needed to make the changes in your life that you desire.


Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis does not involve being unconscious or asleep.  Instead, the mind becomes sharpened & more focused and there is a heightened sense of awareness.  This means that when you enter into a trance, you will still be aware of what is happening and the sounds in the room, but this will be peripheral to what is important to you at that time - the changes you want to make.  You will always be in complete control so you can’t be made to say or do anything that is unacceptable to you.

In 2004 a fresh theory of hypnosis emerged which suggested that hypnosis is the result of accessing the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) state.  In REM we access the imagination that is responsible for our dreams.  One of the functions of dreaming is that it allows us to complete our unresolved emotions of the day through the metaphoric imagery and connections of our dream.  Its other key function is to update our instinctive templates or behavioural and emotional responses.  In other words the REM state is also a learning state.  Whenever we act without conscious effort, we are reliant on pattern matching by going back to an earlier learned response or behaviour that was set in the REM state.  So when we act instinctively, we are in effect acting on a post hypnotic suggestion.  This means that when someone is hypnotised, they are simply activating the same processes that the brain activates during dream sleep, and this is what makes hypnosis so effective.

Nearly everyone is capable of being hypnotised.  It is, however, harder to hypnotise people who are unable to maintain a focus of attention such as very small children, people whose mental faculties are grossly impaired or those who are highly intoxicated.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the application of hypnotic techniques in such a way as to bring about therapeutic changes.

On it's own hypnosis is not a therapy, it's all the other interventions such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that are used in conjunction with it that add to the experience and bring about therapeutic changes.

The terms Clinical Hypnosis & Clinical Hypnotherapy refer to both the diagnosis of problems and the application of hypnotherapeutic approaches to treat others within a clinical and structured framework.

Hypnotherapy allows individuals to make rapid enhancements to their lives by accessing the subconscious mind and reprogramming it to learn appropriate new beliefs, change negative behaviour patterns and overcome learned limitations to enable unwanted habits, irrational fears, phobias or negative thoughts to be overcome.  In addition, many individuals naturally experience an enhanced feeling of well being and a more positive outlook after each hypnotic experience.

Hypnotherapy in medicine

Hypnotism became widely used by physicians & psychologists during World War I, World War II and the Korean War where it was merged with psychiatry to treat battle fatigue and mental disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  After the wars, scientists found additional uses of hypnotism in clinical treatment.

In 1955, the British Medical Association (BMA) approved the use of hypnosis in the areas of psychoneuroses and hypnoanesthesia in pain management, childbirth and surgery.  At this time, the BMA also advised that all physicians and medical students should receive fundamental training in hypnosis.

In 1958, the American Medical Association (AMA) approved a report on the medical uses of hypnosis.  It encouraged research on hypnosis as it recognised that some aspects of it were still unknown and controversial.

In 1993, New Scientist published results of largest survey ever recorded which examined the various methods used for stopping smoking.  Hypnosis was streets ahead of anything else.

During the past thirty years or more, many physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other practitioners have taken up the cause of hypnosis, thereby educating the general public as to its therapeutic values and benefits.

Click here to find out more about the nature of hypnosis (opens in a new window) Click here to find out more about hypnotherapy in general (opens in a new window) Click here to find out more about hypnotherapy in medicine (opens in a new window)

Further information

We have put together some further information which you might find interesting and of use.  Click on the links below for details.  (Links open in a new page).

A Brief History of Hypnotism

The history of hypnosis (This is a longer, more detailed article)

What is hypnosis?

What is Hypnotherapy?

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