Misconceptions Concerning Hypnotherapy

The primary focus of Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is to help people overcome psychological issues and improve their overall wellbeing.
Here at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic we treat clients using a form of cognitive behavioural therapy reinforced by cognitive clinical hypnosis. And we are pleased that the benefits of our treatment are so effective.
Nowadays, the efficacy of properly administered clinical hypnotherapy is widely recognised – so much so, that it is a surprise to be reminded on occasions that in some circles hypnotherapy is still regarded as a kind of mystical art. It is ranked by some people alongside dubious alternative medicines and even criticised by a few as being little more than a scam.
Without a doubt, it is a sad fact that hypnotherapy is sometimes a misunderstood science.
And misunderstandings arise for a number of reasons, the main one, I would suggest, being misrepresentation.
So, who or what are the sources of misrepresentation?

I’m NOT a Wizard

Well, therapists themselves might share some of the blame. We are sometimes guilty of encouraging the idea that hypnosis is a magical skill (though, it can be argued that such a notion does support the placebo effect). I can’t myself claim to be wholly innocent in such matters – as it was pointed out to me recently, the original cover of my book Stop Smoking: It’s a Doddle depicts me in something of a wizardy pose. Hmmph. Well, quickly brushing that aside to spare my blushes, it might be added that misconceptions concerning clinical hypnosis also arise through another source, that being the general public’s familiarity with stage hypnotism; most people have witnessed stage hypnotism to some extent, whether it be in a pub, at a theatre or on TV. But as I have stated before, stage hypnotism and clinical hypnotherapy are distinct from one another – the former is entertainment (and is not really hypnosis) while the latter is a means of treating people afflicted by conditions that adversely affect their lives. I’m not trying to disparage stage hypnotism but merely pointing out that it is entertainment and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

They’re Having a Laugh

I was reminded of one further source of misunderstanding regarding clinical hypnotherapy earlier this week – it was casual in its nature but not necessarily insignificant. It occurred as I watched a BBC comedy series entitled Ill Behaviour. The show is about a man who is suffering Hodgkin lymphoma but rather than follow conventional treatment that boasts a proven success rate he opts for alternative treatment – including something called “isomorphic hypnotherapy” – whatever that might be. That the therapy named is most probably something invented by the screen writer doesn’t mean that some people are not going to think the character is talking about clinical hypnotherapy. And to that extent he does the practice of clinical hypnotherapy a disservice. It’s hardly a massive deal but I’m happy to leap to the defence of the industry and state, in case there is any doubt, that no reputable clinical hypnotherapist is ever going to claim he or she has a cure for cancer.
Sometimes, though, psychological issues overlap with physical complaints – for example anxiety often creates physiological symptoms.
But at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic any client who arrives with a physical disorder is politely told to consult his or her GP. For example, it might be that someone who suffers frequent headaches does so as a result of stress and anxiety but before any psychological treatment can be offered it needs to be established that the symptoms are not a consequence of some as yet undiagnosed physical condition. (Details of the ethics adopted at the clinic are to be found on this website.)

Other Scenarios That Hypnotherapy Can Help With

There are other scenarios too. For example in cases of self-harm or self-mutilation, clinical hypnosis can help a sufferer cope with the underlying emotional issues of the condition but the physical wounds and injuries will need to be treated in a surgery.
Of course, cognitive behavioural therapy, which at Leeds Hypnotherapy Clinic is supported by clinical hypnosis, is a useful tool in helping people with physical illnesses cope with their condition by addressing their associated emotional needs. Mental wellbeing is also recognised as being of great benefit in physical healing.
To sum up, then, while it is important that a professional distinction be made between the psychological and the physiological and that it is essential parameters of treatment are applied, it is useful too to recognise that the two matters are not always mutually exclusive.

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