St Kilda Helen Wayland Helen Wayland



A little bit about
the brain


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Do I have to ‘do’ something special to be hypnotised?

The hypnotherapist’s job is to facilitate the experience for you. There is nothing special you have to ‘do’.

Can anyone be hypnotised?

If you’ve ever driven home and then wondered how you got there, or been engrossed in a task and lost track of time, you’ve been in a trance state.
We are all in various levels of hypnosis at many times of the day and yes, anyone can be hypnotised in the clinical sense as well.

What does it feel like to be hypnotised?

This focused state feels different for everyone, but most people say they are aware of everything going on, feel quite comfortable within themselves, and may receive new ideas or insights from their imagination or unconscious mind.

What is actually happening during hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy engages the power of your whole self.

In our usual lives, what we call the conscious mind has to be selective and ‘screen out’ a lot of things so we can function normally and concentrate on what we are doing moment to moment. At the same time, what we call the unconscious is in the business of keeping us alive and functioning – after all this is the part that keeps us breathing, keeps our blood flowing, knows how to heal, and so much more.

The unconscious organism is always working to keep us safe, but occasionally it has learned some faulty lessons (such as phobias or panic attacks, or poor sleeping habits), or something that was helpful to us at one time is now no longer needed (as might be the case in addiction or other obsessive behaviours.) The brain is able to change its patterns very easily with the right stimulus, as has been proved in recent research. Hypnosis is a way to do this easily and effortlessly, whether to aid in healing, to free us from self-defeating habits, or to remember how to sleep like a baby.

Some experts are also now referring to the ‘unconscious’ mind as the ‘imagination’ and of hypnosis in terms of ‘left brain’ and ‘right brain’ activity, rather than ‘unconscious’ and ‘conscious’ processing.

What happens in the hypnotherapy session?

I use a person-centred approach to hypnotherapy, working with your outcomes in mind and your own reasons for wanting those outcomes.

Firstly we usually chat about what you would like to happen and how things are now. If you have not experienced hypnosis before I will take you into light hypnosis just to show you how easy and relaxing it is. Once you have experienced this, you may be looking forward to a slightly longer episode where we address, directly or indirectly, your reasons for being there. This will all take place within the space of around an hour, depending on the complexity of the issue.

How many sessions do I need?

Typically, three to four sessions will be enough for you to see lasting and ongoing change, although you may notice major benefits after one session.
I have put together some ‘packages’ of sessions to deal with specific issues, over three or four sessions where we deal with different aspects of the issue each time. These are listed in the ‘special packages’ section.

Is hypnotherapy like stage hypnosis?

Not at all. A stage hypnotist has hundreds of audience members to choose from and if you have seen a show, you will know that they only select a few, and these are the most suggestible in the audience, and also people who have shown that they are happy to ‘play the fool’ in the comedy that ensues. The stage hypnotist also ensures that they are very deeply in trance – clinical hypnotherapy generally uses a much lighter level of hypnosis.

Will I lose control?

Despite how it might appear on a cleverly constructed stage hypnosis show, no one can make you do anything under hypnosis that goes against your core values and wishes.
You will not be out of control in any way, and in fact hypnosis is a highly focused state so although you are relaxed, you are usually aware of everything that is going on around you. It is said that the only faculty that is impaired during hypnosis is the critical faculty. Which is partly how you can see new solutions and access knowledge from within, without the interference of any critical self-talk or damaging personal beliefs.

What happens in holistic counselling?

In holistic counselling we apply a person-centred approach and look at the complete picture: personal, social, societal, cultural.

A holistic person-centred approach means that you are always in charge of the style and direction of your therapy. Together we map the journey forward, using the techniques that suit you during each stage of your progress. Counselling may last just a few sessions, while you discuss a current problem, or you may want to take the process to a more in-depth level over a longer period.

A holistic counsellor is trained to use a range of techniques to suit the person seeking counselling. These can include working with dreams and symbols, art therapy and psychodynamic techniques, among others. This is simply to access the inner wisdom and knowledge of the person who has come to the session.