Hypnotherapy is really nothing more than guided meditation. There is no mind control. You stay in control all the time. How it works is not entirely understood, but through relaxation, when your brain waves slow down, messages get through to the subconscious more easily.
The subconscious is the root of all our reactions.
The way we react to things comes directly from learned behaviours embedded in our subconscious. These were formed to protect us, but in many cases can no longer be helpful or wanted.
What can you expect in a hypnotherapy session?
Being similar to deep meditation, hypnosis is a state of focussed attention, and usually while deeply relaxed.
So a hypnotherapy session will guide you into this relaxed state most commonly through a process called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and in this relaxed state, suggestions get through to the subconscious better.
The best analogy I can think of is a taxi with a sliding window between the front and the back seats. Your subconscious is the taxi-driver, and you are in the passenger seat. In the back are all your differing and often conflicting thoughts. Picturing these like children, they are shouting instructions to the taxi driver. "Turn left! I want to go to the beach", "No turn right, I want to play football", "Go straight ahead, I want chocolate".
So the solution is to close the window to the thoughts at the back, and calmly tell the driver the instructions you want to be followed, and the driver takes you there.
There are lots of theories of how this works.
Brain scans of people undergoing hypnosis show increasing amounts of right brain activity, which is the creative, intuitive side, so do understand that a real process is happening.
Sara Lazar found that after just 8 weeks of meditation, the brains of students who had not meditated before, physically changed in a positive way. The hippocampus, responsible for focussed attention had increased in size, and the amygdala, responsible for the fight and flight action, releasing stress hormones had decreased in size. So after just 8 weeks they were physically less capable of stress and physically more capable of focussed attention. This is an example of neuro-plasticity, where thoughts change the brain. As hypnosis is guided meditation, you can see how it might work, and gives you a method by which to meditate and reinforce the sessions.
Sometimes emotions come out, depending on the issue the subject needs to deal with, but these are a release, and are positive reactions. They can also be dealt with lightly and gently.
One very interesting theory is that the actual healing is done by opening yourself up to your higher consciousness.
If you look at the hundred plus year old theory that the brain is a filter (William James and Frederick Myers) then you can see that the hypnotherapy slows down brain waves, and helps to get the brain out of the way reducing the effect of the filter and allowing a greater and more powerful consciousness to have its influence.
Contrary to the apparent Western assumption, there is no proof that the brain creates consciousness, yet there is plenty of evidence that consciousness is separate to the brain and merely filtered by it.
Many people who have had near death experiences (Anita Moorjani is a particularly good example) come back and spontaneously recover. Anita fought Hodgkin lymphoma for four years. To add a personal note here, I know how hard this is to get rid of. It's the disease that killed my wife when she was 34. Chemotherapy slowly dealt with it the first time, but when it came back the second time, it didn't work. It's important you understand this because when Anita came back from her NDE, the disease vanished on it's own without trace, in 2 weeks. This is absolutely staggering. The implications are tremendous. No drugs, no treatment. In the NDE she agreed to come back to fulfil a purpose. So it can only be the power of her mind that caused this dramatic and spontaneous recovery.
Brain scans show that deep meditation produces a different pattern of activity in the brain. Hypnotherapy is deep meditation. Curiously studies of Mediums show particular and unusual patterns of brain activity while they are communicating accurately (Dean Radin).. Another study described it as lower levels of activity in one part of the brain. It is as if they are getting their brains out of the way. If the brain is a filter, then these things make sense.
So in a bereavement hypnotherapy session, the visualisation of talking to a loved one you've lost may actually be real communication.
Good mediums are too consistently accurate for their information to have come from guesswork. The information is way too specific. Scientific studies have confirmed this. The only reason that this knowledge isn't mainstream is that it's too hard for mainstream scientists to want to accept as it overturns their theories. However quantum science and modern attitudes are changing this approach.
If you're interested you might like to read "Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century" (2007) by Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, and Bruce Greyson. It outlines the theories and research that will change opinions about NDE's, psychic phenomena and the nature of consciousness. This is a truly exciting subject.
Another great book is "Infinite Awareness" by Marjorie Hines Woollacott.
Dean Radin's books Entangled Minds, Real Magic, and the Noetic Universe are also very enlightening.
Particularly during this uncertain period it's perfectly ok to have a hypnotherapy session online via Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp.
There are some simple extra safety precautions that we need to take. Although I have never known a client not to come out of a hypnotherapy session when directed, (and it's not possible for anyone to be stuck in hypnosis - just like sleep, you will wake up quite naturally), the precautions are to have a telephone number, and the contact number of someone who could come and physically check on you. Another small precaution, though not necessary, is to set an alarm to come on a little while after the session is expected to end. Some mobile phones allow alarms to wake you up gently, so I'd recommend that.
Not all hypnotherapy is suitable for online delivery, but hypnotherapy for anxiety, phobias, smoking cessation(to quit smoking) can all be dealt with online.
I would treat any online Hypnotherapy in the same way as a normal face to face session. I offer a free 30 minute consultation, which would also be held online, and then followed up with subsequent online sessions.