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State-of-the-Art Hypnotherapy Tapes for Health and Self-Improvement

by Glenn Harrold(more info)

listed in hypnosis, originally published in issue 66 - July 2001

Four years ago I was working as a full-time clinical hypnotherapist with four busy clinics. I had passed my diploma with the British School of Clinical Hypnosis a few years previously and soon developed a flourishing private practice. I loved the work and took great pleasure in helping people overcome a wide range of stress-related problems.

Conditions

In my clinical hypnotherapy practice I have helped many people overcome a wide range of problems including: stress, nerves, anxiety, panic attacks, fears, phobias, self-confidence, self-esteem, weight control, smoking, shyness, blushing, stammering, stage fright, public speaking, driving test nerves, exam nerves, nightmares, bed-wetting, nail- biting, guilt complex, bereavement, travel fears (flying, sailing, driving) memory, insomnia, blood pressure, assertiveness, pain control, obsessions, compulsions, grief, sexual problems, relationships, motivation and concentration. Any stress-related illness may be helped. I have also treated clients who wanted help with sporting performance, business enhancement and past life regressions, and have always taught clients self-hypnosis.

Teaching clients self-hypnosis was, I felt, always important. I rarely saw clients for more than six sessions and I always discouraged any long-term dependency on the therapy or therapist. My aim as a therapist is to empower clients to overcome their problems using their own inner resources through teaching them various relaxation techniques, including self- hypnosis. It may sound clichéd, but my philosophy is like the old saying, "If you give a starving man a fish supper he will eat well for a day, but if you teach him to fish he will eat well forever." My belief is that if you focus all your energy under hypnosis you can make almost anything happen. An example of this is the many well-documented cases where a child will become trapped under a car and the mother will instantly become so focused that she will lift the car on her own and pull the child free. She can do this because she doesn't stop to intellectualize and think she can't do it because the car weighs half a ton. Or, put another way, the shock of seeing her child in danger brings out a primal need to protect and she flips into trance where her conscious intellect/belief system is bypassed and she summons the strength to lift the car. Einstein said we still only use 10% of our brains and maybe when we are in trance we are able to access our true potential.

Case Study 1

One of my clients, a 16-year-old girl, was on the verge of dropping out of her exams because of the stress and pressure involved. I saw her over five or six sessions and we worked on her coping with the pressure and focusing on her potential and what she could achieve. I gave her many suggestions under hypnosis that she would be able to perform to the best of her ability in exams. I also gave her many performance cues and time distortion suggestions – "There will be plenty of time for you to answer every question correctly" and "Time will pass by very slowly in each exam". She phoned me up the day she got her results in tears (of joy) as she achieved 11 straight A-plusses and was the top girl in her whole school. Through positive focus she was able to tap into that vast unconscious potential that we all have.

Some Brief Information on Hypnosis

It is impossible to hypnotize someone without their consent. On the contrary, there must be willingness on the part of the person to be hypnotized. A common misconception with hypnosis, largely due to misinformation in the media, is that you relinquish control when in a hypnotic trance. The truth is that in a trance state you are taking back control and you are also aware of everything said to you, and you can easily accept or reject any suggestion given to you.

Most hypnotherapy sessions take people into light to medium depth trance states, whereby they are in a state of deep mental and physical relaxation, although still fully aware of their surroundings. The hypnotic trance state is commonly defined by the various brain wave states.

In 1929 Hans Berger used an EEG (electroencephalograph) machine to discover that when a person's eyes we closed the brain generated regular waves in the 8 to 12 cycles per second (cps) range. He labelled these brain waves alpha waves. Subsequently, other types of waves were discovered and labelled theta, beta and delta. These brain waves have been found to correlate to various mental functions, including hypnosis and psychic experience. Experts generally agree on these brain waves and their purpose, but they disagree on the exact boundaries of each kind of wave. One expert will define alpha as 8 to 12 cps; another as 7 to 14 cps, and so forth. The next four sentences present a general consensus concerning these brain waves:

* Beta (13-30 Hz): Normal state of alertness, waking consciousness;
* Alpha (8-12 Hz): State of light relaxation, state of superlearning, positive thinking;
* Theta (4-7 Hz): Deep relaxation, meditation, increased memory and focus;
* Delta (1-3 Hz): Deep sleep, lucid dreaming, increased immune functions.

Alpha Brain Waves
Above: Alpha Brain Waves

 

Beta Brain Waves
Above: Beta Brain Waves

Most hypnotic inductions guide the listener into the alpha state. In this relaxed optimum learning state, with the guidance of a skilled hypnotherapist, you are able to eliminate negative thoughts and patterns of behaviour and replace them with new positive solutions.

On some occasions people can go into a very deep somnambulistic trance state, which is like a deep sleep although they can still accept and act upon any suggestions given to them.

The Five Stages of a Classic Hypnotherapy Session

A typical hypnotherapy session comprises five stages:

1. The introduction – what is on the tapes and the warnings, e.g. 'Don't drive while listening';
2. The induction – usually the breathing exercises and guiding into a light trance;
3. The deepening – guiding into deep hypnosis via count down or other visual cues;
4. The post-hypnotic suggestions – e.g. 'You will feel more confident in your everyday life';
5. The awakening.

How I Began Making Hypnosis Tapes

Before becoming a hypnotherapist I was a musician and spent much of my time based in my home recording studio. At the beginning of 1997 I began producing my first hypnosis tapes, primarily to help support the work I was doing with my clients. I began looking at other similar tapes available and found most were poorly produced with many sounding homemade. I soon realized that there were many therapists making tapes but very few understood recording techniques. You can be the best therapist around but if the recording is uncomfortable to listen to with background hiss and no equalizing or compression on the vocal, then they will not be effective. So I set out to produce a range of tapes that were well produced with the emphasis on being genuinely effective. I initially recorded and released seven titles (a full list is given at the end of this article).

Each was carefully scripted and recorded using sophisticated digital technology. They became very successful and sold everywhere they were displayed. I also received some fantastic feedback from people, confirming how effective they believed them to be, which was very pleasing. In 1999 I added another five titles, and I also updated the original seven titles using advanced recording techniques, and began to use other techniques to compound the overall effect.

Some of the features I use now are to guide the listener into a deep trance using clinical hypnotherapy induction techniques and 60bpm sound effects, which help to synchronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain and in turn create a very receptive learning state. Once the listener is in this optimum learning state I then instruct them to repeat carefully worded affirmations relating to the title of the tape. I use a sweep delay effect and large stereo reverb on these affirmations, which slowly pan from left to right in the headphones. This powerful, deeply relaxing and unique effect is very hypnotic and helps the listener absorb each affirmation deeply.

I don't see clients anymore; some of the most pleasing things for me now are the numerous e-mails, phone calls and letters I get from people thanking me for helping them. Here is a story from a lady (in her own words) who contacted me recently and told me how by using the relaxation tape regularly she overcame panic attacks.

Case Study 2

"I had separated from my husband, moved house, and got a new boss who was unsympathetic to my situation.

"I didn't recognise my symptoms for some months. I had been having episodes of violent stomach cramps, sickness and upset stomachs, anxiety, sweating, palpitations, getting very anxious before going on social outings or when friends were visiting. I made excuses when invited out and avoided seeing friends. I realized it was a problem when I broke down one day because I had to go to a school play, I just couldn't face going out. I saw my Doctor who told me it was stress and not surprising that after all that had been going on, I was signed off work for two weeks. I was then fearful when I was out and only went out if I had to. My mum who lives in Scotland flew down. I had to go to the airport which was a nightmare for me and I felt terrified the whole way there. When I met her off the plane I was in tears and just clung to her. My mum was very shocked because I'm the type who's usually in control.

"The next week things got even worse. I couldn't eat and could only manage small amounts of fluid. I saw the doctor again who suggested a relaxation tape; if she had told me to stick pins in my eyes I would have done it, I was desperate. I found your relaxation tape and started to listen to it straight away. I would listen to it over and over again, couldn't get the hang of the deep breathing at first, I was so tense that my stomach muscles felt rock hard, after a while I got the hang of it and the relief was fantastic, I hadn't realised how important slowing your breathing down was, and how it affects the rest of your body, obviously relaxing all your muscles, slowing your heart beat, making me feel calm. I was due to go back to work but didn't feel ready, I was signed off again for another 4 weeks. Gradually over the next few weeks I felt by listening to the tape I was in control again, the panic attacks stopped because I knew how to control my breathing and slow everything down. I would listen to the tape every night before going to sleep; I still haven't heard all of side two because I am so relaxed I fall asleep. If I had a night out planned or friends coming I would listen to the tape before they came. I would say it's probably taken about a year for me to feel like my old self again. The panic attacks affect your confidence and it's taken some time for that to return.

"I've changed jobs and taken on far more responsibility. I drove to Western France with the children last year on holiday and am very pleased with myself. The tape has made a big difference to my Life!"

Further Information

The 12 available titles are: Deep Sleep, Complete Relaxation – Number 5 in the Whitaker book Track UK audio chart and the 5th best-selling audio tape in the UK out of 5,000 entries, Develop Your Self-Confidence, Learn How to Think Positively, Stop Smoking Forever, Lose Weight Now, Build Your Self-Esteem. Create Unlimited Financial Abundance, Develop Successful Relationships, Heal Your Body, A Guided Meditation, and Develop a Powerful Memory.

Forthcoming new titles: Raise Your Energy and Increase Your Motivation, Creating Inner Peace, Overcome Fears and Phobias, A Children's Bedtime Tape.

All tapes and CDs can be bought directly from Diviniti Publishing Ltd, 6 Elm Walk, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7LS. Tel: 01622 792866; Fax: 0870 0568546; e-mail: hypnosis@diviniti.co.uk; website: www.diviniti.co.uk

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About Glenn Harrold

Glenn Harrold is an experienced clinical hypnotherapist and full diplomate member of the British School of Clinical Hypnosis. He has developed a high quality range of hypnosis tapes and CDs. Each recording combines powerful clinical hypnotherapy techniques with state-of-the-art digital recording technology.

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