As a clinical hypnotherapist, Laurinda offers gentle, safe and non-invasive, hypnotherapy sessions that is perfect for individuals who are looking for an alternative way to improve their health and well-being.
If you are looking for support in any of the areas listed below, Laurinda can create a treatment tailored to your specific needs.
- Stress and Anxiety
- Fear & Phobias
As each individual is different and responds to situations differently, a combination of techniques will be used during your hypnotherapy session, including Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
SKYPE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE
As an accredited member of the Australian Hypnotherapists’s Association (AHA), Laurinda is recognised as an approved provider by a number of health funds.
Please ask her about your health fund and their specific requirements during your consultation.
1st Consultation: $160
2nd Consultation: $120
3rd Consultation: $90
Pensioners Discounts Apply
Whatever prior experience you have had with hypnosis, whether it was something you saw, read, heard about, or encountered on a personal level, you undoubtedly have your own impressions about what hypnosis is.
It is possible that, just like so many other people, you are resistant to the idea of hypnosis based on the fear of losing all control, or even being made to do something against your will, such as clucking like a chicken.
Before you completely entertain that thought, consider the fact that, thanks to entertainment hypnosis, the practice of hypnosis is, in actual fact, very misunderstood.
Even though hypnosis has a very long history and dates back many years, Western scientists first became involved in hypnosis around 1770, when Franz Mesmer, a physician from Austria, started investigating an effect he called “animal magnetism” or “mesmerism”.
Mesmer believed that there was a particular force or power, a “magnetic energy” which resides in the bodies of humans and animals and that people could be affected by the magnetic energy emanating from each other.
Mesmer did not use verbal suggestions or guidance to place his clients into a trance state, instead, he “emanated” his magnetic energy from his hands onto his clients as a form of therapy.
Unlike today, scientists of Mesmer’s day did not know that earthly magnetism existed, nor did they understand “electrical transference” between people. As a result, Mesmer’s healing technique was disregarded and Mesmer himself was mocked and seen as a charlatan.
Roughly during the same period, the Scottish surgeon, James Braid, fiercely opposed the views of the Mesmerists and explained away their “magnetic” phenomena on the basis of well-established laws of psychology and physiology.
Braid suggested that when people fixed their gaze on a bright moving object for long enough, certain parts of the brain go into a “nervous sleep”, which in Greek can be translated as ‘hypnosis’. Braid is the person who coined the term, ‘hypnosis’ and is regarded by many as the first true hypnotist.
In the early 1900’s the renowned psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, practiced hypnosis for a brief period but when his classical, authoritarian form of hypnosis induction failed to induce a deep trance in the majority of his patients, he became despondent and gave up the practice of hypnosis altogether.
In the late 1900’s, the American psychiatrist, Milton Erickson, moved away from the classical, authoritarian hypnotic inductions of Freud and other hypnotherapists of the day, and began to use a more subtle approach which involved an interchange between practitioner and patient. Erickson was skilled at using words and gestures in indirect ways, which he believed allowed the subconscious mind to be more creative and capable of generating solutions.
Erickson was the founding president of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and is considered by many to be the father of modern hypnotherapy.
As you can tell from its history, hypnosis has evolved over the years from mesmerism, to eye fixation, to the use of authoritarian and permissive words and phrases. Modern hypnosis, as we understand it, is a combination of mesmerism, eye fixation and words used in specific ways to induce deep states of hypnosis.
Entertainment hypnosis, on the other hand is very different: it misleads people with false claims and ‘sensational power’. Entertainment hypnotists often come with very little or no training and act from a place of ignorance, greed and egotism.
Despite what the media tells us, a hypnotist has no magic power and certainly can’t cure your problems with the snap of a finger. There are many myths and misconceptions regarding hypnosis, such as the belief that hypnosis is “mind control” or that one can “get stuck” in hypnosis. In view of this, consider the following for a moment …
Have you ever driven your car only to discover that you do not recall how you got from point A to point B? If so, who was in control of your car? Did you get stuck in that daydreaming state of mind? How did you get out of that state to again focus on the present moment?
Hypnosis is very similar to that daydreaming state we all experience from time to time: the state where we become so focused on something, we switch off to the world around us, yet maintain full control over our actions.
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not caused by the power of the hypnotist: it is caused by the power we give to the hypnotist in exchange for information. Think of hypnosis as asking someone you trust to give you instructions on how to achieve a specific outcome. This outcome is usually something which you cannot achieve with the limited information you have available to you at the time, such as how to overcome your fear of flying after numerous failed attempts. Then, it’s a matter of giving your full attention to the advice being given to you.
Any time you like, you can break your focus and come back to the present, or, if you do not think the information you are given is valuable or correct, you can dismiss it. You have all the control over what happens to you. Hypnosis is a relationship of mutual responsiveness between client and practitioner. There is no mind control involved.
The only danger in hypnosis is consulting the ‘expertise’ of a hypnotist who has no qualifications or experience in hypnosis or who is unethical, inconsiderate of your needs and makes grandiose promises of instant miracles.
The worst that can happen is that you walk away from the experience feeling despondent because hypnosis did not work for you, or you may feel cheated out of your hard earned money.
Whether you go for clinical hypnosis, research hypnosis, sports hypnosis or even entertainment hypnosis, each hypnotist will use a different technique to induce the hypnotic state. Some will use mesmerism, some will ask you to focus intently on an object, some will use words to gently guide you into a hypnotic state and some will use all or a combination of these methods.
Regardless of the method of induction used, the hypnotist has one goal in mind: to induce an altered state of consciousness where a person is very relaxed, but at the same time, very focused and receptive to information.
During hypnosis, you do not actually go into a deep sleep. While hypnosis may resemble sleep from a physical aspect in that your breathing slows down and you are less physically active, you remain mentally alert, similar to being in that day dreamy state of mind mentioned earlier.
Should you be hypnotised, you may or may not notice how the hypnotist keeps your reasoning, analytical, conscious mind busy and focused on things you are immediately aware of, such as noises in the background.
At the same time, the hypnotist will address your intuitive, creative and symbolic unconscious mind which will access all your accumulated life experiences that you may not be consciously aware of. Then, your subconscious mind will sift through all this information and come up with a creative solution that best suits your needs.
While your conscious mind is kept busy, your subconscious mind listens to, visualises and responds to the suggestions given by the hypnotist. Even so, the mind has an incredible ability to protect itself and if, at any time, the subconscious mind sees any suggestion as a threat to the conscious mind, it will reject it and you may come out of the hypnotic state.
We hardly stop to think about how amazing our brains really are, yet there are so many recorded examples of what the brain is capable of achieving as a result of hypnotic suggestion. The following are just a few examples:
– Increasing feelings of self-control and self-confidence
– Resolving emotional problems
– Enhancing emotional well-being
– Relieving stress disorders such as depression and anxiety
– Pain control / reduction / elimination
– Treatment of disease
– Healing process
– Resolving relationship problems and sexual dysfunctions
– Eliminating substance abuse
– Enhancing health and well-being
While there is no ‘one size fits all formula’, hypnosis can be used in the treatment of just about any human condition where the mind is involved.
You may have identified something above which triggered a desire to be hypnotised. At the same time, you are probably wondering if hypnosis will work for you. The simple answer is: It depends on you…
If you have a need, such as losing weight, and are open to accepting and responding to new ideas given to you by your hypnotherapist, hypnosis will work for you.
If, on the other hand, you have unrealistic fears about hypnosis, such as losing control, you will probably struggle to be hypnotised. Other factors also influence your experience, such as your mood, your health and whether you feel that you can trust your hypnotist.
So then, what does a trustworthy hypnotherapist look like and where can you find one?
The best way to find a suitable and trustworthy hypnotherapist is either by word of mouth, or to find one who is a member of a professional association such as the Australian Hypnotherapists Association (AHA) or Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
In Australia, there is no requirement for a hypnotherapist to be licensed to practice hypnosis, so your chance of ending up with a hypnotist who is not properly trained is very likely. On the other hand, any hypnotist who belongs to a professional association is required to be trained in hypnosis and counselling and is willing to engage in monthly mentoring programs to ensure that their skills remain up to date and of a reputable standard. Members are also required to pass a psychological assessment to ensure that they are suitable to carry out therapy and they also agree to enter into a supervisory relationship with an experienced supervisor throughout their period of membership.
As mentioned previously, a hypnotherapist is someone who has the skill and ability to offer ‘therapy’ while a hypnotist, can only guide you into an altered state of mind. Therefore, it is imperative that you find a hypnotherapist who will be able to support you with your particular needs and requirements.
Overall, when looking for a reputable hypnotherapist look for one who:
- Has your best interests and welfare at heart
- Is honest
- Is professional, trustworthy and reliable
- Does not offer exaggerated false hopes
- Does not diagnose or claim to cure a disease without the qualification to do so
- Does not give non-qualified, personal advice
- Maintains your confidentiality at all times
- Does not try to form personal relationships with you
- Belongs to a professional association
The success of your hypnosis experience depends, on a very large part, on finding the right hypnotherapist who can meet your needs.
Once you have found the right therapist and have arrived for your appointment, you can generally expect to walk into a quiet, softly lit room with a desk and comfy chair. Your hypnotherapist will spend some time discussing your particular needs with you and just before the actual hypnosis, will ensure that you are safe and comfortable.
Your therapist may adjust the room temperature if need be; confirm that you have nothing in your mouth that can cause a choking hazard (e.g. gum, candy), and ask you to remove your glasses or contact lenses (if they are the kind that irritate your eyes when closed). It helps to wear clothing that is not restrictive or binding, and you may also be allowed to remove your shoes.
When you go for hypnotherapy, make sure that you are not under the influence of strong medications, drugs or alcohol as they are typically counterproductive to hypnosis. Similarly, your hypnosis may be less effective if you are overtired or preoccupied with other matters.
As mentioned previously, there are many ways in which to induce a hypnotic state, and during your initial consultation, your hypnotherapist will have established the most suitable induction technique / method of suggestion to be used for your personal experience and needs. If this technique or method does not work, your hypnotherapist will try other techniques that may be more suitable.
You may respond better to a “progressive muscle relaxation technique” where you follow the hypnotherapist’s suggestion of relaxing your muscles, starting from the top of your head, moving sequentially down all your muscle groups to your toes.
This technique can be combined with the “relaxed scene experience”, where you will be asked to imagine or visualise relaxing in a secure and special place.
Then there is the “eye fixation” technique, where you will be asked to fix your gaze on a specific stimulus, such as looking at a specific spot on the wall.
There is also the “counting method” where the hypnotherapist suggests deeper relaxation with each downward count. And lastly, if you are resistant to hypnosis, the hypnotherapist may even ask you to imagine something ‘as if’ you were actually doing it, e.g. “as if you were relaxing on the beach.”
Your hypnotherapist may use any one, or a combination of these techniques to ensure that you reach a hypnotic trance state. From the hypnotherapists’ perspective, there is no way of knowing whether you really are hypnotised or not, although the following symptoms may be a good indication of hypnosis:
– Muscular relaxation
– Involuntary spams which occur when the body is relaxed
– Lachrymation, which is when the eyes tear
– Fluttering eyelids
– Change in breathing and pulse rate
– Relaxed jaw
During hypnosis, you may find yourself relaxing deeply while at the same time being attentive to one aspect of the experience while tuning out the rest.
Some people experience the hidden observer effect, where it feels as if you are standing apart from the experience and looking on, a common phenomenon experienced during meditation.
Without realising it, the range of suggestions you are given by your hypnotherapist may become amplified and you will become more responsive to these, even responding to the choice of rejecting a suggestion if you feel it does not apply to you. Subconsciously, you will interpret the suggestions subjectively and may accept them, however illogical and objectively impossible it may seem to your conscious mind. For example, you may accept the fact that it is very easy to lose weight, even if your conscious mind tells you that you have been struggling to lose weight for years.
It is possible that you may revisit a memory or feel an emotion that makes you react by crying, or twitching a muscle, or by changing your rate of breathing. This is all very normal and very much part of the hypnosis experience.
Any skilled hypnotherapist will have the means to ensure that you come out of hypnosis feeling good, happy and refreshed. In fact, during hypnosis, people experience such a pleasant state that most do not want to come out of it.
Note however, that you will never become stuck in this dreamy state. Whenever you choose to come out of hypnosis, you will do so automatically with no effort required on your part.
Under guidance by your hypnotherapist during hypnosis, you may also be subjected to ‘hypnotic phenomena’ which can include any of the following:
Catalepsy: Catalepsy is actually a natural state that causes temporary immobilisation in people who are intensely focused on something. For example, some people become so absorbed in reading a book while eating, that they do not realise their hand has been floating in the air holding a fork.
Stage hypnotists use full body catalepsy to demonstrate the power of hypnosis by getting a person to tense all the muscles in their body and then laying the person down across two chairs before standing on them. Your clinical hypnotherapist will never go to these extremes, but may use other forms of catalepsy, such as eye catalepsy or arm levitation, as a convincer that you are actually hypnotised.
Ideomotor responses: This is the body’s unconscious reactions to your thoughts; something which you unconsciously do on a daily basis, such as coughing when you get nervous. Body language experts use this unconscious movement to explain what people are really thinking at an unconscious level. In hypnosis, this phenomenon is used to allow your subconscious mind to use a finger signal to indicate yes or no responses.
Dissociation: Dissociation is when it feels as though the mind and body, or particular parts of the body, have become separated. An often heard expression is: “I felt like my body was no longer there and I was just my mind.” This is a very pleasant sensation and no cause for concern.
Age regression: Age regression is the ability to go back in time to remember (or relive) specific details of events that have taken place at an earlier time in one’s life. The person is then able to recall memories and details that have become hazy, or have been forgotten in the conscious state.
Anaesthesia: Anaesthesia is a complete lack of any sensation in a specific area of the body and often used before surgery. It can result in less blood loss, less scarring and a faster recovery time. Before the invention of anaesthetics, James Esdaile (1859), a Scottish surgeon, performed at least seventeen documented limb amputations using this hypnotic phenomenon. Today however we can rely on drugs to cause anaesthesia, yet some people still use it to anaesthetise, for example, their chin before receiving an injection during dental work.
Being under hypnosis is such a pleasant, natural state, that most people question whether they were really hypnotised or not.
There is a misconception that during hypnosis, people go into a deep sleep, yet brain activity suggests otherwise. During hypnosis, your brainwave activity will change from an active, alert Beta state, to a more relaxed, Alpha and Theta state. In these states, you will be fully alert and aware of what is happening.
In comparison, the brainwave activity of people who are asleep, changes to the Delta state where they have no awareness of their surroundings. They do not respond to any sensory stimulation and experience an overall paralysis of the body’s muscles.
Some people expect drastic changes after hypnosis, yet are surprised to find that their patterns of behaviour are changing gradually. Sometimes they do not even notice the change and if it is pointed out to them, they do not attribute it to hypnosis, but rather to a perfectly logical answer. From a hypnotherapist point of view, this is a sign that the subconscious mind has successfully integrated the suggestions to the conscious mind in a safe and sensible manner that works for the client.
Some people may only need one hypnosis session while others may need two or more to firmly ‘cement’ the new suggestions into the conscious and subconscious minds. Either way, the “Critical Mass” theory is at play, which basically means that when we give up on our hopes, dreams and desires after what appears to be a valiant effort to change, it leads to self-discouragement and a sense of failure. We then place more emphasis on our fears, problems and challenges as opposed to achieving our goals.
On the flip side, when we continue to focus on our hopes, dreams and desires, and when they reach a certain point, usually around the 51% mark, nothing can stop that forward momentum. As soon as we get over that mark, we effortlessly enjoy the downhill ride to our expected outcomes. Therefore, should you go for one session and find it was not enough, go back for a second or third. Whatever you do, do not give in to despair. Keep on trying until you reach that 51% mark.
Many people who have experienced meditation are initially surprised how similar it is to hypnosis. While meditation also focusses on similar techniques such as breathing or visualisation, the aim is to have a still mind, free from conscious thought.
Hypnosis, on the other hand, is focused on a specific outcome, such as weight loss, quitting smoking or removing phobias and requires the willingness of the client to follow the hypnotherapist’s suggestions.
This does not mean that hypnosis is superior to meditation. Great insight can be gained by simply having a quiet, still mind. However if you need more guidance, or simply do not have the time to meditate for an hour a day, then hypnosis is a suitable option.