Many of us have behaviour patterns we would like to change; from seemingly innocuous things such as biting our nails, drinking too many sodas or hoarding objects we just don’t need, to more damaging activities such as self-harming, alcoholism or gambling. Some behaviours seem so deeply entrenched that they have become a part of us, and we don’t think we can ever change them, such as stammering and bruxism (teeth grinding).
But all these behaviours are actually just habits, which have been programmed in to our subconscious brain as a result of our own repetitive actions at some point in our life. Just as we have become programmed by our subconscious, to act in a certain way, we can “de-programme” our subconscious, using clinical hypnotherapy.
The reason why it is so difficult to give up an unwanted behaviour consciously is precisely because it is a habit, and the subconscious mind likes to guard the status quo, even if it is bad for us. But, by using gentle clinical hypnotherapy techniques, it is possible to replace these unwanted habits with more desired character traits and activities.
Stopping a habit is like going ‘cold turkey’ from drugs – extremely difficult, and it presents a very high risk you will resume your old ways. To really be able to turn around an unwanted habit, the body needs to get a similarly pleasant reward by doing something entirely different.
Clinical hypnotherapy recognises that there are three parts to every habit – motivation, action and reward. The clinical hypnotherapist recognises successful change is far more likely if a person changes just one of those three parts, rather than all three at once. So the therapist will guide the client to replace the ‘action’ part of the equation. The client will be asked to identify the motivation for the habit, identify the reward, and then replace the action with something that obtains the same result, or feeling. Clinical hypnotherapy uses specialist techniques to help you reframe your habit, over a period of 21 – 30 days, by which time the new habit will have been programmed into your subconscious.
Sometimes our habits are not just a result of a repetitive action which we chose for ourselves, but an emotional reaction to something which happened in our lives. Often, whatever sparked the habit happened before we were six years old, and might not even be something a person remembers consciously. But the subconscious mind remembers everything. By placing the person in a hypnotic trance of deep relaxation, it is easier for a person to remember what started their habit in the first place. Once that trigger has been identified, it is far easier for the habit to be replaced, as the trigger will no longer have the same effect on the conscious brain.
If you have something about you that you would like to change, contact me for more details.