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 Therapy in the hypnosis trance state

Bruni Brewin JP

Australian Hypnotherapists Association -

President Emeritus – AHA (Life)

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This article originally appeared in the CareerONE section of the Daily Telegraph Monday 15th October 2008

The image of a hypnotist as an entertainer who performs routines in front of an audience is not realistic, says clinical hypnotherapist Bruni Brewin.  To many people, hypnotists do tricks such as making subjects fall asleep on command and do embarrassing stunts seemingly against their will.

But Brewin, who is president of the Australian Hypnotherapists Association (AHA), uses the relaxation technique to help cure a range of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and overeating.

Hypnotising works by putting the client into a deeply relaxed state that reveals the “feelings and emotions” part of their brain, Brewin says.

“If we look at the cause of the insomnia and release the feelings and emotions attached, then that person can once again go to sleep, provided it is not a physical disorder.”

Session usually last an hour and, despite the apparent mind control displayed by stage hypnotists, the client remains in full control.

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Reality is far from the Showbiz Tricks

- CareerOne - Hypnotherapy -

The AHA was created nearly 60 years ago but Brewin says the profession is still fighting for recognition and respect.

“Not everybody who comes to hypnotherapy is comfortable coming here,” Brewin says.  “They are just looking for some answers that they have not been able to find in other therapies they have looked at.”

Brewin says she studied hypnotherapy 17 years ago out of curiosity.

“I was always in office work in my earlier life, but I always did interest courses,” she says.  “One time it might be painting and another time it might be photography.  I saw hypnosis and thought it might be interesting  I had no idea it would change my whole life.”

Brewin studied a diploma course in hypnotherapy as well as a separate counselling course to complement her skills.

She says patients can hear her when they are in the trance-like state and can break out of it if they want to.

Brewin uses several techniques to “induct” her clients, bit it seems the swinging fob watch is out of favour.

“If I worked with an accountant who was very left-brained I wouldn’t use the same induction as if I was with someone who was visual,” she says.

“On the one hand I might take someone for a [mental] walk in a beautiful garden and through my suggestions of visualisation and feeling more relaxed that person will bring about their own state of relaxation, and that opens up the window where we can go into more therapy.”

Henry Budd