What is Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)?

Person in a relaxed hypnotic state

What’s holding you back from living optimally? If you are someone who feels frustrated or stuck, or perhaps you feel like you’re constantly stressed or anxious, or you are someone who struggles to follow through on goals you’ve committed to, you are not alone. People from all walks of life report these experiences and most of these feelings result from the unconscious programming of your mind. There is good news though, you can absolutely overcome this!

[Book an appointment with Nicklas to discuss how Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy could help you overcome your negative behaviours.] 

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy is an incredible technique that can be used to help people overcome anxiety and depression, improve their stress management, improve career performance, and much more.

Use this table of contents to navigate through this guide:

  1. Understanding Your Unconscious Programming
  2. The Facts and Myths about Hypnotherapy
  3. What is the difference between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)?
  4. What Results Can You Expect from Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)?

Understanding Your Unconscious Programming

Our brains are incredibly complex, but the fact that surprises most people I work with, is that 95% of what you think, feel, and do is a direct result of your unconscious programming from early childhood. That means that despite you having the best intentions of “next time i’ll handle it differently”, it’s completely natural for you to automatically revert back to those initial behaviours and habits. We as human beings download information from our environments and this can sabotage our conscious positive intentions, leading to stress, frustration, and lack of motivation.

The unconscious programming is the brain function that is not working within awareness. It stores information to be retrieved later when needed, information that has not been fully processed, or information that is not understood yet. It protects the conscious mind from information overload, and is a collection of all that is received through the senses.

Research shows that the unconscious mind is just as adaptable, multifaceted, controlling and deliberative as the conscious mind. The actions of the unconscious mind will take precedence over the conscious mind, so in order to modify the way you react to those situations, you must access that unconscious programming, and replace negative with positive programming. This is most effectively done through techniques that incorporate hypnotherapy.

Person in a relaxed hypnotic state meditating

The Facts and Myths about Hypnotherapy

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Many people think of hypnotherapy as onstage entertainment, or someone doing things that are completely out of their control. But hypnotherapy is not something that is done to a person. The brain naturally goes into a hypnotic state approximately every 1.5 hours. You may notice this when you “zone out”, become completely engrossed in something on the TV and don’t notice what else is going on around you, or get lost in your thoughts while driving. Hypnotherapy is a technique that simply guides you into this state of relaxation so you can access your unconscious programming.

“It’s profound what combining neurofeedback with hypnotherapy has done for my life. It helps to relieve my anxiety almost immediately, it relaxes me, and it has helped me heal from trauma i’ve experienced. I have been able to overcome by limiting beliefs, heal childhood wounds, and I feel excited about my future” – Simone L.

During the process of hypnotherapy, the client is always in control in a relaxed state of consciousness, like a guided daydream.  The hypnotherapist will make suggestions and it is up to the person whether to accept them or not. The client will feel like they are in a physically and mentally relaxed state in which it is easy to focus deeply on what is needed, while having a heightened focus and concentration. It is similar to a very relaxed meditation, but with some suggestions and positive mental experiences.

Many people ask if they need to discuss their childhood or traumatic experiences in order to reprogram their unconscious mind. This is not the case as the client only experiences positive reframing that will replace those memories naturally. The experience is safe and positive.

There are two types of hypnotherapy:

  • Suggestion hypnotherapy is often used when there doesn’t seem to be an underlying cause, or in short-term therapy. It involves offering a series of suggestions to a client during the session.  The aim is to help the client more easily achieve something in their conscious state such as to lose weight, stop an addiction, or make a change in their perception.
  • Cognitive, analytical hypnotherapy or hypnoanalysis is often used when working with deeper issues and involves the use of psychotherapy within hypnosis.  There may be a deep-rooted problem that is masking something, and the presenting problem may simply be the symptom. This is a longer process, but it aims to solve rather than mitigate. It empowers people to change and update their unconscious beliefs, changing their negative perceptions, personality traits, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

What is the difference between Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)?

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective psychotherapy. It is a form of talking therapy that is used to facilitate clients with a wide range of concerns, and is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) all interact together as negative thoughts and feelings, which can trap an individual in a vicious cycle. It looks at a client’s current problems, rather than past traumas, and focuses on our ability to change how we think, feel, and behave in certain situations.

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) combines the techniques from CBT with hypnotherapy to identify the root cause of an individual’s problem as well as the coping  mechanisms they are using to deal with their problems. The technique integrates several different theories to create a personal and tailored approach to each client, avoiding the one-size-fits-all approach as every individual is unique and requires unique support. Ultimately, it provides people with the tools to reprogram their unconscious mind so they can overcome their negative habits and behaviours.

“Originally I started seeing Nicklas to help conquer my fear of public speaking. I didn’t understand why this fear had such control over me. Nicklas equipped me with tools to deal with my fear and helped me to uncover the hidden unconscious reasons that were behind my reaction. I began to see and feel immediate results in my daily life after our first meeting. I am now able to stand up and speak about my business concisely and with confidence.” – Kayla Ruddock

What Results Can You Expect from Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH)?

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Therapy in general can last anywhere from one session to multiple sessions over a number of months or even years.  It depends on what that person wants and needs. Some people come to therapy with a very specific problem they want to solve, and might find that one or two sessions is sufficient. Others require more sessions to work through their unique set of challenges.

Results will also depend on the specific problem that an individual is wanting to work on. For those experiencing anxiety and depression, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) by itself is 50-75% effective after 8 – 20 sessions. This compares to those using medication alone to manage their anxiety and depression symptoms, which is 50-75% effective. When you combine those two techniques, CBT combined with medication is 75-90% effective, but science still does not understand the long-term effects on the brain and body of that medication, and some people experience negative side effects.

When you use a treatment plan integrating both Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) and NeurOptimal Neurofeedback, the results are 90 – 100% effective without any negative side effects. The number of sessions you need will be different for each individual and their situation.  Some get what they need after just one session, while others require more sessions.

“One of the most effective things I’ve done is to combine neurofeedback with hypnotherapy sessions. The neuro helps open me up, making the hypnosis extremely effective and effortless. I’m blown away by how quickly I’m able to access deeper parts of my mind without judgement or self-doubt. What surprised me even more was the reaction from my medical team – ALL of them firmly believing in the treatment.” – Karen

Discuss your situation with your counsellor. Talk about your concerns, your experiences, and what you’d like to gain from the therapeutic process. You and your counsellor can work together towards a personal treatment program tailored towards your individual experiences.

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