Hypnotherapy with Nicole Tang
Hypnosis is thought to be pseudoscience. What exactly is it?
Our conscious mind drives what we are aware of on a daily basis. Hypnosis operates on the belief that our unconscious contains a huge amount of information, from our habits to our traumas, our core beliefs and so much more. To access that information, it is necessary to enter a certain state of mind known as trance and this is a tool we use for therapeutic treatment such as hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is a form of guided hypnosis and a form of psychotherapy that uses relaxation, extreme concentration and intense attention to achieve a heightened state of consciousness or mindfulness.
What health conditions are suitable for hypnotherapy?
It can be used to treat phobias and anxiety disorders, and even for pain management or smoking cessation. Problems such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders are also commonplace for hypnotherapists. Some have even undergone hypnotherapy for weight loss!
Personally, I have worked with people with eczema, self-esteem problems, performance anxiety issues and anger management, apart from many others.
A client with eczema had been with this ailment for a long time and two years prior to consulting me, he was experiencing bad flare ups and was seeing an allopathic doctor and a TCM doctor at the same time.
Whenever he went on steroid medications, his condition was seemingly under control. However, once effects wore off, the random flare ups returned. After two sessions of hypnosis, he experienced improvements in his condition and in his emotional health as well. Ever since hypnotherapy, it has been at least 6 months since his last steroid medication.
Will one be ‘hypnotised’ during treatment? Can you describe the treatment process?
It is certainly not like how movies portray it to be. We do not ‘hypnotise’ a client and manipulate him or her to do things or divulge truths. What actually happens is, a trained hypnotherapist will induce a state of intense concentration or focused attention.
This is achieved through the following techniques:
- Relaxation: I will lead the client by having him or her visualise a state of peacefulness and ease. It is important to be in this tranquil mode before addressing fears or problems
- Suggestion: I will propose some suggestions to change behaviour in tackling some issues. This will help the client build up self-trust in confronting the issue. Clients will eventually respond better to these suggestions and their perceptions may be changed.
- Coping skills: Cognitive-behavioural skills may be adopted in this case, such as guided imagery (visualisation techniques) or thought-stopping methods. These will come in handy when facing fears or anxieties.
- Exploration of past experiences: I may ask them to speak about the first time they encountered the problem and analyse how they felt at the at moment. When I do that during their relaxed state, the psychological root cause or a traumatic past event may be revealed.
What are some myths of hypnotherapy?
This school of hypnotherapy is very much misunderstood, and people have wrong perceptions about it because of what has been shown in the media. One myth is that people are not in control of their body during hypnosis. The opposite is true. During hypnosis, you remain aware of what you are doing and what you are asked to do. That’s why the talk about mind control is just mumbo jumbo. You can refuse to do what you are told too. Another myth is that we trick people to tell the truth. We do not use a truth serum during hypnosis – our clients may be more open minded but they still have free will and moral judgement. Another one is that hypnosis is the same as sleeping. You may look like you are asleep, but you are actually awake and just in a deeply relaxed state. It is although true that your breathing rate will slow down and you may become drowsy.
Are hypnotherapists certified?
Most hypnotherapist are certified, however, I believe there are some who learnt the techniques by themselves. Certified hypnotherapists are required to undergo training workshops, individual training and a few years of practical experience before they can start to practice it professionally.
Do you have patients who have benefited from hypnotherapy? How?
Definitely! So many of my clients have benefited from hypnotherapy. From physical ailments to emotional traumas.
Nicole Tang holds a professional diploma in Psychotherapy, and is a Bach Flower and Bodytalk Practitioner. She works with adults, children and even animals!
Known as Nate, I am someone who cannot quit wielding the pen or punching the QWERTY, no matter where life brings me. Writing has always been the most effective conduit for channeling my wanted or unwanted opinions since I was an undergraduate at NUS. Naturally, I used this skill as a means of sustenance after working as a writer and editor for many years until I decided to start a business in music. That did not put a halt to my marriage with the vernacular.
In October 2016, I graduated with my Masters in Visual and Media Anthropology, which is the study of cultures through films and photography, at Freie Universität Berlin. This transitory period of residing in two cities has pushed the boundaries of my creativity and my battles with word count have not ceased.
Now a new mode of writing, the academic one, has been added to my existing smorgasbord of corporate and lifestyle collaterals, articles, advertisements, annual reports and books. At the moment, my learning curve is an uphill journey as I attempt to grasp the camera for stills and motion clips, while I juggle that with developing my love affair with my other mode of expression – electronic music.