What is Clinical Hypnotherapy?

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Clinical Hypnotherapy is a very effective way of facilitating change. It is a form of psychotherapy used to create subconscious change in a person in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and feelings.


Edinbugrh based clinical hypnotherapist, Mark Appleford, explains what hypnotherapy is and how online hypnotherapy sessions can help overcome fears, anxiety and bad habits.


Change is possible


We all have the power to create change in ourselves and we often start with great intentions.  A common example is at the New Year, when we’ve had time away from work, and have had time to relax. 

We often find ourselves thinking “A new year – a new beginning” , reflecting back on the things in our life that have/haven’t been useful. This includes behaviors, reactions, jobs and relationships. January 1st comes and we start our with great energy and resolution.

Then about three weeks into January we find ourselves falling back into old patterns, often thinking: “I was so determined, why did I not manage to make it happen?”

One effective way of helping with creating change and maintaing the change is through the use of clinical hypnotherapy.



How does clinical hypnotherapy work:

A party in your head


First of all, we need to look at all parts of the mind and how they interact. We need to understand that when they work all work collectively, the potential for change is optimal. We come in with the awareness that all parts of the mind want the best for us, but they might not be working on the same timeline as well as have different needs.

Imagine you’ve come home from work and you have to finish off a task for the next day. You’re fully aware that this needs done, but there’s the other part of you wanting to slow down and watch Netflix. Following the action of these parts both have outcome that are good for you, but, from a larger perspective, only one of them is better or more useful for you.

And I wonder how many of you chose the task over Netflix…:-)


How the parts of our mind interact:

What goes on at the party?


A good way to observe how these parts interact is to picture them at a party.

We’ve all been to parties and seen the full spectrum of people there. Imagine different aspects of our mind as people at a party. There’s the loud bubbly person gesturing wildly, full of energy, constantly distracted by other conversations going on around them, wanting to dance, to listen to the music, to grab a drink… In other words, our conscious everyday part that interacts with the world.

Then there’s the quiet one, right in the far corner. They don’t feel the need to make eye contact with anyone. They talk quietly, but have all the interesting stuff to say. They also have the keys to everything for the party to keep it going, and they know everyone in the room. In other words, our unconscious mind.

Browsing through the room, we get a glimpse of all the others. Those dancing on the dancefloor… speeding up and slowing down as the get influenced by the music. We could call these our emotions.

Those in the corner playing chess and discussing quantum mechanics could be called our intellect.

And the pretty people in their designer gear – our self esteem or self confidence.

Conscious mind, unconscious mind, intellect, self confidence, emotions…

When all of these are in tune with each other, then we have an awesome night we might remember for years. But if something’s off, the DJ doesn’t play well or someone starts a fight with us, we might have an awful night that we just want to forget.



How to create change in the most optimal way?



For us to create change in the best and most optimal way, we need to have a good party going on inside of us. We send the invitations, get the food and the music sorted, etc.

But more importantly, we need to work with that quiet person (our unconscious mind) who’s connected to everyone else in the room and who’s got the keys to the the venue.

Clinical hypnotherapy is a way of working with our unconscious mind. 

We start a conversation with them in way that lets them be heard and let them hear us. This conversation takes place once the person receiving hypnotherapy is brought into a deeply peaceful and relaxed state (turning down the music). 

The conscious mind (that loud brash person at the party) is tuned out and the conversation begins.



The Therapist’s Role is to make your party awesome.



Sometimes, the therapist needs to make eye contact with that quiet person (the unconscious mind). To see them, smile at them and draw them into a conversation. This is down to the skill and depth of their experience, how they connect and educate.

Then it’s a human interaction where the complete You (your conscious and unconscious) is at the centre of any change that happens.

The therapist’s role is to facilitate this and to ensure that all the parts of you are going in the same direction. Essentially making sure your party’s just awesome.

I’ve seen and worked with people who’ve had all kinds of “parties” going on inside them. It’s been my great pleasure to help them have a great time and make change much easier for them.


Mark works with his clients online or in person at an Edinburgh city centre based clinic.


Mark Appleford

Mark Appleford

The co-founder Living Health. Passionate about health, bodywork, Chinese medicine, mental health, clinical hypnotherapy, zen and martial arts.

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