Let’s get one thing straight. We’re not talking a Variety Show ‘run around like a chicken on stage’ type of affair, and it doesn’t involve a pocket watch on a chain either. The definition of hypnosis by the American Psychological Association is “a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.” Known as one of the best clinical hypnotists in the biz with a rather impressive client list ‘Terrence The Teacher’ (yes, we love the name too!) describes it as an altered state of consciousness “It’s very similar to the state we go into every night before we fall asleep but are not asleep. Or the state we are in when we wake up in the mornings but are not yet fully awake.” And it’s not just the stars who have reaped it’s benefits – several scientific studies have documented it’s positive effects – notably those relating to pain control.
How does it work?
“There’s a ‘wall’ between the conscious mind and the subconscious called the critical factor. Hypnosis allows the critical factor to be bypassed so that the therapist can get to the part of the mind that really holds the power to allow change,” says Terrence. There are many theories about the mechanics of hypnosis but it's usually initiated by something known as “Hypnotic Induction” which involves a series of instructions or suggestions by the therapist to focus the subject’s mind and allow them to tap into the sub-conscious.
What can it be used for?
“The known uses of hypnotherapy are for relaxation, confidence-building, weight loss, habit removal i.e. smoking cessation etc but slightly more unusual uses have been shown to work with great success such as operations performed without anaesthetics,” says Terrence. Here’s what the stars have used it for:
To beat smoking:
- Matt Damon
- Ben Affleck
- Drew Barrymore
- Prince Harry
- Kate Middleton (Kate also turned to hypnosis for morning sickness)
- Jessica Alba
- Angelina Jolie
- Lily Allen (Lily was quoted as saying ‘After hypnotism I wanted to go to the gym every day’)
- Orlando Bloom (in childhood)
- Sophie Dahl
- Geri Halliwell
- Tiger Woods (Tiger reportedly uses hypnosis to help avoid distractions and improve his game).
- Reese Witherspoon (Reese used it to help overcome her insecurities. She says "People may think I have this dream life, but for years I worried about my looks. [Hypnosis] was so helpful especially when I get panic attacks, especially right before I start a movie.”)
Can anyone be hypnotized?
“I’d have to say ‘yes’ to that,” says Terrence. “As hypnosis is the state I explained earlier (ie just before you fall asleep or wake up) there should be very few reasons why someone could not be hypnotized.”
Tips on finding a reputable practitioner
“The best way is always referrals by people you trust that have had success with a practitioner but other ways are finding a therapist linked to reputable therapeutic and medical establishments,” says Terrence who can be found at terrencetheteacher.com