Bad habits are easy to pick up and carry no rational reason for their continuance as we grow older and wiser, but the subconscious isn’t rational! The subconscious will allow you to keep doing things which have given you some kind of emotional boost or pleasure (in the past) because the subconcious wants you to be happy – even though whatever it is you are doing might be harming you (e.g. smoking) or causing you to be riduculed (biting your nails, pulling your hair).

The subconscious influences action and, because it is more powerful than the conscious mind – it works faster and can process more information at each point in time- can effect change which will-power alone isn’t be able to. You can demonstrate how easy it is to ‘trick’ the brain. If you see the word ‘red’ written in green ink, and someone asks you what colour you see, it takes the brain a moment to sort out that the written word is ‘red’ but the ink is green. But if you hypnotise someone and tell them they will have no problems naming the actual colour inks they will see, brain function changes so people ignore the written word.

Hypnotherapy therefore is able to trick the subconscious into doing something different. Under hypnosis, therapists can find out where the habit started and why, what the subconscious got out of it then and what it gets out of it continuing. Often a bad habit is a coping strategy, a distraction from the task or situation in hand and a way of relaxing; so learning to relax under hypnosis and offering the subconscious an alternative way to relax and distract gives your conscious mind a choice as to whether to continue the habit or not. Because the conscious mind (will-power) says no as it doesn’t want you to be socially affected, and the subconscious mind doesn’t need to continue with the habit any more, the habit will be broken.

To maintain the new way of behaving I also provide clients with a CD of the hypnotic ‘script’ to listen to to reinforce the subconscious’ new way of thinking; the more you do something, the more that becomes your new habitual way of behaving.