“Read Terrance Watts, it will help you to know how to understand people better, we are not all the same, and it is important that we find a way to understand our nature so that we can communicate effectively,” guides Trevor Wales, the West Country-based hypnotherapist helping people with mental health issues, addictions, sleep disorders, relationship problems, and grievance amongst with many other personal issues all over the world since 2011.
It has been ten minutes, and I have a list of books Trevor insisted I read. You would think I would be deterred, right? The truth is I was intrigued and humbled to be able to have the opportunity to receive this short course about human nature and how to understand and communicate with people. “Hypnotherapy could be hit and miss, you see,” Trevor explained why it is important for professionals to know about human nature. “The Subconscious mind will not relate if you are not using the language pattern the conscious mind needs to relate to.” Trevor explained further, “To make it easy for you; you can see humans in three categories:
Warriors: They are natural-born leaders; they are in control and measured in speech and behaviour.
Settler: They want to be liked, and they are caring.
Nomad: They are gregarious, full of life, and the soul of the party.
You can now have this easy tool to understand people and know how to communicate if you have an idea about their nature. Now a clinical hypnotherapist understands the clients in a similar way so that they can work beyond the gatekeeper, the Subconscious mind to help the client”. Of course, it is not that simple, there are categories and subcategories, and deeper skills and knowledge is needed; a professional knows how to understand the client.
Now, this given tool could be an interesting observation of yourself. Have you found your category? I have certainly found mine. Being the Nomad, I was captivated by the words and passion of Trevor Wales. What really intrigued me is Trevor’s passion for improving the understanding of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in the clinical environment. Trevor is dedicated to educating the public about hypnotherapy and separate myths from reality. Trevor applies Clinical Hypnotherapy, Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT), Psychotherapy, Sanomentology (therapeutic method merging science, psychology, philosophy, hypnotherapy and other therapeutic processes to work with the mind at a deeper more connected level than many other therapies), Mind-Body, and Success Coaching and helps people face to face on Skype and WhatsApp from all over the world. Trevor has been helping clients online during the lockdown and tells that hypnotherapy has been the helping hand during the pandemic when GPs have been overwhelmed in this epidemic.
“We must not forget how it has been helpful when the pandemic is over,” Trevor reminded me.
So, what can we do to remember it better and keep promoting the good practice to improve our general well-being of health and mind?
Hypnosis Plus had the delight to have an enlightening Sunday afternoon with the hypnotherapist and the life coach in God’s own country.
In your opinion, do you believe hypnosis and hypnotherapy have a reasonable impression on the public domain in general?
“It is a big question.” Trevor looks back in history; “You cannot just give a yes or no answer because you have to look into different timelines and cultures. It really depends on geography as well. Considering timelines, let me just give you an example: I remember in the 90s when fellow hypnotherapists had businesses in London and elsewhere. Credited and trained hypnotists would put a sign outside the practice, and that’s all they needed to worry about. I mean, practitioners would just put a sign outside, and I had a guarantee to see people. If people needed help, they would turn up. The hypnotists didn’t need to think about how they were going to be known in the community because there weren’t these false perceptions and misconstrue ideas on hypnosis. Something happened in the timeline, and people’s perspective has been changed, sadly with the wrong ideas.”
“Another thing is culture and identity.” Trevor pointed out the History of Hypnosis series in Hypnosis Plus approvingly and humoured that he couldn’t pronounce the Bhagabad Gita. Nevertheless, he told us how the desire to work on mind science already begun in the Indian subcontinent. “India has always been open to understanding the mind, and this is why it is easier to step aside from the misconceptions and talk about hypnosis. It is a part of the cultural identity that is embedded”.
Trevor continued: Now focusing on our NHS and GPs, for the NHS perspective, clinical evidence is needed if it should be included for public health. So we are talking about the empirical evidence. But think about it; collect the client testimony that is evidence itself. If you look at how clients have been helped and collect the total number of the people who were being helped, surely that must say something. Currently, the GPs cannot refer the clients to hypnotherapists. But you see, I write to GPs, and they reply to me that they don’t see why their patients shouldn’t be referred to hypnotherapists if it helps with trauma, anxiety, and all these issues that people need assistance with. So there is an understanding, but they cannot talk about it professionally. One of the reasons is that hypnotherapists are looked upon as amateurs from the NHS perspective because they will say that the hypnotherapists don’t have the qualifications they need for them to have, meaning clinical qualifications. But I know GPs who don’t hold the same views. Because you see, there is a vested interest between the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS. If hypnotherapy is considered an alternative therapy and if it does help people, then the pharmaceutical industry will be thinking otherwise, it isn’t necessarily better news for them, and it has a huge interest to service the NHS. So an effective alternative method perhaps is not going to be easy to include.
“So now how to educate the public?” Trevor expresses his frustration about the common interpretations of hypnosis that have taken over the western cultures so effectively “You see hypnosis is being used as a party trick. It has been used as a stage show on TV, and extremely unethical approaches have been displayed on fun TV shows. For example, it is being presented as an immediate phobia eliminator. I remember a show where a lady opted to be hypnotised to get rid of her phobia of snakes. So she was supposedly hypnotised, not sure how safe the environment was, and she then put her hand inside a tank filled with snakes. You see, we don’t know if she was actually cured or if it released her from fear temporarily. Yes, she did put her hand inside that tank, but it could be highly dangerous, and this is not how you treat a client that you tell her something and immediately make her put her hand inside a tank of snakes and make a public display. These kinds of shows are incredibly damaging, it is not therapy or hypnotherapy, and these are party tricks for the weekend shows.
Trevor conveyed his utmost frustration of the damages the 90s party trick shows caused using the term hypnosis in which groups of people or individuals would do absurd things with a command like a ting of a bell in front of a large audience breaking into hysterical laughter. What happened after, the side effects of such practice were never explained, and we don’t know what happened to the lady alike who got rid of their lifelong phobias with immediate effect in front of a Friday night audience. Shows and performers have left a lasting impression of hypnosis in Europe and across the pond. Trevor explained how the term hypnosis had been misused in the western world for public entertainment.
“But you see,” Trevor reminded us, “In late 1940 to 50s, the British Medical Association actually acknowledged clinical hypnosis and its medical application and recognised its benefit. So you see, there was an education in the earlier part, but things have changed in the medical field, and you can go back to the huge interest of the pharmaceutical industry to understand some things better.”
Trevor explained: So there was an understanding at one point in history and how hypnosis has a different approach. See, doctors have to see lots of patients, and they are stressed because they have five minutes slots to give to each patient. A hypnotherapist works in a different way. You see, an average appointment with a hypnotherapist is for about 90 minutes. A hypnotherapist makes a client comfortable, understands the individual client, and based on knowing the client, a hypnotherapist helps, so it is not a prompt service where the client tells one thing, and a quick prescription is written. We don’t do few minutes slots. By the time the clients are relaxed, we have known them, completed the housekeeping, it is, you can say, about 90 minutes. So we don’t rush our clients. We invest a lot of time to know our clients, so they are safe and comfortable. So it is indeed a specialised subject and respect has to build towards it.
“How do we get the message through?” Trevor contemplated. “We have to dismiss these false perceptions and the theories we have around it. We have to think about the cost of the service because it is not available in the NHS. It is now 20 years that I have been in this industry, and there have been talks about including it, and there has been discussion about seeing it as the complementary remedy. In 2017, the British Medical Association (BMA) made positive references to hypnosis and trained hypnotherapists. It is recognised by CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council), and we need to be engaged with CNHC too.
What are the misconceptions about hypnosis and why?
The greatest misbelieves about hypnosis is that people believe hypnosis is about coaxing people into doing something. That makes them worried that they will lose control. Trained clinical hypnotists would never select a group of people and take advantage of them. Professional hypnotherapists follow ethical standards, needless to say, that sometimes even that seems not to be understood. Hypnotherapy is meant to help someone who wants to have assistance. They are very different things.
Why is it important to eliminate the misconceptions on hypnotherapy, and what can we do to make the progression to bring a fair understanding of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in society in general?
“Why is it important?” Trevor self-reflected, “You see, I have a passion for making a difference in the beliefs and teachings about hypnosis, and I am willing to take the challenges on the way. Hypnosis is beneficial for coping with everyday things; it can help with fear, anxiety, phobias, addictions, and the general wellbeing of us. It helps our thoughts and how we feel about ourselves, meaning that we can be more positive in our thoughts, and we can feel better about ourselves. It brings an awareness of our mind, so we know our thought processes, and it brings a better understanding of our own minds.”
Trevor explained further: “However, there are awful attitudes out there, and this is what I meant by challenges. To give you an example, I had a prank call. This was some time ago. The caller was asking about insomnia and was asking questions about how to overcome this. I didn’t realise that this was a prank call, and my words would be used as a part of a practical joke. This kind of ignorance is a challenge, and it is important to eliminate this kind of attitude.”
In my own observation, women are far more open in understanding hypnosis or how it works. This is because men are culturally told that they have to get on with it. Talking about your mind or any issues you are suffering from has always been stigmatised, and men shouldn’t talk about it. We embed these stereotypes of what men should be when we raise them, so men feel they cannot talk about alcohol problems, abuse, or feelings.
I must say celebrities have been playing a great part in saying it is ok to talk about feelings, mental health, and addiction issues. They are telling men that they are allowed to get help. So we need to send a cohesive message, “Don’t be afraid of telling the truth.” And so we need to educate the public that once we can talk about these things, we can get help. And these are not prescription medicines. It is not like you have two sessions, and suddenly you are fine. We are not coaxing you to do something. Yes, it may help someone in two sessions, depending on things, or it may seem they are ok, but quite often, things are not. So we need to send the message out of how hypnotherapy works.
What changes or things you think should be done by the level of authorities (governmental, GPs, non-profit organisations) to have a better understanding of hypnotherapy and its benefits?
Well, there are organisations that are doing their best at the current moment. You see, the pandemic ended up making many professionals realising that it is a ticking time bomb. The professionals are worried, the GPs are overwhelmed, and many professionals are suggesting that people should see hypnotherapists under the current circumstance. But people have a short memory, don’t they? I hope they will not go back to how we were before the pandemic and forget the benefits of hypnotherapy when there were mental health issues to deal with. What we need to do now is collect the empirical evidence, so we shall not forget how hypnotherapy has been helping people. This is something all sections of the authority should be noticing and start producing the empirical data.
Remember that there is no better evidence than client testimony. To me, many have been thankful to have the help of hypnotherapy for a while, but the issue is that the pharmaceutical industry and medical sector have a mutual relationship. People are dependent on these opium-like drugs. GPs are getting them into anti-depressants, and they are then hooked into these drugs and staying with them for years. For example, I once asked one of my clients that when was the last time he talked to the GP about the anti-depressants. Do you know he said it was 20 years ago? He has been on medication for twenty years, and he has this long-term dependency, and he was taking them. There was no talking with the doctor. He simply gets the prescription. You can clearly see the benefits of hypnotherapy to take someone off of the long-term dependency on prescription drugs, but the interest of the pharmaceutical industry has to be looked into here.
What can the practitioners do to create a positive notion of hypnosis in the general public? Any advice?
I shall ask the practitioners to make proactive decisions to put their message out there. For example, I have my hypnosis radio station and the Cornwell hypnosis TV channel. We have that British stiff upper lip attitude still that we cannot talk about alternative therapies, and that we just have to get on with it. So the practitioners have to get the message out there that things need to be talked about, and we should have more acceptances in our culture.
The practitioners have to create an understanding of the cost issue as well. Hypnotherapy is not funded, so people will want to believe that it will be an over expenditure. But let’s say you show a smoker how much one is spending; say about six to seven thousand pounds a year on cigarettes. Now, if you work out that the smoker will need about seven to eight sessions to control the smoking habit and the smoker actually stops buying cigarettes, then receiving hypnotherapy is not that expensive that the smoker was afraid of. In fact, the smoker will have spent less of the yearly budget that was for the cigarettes. So it is ok for hypnotherapists to bring an understanding of the overall cost issues.
Practitioners should be active in spreading the understanding regularly in the media platforms; for example, I am regularly present on my website and with the local advertising. So, advertise in your locality.
To successfully getting the message out there is a challenge because we are living in a sound bite culture. We want everything with instant results; everything has to be gained immediately. This is a cultural aspect the practitioners have to work with to educate that instant gain does not have long-term positive effects.
Practitioners have to talk about the social stigma regularly and help people to understand that hypnotherapy is to help with things we are so scared to talk about but suffer from.
“How do we do it? Well, create platforms to bring awareness, like, for example, your magazine.” Trevor appreciatively talked about Hypnosis Plus. “You need to get them to GP surgeries, clinics, educational centres, and to similar places so people can become aware of it. You are doing a good job, and you need to keep letting people know about your magazine and keep spreading the education.”
If you are interested in the wellbeing of your mind and body, work with addiction, anxiety, and depression and live a naturally healthy life, visit Trevor Wales Hypnotherapy at https://www.trevorwaleshypnotherapysolutions.co.uk/.
For more information on hypnotherapy and how it can help you visit https://hypnosis.plus/