It’s the most frequent question I receive and most likely why people aren’t sure if hypnosis is the answer for them. Don’t get me wrong I love nothing more than converting a sceptic but it’s not as simple as a yes or no answer. Although I will answer as simply as I can.
When I was struggling with debilitating driving anxiety back in 2015. I desperately tried to figure out how I could go from a confident driver to someone who couldn’t drive a mile without a deep-seated dread that kept me awake at night. I wasn’t aware that therapy could help because I was so engrossed in my head trying to solve the problem myself. I’d always been fiercely independent and this worry and overthinking was making it incredibly hard for me to live as freely as I had.
After six months, I was still none the wiser, if anything, I was even worse. I’d stopped using my car. I was reliant on lifts to & from the office. Opting to take a train which was adding another 45 minutes onto an already 1-hour commute. This combined with the overthinking I was exhausted. (I still rememer the exhaustion I felt when this photo was taken)
I finally admitted defeat and booked an appointment to see my GP. I must have been googling possible answers as I was aware that hypnosis might be able to help (not that I knew anything about it) and when he asked me what I wanted to do about the stress I felt, how I couldn’t turn off my racing thoughts and the crippling fear that I felt every time I got in the car I answered that I thought hypnosis would help.
By chance, I had just picked up a leaflet for a local hypnotherapist in the doctor's waiting room. Now, I don’t know why I thought it could help. I just did. And I think it was that belief that led me to have great success during my hypnotherapy and what ultimately led to me building my confidence to drive freely once again.
I did have a clear idea of what the problem was, after all, I’d thought about it enough times since my first panic attack on the motorway. However, that isn’t always the case. Some people are clear where the problems started and others are less consciously aware. I say consciously because the subconscious mind always knows.
Does hypnosis work?
The simple answer is – If you want it to work, it will work every time.
and likewise, if you believe it won’t work. Guess what? It probably won’t work.
So I guess the most logical question to ask yourself is – Do you want hypnosis to work?
Can everyone be hypnotised?
As above if you believe in hypnosis and are open to the changes that you want to make you will easily and effortlessly be hypnotised (although everyone experiences it differently). If you don’t believe in hypnosis and are adamant that you won’t be hypnotised it’s likely you won’t be, no matter how skilled the hypnotist is.
Since all hypnosis is self-hypnosis it’s important to understand that hypnosis is a ‘collaborative process’. Meaning that the hypnotherapist facilitates a session to support the changes you have stated you want. You then have a choice to make changes that either support your goals or not. A hypnotherapist can’t make you do anything you don’t want to and if that belief is that you can’t be hypnotised you won’t be. It’s a little like following a satnav route, if you don’t believe it’s the best route for you (perhaps you know a quicker route) you won’t follow the suggestions however if you want directions to reach a new destination the guidance of the Satnav will be a great support.
It is possible to build inner resources such as confidence or resilience through guided audio or self-hypnosis (see Me Again Therapy’s Trance-formational Library) I have certainly benefitted from these throughout my life however, one of the reasons why my hypnotherapy sessions were so beneficial was because they were specifically made for the problem that I was struggling with. I felt stuck and unable to get over that first panic attack and that’s where one-to-one therapy helped me.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis can be described as a focused state of attention where changes can be made to habits, beliefs, and feelings on a subconscious level. I’ve had one client describe it as a ‘lovely warm cup of tea’ whereas others describe their body as floaty and light, I experience a heavy very relaxed sensation but as I stated earlier everyone experiences it differently.
I went into my therapy open-minded and I was accepting of the changes I worked on during each session. The interesting thing about hypnosis is that you are offered suggestions, some of which you’ll accept and others you won’t. Ultimately you won’t accept a suggestion that goes against your core beliefs (you wouldn’t commit a crime for example if you didn’t want to however you might build your confidence in small ways each day if that was part of your goal).
Can hypnosis help you to overcome your driving anxiety?
I know that without hypnosis I would still be struggling to overcome my driving anxiety. Hypnosis helped me to get out of my own way and make changes that I couldn’t make logically. Rationale and logic sit in the conscious part of the mind and emotions such as fear sit in the subconscious mind so all of my overthinking wasn’t doing anything to make the change subconsciously. I found hypnosis to be quick and effective and after each session, I felt lighter and able to get into the car and drive with more confidence. I can’t quite put my finger on the thing that made the most difference, it was a combination of sessions and changes which all accumulated in me feeling more like me. Less overthinking, I was less overwhelmed when in traffic and I was able to drive for longer periods without feeling trapped. After each session, I set myself small driving goals and made sure I had worked towards them and often achieved them before my next hypnotherapy session.
Having said all of that, don’t take my word for it. See client’s testimonies and read them in their words…
I overcame severe driving anxiety (read more about my story) with the help of a hypnotherapist and the one thing I do know is that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed the coaching, the accountability, and the small actions that helped me build my confidence and enjoy driving again. And I truly believe you can be the confident driver you want to be. If you'd like to understand hypnosis more or would like to talk about how you are stuck and your goal to feel more confidence when driving book a disocvery call today.
Get in touch - (what is a discovery call?)