In 2015 Stephanie Kaye surprised friends and family when she quit her job of 8 years with IT giant Google, where she had been enjoying a happy and successful career in both the UK and in France. The trigger for this change was the news of a close friend’s cancer.
“I just thought, I have one life, what am I going to do with it?”
Stephanie had always been interested in psychology and the different types of related therapy available. When she came across hypnotherapy she decided to try a session herself. “Whereas with traditional therapy you can be on the ‘divan’ for 20 years and still dig deeper and deeper, hypnotherapy is a brief therapy. Within a short number of sessions you can really get to the root of a problem and bring about change.” Stephanie was so impressed with her own experience that she decided to take a course to study hypnotherapy herself. She is now a qualified ‘technicien praticien d’hypnose’ specialising in weight loss, tobacco severance and helping people who are suffering from anxiety, lack of confidence and depression. She has also recently qualified in hypnotherapy for children.
So, what exactly does hypnotherapy entail? A standard session lasts one hour of which the first 20 minutes or so are spent discussing why the person is seeking help and what it is they want to change. “I ask the client how they are going to recognise that the change is coming about, and they’ll say ‘by standing in front of an audience without trembling’, or ‘by walking past the bakery without having to go in’. They themselves think about the signs they will be looking for so that consciously they don’t have to think all the time “Is it working?”
Stephanie then leads her client into a trance and, based on the objective they have set, makes suggestions to bring about their goal. Unlike the hypnosis seen in stage shows, where a hypnotist directs a person to do something, hypnotherapy uses a non-directive approach. It is a suggestive therapy. “I use the things they say during the interview process to make suggestions about how to achieve the client’s goal. It’s a gentle therapy
that privileges the subconscious mind to bring about desired change. It’s not mind control. It’s an active state. While the person is sitting in the chair they have absolute control to stop the process at any point.”
“Elevating or prioritising the subconscious mind makes it a lot more able to bring about transformation.” Stephanie explains, “The conscious mind is actually only 10% of our brain capacity. It’s pretty amazing to think that we let our conscious mind control so much of our daily life! The subconscious mind is a never-ending reservoir of resources. By tapping into it we enable the person to bring about the change themselves. Why did somebody not give up smoking for 20 years? Because they think it’s difficult, and because they think they can’t do it. Why is it difficult? Why can’t they do it? When you bring them into the hypnotic trance they realise that it isn’t difficult and that they can do it, as long as they want to do it. That’s very important.”
Can this work for everyone? “Actually everybody can be hypnotised. In fact we experience hypnosis every day. For example, when you’re on a train looking out the window and your mind starts to drift slightly and then several minutes have passed and you don’t realise where the time has gone. That is actually a hypnotic trance, but we call it daydreaming. Or you’re reading a book and you’ve gone through 2 pages and you actually haven’t absorbed anything, that’s a hypnotic trance. But it’s an active state, which means you’re totally in control of what happens. ”
Stephanie has a lot of demand from both expats and French nationals as she can provide sessions in both English and French. “Of course where we were born impacts us a lot, it can impact our beliefs. Sometimes we can have beliefs instilled into us as a child that we carry with us into adult life. For example, ‘You aren’t intelligent enough’, or ‘You aren’t beautiful enough’ or ‘ You aren’t sporty enough’ to do what you want to do. The hypnotherapy approach says that just as easily as we learn a belief, we can ‘unlearn’ a belief.”
Another reason for her success is that people like the idea that it’s a brief therapy. “Everyone wants quick results. They see that with hypnotherapy big changes can happen over a matter of weeks or months. What usually happens after a session is, the person will start to have sudden insights subconsciously. It may transpire that a few days after a session a person may have a compulsion to eat fruit or to do sport, or to speak louder and with more confidence… Ultimately, hypnotherapy isn’t magic. It’s not like they close their eyes, I wave a magic wand, they open their eyes and everything’s fixed. They have to be motivated to want to bring about the change. As long as that motivation is there and they set a clear objective, then results happen”.
Find out more about Stephanie and her hypnotherapy sessions on www.hypnotherapeuteparis.com