Art Therapy & Hypnotherapy Compared
Art therapy and hypnotherapy are creative power tools which bring us into state of flow...Whether that flow state occurs with the rhythmic brushwork of paint splaying expressively across a canvas or through the slowing of brainwaves and breath during a guided journey within - both relax and regulate our nervous systems for deep healing and a whole change of mind. (quote from my recent TEDX talk)
Recently I was asked to deliver a TEDX talk on mental health and my work as a healer. I'll share more on that experience in a follow-up post as my talk is being edited and sent to TEDX for uploading on their site. As I shared the power of the two main modalities I use as a healer, I felt the pull to highlight how they compare.
I have been supporting people as an art therapist for the past 10 years now and recently added clinical hypnotherapy with a spiritual component to my healing toolkit as it has been a very potent healing tool both in my own and my family's personal healing journey. To read more about this decision I made to upgrade my skills, tuck into my last newsletter for a look-see.
So, without further ado, let me share with you what I have come to sense and see (through my clients' and my own experience of art therapy and hypnotherapy) what their similarities and differences turn out to be:
3 strong similarities between art and hypnotherapy which I see -
Both modalities bring us into a relaxed state of flow.
Both allow the subconscious to locate and surface any past "corrupt memory file" that's running interference in our system in the here and now.
Both can close these "corrupt files" to form a new neural pathway upgrade for a future that is not stuck on repeat by looping a "past program".
As I lay those out, I wonder if you can guess what the 3 differences between these modalities which I have noticed might be? Of course, this is just a list that is alive for me right now, it could and will shift as I grow and change, however for now I share with you...
3 key differences between art and hypnotherapy which I see -
Hypnotherapy allows for a deeply relaxed trance where the overworked conscious mind can get restorative healing and rest each session, yet still be awake so that it can collaborate with the brilliant solution-filled subconscious mind for whole mind power. Because it's 5000 X stronger than the conscious mind, the subconscious can support and do all the heavy lifting locating through our data base to access exactly what's needed in this gorgeous relaxed state.
Though art therapy also relaxes the conscious mind, it still tends to "pop up" and interfere flow whenever it starts to chatter, analyse or judge the artwork (or its contents) rather than allowing for he memory file that needs to be closed out to surface fully on the page. With hypnotherapy, this interruption does not happen by the conscious mind, so it is guaranteed that each session, "corrupt files" close and noticeable growth and change occurs at a more rapid rate.
As hypnotherapy allows for deeper access to the subconscious without interference from the conscious mind, shifts happen quicker with less resistance to the changed neural pathway upgrade. Us humans look for and love patterns, even if they aren't helpful to our whole health and happiness. The subconscious supports clients to "future pace" and see a new way of being while they anchor it in their body. Their whole mind is on board for the change without the conscious mind nagging "but how could that ever happen...". As we see it and feel it, then we become it!
As I write these comparisons down here, I realize that it's no big surprise that I have had clients in the midst of an art therapy session suddenly access a part of themselves which is up for healing to then choose hypnotherapy for subsequent sessions to tend to that part directly with a laser-like focus.
This is what happened for Noemi, a young woman who came to me for 5 months of art therapy to then switch to 1 month of hypnotherapy for huge change. Initially Noemi was very nervous, anxious and unable to assert herself. While she made great progress in her 5 months of art therapy, building her self-worth and her voice to bring her right out of her social anxiety, it only took her 1 month of four weekly sessions of hypnotherapy to rid herself of the severe claustrophobia that showed up in her mid-teens. Her claustrophobia left her nauseous and panicky in crowded situations. Every concert, line-up, and flight were a major stressor for Noemi - before hypnotherapy.
I asked Noemi if I could share he story here and she said "most definitely!". Here's what Noemi had to say about her 1 month transformative healing experience -