We meet with Dr. Bouvais at Koster Clinic to explore what hypnotherapy actually is and who it's most suitable for
24 October 2019| Last updated on 25 November 2019
Most have heard about hypnosis and hypnotherapy in Dubai, but do you really understand how it works?
When it comes to hypnotherapy, it's unsurprising that this type of complementary medicine is terribly misunderstood by many - myself included.
This is largely owed to depictions of the treatment we frequently see in films and theatre, whereby patients are seen to be in a deep sleep often with a pendulum looming next to them.
The reality? It's far from this. Sure, there are various methods of hypnotherapy - cognitive, Ericksonian, solution-focused, and suggestion to name a few - but the end goal is the same for all.
What exactly is hypnotherapy?
The use of hypnosis as a therapeutic treatment - hypnotherapy - aims to help a patient create a state of focused attention, and increased suggestibility, during which positive advice and guided imagery are used to help them to overcome a concern or issue.
"Hypnotherapy works to access the automatic mind", Dr. Wilfried Bouvais tells me. In my efforts to understand the medical practice further, I visited Dr. Bouvais, who is a GP doctor but also a Hypnotherapist at Koster Clinic in Dubai in Dubai to find out more.
"It's like when you work, without thinking that you're working. It helps my patients and I to indicate if they have a blockage, and in what situation that blockage comes back to cause an issue.
"I also have a lot of patients come to me for help with fear of flying - a hazard for many since they must travel to/from the UAE frequently."
His method of hypnosis is very close to hypnoanalysis, I find, which is a form of hypnotherapy that helps both patient and practitioner to identify a 'cause' or 'trigger event' that has led to the current problem they're facing.
By identifying the root cause, Dr. Bouvais is able to help reduce the negative associations and resolve the resulting issues. He'll ask his patients, while in session, to draw what they see and what their 'story' looks like in their mind.
Who is hypnotherapy most suitable for?
The only thing Dr. Bouvais expects from his patients undergoing the treatment at Koster Clinic in Dubai is motivation.
"It does not work if the patient is not motivated. They must be motivated to overcome the issue, and to change the habit and remove the blockage."
It's most useful for individuals who want to explore an alternative type of medicine to help reduce or alleviate an issue they're facing. Since hypnotherapy helps to create a positive change in a person while they explore their minds, it can be used to overcome many issues.
Here in Dubai, hypnotherapy is a popular choice of treatment for individuals who have issues with stress, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders and depression. The medical treatment can also be used to help people who experience burn-out and smoking cessation.
When asked if hypnotherapy is similar to mindfulness, Dr. Bouvais explained, "hypnotherapy is much more personalised than mindfulness programs.
"I might help you to start a story during a session, but patients are very much the architect of their own visions and thoughts.
"As a result, hypnotherapy is extremely unique from person to person. Mindfulness programs are more constructed and scripted since people follow the same program."
Interestingly, 90% of adult patients that Dr. Bouvais sees are female, and a large majority are children above 7 years old.
"Men have a more pragmatic mind. Whereas women are more in tune with their emotions, and since hypnotherapy helps you to access those emotional reflexes, more women find it useful than men.
"A lot of my patients are kids, too, since parents bring them to me to overcome problems like wetting the bed, not sleeping in their own rooms and imaginary friends."
Koster Clinic offers hypnotherapy as one of their many services
Where to have hypnotherapy in Dubai
If you're wanting to explore hypnotherapy for either yourself or a family member, I'd highly recommend having a consultation with Dr. Bouvais at Koster Clinic.
Hypnotherapy sessions last 1 hour, and he prefers to always have the first consultation to determine whether a patient shows a good indication for hypnosis, and has the motivation to undergo the treatment. Especially for children, it's good to have the first visit, to help them become familiar with Dr. Bouvais.
Located behind Al Wasl road, close to Umm Suqeim road, the clinic is one of the UAE's leading family health clinics, which was founded by Dr. Gertrud Koster.