Driving tests

Using hypnotherapy to help you pass your driving test

There are a few techniques and therapies you can use to give you more chance of passing your driving test and in this article we cover hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can be used to improve your confidence, reduce nervousness, improve your spatial awareness, improve your memory and more.

During hypnosis you are taken into a state of physical and mental relaxation, but still with full consciousness of your surroundings, and full control. You can come out of the hypnosis at any time – the hypnotherapist doesn’t take control of you. This relaxed state makes it easier for your subconscious mind to accept suggestions. Almost all of our actions come from our subconscious mind; you don’t have to actively think about moving your mouth to form a word when you speak as your subconscious mind does it for you. You can consciously do things, but the majority of what we do is subconscious.

We spoke to Dave Gilbert PhD, a registered hypnotherapist and Master Practitioner and trainer in NLP (neurolinguistic programming) to ask for his input on how you can use hypnosis to help you pass your driving test.

Why would a person choose hypnotherapy to help with their theory driving test?

Hypnotherapy has been used to help clients with confidence and self belief as well staying calm, composed and clear minded.  It can also help with memorizing information for a test, and in particular improving visual memory.  Hypnotherapy can also be used to improve focus and concentration which are important in both studying for a test and in taking the test.

Why would a person choose hypnotherapy to help with their practical driving test?

To be at your best during a practical driving test it is important to be both relaxed and alert, to stay calm and focused.  Using hypnotherapy can help to prepare for the test by developing these qualities at a subconscious level as well as promoting confidence and self assurance.  It can also be helpful to use visualisation in hypnosis which is a bit like a rehearsal [read our separate guide here on using visualisation to help with your driving test] – to imagine getting things right on the test and maintaining the appropriate mental, physical and emotional state.  Visualisation can be used to practice particular skills including coordination, much in the same way as sports people do.

What should a person expect when they come in for a hypnotherapy session?

The first part the hypnotherapy session is to discuss the problems and challenges you have experienced in the past and identify the things which can help, for example being relaxed, confident, focused, etc.  On I first session I generally guide you through a gradual way of relaxing into hypnosis and then deliver the positive suggestions for your subconscious mind for the required changes.  As part of the process, you will is encouraged to imagine yourself being the way you want to be – this can create powerful ‘road map’ for your subconscious to work with.

I make a live recording of the hypnotherapy during the session so you can take the CD with you and repeat the process on a daily basis at home.  This can help both with becoming more relaxed and reinforcing the positive suggestions and ideas.

On subsequent sessions we work more directly with the subconscious mind in hypnosis – sometimes checking out past events in order to change limiting beliefs – as well reinforcing the positive qualities to help you to be the best you can be on the day.

What would be a typical number of sessions that people would have, and how would they monitor progress?

It is not possible to say how many sessions someone might need but in the past I have generally seen clients 1 to 3 times with issues such as driving tests, exams and public speaking.

Is there anything specific about how you do hypnotherapy?

Providing live CD recordings, tailor-made the particular client’s needs.

Teaching instant self hypnosis during which clients can use positive affirmations and visualisation to support the process of change.  Here is a comment from a client.

“I learnt to drive late in life. When I finally felt comfortable enough to sit my practical, I was frustrated to find that although normally comfortable when driving, when it came to the test I had extreme anxiety.  I sat the test twice, and both times suffered from a mild anxiety attack where I could not drive and had the shakes.  This was how I ended up trying hypnotherapy for the first time.  I visited Dave, who is incredibly calm and personable and professional. I found hypnotherapy with Dave to be a wonderfully relaxing, and effective, form of treatment for my phobia; one which I no longer suffer from.”

What questions should you ask your hypnotherapist to ensure they’re the right fit for you?

I believe that it is important for a client to have the opportunity to meet the therapist with no obligation to decide if they are the right person for you.  I provide a free 20 minute initial consultation to discuss the issues and to find out more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy.  Many clients however are ready for the first session straight away.

You may also want to ask the therapist about their experience, qualifications and whether they are a registered hypnotherapist.

Are there any other techniques/methods/treatments that you would recommend that augment hypnotherapy and improve its results?

Using visualisation and affirmations [read our guide to using affirmations to help with your driving test] can be helpful, especially when used with self hypnosis but above all make sure you practice enough for both the written and practical tests!

Dave Gilbert PhD has 26 years experience helping clients in NZ and the UK and has worked with over 4,000 clients in Auckland.  He is a Registered Hypnotherapist, an NLP Trainer & Master Practitioner, and an mBIT Coach.

Dave works at the Bellevue Health Clinic in Mt Eden, Auckland and can be contacted on 09 360 1111.  Website www.hypnotherapy-nlp.co.nz


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Darren has written over 3000 articles about driving and vehicles, plus almost 500 vehicle reviews and numerous driving courses. Connect with him on LinkedIn by clicking the name above

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