What is Hypnosis?
It is a pleasant, voluntary, state of relaxed attentive concentration, an altered state of consciousness, during which the conscious critical mind is relaxed and relatively inactive, and the doorway to the subconscious, inner mind is opened with a person’s permission. In this comfortable state, suggestibility is heightened, mental absorption is increased, the senses are heightened, and the imagination is activated in a controlled manner. The inner mind is more receptive to acceptable, beneficial suggestions.
How does Hypnosis work?
When you are in this altered state of increased suggestibility, your mental “clutter” is cleared away so that you can pay attention to the therapist’s suggestions and be open to experiencing new perspectives and solutions to your problem.
In this “hypnotic trance state”, you remain aware of everything that is going on, but at the same time, you become increasingly absorbed in using your imagination.
Can Anyone Be Hypnotized?
As a general rule, yes everyone can be hypnotized. Anyone who can pay attention and follow instructions can be hypnotized if they want to be. People will vary however, and the benefit of the therapeutic experience has to do with the client’s desire to be hypnotized and to experience hypnosis. They need only the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.
Hypnosis is a very natural state which everyone’s mind goes in and out of automatically several times a day. Everyone is different in therapy. What takes three sessions for one person may take 5 or more for another. The comfort level the client feels with the therapist is important as well.
Can You Make Me Do Things I Don't Want To Do?
Some people ask, “Can a person be hypnotized against their will?” No, a person cannot be hypnotized if they don’t want to be. There is a surrendering to the process. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing participant, and the hypnotist must have your full cooperation.
You may wonder, “Would a person do or say anything in a hypnotic state that they wouldn’t otherwise?” No, people who are hypnotized will not do anything in Hypnosis that they would not do in the waking state. This applies as well to sexual acts. Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship. When you are in hypnosis, you are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your values and morals.
Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You retain full control over what you say. Subjects in Hypnosis reveal no secrets in the Hypnotic State that they would not reveal (because they want to) in the waking state.
Your conscious, critical, and subconscious mind will reject anything that isn’t aligned with what you really want. It is my job as the therapist to make sure I understand exactly what you want help with, and find the best way to suggest those changes.
How Can I Be Sure Hypnotherapy Will Work For Me?
There are many different types of therapy and people have to find a therapy that suits them.
Often times when hypnotherapy is ineffective, it is because the client only had one session and their issue may have required more work than that, or the client may not have felt comfortable with the therapist.
Everyone is different in their suggestibility and it takes some time and effort to customize therapy to suit the individual.
Will I Notice Behavioral Changes Right Away?
Changes in behavior from hypnosis can be immediate or very subtle and happen slowly over time.
For example with smoking cessation, a person will notice immediately that it is easier to stop smoking. For some other behaviors or conditions, the changes may be more subtle and you have to pay close attention to notice that things are changing.
When I ask a client how things have been going with the behavior they are working on, they will often say things like, “Better….I’m not sure why, but things are better.” That would be an example of subtle changes and a new awareness or a new thought process taking place.
Change doesn’t always happen the way people imagine it will. Your mind knows exactly what you need, and through hypnotherapy, you can gain access to it. Please remember that results vary.
Can changes be made in one session?
Most definitely yes, however, depending on the person in treatment, repeated conditioning will likely improve the depth of relaxation, concentration and absorption of the therapist’s suggestions.
Is deep Hypnosis necessary?
For most purposes, in a therapeutic setting, a light degree of hypnosis is all that is necessary for experiencing the therapeutic benefits of hypnosis.
How Do You Determine How Many Sessions A Person Needs To Help Them With What They Want To Change?
Unfortunately because of stage hypnosis, people have a misconception that hypnosis is a “magic pill” and can change any behavior instantly. While stage hypnosis is fun and entertaining, it is very different from hypnotherapy. The stage hypnotist is selecting the most highly suggestible people for demonstration combined with the fact that they are not changing the health or long-term behavior of their hypnosis subjects.
Hypnosis is a different experience for everyone and I want my clients to decide when their therapy is complete based on how they feel. I do make recommendations based on past experience.
When it comes to behavior change and habits or ways of thinking therapy might be three to six sessions or more depending on the behavior.
Trauma of any kind is a very individual process. Some people only need a few sessions to notice improvement, however it is more likely that one would need a more consistent and weekly program to experience significant relief from trauma.
In most cases it’s beneficial to have more than one session regardless of what type of issue we are working on because the first session is opening the window to changing your subconscious, subsequent sessions create the momentum to manifest the biggest change.
What is Self-Hypnosis?
This is hypnosis induced by a person by his or her own self without the help of a therapist.
How can one learn Self Hypnosis?
You can learn self-hypnosis from a CD or a book authored by a competent hypnosis professional.
However, your best bet is to have the experience first of being hypnotized by a qualified hypnotherapist.
What are the benefits of Self-Hypnosis?
The biggest benefit of learning and practicing self-hypnosis is using the process to create positive self-change.
The regular use of self-hypnosis facilitates the continuation of healthy changes in behaviors, feelings, beliefs and attitudes.
When you practice self-hypnosis, you enter a state of relaxation, and when you are relaxed, you cannot be uncomfortable, anxious, stressed or in pain. Relaxation is the physical and emotional opposite of these negative feelings.