7 Common Questions About Hypnotherapy
1. What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural state that we experience everyday. Have you ever driven somewhere but can't remember doing so? Have you ever gotten lost in your favorite book or movie? These are all examples of a light state of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is defined simply as a heightened state of focus in which the body and conscious mind are in a relaxed, peaceful state. The subconscious mind remains very alert and receptive to positive suggestions for change. In this state, one is able to focus intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling or sensation while blocking out distractions. My focus as a Hypnotherapist is to guide you into this heightened receptive state, where you can begin to re-train your subconscious mind to make positive improvements in your life.
2. Will I lose control of my mind or body?
You still have free will in hypnosis. You cannot say or do anything that is against your morals or core beliefs. Additionally, you cannot be hypnotized against your will. Therapeutic hypnosis is used to improve your health and well-being, and is different from stage hypnosis which is used for entertainment purposes only. Hypnosis is not a control state, it is a complacent, fully relaxed state for the mind and body to examine and shift it's behavior and perspective in life.
3. What does hypnosis feel like?
Hypnosis feels different for everyone, but the general consensus is an amazing, deep relaxed and calm feeling of the mind and body. You're breathing gets deeper and heavier, you may experience a soft tingling sensation or warmth throughout your body. Indeed, I have found that many clients are reluctant to come out of this state once they are in, because it feels so wonderfully relaxing!
4. Can everyone be hypnotized?
Every person is a unique individual. Therefore, how you will be hypnotized must cater to your specific individuality. You do not take in information the same way as others do, so you will not respond to the same hypnosis techniques that others do. My job is to find out how you take in information, or your suggestibility, in order to give you the most fulfilling and effective hypnotic experience. The most important thing to remember is that a client must want to receive hypnosis in order for it to be effective. All that being said, some people still may feel they are unable to be hypnotized. Under hypnosis, your mind may wander. You may wonder if you locked the door, or what you will eat for dinner tonight, for instance; but this is completely normal. Even though you may not feel hypnotized, your subconscious is still being accessed and will pick up everything that is said under hypnosis.
5. Will you regress me to remember trauma from my past?
A well-trained Hypnotherapist will very rarely use an “age regression" technique to uncover subconscious traumatic memories. It is simply not necessary to go "digging around" in the mind to find unhappy memories, and often creates more trauma for the client after the fact. More important is to take the person you are today, no matter how you got here, and create the positive change you desire to have the life you want, releasing the effects that a past experience may have caused.
This is different, however, than Past Life Regression therapy, which takes the client through another life they may have lived in the distant past. This practice is a fairly common request from clients, mostly due to simple curiosity, but in some cases, it can release a phobia or phantom unexplained pain the client may suffer from. Unlike age regression, this practice poses no potential for emotional harm to the client.
6. Will I be asleep during hypnosis?
Although the word "hypnosis" is of Greek origin meaning a “sleep-like state,” you will not be asleep or unconscious. You are very aware of your surroundings under hypnosis, but you are so relaxed and focused, you may chose to ignore all other distractions. Most people will consciously remember most, if not all events under hypnosis. Some will remember only certain parts. Then there are those that will not consciously remember much, or any part of the session (this is one reason it may be useful to ask for a recording of the session). Even though you may not consciously remember the work accomplished in a session, your subconscious will have picked up every bit of it. You may find that the suggestions given under hypnosis will resurface consciously at any point after the session, positively changing your behavior and reminding you that you are on a path of success.
7. How many sessions will it take to reach my goal?
Work done between a myself and my clients is a co-creative process, and is unique to each individual. That said, during my years to experience, I have found that most clients see lasting transformation within 6 to 8 sessions.
As the graphic shows above, a study by Alfred A. Barrios, PhD., which was later reprinted in American Health Magazine, revealed the following success rates:
Psychoanalysis: 38% success after 600 session
Behavior Therapy: 72% success after 22 sessions
Hypnotherapy: 93% success after 6 sessions
I currently offer session programs of 4 and 8 sessions, with 8 being the program in which an overwhelming majority see lasting change and success. This is also largely determined by my client's desire to modify a behavior and how they are able to handle the subconscious mind’s need for resistance.
While my 8 session program is perfectly crafted to get you the results you desire, I have found that some clients discover significant benefit in ongoing therapy that can last indefinitely!