Frequently Asked Questions About Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis is a natural state of selective, focused attention, and, even though it is 100% natural and normal, it remains one of the most fascinating phenomena of the human mind. Our ability to enter this unique state of consciousness opens the door to countless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change. Hypnosis, called by different names in different cultures and times, has been recognized for thousands of years and used for many purposes.
When we enter into the absorbed state of hypnosis, we can use our thoughts, talents and experiences in ways not usually available to us. With the help of a trained professional, we can develop innate, individual abilities that enable making desired changes in our thoughts, feelings and behaviors possible. For reasons that are as yet not clear, the focused state of hypnosis allows changes to intentionally be made “automatically”, changes that we could not ordinarily consciously make.
Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, and many other psychological and medical problems. However, it may not be useful for all psychological problems or for all patients or clients.
In addition to its use in clinical settings, hypnosis is used in research with the goal of learning more about the nature of hypnosis itself, as well as its impact on sensation, perception, learning, memory, and physiology. Researchers also study the value of hypnosis in the treatment of physical and psychological problems.
How can a treatment aimed at your mind affect your body?
The body responds physically to thoughts. For example, when we think a frightening thought, we can experience increased heart rate, shortness of breath, “butterflies” in the stomach, muscular rigidity, sweating, shaking, and so on. Similarly, when we think a pleasurable thought, we can experience reduced heart rate, deeper breathing, relaxation of muscles, and so on. These are autonomic nervous system responses that are involuntary, but they can be utilized to promote health. When hypnotized, an individual is very open to suggestions that can enhance positive and diminish negative physical reactions.
Can anyone be hypnotized?
Some people find it easier to relax than others. By the same token, some people are able to go into trance more quickly and more deeply than others. About 85% of people can go into at least a light trance. For most therapeutic goals, light trance is enough to enable almost everyone to benefit from hypnotherapy to some extent.
In a relatively small number of situations, (say, when hypnosis is being used instead of a general anesthetic, e.g., as in labor and childbirth), a deeper level of trance may be needed. For these purposes, it is helpful to determine the trance capability of a given person, before making a decision about the advisability of using hypnosis as an anesthetic.
Even for those people (maybe 10-15%) who do not enter into even a light trance state, hypnosis may still be helpful to assist their relaxation and improve their suggestibility to constructive comments and suggestions.
Can children be hypnotized?
Because children are naturally imaginative, they naturally and easily engage in hypnosis and respond well to hypnotic suggestion for a wide variety of problems, e.g., self- esteem issues, anxiety, behavior problems, habit change, and certain medical issues.
Will I be asleep or unconscious?
The word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning sleep, but it is mis-named. Hypnosis is NOT sleep. Sleep and hypnosis may seem similar since we may be relaxed and have our eyes closed (although not necessarily), but there are many differences. One main difference is that we tend to be in a relaxed state, but with heightened awareness! If a person were to fall asleep during a session, they would return to normal consciousness when asked to, or simply awaken after a short nap. They would feel refreshed, relaxed and would have no ill effects at all.
“I don’t think I was hypnotized–I heard every word you said!”
Some people, after a session of hypnosis, don’t believe that they were hypnotized at all. This likely comes from misconceptions about just what a ‘trance’ really is. There are differences between the brain waves of people who are asleep and those who are in trance. In practice, people who are hypnotized often talk with the hypnotist, and can both answer and ask questions, hear everything that is said very clearly, and are perfectly well aware.
There is no mysterious feeling to being hypnotized and our minds are not taken over nor controlled. This expectation and perhaps a demand to have some mysterious experience beyond conscious control or awareness seems to leave some people disappointed and even denying they had any experience at all. These same people may actually have received substantial results and unconscious change.
Are any abilities enhanced during Hypnosis?
Your ability to IMAGINE
Your ability to REMEMBER
Your CREATIVE abilities
Will I lose control of myself?
No, there is no loss of control. Hypnosis allows clients to be more focused and less distractible and more skillful in using their own mental abilities constructively. In this way, they can achieve more of their goals, and consequently, actually achieve more (not less) control of their personal comfort, health, and well-being. The ‘control’ misconception appears to originate from stage hypnosis which actually involves people doing what they want to be doing in a social agreement to be entertaining.
Can I get stuck or trapped in the hypnotic state?
No. At any time a client can re-alert or choose to ignore suggestions. No one stays hypnotized indefinitely – you will always “come out” of trance within a short time.
Will hypnosis make me remember things accurately?
No. Hypnosis can improve our recall of events that we believe happened to us. But hypnosis is not a way to find out the truth (whatever that may be) about events that are in dispute. That is, under hypnosis you may re-experience events, but there is no guarantee that you are remembering them correctly. Hypnosis only assists the subject in recalling perceptions, not truths.
Courts recognize this, and sometimes take the position that being hypnotized influences your ability to later testify in court on those matters. You should get legal advice before attempting to use hypnosis to improve your recall of events when there are, or might be, court matters involved.
What is the History of Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is not a new modality of treatment. Under a variety of names, hypnosis has been known and utilised for millennia as a means of influencing human behavior. Therapeutic suggestion and concentration has been practiced throughout the history of human endeavor, as we have sought to recognize and treat discomfort, disorder and disease. The Celts and Druids practiced hypnosis. The Egyptians founded “sleep temples” some 4,000 years ago dedicated to therapeutic trance states in which curative suggestions were given. The Bible has many sections, which allude to hypnotic phenomena.
Who is a Clinical Hypnotherapist?
A Clinical Hypnotherapist is certified and has lots of experience with human behavior and is also really a specialist in hypnosis , using the healing state of hypnosis to work with problems or conditions that the client wishes to change.
What Happens in Hypnosis?
A Clinical Hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to enable the client to achieve a state of mental, physical and emotional relaxation. When in hypnosis, the conscious mind (that busy, critical, analytical part of the mind) takes a rest. Hypnosis allows people to tap into the storehouse of information that lies in the subconscious (sometimes referred to as the unconscious) mind and make positive changes to thought patterns, habits or the effects of traumatic incidents that are having a negative impact either mentally or physically
Can anyone be Hypnotized?
Virtually anyone can be hypnotized – some more easily than others. Like anything else in life, the more people practice self-hypnosis, the more easily they can slip into that wonderful relaxed state. The depth that people reach in hypnosis varies between individuals. It is not necessary to achieve a very deep level of hypnosis to bring about change to habits or conditions that are having a negative impact mentally, physically or emotionally. Everyone can be hypnotized; all you need to do is follow your hypnotherapist’s instructions and have a reasonable attention span.
Is Hypnosis the same as Meditation?
Scans of people in hypnosis show that the brain activation seen in hypnosis is quite different from that seen in normal waking or sleeping or in meditation.
Would I be asked to do something against my will?
No! This would be the most common misunderstanding associated with hypnosis. This is probably tied in with another misconception that the hypnotherapist has control over the client. This is not the case. People will not do or say anything under hypnosis that they would not do normally. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis – you cannot be hypnotized against your will. This fear probably comes from the TV shows and performances by stage hypnotists.
Is It Confidential ?
Yes it is important that you can feel that you can talk about things in complete confidence. Your therapist will not talk about you with others – the only time they might breach confidentiality is if by keeping a confidence it could cause significant harm to you, your therapist or another person – for example if your life is at risk. They will explain about this when you first meet.
Hypnotherapists generally have a Supervisor and it is very likely that they will talk about your case (without disclosing your identity). This is to ensure they offer you the best possible service – a similar process to a doctor discussing your medical notes with a specialist.
What should I expect when I come in for a hypnosis session?
You should expect to be educated about hypnosis, be made to feel comfortable about it, have your questions answered, and feel confident about your hypnotist. You will sit back and relax in a recliner, or couch be put into hypnosis using special hypnotic inductions that work quickly and effectively. The hypnosis that is conducted at Inner Power usually requires 4 to 6 sessions of about 1.5hrs – 2hrs each. Each client is different, and so, may need a little more or a little less, but 5 sessions is a fair guess for most. Payment for these sessions is expected up front and you will book your session dates before hypnosis begins. This is to ensure that you receive the best deals financially and the best plan for carrying through with your sessions.
What happens if I have to miss a booked session?
Your therapist will explain such things as their policy on late or missed appointments.
Your therapist is skilled at helping people to relax and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way for you to behave. Try not to worry about things like this as this may make you feel less relaxed. This is something you will be led into gently – and your therapist will be aware of your apprehensions.
What happens if I fall asleep or don’t wake up?
The state of relaxation that you enter is not the same as sleeping – but some people do fall asleep and this is nothing to worry about. You will be in a secure environment and your therapist will be aware of this possibility. Your therapist will also explain about the method that they will use to ensure you are fully aware and ready to get on with your usual activities after the session.
I am worried that I may say or do something stupid
When you meet with your therapist for the first time do tell them about any concerns that you may have and they will be able to reassure you. Unfortunately the only thing that many people know about hypnosis is what they have seen of so called ‘stage hypnosis’ where people may indeed be encouraged to do ‘silly’ things for the entertainment of an audience. Hypnotherapy is nothing like this – your therapist is an ethical practitioner and everything that happens during your therapy is completely confidential.
Is Hypnotherapy guaranteed to make me feel better?
A hypnotherapist will never offer to ‘cure’ you. During your initial consultation you will be able to talk about why you are seeking hypnotherapy and together you will decide on a course of treatment. They will always refer you to your GP first for any medical issues.
I am taking prescribed medication – is it ok to have hypnotherapy as well?
It is likely that when you first meet your hypnotherapist they will ask you about any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have and also if you are taking any prescribed medication. They may well ask you to check with your GP before you start hypnotherapy.
What if I don’t like my therapist – do I have to keep going?
It is absolutely your choice to continue seeing a therapist or not. It is important that you feel comfortable with your hypnotherapist so you can relax and feel confident with them.
Can I bring a friend with me to the sessions?
You may want to get a friend to accompany you to the place you are meeting with the hypnotherapist and then ask them to meet you afterwards. Talk about this with the therapist – the reason why it is better not to have another person you know in the room is that it may get in the way of you talking honestly about your issues.
Is there any age limit?
Anyone over the age of 18 years can choose to see a therapist. If you are a minor you may need the permission of a parent or guardian and you should talk to your therapist about this. If you are a parent or guardian seeking a hypnotherapist for a child or young person it is best to talk to the individual therapist. There is no upper age limit.
What is Rooting ?
Its is a systematic process of hypnosis created by our elite hypnotherapists. It has a series of steps that are used by the hypnotist to get to the heart of any issue and eliminate it, as well as deal with any of the negative emotions related to the issue. It has been proven to be successful through trial with thousands of clients and hypnotists around the world.
What is Deep Cleanse?
It is a system of self-hypnosis that was also created by our elite hypnotherapists. It has spirit, mind, and body components that allows for one to change old belief patterns and gain new understandings while making changes in behaviors.
What do I do if I need to go to the bathroom while in hypnosis?
You can go, and you can talk and walk around while in hypnosis, then get right back to your hypnotist and continue with your hypnotic suggestions.