Q: What is hypnosis?
A: Hypnosis, broadly defined, is focused attention. The focus can be broad or narrow. Such experiences are already part of your day, occurring in those moments when you find yourself daydreaming, spacing out, or lost in thought. At other times we may find our attention highly focused or concentrated, such as when we watch a movie and lose track of the seats and people around us. Both of these states, whether of a broad or narrow focus, yield an openness in which learning occurs.
Q: What if I can’t be hypnotized?
A: What if you can? What if you are already an expert? More than half of people I’ve worked with come into our office initially saying, “I don’t think I can be hypnotized.” It doesn’t matter how you think. All you need is a strong desire to change your life and an open mind.
That said, it does take longer time for some people than others to enter into trance. Ask yourself: How often are you on the side of control, grasp and manipulate; and how often are you on the side of relax, release and allow?
Read this blog post: Can Everyone be Hypnotized? See how easily a solution can provide itself to you to be wonderfully hypnotized.
Q: What does hypnosis feel like?
A: It feels just like when you close your eyes. You can still hear, think and feel. You are more aware of what is going on around you due to an increased focusing capacity. The experience of hypnotherapy itself is one of deep relaxation. Many describe the hypnotic state as a complete and total escape from all physical tension and emotional stress, while remaining completely alert. ‘hypnosis‘ and ‘hypnotherapy‘ are derived from the Greek word hypnos, meaning ‘sleep‘. It’s how the body feels, as relaxed as when you sleep, but the mind is really more focused.
Q: Were you born with this power?
A: Oh yes. So were you.
Q: Is hypnosis dangerous?
A: Is seeing a surgeon dangerous? Is crossing a street dangerous? Is sleeping in bed dangerous? Hypnosis is no more dangerous than any of those. A hypnotic trance is actually a very natural state that almost everyone goes in and out several times a day. In 1955 the British Medical Association set up an inquiry which favourably reported hypnosis as a therapeutic tool. It even recommended that it should be taught at medical schools. Hypnosis was also approved by the Council of Mental Health of the American Medical Association in September of 1958 as a safe practice with no harmful side effects. Since then there has been acceleration in the establishment of hypnosis societies for doctors, dentists, and psychologists. No one has been seriously hurt with hypnosis. If it were dangerous, then we would all be in potential trouble each time we watch a film, or read a book, since it is common to go into trance in these situations. That said, a poor hypnotherapist might word suggestions in a way that your unconscious mind would not accept, rendering the therapy useless.
Reaching a deep level of trance does not need to involve the release of control over our person.
Q: What is hypnotherapy?
A: A hypnotherapy session in our clinic combines counselling and trance work. Change doesn’t happen when a therapist attempts to remove symptoms. It happens when the client gets the support they need to use what they know, both consciously and unconsciously, in new ways on behalf of the desired outcome. Client and therapist collaborate to create a focus of attention that engages the client’s conscious and unconscious resources on behalf of clarifying and promoting their interests, their well-being, and their confidence to competently attend to important life issues.
The techniques we use are rooted in the sophisticated methods pioneered by Milton Erickson, M.D. Erickson affirmed that the unconscious harbors the very resources necessary to support each individual’s desire for change. The hypnotherapist helps the client harness these resources to create new options and change.
Q: What is meant by “unconscious”?
A: Here, “unconscious” simply means everything that is not in our conscious awareness. Our unconscious intelligence includes the responsivity of our breathing and our heartbeat. It includes the expressiveness of our hands and facial gestures. It includes the attitudes, abilities, and behaviors that we exhibit without having to consciously think about them. For instance, we can walk or catch a ball – both are complex actions. Yet, we don’t have to think about all the steps involved in order to accomplish these tasks. We rely on our unconscious intelligence. Each of us has a lot of beneficial unconscious abilities! And yet, we may have unconscious learnings-understandings we came to as children about money, relationships, who we think we are, our own value-that have outlived their usefulness and now limit us in some way. Fortunately, unconscious learning isn’t just a developmental phase we go through and then that’s it, we’re locked in. Throughout life our unconscious retains its ability to learn something new, or use something we already know in a different way. Hypnotherapy engages these natural learning abilities on behalf of who we are becoming rather than who we’ve been.
Q: What is hypnotherapy good for?
A: While hypnosis is commonly associated with habit cessation (for example, losing weight or quitting smoking), many hypnotherapists have a much broader range of treatment. A well–trained clinician using hypnotherapy can help clients who suffer from physical symptoms and conditions (including migraine, sexual dysfunctions, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders), psychological symptoms (including anxiety, stress, insomnia, phobias, depression, and the effects of past trauma), life issues (limiting behaviors, career change, divorce, aging, relationship crises) and spiritual attunement (Past Life Regress, Future Life Progression, contact spiritual guides). Other medical applications include pain control, use during dental work, comfort during birth, and enhancing comfort and healing before, during, and after surgical procedures.
Q: Can hypnotherapy really work for anyone?
A: Hypnotherapy has a very high success rate. Ever since I’ve been in full-time practice I have been surprised at how efficiently the mind is able to heal itself, and the body. We just need the right leverage. All you need is a desire to change and a willingness to cooperate.
Q: How many sessions does it take?
A: This varies greatly, depending on the issues involved. This is a decision that we will come to together. Some people see me for short-term work (e.g. sometimes for as few as three sessions), others engage in longer term work which may last for months.
Counselling-Hypnotherapy is short-term and solution focused. The number of sessions you require depends on your issues and goals, which may change as you progress.
Q: Do you see children or adolescents for counseling/hypnotherapy?
A: Yes, I work with children of all ages on variety of issues, typically anxiety, phobias and irrational fears such as fear of loud noise, fear of water, fear of separation, fear of school.
To read more, here’s a transcription of an interview from a book author.