What is Hypnosis?
Unlike hypnosis you see on stage at a show, in a therapeutic trance you remain alert and in charge. Because of that, you play an active role in solving your problems. In fact, since you are fully aware and exercising your creative choice throughout the experience, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
Fact and Fiction Concerning Hypnosis
When you hear the word ‘hypnosis’, or imagine being hypnotized, what comes to mind? People acting silly on stage and not remembering what happened? Would you think it’s something that a specialist does “to” you; something that seems kind of risky because the person doing the hypnosis might manipulate you in some way? Do you wonder, “What if I don’t come out of the trance?”
Hypnosis has helped countless individuals with a variety of challenges, but the thought of being in a trance may make you nervous. To help you better understand how hypnosis works, and how it can help you, I include some common myths and facts about hypnosis and self-hypnosis:
Myth: It is dangerous and it messes with your head.
Truth: Standard hypnotic procedure is no more upsetting than hearing a formal talk. My approach in helping a client into a trance state is permissive, and I do not give orders during clinical hypnosis. I use inviting language, as opposed to commanding language, and this makes it clear to the client that he or she is very much in charge.
Myth: Hypnotized people can be made to behave out of character.
Truth: Subjects under hypnosis hold to their values and ethics. There is no evidence to suggest that you can be made to do anything against your will or contrary to your values and beliefs. Nor is there evidence showing that you will reveal sensitive personal information while in trance, any more than you would during ordinary waking consciousness.
Myth: It’s all a matter of having a good imagination.
Truth: Your imagination is not connected with your ability to be hypnotized. Case studies from notable therapists indicate that motivation and belief are far more important than imagination in determining the ability to be hypnotized and to use hypnosis to achieve your goals.
Myth: It’s fake and doesn’t really work.
Truth: Hypnosis has been proved effective for many years by doctors, nurses, paramedics and therapists who have helped with a wide variety of medical and emotional conditions.
Myth: It’s the same as meditation, prayer or guided imagery.
Truth: While those activities have trance-like characteristics, hypnosis is unique in the way it taps into the resources of the unconscious mind. In hypnosis the intent is to help you narrow the focus in such a way that all distractions are minimally present, if at all. In hypnosis we can become deeply absorbed in a particular personal memory, image or topic which is meant to address a problem to be solved or a hurt to be healed.
Adding hypnosis to solid, evidence-based practice can make the process of growth, healing and problem-solving more efficient and effective. So, if you’re among the 75 percent of people who can be hypnotized, you might want to consider this opportunity to make your experience more powerful, more fascinating, and more frugal, as well. If you’re wondering whether you can be hypnotized, please remember, this is not something that is done “to” you; it’s your choice. Going into trance is a decision we can all make for ourselves.
How Can Hypnosis Help You?
Hypnosis is not a form of therapy, nor is it a cure in and of itself. You won’t change overnight through hypnosis, nor will it provide you with entirely new resources. My belief is that, down deep in your heart and soul, you already have the resources you need to change and grow. Powered by your motivation, your enthusiastic participation and your belief in yourself, hypnosis and self-hypnosis can help you uncover those resources to help you achieve your goals.
When practiced by a credentialed professional, hypnosis has a proven track record in the treatment of a wide range of physical and mental health problems. It can help if you are anxious about an upcoming invasive medical procedure, like surgery, dental work or a medical test. Hypnosis can also help you recover from surgery with less pain and discomfort. It can even help you quit smoking, lose weight, and help with other problems, like addictions and other unwanted habits. Consequently, hypnosis has been used by various health professionals, including surgeons, dentists and nurses, as well as mental health therapists.
Regardless of your goal, please keep two things in mind from the outset. First, your motivation and participation are absolutely critical to your success. Second, your belief in your ability to get started and ultimately follow through is equally critical.
When you experience a hypnotic trance state, you will feel relaxed and alert. You will remain in control during the entire experience, and you will feel vibrantly alive and energized afterwards.
You may enjoy the experience so much that you want to learn to do this for yourself. Learning self-hypnosis can provide you with life-long benefits from stress relief to the ability to cope with and relieve physical discomfort or even moderate to severe pain. In time, if you wish to do so, I can teach you self-hypnosis so you can carry the benefits of hypnosis with you wherever you go.
Every case is unique, as are every individual’s needs and personality. For this reason, hypnosis may not be recommended in your situation. And, while it can be an enjoyable and powerful addition to therapy, please understand I will never attempt to convince you to use hypnosis. As I have emphasized, your willingness and belief are absolutely critical to how effective hypnosis can be. My practice is to explain the benefits of using hypnosis, and leave it to you to decide if it is right for you.
With the help of an experienced and dedicated therapist trained in hypnosis, you can reach your goals for personal transformation, growth and healing, not just for today or for next week, but for as long as you live. Please remember that hypnosis engages the resources of your subconscious mind, which has proved to be capable of accomplishing feats that the conscious mind cannot. When you have learned to harness the power of your subconscious mind, you can understand your challenges and realize your peak performance and effectiveness.
But, you may still have questions or concerns about hypnosis or self-hypnosis as a part of therapy…
What if I agree to hypnosis, but it turns out I just can’t go into a trance?
Hypnosis is not necessary for a person to achieve his or her personal or professional goals. In fact there are cases in which hypnosis should not be considered. These days there are numerous ways of addressing personal problems. If it appears hypnosis is not right for you, simply accept that fact and we’ll find another solution.
How can I be sure that you know what you’re doing?
A properly trained and credentialed professional will usually be a licensed therapist. He or she is typically a member of a professional organization, which requires proof of a minimum amount of training and practical experience. This information is freely available; please contact me if you’d like to know more.
What if hypnosis doesn’t work?
The fact is that no form of therapy has a 100 percent success rate. On the other hand, the likelihood of hypnosis working well has a lot to do with the strength of your belief. As a cancer survivor myself, given a fifty-fifty chance of survival, I learned that attitude played a huge role in my recovery. I was totally convinced that I was getting the best care possible. Now in my seventh year of remission, I still believe that. And I believe that the same positive outcome is possible for anyone.
Hypnosis Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
To schedule an appointment or to discuss any questions you may have about self-hypnosis or hypnosis as a part of therapy, I invite you to call (219) 309-3928 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.