Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness often described as a trance state, which is some ways it is. When you are under hypnosis your therapist can make contacts with your unconscious mind in order to make changes in your life. When someone is under hypnosis they are not asleep, as often thought, they are very much alert but focused. Hypnosis is a natural state – similar to daydreaming or when you are or engrossed in a really good book you are in a trance.
What if I cant be hypnotised?
Only a rare minority cannot go into any trance state at all and they usually fail because they do not want to be hypnotised. Depth of trance differs from person to person. The majority can go into at least a light trance state which is all you need to be able to benefit from hypnotherapy. Also the more often they are hypnotised the easier it becomes as they know what to expect.
What does it feel like to be hypnotised?
As hypnosis is a natural state you will find that you have already been in a trance state before, watching TV or driving to work on autopilot. The hypnotic state is similar to mediation only you are guided by your therapist who makes positive suggestions to your subconscious designed to help with a specific issue or problem. For many people time goes much more slowly and they are surprised to find that they have been under for the time they have. Most people find being hypnotised a very pleasant experience and wake up feeling energised and refreshed.
Is hypnotherapy safe?
Hypnosis is perfectly safe, it is a deep state of relaxation where you are open to suggestion.
Will I give up control?
Unlike Hollywood portrayals (I recent watched a series where the villain hypnotised people into committing crimes and then killing themselves!) you cannot be forced to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Hypnotists do not operate a kind of mind control you can come out of the trance state whenever you like. Stage hypnotists choose volunteers who are easily hypnotised, sometimes before the show! They also select people who like being in the spotlight and are happy to play a part and go along with suggestions.
Does it really work?
Hypnosis does work but it is not a miracle cure – the client needs to want to make a change. If you go to see a hypnotherapist, for example, to stop smoking because your partner wants you to it is unlikely to work. You have to want to achieve your goal, in which case, it is worth using hypnosis as an aid. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing if hypnosis will work for you or not until you try it. Even then it may work for some issues but not others depending on how determined you are to succeed.
What can hypnosis treat?
Hypnosis can treat a great number of problems both physical and psychological. What it can’t treat though are serious psychological problems such as drug addiction or clinical depression or any mental health problems. It has been successfully used to treat, pain control, promote relaxation, IBS, anxiety, phobias and help people stop smoking or lose weight.
What happens during a session?
Each session will be different depending on the person and what is being treated. The therapist will ask about your goals and an explanation of how hypnosis works so you know what to expect. Then ask a set of questions related to personal, lifestyle and health to ensure that hypnosis is the best way to treat you. Hypnosis sessions usually consist of an induction from which they will lead you into a deep state of relaxation. From here you the ‘change work’ is carried out to help you achieve your goals. After this you are brought out of the trance into wakefulness. Your hypnotist will then ask if you have any questions and you will discuss your next session.
How many sessions will I need?
It all depends on your individual circumstances. Some sessions, such as stopping smoking, only need one or two intensive sessions, others, like weight loss will take more sessions as the results are achieved more slowly and the client needs longer term support. You will discuss this with your therapist when you meet.