Questions about Hypnosis
What Happens in a Hypnotherapy Session?
It’s always our goal for everyone to feel at ease, safe and comfortable with the process of Hypnosis.
If you are visiting for the first time, you may be skeptical or even curious about what to expect.
At your first visit we will gather information about you, your life and health, so that we can get a ‘feel’ for who you are. We will discuss basic life-style details and whatever else is essential or crucial. We might spend a little time exploring different events, emotions, beliefs and how they effected you in the past or how they effect your life now.
You could have questions or concerns about hypnosis or what it will feel like to be in this very natural relaxed state. Rest assured, everything will be explained to you, every step of the way.
You will learn about the conscious and subconscious mind and how it effects your behaviors. You will have the opportunity to discuss all of your concerns and you will not continue until you are comfortable.
Hypnosis is used as a tool to bypass conscious thought and reach the subconscious mind. When in this state of relaxation,it allows you to recognize and acknowledge what might have been getting in your way or blocking you from success so that you can make effective changes.
We are highly trained and experienced Hypnotherapists, and we use several different deep relaxation techniques to guide you to a natural relaxed state of mind.
While in hypnosis; positive suggestions, affirmations and visualizations will be used to address previously discussed issues. You will never lose consciousness and you are always in control. While in this relaxed state, no one can make you say or do anything you do not want to do.
At the end of the session, once the “awakening” suggestions are made, you will wake up feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to carry on your day.
With some sessions you will take home your own personalized Audio to help reinforce the changes.
So what really happens to the mind under Hypnosis? How does it work?
Let’s take the mystery out of hypnosis. It is a completely natural state of mind. Although you may not have been formally hypnotized before, you have experienced this state of mind countless times. You’ll understand that better when you know what it is that really happens in your mind during hypnosis.
For the moment, imagine dividing your mind into two parts. One is the conscious mind, those things you are fully aware of and focusing on at any given moment and the second is the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind works like a giant recorder. Every experience we’ve ever had in our lives is permanently stored there. Of course it would be too much information to be constantly aware of, so maybe you can think of it as a filing system, where vital information is stored and is accessible with hypnosis and other methods.
The subconscious mind controls those bodily functions over which we have no conscious control like heart rate, breathing, digestion and so forth. You will learn how to gain the ability to bring many of these “involuntary” bodily functions under your voluntary control, if necessary.
All habits are controlled in the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is also the seat of emotions. So we need to be able to gain access to the subconscious mind in order to effectively change any negative behaviors.
Imagine, if you will, a filter, screen or network which lies over the subconscious mind. It’s called the ‘critical factor’. You can think of it as a kind of protective mechanism so that every single thing we are exposed to does not become accepted as truth by the subconscious mind and become acted upon. In hypnosis we are purposely bypassing the critical factor of the mind so that ideas which are beneficial to us can make a deep and lasting impression on the subconscious mind. The critical factor of the mind becomes less active but it never disappears. It is simply less active and it will return to full activity should any suggestion be presented which your mind feels is not in your best interest. You are not a blank slate in hypnosis. You will not accept just any suggestion that is presented. You are in full control at all times.
Think about sometime when you were watching a sad movie and maybe you were crying or at least feeling emotional. The critical factor was still active enough that you knew it was just a movie and yet it wasn’t bombarding you with interfering thoughts like, “Why are you crying? This lady is not dead. You saw her on Oprah this morning.” And yet, if your partner taps you on the shoulder and asks if you want some popcorn you can respond and then instantly return to the movie and be right back into it again. We go into and out of our subconscious mind all day every day.
We are in a state of Hypnosis every time we are involved in some creative endeavor, every time we daydream, every time we get wrapped up in our emotions, every time we drive along in our car and suddenly realize we don’t remember the last mile we drove, every time we are feeling our emotions or acting out of some previously formed habit, and many other situations
It is estimated that we spend between 50 and 80% of our waking hours in our subconscious mind.
I like to remind people that when we enter into that state of mind we call hypnosis that we are not going into uncharted territory where no human has ever been before. It is a common and completely natural state of mind that we have all experienced countless times. We just didn’t call it hypnosis.
Absolutely! Hypnosis has nothing to do with being asleep or unconscious in any way. You hear everything, remember everything and know exactly what’s going on the entire time. You are always in control.
There is actually no such thing as a person who cannot be Hypnotized. Everyone is suggestible and everyone goes into hypnosis many times during each day. Hypnosis is a very natural state that most of us are not even aware of.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t weak-minded individuals that are most susceptible to hypnosis. Rather, more strong-minded, focused and creative individuals have the greatest success with hypnosis, as they’re able to focus better and follow the exercises easier.
Since hypnosis is a completely natural state of mind, there is no such thing as a person who can not be hypnotized. A thorough explanation of hypnosis and careful instruction in reaching that wonderful state of relaxation takes place during the very first session. Remember that it is a natural ability of the human mind and you will find it extremely relaxing and enjoyable.
Actually, everyone has a different subjective experience so I can only give you some of the common reports. Some persons liken it to the peaceful feeling they have just upon awakening on a morning when they don’t have to get up right away. They are fully aware of where they are and what’s going on but it’s just very peaceful and relaxing to lie there, sort of a gray area between waking and sleeping.
Some individuals think that hypnosis should be more like the state of sleep itself where we are not consciously aware of anything. They expect to “wake up” from hypnosis as from a sound sleep. Since we are never ”asleep” in hypnosis we don’t need to “wake up” from it. It is simply a very comfortable and natural state of mind that we enter into willingly.
Some individuals will experience a sensation of heaviness while others may report a light floating sensation. Breathing tends to slow down in hypnosis somewhat like it does when we sleep at night.
Think of it this way. If we gathered a group of individuals around a swimming pool and asked them to enter into the pool, we would see a wide variety of methods. Some would dive in and some would head down the steps at the edge of the pool while others would test the waters gently with their foot. The same is true with a group of people entering into hypnosis. Some will dive right in and enjoy a deeper quality of relaxation than they ever have in their entire lives and they will love it. Others will just gently test the shallow waters.
The point is, it doesn’t matter which you do. You need only a light to medium state of hypnosis to bring about positive behavioral change. Those individuals who enter a deeper state of hypnosis will not necessarily “do better”. You are not in competition with anyone. It is the nature of the subconscious mind to respond more easily and more rapidly with each repetition of response. Before you know it, you will be able to enter into hypnosis easily whenever you wish.
Absolutely not. When a person goes up on stage to participate in a Hypnosis entertainment show, they have a certain contract in mind. They know that they are going to be asked to do a lot of silly things and they agree to that at some level of their mind. If they were to come in to my office for some clinical purpose, they would not respond to any of the suggestions which they had responded to when they were in the entertainment setting.
The context in which the hypnosis is taking place and the understood purpose of the hypnosis in the individual’s mind always determine the type of responses that are experienced. You can not be made to do anything in hypnosis that you would not ordinarily do. And, of course, in a clinical setting all suggestions would pertain precisely to the goal of you making the changes you want to make.
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