What is Clinical Hypnosis?
An interesting fact about hypnosis is that to explain what it is, we first have to explain what it isn’t. Thanks to the incorrect portrayal and vast amounts of wrong information from movies, television and books, far too many people believe hypnosis is something completely different than it actually is.
Hypnosis is not metaphysical trance that saps the will of the client and that puts them under the control of the hypnotist. You won’t become a zombie and unfortunately, you won’t do my bidding.
From time to time some clients may experience a peaceful zen-like trance; however, my goal in hypnosis is to get you into a very light trance, also know as “Alpha.” When in an Alpha state, you are over 200 times more open to suggestion and therefore more able to receive messages that influenced positive change. And pretty much everyone is able to reach the Alpha state through hypnosis, so there is no need to wonder if hypnosis can help you. It can.
Anything deeper than Alpha can be helpful some times, but not necessary.
In Alpha, you are slowed down slightly and therefore more focused and able to dedicate your train of thought to one thing. Equate Alpha to the state you are in when watching TV, or when you have been driving for a lengthy period. When driving, your attention is focused on the elements of driving. Outside stimuli play a lesser role. At first, you may be aware of things around you, such as cars and pedestrians. After prolonged driving, your attention shifts to what is happening directly in front of you. This is Alpha.
Alpha is a “not-really-here, not-really-out-of-it” phase. In Alpha, outside stimuli are no longer distracting you, and if you want, you are then able to receive habit-altering messages from me.
It is important to note that, like driving in a trance, clients in hypnosis still can react as things happen. A common misconception about hypnotherapy is that clients under hypnosis cannot react, and therefore the hypnotherapist has ultimate control over the patient. In Alpha, you are always in the driver’s seat. You are fully capable of reacting and making decisions. It is a true fact of hypnosis that hypnosis can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
How is this different from Stage Hypnosis?
In stage hypnosis the hypnotist has the advantage of selecting people from a large crowd. There is a percentage of the population that is very, very susceptible to hypnosis, and the stage hypnotist has ways to pick them out of the crowd. Then from that number, they can pick the people that are the most exhibitionist and that have a desire to perform in public. Stage hypnosis can be thought of as less inducing actions, and more of just releasing the brakes.
Can you make me do something I don’t want to?
No. Hypnosis can’t make you do anything that you would object to. You are in control the whole time.
Will I act like a chicken?
Not unless you really, really want to, and not if I can help it. Please don’t.
How long will it take?
This varies from person to person and condition to condition. A treatment plan usually lasts from three to five sessions, though it may only take one or run longer than five. Everybody is different, but after the first consultation we should have an idea.
The sessions are recorded and you are required to listen to it every day between sessions. If it is short treatment, you will listen to the recording every day for at least a month, so you will be treated for a month minimum to get the best effect. That’s about how long it takes to ingrain new habits.
Will I remember anything that happens during hypnosis?
This varies from person to person, and even from session to session. You might remember all of what happens, only parts of it, or it might seem scrambled to you. And it’s entirely possible that you might not remember anything at all.
These are all normal reactions, and don’t effect the success of the hypnosis in the slightest. It is a common misconception that is you can remember anything then you weren’t under hypnosis, but it isn’t true.
What if it isn’t working with me?
We will evaluate your progress, and if you are not making gains you are satisfied with, we will discuss other options for you and I will assist you in any way I can getting you referred to a different treatment. This also applies if during our treatment we happen to find an underlying medical cause that needs to be referred to a medical doctor. Under no circumstances will I just abandon a client. At the very least I will make sure you are handed off for care elsewhere if I can’t help you. If I can’t, we will find someone that can.
Is there anyone that hypnosis isn’t right for?
People with mental illnesses including dissociative disorders and schizophrenia should not be hypnotized unless under the direction and supervision of a physician.