What is Hypnosis?
Let’s first look at The Merriam Webster’s definition:
: a state that resembles sleep but in which you can hear and respond to questions or suggestions
In the field of hypnotherapy we would more aptly describe hypnosis as:
: a natural or induced trance state of consciousness where your subconscious mind is intensely focused and concentrating. When induced by a hypnotist, this state of hypnosis permits the direction of therapeutic suggestions, known as a hypnotic prescription, to counteract negative beliefs, faulty thoughts and insidious patterns that seem to block the individual from achieving personal objectives of health, wellbeing and personal best.
This very natural state of mind, is a state that you are in more often than you are aware of. In fact, throughout the majority of your day you are experiencing various levels of hypnotic trance, induced by the repetitions and monotony of life. We all tune in and tune out! We have all experienced this state of mind since we were born, as a child sitting in class and not remembering what the teacher just taught, or tuning out our parents much to their dismay responding with the proverbial “huh”. And as we grew older we have all become adept at tuning out much of life as we tune in to other things. Can you imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t tune out! How overloaded your mind would become? In fact every day dream you have occurs in a hypnotic state of tuning in and tuning out.
What is a hypnosis session like?
After a consultation with your hypnotist to discuss your goals, you will be asked to sit in a comfortable chair in an aesthetically pleasing session room. And, as you follow the guidance of your hypnotist through their calm and soothing voice, you will begin the process of relaxation, feeling your body and mind slowing down you will find yourself releasing attachments to your external world as you begin to explore your inner world. You may find yourself resisting the hypnotist’s words, until in one moment you find yourself slipping peacefully into a floating inner world. You may still be able to sense all that is happening around you, but your inner world becomes vastly more interesting. The voice of the hypnotist may drift away and return intermittently throughout the session as your subconscious mind tunes into what is being communicated. The soothing voice of your hypnotist will affect you, with ease as you safely relax into this peaceful trance state, your awareness of any conscious thoughts will drift away. You become content to allow the voice of the hypnotist to guide you enjoying this profound relaxation, creating an optimal experience for transformative change. At the end of the session, you and your hypnotist will discuss your session, feedback and goals for any additional work, if needed.
Can anyone be hypnotized?
The short answer is yes. Even the most resistant person can be hypnotized. The more correct question is, why do some people think they cannot be hypnotized? Often people associate hypnosis with a deep state of trance, where they are completely unaware of their surroundings and have no control over their own actions, as this is their expectation, when this is not achieved they believe they have not been hypnotized. But the truth of the matter is that hypnosis works within varying degrees of hypnotic trance states, very often the client is fully aware of their surroundings and what is happening every moment of the hypnosis session, not unlike driving a car or reading a book, you are absorbed in what you are focusing on, but unaware of other things that continue to happen around you.
So the bottom line is that even the most resistant person will experience hypnotic results!
What really is going on while I am in a hypnotic state of mind?
Because hypnosis is a highly focused state of concentration, your conscious mind and the things it tends to...drift away. Therefore, the goals of your session have the singular focus of your subconscious mind and the most amazing thing happens…what is focused upon and held in suspension for an intense and prolonged period of time during the session, begins to redirect the use of your existing inner resources and skills toward the new and more positive goals you desire. Everything outside of the session stops for a time, creating a blissful, much needed break from the outer realities of the hectic life we lead.
People become objective observers of their experience when under hypnosis. This state of consciousness is most keenly experienced when the hypnotist suggests to the client that they speak or move a finger, arm or nod the head in an almost robotic like response that is synonymous with the deep hypnotic trance experience. And, while the client is responding to the hypnotherapist, at no time is the client doing so in an involuntary manner, they are aware, as an observer of their own subconscious mind in action. A wide variety of sensations maybe experienced by a client, they may feel their body becoming heavy or lighter, tingling sensations to no sensations at all…these sensations are the phenomena of hypnosis.
Because of this state of consciousness, suggestions that countermand negative, faulty and limiting beliefs are more easily uploaded into your conscious mind and have a very high probability of effecting change.
What can hypnosis do for you?
There are many good reasons to seek the services of a qualified hypnotist. It can be used to accomplish almost any goal that you might set your mind upon. Hypnosis can be used effectively to gain greater understanding of yourself or your problems, eliminate unwanted habits, reduce or eliminate anxiety, fears, and manage stress. Some of the more widely known and popular uses of hypnosis are weight management, pain management, quitting smoking, virtually any habit you wish to kick or goal you wish to pursue. It has gained popularity as a pain management technique and as an effective needleless alternative to anaesthetic for general dentistry and even some surgical procedures. The applications of hypnosis are being expanded continuously, articles published daily regarding the successes of its use. While in this country it is not covered by insurance, in other countries around the world it has become an acceptable standard of care for a wide variety of health and general wellness goals.
Will I lose consciousness?
Hypnosis is not sleep. Ordinarily you will be aware of everything in your session, although your subconscious mind determines how much you need to remember. And it is possible, that in a state of such wonderful relaxation you might even fall asleep!
Will I reveal things I shouldn't about myself?
The short answer is no, unless the purpose of the session is to uncover root causes of problems within your life. In these instances a specific technique would be used to explore hidden or repressed memories and would be the goal of the session.
Can I be made to do things against my will?
Contrary to a popular belief, people under hypnosis are not under the control of the hypnotist. They are able resist instructions that are at odds with their wishes or moral standards. For this reason, it is not as easy as one might think to make people do things against their will with hypnosis. However it is possible, through the misconduct of the hypnotist skilled in deception, that a client can be taken advantage of, although rare in its occurrence. This is the most important reason for seeking a reputable professional whom you feel comfortable with as your hypnotist. If you begin to feel uncomfortable with the person you have selected, talk about it. And if you feel you cannot do so, remember that you are the customer and you are always free to leave without making any apologies.
What is the difference between a hypnotist, consulting hypnotist and a hypnotherapist?
There is no difference. Legislation on a state by state basis determines what titles a hypnotist is permitted to use. Most states do not regulate this field, however, more and more this is occurring.
Why should I work with a hypnotist certified through the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH)?
When working with a hypnotist, you want to make sure you are working with a professional that follows ethical standards. However, because the hypnosis industry is unregulated, this could present a challenge for the consumer. The Guild was founded in 1951 as a non-profit organization to counteract this issue for the consumer of hypnosis and to create a standard that all hypnotists must strive toward. As a result, NGH has become the world's largest and most prestigious hypnotism certification organization with more than 15,000 members across the U.S. and in 81 countries around the world. The NGH certifies hypnotists and hypnosis instructors, provides continuing education, maintains a bookstore and resource centre, provides liability insurance programs and enforces a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Because the field of hypnosis is unregulated, NGH acts as a political and legislative arm for its members through the National Federation of Hypnotists, Local 104 of the AFL-CIO. NGH.net
NGH is a serious professional organization whose mission is to keep a high ethical standard for all member hypnotists to adhere to that other professional organizations attempt to emulate. To read more about the Guild go to NGH.net.
All Clients of Thought Alchemy's Transformational Hypnosis Center receive a copy of the Code of Ethics and must read and sign the Client Bill of Rights as designated by the National Guild of Hypnotists.