Let’s Talk Hypnosis
What are the possible outcomes from hypnosis?
Managing a client’s expectation is one of the challenges for a hypnotist. Client’s often have no idea what to expect and some have a false perception from media and other information that portrays the hypnotist as taking over a person’s mind, making them do absurd uncontrolled behaviors. Making sure the client understands the process of hypnosis is essential, but sometimes even with the greatest measures taken the client will not remember much of what has been communicated in the preliminary consultation, trance, nor the post-hypnotic suggestion. Fortunately…their subconscious does. Let me explain.
A client came to me for hypnosis, he wanted to quit smoking and had attempted many times and even had success for a period of time with hypnosis. Yet, much to his dismay he always resumed his old habit. He came to me hoping for permanent results wanting to know if I could make that happen. My response was that it is possible, but the probability of success increases when we understand the root or the positive intention that the subconscious mind has been successfully executing against. Of course he respond with the same exact thoughts that are probably running through your head as you read this…”huh!” I told him, “Your smoking is meeting a need that was established long ago that overrules your conscious minds desire to quit.” I explained to him, if we can understand its reasoning, then we can re-route the pattern into something more appropriate and possibly achieve the results he desired.
As we continued on with the preliminary consultation we discovered that as a young man of 16 he lost his father and felt obligated in his mind to assume responsibility for his mother and two younger sisters, he knew his father would want him to become the man of the house. His father also was a smoker. This was also the age that he began smoking. It continued for 31 years right up to his meeting with me. We also ascertained that he had not had any grief counseling for his loss. Many other things were discovered in this session. He was totally taken back that his smoking habit was tied to such a powerful set of decisions made as a young man. That no amount of nicotine, gum, patch or other drug was going to stop him from fulfilling his responsibility which must be done with a cigarette in his hand. He was now a father and husband with his own children and was still caring for his mother. He was now able to look back at circumstances that had prompted him to begin to smoke again. One was his own sons graduation from high school and transition to college. The other the birth of a grandson. He had simply attributed his resuming smoking as being a stress induced trigger, but now understood it to be so much more.
The reality was that each time he had to assume a greater responsibility in life, the cigarette in has hand gave him the confidence that he could fulfil his responsibilities. Once this became clear in his mind, the hypnotic formula employed allowed his subconscious to determine the manner and means of quitting as well as an adequate replacement for what ultimately amounted to a set of training wheels. In the end I suggested that the client might immediately stop his smoking, or it might be gradual, or somewhere in between. He called me a week or so later and told me initially he actually increased his smoking and then suddenly later that week he simply stopped. No desire whatsoever to smoke again. He said he felt great and had high hopes that this time it would be for good.
The issue really had nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with confidence and an association with his dad. The hypnotic formula factored this in and was accepted by his subconscious mind and implemented in the manner deemed appropriate by it. The client had the ability to handle all his responsibilities, he had just never dispensed with the training wheels. He subsequently had several more sessions, not for smoking cessation, but for confidence and letting go of things when it is time to let go. I do not know for sure that his habit will never reappear, but he believes he now understands what his smoking represented to him and that he will never smoke again.
It is true that hypnosis can be done and be successful without fully understanding these positive intentions, but the possibility of long term sustainable results is higher in my opinion, when we have greater understanding of the problem we are trying to resolve.