“In hypnosis you begin to use your unconscious awareness. Because unconsciously you know as much and a lot more than you do consciously.”
~ Milton Erickson
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state we all experience, like when you are completely absorbed in a movie where you block everything else out or drive to a particular destination but don’t recall every turn you made to get there. Hypnosis is also a pleasant state of mental and physical relaxation similar to the moment you are about to fall asleep. Contrary to some misconceptions about it, you are neither asleep nor unconscious. You do not lose your mind or control. You cannot be forced to be hypnotized or be induced to say or do anything that goes against your core values and integrity. Rather, hypnosis is characterized by heightened senses, enhanced awareness, and greater suggestibility where your mind is focused and is more receptive to new learning. It is a tool to reveal your habitual patterns and conditioned beliefs, that is, your “internal programs.” The goal is to understand and change them when they are no longer useful to you.
How does hypnotherapy work?
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis in a therapeutic context. A hypnotherapist facilitates a safe, relaxed hypnotic state where the critical factor of the mind (conscious mind) is bypassed and speaks directly to the subconscious mind to release and reframe thought patterns and habits, giving it positive suggestions to make the changes you desire. Hypnotic suggestions motivate your subconscious mind to move in agreement with your conscious goals, helping you to be successful and balanced in every facet of your life. Hypnotherapy is a holistic, effective, and lasting method for creating physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being by harnessing the power of your own mind. The American Medical Association officially approved the clinical use of hypnosis in 1958, and the American Psychological Association approved it in 1960.
Who can be hypnotized?
Anyone has the ability to be hypnotized. Some are more suggestible to hypnosis than others based on willingness and openness. Hypnosis may not be suitable for some people with psychiatric disorders, mental impairment, and very young children.
What does hypnosis feel like?
You will experience a profound sense of physical and mental relaxation. You will feel peaceful and calm as the automatic internal chatter calms down. During this relaxed state, your senses are heightened and concentration is focused, being aware of your surroundings and communication with the therapist. You are not asleep, unconscious, or under any mind-control. You will come out of hypnosis feeling wonderful, calm, and refreshed.
Is hypnosis dangerous or harmful?
No. Hypnosis has been regarded as a safe and effective treatment modality for various medical and behavioral problems by the American Medical Association. Hypnosis is a part of your natural state of mind, being aware and in control. You are not “brainwashed” to say or do anything that is disagreeable and in conflict with your core values and ethical principles.
How many sessions are needed?
Just as each one of us is unique with individual needs, the length of therapy necessary for change varies accordingly. However, hypnotherapy generally takes less time than traditional talk-therapy because of its direct access to the subconscious mind to effect desired changes.