Hypnosis is defined as an altered state of consciousness which lies between the waking state and sleep. It is generally brought about in an individual by the use of a combination of concentration, relaxation, suggestion, and expectation. Hypnosis was coined by a Scottish physician named James Braid in the 19th Century but has been documented since the late 15th Century. Hypnosis has evolved over the years into what it is today with more understanding and an ever-improving reputation for helping with ailments such as anxiety, smoking cessation and other behaviors or habits that a person would like to change. Below are a few of the frequently asked questions regarding hypnosis. Please feel free to contact me with any that aren’t listed here, as this is not an extensive list.
Does hypnosis really work? How does it work?
The short answer is yes. You must be open and willing to make the change however. During hypnosis, I offer suggestions to the subconscious that we have agreed upon during our discussion. Your subconscious would reject any idea that does not align with your beliefs, values or what you would not agree to in a normal waking state. It is much like a guided meditation with suggestion. Your subconscious will take the message and reframe your behavior or habits in order to get you to the desired outcome.
Will this help me get to the "root cause" of a problem?
Hypnosis can be very beneficial to getting to the “root cause” of a problem. Before the hypnosis, there will be discussion of what your goals are and what may be standing in the way of reaching those goals. Once the cause is found, hypnosis can help to reframe the negative into a positive to reach that goal. Sometimes what you consciously see as the problem, may not be the root cause at all.
I saw a stage hypnosis show and it sure looked like the people on stage were under some kind of mind control. What's that about?
Stage hypnosis or hypnosis for “show” is simply targeting those with a higher level of suggestibility in order to appear that they are under the hypnotist’s control. Again, your subconscious would reject any idea that does not align with your beliefs or values. Under hypnosis, you are always in control and can awaken yourself at any time.
I think I'm very analytical, so it'd probably be difficult to hypnotize me, right? Or, what if I can't be hypnotized?
It may take a little longer to reach a relaxed state, but anyone can experience hypnosis. Finding an induction method that relaxes you, keeping an open mind and redirecting your focus is all you need.
What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
Most people report that they feel very relaxed. They feel a sense of peace and calm when they are under hypnosis and even after. I have done plenty of self-hypnosis and awaken feeling similar. Each person’s experience is unique to them.
How often should the sessions be done, and how many do I need?
The first couple of sessions should be done within the first week and then on a weekly or biweekly basis depending on your specific needs and finances. How many you will need will also be dependent on the focus of the sessions, your commitment to your goals and/or changing the behavior. You may only need one session or you may need five or six.
How long is each session?
The initial session is the longest and scheduled for an hour and a half providing enough time to discuss in detail the goals and desired outcome as well as any pertinent medical history. Each subsequent session is scheduled for an hour providing enough time to discuss progress and another induction if necessary.
Is there a guarantee? How will I know it worked?
I don’t provide any type of guarantee. Hypnosis has been shown to work in many cases. Again, you must be committed to the change and open to the process as with any therapeutic treatment. For example, if you only go to the gym occasionally, you can’t expect to see results. There must be follow through, willingness to change and commitment in order to reach your goals and maintain them.
What if I get stuck in hypnosis?
You can’t get stuck in hypnosis because you are always in control. There may be instances where you simply fall asleep however, you can not become “stuck” in trance. Self-hypnosis, I’m sure, wouldn't be advised if that were true.
Can you help me forget a terrible experience I went through?
I cannot help you forget the experience, but we can work together so that you are able to release the negative emotions related to that experience and find healing in processing those emotions.
Will I remember what happened during the hypnosis? What if I go to sleep?
Some people remember every detail while others can’t remember past a certain point of relaxation. It varies person to person and even session to session. If you were to fall asleep during the session, I would simply continue as we had discussed and wake you as if you hadn’t fallen asleep. Your subconscious will still hear the messages regardless. You would still benefit from the suggestions given.
What if recall something in hypnosis that is awful, and I hadn’t remembered it before?
First and foremost, during the entire process, you are fully in control. You are in a safe space that, if you were to recall such a memory, we could take the time to process the emotions and memory itself. The subconscious does not give us more than we can handle and there may be a reason that you were able to recall that memory during the session. The decision would still ultimately be up to you, as the client, to work through the reasoning.
Can hypnosis work with children?
Yes. The process may look different but there are actually several scripts written specifically for children. They have to be a willing participant as well just as an adult would need to be.
 From Clinical Hypnotherapy A Transpersonal Approach, Allen S. Chips, 2010