Some commonly asked questions about hypnotherapy.
Nearly all my clients come to me with questions they would like to have answered before the start of their first session of therapy. Here are just three of the most common ones:
- Will I lose all control of my mind when under hypnosis?
- I sometime have patients who are anxious that they are going to somehow lose control of themselves when under hypnosis.
Many of these commonly held negative myths about hypnosis have arisen as a result of stage hypnotists making members of their audience perform undignified party-tricks, like pretending they were a chicken, etc. A stage hypnotist is a paid entertainer whose ‘random’ selections from the audience and whose performances are carefully rehearsed and stage-managed. The entertainer’s job is to entertain. As such, it has nothing in common with the healing role of the hypnotherapist.
The fact is that for the therapist, hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation – it is not a state in which you surrender control of your mind to a third party. If you received suggestions you didn’t morally agree with, alarm bells would ring in your sub-conscious and you would immediately exit your state of deep relaxation.
In similar fashion, you cannot be induced to change a behaviour which you really don’t want to change. For example, if your partner wants you to quit smoking, but you are not yet ready to, your mind will block any suggestion from the therapist. No matter how skilled the therapist, you will exit the session looking for your next smoke. (This is why I refuse to take bookings on behalf of a third party.) If you don’t want to do something, then all the hypnosis in Heaven will not move your thinking.
What does it feel like to be hypnotised?
There is nothing special about hypnosis – it is time of deep relaxation when our active mind takes a break and lets the sub-conscious continue on auto-pilot. It is really not much different to having a day-dream. You can drive your car perfectly competently, while thinking of something else completely unrelated to the task in hand. It is while the sub-conscious is on auto-pilot that the therapist can implant suggestions that will help you change your life in whatever direction it is that you are seeking.
Hypnosis is thus a very natural state, which we often enter on our own accord. Under hypnosis you may well feel as though nothing has happened. Some may notice some changes in their body. You might notice that you are breathing deeper, or feel a tingling sensation, or a change in body temperature. Under hypnosis all feelings are heightened and you will almost certainly exit the experience with an enhanced feeling of well-being and comfort.
What will I remember from my hypnotherapy session?
You will almost certainly remember some of what was said to you during your therapy though much of it will probably not be available for immediate recall.. After the session, suggestions made to you, while in your deeply relaxed state, will keep on coming back to you in your conscious mind. It is these thoughts resurfacing from your sub-conscious that will induce changes in your attitudes and behaviour.