- What is hypnosis?
- Is hypnosis safe? Can’t I get “stuck”?
- Can I be hypnotized against my will?
- Can anyone be hypnotized?
- Is hypnosis ever counter-indicated?
- Will I remember everything that happens while I am in trance?
- What does hypnosis feel like?
- How many sessions will it take to address my issue?
Do you know that feeling that you have, when you’re very first drifting awake in the morning, and you’re not quite fully in your dream anymore but not quite fully conscious either?
This is a “hypnogogic” or “trance” state – a state of focused relaxation in which the critical mind is derailed or distracted, and so the subconscious mind – where are the real motivation is – becomes highly suggestible.
Hypnosis is simply a method of accessing this part of the brain so that people can go down to where their most deeply buried subconscious beliefs are and change the ones that aren’t working for them anymore.
Hypnosis is perfectly safe. It’s just a state of deep, focused relaxation. Even if a hypnotist were to get up and leave the room without counting his or her client back out of trance, the client would just gently wake up again, as though from a deep and relaxing nap.
Hollywood movies hilariously portray hypnosis as some kind of occult “power” that is projected forth from the hypnotist’s eyes to overwhelm the helpless client, but really it’s a lot more like a guided meditation. The reality is that hypnosis is purely voluntary – the real hypnosis is something you do to yourself.
A professional hypnotist is just someone who is familiar enough with the process to help lead you into that deeper state more effectively and help you make the best use of that state while you’re there.
Because of this, nobody can “hypnotize” you to anything you wouldn’t ordinarily do; fortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
Anyone with a reasonable ability to relax and focus can be hypnotized. In fact, the smarter and more imaginative somebody is, the easier they are to hypnotize.
It can be very challenging to hypnotize someone with an IQ of less than 60 or with extreme ADD. Certain emotional disorders requiring specialized psychiatric care (e.g., schizophrenia) are also counter-indicated.
Hypnosis is a little bit like what happens when somebody “spaces out” while on a airplane or a bus. One minute, you’re in your seat, en route to your destination; the next thing you know, it’s half an hour later, and you’ve been so lost in thought watching the world go by outside your window that you’re surprised when you realize it’s time to get up and disembark.
So will you remember everything that happens? That depends. The deeper you go into trance, the more effective the session often is, and clients will sometimes go so deeply that they cannot consciously remember certain stretches of their session, but that doesn’t mean that the information went nowhere – instead, it was deeply recorded by their subconscious mind.
Even if that doesn’t happen though, it doesn’t mean the hypnosis didn’t “work” somehow – simple relaxation and a gentle, drifting feeling are usually enough.
Hypnosis feels deeply relaxing, sometimes a bit like daydreaming, more often simply like a quiet meditation. People who are normally extremely tense or stressed out will sometimes even feel euphoric! It all depends.
Most issues can be resolved with a single session. Deep-seated habits (e.g., smoking) can take as many as four.