2) What can Hypnosis be used for?
3) Why should I use hypnosis?
4) Can I function normally and get on with
the rest of my day after a session of Hypnosis?
5) Hypnosis and Phobias
6) When I am Hypnotized, will I lose all
sense of my surroundings, and have no memory of the session?
7) I cannot be hypnotized because my mind
is too strong and/or disciplined.
8) Can the Hypnotherapist control my mind
and make me do something I don't want to do?
9) Hypnosis is Dangerous and if I become
Hypnotized, I may not be able to snap out of it.
10) Hypnosis is a great way to get someone
to tell the truth and confess.
11) What about those shows where the stage
hypnotist makes people look silly?
12) Hypnosis is a "Miracle Cure".
13) Hypnosis is "Supernatural"
or comes from "Black Magic".
1) What is
The brain operates
in four general states. The four states include Full Conscious
Awareness, the Hypnotic State, the Dream State, and the Sleep
These four states
correspond to electrical activity in the brain and are defined
by the frequency ranges on an EEG. Full Conscious Awareness
occurs when the majority of the electrical activity in the
brain is in the beta range (14-35 Hz). The Hypnotic State
occurs when brain activity is in the alpha range (8-13 Hz).
The Dream State occurs when brain activity is in the theta
range (4-7 Hz), and the Sleep State occurs when brain activity
is in the delta range (.5-3 Hz).
Awareness is where we spend most of our waking hours. In this
state, our mind is observant and uses logic to reason, judge,
and make decisions. Unfortunately, when making life changes,
the conscious mind often gets in the way.
In the Hypnotic
State, the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious
is opened, memories become easily accessible, and new information
is stored. In the Hypnotic State, you are not really "thinking"
in the traditional sense. You are "experiencing"
without questioning, without critical judgment or analysis,
like when you watch a movie, and the hypnotherapist can make
suggestions that are very likely to "stick" - because
your conscious mind is not getting in the way. You are not
"judging" or being "critical" of the suggestions.
In bypassing the
critical faculty, specific suggestions can be stored in the
subconscious mind where they can project the client toward
a desired goal or change behavior in a positive, permanent
way. Of course, the suggestions must be acceptable to the
client, otherwise they would have no effect. The focus on
a specific goal or behavior is done with precision and intensity
Hypnosis is a
natural state of mind that is entered into spontaneously every day. Some examples would be states of limited focus, such
as you might have when watching television or absorbed in
a book. Highway hypnosis happens when you're driving on the
highway and you suddenly realize that you have no conscious
memory of the past several miles traveled.
2) What can
Hypnosis be used for?
Areas where hypnosis
can help to make a difference in your life are:
Increase in learning potential
Improvement in sports performance
In addition to
3) Why should
I use hypnosis?
People are always
trying to make routine changes in their lives with issues
like smoking, weight loss, public speaking and athletic performance.
The results are inconsistent at best. It's like trying to
weed your garden by cutting the weeds off at ground level.
It looks good for a while but they always grow back.
the most efficient way to get to the root of the pattern,
pull it out and replace it with healthy positive solutions.
With hypnotherapy you relax your body and conscious mind while
opening your subconscious. Once in the subconscious you can
'rearrange the furniture and put your house back in order'.
can create this deep relaxation and offer suggestions and
affirmations which support your rational thought.
Hypnosis is not
new; The American Medical Association (AMA) has approved its
use and recognized its therapeutic value since 1958. It is
used in hospitals, clinics, in professional sports and Fortune
500 companies. It has no side effects, it feels good and there
are no prescriptions. There is helpful relief regarding your
fears, worries and concerns. You have the ability to create
order and peace in your life. You can take back control and
Can I function normally and get on with the rest of my day
after a session of Hypnosis?
In my experience,
clients generally leave a session feeling refreshed and relaxed.
If anything, they are better able to cope with the rest of
the day and feel more confident.
World Dictionary defines a phobia as an irrational, excessive
and persistent fear of some thing or situation. Regardless
of what the conscious mind knows and says, these fears persist
in the subconscious mind where they are stored. Since hypnosis
is the most direct way into the subconscious, it stands to
reason that it can become the instrument of eliminating the
Most phobias can
be traced to an initial sensitizing event and an activating
event. These can be separate events or parts of the same event.
The objective of therapy is to discover the cause(s) and desensitize
the client from the fear.
are those isolated single fears such as a fear of cats or
dogs, a fear of flying, a fear of being in an enclosed space,
fear of water, etc. These simple phobias can usually be effectively
treated in very few sessions.
When I am Hypnotized, will I lose all sense of my surroundings,
and have no memory of the session?
Hypnosis is not
an unconscious state of sleep. In fact, most people report
having a higher sense of awareness, concentration and focus,
and can even hear more acutely during a session.
7) I cannot
be hypnotized because my mind is too strong and/or disciplined.
This is an archaic
belief that has, in recent times, been proven untrue. It was
thought, long ago, that only 50% of the population could be
hypnotized. In fact most people can be hypnotized.
There are exceptions
of course and people who suffer from Hysteria as well as Psychotics,
which we will define simply as: Schizophrenics, Paranoiacs,
and Catatonics (to name a few) cannot be hypnotized. Psychotics
make poor hypnotic subjects for several reasons: they are
less likely to seek hypnosis as a solution; they do not trust
others; and they can become violent even toward someone trying
to help them. It is important to be aware of occasions when
a person has stepped over the line from neurosis to psychosis.
Under no circumstances, should a hypnotherapist (or anyone)
untrained in dealing with severe mental illness attempt to
assist, on their own, such a person.
Can the Hypnotherapist control my mind and make me do something
I don't want to do?
The will located
in the conscious mind is always present and is always functioning..
If for some reason you will yourself not to allow the suggestions
to be accepted, they won't be. No one can control your mind,
unless you let them. Your Hypnotherapist will give you suggestions
that you want to be given, based on the Pre-Hypnotic Interview.
At no point during your session will you lose control of your
mind. If you hear a suggestion that you don't agree with,
or don't understand, your subconscious mind will automatically
Hypnosis is Dangerous and if I become Hypnotized, I may not
be able to snap out of it.
Hypnosis is very
safe, and is in fact, a state of hyper-awareness. Should there
be an emergency, a person would be able to very naturally
come out of the Hypnotic state by opening their eyes, and
stretching or speaking.
is a great way to get someone to tell the truth and confess.
are kept private and can't be used for court testimony. It
is not an alternative to lie detector tests. Hypnosis cannot
force anyone to "tell the truth" or to confess.
It can't make you do anything you don't want to do.
What about those shows where the stage hypnotist makes people
People worry that
they will be made to perform embarrassing acts, such as bark
like a dog, or walk like a duck. This assumption is based
on Stage Hypnotism and Hollywood fiction. The truth is, these
people volunteer to act on stage, and they allow themselves
to participate in silly suggestions. Hypnotherapy is a serious
process of self-improvement, not entertainment.
is a chance for an extrovert to perform, have fun, show off
and be a star. Volunteers may seem to be "under the spell"
of the stage hypnotist. Some people are under the impression
that the participants will do whatever the hypnotist suggests.
Actually, some stage hypnotists have been known to appraise
the audience and express disappointment if, say, six volunteers
are needed and there are only 60 people in the audience. Most
people will not respond well to stage hypnosis and those that
do, will do so only under the right circumstances.
any stage show know that they will be expected to do silly
things in front of an audience, and find that appealing. The
ones who are shy or self-conscious are asked early on to go
back to the audience. The participants who are receptive to
hypnosis will have, to some extent, an extroverted personality.
However, the volunteer would not do anything against his or
her moral beliefs. For example, if handed an imaginary glass
of wine or beer, a non-drinker will refuse to pretend to drink.
Also, some otherwise responsive persons will back off to a
specific suggestion (e.g., to sing) because of a lack of self-confidence
in that area. Even during stage hypnosis, individuals retain
control in areas of principle or in which there is major subconscious
During a hypnotherapy
session with a certified hypnotherapist, you know you may
be open to suggestion. Rather than losing control, a series
of sessions can help a person to gain control.
is a "Miracle Cure".
is a relatively quick method of making permanent improvements,
there is no such thing as a one-time "Hypno-Miracle"!
While some people have indeed quit smoking or even let go
of a phobia in just one session, every individual makes progress
at his or her own rate.
is "Supernatural" or comes from "Black Magic".
Hypnosis is a
natural state that has been studied scientifically. Hypnotherapists
do not have "special powers". Hypnotherapy is based
on many years of clinical research by famous Psychologists
such as Dr. Sigmund Freud and Dr. Carl Jung, and more recently,
by Dr. Milton Erikson and Dr. John Kappas.
*Copyright: Riley, G. Edward and C. Newton.
Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, and Hypnotherapists
Health Journal. April, 2001.