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What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis, which is sometimes referred to as trance or altered state of consciousness, is a state of awareness that is focused and receptive to suggestion. Being natural in quality, it is a state of awareness  that almost everyone has experienced. For instance, have you ever  driven past your exit on the interstate because you were daydreaming or  become so entranced in a book (or the TV) that you were unaware of  someone entering the room? If so, you have experienced an altered state of awareness similar to hypnosis.

Clinical hypnosis or hypnotherapy is the therapeutic use of  hypnosis to facilitate desired emotional and/or behavioral change.

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Pain Management

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Stress  Management

How does it work?

To better understand how hypnosis works it is helpful to examine  the components and functions of the mind. The conscious mind, or  primary awareness, is where the analytical processing takes place. The  subconscious mind, or secondary awareness, is home to feelings, beliefs, imagination and expectations and does not use conscious logic to  process information. Hypnosis occurs when the critical factor of the  conscious mind is relaxed or bypassed allowing consciously unfiltered  suggestions to enter the subconscious mind. Since the subconscious mind  is estimated to be 88% to 99% of total mind, its support is essential  for any lasting change to occur. When used by a trained professional,  hypnosis can be a valuable tool to foster desired change by removing  blockages and mobilizing inner resources.

What does hypnosis feel like?

Although hypnosis is an experience unique to each individual, there are some commonalities. Hypnosis is not sleep. You may become deeply  relaxed in a way that physically resembles sleep but your mind will  remain aware and alert. You will be aware of what the therapist says  and does even in very deep hypnotic trance. In most cases you can  expect to experience a deep state of relaxation both physically and  mentally. Some may experience a lightness of body as if they are  floating while others might experience heaviness. Some people feel warm while others feel tingling throughout their bodies. Some experience  the therapist's voice as if it is coming from far away but everyone  experiences hypnosis as pleasurable.

Will I lose control?

The therapist has no control over the client other than what is  given to the therapist by the client. A client can not be made to say  or do something against his/her will and any suggestion that is contrary to a client's morals or ethics will be rejected. For almost everyone, a suggestion works only if it's something you want and believe in.  Hypnosis makes it easy for the client to absorb a suggestion, but it  does not force the acceptance of that suggestion.

Can I get stuck in hypnosis?

Although a client's automatic responses may be slowed during  hypnosis, awareness is still present. If a client senses a need or  desire to end the session before being directed to by the therapist,  simply opening the eyes with intent to terminate will suffice.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Certain qualities of mind are common to all humanity and the  natural ability to enter trance is innate. For some though this ability to be hypnotized may become blocked for various reasons. For example,  the client may fear losing control, be concerned about impending change, or not trust the therapist. When the fear is resolved and rapport  established resistant clients usually become excellent subjects.

What can hypnosis be used for?

Hypnosis in a clinical setting can be used to assist clients  achieve personal change in numerous ways. The following is an extensive but not a comprehensive list of the most common utilizations of  hypnosis:

Smoking Cessation      Weight Loss               Fears & Phobias
Abuse                        Stress                       Trauma Release
Unwanted Habits         Anxiety                      Alcoholism
Depression                 Bruxism                     Nail Biting
Motivation                  Enuresis                     Pain Management
Compulsions               Insomnia                    Age Regression Therapy
Natural Child Birth      Athletic Performance     Self Esteem & Confidence
Complementary Medical Hypnosis for Cancer   Diabetes and other Chronic Illnesses

What does a hypnotherapy session involve?

A hypnotherapy session typically consists of a pre-hypnosis  consultation, a hypnotic induction and lastly the therapeutic  suggestions and reframing techniques.

The first pre-hypnosis consultation is longer than in subsequent  sessions and serves to provide information that the therapist needs to  effectively guide the session, educate the client on the process, dispel any client misconceptions and establish rapport. The consultation is a significant portion of the initial session which, including the  induction and hypnosis, is usually 2 hours in length. Subsequent  sessions generally have shorter pre-hypnosis consultation and inductions and can be expected to be approximately 1 hour in length.

A hypnotic induction is the process that establishes hypnosis.  Hypnotic inductions are almost as numerous and varied as the  hypnotherapists that use them and have evolved dramatically over the  last two decades. Longer more maternal inductions are usually the norm  for first time clients but become shorter and more direct as clients  become familiar with hypnosis.

The hypnosis portion of the session will vary depending purpose,  desired outcome and technique used by the therapist. Some suggestions  are direct communications while others may be indirect or take the form  of metaphors. In many cases reframing techniques are used in  conjunction with suggestions. Regardless of type of suggestion or  technique, the aim of this portion of the session is always to empower  the client by releasing internal resources.

How many sessions are required?

For most of the more common concerns such as smoking, two sessions  are typical but other more profound changes usually require more.


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