Hypnosis may be used just to be put into the state of relaxation only, or to feel pleasant, or as a therapy to help change
behavior, etc. Hypnosis as used by professionals is not to be confused with stage hypnosis, which is entirely different
from this discussion and is employed as entertainment rather than therapeutic.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis as a therapy to help individuals improve their lives whether it be just general relaxation or
stress reduction, or for other medical or emotional concerns, such as helping individuals reduce pain, cope with trauma,
endure medical procedures when medication is contraindicated, reduce symptoms of functional disorders or just general
well-being. Hypnotherapy is NOT however, a substitute for professional medical care, but rather a complement to it.
A person who provides hypnotherapy is a hypnotherapist, and usually has additional professional training, certifications
and qualifications in mind sciences and therapy as well as counseling skills in addition to hypnotherapy.
What to Expect
If you’re interested in working with a clinical hypnotherapist, here’s what to expect. Typically, your first session will begin
with a great deal of talking. The therapist asks you questions to get some insight into what motivates you and what your
beliefs and expectations might be. When that’s done, the therapist teaches you some type of "induction technique"--the
use of a focal point, either internal or external, to concentrate your attention (Hollywood’s version is the swinging
pendant). Some 20 percent of the population goes into a trance very easily, while an equal percentage show great
resistance--usually around the issue of being controlled--and the therapist may need to work with such people to help
them "get out of their own way."
Once you’re in a state of trance (but still fully aware of where you are and what you’re doing), the therapist offers
suggestions specifically geared to the goal of the therapy. For example, he may suggest that a person with irritable
bowel syndrome picture the wave-like motions of her digestive system slowing down and becoming smoother, or have a
patient with disfiguring warts imagine traveling inside his body to the roots of the offending growths and depriving them
of nourishment. Your unconscious mind can then transmit these thoughts and images throughout your mind and body,
setting the healing process in motion.
Are you concerned that you might not be able to be hypnotized?
Are you afraid that you might never “come to?” Do you worry that while hypnotized you might be forced to do something
embarrassing? You’re not alone. I hear these kinds of concerns from people all the time. Let me reassure you by
answering some of the most common questions I hear.
What if I can’t be hypnotized?
Eight-five percent of people or more can be hypnotized to one degree if you can relax and follow some simple
instructions. In my experience, I have found that most people who want to be hypnotized can be hypnotized.
Can I get trapped in a hypnotic trance?
No! Everyone comes out of a trance. Hypnosis is a completely natural state, one that many of us experience in everyday
life. For example, have you ever been driving in your car and all of a sudden realized that you missed your exit by
several miles? Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming at work? Have you ever gotten so engrossed in a book that
you didn’t realize how much time you’d spent reading? These are all forms of hypnotic trances.
Is hypnosis like being asleep?
Hypnosis promotes deep relaxation and an altered state of perception, but it does not put you to sleep. If you sleep
through a hypnotic exercise it is not helping you with anything more than increased sleep.
Can hypnosis help me?
Hypnotherapy has been used effectively to treat a remarkable range of conditions, including stress relief, accelerated
learning, weight reduction, weight gain, dermatological and gastrointestinal problems, success motivation, pain
management, smoking cessation, sports performance, sales mastery, phobia release, ease chronic pain, lessen the
side effects of chemotherapy, alleviate symptoms of autoimmune disease, and counteract anxiety and sleep disorders.
Hypnotherapy can also be used to improve performance skills, better golf scores and much more. In general, I believe
that no condition is out of bounds for trying hypnotherapy on.
A typical course of hypnotherapy may require from one to five visits (lasting 60 minutes to 90 minutes each), depending
on your hypnotizability, the medical condition involved, and your response to treatment.
Glenda Gibbs ∙ Office: 509.585.9683