"You're getting very sleepy" and in most cases losing total control of yourself.
At least that is the way it's portrayed in the world of Hollywood and of course, there is the stage hypnotist who appears to make people do all sorts of goofy things. These are the images we have of hypnosis. So how can it also be one of the most powerful tools for transformation available? In this article, I will dispel some myths and introduce you the modern techniques and uses of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
You will lose control. No. Hypnosis is about taking back control. The hypnotist is nothing more than a guide on an internal journey leading to greater understanding and control of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors.
"I have to be relaxed to experience hypnosis". False. Relaxation is not a requirement but it is a great benefit. Hypnosis can be achieved easily with any "intense" emotion or feeling like sadness, anger, fear or pain.
"I can't be hypnotized". The general rule is anyone who has an IQ over 70 and wants to be hypnotized can be hypnotized. In fact, you already have! When you're "lost in thought" or "daydreaming" you are in a light state of hypnosis. When you react to a sad or suspenseful moment in a movie, you are hypnotized.
The applied use of Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy.
The British Medical Association was the first to endorse the use of hypnosis in 1955 followed by The American Medical Association in 1958 and then by The American Psychological Association in 1960. Today we use "instant" inductions allowing the client to enter a state of hypnosis very quickly. The instant induction allows for more time in a trance which equates to more "work" getting done. The tools and approaches used will vary by the therapist, however, most hypnosis programs geared toward emotional issues will require client interaction. Speaking and movement do not interfere with hypnosis and sessions can include forgiveness work and age regression to find the root cause of the issue. This is where hypnosis really shines because when in the trance state memories, sensations and feelings can be reached instantly allowing the client to release any erroneous beliefs, feelings, and thoughts around the event/s immediately and permanently. On the other hand, some changes only require that the client sit and listen and while some changes can be realized in as little as two sessions, like smoking cessation, other conditions like Chronic Pain Management can require up to 20 sessions over a year for the client to have the maximum benefits and master self-hypnosis.
How effective is hypnosis?
90.6% Success Rate for Smoking Cessation Using Hypnosis - University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.
Hypnosis More Than Doubled Average Weight Loss - Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments--Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.
- Hypnosis Has a Reliable and Significant Impact on Acute and Chronic Pain - Hypnosis and clinical pain. Patterson DR, Jensen MP, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA USA 98104 Psychol Bull. 2003 Jul;129(4):495-521.
Some hypnosis success stories from my office in 2017.
- 4 marriages and 6 jobs saved for my angry clients.
- 370 pounds of weight loss.
- 18 people still nicotine free after 6 or more months.
- 6 Chronic Pain suffers no longer on high dosage Opiates.
- 2 teens no longer "cutting" themselves.