What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions. Clinical hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, perception, or consciousness that is used by licensed and trained individuals for treating a psychological or physical problem. It is important to choose a therapist or health care professional who is certified and has extensive training to perform hypnosis.
How Can Hypnosis Help You?
Hypnotherapy is an extremely effective tool. Recent research supports the view that hypnotic communication and suggestions can effectively change aspects of your physiological and neurological functions. In hypnosis, I bypass the thinking mind and connect to the subconscious mind while the body is completely relaxed. I am able to connect the memories to the emotions and detach the two so that the clients can see clearly where some of their behaviors are coming from. Clients can then begin to change their reactions and responses to control the emotional triggers attached to some memories.
Hypnosis has been used to improve mental health and facilitate personal development. This type of healing has been used to address many conditions, including but not limited to:
- Chronic Pain
- Concentration and Focus
- Inner Balance
- Low Self-Esteem
- Negative Thoughts
- Pain Management
- Panic Attacks
- Personal Development
- PTSD and Trauma
- Public Speaking
- Sports Performance
- Substance Use
- Smoking Cessation
- Weight Loss
What You Can Expect from Clinical Hypnosis
You don’t need any special preparation to undergo hypnosis. But it’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing to help you relax and be as comfortable as possible. Also, make sure that you’re well-rested so that you’re not inclined to fall asleep during the session.
At the start of the session, I will explain the process of hypnosis and review your treatment goals. Then I will typically talk in a gentle, soothing tone and describe images that create a sense of relaxation, security, and well-being. While you are in a receptive state, I will suggest ways for you to achieve your goals, such as reducing pain or eliminating your cravings to smoke. I may also help you visualize vivid, meaningful mental images of yourself accomplishing your goals. When the session is over, either you are able to bring yourself out of hypnosis or I will help you end your state of relaxation.
What are some misconceptions about hypnosis?
Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in movies or on television, you will not become unconscious and don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis. You remain aware of and remember what happens during hypnosis. Your will is not weakened in any way. You are in control and cannot be made to do anything against your will. You will not begin to reveal information you wish to keep secret. Hypnosis is not sleep.
Hypnosis, particularly the deeper forms, can appear to be like sleep because the person’s body is typically very still and quiet. There is usually a great deal of mental activity, and measurements of brain activity during hypnosis show a significant level of neurological activity.
Hypnotherapy by telephone or secure video is a common practice for those who are unable to come to my office in Troy, Montana or who live great distances away. The results are nearly identical to those seen in the office setting. Over half of my clinical practice is with individuals who live outside of Montana or even the United States.
My own experience as a client of hypnosis showed me an almost immediate resolution of an issue that I had been working on in talk/behavioral therapy for almost two years. This led me to train in Clinical Hypnosis through ASCH (American Society for Clinical Hypnosis) and I am certified by the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (NBCCH).