Everything You Need to Know About Hypnotherapy
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis is a tool some therapists use to help individuals reach a state of total relaxation. During a session, practitioners believe that the conscious and unconscious mind is able to focus and concentrate on verbal repetition and mental imagery. The mind, as a result, becomes open to suggestion and open to change with regard to behaviors, emotions, and habits.
What is the success rate of hypnotherapy?
"Hypnosis has a 93% success rate with fewer sessions than both behavioral and psychotherapy, according to research studies. This led researchers to believe that for changing habits, thought patterns, and actual behavior hypnosis was not only the most effective method but that it needed less time/sessions than other forms of therapy. (Alfred A. Barrios/1970).”
What does hypnosis feel like?
The answer is that hypnosis probably feels different for everybody. Many hypnotists (researchers & clinicians) use elements of relaxation procedures, so people commonly associate a feeling of relaxation with hypnosis. Different people have all sorts of bodily responses to relaxation instructions - some feel as though their body is very heavy, whereas some can feel very light, almost as if they were floating. Mentally, again people have all sorts of responses. People typically report feeling very focussed or absorbed, often effortlessly so. Since instructions for imagery are often used people can have very vivid imaginative experiences - many report feeling 'as if they were there'.
Is hypnosis like sleep?
The short answer is no. Although the word hypnosis is derived from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, studies have shown that hypnosis and sleep differ. Studies of brain activity have shown that although there are characteristic patterns of brain activity associated with sleep the same has not been demonstrated of hypnosis. To observers hypnosis might appear to be like sleep because suggestions of relaxation are commonly given as part of a hypnotic routine, but hypnotised people are in a state more similar to wakefulness (and hypnosis has even been induced in people riding exercise bicycles - so called 'active alert' hypnosis).
Under hypnosis, do people answer truthfully to the questions you ask?
People answer as truthfully as they do when they are not under hypnosis. Hypnosis cannot compel people to do things they don't want to do, and it can't force them to be truthful either. Suggestions given during hypnosis can deliberately or inadvertently affect memories, and for this reason hypnotically-assisted memory recall is not admissible in court in most countries.
What to expect from hypnotherapy
During hypnotherapy, your therapist will likely begin your session by explaining how hypnosis works. They’ll then go over your personal goals. From there, your therapist may begin speaking in a soothing, gentle voice to help you relax and to establish a feeling of safety. Once you’ve reached a more receptive state of mind, your therapist may suggest ways to help you change your eating or exercise habits or other ways to reach your weight goals. Certain words or repetition of certain phrases may help with this stage. Your therapist may also help you visualise yourself reaching goals through sharing vivid mental imagery. To close the session, your therapist will help bring you out of hypnosis and back to your starting state. The length of the hypnosis session and the number of total sessions you may need will depend on your individual goals. Some people may see results in as few as one to three sessions.
What if the hypnosis doesn't work?
If you want to reach your goal and are willing to do what it takes, you will reach that goal. If you expect Hypnosis to be a magic wand and make your problems go away without any effort or commitment, then it is not likely you will achieve that goal. The Hypnotist will take care of the sub-conscious mind; you must take care of the conscious mind. Ultimately you are in control and must make the effort to achieve the desired results. Your Hypnotist will help guide you toward achieving your goal. Hypnosis works, it's a fact. It has been used on patients while they undergo major heart surgery among other serious operations. It has been used to help countless numbers of people quit smoking and finally reach their weight goals, and stay there.
Can I get 'stuck' in hypnosis?
There is no evidence that anybody can become stuck in hypnosis. The worst that might happen could be that you fall asleep - and wake up unhypnotized!
How long does it take for the results to be evident? Are the results immediate?
Not always! Everyone is different, you may notice changes quickly, you may need to listen to the recording several times. You may not notice the changes at first. Then, presented with a certain situation, you’ll act differently and realize that all the change work has come together!
How often and when should I listen to the recordings?
The recording length is about 30 minutes, this is the optimum time for frequent use; any longer and finding the time to listen tends to become more difficult! The more you listen, the more the hypnotic suggestions are embedded in the unconscious mind. Repetition is good for the unconscious mind and new ways of thinking turn into new habits. I suggest listening every day – or every other day if you can’t find the time – for about a month to see and feel differently.
Can I change several aspects about myself at once using hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy works best when unrelated issues are dealt with one at a time.
Who shouldn’t use hypnosis?
Those suffering from medical conditions such as epilepsy or those with psychiatric conditions (for example, psychosis, personality disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar, hysteria) should not engage in hypnotherapy. People with life-threatening diseases should consult their GP/doctor before using hypnotherapy. For anyone who suffering from highly traumatic or repressed memories, should also consult their GP/Doctor. Anyone who is unsure about whether hypnotherapy would suit their issue/medication can be put at ease by consulting their GP/doctor.
What happens if I fall asleep or don’t remember much of what was said on the recording?
Your unconscious mind is listening all the time and remembers all that is said, even if you don’t and even if you fall asleep. So don’t worry, rest assured your hypnotherapy is having a positive effect.
I’ve tried hypnosis before and I just couldn’t relax
Relaxation is actually not necessary, the suggestions will enter your unconscious mind whether your muscles in your body relax or not! The hypnosis is, however more beneficial if you can learn to relax.