FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Hypnosis is a focused state of concentration. It is a natural trance state characterized by heightened suggestibility, deep relaxation, and focus of imagination. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling of "losing yourself" in a book or movie. You are fully conscious, but you allow yourself to tune out most of the stimuli around you. You focus intently on the subject at hand, to the near exclusion of any other thought.
Hypnosis Defined: Hypnosis is a focused state of concentration which enables a person to bypass the “critical factor” (the part of the conscious mind that judges, falsely analyzes, rejects or blocks new beliefs or behaviors) in order to create a state in which suggestions for new, beneficial behavior and positive change can easily be accepted, integrated and acted upon.
The client is easily guided to a state of complete relaxation. The heart rate and blood pressure may lower and brain wave activity slow. Even so, hypnosis is a hyper state of awareness – senses are heightened, not decreased. In this dissociated state the conscious mind releases as the subconscious mind moves forward. The trance state of hypnosis facilitates an expansion of perception and awareness. This, in turn, enables concerns to be reframed, breaking through existing blocks and obstacles.
You may not know it but you go into a natural state of hypnosis several times a day. Have you ever been completely "absorbed" in a book or TV program to the exclusion of everything else? Your concentration was completely focused so that everything else faded from consciousness. Have you ever arrived at your destination without consciously being aware of the actual process of driving? Your subconscious stores repetitious, learned behavior, as well as muscle memory, so you can drive safely while your conscious mind is otherwise engaged. Your subconscious says “Go ahead and daydream and I’ll do the driving for you.”
Hypnosis is very real and its effectiveness has been substantiated by numerous studies. What’s more, in order to create lasting change, it is essential to get the subconscious and conscious minds “on the same page” wanting and acting for the same goals.
The American Pschological Association says, Although hypnosis has been controversial, most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety and mood disorders. Hypnosis can also help people change their habits, such as quitting smoking.
Dr. David Spiegel, a hypnosis expert and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine has noted in a Time magazine article, Hypnosis can also be “very helpful” in treating stress, anxiety and PTSD, Spiegel says.
Research has found hypnosis can even alter a person’s immune function
in ways that offset stress and reduce susceptibility to viral infections.
In FORBES Apr 22, 2019 Discounted the misconception that hypnosis is some kind of woo-woo mind control and quoted well-known hypnotherapist Grace Smith, founder of both Grace Space, “Your Virtual Hypnotherapist,” and the Grace Method Hypnotherapy School: Hypnosis is extreme physical relaxation coupled with an elevated state of mental awareness. While hypnosis may appear to look like sleep, it’s actually meditation with a goal … From this state of deep calm, you are able to go deeper into the recesses of your mind where 90% of what's needed to give up or build a new habit lives: your subconscious.
Irving Kirsch, a lecturer and director of the Program in Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School was quoted in Time saying, There are many myths about hypnosis, mostly coming from media presentations, like fictional films and novels. But setting aside pop culture clichés, Kirsch says, hypnosis is a well-studied and legitimate form of adjunct treatment for conditions ranging from obesity and pain after surgery to anxiety and stress.
Also quoted in Time, Len Milling, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Hartford said, there is substantial research evidence” that hypnosis can effectively reduce physical pain.
Hypnosis is an effective option to help you cope with and treat many different conditions. Its effectiveness has been proven time and again.
A certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist will guide you to a deep state of relaxation (a trance state). Within this state your subconscious is free to accept positive suggestions designed to help you become more open to change and improvements in your life.
These terms often get conflated and seem to refer to the same thing. Indeed, they are inextricably connected, so let me clarify.
Here is the easiest way to understand it:
Hypnosis is a tool. It is the process used to induce a hypnotic state, in which beneficial change can easily be accepted and brought into being. (see “What should I expect as I go into hypnosis?”)
Hypnotherapy is the use of the tool. Anyone can learn how to induce a hypnotic state. But what do I do to help you when I get you there? THAT is the question. Hypnotherapy is the process; the use of the tool. Whether or not the state is helpful depends on my ability to understand and produce what needs to happen to help you reach agreed upon goals.
Some are – Some are not.
Many doctors receive additional training in hypnosis and provide hypnotherapy along with their counseling and/or treatments. But the word “hypnotherapist” also applies to hypnosis practitioners who have received additional training as Life Coaches.
Many people assume that a Hypnotherapist must be a Psychologist or Medical Doctor. That is not the case.
Let me explain:
A doctor may practice hypnotherapy. Likewise, a person who is not a doctor may practice hypnotherapy. But a non-medical hypnotherapist must never attempt to treat medical or psychological diagnoses.
Hypnotherapists must remain strictly within their scope of practice. We deal ONLY with problems and concerns common to every human being. We must never intervene in place of licensed medical doctors. Only Medical Doctors are recognized by the State to diagnose and treat medical disorders.
So then, what is the difference between a Hypnotist and a Hypnotherapist?
A hypnotist will deal with basic behavioral change.
A hypnotherapist has the training to include life coaching for common problems; in other words, problems we all have but do not fall within a medical diagnosis. In my case, I have advanced training as a Certified HypnoCoach.® But know this, I am not as a medical professional. My clients are just that, clients. They are not patients.
I am not a doctor. I do not treat, diagnose or cure: I am a highly trained hypnotist with advanced training as a Life Coach. I combine life coaching with hypnotic and neuro-linguistic skills to facilitate your goals.
I always advise my clients to seek the help they may need from a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist. I encourage them to use all the tools in their toolkit.
Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy is never a substitute for the help of a qualified medical professional. That noted, hypnosis is complimentary to the medical or psychological help of a doctor, as it serves to remove blocks and obstacles that stand in the way of their patient’s healing.
The American Psychological Association (APA) clearly states that Hypnosis is not a type of psychotherapy. It also is not a treatment in and of itself; rather, as stated above, it is a procedure that can be used to facilitate other types of therapies and treatments.
Kimberly Friedmuttter, a member at large of the prestigious UCLA Health System Board, the American Board of Hypnotherapy, the Association for Integrative Psychology, the American Board of Neurolinguistics Programing, and author says, Reportedly, hypnosis has a 93% success rate with less sessions than both behavioral and psychotherapy, according to research studies.
Note also the findings of Alfred A. Barrios (B.S. Caltech,'59; Ph.D. in Psychology UCLA, '69) His Ph.D. dissertation on understanding hypnosis was nominated for the National Creative Talent Award. He was a pioneer in the area of mind-body medicine, writing his first paper, "Hypnosis as a possible means of curing cancer" in 1960 for which he received the Cancer Federation award in 1996.
He is a clinical psychologist (B.S. Caltech, Ph.D. UCLA) and director of the Self-Programmed Control Institute in Los Angeles.
Dr. Barrios was quoted in American Health Magazine for his scientific studies with regard to a survey of psychotherapy literature and revealed the following recovery rates, which clarify the remarkable effectiveness of hypnotherapy:
After many years of practice, I have found that clients actually do experience life-changing transformation within 6 sessions.
Those that continue on, turbo-charge their lives, accelerating the trajectory toward their goals.
I also discovered that in my own practice, the success rate is more in the range of 98%.
Hypnosis can be used to enhance confidence, feelings of security, safety, self-worth and self-esteem. It can be used to heal emotional scars and deal with problems of anxiety, stress, PTSD and trauma., help manage substance abuse, enhance athletic performance, increase focus, concentration and memory. It can be used for what is called mental pacing (mental rehearsal) for public speaking and other situations that may cause performance anxiety.
Hypnosis is also a commonly used for medical and dental procedures, including major surgery (both pre and post-surgery) and pain management. It can accelerate healing. Advantages of medical hypnosis include (but are not limited to) less bleeding, faster recovery time, and the need for fewer post-operative medications. It is also an effective tool to prepare for hypno-birthing.
Hypnosis is beneficial for all of these concerns and much, much more.
Although hypnosis is effective and beneficial for all of the concerns listed above (What is hypnosis commonly used for?) it is best to deal with one issue at a time.
You might think of the subconscious mind like a 7-year old child. The young child wants simple, clear language it can understand and act on. Similarly, the subconscious does not understand nuances of speech, sarcasm or tongue-in-cheek comments and will take everything you say literally. Just as a young child will eagerly learn one thing at a time, the subconscious will eagerly absorb and integrate one change at a time. You wouldn’t try to teach the entire second grade in one lesson. Neither should you try to make multiple changes at once in the subconscious.
So, for example, you would never try to stop smoking and lose weight in one session. Those goals are as unrelated as apples and oranges. They need to be honored appropriately in separate sessions.
But sometimes we have goals that are interrelated and can be easily combined into one session (saving the client valuable time and money). For instance, it is entirely appropriate and desirable to combine work to enhance self-belief, confidence, feelings of security and self-assurance with sessions focused on an upcoming presentation, competition, or performance related issue. Another example would be an appropriate combination of assertiveness training and ability to speak truth to power while preparing in hypnosis to ask for a raise, shine in a job interview or make a proposal in a board room.
The best preparation is to let your hypnotist know the many goals you would like to accomplish and discuss how any of them might be successfully combined. Be patient and don’t attempt to put too much into one session. With hypnosis, less is more.
First, after many years of client experience, it is clear to me that EVERYONE needs at least 3 sessions. There are always different aspects of a problem and each aspect needs to be given appropriate attention. Clients experience amazing results in only one session, however, those results are confined to what the goals were for that particular session. There are many ways the presenting problem rolls over into everyday life with negative impact and these need to be dealt with. This is something to discuss in the free consultation before booking a session. Clients always understand this.
Second, on average, my clients have literally changed their lives when they follow through with a minimum of 6 sessions. Many make a commitment to themselves and dive into a 10-session package to turbo-charge the success and accomplishment they desire. The number of sessions is different for each person needs and also depends on their follow-through and commitment to their own process of change. I don’t wave a magic wand and “fix” you – I give you the tools and power to change your own life. The goal is to LOVE YOUR LIFE AGAIN and you are taking action – YOU are taking your power back.
Whether it takes 3, 6, 10 or 20 sessions, the result is invaluable. Together, we will create a structured plan unique to your needs. Well-executed, well-structured hypnosis sessions will facilitate permanent, beneficial change. Sessions are like building blocks, each session building upon the success of the other, until massive change occurs. You will find yourself in a new space of limitless possibility and personal power.
Your hypnotist will explain the process of hypnosis and facilitate developing a customized plan to achieve your own unique goals. Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in movies or on television, you don't lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis. Also, you generally remain aware of and remember what happens during the session.
During hypnosis you will reach a natural, normal, relaxed and focused state of attention, characterized by feelings of well-being, increased muscle relaxation, and the ability to accept new ideas and beliefs about yourself, so long as they are not in conflict with your personal values.
The hypnotist may help you visualize vivid, meaningful mental images of yourself accomplishing your goals while talking in a gentle, soothing tone, encouraging images that create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being.
Hypnosis is a hyper-state of awareness and an interactive process. You will be completely aware of everything occurring in the surrounding environment as well as that which is happening in your inner mind. Many authors in the field feel that hypnosis is a state of consciousness somewhere between being awake and asleep. This is also how my clients often characterize their experience; they say it feels like being awake and yet almost asleep.
The hypnotist will simply talk to you, using relaxation techniques to gently guide you from Beta Brain Waves (the fully alert conscious state) to Alpha Brain Waves (a natural, dreamy and meditative state). You frequently experience Alpha brain wave states. For instance, the brain naturally flows from Beta to Alpha just before falling asleep, producing a very dreamy, pleasant experience. Also, if you enjoy meditation, you have experienced the Alpha state many times while meditating.
While you are in the alpha state, your mind is very open to visualization and creates a rich sensory experience. At this point you are able to directly access your subconscious mind to make suggestions for permanent, beneficial change. The more real the experience becomes in the subconscious mind during this state, the more effect it will have on your waking behavior.
A professional hypnotherapist will use techniques of interactive guided imagery to help you achieve your goals by use of specific, agreed upon suggestions to the subconscious. You will be able to access and heal painful memories, conquer irrational fears and obstacles to a happy life, and achieve your highest goals and aspirations by retraining your subconscious to work for you to reach your full potential.
When the session is over, your hypnotist will help you end the trance state and emerge to full conscious awareness.
Yes, you ARE a good candidate for hypnosis. I don’t have to know you to know that answer is true. Except for very specific challenges described below, anyone of average intelligence can be hypnotized. You probably are unaware, but you naturally go into a hypnotic state several times a day. The rule of thumb to recognize when you have been in a trance state of hypnosis is this: Whenever someone says your name or touches you on the shoulder and you jump out of your skin (any time you are startled) you were in an alpha state of hypnosis; total focused attention and concentration. If you naturally drift into a state of trance, you can easily be guided there whenever you choose. You can even learn to bring yourself into a state of self-hypnosis for your highest good.
When you read a book, study for a test, watch a movie or play a video game; when working on an important project or fully engaged in a serious conversation; while dancing, gardening, engaged in athletics, and a myriad of other activities, you naturally slip into a state of focused attention, which actually is peak performance. You’ve heard these times described as being “in the zone.” This is hypnosis – so, yes, you are a good candidate. You go there all the time!
All that is required for a successful session is that you are motivated and believe it can help. That’s it. Being motivated and “all in” with the process, the next criteria is your full cooperation with the process. You cannot be forced or manipulated into hypnosis.
Are there people who fail to go into hypnosis? Yes. But only because of the following reasons: perhaps they really don’t believe in it; they may be resisting; or they may be trying too hard or not trying at all. A skilled hypnotist will help you overcome these potential obstacles.
Are there people who cannot be hypnotized? Generally, no. But there are people who we should not even try to hypnotize. For instance, diagnosed schizophrenics and psychotics may have hallucinations or delusions so extreme that the communication necessary for a hypnotic induction isn’t possible. Those with autism spectrum disorder are notoriously difficult to hypnotize because they do not respond to social cues in the same way as neurotypical people. Remember, hypnosis is a focused state of concentration and people on psychotrophic drugs or with voices in their heads are unable to pay attention. A state of focus is most likely impossible in these cases.
Don’t take my word for it. Multiple studies have been conducted to show hypnosis not only is safe, but a highly effective means to reframe and resolve phobias and fears, anxiety and stress, sleep disorders, PTSD, grief and loss, and deep seated trauma.
The Institute of Applied Psychology says, Hypnosis is a safe and effective method, arguably the most effective method of helping people get unstuck. There are no drugs. There are no risks of overdoses or side effects as marked on the label.
The Mayo Clinic website states, Hypnosis conducted by a trained therapist or health care professional is considered a safe, complementary and alternative medical treatment.
The Cleveland Clinic website states, Hypnotherapy is a safe procedure when done by a trained therapist. Hypnotherapy is not mind control or brainwashing. A therapist cannot make a person do something embarrassing or something the person does not want to do.
Quoted in Time magazine, Dr. Andrew Weil, physician and leading expert in integrative medicine, says, hypnosis is safe and effective … Weil says he’s seen most benefit in people with stress-related skin conditions, GI issues, autoimmune diseases and for kicking bad habits like smoking. “I think it has been tainted by its association with stage hypnosis, Weil says.
Dr. David Spiegel, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, is also quoted in Time magazine, saying, Hypnosis is a mental state, not, per se, a treatment,” says. “People think it is a means of taking away control, but it is actually a means of enhancing control—over perceptions such as pain, anxiety, habits, stress."
The Mayo Clinic also states it is important to know that although you're more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don't lose control over your behavior.
People who have never experienced a hypnotic state have no frame of reference other than movies, television, stage shows and whatever research they may have done on the web. This encourages many fantasies about hypnosis, including the fear of revealing intimate and personal secrets. Also be mindful that stage hypnotism is for entertainment value and has nothing in common with true client-centered hypnosis session.
The answer is NO, you will not reveal secretes. As hypnosis is a heightened state of concentration, you are fully alert. What’s more, you are always in complete control during hypnosis. If you are in a session in which a hypnotist is asking you questions, you decide what to divulge. If there is something you choose to keep private, you will not reveal it in a hypnotic state. You can even lie in a state of hypnosis, even though it would be counter productive to achieving your goals.
The answer is NO, you cannot be made to do anything against your morals or beliefs. Your subconscious mind fiercely protects your core values, beliefs, identities and all aspects of your authentic self. Therefore, if a hypnotist violates your morals or beliefs, it will view that as danger to you. Your subconscious will always interpret danger as “life and death” so your flight or flight response would be activated and you would come right out of hypnosis. You would KNOW you had been violated in some way, even if you didn’t quite remember what had been said. Your subconscious is there to protect you and you can count on it to do so.
These are client-based sessions. Each session is customized to create a unique-to-you session, in which all goals and key suggestions are agreed upon in advance.
The Cleveland Clinic website states that hypnotherapy is a safe procedure when done by a trained therapist. Hypnotherapy is not mind control or brainwashing. A therapist cannot make a person do something embarrassing or something the person does not want to do.
In Time magazine, experts at the Mayo Clinic are quoted to say, “Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed, you don’t lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis”… “You generally remain aware of and remember what happens under hypnosis.”
NO! you cannot. You cannot be manipulated to do something against your will, any more than you can get a 5-year old to eat their vegetables.
The Institute of Applied Psychology is emphatic in saying, Hypnotherapy cannot be forced …
… Hypnosis is not so powerful that it forces the client to accept all and any suggestions made by the hypnotherapist. Nor will it make a client do something that they don’t want to do or would go against their values. A Clinical Hypnotherapist is a navigator, not the Captain. We never have control of the wheel. We rely on the power of the client’s mind. Their resourcefulness, experience and abilities. We are mostly concerned with eliciting those dissociated, hidden, or otherwise inaccessible resources.
You simply can’t get stuck in hypnosis. It is possible for an excellent subject to go into what is called the Esdaile or the Sichort state and enjoy the state so much they fail to respond (they are not “lost” – they just don’t want to come back!). In this case, the hypnotist will help you to emerge. It is safe -- If completely alone, the subject would either emerge naturally after a while, or fall asleep at some point. The subject would come out of the state easily on their own. There is no such thing as “getting stuck” in hypnosis, which is nothing more than a compelling Hollywood movie plot.
And here’s another reason why you cannot get stuck. Nature needs us to be in different states of consciousness over a 24-hour cycle. We move from one state to another – from day dreaming states, to highly focused on work or a project, to very high-energy states (like cheering on our favorite sports team or dancing with wild abandon). Every one of us has a compelling need to go in and out of psychological and physical states frequently – human beings need a variety of states to thrive. It is also dangerous for survival to remain in one state for very long. Your brain will not allow it. Our ancestors evolved to snap their attention back to external reality at any sign of danger or threat, in order to survive predators.
So, people can always awaken from trance. But sometimes they are having such a wonderful experience, they just don’t want to come back!
Falling asleep during a hypnosis session is extremely rare. You may drift from Beta to Alpha and even to Theta brain waves, but it is almost assured you will not fall asleep and go into the Delta brain waves of deep sleep. A skilled hypnotist can recognize your state and intervene to avoid your falling asleep, just bringing your brain waves back up a bit but not out of hypnotic state. It is all a part of actively managing your hypnosis experience for your best results.
Hypnosis is a heightened learning state in which the body is deeply relaxed, and the mind is alert. On occasion, a person may drift into sleep, but this is certainly not a goal. It is the job of the hypnotist to make sure the client maintains a relaxed awareness during the session and remains awake. Although the mind may drift, you should still be able to hear everything that is being said to you during the session.
Clients often report feeling as though they had fallen asleep, but quickly realize they were not actually sleeping but, rather, in the deeper states of hypnotic trance prior to sleep. This is apparent, as the eyes quickly open when the hypnotist quietly counts them up, usually 1 to 5. The client feels refreshed and alert. Had the client been asleep, a lot of effort would be necessary to wake them up.
All hypnosis is Self-Hypnosis. When you are in a session with a professional hypnotist, you are allowing that person to guide you to the trance state. Nothing can be done without your consent. And so, it is not only possible but desirable to learn the skill of self-hypnotist and develop your ability to go deeply into your own self-healing. You can practice and train your own mind to simply drift into deep relaxation at will, without the use of recordings and or the assistance of a hypnotherapist.
Practicing self-hyipnosis gives you exceptional power to self-direct your life. You can improve or change your current State of Being (mindset/feelings) and direct your subconscious toward the actions and behaviors you desire to support your goals. “This is beneficial because it means you can improve your State of Being (physical sensations and mindset) and direct your subconscious to create new patterns of behavior that support your goals.
Hypnosis is a state of narrowed attention, the ability to focus like a laser beam on one particular area of your life in order to facilitate immediate change. Whether done with a highly trained hypnotist (hetero-hypnosis) or entirely by yourself (self-hypnosis), you can adjust your current experiences as you develop the skill of refining suggestions you give to yourself and practice immersing yourself in trance.
So, yes, you can easily practice and become proficient in the practice self-hypnosis.
Yes, Self-Hypnosis is highly effective. Results are dependent on your commitment to put in the time to practice and develop your own practice and skill levels (see “Can I hypnotize myself?).
Hypnotism works by reaching a relaxed state whereby it is possible to sink deeper into our minds and rewrite or reprogram our own powerful subconscious. Through physical and mental relaxation, self-hypnosis can allow people to bypass their conscious minds and introduce positive thoughts and ideas into their unconscious.
As you begin to practice Self-Hypnosis, you will notice you can easily adjust your experience by refining the suggestions you give yourself. You can also conduct different sessions to address different issues. I recommend practicing daily, at least in the early days of developing your skill level. I also suggest staying with one goal/suggestion repetitively, until you see the results you desire. Sometimes it’s fine to work on a couple of different goals (maybe a self-hypnosis session in the morning and another at night). But generally, it’s best to allow your subconscious time to integrate and process the new information you give it and be curious about how it begins to show up in your daily life. The effects of your self-hypnosis will be temporary unless you repetitiously reinforce the change you want. You are giving your subconscious time to accept and fully integrate this change as a new habit of living. It’s OK to take your time and focus on one thing at a time. It will be an extremely rewarding and empowering experience.
YES I WILL TEACH YOU. I love to teach my clients how to do self-hypnosis. I teach self-hypnosis in 3 simple steps and give them resources to expand and improve their skills. I feel it’s important to empower my clients so they can literally fly on their own. If I’ve done my job properly, you will be able to manage most life goals and obstacles on your own. I want to make YOU to become your best hypnotherapist. I don’t want you to rely on coming to me for everything. I want you to be powerful and LOVE YOUR LIFE AGAIN.
So then, when do you need a professional session? You can easily break old habits, create new positive habits, enhance feelings of security, safety, confidence, perception, etc. Here are the times you should come back and benefit from the help of a professional:
You are experiencing Inner Resistance. If you are practicing self-hypnosis daily for a particular change or goal, and you go from 2 to 3 weeks without experiencing a shift of energy and change naturally occurring in your life, The problem is likely inner resistance. You should see results within a few days or a week at most. When you know you’re doing everything right, but you just can’t seem to get there, then come back for a professional session. There is a part of you that says “YES” this is something I really want. That part of you is enthusiastic and motivated. However, there is a part of you saying “NO.” All parts of you are activing on your behalf, for your benefit. But sometimes a part will say no to what you truly need, mistakenly thinking it is helping you. It is then essential to bring these parts together, into agreement for the same purpose, and you will always need an objective and trained person to help break this inner resistance.
A Major Life Altering Experience has occurred. Things happen in life that are out of your control. You may be in a major life transition. Perhaps you lost your job, or all of your money and investments. Perhaps you are going through divorce, an intense breakup with someone you love or having other relationship problems. Maybe you are changing careers and experiencing worry, doubt and fear. Or, God forbid, someone you love has died and been ripped out of your life. This is when you need someone object, someone with clarity, and someone with compassion to hold your hand and walk you through it. Always remember, you don’t have to do it alone and it’s OK to ask for help. Be kind to yourself.
I prefer the energy and connection I experience when I work 1:1 you. Luckily, I get to see my clients over and over again. They are my family and I love them all. They go away because they have received the healing they sought and are fully functional and happy again. But they return for various reasons, because the really like to meet in person and love the connection between us. They know they can do Self-Hypnosis but they choose to come to the office and reconnect. I am always excited to see my clients again. They are my treasure. In these days of pandemic and quarantine, we meet in a Zoom room, and the energy is always high. We connect online and have powerful sessions. We feel like we are in the same room. And when we have relief from the pandemic, many will still choose to meet on line because of convenience. The energy and connection is powerful, whether in person or online.
Hypnosis offers a very powerful intervention for substance abuse. whether drinking problems, or for most addictive targets such as food, nicotine, prescription and street drugs. Hypnosis can support the development of clean and sober living skills, while providing support for relapse prevention strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety, and life issues after release from an inpatient treatment facility. Most people struggling with addiction problems have tried to quit many times and tried many ways to stop on their own. Applied properly, hypnosis can be a powerful tool to assist in your healing process.
I am not a licensed addiction counselor nor am I a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist. Hypnosis is not a substitute for a licensed addiction counselor, for rehab, for AA or other 12-step based programs, nor is it a substitute for a sponsor who understands what you are experiencing. Hypnosis complements the value of these experiences and can accelerate your journey of recovery. The only requirement I have to work with you is that you seek the essential appropriate professional and medical help you need.
Addiction is a complex problem. To be effective, the client should commit to a series of hypnotherapy sessions at the outset. One visit will not be effective. Most people who are open to trying hypnotherapy can tell if it is working within the 1-3 sessions. And quite often, people have noticeable relief after the first session. After that, sessions can either be stretched out to a maintenance level of once every two to four weeks, or even more often if the client desires.
Hypnosis is one of many possible tools in your tool kit. It is not a magic bullet or a cure, nor does it take the place of regular AA/NA meetings, a competent sponsor, professional counseling, and a compelling desire to stop drinking and get well. No one can tell you how many hypnosis sessions it may take for you to stop drinking, as multiple factors are involved and hypnosis is an aid, not a cure.
By the time use realized drinking or another substance had become a problem for you, it had also become part of your coping mechanisms (how you deal with the world). This means that under certain (or even all) circumstances, drinking alcohol or engaging in other addictive substances became a part of the way you cope, or deal with, the world. For example, you might use it to deal with social anxiety, career stress, relationship issues and more. Your life has come to automatically, unconsciously include alcohol or other addictive substances.
You are of great worth and value. Your life is important. KNOW THIS – you may be dealing with a horrible problem, but that does not make you a horrible person. There is a wonderful human being inside that has been traumatized by a horrible addiction. This does not make you a horrible person. Hypnosis will help you to recover your authentic self and take care of yourself appropriately.
Hypnosis will help you create new positive, healthy coping mechanisms. In order to successfully stop drinking, it is critically important to your recovery that you find other, healthy and positive ways to deal with your problems. This is where hypnotherapy becomes an essential, powerful tool, facilitating behavioral change, new positive beliefs, rebuilding confidence and self-esteem and creating an internal environment that allows you to choose, one day at a time, to act differently.
Spirituality: Your spiritual tradition or beliefs can be accessed and enhanced in hypnosis to empower you and let you know you are not alone. A person's spiritual tradition can be the single most powerful souce of strength and encouragement. Spirituality (more specifically, surrendering to a high power) is a key part of the Alcoholics Anonymous traditions. You are not required to believe in God, however, you do have a fundamental need to acknowledge that you are powerless over alcohol or other drugs, and admit that there is something greater, a power outside of yourself, who will guide and assist you on your journey. You already know you are not in control, or you would not be seeking help.
You can be assured that all hypnosis sessions and life coaching will be compassionate, without judgment, and will meet you exactly where you are today.
Just show up and bring your motivation and enthusiasm for the life-changing event that is about to happen for you. You don't need any special preparation to undergo hypnosis.
That said, it's definitely helpful to:
Research Training Credentials: Take time to be sure you choose a therapist or health care professional who is Certified by a credible hypnosis association to perform hypnosis. Some physicians have never been officially trained or certified in hypnosis and offer only simple mindfulness, visualizations and grounding practices. Of course, mindfulness and grounding are essential tools to increase your overall sense of wellbeing. But you deserve someone properly trained in various techniques and in effective ways to delve deeper and heal emotional wounds. You will be paying for this service and you want to know you are getting true, professional services.
Test your level of Trust/Rapport: It also essential to find a hypnotherapist with whom you feel a connection, a rapport that makes you feel safe and cared for. You will be closing your eyes and trusting this person to act on your behalf. It’s important you feel a high degree of trust for and comfort with this person.
Get Recommendations: It’s always best to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. But if you don’t know anyone who has experienced hypnosis, ask the person you are considering for testimonials.
Don’t be afraid to ask important questions:
So, take into consideration not only the fees but client testimonials. Look at Yelp reviews, YouTube testimonials, etc. This will help you gauge whether your money would be well spent and help you develop faith and trust in the person you are about to hire.
Fees vary from region to region according to what’s feasible in the local economy. So I can’t advise you to what is acceptable in your geographical area. In San Francisco, a competent hypnotherapist may charge anywhere from $150 to $500 per session. I keep my fees in the mid-range because I am passionate about my work and I don’t want to price anyone out of the service they need the most. As my demand has been increasing exponentially, soon I will be operating at such capacity it will be necessary to raise my rates. So do your homework. If you find someone charging $50 to $75, they are most likely just starting out. Don’t exclude them out-of-hand – a beginner might already be better than someone who’s been around a while and is incompetent. But be confident in who you choose. Even someone charging up to $100 may have very limited experience. And sometimes a lower rate reflects a lack of confidence in their own abilities. So be careful and do your research.
Can I use my insurance to cover your services? It is highly unlikely you will find a hypnotherapist who processes insurance claims. But you should find out if your own insurance company will cover hypnosis. If they do, ask what they require in a claim. Then, the hypnotist can provide an official invoice (on their letterhead) with the proper “V” code which insurance companies will recognize as for hypnosis services, rather than medical services. If you are not covered by insurance, you may be able to take advantage of tax free sessions by using a medical insurance card or flex spending account for health care services outside the scope of your insurance provider (e.g. eye glasses, chiropractors, acupuncture, hypnosis, etc.)
Yes, it is my privilege to train others to spread this gift of transformation throughout the world. I teach classes in partnership with my amazing partner, Dr. Laszlo Karafiath, entrepreneur, investor, coach and purpose guide, and I also train new hypnotists privately, when it isn’t feasible to train together due to schedule issues or other constraints. Both of us are Certified Instructors for hypnosis training and certification.
If you feel a burning desire to make a difference and bring healing to others … If your primary question in life is “How can I serve?” … If you just want to rise to your potential and bring others along with you …
Contact me for further information, Text or call (415) 923-7611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Lynn Swearingen is certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) as a Consulting Hypnotist (CH) and Certified Instructor (CI), helping to mold the next wave of modern, science-based, transformative hypnotists. She is a certified HypnoCoach® and a Neuro Linguistic Hypnotist, with memberships in the National Federation of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NFNLP) and International Certification Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ICBCH)
I have created a series of videos to teach you about hypnotherapy and its many uses. You can find them here. (link)
You can also find many current articles and research studies concerning hypnosis on the internet as well as a wealth of books. Start with our Hypnosis Research Library, where we have compiled a few key articles for you.
Yes. Prestigious hospitals in the U.S. now use and teach hypnosis, such as Stanford University School of Medicine in San Francisco, the Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Hypnosis was first officially recognized as a viable therapeutic tool by the British Government through the Hypnotism Act in 1952. Then, in 1958 both the British and the American Medical Associations (AMA) sanctioned the official use of hypnosis by physicians. In 1958, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) also approved hypnotherapy for use by professionally responsible individuals.
Since the AMA sanctioned the use of hypnosis, it has become commonly accepted to use hypnosis for medical and dental procedures, including major surgery. More people are even choosing hypnosis over anesthesia for surgery. Some choose hypnosis simply because they fear not waking up from anesthesia. The fear-factor aside, however, there are definite medical advantages offered by hypnosis including less bleeding, faster recovery time, and the need for fewer postoperative medications.
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