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What exactly is Hypnosis
Today, we understand hypnosis in terms of brain function. Our understanding of the ways that the brain works, help us to explain emotional problems and why hypnosis helps in the process of treating them. In fact,
Hypnosis is a very natural state that we all enter at various times. In hypnosis one’s attention is focused in one area, closing out other stimulation.
Hypnosis is a holistic approach that combines medical knowledge and the most effective psychological treatments for healing and management.
Does Hypnosis work?
Everyone can achieve a deeply relaxed state. There are a variety of tests that have been used through the years to measure the depth of one’s hypnotic state. However, none of these have ever shown any relationship to success in therapy. The differences between mental states are difficult to perceive, but everyone knows the difference between day dreaming, taking a test and paying attention while driving.
One would not want to mix these for it would obviously destroy one’s performance of the other. However, all three of those states can be hypnosis. In day dreaming, test taking or driving we can lose track of time, become unaware of bodily comfort/discomfort or believe that certain things are happening for which there is no evidence (daydreaming- I’m going to win the lottery, testing- I’m failing and my whole life will be ruined, driving- those other drivers are all against me).
You see, brain states are subtle but they have a wide array of effects. Just relaxing deeply for an extended period of time both makes your body healthier (reducing stress, improving immune activity, lowering blood pressure, etc…) and allows your brain to be directed to find memories that it has kept hidden from you for years. These hidden memories often also contain hidden destructive thoughts that are preventing you from succeeding as you want. Let’s get rid of those.
Will I be unconscious?
No, you will be in a peaceful thoughtful state. You will hear everything that is said and you will remember everything that happened unless you choose otherwise.
While some people are able to actually let their conscious mind go to sleep, most people put their conscious mind in an observer role. This is not a choice so much as just the way it happens.
Each person’s experience is a little different. The important part is that each person should benefit from the experience.
Can I be harmed by hypnosis?
Hypnosis, in and of itself cannot harm you. Good therapy cannot harm you, though it may make you uncomfortable at times. Let’s take this very real example. Many people have attended a large gathering where hypnosis was used to attempt to help them quit smoking.
The statistics on those gatherings are: 5 out of every ten will quit smoking at the session, 3 of those 5 will start smoking again within one week, one more will start smoking again in 6 weeks. So, out of every ten persons who attended the session only one has been successful after 6 months have passed.
Here is the question, were the other nine people harmed? On the one hand, they were no worse off than before they went to the session except for the money that was spent. But, they lost their hope of improving their health, at least for that time, so that is a harm. Their belief in hypnosis was harmed making them less willing to believe that an excellent remedy would not work for them.
So, some harm was done, but it was not the hypnosis that harmed them, it was the hypnotist. Selling false hope is harmful. Giving information that is inaccurate is harmful. Relaxing deeply can never hurt you. And, when you go to the doctor, be sure that he is a reputable practitioner.
How do you know if you can help me or not?
Partly it is a question of experience. While no two people nor their problems are exactly alike, the way that problems develop and the treatment that heals them are not that different from one case to the next.
However, after 40 years of working to help people we have learned a great deal about what to expect and why.
When we collect your life history we will know more about who you are and what your problem is really like. We will find out the degree to which your problem has been destructive to your life.
People who have had no success in life will fall into collapse from even a small problem. People who have had many successes in life, will be less incapacitated by their wounds and will have a more complete recovery.
What if I don’t want to remember my past?
Events that we have put out of our awareness were put there for a reason. We did not want to feel the pain that occurred then. The problem is, that the experience taught you some very destructive ideas. These are harming you again and again. Further you may still be carrying that pain, that is, deep inside you may still be hurting.
So, you see, maybe the pain is not so much hidden as it is masked or poorly explained. We want to resolve that pain and discard the negative things you learned about yourself back then. This will allow you to feel much better about yourself; and, your symptoms will go away.
Will therapy make me a different person?
Yes and no. When you have a birthday do you feel like a different person? Probably not and yet we change with time, don’t we?
When the pain and negativity in your deep memory bank is resolved and your symptoms disappear that will be different; but, you will still be you, just a happier, healthier version.
You may do better at work, or be a better spouse or parent but you will enjoy those changes.
Why don’t all therapists use Hypnosis?
At each period of rise in the popularity of Hypnosis, it has been suggested as a kind of panacea, a magical treatment for all kinds of ailments. Again, because its process or results could not be explained scientifically, people of Science were skeptical of its use.
Believers were very positive but skeptics pointed to examples of inconsistent success or unscrupulous or poorly trained practitioners who did as much harm as good. Further, many respected therapists used hypnosis in a magical way. They did not know how it worked, just that it often did, so they relaxed people and told them what to think and feel. While this works sometimes, it does not respect the wide variety of reasons for emotional problems nor the many differences in personality.
Hypnotherapy can be helpful to change habits or to support a positive self-concept, but the therapist must have a method of determining those things that are habits and those that have a deeper and more powerful meaning. In fact, we will help you understand how to use Hypnotherapy on yourself, self hypnosis, to continue your progress.