Hypnosis is a completely natural state that involves significant relaxation of the body and mind coupled with focused attention (selective thinking). During hypnosis we are able to bypass the more prominent evaluating and critical part of our mind to allow greater access to the subconscious mind. That's important because it is there in the subconscious mind that our memories, emotions and beliefs are stored. These factors shape our feelings about ourselves and others, ultimately influencing our behavior and the way we experience the world. Accessing the subconscious mind through the use of hypnosis allows us to discover and amend limiting thoughts and ideas to change unwanted feelings or behaviors, heal emotional trauma, achieve specific goals, manage physical pain, and more, all in support of the overall health of our bodies and minds.
Hypnotherapy involves the use of specialized protocols and induction techniques to guide individuals into hypnosis in order to facilitate communication between their conscious mind and their subconscious mind. This relaxed state also allows for an increased awareness and understanding of the factors that may be contributing to the patterns of thought or behavior they wish to change. And very importantly, since hypnosis relaxes the "critical" aspect of the mind, the person in hypnosis welcomes the agreed-upon suggestions designed to support those changes.
The goal of hypnotherapy is to create positive, desired change, but the path to that change is unique to each individual. Ours is a highly personalized, co-therapeutic process focused on the partnership we develop with our clients and their unique needs. Every step we take is done in collaboration with our "Co-therapists". Once in hypnosis, we continue to guide our clients to explore and communicate with their subconscious mind using co-written suggestions and imagery focused on their specific goals. We teach our clients how to use their minds in new ways---to think differently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone be hypnotized?
Anyone who wants to go into hypnosis can go into hypnosis. That being said, people who are open to new ideas and interested in looking at things from a variety of different perspectives are likely to be more responsive and more successful in using hypnosis to create positive change.
Can someone in hypnosis be controlled or made to tell the truth?
Despite what is often portrayed in movies and television, hypnosis does not act as a truth serum and it cannot be used to force anyone to do anything that they don't want to do or would not otherwise do. A person in hypnosis maintains complete control of their thoughts and actions and remains aware of everything that is happening during the session.
Do people ever fall asleep during hypnosis?
While someone may become so pleasantly relaxed that they doze off briefly during hypnosis, it is rare. Most of our sessions involve a dialogue between the hypnotherapist and the client, as well as delivery of suggestions focused on each person's goals, which keeps everyone engaged in the process.
What does being in hypnosis feel like?
Being in hypnosis feels differently for everyone. It is best described as a profound state of relaxation. Hypnosis can also be compared to the feeling that you have just before you fall asleep, when you are in between a waking state and a sleeping state.
Can you get stuck in hypnosis?
You cannot get stuck in hypnosis, anymore than you can get stuck in a sleep state. In fact anyone in hypnosis can bring themselves to a fully alert state at anytime they wish. We do take special care to ensure that our clients have come fully out of hypnosis before leaving our office to be sure they are completely alert.
How is hypnosis different than meditation?
Hypnosis is very similar to meditation. Both practices involve a quieting of the mind and an inward focus. Most often the goal of meditation is to eliminate or at the very least limit thought, achieving profound stillness of the mind. Hypnosis, however, involves focused attention on specific ideas designed to help reach a particular goal or desired outcome. In short, Hypnosis is meditation with intent.
What is a typical hypnotherapy session like?
Your initial session includes a review of your history and discussion of your specific goal to ensure complete understanding, as well as an overview of the theory and techniques we use. We'll take all the time you need to address any questions you may have to be sure you are comfortable with all aspects of the process. After working together to create precisely tailored suggestions specific to your circumstances and goals, we'll guide you into hypnosis to deliver those suggestions. Subsequent sessions will be customized according to your needs and most often involve dialogue that takes place while you are in hypnosis. Sessions generally last 60 to 90 minutes.
How many sessions will it take to reach my goal?
Hypnotherapy is one of the most efficient strategies for creating change. It can often take only 5-6 sessions to achieve a desired outcome. However some clients reach their goal in less time, while some require more sessions to fully realize their objectives. Our clients rarely require more than 10 sessions.
How often are the sessions scheduled?
Ideally once work on a specific goal begins, it is best to return for additional sessions once a week, and occasionally, even more frequently. Working with our clients weekly creates consistency and helps to build momentum toward their goal(s). It also allows us to touch base regularly to monitor progress and provide the best support possible.
Do I have to do anything in between my in-office sessions?
Yes. The work done during our in-office appointments must be supported through activities (which we call Accelerators) that are practiced in-between sessions. Accelerators are customized based on each client's unique circumstances and goals but may include, for example, re-writing and reviewing of personalized suggestions, practicing some type of creative activity to focus the mind, listening to a custom self-hypnosis recording, etc. This work helps to integrate the new ideas and behaviors focused on during your in-office sessions into your everyday life, where most of your time is spent. It is a vital part of the hypnotherapy process and a very important factor in the success of our clients.