Frequently Asked Questions about Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a proven counselling and psychotherapy treatment modality. There is nothing magic nor controlling about it. I am both a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and a Registered Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapist. I work colloboratively with my clients to understand and alleviate what has been blocking them from achieving their goals and living a healthier life. Hypnotherapy can be very effective for both physical and emotional health challenges.
What challenges can hypnotherapy effectively treat?
- Eliminating fears and phobias
- Reducing anxiety
- Alleviating depression
- Overcoming unhealthy habits
- Improving ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night
- Achieving a healthy body weight
- Maintaining healthy habits with respect to nutrition and exercise
- Reducing or eliminating drinking, smoking, and drugging
- Physical healing. The placebo effect is an excellent example of how the subconscious mind can heal the body. In hypnotherapy, the client harnesses this power of the mind to heal, and directs it at the body parts that need the healing.
Will I remember what was said during the hypnosis session?
Yes. In general you will be in a light to medium depth of hypnosis during the hypnotherapy session. The trance state is identical to what is experienced during meditation or anytime you are deeply engrossed in a book or hobby.
Some people will drop into a deeper trance and will find it harder to recall what was said in the session, however if after the session something reminds them of what was said, the client will recall it in the same way that one recalls a dream once something triggers the memory.
Can I be made to do things against my will in hypnosis?
No. Your subconscious mind is dominant in hypnosis and the primary role of the subconscious is to protect you. Therefore it will ignore any suggestions that do not seem in your best interest. The subconscious is also where your beliefs and values are stored. Any suggestions that run counter to your beliefs and values will be ignored.
Why then do people do such outrageous things in stage hypnosis shows?
Primarily because they want to. What they are being asked to do is not setting off alarm bells for them. Keep in mind that those up on stage volunteered knowing full well what the show might entail.
It is difficult to put someone into hypnosis if they do not want to go there. The show participants are chosen after tests by the hypnotist. These people have demonstrated that they are both easily hypnotize-able and uninhibited.
What if I can’t be hypnotized?
Everyone can be hypnotized. In fact we hypnotize ourselves on a regular basis. Anytime you have drifted off staring into a fire or found yourself completely engrossed in a hobby, you have been in a trance state.
In our initial session, I explain in detail how I will guide you into hypnosis and what it will feel like. I answer all your questions and alleviate any concerns you may have. In this way, you feel safe, you know what is going to happen and entering the trance state is something you look forward to.
What are the similarities between hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis?
Ummm, they both have “hypno” in them? Other than that, very little. A trance state is involved with both but we go into natural trance states several times a day (more on that below).
Hypnotherapy is about therapy—helping you through a challenge. A skilled hypnotherapist acts as a counsellor and asks a lot of questions to uncover what is causing your symptoms. This can be done both in and out of hypnosis.
In hypnosis the cause of your symptoms is dealt with. There are many techniques that the hypnotherapist can use to address the problem. The benefit of doing these interventions in a trance state is that the work you are doing is making changes in your subconscious mind rather than just your conscious mind.
The therapist is working on updating the subconscious. Perhaps there was a danger in the past but your body and mind are acting like the danger is still there. In this case the subconscious needs an update, it needs to be shown that the danger is gone.
What is a natural trance state?
We all experience natural trance states on a regular basis. Anytime we become deeply engrossed in a hobby, sport or book and completely lose track of time, we have been in a trance state.
Most of us have at some point when driving a car realized that we haven’t been aware of the road for several minutes. Yet we have somehow safely navigated and managed to stay on the road. This is also a trance state. Our subconscious mind is watching the road while we “zone out”. Is it safe? Not entirely but a background part of us is paying attention to the road.
The concept of “flow” and the experience for long distance athletes of being “in the zone” are also natural trance states.
We are in a deep trance state every morning and night in the moments when we are just slipping into and out of sleep. You have most likely experienced having strange dream-like thoughts in those moments. You are aware of being awake but it also feels dream-like. This is a very deep trance state and in general, hypnotherapy is done in a lighter trance state than this.
Do the effects of hypnotherapy last?
Yes, hypnotherapy treats the underlying reasons for the symptoms rather than simply treating the symptoms. Sometimes a client may need to come back for an occasional reinforcement session for issues that have been with them for a long time.