If you've never experienced hypnosis you may be wondering what you have let yourself in for. Maybe your idea of what happens is based on TV programs or shows about stage hypnotists. Whilst some of the principles are the same, hypnotherapy is very different to stage hypnosis. You will not be clucking like a chicken, losing control of your free will or doing things your conscience wouldn't ordinarily let you. You will still be aware of everything going on around you and can come out of hypnosis any time you want to.
You can't get 'stuck' in hypnosis. You could fall asleep during the session and will just wake up like after having a nap. But don't worry, your therapist will be monitoring you throughout the whole process and make sure you don't fall off the chair if you did nod off! (most therapists chairs are very supportive so you should be perfectly safe and comfortable)
There are alternative ways hypnosis can be used during therapy and your therapist will proceed how they feel is best for you. Hypnotherapy is personally tailored to you and what you would like to change. This would have been decided on your initial discussion.
It may start off with relaxation techniques. The more relaxed you are the easier and deeper you are likely to go into the hypnotic state, this facilitates change.
About the hypnotic state, we all go into it naturally at least twice a day. When we are falling asleep and when we are waking up. It is a state of relaxed focus. During this state, your conscious mind calms down and the subconscious part of your mind can make changes in response to suggestions.
Because hypnosis is difficult to study scientifically, nobody really knows exactly how it works. There are a lot of theories and results vary between people. But if you allow the process to unfold, it may change your life.
When you are in deep hypnosis it feels like a waking dream. You are aware of your surroundings, you aren't unconscious. The usual mind chatter that can keep you distracted is reduced. Your imagination is free to consider alternatives. Your subconscious can let go of, or change, behaviour patterns. Releasing thoughts, outdated ideas and behaviours.
The session is just the beginning of the changes that take place. Once the process starts, you may feel things shifting in the coming weeks or months.
If regression techniques are being used, you will be taken back to memories of earlier times in your life. The root of current problems may be in the past. Usually they are, so your therapist will make suggestions to change or let go of the emotion attached to those memories. Once the emotion is released the memories can eventually be moved to long term memory where they are less reactive.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful way to make desired changes. How you experience it is very subjective and unique to you, no two people are the same. It should be a very positive experience.
When your therapist brings you out of the trance state you may feel a little woozy so it is wise to get up slowly once you have found your bearings. If you are driving make sure you feel completely in control. Waiting 10 - 15 minutes is recommended before moving off.
I recommend drinking some water too. Your blood pressure may have lowered with being in one position for a while.
Depending on what changes you want to make, one session might be all you need. There will be some change after a single session.
I specialise in anxiety and that can take up to six sessions. Needing more than six is unlikely but not unheard of.
Sessions usually take between 40 - 90 minutes.