FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions About Hypnotherapy)
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- How is hypnosis natural?
- Is Hypnosis safe? I’m afraid to lose control!
- I don’t think I can be hypnotized. I tried it before and it didn’t work. Why not?
- Can I be forced to reveal my secrets if I don’t want to?
- Is Hypnotherapy anything like stage hypnosis?
- What happens during hypnosis?
- Will I know what is happening?
- Will I remember being hypnotized?
- What does hypnosis feel like?
- What is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
- What do you mean by ‘deep’… by ‘depth’? And how ‘deep’ can I go?
- Can I go too deep…get “stuck” in hypnosis and never wake up?
- Will I be forced to accept suggestions?
- Has Hypnosis been medically approved as a healing tool?
- Can anyone be hypnotized?
- What is self-hypnosis?
- What is ‘self-empowerment’ ?
- How many sessions will I need?
- How quickly will I experience results from hypnosis?
- I’m on various medications and under a doctor’s care…will I have to stop my meds ?
- Why isn’t healing with hypnosis (hypnotherapy) more common in the US and Canada?
- I would love to buy a custom CD designed to influence my Subconscious Mind to assist me with my particular goals…is that possible?
- Where can I get more advice and information about what is going on in the world of alternative healing methods, pharmaceutical corruption, medical controversies and class action lawsuits and health food?
- I don’t see my question answered here…how can I get further information?
1. How is hypnosis natural?
Hypnosis is natural because there are no medications or invasions of the person and it can’t be forced on an individual; it is a state of relaxation and heightened awareness natural to all humans. In fact, most people attain various states of hypnosis quite easily and go and in out of light trance states throughout the day.
Those who meditate have learned to simply give themselves permission to relax very deeply and focus on a particular subject, word, feeling – or to leave their minds entirely blank. Those who experience hypnotherapy simply give the Hypnotherapist permission to help them relax to the depth needed to do the self-discovery work the individual desires.
Hypnosis is a very normal and natural altered state of awareness, one we all experience from time-to-time, during which the mind remains clear, alert and extraordinarily focused on something. Have you ever “become really absorbed” while watching TV or reading a good book? Or driven to work on “auto pilot?” That’s the same kind of altered state as hypnosis. In these cases it is waking and light; in hypnotherapy this state would be deepened.
2. Is Hypnosis safe? I’m afraid to lose control!
Yes, absolutely. Hypnosis, a self-induced altered state of consciousness, is 100% safe. A case of anyone having experienced any negative side-effects from self-hypnosis or hypnotherapy is unknown. In over two hundred years of recorded hypnosis history, there is no documented case of anyone being hurt with either. It is so safe that many people prefer self-hypnosis [ see Self-Hypnosis ] and guided imagery to relax from stressful lifestyles, as relaxation hypnosis alone has great health benefits…lowering blood pressure and inducing calmness for starters. However, personal disappointments with the results may arise due to unrealistic expectations or preconceived misinformation.
Regarding losing control, it is accurate to say that is not possible. In fact you can actually lie when in hypnosis if you really want to. You are in complete control at all times.
Hypnotherapy, which employs hypnosis, is a gentle, loving process and hypnotherapists are trained to not judge or impose their views as is done in psychology or psychiatry. You self-heal and change in your own time. You can awaken yourself anytime and if there were an emergency, you would just awaken in the way you would if you were in bed sleeping.
3. I don’t think I can be hypnotized. I tried it before and it didn’t work. Why not?
The American Medical Association has a definition of hypnotizability that can be simplified down to the following explanation: hypnosis is generally any state other than that represented by full awareness (Beta brain wave frequency) and sleep (Delta brain wave frequency)… it is obvious that to be human is to be capable of being hypnotized since we drift back and forth naturally between these two states every day. Put another way, there must be a state between full awareness and the sleep state, because we have all experienced the ‘in-between’ states. Therefore, anyone can be guided into an altered state (state of hypnosis) that is between the full awareness (Beta) and the sleep (Delta) states.
- If you’ve day-dreamed then you can be hypnotized. Most people experience hypnosis daily, sometimes for only a few minutes at a time, sometimes for lengthy periods and most don’t even realize it.
- In my practice, I’ve had several people say “I don’t think I was hypnotized”. Then the time is pointed out to them after the session and they realize they just ‘lost’ an hour or so, they realize something very wonderful just happened.
- Some people ask if they’ve really been hypnotized just because it feels like such a normal state and they were expecting something very strange. They remember talking, laughing, moving in the chair, but yet being very focused and relaxed.
- Some others have unrealistic expectations about the process, some thinking that they will be suddenly physically changed, or that their husband/wife/object of affection will suddenly become more attentive, etc. etc. These people are typically looking for a magic solution to their life circumstances, which in fact require their commitment to change.
Another reason that some people feel hypnosis didn’t work for them is because most of their knowledge and exposure has been from TV and stage shows…none of which is relevant or applicable to the healing process and hypnotherapy. [see a question on this below].
- And then there are a few people so determined that nothing will work to dissolve their emotional issues and to change the behaviors and habits they claim to want to abandon that they deliberately resist the best work of a hypnotherapist, and likely of any health care provider they’ve visited.
- As stated elsewhere, this process is about self-healing. If you don’t want to heal, no one can heal for you! In these cases there are often secondary-gain issues or the person is not present for themselves, but rather to satisfy a spouse, employer, etc.
These cases only serve to prove that hypnosis cannot be forced on anyone and the client is always in control.
- There are also those few people who are intent, for whatever reason, to debunk hypnosis and they consciously resist. Actually, they serve to confirm that no one can be hypnotized against their will and only those willing can benefit.
Some things you can do to increase your ability to go into hypnosis easier and faster are practicing meditation, self-hypnosis, visualization, yoga or relaxation techniques.
4. Can I be forced to reveal my secrets if I don’t want to?
Some people have a fear that is referred to as ego-dystonia , wherein they are apprehensive that hidden feelings might surface and be discussed. Those people are unprepared to work with buried thoughts and feelings; they would rather not know whether negative contents exist in the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis is not a truth serum; it does not force people to reveal their secrets. In hypnosis, you have a choice regarding the information you reveal. In many cases emotional healing cannot occur until the root causes of the emotional struggles are dissolved and with most people they are only too happy to entrust the information to their therapist. But in those cases where the client so wishes, the hypnotherapist can facilitate a silent healing in which the experiencing and the processing happens inwardly and without verbalization.
If you really do want to identify and dissolve life-limiting issues, but have real concerns about someone ‘finding out’, at GracePlace Wellness™ we can add yet another measure of comfort … we will work with you on an anonymous basis [seeConfidentiality, Anonymity and Privacy].
5. Is Hypnotherapy anything like stage hypnosis?
Most entertainment hypnosis is just that, ‘entertainment’ and the amount of true hypnosis happening is questionable. The zombie-type states you see depicted in movies and on TV are pure fantasy and usually outright tricky.
In most acts, subjects are pre-selected specifically for their tendency to be co-operative and follow instructions. The best explanation for what happens during stage hypnosis was provided by Dr. Brian Millett and I quote him here: “They stay with it and follow the hypnotist’s instructions, even when they’re not sure if it’s working. You cannot simultaneously BE the show and SEE the show! You have to pick one and stick with it! Does anyone really think that if they volunteer to go on stage that the hypnotist will suggest they do something BRILLIANT? Anyone who volunteers is agreeing to play the part, whether they consciously admit it or not. For some, hypnosis (like alcohol) is a convenient “excuse” to act out and not take responsibility for their behaviour.”
Unfortunately, those images and misunderstandings about hypnosis are what stick with people because of the sensationalism deliberately attached to the act. The act is designed to make the hypnotist appear in control… a magician or authority with super-natural powers over others. Often the dignity of the individual is sacrificed for the amusement of the audience. The only one who really benefits from these acts is the stage hypnotist who becomes popular in entertainment circles.
|Hypnotherapist take an oath to use their skills in a manner of highest respect of the individual…as you can surmise, entertainment does not meet the criteria. GracePlace Wellness™ is not in any way associated with entertainment hypnosis. Our goal is not to exaggerate our importance to the process or to trick people; it is to help another human being heal and make the changes in their life they so desire.|
Hypnotherapy is boring in comparison to stage hypnosis…quiet, calm, serene, relaxing, private and the individual is always in complete control of the process. Hypnotherapy above all else honors the individual on all levels…it is about guiding a person to self-heal and to achieve their goals in life in a private and safe setting. It is highly thoughtful, considerate and caring in its approach and respects the uniqueness of the client. There is no entertainment value whatever involved.
6. What happens during hypnosis?
Hypnosis is state wherein your conscious (thinking) mind becomes bored … it relaxes and stops thinking, The ideal depth of hypnosis is one that feels just like that 5-10 seconds before you fall asleep…you are aware of everything going on around you, but you don’t focus on it, instead you focus on something dreamy or nothing at all that you can remember when you awaken. Sometimes you hear this level of relaxation referred to as a ‘cat napping’ ‘ dozing, or that the person was ‘half-asleep’ or on ‘auto-pilot’.
During hypnosis, your body and conscious mind are in a relaxed state while your subconscious mind remains awake and receptive to suggestions. You may feel very physically light, or heavy, or seem to feel both at once. You will always be in control, free to accept or reject any suggestions given. You can open your eyes at any time and in fact some techniques require the eyes to be open. Your senses will be sharper, your imagination more vivid, your focus more pronounced. Some people can go into hypnosis while riding a stationary bicycle.
Some other things you may experience while in hypnosis are: body muscles feel relaxed; fluttering of eyelids when entering and coming out of hypnosis; mental relaxation; absence or diminishment of intrusive thoughts; general feeling of drowsiness as if ready to doze; eyelids heavy and no interest in opening them because the relaxation feels so good; jaw muscles relaxed; desire to swallow; desire to scratch an itch, but not sure of doing it; euphoria (state of well-being); desire to laugh, smile, giggle, or cry; feel personal freedom, carefree or uninhibited; time distortion (minutes seems like hours and vice versa); voice sounds fading in and out; letting go as if falling asleep; occasional involuntary sigh;
feeling of lightness and/or floating and upon awakening feeling as though you just woke from a deep restful night’s sleep.
7. Will I know what is happening?
Yes, in fact you are more aware of what is happening then when you are not in hypnosis. Although your eyes are closed with most healing/change techniques because trance maintenance is easier to ensure that way, your other senses can increase their awareness and sensitivity. You can talk to the Hypnotherapist, adjust your position, laugh, cry, scratch an itch, ask to use the washroom and so on. You can awaken anytime from the trance without assistance, but it is better to follow your hypnotherapist’s instructions for a slow awakening. It is much like being in one room talking with someone, but being aware that someone is in another room watching TV and you can hear what they are saying, although not paying it much attention … your awareness can drift back and forth from them to you, but all the while your subconscious is very focused on what you are doing/saying. You feel great and totally ‘in the moment’.
8. Will I remember being hypnotized?
Generally speaking, yes. However, sometimes we uncover things that the conscious mind does not want to know about and in such a case your subconscious withholds the memory until it feels it’s appropriate to remember. That’s the beauty of the subconscious…it is there to protect and love you. You’ll remember everything–everything I say and everything you experience or everything you need to remember, but because there is just so much information to process, it may take weeks or months to fully process it all. Some people like to write down their experience as soon as possible after a session, others just don’t care about the details…they are reveling in the relief. With time, some memories may entirely evaporate; as they no longer hold any emotional charge they become quite irrelevant. Also, with time, some patterns uncovered in session become evident and a focal point of change.
9. What does hypnosis feel like?
The universal answer is that it is “a very relaxing and comfortable experience”. Like the feeling one has while day-dreaming, one feels elevated from the doldrums of everyday life…a pleasant, inspirational sensation. Images, sounds and kinesthetic experiences are vivid. People typically feel rejuvenated and energized. It is widely accepted that 15 minutes of hypnosis provides the equivalent health and wellness benefits of 4 hours of deep, restful sleep! Many people have expressed how much ‘lighter’ they feel after awakening from a session.
10. What is the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis is the altered state of mind that a person experiences (that state between complete awareness and sleep). Hypnotherapy is using that state of mind for beneficial purposes.
11. What do you mean by ‘deep’… by ‘depth’? And how ‘deep’ can I go?
Think of depth of hypnosis as ‘level of relaxation or a level of focused awareness’. You can go as deeply into relaxation as you wish, you are in control remember! If you go to sleep you are no longer in hypnosis, but you can with the guidance of a hypnotherapist get to a depth that feels like just before you fall asleep…the most productive state for healing and making life changes.
You can talk, you are aware, but you are so relaxed that you’d rather just be left alone. Depth of hypnosis used to be considered important, but lately hypnosis professionals have realized that depth has little bearing on the results. In my practice, as this is client-centered therapy, I encourage my clients to go as deeply into relaxation (altered state of consciousness) as they are comfortable with. Working with whatever they are comfortable with helps them feel safe and secure and we still get good results. It is a fact that the more hypnosis one undergoes, the greater and easier one drops down into the altered state…probably because the subconscious recognizes how healing, how blissful the state is and that no resistance is necessary.
12. Can I go too deep…get “stuck” in hypnosis and never wake up?
That would not be possible. Hypnosis is a voluntary state that a subject can terminate at any time if they choose. There is no known documented case where a hypnotic subject couldn’t awaken or was in anyway harmed by the hypnotic state. If it were possible to ‘get stuck’, everyone would be terrified of day-dreaming…instead most people love to day-dream!
13. Will I be forced to accept suggestions?
Forcing is not possible in hypnosis. T he subconscious will not accept any suggestion, not even from one-self, which is contrary to the individual’s values and morals. As an example, if it is not and never has been within the individual’s value system to rob a bank, going into hypnosis cannot ‘make’ them do so; the suggestion would be rejected by the subconscious regardless who is guiding the hypnosis depth. Usually, if a hypnotherapist`s suggestion conflicts with a client’s value system, the client simply brings him or herself up out of hypnosis; they just “wake up.”
Many people think that they can go on-line or read a book to learn to hypnotize people, then hypnotize them and attempt to ‘relieve’ habits, phobias, etc. This is understandable since there is a great deal of misleading advertising out there that suggests this is possible…those lured by this advertising are forgetting that the people so flippantly promoting such advanced and technical uses of hypnosis are selling products. The most disturbing promotion of hypnosis is the one suggesting that men can walk into any bar and seduce a person with hypnosis! This is pure fantasy…a person cannot be hypnotized to do anything not in line with their moral and value system.
14. Has Hypnosis been medically approved as a healing tool?
Yes. Hypnosis was proven to be effective and was approved by the American Medical Association in1958. Medical Hypnosis is increasingly recognized as a powerful healing modality with applications in all fields of medicine throughout the world. Many doctors, dentists and psychologists employ hypnosis as an adjunct technique in their practice, [ see Physical Conditions ] realizing its immense benefits to healing. Many world-class athletes and sports teams have relied on hypnosis and hypnotherapy for both athletic excellence and accelerated healing. The Russian Olympic team for example, is known to travel with Hypnotists on staff to facilitate top performances from its athletes. Many knowledgeable doctors and mental health practitioners will happily refer their clients to hypnotherapy for things such as anxiety, stress management, pain management, etc.
15. Can anyone be hypnotized?
Yes. Anyone can be hypnotized as long as they are willing. A Hypnotherapist cannot force you to go into hypnosis against your will. Likewise, no one can prevent you from going into hypnosis if you so choose.
16. What is self-hypnosis?
This is a state of hypnosis that you can put yourself into to work on some problems that are important to you. It is not as effective as hypnosis by a Hypnotherapist, and is not at all effective for some problems. But there are a great many benefits to be had through self-hypnosis. [see Self-hypnosis]
17. What is ‘self-empowerment’ ?
From the first contact with GracePlace Wellness TM it should become apparent that the client’s self-empowerment is considered of utmost importance. Self-empowerment is the process of mining your own inner sources of power and wisdom and incorporating this knowledge into your daily life. Self-empowerment is a learned resource; the more we acknowledge our inherent Universal connection to all that is relevant to us and about us and the more we are willing to utilize that knowledge and believe in ourselves, the less dependent and reliant we feel on others. This sense of independence and self-reliance facilitates a self-love that overcomes all adversity. When we are afraid or dependent upon another, anger, resentment and emotional need is a daily serving. This can lead to repetitive patterns of limiting behaviours and coping habits that are not beneficial. You are empowered when you live your life in accordance with your true heart’s desire, without apology or fear and without doing harm to yourself or to others.
18. How many sessions will I need?
This varies from person to person, and according to the techniques involved and the number and type of issues to be resolved. This can usually be determined at the consultation, however, most commonly 2 – 8 sessions. Issues such as weight management, pain management require ongoing support with strategically spaced sessions and/or with supportive customized CDs. Hypnotherapy is a process which requires customization of treatment and at GracePlace Wellness TM whatever works best for the individual client is what is undertaken. It should be noted that, typically, far fewer sessions are required when working with children. They are usually very co-operative, have no pre-conceived notions about the process and very happy to express their feelings. They are inherently very suggestible; embedding positive suggestions in their youthful subconscious is easy and almost immediately effective. [see Children, Hypnosis and Holistic Parenting]
19. How quickly will I experience results from hypnosis?
The results at the subconscious level are immediate. The moment the negative emotions are dissolved, released and the issues re-framed and accepted by the subconscious, changes start to happen. Typically, in my practice, clients awaken feeling ‘different’, content, relieved… but few are able to articulate the feelings exactly. Over time, the changes in how they feel about themselves gently influence all aspects of their lives and changes occur in behavior, reaction and emotional feelings about a myriad of things. The client’s subconscious new beliefs are reflected in everything the individual says, thinks and does.
There are a lot of factors that determine how quickly the new beliefs and attitudes manifest ongoing and positive changes. First, and foremost, there’s your motivation level and commitment. If you’re “trying” to quit smoking because your partner has put you up to it, you’re not really all that motivated yourself, now are you?
The same can be said of just about any and every issue humans have to deal with. If your motivation and commitment level is HIGH, you’ll likely experience tangible results straight away or very quickly…that is, results beyond the empowered feeling of dissolving your heavy emotional burdens and being free. Once you are free of life-limiting emotions what you do with that freedom is of course up to you.
If your motivation and commitment is low, you may stop going to the hypnotherapist before your work is completed or stop listening to that CD long before you see any results. Other factors that determine your success can include your comfort-level and respect for the hypnotherapist you’re working with, as well as the regularity of your hypnosis sessions. Hypnosis is NOT a magic pill. Sorry! It’s an all natural, empowering tool in your toolbox of life-improvement strategies.
You will actually have to do some WORK along the way, such as attending your hypnotherapy sessions or listening to your self-hypnosis tape on a daily basis if that is called for. Many people expect to be rich by not doing anything to make it happen! Some even think hypnosis can make them rich overnight!
20. I’m on various medications and under a doctor’s care…will I have to stop my meds?
Absolutely not! In fact the involvement of medications in your life is strictly between you and your doctor(s) and hypnotherapy works well regardless the medication you are on. An exception may be when an individual is on powerful mind-altering chemical prescription drugs in which case we consider the situation case-by-case in consultation with your doctor.
The interesting reaction of hypnosis on medication is that, over long periods of time, it tends to “potentiate” medication, which means if you’re currently taking medication, after a series of hypnosis sessions you may find that you need less amounts of it, or a lesser strength of the drug. Hypnosis can often complement traditional medical care and more informed doctors favour it. It can act as an adjunct to medical treatment and some doctors have learned hypnosis for this reason.
It is noteworthy that in cases where one is already working with a psychologist or psychiatrist we would request that a referral from him/her be obtained. GracePlace Wellness TM feels that it is important that all health care providers working with an individual are kept in the loop. In the case where GracePlace Wellness ® feels that an assessment by a medical doctor or psychiatrist is indicated, a referral to a hypnotherapy-friendly practitioner can be arranged. An example of when this might happen is if a client were to ask for hypnosis sessions to manage or eliminate pain before having asked their doctor to determine the reason for the pain. Pain is an indicator that there are issues or dis-ease within the physical body. It is unethical for any therapist to block pain before the reason for its existence has been established.
Increasing numbers of people do not want modern, medical health care and we honor that within the guidelines of our Code of Ethics. In the event that a client wishes to avail themselves of remedies alternative or complementary to chemical medications, a referral to a competent naturopath can also be arranged. GracePlace Wellness TM feels strongly that transparent co-operation amongst all practitioners is essential to the wellbeing of all seeking wellness and that choice in health care is of utmost importance.
21. Why isn’t healing with hypnosis (hypnotherapy) more common in the US and Canada?
It’s more common in America and Canada than ever before and certainly much more common throughout the rest of the world. Remember, the US & Canadian healthcare systems are a pharmaceutical-surgical model of care . This means it is based primarily on the use of medications (pharmaceutical drugs) and surgery. However, in areas of the world where pharmaceutical companies have less influence, it’s quite normal for a physician to incorporate drug-free techniques into his or her practice. This is why the medical use of hypnosis is more common outside North America. As more North Americans demand more drug-free treatments, medical hypnosis, homeopathy and other integrative techniques (such as acupuncture) will become mainstreamed. Another reason medical hypnosis is less popular here than other country is due to the many myths and misconceptions that surround it. Through self-education millions are becoming very comfortable and more healthy with alternative and complementary health care, of which hypnotherapy is one.
22. I would love to buy a custom CD designed to influence my Subconscious Mind to assist me with my particular goals…is that possible?
Absolutely it is possible, and even ideal, to have Grace create and record a customized, personalized hypnosis CD for you to use while you are sleeping in order to compound suggestions in your Subconscious Mind. At My Custom Script you can order a custom script that you can record in either your own voice or have someone whose voice you enjoy record it for you, or if you prefer, have Grace record it for you.
You can also obtain guided imagery scripts to be used while you are simply relaxing back or meditating. These are interactive and would be used when awake. Simply visit My Custom Script and choose from the many products, including Gift Certificates, that you can purchase.
23. Where can I get more advice and information about what is going on in the world of alternative healing methods, pharmaceutical corruption, medical controversies and class action lawsuits and health food?
Glad you asked, because Grace writes regularly on such issues at her blog Ask Grace! . You also access her detailed blog through this site…scroll the main menu on this page for Blog/News and check out the drop down box which provides you with a couple of choices. We hope you’ll leave your comments and tip us off to news that we may not be aware of yet.
This GracePlace Wellness hypnotherapy site also offers a blog…the Wellness Blog that seeks to focus on hypnotherapy and healing from emotional issues. Particularly, info about pharmaceutical and psychiatric treatments will be made available as we hear about them, with a view to helping folks to get healthy and to help people not already scarred by psychiatric drugs to find alternatives and assistance to wean off safely should they want that. Simply either click here or scroll down the left side main menu to Blogs/News and click on Wellness Blog. Again, we hope you visit the blog and leave your comments!
24. I don’t see my question answered here…how can I get further information?
Please do not hesitate to contact Grace Joubarne and GracePlace Wellness™ at 613-422-7027 or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns you may have. We feel there is no such thing as a ‘stupid’ question. Any opportunity to fill in a gap in a person’s understanding of the most important aspect of his/her life…their wellbeing…is extremely welcome!