Below is one form of the client pre-talk I have with clients before we begin our first session. This will help to dispel some of the mystery and misconceptions many have about hypnosis.
Hypnosis as a practice can be traced back to ancient Egypt in 3000 BC. It has been used over the centuries by many cultures. There are even certain practices in the Bible that could be interpreted as being hypnotic in nature. And the ancient Greeks and Romans had sleep temples where people’s dreams could be recorded that could have also been a form of hypnosis.
The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word for sleep. However, this is a misnomer, as we will later see, as people under hypnosis are actually generally very awake and aware.
Anton Mesmer began the modern practice of hypnosis in the 18th Century. He pioneered what he called then magnetic healing. A Scottish surgeon, James Baird, coined the term hypnotism in 1843. He found that he could put many people into a trance if he told them to gaze upon a bright shiny object.
Milton Erickson was very successful with hypnosis in the mid 1900’s, and, due to his success and influence, the medical profession began to take notice of it.
Dave Elman brought acceptance of hypnotherapy by the American Medical Association in 1958, and in 1995 the National Institute for Health recognized hypnotherapy’s use for treating of chronic pain.
Many Uses of Hypnotherapy
Today, in addition to pain treatment, hypnosis is used to treat many conditions, from phobias, to depression, addictions, etc. Many use it today for many forms of self improvement.
Hypnosis is popular today because people find it a quick way to overcome many problems that they have. The power of the subconscious mind is limitless, and is used by doctors, psychologists, and even law enforcement in addition to hypnotherapists. It has even been used as an alternative to anesthesia, and people have undergone operations using only hypnosis. As you can see, then, the power of the subconscious mind is limitless.
As mentioned earlier, hypnosis has become very popular for use in self improvement. It has also successfully been used to treat fears and phobias, diseases, depression, and even fear of flying when all other methods have failed.
This demonstrates the power of the subconscious mind, and hypnosis is one of the best ways to reach your subconscious mind and make meaningful changes in your life.
Popular Misconceptions About Hypnotherapy
Most of you have seen stage hypnotists, who make people quack like a duck, walk like a chicken, pretend they are 3 years old, and other popular stunts and tricks. This has given people the mistaken idea that you can be made to do anything at all under hypnosis, and that you give your power or will over to the hypnotist. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First of all, for therapeutic hypnosis, I put you into a very light state called Alpha. It is the state just below the waking state, which is called Beta. The Alpha state is a completely natural state of mind that you slip into and out of throughout your day, and also before you doze off to sleep at night.
Many common activities induce an Alpha state. These include driving a car, watching TV or a movie, playing video games, or even reading! This state is achieved whenever we are concentrated for a long period of time on one activity. As we concentrate on that activity, our mind becomes extremely focused on that activity. This means we are paying less attention to what is going on around us, and we often lose track of time.
This is one reason when we are on a long drive, or playing a video game, watching TV, or reading a good book that sometimes an hour or more can pass us by as if it were only 15 minutes. But, even though you are in the Alpha state while engaging in these types of activities, if something happens around you or someone talks to you, you can react to that event in a normal fashion.
When you go into the hypnotic state I will use in your sessions, you will be in a similar state, where you are more in touch with your subconscious mind, will more easily take suggestions made to you, yet you still are in complete control of the session. If at any time you want to terminate the session, all you have to do is count from 1 to 3 and you will return to normal consciousness.
You will also remember much and sometimes all of what is said and done in the session. In fact, because of this, some people don’t even think they are hypnotized when they actually are. Other people can fall asleep or not remember much of what is said even though they may think they do. But this is OK too, because your hearing is always on and the suggestions will still go into your subconscious mind regardless of whether you are asleep or not.
In fact, in many of my sessions, I give you suggestions to induce amnesia so that you won’t remember much from the session. Many people feel that this actually helps the effectiveness of the suggestions that will be given to you during the hypnotherapy session.
But, regardless of whether you remember part or all of the session, or only THINK that you remember it all, be assured that the suggestions are going deep into your subconscious mind where they will do you the most good in making the changes that you want in your life.
Some people mistakenly believe that they are too smart to be hypnotized. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the more intelligent you are, generally, the easier it is for you to be hypnotized because of your greater powers of concentration. The less intelligent a person is, therefore, the harder it is for them to be hypnotized. But don’t worry, there are very few people who truly can’t be hypnotized. The vast majority of people can easily use hypnosis to make the changes they want to in their lives.
Again, hypnosis today is widely used and accepted. You are not asleep or in a trance, and are aware of what is going on around you. You are simply very relaxed in the Alpha state. You are not under my power, as some outrageous Hollywood movies would suggest. You will only do what is in your comfort zone and according to your moral code. I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. You will just be very relaxed and at ease, and afterwards you will awaken refreshed and alert.
In the session, you are able to get away from the stress and noise of everyday life. You will be very relaxed and at ease, aware of what is going on around you, yet able to use the hypnotic session to communicate directly with your subconscious mind to make the changes in your life that you desire. And, as I said earlier, if at any time you need to stop the session, simply count from 1-3 in your mind and you will instantly come out of the session. You are always in complete control during our sessions.
You can generally accomplish your goals in between 1-6 sessions. Before each session begins, I will ask you for feedback on how you are doing in overcoming the issue that you want to solve.
Once again, before we begin, let me explain that you may be aware of everything I say during our sessions, yet you will still be under hypnosis. Trust that you are safe and protected at all times. Just relax and enjoy the session. You have come here with the intent to heal, and so it shall be. You may be aware of everything that I say, and that is OK, you are still under hypnosis and you are safe. So, simply close your eyes and relax, and we will begin.