Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Is Hypnosis?
A: Hypnosis is a trance-like mental state in which people experience increased attention, concentration, and suggestibility. While hypnosis is often described as a sleep-like state, it is better expressed as a state of focused attention, heightened suggestibility, and vivid fantasies. People in a hypnotic state often seem sleepy and zoned out, but in reality, they are in a state of hyper-awareness.
It is a natural state of mind. People, whether they know it go in and out of hypnosis all day long. For example, if you’ve ever been driving, and catch yourself daydreaming and wonder who has been driving the car, you have been in a state of hypnosis. You are not asleep while in hypnosis. Sleep is a state of rest. Hypnosis is a state that is useful for self-improvement.
While there are many myths and misconceptions, hypnosis is a very real process that can be used as a therapeutic tool. Hypnosis has been shown to have medical and therapeutic benefits, most notably in the reduction of pain and anxiety. It has even been suggested that hypnosis can reduce the symptoms of dementia.
Q: Are there different types of hypnosis?
A: There are a few different ways that hypnosis can be delivered:
Guided hypnosis: This form of hypnosis involves the use of tools such as recorded instructions and music to induce a hypnotic state. Online sites and mobile apps often utilize this form of hypnosis.
Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy and is practiced by licensed physicians and psychologists to treat conditions including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.1
Self-hypnosis: Self-hypnosis is a process that occurs when a person self-induces a hypnotic state. It is often used as a self-help tool for controlling pain or managing stress.
Q: What is the history of hypnosis?
A: Hypnosis is not a new modality of treatment. Hypnosis has had a variety of names and has been used for millennia as a means of influencing human behavior. Therapeutic suggestion and concentration have been practiced throughout the history as we have sought to recognize and treat discomfort, disorder and disease. The Celts and Druids practiced hypnosis. The Egyptians established “sleep temples” some 4,000 years ago dedicated to therapeutic trance states in which curative suggestions were given. The Bible contains many sections which allude to hypnotic phenomena. Primitive tribes had Shamans who practiced ritual, sleep cures and healing suggestions to remove the influences responsible for illness. Undoubtedly, the chants of the earliest medicine men helped many patients to restore their health. Think about the crooning and rocking that a mother uses to help her fitful child into a peaceful state of quiet and sleep.
In modern times, hypnosis is usually dated to Vienna in the 1700s and a young physician named Mesmer. The method Mesmer used became known as Mesmerism. Mesmer guided his patients to use their powerful imaginations. By doing so, Mesmer unwittingly lay the corner stone of many present-day therapies. Today, imagery techniques are used in many health care settings, with cancer patients, and in the areas of sports and business motivation.
In 1855, English surgeon, James Esdaile, used hypnotic skills in India. He operated on three thousand patients, of which three hundred were major procedures. He discovered the mortality rate dropped from 50% to 5%, and that many of his patients recovered more quickly, had increased resistance to infection, and had greater comfort. He presented his findings to the Royal Academy of Physicians in London. His work was denounced as blasphemous because “God intended for people to suffer”.
During the 1st and 2nd World Wars, interest in hypnosis was heightened because hypnosis was found to be very effective in combating war neurosis. The success of hypnosis in dismissing symptoms through a reliving of the events of a traumatic experience created a wave of enthusiasm for hypnotic methods.
It is probably true to say that hypnosis is clouded with more myths and misconceptions than any other form of psychological practice, even though these misconceptions have their roots in long-distant history and have no foundation in fact.
In the United States and elsewhere throughout the world, hypnotherapy is now recognized as a valuable therapeutic methodology.
Q: New Adult Client Acceptance
A: When I accept a new client, it is important to me that we achieve a level of success. Prior to accepting you as a client we MUST do a consultation. This consultation is designed for us to not only to get to know one another but to also determine “IF” hypnosis is right for you at this time. Around 10-15% of the people who approach me are not ready for my services for one reason or another, thus therefore they are asked to come back later when they are ready. Later can mean a week or two or could be months down the road. I do not take clients just because they want to pay for my services.
Q: New Child Clients, Under 18 years old
A: I meet with both the child and the parents together to understand what the goal is. If the child is accepted as a new client together we determine the best approach and plan.
Q: How Many Sessions Will It Take?
A: Success or failure with hypnosis is strictly dependent on you and how you approach the process. My approach is a process and not just a few sessions and you’re all better. Most every client starts with 4 sessions and a custom audio recording, unless it is a specialized package. The number of sessions ranges from 4-10 sessions. 85% of my clients are with me for an AVERAGE of 6-7 sessions. The remaining 15% could be done at 4 sessions or exceed the 6-7 sessions.
If you follow my instructions and my process you will get better or achieve a high level of success.
Q: In what areas is hypnotherapy helpful?
A: Hypnotherapy is helpful in a variety of areas including weight loss, smoking cessation, stress reduction, eliminating insomnia, removing past blockages, resolving sexual issues, achieving sales success, releasing anger, improving self-confidence, creating healthy relationships, enhancing athletic performance, increasing learning ability, pain management, motivation, phobia release, settling inner conflict, improving health, and much, much more.
Q: How does the subconscious accept hypnotic suggestions?
A: Hypnotic suggestions bypass the conscious, analytical mind and directly connect with the subconscious mind. When given a new suggestion that is within the bounds of a person’s moral and spiritual beliefs, the subconscious mind accepts the positive suggestions literally as a new reality.
Q: What is it like to be in hypnosis?
Most people do not recognize the state of hypnosis. They expect to become unconscious, and unless you are the one in ten who easily achieves the deep level trance, this is not at all what the experience is like. The chances are you will remain aware of everything going on around you. Many of my clients tell me that a part of them was aware of being in my office, and a part of them was somewhere else. It was like they were in two places at once. This does not mean you are not hypnotized; it simply means you are experiencing a hypnotic level somewhere between a light and medium trance. It is different for each person, but normally as you are conditioned you continue to go a little deeper each time until your "natural level" is attained.
During a hypnotic trance you may question whether you’re really in a hypnotic state. You might think to yourself, “I could simply open up my eyes right now and come out of trance...but I don’t really want to.” The truth is, you could, but the fact that you don’t really want to is a sign that you are deeply relaxed in a hypnotic state.
Also, it is natural for you to fluctuate between deeper states and lighter states during the course of your session, not unlike at night when you fluctuate between deep sleep and the lighter state of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep common during dreaming.
Many people will also experience moments when they don’t recall a thing that I’ve said, yet their unconscious mind heard everything. This is simply a sign that you have gone very deeply, and that upon coming up to a lighter level, you have forgotten what your unconscious mind heard.
Q: Can I be hypnotized if I don’t want to be?
A: No. To a great degree, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and it is you who decides if you want to be hypnotized and how deeply you’d like to relax. However, it takes a very skilled hypnotist to lead a person not only into hypnosis or a trance state but to also know the best approach, presentation and process to take with a person.
Q: How does hypnosis help people?
A: Everyone has the ability to reprogram their emotional attitudes and limiting beliefs. Hypnosis is the most functional and reasonable way to retrain negative attitudes, rather than suffer a lifetime of emotional suffering and self-sabotage.
Q: Can any person be hypnotized?
A: Hypnosis is NOT something I do to you, it is something you allow to happen. People of average intelligence (unless there is some form of brain damage) can be hypnotized if they are willing and do not resist. The depth of hypnosis varies with a person’s ability to respond. Hypnosis is different for everyone; it could be very light state or a very deep state. Even if you are not a naturally responsive subject, with practice you can improve your receptivity to hypnosis and create positive results.
For me, in the last 15 years I have NEVER not had person that I have worked with not go into some level of hypnosis during the first session.
Q: Will I be able to wake up and come out of hypnosis?
A: Yes. No one ever becomes “stuck” in hypnosis. And because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you can wake up and become fully alert even in the middle of a session if you decide to.
Q: Will I lose control when under hypnosis?
A: No. Some people hear the term “trance” and assume that it means being out of control or under the control of the hypnotist. This is not so. You are always under your own control and can choose to come out of hypnosis if you want to. All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. Even though your unconscious mind is open and receptive to positive suggestion, this does not mean your unconscious mind is not paying attention. In fact, your unconscious mind is incredibly wise and protective, with your well-being always in mind. It is always on guard to protect you.
Q: Can a hypnotist control my behavior or make me do something against my will?
A: No. Your values, beliefs and morals remain the same in or out of hypnosis. When you see stage hypnosis where people publicly act out behavior that is different than their normal behavior, it is not against their will; it is because they are willing to act silly in that situation. I am strictly a hypnotherapist and I do not use stage hypnosis.
Q: Will I be asleep when hypnotized?
A: No. The word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek “hypnos” which means sleep, but this is a misnomer. Hypnosis is generally a very relaxed state of awareness. Some people emerge from a hypnosis session feeling unsure that they were hypnotized, because they remained aware the whole time. Their uncertainty comes from the misconception that hypnosis or trance means being asleep.
Q: Will I reveal personal or secret information under hypnosis?
A: The short answer is “No”. What you decide to share will be no different in hypnosis than out of hypnosis. Your unconscious mind knows what is appropriate for you to share publicly. You are always in control of the process and what you share.
Q: How deeply do I need to go to benefit?
A: Whether you are in a light state of hypnosis or go very deep, the suggestions will still be effective.
Q: Can hypnosis be used with children?
A: Yes. Children are natural hypnotic subjects. Most children age 5 and up can benefit. Children naturally walk around in a state of hypnosis and imagination at least 75% of the time. They are open to positive suggestion.
Q: How can children benefit from hypnosis?
A: Children do incredibly well in hypnosis, since they already live in a trance-like state of imagination! We use a variety of techniques specifically designed for youngsters from five years old to teenagers. Regardless of the issue’s children face – from bed-wetting to learning difficulties to self-esteem – hypnosis is a wonderful tool to help them release past blockages and create new healthy habits for living.
Q: My child cannot seem to focus on anything, so how can they be hypnotized?
A: We have discovered that nearly all children have the ability to focus on what interests them. The key is to make their hypnosis sessions both fun and transformational. Using guided imagery and their own imagination, children move into hypnosis without resistance or distraction. We then are able to guide their subconscious minds in the release of negative behaviors and embrace a healthier outlook on life.
Q: My teenager resists authority figures, so I’m wondering if you can still work with them?
A: Yes, we can. One of the most important things that teens quickly realize during is that we are on their side when it comes to healing past wounds. We are allies in helping them achieve their goals. Often simply having someone other than parents or friends to talk with helps them to open and express what it is they are really worried about, giving us the opportunity to create a program that specifically fits their needs.
Q: How can Hypnosis release physical pain?
A: Hypnosis can be defined as a trance-like state of focused imagination. When you focus that imagination on allowing the pain to diminish or disappear, you actually direct your brain to begin to ignore the signals coming from the affected nerves. As long as you are dealing with chronic pain – defined here as that pain which no longer serves any useful purpose – Hypnotists will help you release the pain and learn powerful techniques of self-hypnosis to deal with what might arise.
Q: Can Hypnosis really help resolve sexual issues?
A: Absolutely. Most sexual issues are the result of destructive beliefs that create unwanted behaviors. Hypnosis helps you to improve your self-esteem and focus upon what you do want, forgetting about the old behaviors that focused upon what you don’t want. You draw to you what you feel like you deserve, and the way to release sexual issues is to believe that you deserve to be happy, fulfilled and empowered. Hypnosis allows you to improve your self-confidence so that you enjoy all aspects of your life.
Q: How can hypnosis help me to stop smoking and lose weight?
A: It’s important to realize that negative habits such as smoking, or overeating have their roots in your subconscious mind. Hypnosis works because it allows direct access to that part of you stuck in the old patterns of behavior. By using a variety of safe yet powerful techniques, we retrain your unwanted habits and subconscious beliefs so that you naturally achieve your goals. You just forget that you ever smoked, and your desire intensifies to eat the right foods and drinks at the right time and in the right amounts. Most importantly, you begin to feel healthier, happier, and confident that you are now in control.
Q: How can Hypnosis help me release my stress?
A: Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to reduce stress. Stress is released through a variety of techniques including relaxation, positive suggestions and future visioning. As you become more calm, centered and confident, your mind and body return to a healthy, balanced state from which you begin to naturally live your life.
Q: Can Hypnosis help me overcome my fears and/or phobias?
A: We have many clients that come to us to release their phobias. Whether it is fear of flying, driving, enclosed spaces, or anything else, hypnosis helps you to transform the phobia by draining the energy from the fear. Hypnosis also gives you the confidence to move past those fears to overcome the self-sabotage that often keeps you from achieving your dreams.
Q: I feel constantly stressed with work, my kids and even my spouse. Can hypnosis help me relax and regain control of my life?
A: One of the most important benefits of Hypnosis is that you learn how to relax and feel more in control. Hypnosis gives you the ability to naturally move beyond the limitations of your overloaded conscious mind and connect with that calm, knowing part of you that confidently handles life’s difficulties. Hypnosis even helps you to sleep better, allowing you to react to stress in healthier ways. You become calm, centered and focused even around the most difficult people, even in the most stressful situations.
Q: Does someone saying out loud daily affirmations ever truly help the unconscious mind in order to create (hopefully) new behaviors?
A. There’s nothing wrong with saying affirmations (they can be comforting, like prayer or meditation) but no, they don’t “help” the nonconscious mind create new behaviors.
Q. Do we really get what we speak? Meaning if someone was to state an affirmation ten times daily such as I am overcoming fears of success more and more every day, would that truly be the case or experience in one’s life?
A: Do we get what we speak? Try it sometime. Generally, no. You are on a boat. You say, “go to the other side of the lake.” It doesn’t work. You have to put gas in the tank, turn the motor on, and steer…and dodge obstacles until you get there…. Stating affirmations 10 times (or 100 times) daily is largely a waste of time if you really want to create behavioral change. Use that time to take the action you are affirming and THEN see what happens!
Q: Can you help children with their self-confidence?
A: Few things are more rewarding than helping a child regain their sense of pride and confidence in themselves. Using guided imagery and their own vivid imagination, Hypnosis transforms their fears and anxieties. Children once again become the open, loving, adventurous beings they were meant to be.
Q: Do children’s minds really ignore the “nots”?
A: Absolutely. And they aren’t the only ones! The subconscious mind is the realm of imagination, which usually wins out against your conscious will power. Children simply spend most of their day living in a state of imagination. When you tell them to not do something, their subconscious mind simply dismisses the “not” and focuses upon imagining the statement. For example, if you say, “Don’t even think about going to the party,” you create in their minds something to think about. A more appropriate choice of words would be, “Focus on finishing your homework.” This works on self-talk as well, and it is a powerful tool to teach your children how to focus upon what they want, and avoid thinking about what they don’t want.
Q: Is hypnosis medically approved?
A: Yes. The American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association have approved hypnotherapy for use by professionally responsible individuals. The British Medical Association also adopted hypnosis as a viable therapeutic tool in 1958 (the same year as the AMA.)
Q: Is hypnosis dangerous?
A: No. The induction of hypnosis is never dangerous to the subject, although many have preconceived notions that cause them to be fearful. Our job is to educate and inform clients so that they see hypnosis for what it is: a powerful tool for creating personal transformation.
Q: Are the results of hypnosis permanent?
A: Suggestions stay with some individuals indefinitely, others need reinforcement. The effects of hypnosis are cumulative: The more the techniques are practiced, and post-hypnotic suggestions are brought into play, the more permanent the results become. Self-hypnosis training and reinforcement tapes for home use also provide additional help.
Q: How powerful is a hypnotist?
A: Hypnosis is a consent situation in which 10 percent of the effort is the hypnotherapist’s and the remaining 90 percent is the responsibility of the client. Think of the hypnotherapist as your inner coach who helps you achieve your goals.
Q: Will I remember everything I experience while in hypnosis?
A: The short answer is Most likely, yes. This is a question that is a little more in depth; However, we respect the wisdom of your unconscious mind, in that you will not remember something consciously if you are not ready to handle it. I usually give a suggestion that you will remember everything of value, as your conscious mind can handle it. You also always have the option of taping your session, so you can listen to it later in a conscious state. If you are very tired when you are hypnotized, you may fall into a natural sleep, not hypnosis. In that case you will not remember.
Q: I’d like to come see you, but I’ve been to the Hypnosis shows at county fairs where they make people do all kinds of funny things. How can I be sure you won’t make me do something embarrassing?
A: It is perfectly natural to feel wary of letting someone “control” you in that way. Rest assured; Hypnotists cannot make you do anything that you don’t want to do. Everyone on that stage must agree to be hypnotized for fun in order for the suggestions to work. Remember that Hypnosis is a common, trance-like state of focused imagination that you experience every day whenever you watch television, read a book, or lose track of time while driving. Hypnotherapists simply use this natural state of mind to help clients achieve their goals by accepting positive suggestions.
Q: I’ve seen movies where people get stuck in hypnosis. Can this really happen?
A: While it makes for an interesting plot (the movie Office Space comes to mind), no one has ever gotten stuck in a hypnotist’s trance. Occasionally someone becomes so relaxed that they are reluctant to return to their hectic life – so we give them a few extra minutes to experience this amazing but absolutely natural state of mind. What we do strive for is to have the positive suggestions anchor in our clients’ subconscious mind, giving them healthy alternatives to old, unwanted behaviors.