To better explain what hypnosis is, it may be helpful to first explain what hypnosis is not.
When you are hypnotized, you are not asleep or in an eerie unconscious state. You are in a natural trance state, aware of everything that is taking place. Even after being brought out of hypnosis, you can recall what that took place during the session.
Trance is a very normal, natural state that most of us experience everyday. Trance happens when you are daydreaming, or driving a car and realize that you must have been in some kind of “zone” since you either arrived or missed your destination without realizing how it happened exactly. Another example of trance is when you are mesmerized by a conversation or something you may be seeing or hearing. Someone could have tried more than once to get your attention until you have “snapped out of it.” Hypnosis, meanwhile, occurs when the trance state is guided and utilized for a purpose.
The previous examples of trance are considered a light or “waking” hypnotic state. In both cases, the conscious part of your mind is distracted or extremely focused, allowing the subconscious part of the mind to take over.
During a hypnotic session, your natural state of trance is utilized to elicit congruency or changes that you’ve asked for and desire. The state of hypnosis for therapy creates “selective thinking.” You are guided to bypass the critical faculty in a safe manner to avoid negative, unhelpful, over critical thinking. This allows you to believe whatever you want to believe wholeheartedly when you feel it is safe and advantageous. Your unconscious mind—the parts of your brain in control of automatic processes—responds to make the changes happen.
While you are in trance, your critical faculty (the part of you that considers safety, logic and consequences) is still present. It’s never knocked unconscious, blocked or put to sleep. Negative thinking and over analytical or critical thinking becomes subdued as your mind relaxes and thinks more positively. Imagine a guard dog who is relaxing when he feels safe enough to rest. The moment he saw, heard, smelled or felt anything he felt was worth his attention, he would become alert and engage immediately back on guard. Your mind always retains its duty to keep you safe even if you feel relaxed.
When your mind knows it is safe to do so, you respond to ideas that are determined to be important, beneficial and desirable. Selective thinking disappears if doubt or fear enters in the process so you can stay safe. (Click here for a scientific explanations on the definitions of hypnosis)
If you possess normal brain function, you can be hypnotized; even if you possess atypical brain function, there is an excellent chance you may still be hypnotized. Your degree of success with hypnosis depends primarily on your willingness, motivation, expectation, and ability to follow my directions. The more you are able to trust in me and follow my directions, the easier it will be. It’s my job to have all the skills to be a good guide for you as we partner together.
I do provide Complimentary Consultations where we can see how well we work together and if the process is a good match for you with simple responsiveness exercises. The choice is then up to both of us to swing our meeting into a session if we’re ready to do so. From there, we can see what results you get.
There are many ways to enter a hypnotic trance, and some work better than others depending on who you are as an individual. The ease at which you go in to trance can also be affected by your context at the moment. This is important to remember if you or someone you know has ever had a disappointing experience with hypnosis.
For instance, group hypnosis sessions do not cater to each subject’s individual needs to receive suggestions. Even if you’ve seen another hypnotherapist before, and did not get the results you were hoping for, remember that we each have our own methods of dealing with issues and individuals. Also, somebody may have been asked to step down as a stage hypnosis volunteer even though they are a perfectly able to enter a trance. Various reasons may play into it. Depending on the amount of time and type of induction the stage hypnotist used or what kind of personalities they may have been wanting to include in their show, that hypnotist excused the person simply if it was not a good fit. It could also be that the person was too distracted or concerned in some way to allow themselves to go into trance at that time.
Yes, I love to work with children ages 6 and up. I find they respond very well to the process, even better/faster than adults in many cases. A child’s mind usually tends to be more imaginative, creative and not as analytical or negative.
Parental/Guardian permission is as necessary for this process as the permission of your child. According to the Washington State Department of Health, the legal age to hypnotize a minor without parental consent is 14.
If you are wondering if hypnosis can help your child, please call me for a phone consult. Then we can determine if setting up an office consultation with and your child is a good idea. Any session(s) would follow after that first meeting.
Since kids respond so quickly and easily to hypnosis and tend to have a shorter attention span, sessions usually range from 30 minutes to 50 minutes. Desired results are usually seen after 1-3 sessions depending on the presenting issue being resolved. This can depend greatly on the age, willingness and personality of your child. I do limit the amount of sessions I will work with children to be up to 6-8 if improvements are not being seen. It may be a sign that another method of therapy would be better for your child and/or family in order to be effective. Hypnosis works best when the client (adult or child) is willing, ready and able to be lead through any appropriate techniques I may need to guide them in. Small tasks such as homework assignments or recordings may be given to your child to use to make our work together more successful.
It is important to know that I am a skilled professional with your child’s best interest at heart. Your trust is appreciated if I need to speak with your child alone at any point. There is a waiting room just outside the door to my office. I will of course always ask your permission ahead of time. Please understand that the only reason I would ask to speak with your child privately would be to gain necessary helpful information from them or rapport with them if I have not found it in your presence with us already. Rapport, signs of willingness and my awareness of any conflict that could prevent desired outcomes are absolutely necessary to make the process effective. These things can usually be found with you in our presence. If what I need to proceed in helping your child is your permission to speak to them alone and it is not given by you, I may have no other choice than to refuse or discontinue any session(s).
I find hypnosis to be particularly effective with kids for overcoming fears (of animals, the dark, doctors and dentists, heights, taking tests, speaking in public or to adults/authority figures, etc.), stuttering, thumb sucking, nail biting, pain, allergies, asthma, skin disorders such as eczema, warts, hives, etc.), bed wetting, nightmares and sleep troubles, anger, motivation or performance improvement (for homework, school, goal achievement, sports, etc.), sibling rivalry, grief (of divorce, death, or a change of life such health or moving). Please contact me if you want to understand whether hypnosis is the right tool to help your child overcome any of the above mentioned issues or one that is not mentioned.
The answer is “Yes!” You go in and out of trance every day because it is a naturally occurring state. It occurs just before you fall asleep, as you are waking up, when you daydream, or become mesmerized by something like a campfire, work of beauty, a movie, book, or piece of music. Your mind already knows how to reach hypnotic states because you have been doing it your entire life whether you knew it or not. The only difference with hypnotherapy is that I am leading you into that state and guiding it purposefully so we can utilize it to help you achieve your goals.
You may go into a trance more easily or quickly than others who need a little more practice being guided to learn the skill. Some people are natural swimmers, taking to it like a duck in the water, others get conditioned with the help of a coach. The most successful hypnotic experiences are not only guided by your level of responsiveness but by the level of skill and experience of your hypnotist. You have the opportunity to reach deeper and deeper levels of awareness and responsiveness (for greater results) with every session.
Most of the time, when someone believes they cannot be hypnotized, that belief comes from a lack of knowledge or misinformation of what hypnosis is, a fear of loss of control, or because of an unsuccessful past event where a hypnotic experience was being sought as a client or stage subject.
There is no danger of a person failing to come out of the hypnotic state. In fact, it would be impossible to remain hypnotized indefinitely. Even if the hypnotist left the office while an individual was in a hypnotic state, there would be no danger. The person would drift off into a natural state of sleep and would awaken after they were rested or sensed there was a situation that demanded their immediate full attention.
You won’t “wake up” because you won’t be “asleep”. You’ll be aware of what’s going on around you at all times. You may be aware of drifting off into other thoughts and feel you didn’t hear some of what a hypnotist said. And that’s ok, because your subconscious was paying attention and noting everything that was said the entire time.
The only way hypnosis could be dangerous would be if it was used to take away pain when it was irresponsible to do so. For example, if an individual were to be hypnotically released from the pain of a condition that instead needed medical attention or treatment.
When you are hypnotized, you are aware of all suggestions given to you, and you will not do anything that you are opposed to doing. You would instead ignore the suggestion or your critical faculty would engage to bring you out of the hypnotic trance.
Typically, clients report that they sleep better at night and are more relaxed during their daily life after a hypnosis session. It is important that a client is only free to leave the office after feeling fully alert again, that process can range in taking a few minutes to a few seconds. Some clients may have vivid dreams the night after a session. These are usually good dreams however, if a hypnotist did not take care to integrate your conscious and unconscious mind very well before closing the session or if issues still needing resolution are seeking to be addressed, the pleasantness of a persons dreams might depend on that.
Gullible and suggestible are not the same thing. Everyone is suggestible meaning they can be influenced, be imaginative and can follow directions, to some extent. Intelligent, stronger- minded and strong-willed persons who want to be hypnotized achieve excellent results from hypnosis. A “strong will” actually enhances the process because a person’s self-control is literally strengthened and redirected towards the desired results.
Yes, absolutely. Most people enjoy the feeling of relaxation so much that they prefer just to listen. But sometimes the hypnotist will ask the client to respond verbally to questions or use a finger to indicate yes or no.
A person could not be tricked into doing or saying something they did not feel good about under hypnosis any easier than they could in a conscious state. You are perfectly able to refuse to answer a request or question or even lie while hypnotized.
No. Hypnosis is a perfectly natural and very enjoyable state of relaxation, but there is no addictive factor to it.
Hypnosis has been used to help improve peoples health and wellness the world over for centuries since the medical authority of the day in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. In the United States, the American Medical Association officially recognized hypnosis as a treatment adjunct in 1958. Today The Mayo Clinic endorses hypnosis for treatment of Cancer, IBS, Fibromaylgia, Acid Reflux, and many other medical needs when being facilitated by a trained, licensed, hypnotherapist. (Click for a full Mayo Clinic Medical Report on Hypnosis in Contemporary Medicine)
Any members of the medical society who do not recommend hypnosis for treatment usually do so in specific situations where it may not be appropriate (i.e. the use of pain control when a symptom of an illness could be masked) or are unaware/misinformed of what hypnosis is and does for people. Sometimes members of the medical community do not encourage what they do not understand, even if there is evidence for how well it works. Since much study remains as to why hypnosis works so well (like many other studies of the brain complicated by the obvious dilemma of how one studies the working human brain in the first place).
Yes hypnosis certainly does work and it can work for you! Kristin’s life is living proof and so are those of clients she has had the privilege of helping already. You can read more under her stories and testimonials. There are also many scientific studies that evidence the effectiveness of hypnosis especially for issues such as smoking cessation, pain control, speedy healing, recovery from surgery, hypertension, warts, immune system responses, weight management and much more.
Hypnosis helps you gain control of your subconscious mind where our automatic responses come from. This applies to bodily processes, emotions, and habits. You gain the power when you have aligned your conscious and subconscious wills to reach your desired goals to your fullest capacity.
If you have a very unique problem, you may be wondering if hypnosis can work for you. The good news is that the process of hypnosis can be adapted to meet your specific needs. It would be nearly impossible to comprise a complete and comprehensive list for all the ways hypnosis can help you, due to the sheer volume of it’s applications.
Please contact me to discuss your particular needs.
You are unique as an individual and so there is no magic number I can promise you in regards to a number of sessions for any issue(s). I can give you a reference of what it took for other clients I have worked with in similar situations. We could answer that question most accurately after a free of charge consultation scheduled for over the phone or in my office. The general answer however, would be that hypnosis typically helps you achieve your desired results in 1 to 6 sessions. Many clients choose to schedule regular periodic hypnosis sessions to promote ongoing health and well being after finding how well it works. It gets easier and more effective to apply it to a variety of aspects in your life.
Results may very depending upon your issue and any number of sessions undergone. Also the time the results take to become obvious or consciously known to you can vary. Take using hypnosis for weight loss as an example. When you make simple, consistent, healthy differences in your eating and activity habits, you will typically experience 1 to 2 pounds of weight coming off a week or 4 to 8 pounds a month.
The effects of hypnosis typically begin immediately. For instance, being hypnotized is a pleasant experience in and of itself. It results in an immediate sense of well being, usually accompanied by peace, relaxation and excitement. Hypnosis is usually effective to you the results you desire within 1 to 3 sessions and in some cases up to 6 or possibly 12 sessions (i.e. for multifaceted issues like weight loss which can be one theme but many components in some cases). Scheduling follow up sessions to make sure you achieve your desired results is always your decision to make.
Suggestions are always given for continued reinforcement at every session. Purchasing a copy of your session for a small fee or a custom made recording of tailored reinforcement suggestions for you specifically, may also be an option.
It is my goal as a competent, confident, and professional hypnotist with integrity, to help you achieve your intended results as effectively, timely and cost efficiently as possible.
I encourage my clients to consider learning self hypnosis and or scheduling “tune ups” for their mind so to speak. Just as one does with a dentist to prevent plaque and tooth decay. It’s healthy to keep you functioning at your best.
Using hypnosis to help you think, feel and act at your best can also be achieved when learning Self Hypnosis. It is easiest and most effective to learn when guided by a professional for starters. I suggest this as opposed to someone without any experience guessing as how to guide themselves. I can take longer to be effective. However there are many resources to learn self hypnosis. You may schedule a session to learn the process best for you and receive my recommendations for you as an individual to learn, develop and continue with self hypnosis.
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