Frequently Asked Questions
You may well be wondering if hypnosis and hypnotherapy is the right thing for you. I've taken some of the questions that are most often asked of me and answered them below. If your question isn't answered here, feel free to email me and I'll respond as soon as I can. Alternatively, why not come along for a free consultation and ask your questions in person?
When I am hypnotised how am I going to feel? Will I know what is going on? Will I be asleep?
Is hypnosis safe?
What does hypnosis feel like?
Will you make me dance like a chicken?
Will I remember anything after the session is over?
What may happen to me after the session is over?
What if I do not come out of hypnosis?
Will I be asleep or unconscious while under hypnosis?
Can I bring a friend with me?
Can anyone be hypnotised?
Under what circumstances should a client not be hypnotised?
I am told that I am very bright. Can I be hypnotised?
Does everyone enter hypnosis easily?
What if I can not go deeply enough?
Can a person fabricate experiences while under hypnosis?
How can I be sure that memories revealed under hypnosis are real?
What if I am not ready to "know" about my experiences? Isn’t forcing the issue unhealthy?
Is it possible to have thoughts implanted in my mind?
What is the "false memory syndrome"?
Are hypnotically recalled experiences really the subject’s own or merely something they have read about or seen? In other words, how much of the subject’s memories may not even be theirs?
How does hypnosis differ from sleep, meditation or guided imagery?
Is hypnosis dangerous?
Does hypnosis weaken the will?
Can a person be hypnotised against their will?
What is self-hypnosis?
What is the subconscious mind?
What is auto suggestion?
What can self-hypnosis do for me?
How does self-hypnosis differ from hypnotism by a hypnotist?
You certainly will not be asleep or unconscious. If you were asleep, your hypnotist would not be able to have a conversation with your subconscious. As a matter of fact, during hypnosis you are even more aware of what is going on around you than you would ordinarily be, but you can be selective about it (which you can’t do in the waking state). While under hypnosis, you are in a very relaxed and pleasant state.
Yes. Hypnosis is very safe when practised by a qualified and competent hypnotherapist. You should always check your hypnotherapist’s credentials. A Diploma in Hypnotherapy (DipHyp) is the bare minimum qualification the therapist should have. Good hypnotherapists will have proof of Continuing Professional Development, possibly to degree or postgraduate degree standard.
Hypnosis is a term derived from the Greek word for sleep. Hypnosis is very relaxing. However, you never lose awareness during hypnosis. When you are hypnotised, you continue to be aware of your surroundings. Everyone has experienced hypnosis. For instance, you may be watching a TV advert that you have seen many times and you find yourself very engrossed in it to the point that should a fly land on your nose you will feel lethargic and give yourself plenty of time to decide if you want it away from you. Daydreaming is also a hypnotic state.
No. Hypnosis as used in a therapist’s clinic is a healing or investigative process. The client's welfare is the sole focus of the procedure and the work is geared towards helping the client. Stage hypnosis is a show where people perform acts that are used to entertain an audience. Since the purpose is usually to hold the audience’s interest and to entertain them, the subjects are carefully selected and screened before the stage demonstration begins.
You will remember everything unless the hypnotist has valid reasons to delay the recall until he/she feels it is safe and beneficial to you. However, you may remember only what you are ready to remember. You may be asked to describe images or sensations or sounds as they come to you. You will be encouraged to avoid explaining or making any sense out of these impressions. You may report these impressions, but this is not the time to make any sense out of them.
There is a possibility that after the session is over and in the days to come, images or memories will surface spontaneously to your awareness. These images could be upsetting, but remember you can always call your hypnotist.
Everyone comes out of hypnosis. Remember that you went into hypnosis willingly. So, just as you decided to go into hypnosis, by the same token, you will decide to come out of it. There are, on very few occasions, some people who enjoy the feeling of total relaxation so much that they resist coming out. But all experienced and well-trained hypnotists have knowledge of many different ways to bring the person around. Since it is the hypnotist’s voice that puts the client into hypnosis, when the client realises that the hypnotist’s voice is no longer heard, the person will return to the present. If the worst really did come to the worst, the client would drift off into a natural sleep and reawaken naturally when sufficient sleep had been had as per the norm.
Yes, you can bring someone with you if you feel you need the reassurance and if that makes you comfortable. However, you must understand that, should your therapist suggest that it is best for you to be alone; you must respect his/her recommendation and have him/her clarify that decision. Keep in mind that you are in control and feel free to have your request heard.
Everyone can be hypnotised provided that they want to be. Anyone who wishes to be hypnotised can be. Even people with short attention spans can be hypnotised but the procedure requires special skills on the part of the hypnotist.
Absolutely. The general rule of thumb is that the greater the intellectual ability of the client, the greater the depth of hypnosis that can often be achieved. Concentration is essential for hypnosis. Nevertheless, people with a wide range of intellectual giftedness or limitations can be hypnotised. In fact, almost anyone can be hypnotised, even children as young as five; older people also.
Generally yes. If you have had positive experiences with hypnosis, it will naturally facilitate your re-experiencing it. If you are concerned that under hypnosis you might reveal some deep personal secrets, you should not be. You will reveal only what you wish unless the hypnotist is using unethical techniques, such as using mechanical devices or drugs to unearth or implant
A light hypnotic state is often sufficient to accomplish the goals of the session. Most people can achieve a trance deep enough to allow for the process. Hypnosis is just one of many tools and techniques used to uncover information or to work out problems.
Hypnosis is not a truth serum and there is no guarantee that all information obtained under hypnosis is accurate. Some people under hypnosis have been known to fabricate and lie. As a matter of fact, one can even lie after an injection of truth serum. The serum is a chemical administered to reduce inhibitions so that the subject reveals freely solicited information. However, there can be deep information that the person chooses not to divulge and the subject may choose not to reveal it. Hypnosis can bring back information that has been repressed or forgotten. The skilled hypnotist will have techniques to determine if the subject is lying.
It is a fact that the capacity to influence people to do something against their will exists. There is no doubt that people can be manipulated into doing things against their will and even against their systems of value and belief. This is known as brainwashing and although techniques of brainwashing do exist, they are not in the realm of clinical hypnosis and the ethics as practiced in clinical situations.
False Memory Syndrome is where a combination of actual personal memories, memories of things read or seen, the words used (or sometimes not used) by the therapist and an active imagination can combine to form a false memory that yet seems real to the client or subject. Any memory recalled through regression hypnosis should be treated carefully until proven true through other means and most certainly should not be accepted immediately at face value.
Hypnosis is best described as an altered state of consciousness, or a changed state of awareness, concentration and perception. During the experience of hypnosis, the client remains in complete control and should they ever feel uncomfortable because of the experience, they can always reopen their eyes and terminate the intervention. Everyone at some point or another has experienced hypnosis. You experience hypnosis when you miss an exit while driving or when you are so engrossed watching TV or reading a book that even a person talking to you will not distract you from your activities. Although some hypnotists use the word sleep as a suggestion to enter deep relaxation, hypnosis is not sleep. Sleep is defined as a "natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored." During sleep, the individual is not aware of what is happening. Meditation involves focusing your thoughts and engaging yourself in inner contemplation or reflection. Meditation techniques vary, but what most of them have in common is the relief of suffering and the promotion of healing. There is in truth a fine line between meditation and hypnosis. Meditation and self-hypnosis can be induced in similar ways. Both techniques may begin by the person being asked to stare at a certain point, breathe in a prescribed way or listen to chants or rhythms. Guided Imagery is the use of mental images to bring about changes usually related to health problems.All the above techniques share relaxation as part of the procedure, but that is where the similarities end.
Techniques exist by which you can attain a state of self hypnosis and gain complete relaxation under the most stressful conditions. In this state the subconscious mind is open to therapeutic suggestions.
The conscious mind, the mind you are aware of, is your "ME". It is the critical part of your mind. The subconscious mind is the one that directs your conduct through the habits and emotional desires acquired from the influences of your environment, before you were old enough to reject harmful ideas and concepts.
Through proper use of auto suggestion you re-programme the subconscious mind to make decisions favourable to your welfare. The new suggestions help in overcoming unwanted habits, a lack of concentration and any other unhealthy attitudes that doom you to failure.
Anything you want it to! Instant learning and photographic memory systems are based on self-hypnosis. Champions in various sports use it to improve their game concentration. You can now learn to overcome undesirable habits, such as smoking, over-eating or drinking with self-hypnosis. You regain self confidence. You now know that success is within easy reach, and erasing harmful emotions leads to a happier and healthier life.
In self-hypnosis YOU choose your own time limits, realising that you have a choice and can now choose your area for self improvement. Using a hypnotist at the beginning of your awareness training is of great benefit. It speeds up the retraining process.