Hypnosis F.A.Q. and Answers
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about hypnosis, hypnotherapy and Somatic Hypnotherapy:
- What is hypnosis?
- How does it feel to be hypnotized?
- Who can be hypnotized?
- Is hypnosis dangerous?
- Can I “get stuck” in a hypnotic trance?
- Is hypnosis “Mind Control”?
- Can a person be hypnotized against his will?
- Will I be asleep?
- Will I tell any secrets under hypnosis?
- Can an "insane", drunk or somebody who's high on drugs be hypnotized?
- What is Hypnotherapy?
- Is hypnotherapy a sort of talk therapy or psychotherapy?
- What is a hypnotic induction?
- What are the differences between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
- How long has hypnotherapy been practiced?
- Can hypnotherapy hurt me?
- Will I lose control during my hypnotherapy session?
- What is Somatic Hypnotherapy?
- What are the particularities of Somatic Hypnotherapy?
- Who can benefit of Somatic Hypnotherapy
- Does hypnotherapy work?
- What is the effectiveness of Somatic Hypnotherapy?
- How does hypnotherapy work?
- What role does the subconscious mind play in hypnotherapy?
- What areas can Somatic Hypnotherapy be helpful in?
- How quickly will I experience results from hypnosis?
- How much does hypnotherapy cost?
- Is Somatic Hypnotherapy covered by insurance?
- How much will I remember my hypnotherapy session?
1. What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a particular state of deep relaxation of the body and high concentration of mind. In this comfortable state the critical thinking is bypassed, imagination is activated in a controlled manner while suggestibility and the senses are heightened.
2. How does it feel to be hypnotized?
It feels great! Hypnosis is a natural state that feels similar to that feeling you get right before you fall asleep at night. When you awaken, you feel refreshed and revitalized. You just feel as if you are relaxing in a very comfortable space with your eyes closed. Here are some personal feelings one may experience when in a hypnotic state:
- Mental and physical relaxation, general feeling of drowsiness
- Lack of desire to open eyes (relaxation feels too good).
- Eyelids heavy, feels as locked together, unable to open.
- Jaw muscles relaxed, teeth unclenched.
- Tongue loose and natural, dryness in mouth, desire to swallow.
- Desire to scratch an itch, but not sure of doing it.
- Twitching or jerking in any part of the body.
- Euphoria (state of well-being).
- Tingling or numbness in any portion of body.
- Heavy feeling in any portion or entire body.
- Desire to laugh, smile, giggle, or cry.
- Body warmth or chill.
- 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.
- Feeling of lightness or of floating.
- Partial body detachment as if part of the body is not there.
3. Who can be hypnotized?
Anyone who can pay attention, follow instructions and can daydream can be hypnotized if he is willing. Nobody can be hypnotized against his will. If a person is not willing to cooperate, he cannot be hypnotized. However, the idea that some people are just not hypnotizable is incorrect. Some patients may initially have problems with feeling that they may lose control in some unacceptable way. This may lead them to intellectually second guess and over analyze what is going on. People will vary however, as to the extent or depth to which they can be hypnotized.
4. Is hypnosis dangerous?
Myths about hypnosis perpetuated by Hollywood movies, urban legends and fiction books lead people to think all kinds of things about hypnosis, including that it is somehow dangerous. Some people have heard that you can go into trance and not wake up. Or that the hypnotist can make you do things you don't want to do. These things are untrue. You are always in control, always able to "come back" to full waking state at any time if you wanted or needed to. The number one job of the subconscious mind is to protect you, and it is always on the job.
5. Can I “get stuck” in a hypnotic trance?
You cannot get stuck in hypnosis because you do not lose control when you are hypnotized. Hypnosis is a cooperative relationship. When you are hypnotized, you retain full control over your mind and your body. If a client were to go so deep as to enter a truly unconscious state (a very rare occurrence), they would simply go into natural sleep and awaken when they were rested. However, a simple suggestion for awakening is all that is needed to bring a subject back into the waking state even if the subject has fallen asleep. It is impossible for anyone to be left or lost in hypnosis. After hypnosis, a person awakens naturally, just as they do after sleep! When the hypnotist stops talking, the subject will soon awaken on his own. During the session, if there were an emergency, or the subject no longer wished to participate, they could easily awaken themselves at any time and simply stop.
6. Is hypnosis “Mind Control”?
Not at all. No one under hypnosis can be induced to do anything against his or her will. Whatever moral and ethical codes you hold in a normal waking state will still be in place under hypnosis. The subject retains full control and responsibility for his or her actions at all times. You can actually lie when in hypnosis. Your unconscious mind job is to protect and help you. Just like you cannot be made to do anything against your moral code, you will not say anything that is embarrassing and will not reveal more than you are comfortable doing. 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.” You can come out of hypnosis any time you want. You are in complete control at all times.
7. Can a person be hypnotized against his will?
No. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing subject. Your hypnotist must have your full cooperation. People who are hypnotized will not do anything in Hypnosis that they would not do in the waking state. When you are in hypnosis, you are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your values and morals. If at any time you want to emerge from the state of hypnosis, for any reason, you will instantly, naturally open your eyes and become fully alert. No one can keep you in hypnosis against your will.
8. Will I be asleep?
No. When a person is in Hypnosis, he is not asleep. He or she is very much aware of all that is going on. He is relaxed, comfortable, focused, and in a state of daydream type thinking. His critical analyzing mind (Consciousness) is turned off and his intuitive and creative mind (Subconscious) is aware of everything that is going on. In Hypnosis, one’s senses become heightened and more acute. Of course, if a person is tired, it is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis. However, then, the subject is asleep and no longer in hypnosis. When this occurs, the state of sleep is a light but relaxing state of sleep. A simple suggestion to wake up given by the hypnotist is all that is required to rouse up the subject.
9. Will I tell any secrets under hypnosis?
No. You retain full control over what you say. Subjects in hypnosis reveal no secrets in the hypnotic state that they would not reveal in the waking state. Hypnosis cannot be used to find the truth, or make a person tell the truth. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. First of all, the hypnotized subject retains enough awareness and control to not say anything that he doesn’t want to make known. Hypnosis can help a willing patient get deeper in touch with his deepest and most heartfelt feelings. But feelings are not facts. Recollections that come to mind in hypnosis are colored by the patient’s feelings. We use hypnosis to find the truth about how the patient feels about something, not the truth about what really happened. The hypnotist or therapist cannot make the patient find out, or talk about, how he feels about something, unless the patient feels comfortable and totally safe, and is ready.
10. Can an "insane", drunk or under the influence of illicit drugs person be hypnotized?
The ability to sustain concentration and the ability to follow instructions are necessary prerequisites to being able to be hypnotized. Thus, clinically insane, drunk or under illicit drugs persons can be very difficult subjects. A good subject should have the desire to be hypnotized and to experience hypnosis, the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.
11. What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy has nothing to do with stage hypnosis, and it is not a magic trick. Hypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis to interact with the subconscious mind in an open-reflective process to create positive change in your life. There are many techniques and many styles and many applications of hypnotherapy. They all have several things in common:
- Client’s strong desire to change
- An induced state of deeply relaxed focus
- Language and visualization in relationship to feelings.
12. Is hypnotherapy a sort of talk therapy or psychotherapy?
Although hypnosis is used by various health professionals as an integrated tool in different approaches, between hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and allopathic medicine, there are very few similarities in their philosophies, assessment protocols and therapeutic protocols. Therefore, despite their great diversity, proven effectiveness, and growing popularity, hypnotherapy is not the therapy of first choice for any known psychological, allopathic, or psychiatric approach. Yet, as described by Dr. James Braid, hypnotherapy is a therapy in itself, with a distinct ancestral philosophy, a symptom-oriented holistic approach and a multi-millennial tradition.
13. What is a hypnotic induction?
Hypnotic induction is a method of inducing the hypnotic state. For this hypnosis induction to be effective, you must cooperate as an active participant in the process. There are numerous ways of inducing hypnosis. The hypnosis professional gives you carefully worded instructions to follow with the goal of helping you enter a state of deep relaxation and focused attention. It is actually a natural state of mind that many of us encounter in everyday life on a regular basis. If you’ve ever been engrossed in a book, movie, or performance, then you have likely experienced the trance state. The main thing that distinguishes a naturally occurring trance state from the hypnotic trance state is that hypnotherapists induce the latter and are able to control the trance state to create understanding and healing.
14. What are the main differences between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
While hypnosis and hypnotherapy are in the same “family,” they are very different from each other. The core difference is that hypnosis is a tool, while hypnotherapy is an internationally-recognized therapy technique for emotional, behavioural and psychosomatic issues. Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to pierce the subconscious to better understand and resolve the issues a client is facing.
15. How long has hypnotherapy been practiced?
The holistic or mind-body concept of healing the human being as whole rather than curing diseases is not new. What is now called “hypnotherapy” has been known to exist in almost all ancient societies. Although the term “hypnosis” has been used only since the 1840s, many priests, shamans, healers and medicine men began using this technique, or some form of it, centuries earlier. There are written records about hypnosis going back 5,000 years in Mesopotamia and Egypt and 2,500 years ago in ancient China and Greece. While hypnotherapy has had a place in society for thousands of years, it has also carved out a place as a legitimate modern medical practice. As early as 1892, the British Medical Association verified the efficacy of hypnotherapy.
16. Can hypnotherapy hurt me?
In over 5,000years of hypnosis history, there is no documented case of anyone being hurt with this approach. Hypnosis can only be used in a positive way. If anyone tries to give you suggestions against your morals, religious beliefs or anything you feel strongly about, you could instantly emerge from the state of relaxation on your own.
17. Will I lose control during my hypnotherapy session?
Losing control during hypnotherapy is another Hollywood myth. You always have control, and you can always hear and understand what's going on. Hypnosis is nothing but a state of relaxed deep focus. It is a natural state that you enter at least twice a day (while waking up and while falling asleep!), and probably much more often than that. If at any time you are in trance and you wish to be fully awake, you can just count to yourself "1 - 2- 3" and open your eyes.
18. What is Somatic Hypnotherapy?
Somatic Hypnotherapy is a well-balanced blend of the age-old practice of Traditional Hypnotherapy, some East Europeans traditional healing practices very similar to hypnotherapy and the rigor of Western scientific models. As an avangardist approach to health and well-being, Somatic Hypnotherapy has integrated and developed into therapeutic practice various visionary scientific models, notably the Somatic Markers Hypothesis and the concept of Emotional Coherence. With time, this pragmatic approach has proven to be very effective in overcoming a wide variety of emotional, behavioral and somatic issues. Simply put, while psychology proposes cognitive management and psychiatry a chemical management of emotional issues, Somatic Hypnotherapy aimes at managing emotional feelings as practical way to control unwanted emotions.
19. What are the particularities of Somatic Hypnotherapy?
Unlike conventional hypnotherapy approaches that focus on adding a fresh layer of positive feelings on top of your lasting fears and traumas, the somatic hypnotherapy is all about releasing the past by rearranging the present reading of your past traumatic experiences. This therapy works with your model of the world and involves you in your therapy process, so that changes are easily accepted and long-lasting.
With Somatic Hypnotherapy you won't undergo a passive script therapy. The hallmark of somatic hypnotherapy is a process of neuro-linguistic modulation that consists of speaking to your subconscious mind in a very particular way, by using a metaphorical language that would appear to be a regular conversation. The beauty of this approach is that I’ll assist you in re-arranging the perception of your reality, by clearly asking for the changes you want to experience. Your subconscious mind will submissively respond and follow your instructions. I will be there for you, mostly guiding and assisting you throughout your process of change. Thus, you will become the craftsman of your own change.
20. Who can benefit of Somatic Hypnotherapy
Not only does this approach give spectacular results, but it works with everyone, unless you have a hard time to experience emotional feelings. This fascinating approach to health and wellbeing is open to anyone who is able to focus their attention, follow instructions, day-dream and really wish to experience a change under hypnosis. All those undergoing a Somatic Hypnotherapy session will most likely experience a change following their first session. Nevertheless, the most spectacular results are to be expected among those rather open minded and, mostly among those able to distinguish between paradigms and science, those who dares to sense that humans could be much more than a kind of soulless and spiritless intelligent monkeys and our heart could be more than just a hydraulic pump.
21. Does hypnotherapy work?
Yes, hypnotherapy works. Professional organizations have consistently reported on the value of hypnotherapy. The British Medical Association has been formally studying and verifying it since 1892. In the 1950s, both the British Medical Association and the American Medical Association confirmed the efficacy of hypnotherapy as official policy. They claimed: “For the past hundred years there has been an abundance of evidence that psychological and physiological changes could be produced by hypnotism, and also that such changes might be of great service in the treatment of patients.” In 2001, the British Psychological Society reported that: “Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.” You have to want the change, agree with the change, and then hypnosis is an instrument for helping make that change better, faster, and permanent. Furthermore, the therapy expected outcome is lowered by each failed attempt to solve a tenacious issue.
22. What is the effectiveness of Somatic Hypnotherapy?
Your Somatic Hypnotherapy session will be, most likely, one of the most fascinating experiences of your life. This innovative approach to health and well-being is so effective that not only will you be able to solve several interrelated problems during the same therapy session, but you will assess your good results on the spot, throughout and mainly at the end of your session. The exact outcome of your therapy depends mainly on you, as the best results a therapy has to offer always comes from the therapeutic approach that you trust the most. With this unquestionable “no results-no charge” guaranteed approach, you better be ready to experience mind blowing spectacular results.
The last 5 years of rigorous track recorded results, shows as following:
- 56.7% of clients are satisfied with the results after a single session of hypnotherapy
- 39.3% have experienced the expected change after 2-3 sessions
- 2.2% of clients needed more than 3 sessions to fully recover
- 1.8% of clients couldn’t benefit of the therapy because, following the initial evaluation, Somatic Hypnotherapy didn’t appear to be their therapy of choice or, after their first session of therapy they haven’t been satisfied with the results.
23. How does Hypnotherapy work?
Once the Hypnotic State is induced and the doorway to the Subconscious Mind is opened, with your permission, the competent Hypnotist can provide information, in a language and form that the subconscious can accept, to help you change the behaviors, feelings and thoughts that you want to change. Hypnotherapy utilizes the fact that the subconscious mind has the ability to accept what it imagines as real. Once you've seen with your eyes the magician pulling the rabbit out of his hat, no matter how many times you replay that image in your mind, you will always see the same thing, because the magician has convinced your mind that it has happened. By analogy, once the hypnotherapist has convinced your subconscious mind of a new emotional reading of an uncomfortable situation, no matter how many times your conscious mind replays this situation, the associated emotional content would be changed, although the factual content is unchanged. This is how, once your subconscious learns that there are no more painful feelings related to your last separation, your conscious mind permanently accepts this new reality, and you feel, think and behave accordingly.
24. What role does the subconscious mind play in hypnotherapy?
The Subconscious part of the mind, or the Inner Mind, controls all of our living functions that keep us alive, as well as all of our automatic behavior patterns. Information is imprinted in the Subconscious essentially in three ways: through repetition, through trauma, and through the language of Hypnosis. Thus, Hypnosis is the quickest and most efficient way to impress the Subconscious and imprint changes in behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and feelings. Old habits cling and typically resist efforts to change them. This can be because consciously may want to change, but the Subconscious does not know this. If it did, it would help you. Once the Subconscious is informed that you want to change, it has no choice but to help you change.
25. What areas can Somatic Hypnotherapy be helpful in?
Somatic hypnotherapy may help you with addressing a wide range of personal, well-being and health issues, such as:
- Various anxiety, fear and phobia issues
- Addiction recovery
- Various pains, muscle tension, bruxisme (teeth grinding), etc
- Various behavioural issues
- Grief recovery, mourning
- Overcoming public speaking anxiety
- Overcoming insomnia
- Social phobias
- Stress and emotional trauma recovery
- Overcoming symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Overcoming stuttering, tinnitus
- Recovering from loss, separation and divorce
- Overcoming shyness, boosting self-confidence
- Hypnotherapy for school, stage and sport performance
- Anxiety and stress related various issues
26. How quickly will I experience results from hypnosis?
There are many factors at work here. First, and foremost, there’s your motivation level and commitment. If you’re “trying” to quit a bad habit or an addiction because your partner has put you up to it, you’re not really all that motivated yourself. There’s no such thing as “trying to quit.” You’re either ready to experience the change or you’re not. Same is true with just about anything. With Somatic Hypnotherapy, not only will you be able to solve several interrelated problems during the same therapy session, but you will assess your good results on the spot, throughout and mainly at the end of your session. Good results appear immediately, similar to the surgical repair of a major trauma, or anti-venom treatment of a snake bite. Yet, hypnotherapy is not a universal panacea magic pill.
27. How much does hypnotherapy cost?
Of course it varies from city to city and from professional to professional. The average seems to be somewhere between $75 and $260 per session, with sessions commonly being between an hour and an hour and a half long. Some hypnotherapists offer programs at a single price for different specific problems they deal with, and prices range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars per program. The only practitioners who regularly offer guarantees "no result - no pay", are the traditional and somatic hypnotherapists. Somatic hypnotherapy sessions are billed at a variable rate based on the complexity of the issues to be treated. Fees are between 120$ and 160$ for the first session and no more than 120$ for each eventual follow-up session. First therapy session can last from 90 to 120 minutes and each follow-up session 60 to 90 minutes.
28. Is Somatic Hypnotherapy covered by insurance?
Most private insurance companies will cover 50% to 80% of the cost of naturopathic therapies. Somatic Hypnotherapy is a naturopathic approach. As a member of the National Association of Naturopaths, I am bound by professional confidentiality, and my services are eligible for coverage under most insurance plans. For more information, please contact your insurance company.
29. How much will I remember my hypnotherapy session?
You will remember everything that is said, however if you are used to the experience or find yourself drifting off into other thoughts you can allow your focus and attention to wander off and remember very little. Remembering the experience is entirely an individual thing, but the bottom line is if you stay focused and want to remember you will.
The "No Results - No Pay" principle applies to all my therapies.
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Disclaimer: The above article may contain statements that reflect the opinion of the author. It is intended for general informational purposes and does not constitute psychological or medical professional advice. I don't diagnose conditions, nor do I interfere with any treatments given by your medical professional.
If you already are under the care of a doctor or under medical treatment, follow the advice and treatment recommended by your doctor. For any medical emergency, call the Info-Santé service by dialing 8-1-1
*The results may vary from person to person.
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