The Process Of Hypnosis
The Process Of Hypnosis
John McGrail, C.Ht. (Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist) gives expert video advice on: What happens during a typical hypnosis session?; What can I expect while I discuss my hypnosis goals with a hypnotherapist?; What is happening to me when I am in a hypnotic trance? and more...
What steps take place during hypnosis?
The arc from full wakefulness to hypnotic trance and back again is just that -- it's an arc. We start. We're fully awake and aware. We allow our minds to begin focusing and our bodies to begin relaxing and through the process of suggestion and it's very, very simple: close your eyes and allow them to relax more than they've ever relaxed before. We gradually enter that state of total ease and relaxation and we'll deepen that state through suggestion -- allowing the body to grow very, very still and quiet, allowing the mind to grow very, very focused -- down to a state that we sometimes call somnambulism, which is a very deep state of hypnosis. That's when you're so relaxed you forget your body and you forget where you are and you're just in a little world we create using the imagery or whatever suggestions we're using. When it's time to come back, we just gradually allow the mind and body to reintegrate, to become very alert and at a certain point in time you open your eyes on command -- and sometimes before if you're ready -- and you're back.
What happens during the first hypnosis session with a hypnotherapist?
A typical first hypnotherapy session, at least the way I conduct my practice, involves, it's a little bit longer, first of all. I want to invite the client in and get to know her or him a little bit, establish a personal relationship, we've usually spoken on the phone and decided to work together and yet there's that critical meeting. And so I spend a fair amount of time meeting the client and understanding what it is they really want to work on. Then I take the time to thoroughly explain how hypnosis works and why it works the way that it does, and what the client can or cannot expect to feel. And through the process I do a little testing to see how they process language and I do a little exercise to see how their mind and body works together, and then we just gradually introduce them to the concept of entering hypnosis, we just make it as easy and painless as it can be, and then we start the therapy. That's usually a typical first session. And that will be about a ninety minute session.
What happens during a typical hypnosis session?
A typical hypno-therapy session is usually between thirty minutes an an hour. Some clients like longer sessions, but that's usually enough. It begins with cognitive discussion. "How's your week been?; "How are you feeling?";"What's come up,or not?" One of the things about hypno-therapy is that it's a very organic process. It's sort of dictates it's own pace,and each session dictates itself. How the client's feeling when they come in and the progress they've made will determine an awful lot about what we do that day. But, generally speaking it's about twenty to twenty-five minutes of cognitive discussion and then about twenty-five to thirty minutes of hyponsis.
What can I expect while I discuss my hypnosis goals with a hypnotherapist?
Hopefully, what you can expect is that she or he will ask you very very intelligent questions. They are gonna really wanna know what it is that you want to accomplish and what you are feeling, and that first meeting which is usually by telephone is really really important. They are all so experienced and good at what they do are gonna look for anything that would be a red flag, for instances psychological issue that might be beyond the scope of hypnotherapy, psychosis or if its a medical issue chronic pain or some sort of disease process, the hypnotherapist is going to want to know that because if they are not a licensed doctor then they are going to need to work with under the referral of a licensed physician. So, really what you should expect are a sense of compassion and understanding, open communication, the person asking you questions so that they can get a better feel for what it is you want to accomplish and you should get a feel of them personal report is as important as anything in hypnotherapy and if you don't feel comfortable when you are asking hypnotherapists questions and explaining what it is you want to accomplish, then its probably not going to be a good fit and i suggest everybody that they shop around, find someone and there will be someone who feels right. That's the person to work with.
What is a "script" in hypnosis?
In the context of hypnotherapy, a script is simply that. It is prose (verbiage) that is used by a hypnotherapist to help offer suggestions to a client in the pursuit of transcending an issue. They are prewritten and the hypnotherapist may or may not write his or her own scripts. There are books of scripts out there where you can get thousands and thousands of different ways of expressing things like eating food properly or exercising. I personally do not use scripts in hypnosis. I prefer to treat each session on its own and work with the client based on what I feel is the appropriate way to deal with it. There are certain structures that I might use but I do not pre-write scripts. A script in hypnosis is basically like a movie script. It's verbiage and prose that's used to help introduce hypnotic suggestion.
What is the "induction" stage of hypnosis?
The induction stage of hypnosios is the process of transitioning from full conscious awareness into hypnotic trance. Induction has some key issues around it, and, of course, in order to enter hypnosis you have to be induced, whether you induce yourself or whether you allow the hypotherapist to induce you. But the prerequisties for induction are pretty simple. You have to have focus, concentration, you have to be relaxed, and your brain has to be given something to ponder over. Usually, the more it's given to ponder over, the faster the induction. Basically, what we do in a very safe and harmless way, is overload the conscious mind with information. So it finally gets tired of listening to the information, it's very often just a monotonous pattern of talking, and the conscious mind after a while says, "You know what, I don't want to listen to all this anymore. I've had enough," and it shuts off, so to speak, and then we enter that wonderful state of hypnosis. So it's a transition process by which we lead our clients from full wakefulness into that delightful state of trance.
What happens during the "deepening" phase of a hypnosis session?
Once a client is in a light state of hypnosis, we often want to deepen the state which means we want to deepen the concentration, deepen the relaxation, make it all much stronger. Deepening techniques which a lot of people may read about or hear about are simply techniques that allow that to happen. Once the brain has decided to go into hypnosis to let the conscious critical mind shut off for a little while, the subconscious mind loves to go into that state. Deepening techniques are simply very easy-to-use tools that allow the brain to get more and more focused, more and more relaxed and then deeper into trance. Very often the deeper the trance, the more profound the results, although that is not always the case. For some issues and for some protocols, like weight loss, for instance, a lighter state of trance has proven to be more effective. So, depending on what we are trying to accomplish with a given client in a given session, we may deepen or lighten the state several times during the session.
What is happening to me when I am in a hypnotic trance?
When someone asks me, "What is happening to me when I'm in hypnosis?" what I say is, well, here's what's happening. You're allowing your body to relax. You're allowing your mind to get very, very quiet and very, very focused. You're allowing your mind to go into what we call an adaptable or suggestable state. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality and fantasy, fact or fiction. That's what allows us to watch a movie which is total illusion and yet feel real emotions. So what's happening to you is you're allowing yourself to go into that state of consciousness whereby hypnotic suggestions won't be interrupted or edited by the critical part of the mind. So if I say, you know what, you're really starting to feel this overwhelming desire to eat properly and take very good care of yourself, your critical mind that's used to saying no-no-no-no-no isn't there to say no-no-no-no-no, and you say, "Okay, that's sounds good. That's what's happening to me." You're learning to behave and feel differently than you did before.
What is a "posthypnotic suggestion"?
A posthypnotic suggestion is a suggestion that is given to a client while they are in hypnosis to help effect a change after they come out of hypnosis. For instance, I might say something like, "The harder you try to find that fear of public speaking, the harder that it becomes." In fact, you find that you cannot find that fear anymore. You are unable to find that fear. Instead, it's replaced by a feeling of deep calm, centeredness, and peace of mind. If I give that posthypnotic suggestion properly and in the right context, then later on, when the person's standing up in front of the crowd, their mind will remember, "Oh yes, deep calm. I'm not afraid." With reinforcement, that becomes the new behaviour.
What happens if a hypnotherapist gives me a harmful suggestion?
Should a hypnotherapist give a client a harmful suggestion while they're in trance, first of all they will hopefully be out of business very soon, but what's going to happen is the client's going to open their eyes and say, "What are you talking about?" Remember, and it's important for everyone to know this, no one can be made to do, think, say or feel anything they do not wish to. So if a hypnotherapist were to give a client something that could be harmful to them, they're instantly going to come out of trance and wake up, and hopefully leave and not pay the person for the session.
What if I can't be awakened from my hypnotic trance?
Many people are worried about the fact that they might not be able to be awakened during a hypnotic trance. That's simply a falousy. It's impossible not to awaken after a hypnotic trance, just like its impossible not to wake up from a nap or a nights sleep. Unless of course you've gone to the other side which in that case there is not much anyone can do.