(Frequently Asked Questions regarding
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy)
If you live in the
Tacoma/Seattle area, call (253) 927-8888 for an appointment or a free consultation.
is a natural, though altered, state of mind. We all enter some form of
hypnosis several times a day, like when we are driving and pass a
turn-off because our mind is wandering. Everyone goes through natural,
altered states before falling asleep, and while awakening. Therefore,
most people can enter hypnotic relaxation easily, provided they want to,
and provided they feel comfortable with the hypnotic process.
people assume that a hypnotized person is asleep, especially because one
who goes into a very deep trance can sometimes have partial amnesia. I
prefer the way my late mentor, Charles Tebbetts,
defined hypnosis, so let me quote his exact words as written in MIRACLES
ON DEMAND (which is currently out of print): "There is no legal
definition of hypnosis. Webster's dictionary describes it incorrectly as
an artificially induced sleep, but it is actually a natural state of mind
and induced normally in everyday living much more often than it is induced artificially. Every time we become
engrossed in a novel or a motion picture, we are in a natural hypnotic
trance (pages 211-212)."
as we enter the 21st Century, opinions still vary on the exact definition
of this natural state of mind. First of all,
contrary to what many commonly believe, hypnosis is NOT a
"sleep" state even though a person in hypnosis may appear to be
sleeping. James Braid, a 19th Century English physician, gave
us the name "hypnotism" because the people he mesmerized
appeared to be asleep. Within a few months he
tried to change the name that he coined, but instead found that hypnotism
is here to stay.
my opinion, the most accurate way of defining hypnosis is to simply call it "guided meditation." Since
many of us enter a meditative or "trance" state while listening
to music, watching TV, listening to a good speaker or a good sermon at
church, or even while reading, you could say that the hypnotist does not
even have to be a live person. So if hypnosis were ever outlawed, it
would be virtually impossible to enforce, because we would have to stop
the freedom of speech and freedom of press; and we would have to outlaw
TV, music, sermons, political speeches, etc.!
are the benefits of hypnosis?
you ever tried to change a habit, only to find your subconscious
resisting? Hypnosis has a good track record in
empowering people to get the subconscious to accept their conscious decisions,
especially when hypnotherapy is facilitated by someone who is competently
trained in the art of hypnosis.
can be helpful in managing weight, quitting smoking (and overcoming other
undesired habits), managing stress, enhancing job performance, improving
at sports, increasing self-motivation and self-confidence, reducing
anxieties (such as fear of flying), and with appropriate medical referral and/or supervision hypnosis
can often be helpful in reducing pain and/or in providing some comfort for
cancer patients or patients of other major diseases.
do I know hypnosis will work for me?
you are unable to attain your goals, you may actually be hypnotizing
yourself to fail! Here are 3 ways we psychologically sabotage ourselves.
Firstly, our subconscious will want to repeat the behavior with the
strongest emotional charge associated to it. We will tend to do what we
feel like doing or what feels most familiar whether or not it is good or
bad for us. So often we invest more feelings in
worrying about the problem and then switching to being in denial that the
problem even exists. That is why bad habits are so hard to break.
as Emile Coue once said, "when imagination and reason are at war,
imagination always seizes the day." This is how our greatest
fears tend to be realized: we allow our
imagination to stray into all that could go wrong. We usually do not
consciously invest our imagination and feelings toward the solution,
keeping us stuck in bad habits.
the subconscious mind does not respond to negatives. Telling yourself
what "not" to do is like trying "not" to think of a
dog…did you imagine seeing one, or hearing the barking, or did you pet
the dog? Now, don’t think of your favorite junk
is the language of the subconscious, and hypnosis helps you imagine your
desired results more vividly.
a hypnotized person give up control?
Even NOW this question is still debated; but consider...
this were true, then all hypnotherapists would have a 100% success rate
after only one session for every client who enters hypnosis. Many
thousands of ex-smokers have successfully used hypnosis to quit; but
there are thousands more who still smoke, even after being successfully
hypnotized several times. (The same can be said
for people wishing to use hypnosis to overcome improper eating habits
and/or other undesirable habits.) The ethical hypnotherapist endeavors to
help clients become more self-empowered to achieve their desired goals,
and helps clients take more control over their own lives.
Also, the client must CHOOSE to
change, otherwise long-term success is very unlikely. This is further
evidence that the power is in the client rather than the hypnotist.
However, a skilled hypnotherapist has mastered the art of hypnosis, and
can provide valuable assistance to most clients who choose to change.
Can I be made to do things against my will?
question goes hand-in-hand with the previous question. You can resist
suggestions that are against your will or contrary to your value system.
You can also resist suggestions if you have an emotional desire to
resist...which is why many smokers trying a 1-session
approach backslide within days or weeks. This is
also evidenced when a non-smoking spouse schedules an appointment
for a smoker who wants to keep on smoking, but reluctantly agrees to see
if the hypnotist can “make” the urges go away. Any long-term success in
such cases is rare, and then usually happens if the client has an
emotional desire to quit. On a different note, you would not unknowingly reveal your deepest secrets either,
because it is even possible to lie in hypnosis. This is why testimony
while in hypnosis is not permissible evidence in a court of law. Most
people develop these misperceptions from Hollywood,
and/or seeing or hearing about a Stage Hypnosis show, which, you must
understand, is done for entertainment purposes
does hypnosis feel?
hypnosis is a natural state of mind, clients are often surprised that
they hear every word. Unless one enters a deeper state, or at least a
medium state, he or she may not "feel" any different than when
relaxing in the favorite easy chair with a good book or some beautiful
music. One may feel quite mellow, and may feel light (or weightless), or
very heavy as if sinking into the chair. The feeling may be euphoric for
some who enter a very deep state. In a light state, it is entirely
possible for a client to believe that he or she was not hypnotized, so it
is very important to realize that IMAGINATION is the language of the
subconscious. Many successes have taken place with clients who never
“felt” hypnotized in any of their visits.
makes hypnotherapy different than traditional
counseling (or traditional therapy) deals with issues at a cognitive
level; and many of life's problems require just that. When someone has to
make difficult cognitive decisions, competent professional help is absolutely essential! For example, hypnotherapy is not
a substitute for marriage counseling. When it comes to changing habits or
behaviors regulated by the subconscious, hypnotherapy shines. Hypnosis is
NOT A PANACEA for all life's problems, however, and should
not be advertised as such.
you have tough decisions to make, you need a skilled professional to help
you understand your options (such as a marriage counselor for marriage
problems). If your problem is due to the subconscious refusing to allow
you to accomplish what you consciously wish, you may wish to consider
hypnotherapy. Our job is to help your subconscious mind to accept the
conscious decisions you choose.
It's also important to realize
that a competent hypnotherapist recognizes that he or she is NOT licensed
to diagnose (unless trained and licensed to do so). If your prospective
hypnotherapist tries to tell you the cause of your problem, ask him/her
whether he/she is qualified to diagnose. While a physician, psychologist,
or licensed mental health practitioner may be qualified to diagnose or
"label" the cause of someone's problem, the hypnotherapist does
not make that determination. However, if your subconscious mind stops you
from accepting positive suggestions or responding to positive imagery,
the competent hypnotherapist can help your subconscious mind to discover
and release the cause(s).
hypnosis be used to reduce pain and/or suffering from illness?
is a warning that something is wrong with the body, and the cause should be diagnosed by someone qualified to do so.
You should only seek hypnotherapy for pain management after receiving the
appropriate referral from your primary health care professional. With
appropriate referral, hypnosis to reduce pain has a good track record. Note: it is also
called hypnotic pain management.
long will it take before I notice a change?
answer depends on the combination of several factors: your desired goal,
the strength of your desire to change, and the degree of any subconscious
resistance to change. In only one session, most clients become more
relaxed than before. That in itself can be a big
change for many clients! If you can agree that the ability to
intentionally relax yourself is an important first step towards improving
your health and mental focus, then one session may be sufficient to help
you learn how to do that…but what about overcoming undesired habits,
overcoming fears, or achieving other important personal or professional goals?
hypnotherapist is required by law to provide an
estimate of the number of sessions if possible to do so. Also, some people respond to hypnosis very well, and
are able to achieve their goals in less time than other clients. If any
hypnotist promises a one-session “quick fix” to your problem, there is a
good possibility that any success will be temporary.
Alliance Self-Empowerment, we offer a free consultation so that we may
discover whether hypnotherapy is appropriate to consider, and to provide
an estimate of the number of sessions when we are able to do so. We are
also willing to answer questions not answered on our website.
Do I need to see a Hypnotherapist, or do CD's
& hypnotic MP3 files work as well?
depends on several factors, including the nature and depth of your
problem. General self-hypnosis tapes will give you only general results,
but most clients make better progress when they are
treated as individuals. The competent hypnotherapist listens to
you and endeavors to understand your needs and customize the session
appropriately. You must also feel comfortable with your Hypnotherapist's
techniques, level of experience, and professionalism. You must also like
the sound of his or her voice, otherwise that could be a distraction to
successfully entering hypnosis.
you both feel that it will be worthwhile to
proceed, your hypnotherapist may give you some small demonstrations to
help you discover the power of imagination, and to determine your ability
to relax and respond to guided imagery. This may help your hypnotherapist
structure suggestions in a more effective manner than what might be on a
tape or CD.
do I choose a competent hypnotherapist?
than simply telling you where to go, allow me to share my own views
regarding instruction itself. My opinions expressed here are my own, and
from the point of reference of a combination of factors: my professional
experience, the opinions expressed by several experienced hypnotherapists
who have taken my course to enhance their training, my national
involvement with several professional hypnosis associations and other
leaders in the profession.
3-day to 5-day training programs provide
"certification" which represents that a participant can become
a qualified or certified "hypnotherapist" who can work with
almost any client walking through the door. On 4/1/97, I saw a three-day
"certification" course flier advertising that someone with a
doctorate degree can become a "Certified Medical
Hypnotherapist" after only three days of training! Who would you
prefer hypnotizing you: a full-time hypnotherapist, or a doctor with only
three days of hypnosis training? (For medical applications of hypnosis, a
medical referral and/or supervision is needed.)
ask your prospective hypnotherapist when and where he/she received
training in the art of hypnosis, and whether he/she is a member of an
active hypnosis association. Most credible hypnosis professionals
maintain active membership in at least one association.
Find out the length of the training. Was it a one-weekend certification
course? If so, this person will probably be using hypnosis scripts…which only work for some of the people some of the
time. Most major hypnosis associations around the United States now have
at least a 100-hour minimum training requirement before one may be
considered a consulting hypnotist or "certified
hypnotherapist," even if said person has counseling experience.
Find out whether the approach is self-empowerment (based on the concept
that hypnosis is guided self-hypnosis), or whether your hypnotist treats
people as "subjects" by dominating the subconscious with
but not least,
does your prospective hypnosis professional have a set program that you
must follow, or will he/she fit the technique to the client? Find out
whether or not your prospective hypnotist is trained in client-centered
techniques to help discover subconscious causes of any resistance in the
event your subconscious blocks positive suggestions (example: regression
therapy, parts therapy).
people are concerned about regressions. The increasing controversies over
"false memories" have resulted from therapists employing
hypnotic regression without adequate training in hypnotic techniques!
...and in many cases these are experienced
mental health counselors who have only minimal training in hypnosis.
However, a competently trained hypnotherapist knows the difference
between leading and guiding during a regression, and understands that we
deal with subconscious perceptions of past events – which can be altered by our own emotions. For example, two
children witnessing a fight at school can tell different versions to a
teacher just minutes after the event. Ask your prospective hypnosis
professional whether regression might be necessary for your situation,
and whether he/she is trained and experienced in
you have an inner conflict over accomplishing a particular goal, ask your
prospective hypnosis professional how he/she helps clients resolve inner
conflicts. You may need a referral to someone trained in parts therapy or
one of its variations.
You may also wish to visit the "Official FAQ" at: www.royhunter.com/hypnofaq.htm.
may request info regarding hypnotherapy and/or a free consultation by
email or by phone. Please note: due to an extremely busy schedule, you
may need to request an appointment two or three weeks in advance.
253-927-8888 or email
Alliance Self-Empowerment (click here)
2748 Milton Way, Suite 120
We are located in
Center, on the
first floor. Enter the main door, and enter the hall to the left of the
elevators, and look for Suite
If you wish, visit the link to our offices (click here).
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January 13, 2013