What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is the process of entering a trance, dreamlike state to help you access your subconscious, reduce inhibitions, and quickly introduce new behaviors into your life.
Have you ever resolved to do something beneficial, or stop doing an unhelpful act, and yet struggled to actually implement it into your life? Why is it often so difficult to start – or stop – doing something which so clearly the Right Thing To Do?
The answer is, it is clear only to one part of your mind.
What if there was a way to cut through the noise and communicate directly with the source? Hypnosis is just such a shortcut.
Broadly and simplistically, your mind is divided into two parts:
- A highly logical conscious mind that plans and analyizes and always knows exactly what’s right.
- And a highly spontaneous, creative, free-spirited, childlike mind that lives in its own parallel universe. It is often not very aware of time and space, and you often are not very aware of it. It is called the subconscious mind.
But here’s the punch line: your decisions and choices in life more often than not come from this subconscious part of your mind.
It can take years of willpower, analysis, behavior charts and grief to slowly trickle a new way of being from your conscious mind to your subconscious. Because the two aren’t talking to each other.
What if there was a way to cut through the noise and communicate directly with the source? Hypnosis is just such a shortcut, allowing you to dive deep into your hidden motivations, learn what is really influencing your choices, and re-engineer your perspectives for maximum success and happiness.
What does a session look like?
Trance is a remarkably easy state to achieve.
If you’ve ever caught yourself daydreaming, or driving down a long stretch of highway without realizing how much time has passed, you’ve been in a trance.
A typical hypnosis session begins by relaxing your body. It is very similar to meditation, and if you have experience with meditation you’ll probably be able to do this rather quickly. If you’re newer to the process, we’ll spend more time learning how to relax your body.
When your body relaxes, your mind is able to relax, and it is in a state of deep relaxation that your logical mind can step aside for a bit and we can peer right in to the subconscious.
Here’s the punch line: your decisions and choices in life more often than not come from this subconscious part of your mind.
The next step is resource building. Before we dive deep into those memories and beliefs that might be holding us back, which can be an intense and sometimes painful experience, it’s best to put yourself in the best possible mindset. We’ll create a state of mind that is positive and empowered, prepared for the adventure ahead.
The third stage takes up the bulk of a typical session. We either choose a specific issue to address, or let your body guide you to what you most need to work on. We’ll explore the subconscious motivations, memories, and influences that shape the current way you view and experience things. You might be surprised at the things you learn about how you see the world.
Sometimes this newfound understanding is enough to create change. Sometimes all you need to do is discuss some more beneficial ways of being with your subconscious, and it happily settles in to a new pattern. And sometimes a touch of creativity does the trick: you can actually re-create your memories and heal your past with the help of your imagination. It’s like going back in a time machine and creating a better past.
Thing about it. Your memories live in your mind. If you can modify the way you see your own past, it can drastically and positively change the way you go about your present and your future.
How hypnosis is different than therapy
What makes hypnotherapy that different than therapy? Not a lot.
There are many elements that exist in conventional therapy modalities that we incorporate into a hypnotherapy session. Things like Internal Family Systems, Gestalt Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and guided imagery.
The thing that makes it all more powerful is the context, the trance state that you enter before you even start doing your work.
If you’re wondering that this sounds very simple, it is. You can easily incorporate it into any situation where you’d like deeper insight and faster growth. I used to put myself into trance when I worked with my life coach, to help the ideas we were discussing have a deeper impact on me.
If you can modify the way you see your own past, it can drastically and positively change the way you go about your present and your future.
Here are a few more key differences between hypnosis and therapy:
- Hypnosis sessions can be more intense, and often last longer, up to an hour and a half
- Because their intensity, you might achieve insight and change more quickly than you would in conventional therapy
- Also because of the intensity, you might feel that you need more time between sessions, and less sessions in total, than in a conventional therapy setting where you typically meet every week for a longer period of time.
There are a few things that are unique about how I work:
- We work remotely – Video therapy has become much more popular in recent days, but I have been doing it successfully for the last several years. Working remotely can be just as effective as working in person and has the added benefit of no commute time, the ability to work with me no matter where you are in the world, and more flexible scheduling options.
- You schedule the sessions – I give you full control of when to book your sessions. You decide when, if at all, you’d like your next session to be, and automatically book it into my calendar for maximum convenience.
- You pay what you can – I believe that often people need therapy most when they least are able to afford it. I make my fees completely flexible – we will never discuss money, you simply pay what you can, on your own. I will be transparent with you about the recommended payment amount, and the average range of payments people make to help inform your own choices. But I am just as happy to work with you if you cannot pay as much, or if you need to pay at a later point in time.
What can Hypnosis help with?
Hypnosis can be helpful addressing pretty much any mental or emotional challenge that you might be facing, the premise being it’s always easier to address an issue from a state of relaxation than from a state of stress.
Personally, I have found myself draw to, and focusing on, anxiety, depression, and trauma, since I relate to these directly from my own life struggles. More specifically, here are a few examples of issues I have worked on with people:
- A young man who learned to be more assertive in his interpersonal interactions
- A teenager who struggled with anxiety.
- A medical school student who was facing doubts about his career choices.
- A woman, herself a therapist, who worked with me to address her dating challenges. She later got engaged, and thanked me for our work together. My favorite quote from though, was:
“It would have taken me 10 years of therapy to have this insight.”
Are you a good fit for hypnosis?
If you find yourself naturally curious about hypnosis, or have a gut feeling that it’s what you need right now, trust yourself!
There are a few other signs that hypnosis might be a good fit for you:
- You are passionate about personal growth, you want to become a better person
- You are willing to work hard and more intensely in exchange for deeper and quicker results.
- You are able to relax or are willing to learn how to relax.
- You have a respect, curiosity or fascination with your past and how it influences your present life.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Hypnosis
Hypnosis, rightfully so, is a fascinating topic for many, with a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. Here are a few of the more common questions I get asked.