What is Hypnosis?
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“You could use hypnosis not as a cure, but a means of establishing a favorable climate in which to learn” – Milton H. Erickson
What is hypnosis? Does it work? If I get hypnotized, am I still in control? Listen to find out the origins of hypnosis and how hypnotherapy can help those who struggle with challenges such as smoking, alcoholism and phobias, just to name a few. We will also discuss the myths of hypnosis including whether or not you can control someone in a state of hypnosis and if one can get “stuck” in hypnosis.
This article focuses on the what and how of hypnosis. Part 2 is the experiential part where you get to experience it yourself.
Today’s topic is Hypnosis Part 1, which is in response to a number of questions that I have received about my hypnotherapy credential. You can contact me directly about working together if after reading this article you think hypnosis can benefit you. Also, please keep your questions coming as they form the basis of these articles and I love to hear from each of my readers and listeners.
Introduction to Hypnosis
In this article, I want to teach you what hypnosis is and what it is not. In part 2 I will provide a demonstration of three Hypnosis Superscripts, but please make sure you are not operating heavy machinery when trying it yourself.
Hypnotherapy has been around for hundreds of years. Dr. Franz Mesmer made hypnosis famous in the later 1700s. In his time, hypnosis was called animal magnetism as it claimed to be carried out via a magnetic pull produced by the practitioner which drew in his subjects. You may recognize the word ‘mesmerize’ which came from Dr. Mesmer’s fame and the hypnotic trance he would produce. He mastered this art and passed on his own developments as well.
Using Hypnosis to Slow Down
Many psychologists used hypnotherapy, but Dr. Sigmund Freud was a famous practitioner who slowed the growth of hypnotherapy. He was uncomfortable interacting with clients during sessions and felt that they were staring at him during therapy. He also wasn’t very good at it. For those two reasons, he switched to talk therapy and placed the client on a couch, where he sat at the head and did not have to be seen or see the client’s face directly.
Hypnotherapy has been revitalized and used to effectively help clients with smoking, drug, alcoholism, fears, and phobias. It works by increasing your conscience awareness and opening up your mind to accept suggestions that you perceive will enhance your life. I have used it for treating addictions, trauma, depression, anxiety and a host of other things such as general well being, clarity search, relaxation, overcoming stagefright and many other things. I think that many people have some incorrect ideas about hypnosis based on what they’ve seen on TV, youtube and other sources where it is used on stage. This is so far removed from the clinical uses and proper setting of hypnotherapy.
4 Myths of Hypnotherapy
Myth #1 It doesn’t work
FALSE. This simply is not true. It has appeared in peer-reviewed articles and shown to have an effective impact on helping clients. Hypnosis is only effective when the one being hypnotized chooses to participate.
Myth #2 It works miracles
FALSE. Many people wish that it did, but it simply helps bring out the best in you and jump starts the healing process on a large scale, but it cannot do miracles. It can help start some serious recovery and changes by changing your limiting beliefs.
Myth #3 You can control someone else
FALSE. You will be fully aware of your own thoughts and feelings during hypnosis and you would not do under hypnosis anything that you would not do while in your regular mind. Many of the stage hypnosis demonstrations take place at bars or parties where the subjects are already high or drunk, which is a vulnerable position to be in while under hypnosis.
Myth #4 You can get stuck in hypnosis
FALSE. You cannot get stuck. I was once working with someone over Skype and his headphones fell off so he could no longer hear my instructions. After a few seconds he opened his eyes, checked in with me and then put them back on. He was fully aware of everything the entire time. Hypnosis is safe for all ages and poses no dangers. Always be careful that you only use a certified and experienced hypnotherapist as like any therapeutic relationship, you are in a compromised and vulnerable place.
If you decide to go under hypnosis, always check the person’s credentials first. I like people who are state licensed as therapists, like myself, because the therapy license is regulated by the state, unlike the hypnotherapy certification which is not. Hypnosis cannot work miracle, but it can create a more favorable climate to bring out that which is inside of you.
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