Virtually anyone can be hypnotised, although some people can be hypnotised more easily than others. The depth that people reach in hypnosis also varies between individuals. Fortunately, it is not necessary to achieve a deep level of hypnosis to bring about change. If you are willing to let go and relax, and then imagine or let your mind wander that is all that is required.
This is one of the common misunderstandings associated with hypnosis. People will not do or say anything under hypnosis that they would not do or say when not in hypnosis. This is because all hypnosis is guided self-hypnosis. For this reason you cannot be hypnotised against your will. This fear probably originates from the TV shows and performances by stage hypnotists which make it appear that the hypnotist has control over the client. In the case of the stage hypnotists, they are skilled at determining who among their audience are the most eager to play along and be part of the show.
Research conducted at the University of NSW by Dr. Amanda Barnier and reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on February 2, 1998, states that “Hypnotised people do not act like robots, nor are they powerless pawns of post-hypnotic suggestions planted in their subconscious”. The report goes on to state that “some people genuinely experience their new persona; others talk themselves into the whole thing, while a small proportion simply fake it”.
Meditation is a process that brings calm to the mind, allows thoughts to settle, provides focus, and allows the body to be still and relaxed. Hypnotherapy goes a step further, using language patterns, suggestions and metaphors to strategically guide your imagination and awaken the knowledge, strengths and abilities that you have learnt in the past.
Any person suffering from any degree of emotional or physical issues can benefit from clinical hypnotherapy. The problems treatable through hypnosis are equally diversified. Although hypnosis is commonly associated with habit cessation (losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.) almost any area treatable by conventional means can be enhanced through the use of hypnosis.
A well-trained clinician using hypnotherapy can help clients suffering from the following:
Alcoholism, anger, anxieties, asthma, bed wetting, blood pressure, blushing, breathing disorders, bulimia, burns, chronic and acute compulsions, confidence, dentistry, depression, eczema, exam nerves, exam performance, gambling, gastro – intestinal disorders, goal setting, grief, guilt, habit control, headaches, hostility, insomnia, memory enhancement, mood swings, nail biting, obsessive/compulsive behaviours, obstetrics (hypnobirthing), over eating, pain control, assertiveness, communication, pain management, panic attacks, personal growth, phobias, psoriasis, public speaking, relationships, relaxation, releasing the past, resentments, sexual dysfunction, skin problems, sleep disorders, smoking cessation, sports motivation, stress relief, study recall, stuttering, and worry.
The most important determinant of the success of hypnotherapy is the true desire to get well.
It must be noted that Hypnotherapy is not a replacement for medical treatment from a doctor.
A clinical hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to enable the client to achieve a state of mental, physical and emotional relaxation. In this state, the conscious mind (that busy, critical, analytical part of the mind) takes a rest, allowing the subconscious mind to hear and evaluate suggestions without old beliefs and excuses getting in the way.
This enables the client to tap into and reconnect with the storehouse of information and a lifetime of learning and wisdom that lies forgotten in their subconscious mind. Dr. Milton Erickson, the founder of modern hypnosis, would often say, “What are you forgetting, the remembering of which will solve the problem.”
In Ericksonian work, the client is never put under the “control” of the hypnotist. The client is always free to alter the hypnotic experience or awaken at will.
Each client may experience hypnosis differently relative to the technique being used and the psychology of the client. For some, it is a heightened awareness, while for others it may be a profound relaxation. Sometimes the client hears every word the hypnotist says and other times the voice fades in and out or becomes completely inaudible.
Hypnosis invokes a feeling of being physically and mentally relaxed. It has been likened to the feelings we experience just before waking from sleep or just as we drift off to sleep. Some people say it feels like daydreaming. People in hypnosis often experience a state of complete mental, physical and emotional relaxation which in itself is a very healing state.
Hypnosis is a normal, naturally occurring, healthy state of mind. Leslie Le Crone, psychologist and authority on hypnosis, states: “As to self-induction, many thousands have learned it and I have yet to hear a report of any bad results of its use”.
In his book Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Dr. William S Kroger states: “Platonof, an associate of Pavlov, who used hypnosis for over fifty years in over fifty-thousand cases, reports as follows: ‘We have never observed any harmful influences on the patient which could be ascribed to the method of hypnosuggestion therapy, or any tendency toward the development of unstable personality, weakening of the will, or pathological urge for hypnosis”.
Dr. David Cheek, MD, who has vast experience in the field, writes, “We can do more harm with ignorance of hypnotism than we can ever do by intelligently using hypnosis and suggestion constructively”.
Psychologist, Rafael Rhodes, in his book “Therapy through Hypnosis”, writes: “Hypnotism is absolutely safe. There is no known case on record of harmful results from its therapeutic use”.
Clinical hypnotherapist, Gil Boyne, states, “In almost forty years of practice and more than 40,000 hours of hypnotherapy, I have never seen or heard of any harm resulting from hypnosis”.