The connection between the mind and the body is powerful and can both positively or negatively influence the body and one’s health; either mental or physical.
Have you ever been stressed by life circumstances and felt nauseous or had difficulty eating?
These are both examples of how the mind impacts one’s mood, behavior, and health. The power of the mind can help you change behavior and overcome challenges.
What is hypnosis?
Clinical hypnotherapists use the mind-body connection, especially the unconscious mind, to help people reach desired goals. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis defines Hypnosis as “a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention.” People experience hypnotic, or “trance,” states all the time. If you have ever been driving along a highway and suddenly find that you have gone many miles without knowing it, you were in a trance state. Trances are simply an altered state of focused attention, such as when you become totally absorbed in a well-written book, an exciting movie, or an interesting daydream. During those times you are not thinking about your daily problems or what is happening around you; instead you are totally immersed in the experience and very relaxed.
Therapists trained in clinical hypnosis induce this naturally occurring trance state in sessions and utilize their therapeutic skills to offer suggestions to the unconscious mind that target problem symptoms or encourage self-esteem and growth. Hypnosis allows me to communicate with the part of your mind that is usually outside of conscious awareness, but that may be impeding change. When you are in a trance, your mind is more open to new ideas and you are able to use the power of your mind to achieve your goals.
What happens during a session?
When you are ready, I’ll ask you to make yourself comfortable, either sitting up or lying down. You can choose to close your eyes, or not, though most people find that they imagine more clearly and feel more relaxed when closing their eyes. I will use techniques such as deep breathing to help you feel more relaxed and enter a pleasant trance state. You will feel very comfortable, but still in complete control and able to open your eyes at any time. Once you have entered a trance, I will offer suggestions we previously agreed upon that can empower you to make the desired changes you need to reach your goals. These suggestions stay with you once you leave the office and you will find them very doable and memorable. Often, clients say that they hear my voice during their week, supporting them in their goals.
What is hypnosis used for?
Hypnosis can help with stress management, anxiety reduction, building self-esteem, depression, ADHD, weight issues, sleep problems, smoking cessation, pain, phobias, test anxiety and performance, panic, fears and phobias, nausea, migraine headaches, habits such as nail biting and thumbsucking, tics, medical procedures such as shots, and bedwetting.
Who benefits from hypnosis?
Anyone can experience the positive results of hypnosis if you trust in your therapist. You must want to experience a trance and benefit from the suggestions, because I cannot make you do anything you do not want to do. Positive outcomes do vary from person to person. Some people experience major benefits and symptom reduction, while others have some positive outcomes.
Can hypnosis help children?
Hypnosis can be extremely helpful to children, as they already have very active imaginations and are great hypnotic subjects. When I do hypnosis with children I will often use stories, puppets, play, metaphor, and imagery to help them overcome their challenges.
Can hypnosis be harmful?
The best way to avoid unpleasant experience with hypnosis is to be sure the clinician you pick has the proper training to help you. Anyone can get trained in “hypnosis;” however, only trained mental health and medical professionals can call themselves hypnotherapists. A hypnotherapist is a licensed professional with training in clinical hypnosis that incorporates hypnosis into their trained specialty. Licensed professionals are also required by law to follow their professions guidelines for conduct and confidentiality. I am a licensed psychologist and have had post-graduate training and consultation in clinical hypnosis. I will always treat you respectfully and use my specialized clinical training to best support your growth and goals.
What is self-hypnosis?
After we have at least one session together to see what works, I can teach you how to help yourself enter a trance state and then give yourself positive suggestions. You can then induce hypnosis when you need it and practice it routinely at home.
You may also be interested in my blog entry: Major Hypnosis Myths