If you are like most people your first association to the word “hypnosis” is likely to that of a hypnotist performing on a stage, entertaining an audience.
What is hypnosis or hypnotherapy?
The terms hypnosis and hypnotherapy can be used interchangeably. In my practice, I refer to hypnosis as a goal-focused time-limited treatment to alleviate or modify behaviors negatively impacting health. Typically, treatment is 2-5 sessions. Hypnotherapy may be requested as a primary treatment modality or used in combination with psychotherapy, to work through unresolved conflicts, traumas, or to modify anxiety-producing associations, or depressive thought patterns.
What is a trance?
In hypnosis, a trance is an altered state of subjective consciousness that is verbally induced through suggestions of deep relaxation, concentrated focus, attentional distraction, and altered perceptions of time, space, weight, etc.
Most people are surprised to learn that going in and out of a trance is a naturally occurring phenomenon experienced throughout the day. If you have ever had the experience of being absorbed in a good book, time passes, and everything in your environment seems to have faded away – you have been in a trance! Another common experience of trance is if you have been driving, somewhat preoccupied in a lapse of time, and yet you arrive home safely – another experience of trance!
How does this happen?
Trance induction is initiated using my voice, the pace of speech; carefully chosen words and phrases are utilized to elicit a deep state of relaxation. Your attention is directed, and highly focused while your body and mind are instructed to relax, and in this process critical and judgmental thoughts are sent on a vacation. You are then invited to pay attention to ideas that are more interesting, and become more open to entertaining new ideas and considering new perspectives. Suggestions are made for you to consider responding, or engaging in new behaviors in whatever ways are right for you.
As a therapist, I individualize the hypnosis to address the individual’s symptoms and goals; and deepen therapeutic work.
While hypnosis may be used for many purposes, some common issues people seek hypnotherapy for are as follows:
- Chronic pain
- Gastro-intestinal disorders
- High blood pressure
- In Vitro enhancement/support
- Preparation for surgery
- Grief and loss
- Post-traumatic Stress
- Victim mentality
- Addictive/compulsive behaviors: alcohol, drugs, food, relationships, smoking/chewing, spending, technology, workaholism
- Exercise – weight loss
- Fears of flying, public speaking, test taking
- Improve concentration, motivation
This is not an all-inclusive list of issues treated, feel free to contact me if you have questions about whether hypnotherapy is right for you.
In 1999, I earned a DCH, Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy. This entailed completing 30 courses covering theories of hypnosis and clinical applications for the treatment of a broad spectrum of issues and diagnoses. I have continued professional development through the Milton H. Erickson Foundation and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.