Can anyone be hypnotised?
Everyone can be hypnotised if they want to be hypnotised. Anyone who chooses to go into trance will. It's that simple. So if you actively refuse to go into trance, you will not be hypnotised.
We all go into trance several times a day whether we realise it or not. Daydreaming, reading a book and not remembering what you've read, staring off into space, staring out of a window but unaware of what is there; these are just some examples of 'trance'. You can laugh, talk and move. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go into a deep trance to get the benefits of the trance state. Light trance or relaxation is sufficient, and is what 85% of the population experience. Only a small percentage of people actually achieve very deep trance states.
You are fully responsible for going into a trance state. You cannot blame the hypnotherapist, unless there was something very obviously distracting, you could and would go into trance.
Will you have some power over me, like in a stage hypnotist's show?
Stage hypnotists are in the business of 'show'. Whilst entertaining, they serve mainly that purpose. As a career choice, I chose to work with people who are seeking complete and lasting release in regards to problems which complicate or hinder their lives. As a clinical practitioner, I am not interested in the entertainment aspect of hypnosis, although we do have some fun in the process!
However, it would be helpful to dismiss any ancient thinking about being 'knocked out like a light', or being totally unaware or unable to remember your experience. Also please be aware of your expectations and ideas about the trance state. They could be nothing like what actually happens. Those ideas can sabotage your experience. Everyone's trance state is different, and by sitting there thinking you should be experiencing one thing, when something else is happening will obviously affect the process and can hinder your progress. Its going to be really helpful if you are knowledgeable & up to date. I always say, 'Forget everything you've seen and heard because your experience is yet to be had'.
Who uses Hypnotherapy and why do you only work with some people and not others?
A. People of all walks of life use Hypnotherapy-business executives, doctors, students, children, mothers, brides, teachers, policemen, barristers, actors, politicians, the list goes on. People like Hypnotherapy because it can help to change the way you feel, not just within the session itself, but the long term effects are life changing. It is by far one of the fastest working therapies that has been proven successful.
B. People who suffer from severe psychiatric problems like schizophrenia, epilepsy, or are on certain types of medication will not benefit from hypnotherapy as the medication will interfere with the trance state and might induce REM sleep. Certain mental health conditions cannot be helped with hypnosis. Also, people who are not willing to accept that they are responsible for changing their own lives will not benefit from hypnotherapy or any other therapy. Accepting responsibility for your choices and your decisions in life helps you to utilise the knowledge and skills that I or any other practitioner can impart upon you.
Will I be asleep?
Hypnosis is derived from the Greek word 'hypnos', which means 'sleep'. When in trance, it often appears that you are asleep, but you are aware, just very relaxed. The trance state is a unique state, halfway between REM sleep and relaxed wakeful consciousness. You are aware, but in a very different way. Your senses can also be heightened. It is best to experience it, as it can be difficult to explain it. Most people comment after their first session, 'Wow, that was so different from what I expected. It was amazing".
What about my Will-Power? Why is that not enough?
For some people it will be enough. But 'the will' to change something can often be undermined by the 'power' of your subconscious mind and its faithful habits. For example, there is your conscious mind that will say, "Smoking could kill me". It's logical, rational, and makes perfect sense. Then your other mind, your subconscious will say, "I'm so stressed today. It won't hurt if I buy a pack of 10". It's illogical, irrational, and makes no sense because the other part of you knows that it will never just be those 10 & also that the relief of stress by smoking is a fantasy. And so the match begins. Who wins? By accessing your subconscious mind, we can see what holds it has on the habit and change it. Also refer to Question 2.
How long will it take for me to get better?
It can only be estimated but not fully determined how many sessions you need. It depends on your individual problem and it's history. We aim for as few sessions as possible. Although this is not a 'quick fix' some people stop habits in one session. What is achievable is that you will experience some relief in the first session.
Are there any side effects?
No. Hypnosis is a natural manifestation of the mind. No drugs are involved. I cannot make you do anything. All hypnosis is self hypnosis, no matter how convincing a stage hypnotist seems. You go into trance by your own submission. I can guide you to water, but I can't make you drink. But I have the skills and experience to guide you safely through a facilitated session with the focus on change.
Children respond easily to hypnosis, mainly because their engaging their already active imaginations. They tend to be quick, cooperative and superior in creative visualisation.
From an early age, we are encouraged to play 'pretend'. Children imagine being their favourite action hero or footballer and scoring the winning goal. They can see themselves in space ships, forests, on a cloud or flying like Harry Potter. They are experts at creating what and how they would like to be.
It is only fitting that a process like hypnosis could be used to help children holistically, engaging the subconscious mind and allowing change to take place naturally both psychologically and physiologically.
Here is a list of problems that can be helped with hypnosis:
Whilst Hypnosis can be of help, it is often suggested that other forms of therapy such as counselling, anger management, and psychotherapy are explored to help reach a goal, or to work through difficult and complex situations. Please contact me regarding these alternatives.
1. How young can my child be to benefit from hypnosis?
I will treat as young as 6 years of age. Problems that have developed before this age are frequently outgrown. If by this age a child is still bed-wetting or having night terrors, or has his first trip to the dentist and is fearful, for example, then hypnosis can help.
2. Can I attend a session with my child?
Of course and this is one of my requirements. My experience is that after the first session, the child is comfortable and may want to attend on their own. But also, it is always helpful for you, the parent, to see how I work and the process itself. You will then feel more at ease with the hypnotherapy. Overall, I would encourage the parent to remain with the child during the session.
I do explain to both of you that the therapy is with your child, not with you. This is their session and their time. I will ask you and your child to complete a form. But they are in the 'chair'. It is very helpful for the child to see that 'we are addressing the problem'. I want to know how he/she feels, thinks and what they want to happen. I need to hear from them.
During the first & second sessions, I may ask for your feedback, with your child's permission. However, if a child is experiencing difficulties and would like to discuss this with me in private, we can discuss this and if appropriate, agree that the child attend on their own. As in keeping with the code of ethics and conduct of both the NCS and the GHR, if I find that the child is in any danger either to him/herself or others, then I will take the appropriate action necessary for the safety of all involved. The same would apply if the child were to reveal any other information that was a cause for concern.
3. What if my child can't relax? Does this mean it won't work?
Children rarely keep still in a normal waking state. Whilst in hypnosis it is only natural that they may move, open and close their eyes, scratch, stretch, yawn, etc. They will still be in a trance state. One of the biggest misconceptions about hypnosis in general is that EVERYONE is completely catatonic. Whilst in trance, you can move and do all sorts of things, including opening your eyes. Once trust is built and we are both very comfortable, a child is usually quite happy to close their eyes whilst visualising, although they do not have to.
4. What actually happens in a session and is it different from a session for an adult?
The same processes take place with children as with adults. Care is taken with the explanation of what we will be doing, so as to eliminate any fear or misconceptions they may have. The session time is the same.
Children will visualise in detail, the same as adults. But they have less 'active noise' in the background. They are not thinking about shopping lists, or what they have to do tomorrow or how their boss treated them at work. They are totally focused on what I am saying and asking them to see and do.
I also use age appropriate language. I will not use psycho-babble or hard to understand concepts. I have found storytelling, among other great visual techniques to be extremely effective.
5. Can they be asked to do things they do not want to do?
The same applications and responses of hypnosis apply to children as they do to adults. Whilst in trance, you cannot be made to do anything against your will. Your subconscious mind protects you from this.
Also, as you would check the qualifications of any professional consultant, you should always ensure that a therapist has experience in working with children, and is registered with a professional organisation.
6. How many sessions does my child need?
Again, this would depend upon the nature of the problem and the constitution of the child. On occasion, I will give a CD to the child so that they can listen to this on a daily basis, preferably at night when they are at their most relaxed. Although my experience has been that they want to listen to it during the daytime as well. They can listen as much as they like. My recordings will always include confidence boosters and self-esteem enhancers.
Sometimes hypnotherapy and counselling is effectively combined to help children and young adults. All of the possibilities are discussed in detail at our consultation. At this time, any questions or concerns can be explored and answered.
Teenagers and young adults respond very well to hypnosis.
Adolescence and puberty can be a quite emotional and challenging time, and coupled with a physical, behavioural or emotional problem it can sometimes take its toll on the teenager's well-being.
The young adult mind will be just as creative and innovative in hypnosis, but it will be a cross between the child and the adult mind. There will be much more concern about how they are relating to the world outside the parental parameters.
If a young adult is still suffering from child-like symptoms like bed-wetting, thumb sucking, hair pulling, etc., the discomfort associated with the social acceptance of their peers will be tested during this time, and therefore, they will be quite willing to tackle the problem itself.
Parental consent is not needed for treatment if the teen is over 18 years old.