Answers to Common Hypnotherapy Questions
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural and normal state of the mind in which the body experiences a state of deep physical relaxation while the mind remains clear and alert. In this altered state of awareness, the subconscious mind becomes open and suggestible. We have all been in a hypnotic state; in fact most of us visit this state every day.
• Have you ever been driving and all of a sudden your exit is right there?
•So focused on a movie or television program, you didn’t hear someone calling your name?
•Have you ever been so deep in thought you almost had to be shaken out of it?
•Or, have you ever daydreamed?
Of course we all do things like this on a daily basis. All of these are examples of a natural state of hypnosis called, ‘environmental hypnosis’. That is very much what it is like being hypnotized. When in hypnosis, you can hear everything going on around you, you can hear all of the suggestions you’re being given and sometimes people say to me, ‘I don’t think I was hypnotized’. When asked why, the reply is usually, ‘Because I heard everything you said.’ This is one of the misconceptions of hypnosis!
The subconscious mind then accepts these suggestions and creates the behavior changes or body changes in order to achieve the given suggestions. When in hypnotic trance, the subconscious mind is 88% more alert than in the conscious state.
There are various definitions for hypnosis though they all mean the same thing. Simply put, hypnosis can be explained in this manner: When a person is in a relaxed state, the conscious mind is able to be bypassed in order to directly make suggestions to the subconscious mind. That’s basically it. That’s all you need to understand in order to grasp the idea. The subconscious mind then accepts these suggestions and creates the behavior changes or body changes in order to achieve the given suggestions. When in hypnotic trance, the subconscious mind is 88% more alert than in the conscious state.
How can I tell when I’m hypnotized?
It depends on the individual. Some people are more aware of changes felt in their bodies than others. It also depends on how deep into the hypnotic state the person has allowed himself to drift. You may experience sensations of feeling very light or floating, very heavy, tingling sensations, dry mouth or just pleasantly relaxed. There are several external signs, though few people show all of them. Some of the most noticeable are: A facial flush, immobility and total relaxation, rapid eye movement, eyelid flicker, enhanced salivation (causing frequent swallowing), slowed respiration, drooping lower jaw due to relaxed jaw muscles.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
Absolutely not! There has never been a documented case of harm coming to anyone from the therapeutic use of hypnosis. Just stay away from amateurs.
It is just a natural state of the mind utilized by the hypnotist to help the individual change certain habits or pattern of behavior. The mind has natural defense built in which will automatically reject any suggestion it deems harmful. It is a safe as getting into your own bed and falling asleep at night.
Is there anybody who should not be hypnotized?
It depends on the sort of therapy being employed. Some say anybody suffering from epilepsy should not be hypnotized, but I have never heard of an epileptic fit being triggered by hypnosis. Where psychotic individuals are concerned, hypnosis should do no harm, but regression therapy probably should not be used. This type of therapy should also be avoided with pregnant women. I also would not recommend regression therapy with heart attack/stroke victims.
Can you get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis?
No, you definitely cannot! If you were hypnotized and the hypnotist just walked away and left you, you would simply bring yourself out of the state whenever you wanted do.
Is hypnosis “Mind Control”?
No, hypnosis is not mind control. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist can not make you do or say anything you ordinarily would not do, unless you wanted to. You always remain in control and are awake and alert the whole time.
How does hypnotherapy differ from stage hypnosis?
The hypnosis is the same, though many believe it is not. It is the ‘therapy’ part that is different – the stage hypnotist is out to entertain others. The Hypnotherapist is out to make somebody’s life more enjoyable to live.
What’s the difference between hypnotherapy and psychotherapy?
First of all, re-read my website welcoming letter. Usually, psychotherapy makes changes to the subconscious by using the understanding and imagery of the conscious mind. Hypnotherapy attempts to bypass the conscious mind, working directly with the subconscious. For this reason, hypnotherapy is often much quicker than psychotherapy. Some clients will respond better to psychotherapy; these individuals are usually very analytical and guarded.
Is hypnosis successful with real phobias?
Immensely so, at Purpose Driven Hypnotherapy, where EFT is used in conjunction with hypnotherapy.
How long does a cure produced by hypnosis actually last?
It depends on how much subconscious change was brought about in the first place. If a change has been made to a flawed fundamental belief system, then the cure will be permanent and last for a life-time. The best therapy is where an underlying cause has been resolved before any suggestion work is carried out at all.
What is ‘direct suggestion’ therapy?
The Hypnotherapist simply tells the client, in the state of hypnosis, that whatever it is they want to do, they will now be able to do. Or, whatever it is that they want to stop doing, they now can. It can be very effective with simple problems like smoking, nail-biting, confidence for exams, etc.But generally, it is best to tackle the underlying cause for the difficulty first.
Does hypnosis always work?
No more than any other form of medicine does. A responsible Hypnotherapist will soon detect when it is not going to and discharge the client so they may seek the help they need elsewhere. Also, a different Hypnotherapist might produce the desired result where the first one could not because of the client/therapist mix.
How much will I remember when I wake up? Will I forget everything that went on?
Most people remember everything that went on while they were in hypnosis, but sometimes, if they went into a particularly deep state, they may forget what happened. But, it will normally come back to their consciousness within hours. Sometimes the hypnotist will suggest they forget what happened, and they do. Other times people have the misconception they are supposed to forget everything, so the do – because they gave themselves the suggestions to forget! But not remembering the entire session is rare.
Aren’t people who can easily be hypnotized just gullible, stupid, or weak-minded?
Quite the opposite! A gullible, unintelligent or weak-minded person is incapable of maintaining the necessary focus and concentration necessary to go into the hypnotic state.
Will being hypnotized make me become weak-minded or cause me to develop a “weak will”?
No, hypnosis is used often to boost a person’s concentration and will power.
Will I lose control when I’m under hypnosis?
No, you will not lose control while you are in hypnosis. You are fully conscious and very aware of what is being suggested. You are always in control. The mind will reject any undesired suggestions automatically.
How deep into a trance will I go?
That depends entirely upon the individual himself as to how willing he is to enter into the hypnotic state and how far he is willing to let himself go. Some people are naturally able to enter a deeper hypnotic state (somnambulists – I happen to be one), while others are capable of entering into deeper states because they have been hypnotized in the past, practice yoga or meditation. It is not important how deep you go, just that you are willing to give hypnosis a chance to work.
Does the hypnotist have special “powers”?
Absolutely not! The hypnotist is just an ordinary person like you or me and has had special training to learn how to speak directly to your subconscious mind in a way it understands. There are no Swengalis or hypnotists like you see in the movies. The hypnotist has no mystical or supernatural powers. Anyone with the same training can lean to hypnotize.
I’ve heard about instant inductions – what are they and do they work?
Instant inductions usually rely on shock or surprise and more often than not involve a jolt or jerk to the physical body – usually to the arm or hand. It is not dangerous, but its intrusive nature probably creates a situation where the operator is dominant for a few fractions of a second. Since there is then no further reason for resistance, if the hypnotized individual wishes to be hypnotized, the state tends to persist. Many therapists are uncomfortable with rapid or instantaneous inductions, while others scarcely use anything else. Stage Hypnotists often rely heavily on this type of induction.
Can somebody’s mind be too strong to hypnotize?
No. The stronger the mind the better the ability to focus and concentrate, which makes the hypnotized state easier to achieve. The statement, ‘My mind is too strong to be hypnotized,’ is usually based of fear and the individuals who say this are often the best subjects of all! It is not difficult to resist being hypnotized and needs no specific strength of mind at all. It is getting into hypnosis that takes the mental work!
Can anybody learn to be a hypnotist, or is it a ‘gift’?
Forget those stories or articles where it is stated that somebody has the ‘gift’ of hypnosis! It takes hardly any time at all for anybody to learn how to hypnotize another, though some people are better at it than others, just as in any other skill. It is learnig what to do with someone once they are hypnotized that takes the time and training; learning how to handle the complications that can arise, learning how to deal with different personality types, learning how to discover what really ails an individual (sometimes different entirely to what they say or believe is their problem), learning how to decide on the right sort of therap, and learning how to terminate therapy responsibly when it becomes obvious that in any one case it is not going to produce the desired result.
What is an ‘induction’, and what is a ‘deepener’?
An induction is just a passage of text spoken to the client. Most of the time, a slow soothing tone will be used, but there are other occasions when a more dynamic style may be more suitable. A deepener is more like a story designed to focus the hypnotized individual’s attention to get him/her into a deeper state of trance. Hence the name.
Can you hypnotize someone without them knowing it?
You can, if you have the skills to do so. The use of ‘hypnotic language patterns’ and pacing and leading body language will do it. But you still could not get that person to do anything with hypnosis that they would not do without it. Hypnosis merely overcomes inhibition and the ‘conscious critical faculty’ – the part of our thought processes which tends to limit our behavior or belief system.
What ethical, legal, and moral issues are involved in the use of hypnosis?
From a professional point of view, hypnosis should be used ONLY for the benefit of patients and clients – and not for any other reason at all. That pretty much sums up the basis of most Codes of Ethics. From a personal viewpoint, though, it is only your own moral code that you would have to follow; so you could use hypnosis to enhance your sexual experiences, as long as you did not feel you were cheating in some way. You would be unlikely to persuade somebody to have sex with you if they were not already willing to so, though. The legal position is less clear, since it varies from Country to Country and State to State.
What exactly is ‘past life reqression’?
Theoretically, a look back to a lifetime experienced earlier in history – this can be thousands of years earlier, or maybe only a short while back, just before the current life span began. It is “claimed” that there is a therapeutic value in such experiences, in that they may account for certain psychological difficulties incurrent life. Numerous attempts have been made to prove the validity of various PLRs, but this has never been achieved – there has always been the possibility of the experience being nothing more than the recall of a long-forgotten memory from childhood in THIS life. Many experimenters are at pains to point out that they DO NOT CLAIMthat a PLR is evidence of a previous existence for the individual concerned, only an awareness of a set of circumstances that occurred before that individual was born. Purpose Driven Hypnotherapy would prefer to refer this type of exploration out to those who are more believing in the phenomena. We feel that Life Regression (this life) has great therapuetic value.
Can hypnosis be used to create-trigger dreams?
Sometimes, though this tends to be somewhat unreliable. There has been much experiment with the use of hypnosis to create “lucid dream states” (in which the dreamer KNOWS she/he is dreaming), but there has been no conclusive evidence that it works.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis by a trained Hypnotherapist to help people make positive changes in their lives. The use of hypnosis allows the Hypnotherapist to bypass the critical areas of the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind directly. All our learned behaviors and habits, either good or bad, reside in the subconscious mind. Hypnosis speeds up the process of positive change since the Hypnotherapist is working directly with the subconscious mind. Old unwanted negative associations and patterns of behavior can easily be removed and replaced with positive beneficial ones.
What’s the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind in which the subconscious mind opens up, becoming very suggestible to new ideas. Hypnotherapy is the process of using hypnosis by the trained Hypnotherapist to help a person make positive, desired life style changes.
What are the areas in which hypnotherapy is helpful?
Hypnotherapy can help you to make changes in practically any area of your life. Any bad habits or unwanted behaviors can easily be changed to more positive ones. Fears and phobias can be eliminated. You can easily stop smoking, lose unwanted weight, improve your study habits or become more successful. It is entirely up to you what issue you want to work on. You can always contact Bill to discuss your particular issue and find out if hypnotherapy or perhaps EFT will be helpful to you. If you are intelligent, able to focus and concentrate and want to be hypnotized, then you can be. It’s up to you.
This depends entirely upon you. If you are serious and really want to work on the issue and improve your life, then hypnotherapy will work wonders. If you really don’t want to give up that bad habit or change, and just are not being entirely honest with yourself, then hypnotherapy will not be as effective for you. You will just end up sabotaging yourself and remain where you are. The choice is yours – change and improve you life for the better or don’t. It’s all up to you!
Why use hypnosis when I have my “will power”?
“Will power” or desire alone is often not enough or sufficient to change long standing or deeply ingrained habit or behavior. All habits, learned behaviors, patterns and attitudes reside within the domain of you subconscious mind. “Will power”, along with logic and reasoning resides within your conscious mind. Your conscious mind consists of only 10-12-% of your total mind power. The remaining 88-90% or your mind power is your subconscious mind. Which of the two is stronger – the 10-12 % conscious mind or the 88-90% subconscious mind? If the negative behavior of bad habit is deeply rooted in your subconscious mind, you have had it for years, then your “will power” alone won’t be strong enough to change or eliminate it. “Will power” or sheer determination can help you accomplish your goal, but in some cases, your “will power” itself can be detrimental. Your conscious mind can sabotage your “will power” so you won’t be able to change. There are many reasons (both conscious and subconscious) to why we behave the way we do. Most of us become “comfortable” in our position in life. Any changes can be scary – so sometimes the conscious mind will sabotage you – to keep you where you are so you remain in your current comfort zone. Hypnosis, when used by a trained Hypnotherapist, can speak directly to the subconscious mind where all the habits, learned behaviors and attitudes are thus bypassing the conscious mind entirely. This is a very effective quick, easy path to success.
Isn’t traditional ‘talk therapy’ just as effective?
This depends upon the nature of the issue you are working on. If the issue is a behavior or habit you want to change, you will need to access the subconscious mind to affect the necessary changes. All learned behaviors, habits, attitudes and beliefs reside in the subconscious mind. “Talk Therapy” accesses your conscious mind, not your subconscious mind. You can make changes using “talk therapy”, but it takes a lot longer to do than using hypnotherapy and is normally less effective. Hypnotherapy accesses the subconscious mind directly.
Does hypnotherapy replace more traditional practices, like seeing a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist?
No. Hypnotherapy is used for behavior modification and life style improvements – like stopping biting one’s fingernails, losing weight, or smoking cessation. It may be an adjunct to traditional medical or psychological treatments, but it is not meant to be a replacement. If you think that hypnotherapy might help you, contact Purpose Driven Hypnotherapy, Brea, Orange County, to see if you would benefit.
What if I am on medication? Can I still use hypnosis and hypnotherapy?
Absolutely. Hypnotherapy and hypnosis can help many areas, including pain control, insomnia, losing weight, stopping smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, to name a few. Depending on the nature of the problem and the reasons why you are taking the medication, you may be able to reduce your need for medication. Contact Purpose Driven Hypnotherapy, Brea, Orange County, and find out if you will benefit by hypnotherapy.
I practice meditation and do yoga. Is this the same thing?
No. Yoga and meditation are a form of hypnosis since you are focusing mind and energies. People use these to be able to focus, concentrate better and relax. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is goal-oriented. The state of hypnosis is induced by the Hypnotherapist to work on a specific issue to make a particular change in your life. You are taken into the hypnotic state, and then taken completely out of hypnosis. Yoga and meditation also take you into a state, but the purpose of each discipline is different.
Is there a difference between self-hypnosis, “guided imagery” and “creative visualization”?
No, not really. Some people have a lot of misconceptions about the word “hypnosis” and feel more comfortable calling it “guided imagery” or “creative visualization.” Guided imager and creative visualization both utilize images or visualizations in the person’s mind while they are in hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is the process by which one takes himself into the hypnotic state and doesn’t necessarily need to visualize anything. They all are forms of hypnosis and basically are the same thing.
Can’t I do this myself? Why do I need to see a hypnotherapist or have sessions?
No. You are in your current state because you have created it for yourself. Most of us would fix ourselves if we knew how. If your car or computer is broken, do most people try to fix it themselves if they have no working knowledge about cars or computers? You would only make things worse if you tried to take it apart. You need to go to someone who knows what they are doing to get the problem fixed. Most of us may be aware we have an issue in our lives we want to change, but we aren’t born with the knowledge how to fix it. You need to see a “specialist” – a trained Hypnotherapist who can help you overcome your issue.
How many sessions will it take and how much will it cost?
This depends entirely upon the nature of the issue, how long you have had it and how serious you are in working on it. The number of sessions it will take can not be determined until the initial consultation and you are put into hypnosis. It can vary anywhere 1 to 3 sessions in average to 12 sessions to change that particular issue. Sometimes people are so happy with the results they have achieved, they continue with hypnotherapy and work on other issues. Mr. Engle is happy to answer any further questions and to discuss the fees.
What if I can’t take time off work to come in for sessions? I am very busy.
Are you too busy to work on yourself? Do you value yourself so little? Purpose Driven Hypnotherapy, Brea, Orange County, has sessions available during some evenings and even during weekends to accommodate clients. However, if you are unable to come in for private hypnotherapy sessions, Mr. Engle is sometimes available for hypnotherapy sessions via the telephone (See Hypnotherapy by Telephone). You also can take advantage of Hypnosis CD’s you can listen to at home. Visit our On-Line Store. It’s all up to you!
How soon will I see the results?
Depending on the issue your are working on and how deeply rooted it is, results may be immediate after the first session or it may take several sessions for you to start to see the results you desire.
What is self hypnosis used for?
Self hypnosis can be used for just about anything that depends on your own efforts. “Your own efforts”, incidentally, is a much broader category than most people think. For instance, it includes many of the autonomically mediated functions – those things your body does without your conscious involvement. So your use of self hypnosis is not limited to just those things you consciously do and control. A complete list of all the ways in which self hypnosis has been used would be too long and probably impossible to compile. However, here is a partial list of applications:
Academic Applications (Memory; presentation skills study skills concentration, etc)
Addictions (chemical or substance)
Career Enhancement (Behavioral Control; Focus; Motivation; Tenacity)
Fitness (Motivation; Performance)
Habit Control (Food & Eating; Procrastination; Smoking; Nail Biting; Substance Abuse)
Memory (Academic Studies; Dream Memories; Names and Faces)
Motivation (Academic; Job Performance; Fitness, Health, Sports; Personal Achievement)
Reading (Blocks, speed, comprehension, motivation).
Sales (Attitude; Motivation; People Smarts; Persuasive Qualities, Personality, Likeability, Tenacity, Drive).
Sex (Dysfunctions, inhibitions and mental blocks, pleasure).
Sleep (more, less, better).
Speech, Speaking in Public (Audience Rapport; Concentration; Presence of Mind on State; Stage Fright, Communication Apprehension.
Sports Performance (Competitiveness, Sportsmanship, concentration, drive, peak performance)
Stress, Tension (Anxiety attacks, Hypertension, Panic Attacks, Relaxation, Stress Management)
Timing (Time awareness, internal clock, etc.)
Weight Loss, Control (Dieting, Eating Disorders, Metabolic influence).
How many things can I work on at one time with self hypnosis?
There is no answer to this question that is correct for everyone, in every circumstance. It depends upon the “things” involved, how strongly the subconscious mind is attached to them, what is going on in your life at the time; and, how you respond to hypnotic suggestion in general. The safest strategy for beginners is to start with just one project – perhaps an easier one – then, with some success and experience under your belt, progress to other, more difficult objectives.
Can self hypnosis help me quit smoking?
Ceasing any habit is essentially a matter of getting rid of the desire, or drive, to commit the habit. The drive to smoke stems from subconscious drives, but the behavior itself is under your conscious control and you can change it with the help of self hypnosis. It is the subconscious motivation to smoke that must be changed in order to quit smoking. Fortunately, self hypnosis is an effective and relatively easy way to change subconscious motivations. Bear in mind, it does not work the same for everyone: Many people have found quitting smoking with self hypnosis to be easy and painless; for others quitting smoking is difficult no matter what method is used. But, whether or not it is less easy than we would like, anyone can quit smoking with the help of self hypnosis. There is an excellent “Stop Smoking – Freedom At Last” 2-Set CD on sale at this website. Visit our On-Line Store.
Does self hypnosis work for weight control?
Yes. Most cases of overweight are the result of over-eating combined with insufficient activity. So, self hypnosis is perfectly valid and uniquely appropriate for getting your eating under control and for increasing your motivation to get more exercise.
Can I use self hypnosis for things like interpersonal relationships?
Your own behavior is of paramount importance to the nature of every relationship. This includes romantic as well as career and professional relationships. And, although our minds can not directly control the thoughts and behavior of others, self hypnosis can help you control your own thinking and behaving, as well as the subliminal cues you transmit to others. In other words, yes you can use self hypnosis to influence the behavior of others, almost as if you had direct access to their thoughts.
Can self hypnosis help me get over the fear of public speaking?
Self hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to control stage fright and vastly improve presentation effectiveness. Being somewhat nervous before giving a speech is natural and actually desirable. But the kind of fear that makes giving a good speech difficult or impossible is not necessary; it can be controlled with self hypnosis. If you care to come in for an office visit, I can cure the fear of public speaking virtually immmediately.
Can I improve sports performance with self hypnosis?
It goes without saying that there is a strong link between thinking and sports performance. Self hypnosis has been shown to be influential in all forms of sports-related thinking. Many athletes use image rehearsal, a specific form of self hypnosis, to practice in their minds. This has been shown to significantly improve performance, sometimes more than actual practice. We have available an excellent book on “Self Hypnosis: The Key To Athletic Success,” authored by Dr. John Kappas, whom I consider a mentor. It is priced at a low $12.95 plus S&H.
How about pain control?
I use it consistently myself for pain control. Hypnoanalgesia (controlled feeling) and hypnoanesthesia (no feeling) are well represented in literature. I have used it for tooth extraction, even redirecting blood flow. Many people have gained control over chronic pain that did not respond to any other method.
Can I use it to make better grades in school?
Yes. Self hypnosis is great for improving concentration and memory, reducing test jitters and the fear of participating in classroom discussions, and enhancing the motivation to study and learn. It is also helpful in uncovering and dealing with hidden blocks to learning and academic success.
Can I cure my insomnia with self hypnosis?
Many people have found self hypnosis to be the perfect cure for insomnia. Sleep disturbances come in many forms and not all of them have been shown to respond to hypnotic suggestion. But, most cases of insomnia do respond well and some types of sleep problems are surprisingly easy to control with self hypnosis; even for sleep problems that have gone on for years.
Will the regular practice of self hypnosis make me more suggestible?
Yes, but only in the good sense. That is, with practice, you get better at responding to your own suggestions. This is a good thing because it gives you more control over yourself. At the same time, you become more resistant to the manipulative attempts of others.
Do you lose consciousness when you practice self hypnosis?
Only if you fall asleep.
What if I can’t wake up?
Never happens. Getting out of hypnosis is never a problem. You’ll put all of your efforts into getting into a hypnotic state, not getting out of it. The worst that can happen is that you drift off into normal sleep, in which case you will wake up just as you would any other time.