What is Clinical Hypnotherapy?
The word hypnosis or hypnotherapy is a word that describes a process that is used by a hypnotherapist or hypnotist to assist another person in entering a state of altered focused awareness. Because the person's awareness is focused the hypnotist can input information into the subconscious mind that the two parties had agreeded upon before hand. The Clinical part of Clinical Hypnotherapist refers to the hypnotherapist "observing & collecting" personal client information to be used to solve the presenting issue.
The mind is made up of the conscious level and the subconcious level (sometimes called the unconscious level). The hypnotherapist uses various techniques to access the subconscious level where the work or reprograming is done. The unique aspect of the mind is that the conscious level makes decisons whereas the subconscious level cannot make decisions but does store information. Since information is stored at the subconscious level it is there that change is made. The levels of the conscious and subconscious mind can be measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine. The levels are Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta. The majority of hypnosis is done at the Alpha Level.
What should I look for when selecting a counselor or hypnotherapist?
There are two things to look for in a hypnotherapist or a counselor. First are they licensed or certified whether it be hypnosis, Neuro-linguistics Programming (NLP), REIKI or other modalities of treatment. Ask to see a license or certifications. Secondly it is important that the therapist tailors the therapy to the personal issue that is presented by the client. One should be watchful for "canned" hypnotherapy scripts. And of course besides training the experience the therapist brings to the table is important. Above all I believe that the most important aspect of therapy is the rapport between client and therapist.
Should I be afraid of losing control or telling personal secrets?
You are always in control. The unique aspect of hypnosis is that the mind is in a highly focused state of awareness when in trance. Due to this highly focused state you have the ability be in total control. It is not possible for you to divulge a personal secret unless of course you want to. It is not possible that you can be told to do something while hypnotized that you do not want to do. You are in total control.
Will hypnosis work for me?
Most people are able to enter the hypnotic state easily. For some folks the greater the frequency of hypnosis the greater the depth and control the individual develops. Individuals who may have problems entering trance are those people who are convinced that it will not work or have low initial expectations, those with certain mental health conditions and people who are doing it because someone else made them.
What does a trance feel like and am I asleep?
Being hypnotized or in a trance is unique to each individual. Most people say that they feel very relaxed and comfortable. Some indicate that they feel heavier while some say they feel lighter. There are individuals who visualize colors and some who feel like they are daydreaming. Imagine driving down the highway while daydreaming and missing your exit. When you missed your exit you were actually at the Alpha Level. In a mild trance. This is sometimes called "highway hypnosis". A child sitting in front of the television is called to lunch but doesn't respond to the call. The child is actually in a trance fixated on the content which they are watching. Their awareness is heightened and focused on the subject in front of them, not on your voice.
Can I get stuck in the trance forever?
It is not possible to get stuck in the trance. Some people enjoy the euphoric feeling of trance so intensely that they later have said that they didn't want to come back to the conscious level. If and when a person exhibits this phenomena there are predetermined techniques that are used by the operator to bring them back to the conscious level. These techniques are quick, effective and harmless.
Should I be afraid that you could give me a post-hypnotic suggestion that I do something that I don't want to do after the session?
Again this is not possible. You are 100% in control, during and after the session. While in hypnosis your mind is at the Alpha level, open to prearranged suggestion or work. After the session your mind is again at the conscious level which is the very active Beta Level. Your personal awareness is 100% and you are in total control.