Hypnosis is a very natural state, which we have all been into many times in our lives – in fact we go into hypnosis many times during the course of a single day!
It is a state similar to daydreaming. In fact, daydreaming IS hypnosis! When we are in this state, we allow our conscious mind (which we use to analyse, criticise, rationalise, judge etc) to relax, while our subconscious mind remains alert and focussed. The Hypnotherapist can then communicate directly with the subconscious mind, which is infinitely more powerful than the conscious mind.
Our subconscious mind is like a data capturer. It will have remembered every single experience we have ever had, since birth or even before. It does not decide whether an experience is good, bad, right, wrong etc. It simply captures the experience in it’s data bank.
While the conscious mind retains a certain amount of memory, it does not retain all our experiences, and will prioritise which memories are important to be able to recall. So for example you may not consciously recall what you had for dinner 3 weeks ago on a Wednesday, because your conscious mind may not consider it important enough to retain that memory, but if you are in hypnosis, you will be able to recall it instantly and effortlessly.
Hypnosis is not a state of sleep. When you are in hypnosis, you are fully aware of what is happening. You are able to hear, to move, to speak, and even to cry or laugh. Many people ‘try’ hypnosis, and because they find themselves able to do these things while in trance during their first experience, they immediately think that they are not in hypnosis, or not able to be hypnotised. This will then often stop them from going back for further hypnosis, preventing themselves from receiving an amazingly effective form of therapy.
Hypnosis shows, while highly entertaining, often give the wrong impression. People who have watched these shows are left with the impression that the hypnotist is in control, that they can be made to do things they would not like to do, or say things they would not like to say. Nothing could be further from the truth. YOU decide whether you will go into hypnosis or not – YOU let yourself go there. YOU are in complete control while in hypnosis, and YOU decide whether you will follow any suggestions which are given to you during hypnosis. You will never do anything which goes against your morals or values while hypnotised. You will never give away any secrets that you do not want to divulge.
These misperceptions often discourage people from seeking Hypnotherapy for issues which are bothering them. This is unfortunate, as Hypnotherapy is a very powerful and effective modality, and issues can usually be resolved in 2 or 3 sessions, although this can vary a bit.
Going into a hypnotic state or trance requires willing participation from you. If you don’t want to let yourself go into that state, absolutely nobody can make you do so, not even the most experienced Hypnotists. It does not require any effort, rather more like the absence of effort. In fact, ‘trying’ is counter-productive. It’s a letting go, and then actively utilising your imagination as the Hypnotherapist suggests. The success of Hypnotherapy therefore depends largely on the clients’ willingness to go into that state, and then to accept the suggestions given by the Hypnotherapist while in trance.