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If you have never experienced hypnosis, it's natural for you to be curious about the process. You will find hypnotherapy to be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have.  It's really impossible to explain hypnosis completely; it's something youi have to experience for yourself.

First of all, hypnosis is not sleep.  When you are asleep, you are unconscious.  Most people have a sense of awakening after hypnosis, forgetting everything that has occurred, but they have not been "out."  During the process, you  will continue to have your judgement and you can stop the process at anytime.

Whe you see a physician, you know his only purpose is to help you, and so it is with the hypnotist.  The suggestions he makes are only helpfull if you feel comfortable with him and are open.  You have to want to be hypnotized and be cooperative. In efffect, you hypnotize yourself; the hypnotist is only there to guide you.

When you begin to feel drowsy, just relax.  Don't try to force yourself into deeper stages.   Just allow the process to occur.  Try to be indifferent, because indifference opens your mind to suggestion.  When you reach a deep enough state of relaxation, the hypnotist will make suggestions to your mind that will help you to achieve your goals. These suggestions willl be of temendous benefit to you.  When absorbed, your unconscious mind will enforce them.

Hypnosis will help you, not because the hypnotist has any special powers, but because the suggestions he makes will integrate with the power of your own unconscious mind, enlisting it to work on your behalf.   In other words, the hypnotist will help you to do what you have been wanting to do, but so far have been unable to do alone.

This is what you can expect as you sink into Hyposis.  You will feel drowsy; your eyes will begin to feel very heavy, fatique creeps up on you, and you feel a delightful sense of relaxation. This happens naturally at bedtime, and hypnosis is simple a means of inducing this state artificially, and of prolonging it to your advantage. 

You have no doubt experienced hypnosis many times.  It occurs whenever you  are absord in an event; for example, such as when reading a very interesting book, watching a good movie, or while driving.

Yes. Hypnosis really does work.  It has been accepted as a valid intervention technqiue by the (AMA) American Medical Association since 1952.  Hypnosis has been used successfully to treat common habits like smoking and overeating, as well as to help people manage pain and improve a varity of medical and psychological conditions.

Although the ability to be hypnotized varies from indiviudal to individual, anyone can be hypnotized.  In fact, research indicates that anyone with adequate attention span, average intelligence, and a cooperative attitude can be hypnotized.

As  in all counseling or theraputic situations, what's most important is the motivation of the client and the client-counselor relationship. 

Usually about one hour.  If it's your first session, the hypnotist in order to do a good job should spend additonal time interviewing you to find out your goals and any concerns you may have about the process.  He will also find out your specific problems and how best to form suggestions to help you.

As mentioned previously, hypnosis is not sleep, but a heightened state of awareness. Some people do become so relaxed that they do fall asleep. If you do fall asleep, the hypnotist will continue with the session and wake you at the end by simply speaking at  faster pace and louder tone, and telling you to wake up. You would also eventually wake on your own, just like anytime you fall asleep.

No.  Research experiments in which subjects were actually asked to do things that were harmful or wrong indicate that individuals don't respond to such suggestions.  The evidence is conclusive that people cannot be made to do anything that they would not normally want to do. In short, people cannot be made to do anything that violates their values or beliefs.

As far as brain-washing goes, hypnosis can play a part in unscrupulous hands ( generally governments) to get subjects to do things that violate their personal conscious principles.  However, to do this requires such extraordinary measures that one can sfely say that these effects are beyond the capabilities of hypnotists operating by themselves in typical office outpatient settings.

While hypnosis has been an accepted practice by the (AMA) American Medical Association since 1952, most states still do not require lisensure.

The truth is, anyone can call themselves a hypnotist. Always ask the hypnotist about his experience and training. If you are seeking help with a mental health problem, you may prefer to seek a hypnotist who is also a licensed therapist or counselor, as he or she will have training in mental health issues and be better able to help you with these kinds of problems.

As a client you have a right to know what are the hypnotist's particular credentials. Diplomas, evidences of trainings, certifications or licensures should be clearly and openly available. 

Frank A. Trupiano, LCSW, PhD CHT  or e-mail: frank@lifedimensions.net

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