1. Can I get "stuck" in hypnosis?
No. You won't go to the "sunken place" like in the movie Get Out. Getting stuck in hypnosis is like saying you can get stuck napping. No matter how deep in trance you are, you will always come out of it safely and comfortably. You may choose to stay in hypnosis longer because of how enjoyable the experience is but you'll never get "stuck."
2. What can hypnosis help me with in my life?
Hypnosis can help with anything that deals with the body and mind. It may sound like an exaggeration, but it's reasonably accurate. Stress, weight loss, smoke cessation, pain management, test anxiety, sports performance, fears, confidence issues, and so on. If your doctor says "it's all in your head," there may be an emotional cause of your issue to examine.
Your thoughts and beliefs influence almost everything in your life. Famous athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have used visualization techniques to get into the "zone." Sylvester Stallone listened to self- hypnosis tapes by the famous hypnotist Gil Boyne to motivate himself to write the script for Rocky. Jessica Alba used hypnosis during the birth of her children to reduce labor pain. Matt Damon and Ellen quit smoking using hypnosis. Whether you want to change lifelong habits, let go of your past or want to feel better about yourself, hypnosis can help. You don't have to be a celebrity to experience these fantastic results. You need to have an open mind, and the results will follow.
3. Is hypnosis compatible with my religious/spiritual beliefs?
Yes. Client-centered hypnotherapy means the hypnotherapist caters to your beliefs. In the interview process, we’ll discuss your spiritual views to make sure that you're entirely comfortable with any techniques that are used in the sessions. I will always be upfront and honest with you. Hypnosis is not a religion; it's a therapeutic technique that uses the power of your subconscious mind to create lasting positive change.
4. Can I get "brainwashed" under hypnosis?
No. Even when you're in a trance, you cannot be forced to do or believe anything that goes against your morals. The hypnotherapist can't make you commit a crime, convert Packers fans into Bears fans (although this would bring me a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction) or make you do anything dangerous. Your subconscious mind comes equipped with a survival mechanism that protects you. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are the co-therapist and we're a team. It’s crucial that you genuinely want to make a positive change before you embark on this journey. If you're only getting help because a friend, family member, or spouse is "forcing" you to do it, then you may not be ready for hypnosis.
5. How long are the sessions?
The length of a session varies. Each is approximately 60 minutes but may last up to 90 minutes depending on what we're working on that day and whether you have any questions after the hypnosis portion is complete. The first session will take longer to have enough time for a proper interview, filling out intake forms and explaining the hypnotic process in detail. The most significant roadblock is usually fear of the unknown. If you don't know anything about why or how hypnosis works you may find you have trouble relaxing. Therefore, my number one priority in the initial session is to make sure you feel safe and have at least a rudimentary understanding of how hypnosis works.
6. How many sessions will it take to correct my issue?
A difficult question to answer just because every issue and every person is different. Getting over a fear may be cleared in a few sessions while something as complex as weight loss may take six sessions or more. Generally speaking, three to six sessions is the average.
The reason why something like weight loss may take several appointments is that it deals with a variety of issues; eating habits, confidence issues, stress, lack of motivation to exercise, cravings , etc. Some people may quit smoking after a couple of sessions, but if other negative beliefs or emotions surround why you smoke, then it's essential to deal with those issues as well so that you remain a non-smoker. Again, hypnosis works, but how many sessions or how long it takes to work varies.
7. Are my sessions confidential?
Absolutely. People often use hypnosis as a last resort to deal with personal issues that they wouldn't want to share with anyone. Be reassured -- there are others out there with the same problems. The difference between you and them is that you dared to get help. The only exceptions to discussing the private sessions are found in the intake forms you sign before the first session (extreme cases such as intention to harm yourself or others).
8. Do I need to talk to my physician or mental health practitioner before I begin my first session?
It depends. If you want to quit smoking, overcome a fear, enhance your sports performance or increase your confidence, you won't need the approval of a doctor. Some issues may seem unnecessary to discuss with a doctor but may be extremely important. Using hypnosis for weight loss is one example. There may be a medical reason for your weight gain, and it's important to check with your doctor first to make sure nothing serious is going on.
Any physical pain would be another example, and this includes chronic headaches. Hypnosis can help in reducing pain, but if the pain stems from a severe medical condition that you aren't aware of, then minimizing that pain will do more harm than good. Your body uses pain to tell you that something isn't right and needs attention. Hypnosis is not a replacement for medical care, but it works exceptionally well as an adjunct to it.
In cases of anxiety that's more difficult to answer. Stress, sadness, and anger are typical responses to stressful life situations, but severe depression is a job for mental health professionals. I will always be upfront with you, and if I don't feel like I'm the right fit for you, I'll let you know. My practice requires written permission from your mental health professional for any condition that requires medication. By collaborating with your mental health professional, we can come up with a plan of action that will keep me within my scope of practice. We all work as a team safely and ethically for your optimal benefit.
9. Is hypnosis “a magic bullet” that will fix all of my problems?
No. Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can enhance the quality of your life, but it's not magic. Hypnotherapists can't snap their fingers and make you drop 100 pounds overnight. Some of the changes are more noticeable than others depending on the issue. If you overcome a fear, that change is more immediate and noticeable. If you use hypnosis to lose weight and you refuse to do the mental exercises assigned or you have a negative attitude about the process, then you may not notice the benefits.
In the case of weight loss, you may see subtle changes at first. Maybe one day you drive past your favorite fast food restaurant without a second thought. Perhaps you start drinking more water and exercising regularly. Or, you’re eating more slowly, or you don't crave the same junk food you once did. In fact, it's entirely normal for others to notice changes in your behavior before you do. Hypnosis isn't a cure-all, but it does work when properly utilized. Be patient and trust the process.
10. Can't I just go on YouTube and listen to a free hypnosis session to get the same benefits?
Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing sessions on YouTube recorded by professional hypnotists, and they can help you, no doubt about it. The difference is that those sessions aren't catered to you specifically. The dirty little secret is that suggestion therapy is the most basic hypnosis technique, but if you don't clear the underlying cause or at least change certain beliefs, then the issue may return. Some hypnotherapy techniques require a conversation between the client and hypnotherapist while in trance, and that can't be done by passively listening to a session on YouTube.