Often when people think of hypnosis they think of party tricks at a show where the person does embarrassing things or appears to lose conscious control. This is not hypnosis! It is a myth that with clinical hypnosis a patient will lose control. The patient is always aware of the surroundings and always in control. The goal of hypnosis is to bypass the critical observations of our conscious mind. This allows for our intentions for change to happen without interference. Hypnosis is a state of concentration and focused attention which improves absorption of information. When our minds are in a very relaxed state we can use them better to make changes in our life to relieve stress, depression, anxiety or trauma.
How can hypnosis be used? There are two main ways. First, it can encourage imagination. Mental imagery is very powerful, especially when in a focused state of attention. Our minds can use imagery, even if it’s symbolic to help bring about the things we are imagining. A simple example is anxiety. By imagining going into your own “mind control center” the patient may visualize turning down their “knob” of their anxiety level. The goal is that outside of the session the patient will notice higher degrees of confidence and abilities to manage situations that would normally create higher levels of anxiety.
Secondly, hypnosis can help with presenting ideas or suggestions to a patient. These ideas and suggestions are developed with the patient’s full input. Then in a state of concentrated attention, those suggestions can have a powerful impact on the mind. One example would be if you wanted to improve your ability to manage chronic pain. Ideally the patient, after becoming relaxed may get a suggestion “your body feels able to manage daily tasks with less pain.” In their relaxed and focused state, the mind can better hear this and incorporate that into the body. After session(s), the patient would ideally notice an increased ability to manage daily tasks with a lower amount of pain.
Hypnosis takes training and supervision. I obtained my training through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis in 2018. I am happy to discuss if hypnosis is an appropriate treatment option for you. Feel free to schedule an intake with me here!