Hypnotherapy FAQ

Why Use a Hypnotherapist for Relationships?

Relationship Counsellor - Keith Flynn
Put simply, our thinking creates the results in our lives.

Often we repeat patterns, whether it is in eating, trying to loose weight, stop smoking, getting fit, and any other number of habits we want to change. So it is with relationships. Often people repeat the same patterns when they get into relationships and can not seem to see why or how to break the pattern or habit.

This is because of two main reasons:

First. Our unconscious controls between 87% to 95% of our life. These are the unconscious habits and thinking we have. So when we consciously want to change something, we are in a sense battling with our unconscious. Ultimately the change needs to be made in the unconscious.

Second. During the Imprint Period, up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. This is our actual experience of relationships, what we learned and dealt with on a minute by minute, day by day basis. We are well trained in our parents’ relationship and our relationship to our parents and siblings.
The confusion and blind belief of this period leads to the early formation of beliefs about our self, relationships, and our behaviours.

Breaking the Pattern

For those wanting to truly break the patterns of the past, be it past relationships or dysfunctional habits, hypnotherapy offers the opportunity to understand and address these, then create changes at the unconscious level for more functional habits to form, for a happier more fulfilling life.

What is Hypnotherapy?

The definition of Hypnotherapy is “the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique.”
Hypnotherapists use hypnosis typically along with other proven change modalities like Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Inner Child Work, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, to name just a few.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state of selective, focused attention.
It is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. Similarly, when our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use our minds more powerfully. Because hypnosis allows people to use more of their potential, learning self-hypnosis is the ultimate act of self-control.
Our ability to enter this unique state of consciousness opens the door to countless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change.
When we enter into the natural focused state of hypnosis, we can use our thoughts, talents and experiences in ways not usually available to us. With the help of a trained professional, we can develop innate, individual abilities that enable making desired changes in our thoughts, feelings and behaviors possible.
Hypnosis, called by different names in different cultures and times, has been recognized for thousands of years and used for many purposes.

How is Hypnosis used?

Practitioners use clinical hypnosis in three main ways.
First, they encourage the use of imagination. Mental imagery is very powerful, especially in a focused state of attention. The mind seems capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the things we are imagining. For example, a patient with ulcerative colitis may be asked to imagine what his/her distressed colon looks like. If she imagines it as being like a tunnel, with very red, inflamed walls that are rough in texture, the patient may be encouraged in hypnosis (and in self-hypnosis) to imagine this image changing to a healthy one.
A second basic hypnotic method is to present ideas or suggestions to the patient. In a state of concentrated attention, ideas and suggestions that are compatible with what the patient wants seem to have a more powerful impact on the mind.
Finally, hypnosis may be used for unconscious exploration, to better understand underlying motivations or identify whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. Hypnosis avoids the critical censor of the conscious mind, which often defeats what we know to be in our best interests. The effectiveness of hypnosis appears to lie in the way in which it bypasses the critical observation and interference of the conscious mind, allowing the client’s intentions for change to take effect.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Some people find it easier to relax than others. By the same token, some people are able to go into trance more quickly and more deeply than others. About 85% of people can go into at least a light trance. For most therapeutic goals, light trance is enough to enable almost everyone to benefit from hypnotherapy to some extent.
In a relatively small number of situations, (say, when hypnosis is being used instead of a general anesthetic, e.g., as in labor and childbirth), a deeper level of trance may be needed. Some people can naturally go deeper. For others with training and practice, they can learn to go deeper, just like going to a gym to achieve a level of fitness.
If you sleep, you can achieve a level of hypnotic trance, light or deeper.

Will I be asleep or unconscious?

The word hypnosis comes from the ancient Greek word ‘hypnos’ meaning sleep, but it is mis-named. Hypnosis is NOT sleep. Sleep and hypnosis may seem similar since we may be relaxed and have our eyes closed (although not necessarily), but there are many differences. One main difference is that we tend to be in a relaxed state, but with heightened awareness!
If a person were to fall asleep during a session, they would return to normal consciousness when asked to, or simply awaken after a short nap. They would feel refreshed, relaxed and would have no ill effects at all.
“I don’t think I was hypnotized–I heard every word you said!”

Some people, after a session of hypnosis, don’t believe that they were hypnotized at all. This likely comes from misconceptions about just what a ‘trance’ really is. There are differences between the brain waves of people who are asleep and those who are in trance. In practice, people who are hypnotized often talk with the hypnotist, and can both answer and ask questions, hear everything that is said very clearly, and are perfectly well aware.
There is no mysterious feeling to being hypnotized and our minds are not taken over nor controlled. This expectation and perhaps a demand to have some mysterious experience beyond conscious control or awareness seems to leave some people disappointed and even denying they had any experience at all. These same people may actually have received substantial results and unconscious change.
Will I lose control of myself?
No, there is no loss of control. Hypnosis allows clients to be more focused and less distracted and more skillful in using their own mental abilities constructively. In this way, they can achieve more of their goals, and consequently, actually achieve more (not less) control of their personal comfort, health, and well-being. The ‘control’ misconception appears to originate from stage hypnosis which actually involves people doing what they want to be doing in a social agreement to be entertaining.

Can I get stuck or trapped in the hypnotic state?

No. At any time a client can re-alert or choose to ignore suggestions. No one stays hypnotized indefinitely – you will always “come out” of trance within a short time.

Will hypnosis make me remember things accurately?

No. Hypnosis can improve our recall of events that we believe happened to us. But hypnosis is not a way to find out the truth (whatever that may be) about events that are in dispute. That is, under hypnosis you may re-experience events, but there is no guarantee that you are remembering them correctly. Hypnosis only assists the subject in recalling perceptions, not truths.
Courts recognize this, and sometimes take the position that being hypnotized influences your ability to later testify in court on those matters. You should get legal advice before attempting to use hypnosis to improve your recall of events when there are, or might be, court matters involved.

How can a treatment aimed at your mind affect your body?

Your body responds physically to thoughts. For example, when we think a frightening thought, you can experience increased heart rate, shortness of breath, “butterflies” in the stomach, muscular rigidity, sweating, shaking, and so on. Similarly, when you think a pleasurable thought, you can experience reduced heart rate, deeper breathing, relaxation of muscles, and so on. These are autonomic nervous system responses that are involuntary, but they can be utilized to promote health. When hypnotized, an individual is very open to suggestions that can enhance positive and diminish negative physical reactions.

What are Hypnosis Shows?

Most people associate Hypnosis with Hypnosis Shows where we see people doing silly things. Hypnosis Shows are for entertainment. To entertain people and make them laugh. There are a small number of people in the audience that are good candidates to be up on stage to perform. Technically they are a natural somnambulist, and are highly suggestible.