What Is Hypnosis?
In clinical hypnotherapy, unlike stage hypnosis, you need not be concerned about being made to do something that you will regret at a later date.
During a session, I, nor any other hypnotist, can make you do anything that you do not want to do. You are, at all times in complete and total control.
Some may think that they are too intelligent for hypnosis to work on them, this is not the case at all. Other’s may think that they are not intelligent enough, also, this is not the case. If you have an imagination and can follow simple instruction you can and will be hypnotized. You are not “knocked out”, “put under”, or “put to sleep”.
What you are, is guided into a deep level of relaxation where your mind opens and expands to all the possibilities imaginable.
Hypnosis is perhaps the oldest and most natural mode of healing in our human history and yet (because of stage hypnosis which is done purely for entertainment) is quite misunderstood by the majority of the population who then miss out on it’s incredible benefits. Hypnosis is considered a potent and safe adjunct to Medicine, an effective procedure in Psychotherapy, Dentistry, relaxation, stress management and behavioral changes.
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that occurs spontaneously in nearly every person. If you consider hypnotic states or hypnosis as altered states of consciousness similar to those that you experience upon awakening, prior to falling asleep, when functioning on automatic like driving down a highway, or when engrossed in activities such as watching an interesting movie or reading a good book.
Hypnosis is not something one person “does” to another. It is an inborn talent. Its use, deliberate or unwitting, varies from person to person. Your development of this skill can be enhanced with the guidance of an experienced hypnotist. Then the talent can subsequently be even more useful and enjoyable when employed by you on your own.
There are many definitions of hypnosis, almost as many as there are practitioners of hypnosis. One of the most frequently used definitions of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes is the following: Hypnosis is an artificially induced state, usually (but not always) resembling sleep, but physiologically distinct from it, which is characterized by heightened suggestibility, as a result of which certain sensory, motor and memory abnormalities may be induced more readily than in the normal state, (Warren’s Dictionary of Psychology)
Generally, many professionals borrow Dr. Milton Erickson’s definition and describe hypnosis as “A state of intensified attention and receptiveness, and an increased responsiveness to an idea or to a set of ideas.
The following are additional definitions of hypnosis:
Hypnosis is an altered state of selective awareness and heightened suggestibility produced through a combination of relaxation, focused attention and effective suggestions. (Richard Aanrich)
I believe hypnosis to be a process which produces relaxation, distraction of the conscious mind, heightened suggestibility and increased awareness, allowing access to the subconscious mind through the imagination. It also produces the ability to experience thoughts and images as real. (Krasner)
Actually, the hypnotic state, like the conscious state and the sleeping state, is extremely complex and involves so many physiological, psychological, and interpersonal factors that no one theory has yet been able to account for all the intricate operations that take place within its range. This does not at all hinder our practical employment of this interesting method. In medicine, we utilize many remedies and procedures because they work, even though we may not know exactly why and how they work. Every year, research adds more data to our fund a/knowledge, providing an empirical foundation for your pragmatic superstructure. (Lewis. R. Wolberg)
Hypnosis has also been defined as a form of conditioning. A person learns, through direct experience or the media, how to be “hypnotized”. Another way to see hypnosis as something learned, is to assert that a person becomes conditioned to a word stimulus such as “Relax.” Once having allowed himself to relax, the client is thereafter conditioned to repeat the experience of relaxing upon hearing the stimulus-word.
Hypnosis is not a sleep. Whatever sleep is, hypnosis is not, in fact for most people it is a heightened awareness which allows the individual more personal control than they would otherwise have. Hypnosis is a response to a signal from the hypnotherapist or to an inner signal, which activates a capacity for a shift of awareness in the person, which permits a more directed concentration toward a desired goal.
Actually all hypnosis is self-hypnosis because it is the client who uses his or her abilities, including concentration and imagination, to produce what we recognize as “hypnotic” effects.
Among practitioners the most common view of hypnosis is that it is an altered state of consciousness; your awareness differs somehow to your everyday sense of reality. This is often referred to as being in a trance. However, for many, perhaps most, people being in hypnosis does not seem much different to how they feel at other times.