As a certified hypnotist part of my job is to tell clients what to expect from hypnosis sessions. While hypnosis is a very powerful tool it is not a magic wand. It is not uncommon for patients to expect immediate results after the first session. This is due in large part to how hypnosis is portrayed in the movies and on TV. Hypnotherapy can help clients experience profound and accelerated change in as little as 4-6 sessions.
Patients often think that hypnosis is sleep. This is one of the most common misconceptions that I address during the first session. In actuality, hypnosis is both a highly attentive and relaxed state. A hypnotherapist will guide their patients from a Beta wave state to an Alpha or Theta brain wave state. Put simply, the Beta state is the analytical waking state and the Alpha state is a relaxed state similar to daydreaming. The Theta state is one we experience when we meditate or sleep lightly, an experienced R.E.M. rapid eye movement.
Hypnotic trance is achieved by following the directions of a certified hypnotist. Deep breathing, overload, guided imagery, and confusion are utilized to guide patients into a relaxed but highly attentive state. Clients remain aware of their surroundings, including the sounds and the temperature in the room. Patients are not asleep, and in some cases, will be required to respond verbally to the practitioner. Contrary to popular belief hypnotic trance is an interactive experience.
Does everyone respond the same way
Everyone responds to hypnosis differently. Some anxious clients may take longer to become comfortable with the hypnotic state while others take to it immediately. While some clients don’t notice anything while experiencing hypnotic trance, patients often report feeling as though they had taken a nap when emerging from hypnosis. They were not asleep but experienced deep relaxation. Others may notice a floating sensation, eye fluttering, numbness or tingling, or a heavy feeling in the body.
What to expect from hypnosis
Some people are more suggestible or open to hypnotic programming. A highly suggestible client will respond faster but almost everyone can benefit from hypnotherapy sessions. One does not need to be highly suggestible in order to experience profound change. How quickly patients experience positive change will also depend on what they hope to achieve, as well as what caused these challenges in the first place. Clients who want to stop smoking can be helped in as little as one to three sessions while patients with generalized anxiety disorder often require six or more sessions.
What happens during a hypnotherapy session
Once guided into hypnotic trance the hypnosis practitioner will give directions, also known as suggestions, to the unconscious mind to address the challenge. Hypnotists will use a combination of direct and indirect directions/suggestions. Often a hypnotherapist will uncover the past experience that triggered the challenge. Once identified, the certified hypnotist can change the way the unconscious mind perceives the traumatic event. Once the perception has shifted, clients can move forward free of the past.
Hypnosis can help address various challenges with the understanding that multiple sessions will be required to notice a shift. Now that you know what to expect from hypnosis sessions you, or someone you know, can seek out the assistance they need.