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Top 10 Hypnosis Myths Revealed

In order to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding hypnosis, here is a run down of the top ten popular myths surrounding hypnosis.

1) A hypnotist might turn you into a chicken or pull some other embarrassing tricks on you.

A clinical hypnotherapist would not do this. This is confusing a stage hypnotist with a therapeutic or clinical hypnotherapist. A stage hypnotist will do this because that is what is expected of them. You agree to this by stepping on stage and joining the show. However you will easily return to your normal state at the end. In a clinical setting you only agree to the therapeutic goals for the session, so that is all that will occur.

The majority of clinical hypnotherpists (me included) would not know how to do these tricks even if they wanted to do them. Stage and clinical hypnosis are two very different disciplines.

2) You must be weak minded if you can be hypnotised

A hypnotherapist simply guides or helps a person into trance. He does not ‘make’ them go into a trance. A hypnotic trance is a normal and natural mental state that most of us slip into several times a day. It occurs when you are daydreaming, or so totally absorbed in a book or film that you forget what is happening around you.

It is actually a skill to go into a deeply relaxed trance when you want to. The hypnotherpist helps you, but ultimately it is how you use your mind that determines how deep into a trance you go.

People often find that the more experience they have of going into a trance, the easier and deeper they go. So ‘being hypnotised’ is actually a skill on the part of the subject, that can be improved over time.

3) You are asleep when in a hypnotic trance

Many years ago hypnotherapists did use suggestions of ‘sleep’ when guiding someone into a hypnotic trance. However this is rarely done now as most hypnotherapists agree that this can confuse the subject as to what state of mind they are aiming to achieve. Most now use suggestions of deep relaxation rather than sleep. However the media seem to still continue to portray a very outdated image of a hypnotist.

4) Hypnotherapists swing a watch in order to hypnotise a subject

Hypnotherapists rarely do this these days, although it is one technique that can be used out of thousands of others. I personally do not do this as I wish to distance myself from the stereotype of a stern and sinister hypnotist, with a thin black moustache, wearing a tall dark hat, and a manic stare in his eyes. However I am happy to swing a watch if a subject specifically asks for this.

5) People sometimes become ‘stuck’ in hypnosis

This is simply not true, despite what the tabloid press periodically claim. On rare occasions a subject may not come out of the trance straight away. This is usually because they are enjoying the relaxing state so much that they don’t want to come out. A few gentle prompts, such as threatening to charge double for a longer session, is always sufficient to wake them!

6) You will become stuck in hypnosis if something happens to the hypnotist

Again not true. A person will eventually become bored and will just get up when they feel like it. The hypnotist holds no special power over the subject whatsoever. A person can hypnotise themselves. This is called self hypnosis, and they can wake themselves whenever they choose.

7) Hypnosis is dangerous in the event of a fire or another disaster

A person in a hypnotic trance is just as aware, if not more so, of potential danger. If a fire broke out during a session, a person would easily come out of the trance and deal with the situation immediately, and in an appropriate way.

If you drive a car, then you might be able to understand what I am about to say. When driving we often slip into a trance, especially when we are driving routes that we often take, such as to and from work. We can slip into a trance and daydream, and barely remember the journey at all. Sometimes we may even wonder how we managed to get to our destination at all! Sound familiar? In the event of danger, we instantly snap out of this state and deal with the situation. In fact we probably deal with it quicker and more effectively as our minds do not have chance to ‘over think’ with the conscious mind and slow down the response

8) You are not hypnotised if you can hear the hypnotist

Each person has a unique experience of hypnosis. Some people consciously hear the hypnotist, whereas others do not. This has no bearing on the success of the session whatsoever. It is usually down to choice. You can choose to allow your mind to drift away, or you can choose to listen carefully to what the hypnotherapist is saying. Some people simply cannot resist allowing their minds to drift away, as they gain so much relaxation pleasure from it.

9) You can be made to reveal your deepest secrets when in a hypnotic trance

Since your mind is fully aware and awake during a hypnotic session, this is not possible. If you really do not want to talk about something then you are under no compulsion to do so. A person can easily lie and are more likely to be creative with the truth when in a hypnotic trance, which is why courts will not accept the testimony of witnesses who are in hypnosis.

10) Hypnotherapists have special powers

A hypnotherapist is a normal person who eats, sleeps, feels happy and sad, and looses their car keys. There is nothing special or magical about them at all. We have simply been trained, and have honed this training with experience, to help guide people into a hypnotic state.

A stage hypnotist may play on having ‘hypnotic powers’ in order to add excitement and drama to their shows, but they too will readily admit that they are simply using techniques that have been learnt and developed with practice and experience.

So there you go, hypnosis and hypnotherapy is not magical or mysterious when you know the true facts. It is simply a group of techniques for focusing the mind so that the unconscious can absorb pre agreed suggestions, in order to facilitate change. However the reality has been bent and distorted by sensationalism. This is a pity because this can, and probably does, prevent many people, who would greatly benefit from hypnotherapy, from daring to try it for the first time.

I urge you to make a commitment and try hypnosis even once. It is perfectly safe so you have nothing to lose. If it is not for you, then simply disregard it. If hypnotherapy is for you, then you will have unlocked a whole world of possibilities for personal growth, change and improvement. Many people’s lives have been turned around with hypnosis. Don’t let this potential opportunity slip you by.

Hypnotherapy Clinic – Hypnosis is a Force For Good

One day a client came to my hypnotherapy clinic. He is William, twenty seven years old. He wanted to consult what actually hypnosis can do to contribute to people who dream something better in their life. So far, he is haunted with an impression that hypnosis is not more than thing related to black magic and crime. He insisted on me explaining the real details on hypnosis. He told me that two days before he met me, he had read an article entitled See Hypnosis Correctly.

I said to William that hypnosis is a tremendous force for good. Different kinds of things respond powerfully to hypnosis. For example, a complaint such as heavy headache is cleared up, sometimes, within minutes just by using hypnosis. Problems with bowel movements and changing blood sugar level can be managed with hypnosis very well. Hypnosis can also be used in many cancer programs as an adjunct to the chemotherapy processes. Immune system of human being gets much better when he or she is under hypnosis.

Beyond the physical realm, there are many kinds of other doors hypnosis is capable of showing to people. For example, people in trance state are much cleverer at problem solving. The condition, of course, is of great value for all people in their each field. For instance, students are cleverer at writing, artist is more creative in creating new ideas, and businessman finds better improvement in marketing their products.

Hypnosis instruction, of course, is very powerful for people to escape from bad attitudes. Problems such as phobia, being not confident, and being lazy can be improved using hypnosis. Smoking, overweight, biting nails can be finished with hypnosis suggestions. People will look younger when they are diligent at doing self hypnosis. Study shows that for people who study and implement hypnosis before 40 years old, they will get extra life age from forty five years old till sixty five. With the force of good hypnosis makes, it will be a big loss for those who do not stop thinking bad on hypnosis.

Big Consideration About How To Be A Skilled Hypnotherapist Or Clinical Hypnosis Professional

Well, where on earth do you begin with such a potentially broad subject matter?

I am not attempting to write everything that needs to be known in order to be a good hypnotherapist here; I doubt I could do it in a single article.

In order for anyone to be an effective hypnotherapist that gets results in hypnotherapy sessions, there is much more to learn than simply inducing hypnosis with skill.

It is my opinion and experience that a hypnotherapist have a wide ranging knowledge of current hypnotherapy literature. All the hypnotherapists I encounter that see a good number of clients and are in my opinion a successful hypnotherapist, have a breadth and depth of knowledge about the subject of hypnotherapy.

Being able to relate to the client in such a way that a beneficial therapeutic alliance is established. The therapeutic alliance where trust and belief exists. As well as this, being able to make good decisions about which interventions to employ and how to structure sessions for the clients benefit, something which tends to come from experience as well as a depth of knowledge.

Needless to say, I could go on and on about things which I deem important to be a skilled hypnotherapist, and no-one is ever likely to create a fully exhaustive account which everyone in the field of hypnotherapy will agree upon. Nonetheless, these things I have mentioned so far, require time and energy to be invested.

Additionally though, the kind of person we are also influences and affects our knowledge base and the skills that we apply within our work. often, the choices that we make in a hypnotherapy session can be influenced by our own philosophy regarding hypnotherapy, the approach that we adopt influences how we work and the directions that we want to lead a client in.

I once supervised a hypnotherapist who had attended an Emotional Freedom technique (EFT) workshop and that hypnotherapist was really taken by EFT and had experienced some personal benefits from applying it to their own life, and so was very enthusiastic about it. The following weeks, that hypnotherapist was teaching almost every client that came into those consulting rooms how to do EFT and using EFT as a major intervention.

Then there are specialist workshops or conferences about a particular disorder that the hypnotherapist starts to diagnose clients having, even though they have never heard of the disorder.

During my years as a hypnotherapist, I have been trained by and worked with many of the top hypnotherapists and seen, experienced and heard a wide variety of differing viewpoints. Each hypnotherapist in turn takes on elements of those viewpoints, just as I have done, which then influences how we apply hypnosis for therapeutic gain.

The key here is knowing enough about yourself, and subsequently applying reflective practice techniques to how you worked with individuals and examining how you made certain decisions and the rationale behind them. In theory, we do not necessarily want to think that our background and personality and interests affect how we deliver our hypnotherapy solutions to our clients, but in reality, they cannot not do so. It is our job to be aware of it and learn and develop from what we learn accordingly.

I have written before in some depth about hypnotherapists needing to be intelligent enough to see both sides of a debate, argument or philosophy. I shall not repeat that notion here, but I shall say that I think it can be a problem if the hypnotherapist does not develop, and stretch themselves and learn the usefulness of adopting other approaches and techniques that may well advance their ability to understanding and assisting the people that they work with in therapy.

Pretty much every p[resenting issue that a hypnotherapy client cites could be approached in a wide variety of ways depending on the hypnotherapist and the array of factors mentioned here today. I personally think it wise and responsible to know and understand how you are making decisions about what steps you’ll be taking as a hypnotherapist, how you are deciding upon the decisions you are making and not allowing your approach to become entrenched in a singular dogmatic, inflexible approach. Of course we like to persist with things that have worked in the past or that we have experienced success with in the past and we’ll be influenced by that, but having a measured self-understanding and awareness of the decisions we make, can help us make the best decisions for those investing in hypnotherapy services.

Understanding Clinical Hypnosis

Every day, everyone goes through a trance. Those few minutes between sleeping and being awake is a trance. Hypnosis is to induce you into a trance through the help of techniques that have been found effective over the years. When you are hypnotized, you or your therapist will be the given the chance to tap into your unconscious mind and throw in a few positive suggestions to correct a disorder of the psyche. However, you cannot be hypnotized your will and the level of efficacy would depend from person to person. So to enhance the rate of success, clinical hypnosis steps in.

Clinical hypnosis is basically the traditional principles of hypnosis blended in with other forms of therapy like cognitive and behavioral psychology and the most up-to-date physiological research. So the process of delving into your mind to cure you from within becomes a bit more complex. A lot of information would come in and all of these must be interconnected to help your therapist address your issue properly.

You can request for analytic techniques to be used if you’d rather not talk about the root cause of your mental distress. These techniques will also come in handy if you are unable to provide answers to your therapists’ questions. Remember that in traditional hypnotherapy, your answers will provide the vital context from which all the sessions will be based from.

What is the importance of clinical hypnosis?

As mentioned earlier, the success of hypnosis depends on the willingness of the person hypnotized. But there are other reasons why the treatment could fail and that would be other physiological conditions, mental illness or drug abuse. Since clinical hypnosis looks at a person as a whole and also at the conditions surrounding the mental distress, the possibility of success increases.

Hypnosis poses very few risks. They can be challenged by individuals who have a history of alcohol abuse, or those who are delusional or hallucinatory. Hypnosis, of any kind, is also not used to cure any source of pain. It can be used to temporarily alleviate pain but a professional must still be sought for help and the needed medical exams.

All kinds of hypnosis can be done on children but not on very young ones. To know whether or not a child can be hypnotized, the therapist must first check the length of his or her attention span. If hypnosis is not possible, other forms of therapy can also be done like storytelling, play therapy, art therapy and even guided visualization.

Generally, hypnosis can be used for the recovery of locked childhood memory, treatment of phobias, relaxation, sexual difficulties, stress and pain management, bad habit control and even to lengths of bettering academic performance. There are other uses of hypnosis in life but all are pointed towards creating a better and more mentally sound you.

Now the only thing left to do would be to find a licensed hypnotherapist who can view your case with professional eyes. Whether it be clinical hypnosis that you need, or some other form of hypnosis, a professional should be able to make things better for you soon.

Hypnosis Re-Defined

Over the past several centuries there have been multiple definitions of the word hypnosis. Yet these definitions too often reflect empirical observations rather than a true understanding the nature of hypnosis.

Looking at how history allowed the concept of hypnosis to evolve can provide at least a partial understanding of its essence. Unfortunately, the history of hypnosis normally starts off with an inaccurate myth. Many accord Anton Mesmer, MD, as the “Father of Modern Hypnosis” (Mesmer, 1980). Yet after reading his original works, it is fairly obvious that his activities can be more closely explained by the present practice of energy psychology and energy medicine rather than what is known as hypnosis today. Even though his patients responded to suggestion and many went into some type of altered state, this does not necessarily qualify him for his esteemed place in the history of hypnosis.Henry Munro, MD, discovered in the 1890s that a hypnotic state and specific suggestions allowed him to give reduced amounts of chemical anesthesia (1908). He came to realize that the number of deaths related to heart-stopping saturation – which resulted in deaths for one out of 400 surgery patients to whom ether or nitrous oxide was administered – could be stemmed by the use of hypnosis. This led him to encourage the founders of the Mayo Clinic to replicate his methodology. Munro’s “suggestive therapeutics” proved to be a very significant contribution to the history of hypnosis.

Sigmund Freud, MD, (1949) apparently rejected hypnosis. Some, including Elman (1964), felt that this was because he failed in his attempts to achieve efficient results. Freud then focused on psychoanalysis, which he based largely on the somewhat erroneous concept of the existence of an unconscious (or subconscious) mind. Until that point, the belief in a below-the-conscious-mind concept was not a factor in the development of hypnosis. However, Elman, Erickson, McGill, and the next several generations of hypnotists took up the subconscious mind mantra with blind obedience. (The term “unconscious” was coined by the German Idealist Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Shelling in 1800. It is a philosophical term that has unfortunately been picked up by the scientific community. It has absolutely no basis in scientific methodology and thought. Rather, it is used to demark a limitation of investigation, which has been largely dissolved by modern neuroscience.)

David Elman’s study of several of the classical hypnotists led to his highly opinionated conclusion that hypnosis is a process not a state – as suggested by James Braid, MD, who coined the term “hypnosis.” Elman insisted that hypnosis is a process in which the “critical factor is bypassed and selective thinking was allowed.” Due to their heated rivalry and the differences in their direct versus permissive approaches, many practitioners overly focus on the belief that Elman’s and Erickson’s underlying theories contradicted each other. Upon exhaustive review of the works of both men, it is obvious that there are more similarities than differences.

While practically all modern hypnosis researchers intellectually straddle Freud’s subconscious mind concept and Erickson’s permissive hypnotherapeutic process, they are consistently failing to synthesize these beliefs with recent findings in neurology and the emergence of a growing volume of mind/body research. This is apparent from reviewing a vast multitude of research documented by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) (See PubMed). While the efficacy of hypnosis in the treatment of somatic and behavioral issues is supported, there is an almost universal belief that there is a lack of understanding about causation and a belief that additional research is warranted. However, many of the uncomfortable conclusions – which are echoed continually in the top two academic journals focused totally on hypnosis – are due to their insistence on defining hypnosis in terms of altered states, trances, and the subconscious mind. (Those two journals are the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis and the International Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.)

Recent international neurological findings, to include advances in stroke treatment, the savant syndrome, neuro-plasticity, and mind/body literature (Doidge, 2007), clearly indicate that neuro-physiological changes occur when pattern resistance is reduced and substrates are inhibited. Transcranial Magnetics (TCM) investigators discovered (Walsh & Pascual-Leone, 2003) that this does not require trance. Also, it does not require the use of the mystical (and mythical) understanding of Freud’s subconscious mind. For instance, in an article on the Wisconsin Medical Society website, Treffert mentioned that when a “normal” person experiences an accident or illness that inhibits specific substrates, increased neural capabilities may result. He termed this the “acquired savant” or “accidental genius.” Additionally, Daniel Amen, MD, the Newport Beach child psychiatrist who pioneered the use of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans as part of psychotherapeutic protocols, noticed that when a substrate is damaged or overactive it will affect the functioning of substrates nearby (2005). In summary, neuro-physiological changes occur without the use of trance or concentrating on subconscious mind concepts. (However, Amen does strongly believe in hypnosis as an intervention – even though his skill level or experience with hypnosis is not very extensive.)

The preponderance of recent research points to the fact that suggestions and imagery are effective in changing neuro-physiological patterns. And it is clear that once the interference of the left prefrontal cortex is negated, the efficiency of suggestions and imagery is enhanced. The presence of Synchronous Alpha or Theta brainwaves – otherwise considered an altered state or trance state – may create a situation where both the left prefrontal cortex resistance is mitigated and excessive anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) activity is reduced: thereby enhancing the function of nearby substrates. However, this is not a requirement for suggestion and imagery to impact transformation. Bypassing resistance and preventing or calming ACC hyperactivity can be achieved without an altered state.

To focus on understanding hypnosis as a state limits its usefulness. The utilitarian aspect of hypnosis lies in the realm of enhancing health, performance, and happiness through more effective use of the human mental faculty. Therefore, it is more useful and practical to consider hypnosis as a process. This must then focus on the ability for humans to employ the process of selective thought to create change. The application of imagination to selectively direct thoughts in order to affect neuro-physiological patterns should be the intent of both the clinician and an individual using self-help techniques. The success of this process will be found by increasing the efficiency of selective thought. It seems that this efficiency is indirectly correlated with the ability to increasingly negate resistance.

Compounding suggestions is one of the most potent tools for improving the efficiency of selective thought. This supports the fact that the tendency of human enterprise – down to the cellular level – is to adjust to new patterns once it becomes clear that resistance is futile. Newly developed patterns further ease our movement toward additional adaptations. The brain’s tendency to at least partially rely on newly formed patterns is the rationale behind the success of repetitive or compounded suggestions. This fully supports Hebb’s “use it or loose it” theory (1949) regarding the strengthening of neural pathways through repetition and the demise of unused networks. Therefore, if the term hypnosis is to be used in conjunction with this process, the following definition gains a high level of relevance and credibility:

Hypnosis is a process in which neuro-physiological patterns are transformed through increasingly efficient selective thought.

This definition does not use the concept of the subconscious mind or trance state. Also, it does not assume volition or will. Furthermore, this means that a phrase such as induce hypnosis is semantically incorrect.

This definition is much closer to that of David Elman, who insisted on the “bypass of the critical factor and allowance of selective thinking” approach (1964). Although he was relegated to obscurity once Erickson got the American Medical Association (AMA) to accept hypnosis and he founded his organization, in many ways Elman’s definition was ahead of his time. (Elman was a contemporary and friend of Freud’s nephew and was very vocal in his support of Freud’s concept of the subconscious mind.) Nevertheless, despite the fact that many find him less credible due to his involvement with stage hypnosis and his lack of either medical or psychology credentials, his lifelong study of the work of respected clinicians with those qualifications greatly contributed to the development of his knowledge.

The Difference Between Clinical Hypnosis and Covert Hypnosis

There is a major difference between clinical hypnosis and covert hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis is intended to help someone. A good example of this is using hypnosis as a way to help a person quit smoking or to quit drinking alcohol. Covert hypnosis is used as an art of persuasion. This is actually been the basis of debates on actually what is and is not considered to be hypnosis.

Another way to describe this difference is that with covert hypnosis, the person is trained to use body language and body patterns in order for it to work. Clinical hypnosis relies strictly to the spoken word and is only effective with excellent speech and language patterns.

Again, covert hypnosis is effective when done with certain behaviors. A nice example of this state of mind is when a very attractive man or lady walks into a room. No matter how much you try not to mention anything or compliment someone, in the back of your mind, you know how pretty that they are. When a man is in this trance like state, he will do anything for a lady. Open doors, take in the groceries. More or less do anything at her beckoning call. It is that feeling that can best describe covert hypnosis.

The bottom line is that you cannot use conversational hypnosis techniques to do clinical hypnosis. It makes sense doesn’t it! They have entirely two different intentions and needs. You cant fit a large square peg into a small round hole can you. It is the same concept.

The main thing though when it comes to looking at clinical and covert hypnosis is that both have no kind of harmful effect to a person. This is the main reason that people tend to shy away from any kind of hypnosis treatment. Hypnosis is in a lot of cases the best choice because it doesn’t involve any kind of drugs. This is the main reason that people go to clinical hypnosis.

If you ever have to have some kind of clinical hypnosis treatment, do not be detered or turned off. When it comes to conversational hypnosis it is beneficial when it comes to job interviews or if you are trying to sell something. You want them to do want them to do and with the gift of covert hypnosis you can do just that, anytime or anywhere. Though clinical and covert hypnotism are entirely different, they both have huge advantages.

Transference In Hypnotherapy and How To Deal With Transference In Clinical Hypnosis

Transference was born out of the psychoanalytic schools of therapy, initially through the work of Freud. The concept of transference is one whereby a client applies attitudes transferred to the therapist which were originally directed towards another person, such as a parent or influential person in earlier life.

This is incredibly important in psychoanalysis and when attitudes of love, hate, dependence and so on are transferred toward the therapist, the psychoanalyst deals with these as a large part of the work they do with that client/patient.

Freud, in the 1944 Encyclopaedia Britannica (p. 674) explains transference is this way:

By “transference” is meant a striking peculiarity of neurotics. They developed toward their physician emotional relations, both of an affectionate and hostile character, which are not based upon the actual situation but are derived from their relations toward their parent (the Oedipus complex). Transference is a proof of the fact that adults have not overcome their former childish dependence; it coincides with the force which has been named “suggestion”; and it is only by learning to make use of it that the physician is enabled to induce the patient to overcome his internal resistances and do away with his repressions.

The field of clinical hypnosis actually saw a decline due to the emergence of psychoanalysis and even though Freud did explore the field of hypnosis with Professor Jean Martin Charcot for a while, he eventually abandoned it as he believed it was not a reliable method of gaining access to “the unconscious” according to his findings that he publicly described in 1895 in Studies of Hysteria.

This notion of transference then, is whereby emotional conflicts experienced in relation to influential figures in life then re-emerge in therapy and are projected on to the therapist. Resulting in good and bad feelings being felt by the client toward the patient. As I said earlier, this is important for the analyst to work with and on. The psychoanalyst then adopts a very neutral and passive role within the therapy so that this transference can develop (almost encouraged) and be dealt with – something which is inconsistent with what we want in hypnotherapy or clinical hypnosis.

In psychoanalysis, a client/patient may fall in love with the therapist, have anger towards them, want to know intimate details about them, develop a possessive attitude towards them and so on, in ways that reflect the client’s earlier relationships with parents, teachers and figures that have been instrumental in their life.A patient may project fantasy onto the therapist.

I myself have had clients who worried about my judgment of them prior to coming for a first session – having been branded a failure throughout their life by parents, and therefore had similar fears about what I would think regarding their presenting issues.

The psychoanalyst then deals with these things that have been recreated in the therapy session in order to resolve the presenting issues.

Hypnotherapy has many facets and differing fields and clinical hypnosis practitioners tend to avoid transference developing in therapy.

If such things develop or show signs of potential development, I tend to use Socratic questioning techniques to ask what evidence the client has for the projection of certain feelings. For example, in the case mentioned above, the client was asked for any evidence that had led them to be worried about what I may think, and upon realising that there was an absence of any evidence within our own interactions, the fear was abated. The realisation was that fear was being generated by the client and not from anything that was happening between myself as hypnotherapist and the client.

Another good way to stop transference developing is to accept it and not resist it, show that it is understood and again highlight through careful questioning that the feelings are being generated by them.

As Carl Rogers (Reprint in 2000 p. 203) states in his book Client Centered Therapy, when helping a female patient realise her transference was coming from herself due to all the evidence making it plain that it did not come from the therapist, thus taking out any immediate threat from the therapeutic relationship:

Thus, in a few moments she goes from the clear transference attitude, “I feel badly because you think I am sordid,” to the feeling, “I am passing judgment on myself, and attempting to transfer those thoughts to your mind.”

I think also, for those wishing to avoid transference development, a number of things can be explained and explored within the assessment and when explaining the roles and responsibilities of client and hypnotherapist, and much can be done during the pre-talk and education about hypnosis prior to the hypnotherapy getting fully underway.

One of the biggest issues of transference developing in hypnotherapy is that a client may become dependent upon the therapy and/or therapist, so again, the client developing responsibility and being shown to take responsibility for them self as much as possible throughout the hypnotherapy is incredibly important. Again, if explained from the beginning and holding the client accountable to this notion, the focus can go elsewhere.

Weight Loss Hypnosis Is Not Magic

Hypnosis can help you lose weight. It sounds like an idea out of “Inception,” but in reality it is just the simple gesture of putting thoughts in your mind to aid in weight loss. It really does work. According to studies done at the Mayo Clinic hypnosis is not a way to diet, but a way to change the mind’s thinking when it comes to food.

The problem with hypnosis is that many only know what they see on television. They have this concept of being sat in front of a swinging pendulum and made to cluck like a chicken. Hypnosis is nothing like that in a professional term. Being medically hypnotized simply means you are put into a relaxed state of mind and given a speech in a sense. Hopefully in this deep state of relaxation the patient will begin to believe the things said and believe they will lose weight. During hypnosis some doctors will try to change the automatic response to food in order for the patient to see it in a different light. Food is paired with something unpleasant so when the patient sees a fattening food they think of just plain fat. The hope is that they will begin seeing healthy food in the best light.

Hypnosis is not always about food. Doctors can talk about emotional issues as well as the want to exercise or the craving of water. It is all about the healthy body as a whole and a tiny way to get on the track to your goals.

Many dieters do not have much willpower. The smell of a freshly cooked cinnamon roll can ruin their whole diet for a day. Willpower fails because it is associated with the logical conscious level of the brain. The urge to eat whatever you want because you deserve it comes from the unconscious level. It is best to combine a behavioral weight management program with the hypnosis. Long-term hypnosis combined with a behavioral weight management program appears to contribute to weight loss and helps maintain it.

It is not magic and it will not put you in a trance to run away from food. Hypnosis is basically just a way to get your subconscious mind to make better decisions. Skeptics have tried it year after year and most have decided it is a pretty neat little tool. Losing weight is about changing your destiny. Hypnosis is about changing your thinking in order to reach that destiny.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Clinical Hypnosis?

Before I received training in clinical hypnosis, I researched it thoroughly.

I wanted to know everything about it. I found a lot of information. Unfortunately, much of the information was just plain wrong.

I read that the US government used hypnosis to train assassins. A blatant lie. I also heard that if you were in a hypnotic trance and the therapist died while you were in the trance, you would be lost in some sort of mental limbo.

This stuff is almost laughable.

There are, however, both pros and cons associated with clinical hypnosis.

On the pro side, your life is pretty much run by your subconscious mind. What better tool to access that part of your mind than hypnosis?

Time and time again, hypnosis has been proven to be the best way to reprogram your subconscious, bringing you the change you want to see in yourself. But isn’t this change merely psychological? What effect would these kinds of changes have in the real world?

Well, maybe you’ve heard of something called the law of attraction.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not just thinking positive, or sitting around repeating affirmations.

It means like attracts like.

To attract wealth, you have to be wealthy. If love is what you’re after, instead of focusing on finding the right person, focus on being the right person.

What on earth am I talking about?

Pay attention to lottery winners. Many of these people are low-income, hardworking people who just happened to buy the right lottery ticket while buying their 6-pack after work one evening.

Nobody taught them how to be wealthy. As a result, almost all of these people lose their millions within 2 years.

On the other extreme, we have somebody like Donald Trump. Trump has made millions, and he has lost millions. But nothing has kept him down. He’s truly wealthy.

You could take away all his money, blindfold him, and drop him off in some foreign country, and he would still prosper.

Hypnosis, if used properly, can cause you to pretty much attract whatever you want.

So, that’s the pro side of hypnosis. What about the cons?

The only con to hypnosis is that it can be difficult to find a credible hypnotherapist. What’s worse, is that most states have no laws or licensure requirements for those practicing. This means that anybody can pretty much call themselves a hypnotherapist. They can even charge money for it.

My advice to you is simple. Don’t be afraid of what hypnosis can do, but don’t trust just anybody when looking for a hypnotherapist. Ask questions, make phone calls, and find out if the person you’re talking to really knows his stuff.

Hypnosis and Past Life Regression – Do the Math

Past Life Regression (PLR) appears to be on the increase within the Hypnotherapy community with many therapists offering it as an additional service to clients. From a therapeutic standpoint PLR can be very beneficial, however much of what takes place in a PLR session can be tied back to events in a clients life that has been ‘shut off’ into a previous life persona. Working within the reference of a Past Life can be very beneficial, but what it isn’t, is a real historical personal history.

I have no doubt that this will sit badly with those people who want Past Life Therapy, or want to relive their ‘history’, but I am a realist, and I work extensively with clients who have real problems in the here and now and I would much rather solve them in this lifetime, than one that didn’t happen.

There are 2 clear issues with Past Life Regression, the first is the matter of the numbers. There have been more people alive in the last 50 years than in all of the rest of history put together. What this means is that a very small percentage of people can have a past life beyond the 50-year mark, and certainly far less can have multiple past-lives.

The second issue relates to those population figures and is highlighted by what happened in my practice some years ago. In July of 2007 I had 2 women visit on different days, for different conditions, during both session spontaneous PLR happened, both regressions back to the same person – Cleopatra. I know that she is supposed to have been quite disturbed, but it’s no wonder as she obviously had far to many people in her head!

Fortunately in both cases I was able to resolve the their problems, which (unsurprisingly) was found to have its roots in their ‘past life’, by working on solving it in the present rather than leaving it in the past.

This showed that PLR therapy is useful and helpful for some clients, what it is not is a therapy in its own right, and offering it as a service undermines what can really be achieved with Hypnosis.

Past Life Regression has a (small) place in Clinical Hypnosis, but let us be clear on what that place is and not fall foul of the mumbo-jumbo and mysticism that has held Hypnosis back for centuries.