People can often have questions about hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis. This page offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Hypnotherapy – Frequently Asked Questions
What is hypnosis?
It is a natural state we all experience on a day-to-day basis. Whenever our mind wanders, daydreams or is focused on something, such as reading a book, listening to music, dancing, or watching a film, we are in a state of hypnosis.
What does it feel like?
It is like deep relaxation for the body and dreaming for the mind. You are awake and conscious, and most people find it to be a very relaxing and positive experience.
Will I be in control?
This is a common query. Yes, you are in control. The therapeutic setting provides a very different set-up, intention and experience of hypnotic states compared to the on-stage entertainment people may have encountered. Stage hypnotists have ways of selecting and guiding people who are likely to cooperate with them in “putting on a good show”.
For some they find that they can actually increase their control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviour through having hypnotherapy or using self-hypnosis. Being able to respond differently to stress, or in the lifestyle and health choices they make, as examples.
Practitioners can also teach people how to use self-hypnosis for themselves, and they can then feel even more reassured that they are in complete control.
Why can hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis be helpful?
The conscious mind is the part that we are aware of at any given point in time. The unconscious mind is everything-else – our storehouse of memories, beliefs, patterns of thought and behaviour, maintaining our physiological equilibrium such as our respiratory and cardio-vascular systems.
In hypnosis our conscious mind quietens and we have more access to our unconscious mind. This is where the therapeutic value lies. We are more open to suggestion and can use it to make changes in how we think, feel and behave.
Can anyone have hypnotherapy?
Many can experience and enjoy hypnosis. There may be some situations where a practitioner would ask you to check with your GP, including where there is a history of epilepsy, heart disease, psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, or hospitalisation for severe depression. Checking for these or any other important factors would be part of the initial assessment, when the suitability of hypnotherapy is assessed.
If you are not sure if you could be hypnotized, you may find it helpful to read my page Can I be Hypnotized?
Can someone hypnotize me against my will?
No one can be hypnotized against their will. It is a cooperative process, you are in control and can stop at any point.
Will I remember anything after being in hypnosis?
This will vary, some find that they may consciously remember the content of a session, but for others they may not. Either way it does not affect the therapeutic value of the session as the content is being aimed at the unconscious part of our minds.
Can I get stuck in a state of hypnosis?
It is quite impossible to become trapped or stuck in hypnosis. We can come out of hypnosis just as if we were really engrossed in a film and needed to answer the phone or door.
What do people use it for?
Does it work?
There are a many studies on the use of hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis in a range of conditions. There’s always scope for further studies, and results show this is a therapeutic approach with great potential. You can find some of examples of studies in fields such as stress, anxiety, phobias, insomnia, pain, IBS and more.