|“What is Hypnosis?”
Hypnosis is a highly focused state of attention. By developing a highly focused state of attention, we are able to use our minds more powerfully…we are able to access untapped psychological resources to solve a problem. Everyone has experienced hypnosis-like states; in fact, many of us experience them on a daily basis. But, we don’t call it hypnosis. All of us have been so absorbed in thought- while reading a book or driving to work- that we do not pay attention to what is happening around us. This state of mind is often referred to as “deep in thought” or “zoned out.” These are very focused states of attention that are similar to hypnosis. While these states occur naturally, hypnosis is a state that is induced in the office by a highly trained professional for the purpose of developing solutions to problems.
How does hypnosis work?
A trained professional induces a state of hypnosis in a client to create a highly focused state of attention and a deep state of relaxation. This is accomplished by engaging the client in a focusing exercise. The professional then deepens the state of hypnosis to a level that the client is capable of attaining and is comfortable with. The professional then presents ideas or suggestions to the client to help him or her overcome a problem. Because these ideas or suggestions are compatible with the client’s goals and are presented during a highly focused state of attention without distractions or competing thoughts or motivations, they have a powerful impact upon the client’s mind.
While hypnosis is a powerful and effective strategy for solving problems, it is not magic. It is a skill that clients develop and can use in a number of areas in their lives. For this reason, treatment with hypnosis concludes with teaching the client self-hypnosis techniques to be used at home. When practiced at home following a successful course of treatment, the client is able to reinforce the ideas and suggestions that benefited them, and create lasting change.
Common Myths About Hypnosis
If I am hypnotized, I will lose control of what I am saying or doing. This myth is perpetuated by stage hypnotists (entertainers, not clinical professionals) and the movies. They would have us believe that when we are hypnotized, we are unconscious or unaware of what we might say or do. The truth is clients are aware of what they are experiencing during hypnosis and retain complete control of their thoughts and actions. However, their level of awareness is different. It is more sharp and focused.
If I am hypnotized, I will not remember the experience.” This myth piggy-backs the first one. If I am unaware of what is going on during hypnosis, then I will not remember it later. The truth is that clients not only remember what occurs during hypnosis, their memory for ideas that are presented or helpful suggestions that are made is stronger than it is in everyday life.
Only some people can be hypnotized, and I’m probably not one of them.” This myth may have more to do with a client’s self-doubts than anything else. Clinical research shows that 90% of the general population can respond to and experience hypnosis. The key is the level of hypnosis the client will experience. Of the 90% of responders, roughly 20% will experience light states of hypnosis, 20% will experience deep states of hypnosis and 60% will experience levels of hypnosis somewhere in between. Hence, most people can utilize hypnosis very effectively to solve a problem.
Now that you know a little more about hypnosis, this is how Dr. Weil will introduce it to you… First, he will explain hypnosis in depth to you and outline the steps utilized in the procedure. Next, he will encourage you to ask any questions you may have and will answer each one of them for you. Once you are comfortable with the procedure, he will conduct a trial induction with you to see how responsive you may be and to offer you an experience of it. Subsequently, he will tailor a hypnotic treatment plan to your particular needs.