What to expect your first hypnotherapy session.
When we begin your first session I will check your contact information in your file,
and fill in your physical address and other factual details. This is part of some three pages of questions for you, finding
out who you are, where you have been, what has happened to you, what is troubling you, etc., I may use any question to open
up a further line of enquiry, looking for any information that might have some bearing on how I can assist your healing with
hypnotherapy. I call it my fishing net. Sometimes I catch a minnow, sometimes I catch a whale. Also during this process we
usually become much more relaxed and comfortable with each other, as I get to know you, and you get to know me, what I do,
and how I think about your issues. I may give you an indication of my ideas about how and where the therapy needs to go.
Then we proceed to help you into your therapeutic trance. Usually, as/if you have used
my self- hypnosis audio previously, this presents few difficulties. Once established, I continue by giving you one of the
standard suggestion scripts that I have written. These are designed to both deepen trance, and give ongoing support to your
therapeutic change and general developmental change process.
After this we begin opening up any areas related
to your specific difficulties and issues, often using those derived from our question conversation, looking for initial resolution
and improvement, Some people decide to omit this until session two, deeming all the work with the use of the pre-session self-hypnosis
audio, the conscious therapy accompanying the question work, plus the trance suggestion work, as enough to begin with. Sometimes
there is a huge release and improvement from the first opening up work. Sometimes not. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, UNIQUE IN THEIR
OWN WAY. In both their difficulties, and their response to my hypnotherapy, which I describe as an exploration. “I
start out bravely, hoping to arrive.” And usually I do. I may ask if you have anything further on your mind, for
additional work, or not.
Then I assist you exit trance and resume your usual here-and-now consciousness. A brief discussion of what
has taken place, indications of any further need for (a) session(s). If any literature is needed, it will be emailed, and
any homework necessary given. All information added, invoices, etc, or anything other than individual professional letters,
is provided with no further charge. The next session (if there is to be one) is scheduled, and goodbyes made.
Hypnosis: fears, fact and fiction - myth and magic.
"What if I can't be hypnotized?" Hypnosis uses mind capacities everyone possesses, as
previously described, so a hypnotist can assist clients to enter their trance state at will. The only need is for
the client to understand the meaning of the hypnotist’s words and the client's genuine co-operation with the suggestions
of a competent practitioner. Persons may place limitations on their ability to enter trance, due to misconceptions,
doubts or fears.
"What if I enter a trance, and cannot return to normal?" There has never been a recorded case of a hypnotized person
remaining in trance. Imagining the very worst case possible, a person would pass into a natural sleep, and then awaken. In
fact, just as with sleep, hypnosis can be resisted, or the trance ended by the client at any time, should a strong need or
desire to do so exist.
"What if hypnosis
could be dangerous?" In the past
hypnosis has been mistaken for a supernatural, magic or an otherwise occult event. In fact, this state of deep relaxation
is no more dangerous than sleeping or dreaming. When practiced by an ethical qualified hypnotist your trance is safer than
if I lose total control of all I say or do?" Does not happen. Naturally, in this relaxed state of
mind and body, a person feels reduced concern, just as when drowsy, prior to sleep. But a person will not say or do
anything they really do not wish to, despite stage shows and the exaggerations of the mass media. Clients retain ultimate
control over their words and actions, though feelings such as shame or embarrassment are reduced; so now the person is less
concerned. Stage/media hypnosis compared with actual hypnotherapy, can be likened to sniffing glue in order to become intoxicated,
rather than using it to build furniture. Hypnosis itself is a neutral tool, so motive is everything.
if I am weak willed, or gullible, to be hypnotized?" As hypnosis is a natural state
produced with the clients consent and co-operation, the inner mind is open to suggestions, but can still reject any regarded
as unsuitable. This state, of suggestibility, is not to be confused with gullibility, which means easily taken in. The ability
to be hypnotized seems to be a fixed personality trait, independent of other traits. If anything, highly intelligent, imaginative,
strong willed persons are able to co-operate well. They can produce the required mental concentrated focus with greater ease.
The following (paraphrased) quotes
in bold, are taken from “THE USE OF HYPNOSIS”.. by BARON A. VON SHRENK-NOTZING, (pp 98,115,116), who
a also a Psychiatrist, in a book on Hypnotherapy published in Munich, Germany,
over 100 years ago, and reprinted in New York, 1956. (My comments, lower case in brackets). “Plus
NO FORM OF TREATMENT IS THE TENDENCY TO BREAK OFF AS PRONOUNCED AS IN HYPNOTIC TREATMENT. CLIENT’S EXPECTATIONS CAN
BE SO HIGH THAT, IF WONDERS DON'T TAKE PLACE AT ONCE, THEY MAY BE EASILY DISAPPOINTED, "
(Though hypnosis and hypnotherapy lend
themselves to rapid profound therapeutic results, time, effort and emotional honesty may be required from both the client
and the hypnotherapist, as in any therapeutic effort).
SIMPLICITY OF THE PROCEDURES ALSO DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS, AND THE FIRST IMPROVEMENTS RESULTING FROM HYPNOTHERAPY OFTEN
ARE UNNOTICED AND THE PATIENT STAYS UNAWARE OF THEM."
(Even as improvements do take place,
they may be taken for granted, but in reality, they are often more rapid and much greater than the usual results from other
therapies... clients therefore need to pay attention, and take notice of emotional & attitudinal changes, new behaviors
or recent decisions.)
IMPROVEMENTS ARE OFTEN CREDITED TO OTHER CAUSES, AND NOT ASSOCIATED WITH THE HYPNOTIC "SESSIONS"
to incomplete recollection, and, in general the unreliable nature of memories of trance events, and their unexpected power,
even if recalled as very simple. I used to quote clients as saying, "I feel better because my grandmother has
come to town," or "I feel better because my grandmother has left town," etc. etc.)
Technically referred to as, “Source Amnesia.”
CLIENTS BELIEVE SLEEP, (UNCONSCIOUSNESS), IS NECESSARY FOR THE SUCCESS OF THERAPY, THOUGH ACTUAL LOSS,OF MEMORY/UNCONSCIOUSNESS
OCCURS ONLY ABOUT ONE OUT OF THREE OR FOUR TIMES, AND IS NOT ESSENTIAL."
clients are very surprised that, despite hearing my suggestions, powerful results still occur ...you need to understand that,
even if suggestions are heard and recalled consciously, none of us have any way to know how open/receptive our inner minds
have become to a hypnotist’s words ...because none of us possess any dial, gauge or indicator with which to measure
this response ...often trancework will not conform to your a preconceived ideas.)
"MANY CLIENTS, IN
DEEP UNAWARE HYPNOTIC TRANCE, HAVE BUT INDISTINCT MEMORY OF THE EVENTS, AND OFTEN HAVE LITTLE IDEA HOW MUCH TIME HAS PASSED
(Time distortion). SOME TEND TO DENY THEY WERE IN TRANCE. SOME INSIST THEY WERE ASLEEP. LITTLE WEIGHT CAN
BE GIVEN TO THE CLIENTS MEMORY OF EVENTS."
(This confirms the general unreliability of trance memories... many clients find
it difficult to give up belief in their own perceptions ...before hypnosis, you knew of only two states, awake or asleep,
so that if no memory of trance remains, using your old information, you deduce you were asleep!) Sometimes I point out that
you in fact awoke by responding to my suggestions, coming awake as I say, eyes opening, opening, unlikely to happen if you
were asleep! Many times, clients believe they remember all that took place in trance, but a few questions reveal that in fact,
much does not remain for conscious recall. session.