Questions and Answers
Q. Can anybody be hypnotised?
A. Pretty much. The exceptions are: those who are educationally subnormal or suffering from senility, very young children, hard drug addicts, and anyone under the influence of large amounts of alcohol.
Q. How do you hypnotise somebody?
A. I use a voice induction, although there are various other methods, but I would still have to use my voice. There is no special way of speaking, and no magical words. Sometimes, with permission - I may touch a clients hands or forehead. Mostly, the client will close their eyes fairly soon in the induction, but an individual can quite easily be hypnotised with their eyes open. After hypnosis is induced (usually in a matter of a few minutes) I will use a deepener routine to deepen your state of hypnosis.
Q. Can people be made to forget things, like suggestions or the session itself?
A. You cannot actually 'make' anybody do anything in hypnosis. Hypnosis does not give me any power over you (the client).
Q. Is it good for performance enhancement?
A. Hypnosis, with the right sort of adjunct work, EXCELS at performance enhancement of all types! Here are just a few of the things with which it can make profound improvement:
• Sporting performance
• Career matters
• Memory and Concentration
• Stage performance
• Exams and tests
• Presentation/speaking skills
Q. Is there anybody who should not be hypnotised?
A. To a large extent, it depends on the sort of therapy being employed. Some say that anybody suffering from epilepsy should never be hypnotised, but I have never heard of an epileptic fit being triggered by hypnosis. Where psychotic individuals are concerned, care needs to be exercised and regression/analytical therapy should most definitely not be employed. This type of therapy is also best avoided with pregnant women. I also will not use regression or analysis with heart attack/stroke victims.
Q. How does hypnosis work?
A. Although there has been much speculation and theory over the years, all that is truly known about the phenomenon of hypnosis is that it allows the part of our thought processes which tends to limit our behaviour or belief system to be a 'gateway' to the subconscious mind.
Q. What is hypnosis?
A. The answer is very similar to the above question. Some believe it is nothing more than 'social compliance' (doing what you believe you should be doing), while others believe it is a state of altered consciousness. There is no scientifically measurable change in brain wave patterns during hypnosis, as compared with normal consciousness. A client in the hypnotised state usually feels very relaxed, but this is not always the case. They will often feel as though they are half asleep, and at the moment they open their eyes at the end of a session there is sometimes an awareness, for a spilt second, that 'something' had been different.
Q. What does it feel like to be hypnotised?
A. Actually, it doesn't. For most client's there is actually no such thing as a 'hypnotised feeling' - most client's would insist afterwards that they had not 'gone under'. After a few sessions, though, most people start to become aware of how the state feels to them. It may be that they feel excessively heavy or light. Their arms and legs may feel rigid, as if they have been moved into a different position, or even absent. They can sometimes feel other strange phenomena, too - sensations of floating, whirling and/or spinning are not unusual, or of some part of the body being distorted in some way, or as if they have become very small/big. Most clients suffer some form of time distortion, so that after the session there is a feeling that it was much shorter than it actually was. Typically, a 50 minute session would feel like 20 minutes. To me being hypnotised feels like nothing, i just feel completely relaxed, but totally aware of everything happening around me.
Q. How can you tell if somebody is hypnotised?
A. There are a few external signs, though few people show all of them. Some of the most noticeable are: A facial flush, total immobility and relaxation, rapid eye movement, eyelid flicker, enhanced salivation (causing frequent swallowing), slowed respiration, drooping lower jaw.
Q. Can you make anybody do things they don't want to?
A. I don't believe so, but there is considerable conjecture about this. It is often said that hypnosis cannot breach the moral code, though there are therapists and hypnotists who claim otherwise - but of course, i cannot truly know what a client's moral code/values consists of. Client's will frequently do things they would not normally do, though this does not mean it is something they do not want to do; hypnosis lowers inhibition, so it could be just something that that individual was too inhibited to do in the normal way, even though he/she was not averse to it.
Q. Can you get 'stuck' in hypnosis?
A. No, you cannot! If I were to hypnotise you and I walked away and left you, you would simply bring yourself out of the state whenever you wanted to.
Q. Is it dangerous in any way?
A. No it is not, in the hands of a properly trained individual. There are some circumstances that would be undesirable with a non-trained or poorly-trained therapist, but nothing serious could happen, in any case.
Q. Can you make me cluck like a chicken?
A. Only if you really want me to do this.
Q. How does hypnotherapy differ from stage hypnosis?
A. The hypnosis is the same, though many believe it is not. But it is the 'therapy' part that is different - the stage hypnotist is out to entertain others. The hypnotherapist is out to make somebody's life more enjoyable to live.
Q. What's the difference between hypnotherapy and psychotherapy?
A. Usually, psychotherapy makes changes to the subconscious by using the understanding and imagery of the conscious mind. Hypnotherapy attempts to bypass the conscious mind, working directly with the subconscious. For this reason, hypnotherapy is often quicker than psychotherapy. There are some clients who will respond better to psychotherapy and for them, this would probably be a better form of treatment. Usually, these individuals are very analytical and guarded.
Q. How long does a cure produced by hypnosis actually last?
A. It depends on how much subconscious change was brought about in the first place. If a change has been made to a flawed fundamental belief system, then the cure will be permanent and last for a life-time. If only superficial changes have been made, then it might be only a few days or weeks. The best therapy is where the underlying cause has been resolved before any suggestion work is carried out at all.
Q. What is 'direct suggestion' therapy?
A. I would simply tell my client, in the state of hypnosis, that whatever it is they want to do they will now be able to. Or whatever it is that they want to stop doing, they now can. It can be effective with simple problems like smoking, nail-biting, confidence for an exam/test, etc. But generally, it is best to tackle the underlying cause of the difficulty first.
Q. Is it successful with real phobias?
A. Usually it is, if the right sort of therapy is employed.
Q. Does it always work?
A. No, no more than any other form of medicine, complimentary OR orthodox does. A responsible therapist will soon detect when it is not going to and discharge that client so that they may seek the help they need elsewhere. Another hypnotherapist might produce the desired result where the first one could not, because of the different client/therapist 'mix'.
Q. How long does it take to produce a result?
A. It depends on far too many factors, It can be just one session for a simple problem, or many for complex issues. I can say personally that I will not keep a client in therapy for longer than necessary.
Q. Can somebody's mind be too strong?
A. No. The stronger the mind the better the ability to focus and concentrate, which makes the hypnotised state easier to achieve. The statement 'My mind is too strong to be hypnotised' is usually based on fear and the individuals who say this are often the best subjects of all! It is not difficult to resist being hypnotised and needs no specific strength of mind at all. It is getting into hypnosis that takes the mental work!
Q. Can you hypnotise someone without them knowing it?
A. You can, if you have the skills to do so. The use of 'hypnotic language patterns' and pacing and leading body language will do it. But you still could not get that person to do anything with hypnosis that they would not do without it. Hypnosis merely overcomes inhibition and the part of our thought processes which tends to limit our behaviour or belief system.
Q. What ethical, legal and moral issues are involved in the use of hypnosis?
A. From a professional point of view, hypnosis should only be used for the benefit of patients and clients - and not for any other reason at all.
Q. What exactly is 'Past Life Regression'?
A. Theoretically, a look back to a lifetime experienced earlier in history - this can be thousands of years earlier, or maybe only a short while back, just before the current life span began. It is claimed that there is a therapeutic value in such experiences, in that they may account for certain psychological difficulties in current life. Numerous attempts have been made to prove the validity of various PLRs, but this has never been achieved - there has always been the possibility of the experience being nothing more than the recall of a long-forgotten memory from childhood in this life. Many experimenters are at pains to point out that they DO NOT CLAIM that a PLR is evidence of a previous existence for the individual concerned, only an awareness of a set of circumstances that occurred before that individual was born.