What Happens During a Hypnosis Session?

November 30th, 2012 Comments Off on What Happens During a Hypnosis Session?

For many people, fear of the unknown can keep them from making the decision to incorporate hypnosis into their lives as a vehicle for personal change. In this article, I have demystified the fear of the unknown by describing exactly what a hypnosis session at Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon looks like. This article describes how I conduct a session. While the details will be unique to my practice, the overall structure will be similar with most clinical hypnotists.

Most of us know what to expect when we go to a new dentist, a new doctor, or to be fitted for glasses. However, most people don’t know what happens at a hypnosis session. Some clients arrive with a healthy skepticism, and an open mind. Others feel nervous, maybe intimidated, or even a bit afraid of what is going to happen, not knowing what to expect. Then there are those who arrive with a heightened state of curiosity and adventure and just want to see what happens in hypnosis.

My job is to match the client’s level of interest, curiosity, or concern by immediately putting them at ease in whatever way is appropriate. Each session is unique to the client’s personality and their needs, but for the most part, if I was to describe what happens during a hypnosis session at Intuitive Hypnosis, I would describe the following (I’ve phrased this description as if I were speaking directly to you):

After our initial meet and greet you will be invited to sit in the “hypno” chair. Next we will spend some time getting to know each other and discussing all the details about your specific situation.

Once the general interview is completed, I explain what hypnosis is and how it works. I’ll teach you about the differences between the conscious and subconscious mind, and how hypnosis brings the two together, in a safe and non-threatening way, to help create the desired changes. (For a more in-depth discussion of this topic please see How Does Hypnosis Work?) You will gain insight as to how and why you have the problem, situation, or perception, that is causing you pain and/or discomfort. At all times you have the opportunity to ask questions about the process and what to expect.

At this time we will work together to script the hypnosis session. I use a form called an “Outcome Frame” to come up with the exact verbiage for the session. Here we will really zero in on the exact change(s) you want to make. It’s important to be specific and to word these suggestions in a way that the subconscious mind will readily accept. I’ll ask you to describe how you’ll know when you’ve achieved your desired outcome. What will it look like, sound like, feel like, etc.? After the Outcome Frame is completed, I will ask you if there is anything else you want me to say to you while you’re in hypnosis. You will also be instructed that you need to listen to the recording of your hypnosis session daily. You will be given the choice of receiving a recording of your session via email as an MP3 that you can listen to on your iPad/iPhone/MP3 player/etc., as a CD, or both.

Now for the fun part, the actual hypnosis session. This is the best part and all you have to do is put up your feet, get comfortable, close your eyes, and listen. I will dim the lights and proceed, by using a variety of specialized techniques, such as progressive relaxation and guided imagery, to lead you into a deep state of both physical and mental relaxation. It is very common for the conscious mind to continue to chatter all through the hypnosis session. This is normal and does not interfere with one’s ability to be hypnotized. It is also normal for some people to drift off, and perhaps fall asleep, during the hypnosis process. Again, this is common and does not inhibit the subconscious mind from accepting the suggestions being given. Once you are sufficiently relaxed, I will deliver the agreed upon suggestions and reinforcements developed from the Outcome Frame. The suggestions will be delivered in a very deliberate way, and reinforced to an appropriate degree.

Upon completion, you are gently “emerged” from the hypnotic state and brought back into normal daily consciousness. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to bring one’s self back around. This is very similar to the way it feels when waking up from a nap, although most people don’t actually go to sleep. At this time I will ask for feedback from you about your experience, as a way of determining your depth of relaxation. For example, did you notice any sensations of heaviness or lightness? Did you experience any visualizations? And, how long did it seem like the whole process took, etc.? You will be given a chance to ask questions, and will again be reminded to listen to your hypnosis recording daily for the following two weeks, or until your next session which can be scheduled before you leave the office.

That’s it! Your hypnosis session at Intuitive Hypnosis is complete, and nothing weird happened! The effects of hypnosis can be immediate for some, however, it is more common for the changes that take place to be of a more gentle and gradual nature, usually becoming noticeable in 3-4 days, or sometimes longer. Some clients need more reinforcement than others. The key is repetition. Clients that listen to their hypnosis recordings consistently are the ones noticing the greatest changes. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, and it’s all natural.

If you are interested in trying hypnosis first hand, you’ll find it to be a most “relaxing” experience!


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