hypnosis and hypnotherapy

Trance, which in more modern language is known as "Hypnosis," has been used as a healing and therapeutic tool for millenia; hypnosis, in fact, is probably the earliest psychotherapy that humankind has known.

Whenever we pay close attention, whether intentionally or not, given enough time, with relative lack of distraction, one goes into a trance state.  For example, "highway hypnosis," induced by staring at the highway ahead for long periods of time, is known to all of us who drive.  Kids often go into a trance state listening to care-giver voices reading stories at bedtime. I go into trance staring at the ocean, the stars, the eyes of a loved one.

"Stage Hypnosis," while a real phenomenon, has nothing to do with psychotherapy using hypnosis and trance.  Personally, I object to most of what stage hypnotists do in the name of entertainment, since the person or people on stage who are hypnotized so often are laughed at by the audience.

Therapeutic Hypnosis can be used for any therapeutic objective or goal, just as all of the modalities mentioned on this website can be helpful much of the time for many people seeking help.  In the office or over the phone, or computer, I assess what is the most useful and comfortable way for my patient to go into a trance.  I also am aware of the therapeutic objective of hypnosis, and keep that intention firmly in my consciousness during the hypnotic process.

Many people believe they cannot be hypnotized or don't want to be hypnotized.  Most of us are capable of a light to medium trance state which is absolutely enough to achieve therapeutic goals.  A much smaller percentage of patients are capable of what is known as "deep somambulistic trance," which can be amazingly productive.  Let's say that both your conscious and non-conscious-sub-conscious mind are in "agreement" that for whatever reason-- -- you just don't want to go into a trance with my help. First I would never undertake hypnosis with you to begin with, and second, there is no way you would or could be hypnotized! So, please don't worry about how deep or whether you are hypnotized. It is always your own choice!

Certain approaches, such as age-regression, past-life regression, communication with deceased loved ones, accessing other realms and dimensions outside of or beyond the normal scope of our every-day consciousness, are best undertaken with hypnosis.  On the other hand, so many people over the years have asked for help finding lost wedding rings, and no, I have never been helpful, not once, on that score!

Self-hypnosis is almost always one of the skills I teach to my patients who want hypnosis.  Particularly for habit control, such as smoking cessation and weight loss, regular reinforcement of positive suggestions throughout the day is mandatory for people who really want to get control of a habitual behavior.  I have a beloved colleague who practiced hypnotherapy for weight loss with many of his patients.  They almost always, over 80%, lost weight and kept it off as long as they also practiced self-hypnosis.  The really great thing was my colleague lost weight too, and kept it off for many years.  Then, as many of us therapists do, he stopped doing hypnosis and hypnosis for weight loss, and the weight started piling back on! It seems his hypnotic treatment of others also provided him with self-hypnosis.  From this, we get the aphorism, "Hypnotizing Hypnotists Can Be Tricky."

We could go much deeper into his historic and fascinating field of Hypnosis.  Please feel free to discuss it more, directly with me.
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