What is Hypnotherapy?

Movies and TV tell us a very different story about hypnosis than the reality. There are no pocket watches in my office! And I do not control or manipulate my clients...or their minds. What I do is empower people to find their own unique path to healing by teaching them how to find a state of deep relaxation. This state can be accessed in a session and it can also be done on your own. In fact, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis

Hypnotherapy has helped me to process childhood experiences that were impacting my adult life, and it helps me to better manage my stress. I’ve also been able to kick several unhealthy habits and create new healthy habits in my life. Most importantly, it has helped me process and heal from grief and trauma. I’m so grateful to be able to share this amazing experience with others. If you’re interested in learning more about what hypnotherapy is and how it might help you, please keep reading! 

What are hypnosis and hypnotherapy? 

Hypnosis is a state of consciousness characterized by deep relaxation and heightened awareness. Many of our day-to-day experiences are forms of hypnosis -- daydreams, meditation, the state just before you fall asleep when you’re neither fully awake nor fully asleep. If you’ve ever “zoned out” while driving, you’ve experienced hypnosis.  The experience of being in a hypnotic trance is comfortable and relaxing. 

Hypnotherapy is a powerful therapeutic process in which the client and the hypnotherapist interact while the client is in a state of hypnosis. During hypnotherapy, the client is in control and the hypnotherapist serves as a guide to help the client work through a particular issue. The hypnotic state enables one to work at the subconscious level and the conscious level, producing results that are often quicker and more effective than other therapies which deal strictly with the conscious mind. 

Hypnotherapy is:

  • Available to anyone who is willing to experience it. Anyone can be hypnotized.

  • An interactive process

  • An experience in which the client is fully in control and has free will. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. 

  • A meaningful and healing experience

  • An act of self-care, personal exploration and transformation

What is a hypnotherapy session like?

Sessions typically begin with a brief discussion of the client’s goal and any relevant insights or celebrations since the last session. Next, the client gets comfortable, takes a few deep breaths and closes their eyes. The hypnotherapist guides them into a state of relaxation. One example of helping a client move into a hypnotic state is to use guided imagery. The client imagines walking down a path to a beautiful place where nature is all around and they feel sense of peace, relaxation and safety. Clients usually experience this with one or more of their senses - sight, touch, sound, even smell and taste - and their emotions. 

Once it is determined that the client is in a state of hypnosis, the hypnotherapy portion of the session begins. Again, the client is in control during this process and can let the hypnotherapist know if they are uncomfortable or need something at anytime during the session. All sessions and clients are different, and the experience will be unique to each person. Most sessions will involve interactions and conversation between the client and the hypnotherapist as they dive into the topic at hand. Clients may access memories, explore something metaphorically, and/or have insights come to them during this process.  

I use a Transpersonal approach to hypnotherapy, where my role is to create space for the client to feel empowered to find the best path to their healing. We all have the ability to heal ourselves, and we all know - deep down - what is best for us. During a hypnotherapy session, I help clients to access this part of themselves that is wise, all-knowing, peaceful, loving and nonjudgemental. This part has been called many different things; the most common seem to be inner wisdom, higher self or true self. Whichever term resonates most with the client will be used during a session. The client’s inner wisdom acts as a co-therapist to guide the client in the best direction for the level of healing that is most appropriate at that time.

Over time, after a few sessions, clients get more deeply acquainted with their inner wisdom. This makes them a more experienced hypnotee and they are able to go into trance more quickly and work more efficiently in subsequent sessions. It also has an added benefit in everyday life in that the client may learn to trust this part more, and therefore trust themselves more. Decision-making may become less arduous, and people often feel more integrated in their mind, body and spirit.

Finally, the hypnotherapist gradually guides the client out of the trance and back to a normal, alert state. The client and hypnotherapist typically end the session with a short debrief conversation. Clients often feel relaxed and peaceful after a session.