As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Master NLP Practitioner, Dharma Life Coach, Sports Psychology Consultant, and Certified Hypnotherapist, I want to take a moment and share with you how hypnotherapy works, and how come it is so useful in empowering my clients to make positive changes in their behavior, adopt new and empowering belief systems, develop new strategies to substantially improve the quality of their lives, assist them in aligning their actions with their core values and guiding principles, etc. However, before I share with you the benefits that come from hypnotherapy, I want to shed light for you on what hypnosis is and what hypnosis is not.
First and foremost, I want to assure you that hypnosis is not a state of being asleep or unconscious; this notion is patently false. In addition, seeking out hypnosis or hypnotherapy doesn’t mean that you’re gullible, weak-minded, at the mercy of being controlled by someone else, vulnerable to revealing secrets about yourself or someone else, or that you’ll experience a loss of self-control of some kind. On the contrary of what some people mistakenly believe about hypnosis, the process of hypnotherapy merely helps you experience a state of relaxation and effortless concentration in which you are awake, in rapport with your unconscious mind, in total control, and have greater access to your active imagination and independent will, wisdom, and treasure trove of internal resources. As you are experiencing hypnosis, you are always capable of making decisions at all times. You are aware of everything while being hypnotised , and you can choose to welcome positive suggestions into your unconscious mind or reject them out of hand if you feel that they won’t serve you. The bottom line is that you are the engine, and I am merely the steering wheel. Let me demonstrate to you what hypnosis really feels like: Kindly close your eyes and pause for 5 seconds. That’s it, it feels just like that!!
The truth is, everything is hypnosis. Waking forms of hypnosis include television, radio advertisements, self-talk, reading, daydreaming, listening to your I-Pod, mental and emotional rehearsal, visualization, and meditation. All of these activities put us in altered states and open us up to good and bad suggestions about ourselves, our lives, and the world we live in. Thought-provoking questions, too, can help us change states and drop down into our unconscious minds and arrive at deeper truths about ourselves, our purpose, our mission, and our destiny. Hypnotherapists would say these questions and the subsequent search for answers that lie beneath your conscious mind in the pool of your unconscious mind a “Transderivational Search.” TDS is a compelling, automatic and unconscious state of internal focus and processing.
Even seemingly mundane things make hypnotic deposits into our unconscious mind like what your potential new boyfriend or girlfriend’s clothing attire is like, the type of car that he or she drives, the kind of furniture he or she has in her home, the metaphorical paintings hung up on his or her wall, or the spiritual or religious symbols placed on his or her or desk provide you indirect, unconscious suggestions about his or her successes, financial situation, and core values and belief systems.
Hypnosis is a collaboration between therapist and client, and it is designed to amplify your abilities, increase your personal control, offer your solutions and opportunities for self-healing, harness your resources to create what you truly want, change old memories so that the ones that you’ve replaced them with support and empower you, change your state, help you to feel how you want to feel, increase your self-esteem, de-couple or unlink old, Neuro- associations, adopt more adaptive behaviors, acquire self-empowering belief systems, decide on your highest values and guiding principles, help you to respond to situations instead of react to them, provide you new strategies to manage your life on your terms, embrace healthier habits, activate the Law of Attraction, and consistently achieve specific and desired outcomes.
In order for Hypnosis to work most effectively, it’s important that you and I help you enter into an altered state of consciousness in which you feel relaxed so that there is a quieting of your conscious mind and a softening of your psychic defenses so that you are responsive to my positive suggestions. As a Certified hypnotherapist, it is my job to easily and effortlessly help you to enter into an Apha or Theta electromagnetic brain-wave state ( altered states) to help you achieve your desired outcomes. These are two of the 4 different frequencies of electromagnetic brainwaves that provide us our state of ‘consciousness.’
Before I share with you how I do this, I want to briefly share with you a little bit about these two brainwave states. The Alpha state is a relaxed state. You are able to access creativity, rest, reflection, and visualization. Theta state is a deeper state of relaxation that enhances mental processes; this is a common state of meditation, daydreaming, being creative, accessing memories, learning, and adopting more adaptive, empowering beliefs about yourself, relationships, and the world at large. You experience theta as you fall asleep and wake up every day. In light of our relaxed, open, and receptive state of consciousness when we’re in Alpha and Theta states, they are the optimal states for clients seeking to benefit from hypnosis. In these relaxed states, we have far more access to the treasure trove of resources and pearls of wisdom that are already housed inside of our unconscious minds.
To support you in getting into an Alpha or Theta state, I use a variety of techniques, including using a hypnotic induction script that you can simply Google and find, use hypnotic language and phrasing, state-deepening techniques, engage your imagination, use powerful imagery, use metaphors, use symbols, engage your senses, tell you stories, allow for silences and deliberate pauses to elapse as I speak, ask you thought-provoking questions, rely on quotes from famous people, and use my voice as an instrument that has a deep, low, rhythmic, and repetitious tone and timbre. The reality is that what I say is not nearly as important as how I say it!!
So far, I’ve shared with you what hypnosis is and what it isn’t. I’ve also shared with you that it’s a collaborative endeavor between you, my client, and me, your therapist, and it is designed (among other things) to put you in a state of relaxation so that you are able to amplify your abilities, adopt new belief systems, and help you to access resources that are already inside of you realize more of your fullest potential and be the creative force in your own life. Now, I’d like to share with you how I facilitate a collaborative hypnotherapy session that will yield the results that you’re looking for.
Although there are many ways to facilitate a hypnotherapy session, my favorite is co-creating a script with my client whereupon I ask him or her specific questions to help them attain their desired outcomes. For example, I’ll ask him or her some of the following questions: 1)What is your desired outcome? 2) How would you like to behave, act, and respond to whatever old challenges you’re facing starting today and going forward? 3) How would you like to feel? 4) What sensations would you like to feel in your body? 5) What images or metaphors come up that accurately reflect the challenge that you’re facing? 6) What image or metaphor reflects how you’re overcoming your current challenge successfully? 7) What would you like to believe about yourself as you’re overcoming this challenge and adopting new behaviors, letting go of old memories, vanquishing parts of you that may be sabotaging you, etc? 8) How come overcoming this challenge is valuable and important to you? 9) What are the rewards that you’ll gain by overcoming this challenge? 10) How would you like your body language to be today and going forward? 11) What resources must you remember to access that’s already inside of you to overcome this challenge? 12) How will you know when you have accomplished your goal? 13) How will your life improve when you’ have attained your stated goal? After writing down my client’s answers to these questions, I now have a script that I can use to reflect back to my client precisely what they have shared with me and want to hear reflected back to them in order to plant the seeds for transformation in their unconscious minds.
Although there are many ways to do hypnosis, I prefer co-creating a hypnotherapy script with my clients. Therefore, After my client and I have co-created a Hypnosis script together, I begin the process of helping them enter into a state of deep relaxation so that they are vastly more receptive to the positive suggestions that I will deposit into their unconscious minds now that their psychic defenses are down. As my client is feeling more and more relaxed, I use my voice, hypnotic language, questions, embedded commands, metaphors, symbols, stories, imagery, and other techniques to deeply ingrain in them the new behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings that they want to incorporate in their day-to-day lives. I only use words that are positive because negative words are rejected by the unconscious mind. I also am mindful to make my positive suggestions as detailed and specific as possible from my client’s perspective and/or map of the world. Sometimes, however, I’m purposefully vague so that my clients can pool from their unconscious minds additional behaviors, empowering belief systems, guiding principles, and other resources that they didn’t have access to as we were co-creating our hypnosis script together.
As I facilitate hypnosis with my clients, I’m also sure to make positive suggestions that are realistic, achievable, and believe-able to them. In addition, I choose to be repetitive with my positive suggestions because this ingrains in them new conditioned behaviors and responses. As Tony Robbins often says, “Repetition is the Mother of all skill.” In addition, repetition aligns with the principles behind the Law of Concentrated Attention. This law states that when our concentration and attention is subjected to repetition, we are far more likely to act on it. Television commercials, for example, apply the principles behind the Law of Concentrated attention to compel you to go out and buy what they’re marketing to you. When the same commercial comes on 5 times throughout a one hour television show, we are far more likely to feel compelled to buy whatever the commercial is marketing to us the next time that we see it in a grocery store, on-line, etc.
In addition to using repetition and ensuring that my client’s goals are realistic and achievable, I am careful to speak in the present tense to them as I facilitate their hypnotherapy. Instead of saying to them, “You will be,”, I will say to them instead, ” You already are.” Mind you, this present-tense approach is not a form of self-deception; it is a form of self-direction. I am also mindful to pair positive emotions with the positive suggestions that they are longing to hear. For example, instead of saying, ” You are finding your voice with your boss,”, I will say, ” You are courageously and delightfully finding your voice with your boss.” Furthermore, I address my client’s relationship with themselves, their relationships with the people in their lives, and their relationship with the world at large. In other words, I focus on my client’s values, behaviors, responses, emotions, belief systems, etc. It serves no purpose to say, ” Your husband treats you with respect” or ” The audience is loving you,” because how others behave is outside of my client’s control.
In conclusion, the reason that Hypnosis is such a powerful therapeutic tool is because the unconscious mind responds to experiential communication,is capable of symbolic interpretation, and responds to metaphors, symbols, stories, etc. In addition, hypnosis offers therapists and clients alike a way to access the treasure trove or resources and library of wisdom that is housed there. In turn, hypnotherapy facilitates personal empowerment, allows clients to access illuminating insights, sharpens their intuition, and helps them to integrate and/or incorporate new paradigms, states, values, belief systems, behaviors, and much, much more so that they experience positive shifts and changes in their lives sooner than later.
Although Hypnotherapy isn’t a silver bullet that puts to rest whatever challenges you’re facing, it’s a powerful therapeutic technique never the less that is specifically designed to contribute to your personal growth and assist you in realizing your greatest potential. As a Certified Hypnotherapist, I’ve been delighted to find that it’s a safe, collaborative endeavor, and it’s one that I highly encourage you to use to support yourself in achieving your goals and desired outcomes!! As a matter of fact, I personally create Hypnotherapy scripts for myself, and I am happy to tell you that I’ve found them to be invaluable as I continue to grow and evolve.
I sincerely hope that you found my blog on how Hypnotherapy works informative and enlightening.
Warm regards to all of you~
John Boesky, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist ( MFT)/ Certified Hypnotherapist
( Master NLP Practitioner, Certified Dharma Life Coach & Sports Psychology Consultant )