Understanding Hypnotherapy

Understanding Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis is an important first step to deciding if Hypnotherapy is right for you. These FAQ’s have been created to answer some of the most frequently asked questions of a Hypnotherapist. If this FAQ board does not answer all your questions, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly provide you with the information you need.

How is The Power Within Hypnotherapy Different?

Unlike most Hypnotherapists, I believe in empowering people by teaching them to use and practise Hypnosis. Further, I teach you many more tools and techniques to deal every day stress of life.

Included in THE POWER WITHIN Program is the following:

  • Learn Powerful Self Hypnosis Techniques to use in your everyday life
  • Learn other Powerful Techniques to help you reach a state of relaxed alertness – Grounding & Releasing Negative Energy
  • The Amazing Power Breath (Piko Piko is a Hawaiian Shaman breathing technique)
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing
  • Grounding Techniques
  • Gentle stretches
  • Align Left and Right Brain: Cross Crawl, Figure Eight, Long Swing
  • Chakra Balancing Hypnosis
  • Ultra Heights Hypnosis to discover your purpose in life
  • Heart Resonance Therapy (HRT**) combined with Hypnosis
    ***With HRT, all energies of a disharmonious nature are transformed into harmony, and as a result, healing occurs. This very new modality is brought in by Trevor Gollagher, Path to Harmony Centre of Brisbane, Australia.
  • Recommendations on cleansing teas to flush toxins from the body
  • Recommendations on pH balanced live enzyme foods that enhance our lives

How Does My Subconscious Mind Affect My Life?

Why Is Communication with the Subconscious Mind So Important?

Your conscious mind is only able to process approximately 50 bits of information a second, while your subconscious mind processes approximately 11 million bits per second.*

* Source: Zimmerman, M. (1989). "The nervous system in the context of information theory." In R. F. Schmidt & G. Thews (eds.), Human Physiology, pp. 166-173. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.

That means your subconscious mind is about 220 THOUSAND TIMES FASTER than your conscious mind.

Making changes that can lead to your success requires changes to your beliefs about yourself, the world, and others. It also requires making real changes in your habits, preferences and behaviours.

It is more efficient to make these changes with as little interference from your conscious mind as possible. This way you can access the incredible processing power of your subconscious mind without conscious interference.

Much of the time, your conscious mind is actually the bottleneck towards effecting true change, as its main role is getting you through the day in the here and now.
Why Can’t I Just Decide to Make a Change, and Stick to It? Why Does My Subconscious Mind Need to Be Involved?

According to a fascinating experiment published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , just one act of self-control depletes your ability to have self-control in another unrelated area.

For example, when subjects were told not to eat chocolates sitting right in front of them, their persistence in puzzle solving deteriorated. When they were told to suppress an emotional reaction to a movie, they had problems solving a solvable anagram. The list goes on and on.

Source: RE Baumeister, E Bratslavsky, M Muraven, and DM Tice."Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource?" Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 74, 1998.

We all have a limited capacity for conscious self-control. (No wonder it is so hard to stay away from the chocolate chip cookies!) If you fight your subconscious desires on too many fronts, you are bound to take a beating.


What Is Hypnosis?

What Is Hypnosis?

Believe it or not, there is nothing "magical" about hypnosis; Hypnosis is simply an altered state and happens when you are relaxed… almost daydreaming. It is merely a relaxed state of focused attention. By temporarily bypassing your conscious mind, your critical faculties are suspended and you are now open to accepting suggestions. When suggestions are accepted at a subconscious level, you are empowered to make behavioural changes at a deeper level than when you attempt to make changes at the conscious/intellectual level.

One way to think about it is that hypnosis increases the communication between your conscious desires (like losing weight), and the subconscious mind (where your true power to change exists).

This is how it works: there are four major brain states…the beta state, the alpha state, the theta state, and the delta state. For most people, when you are awake and alert, you are in the beta state. When you are deeply asleep, you are in the delta state. When you are in hypnosis, you are simply in those altered states of consciousness between waking and sleeping, in the alpha or the theta states.

Most people don’t realize this, but you have probably been "hypnotized" during the day without even realizing it! For example, have you ever been driving down the highway, and then suddenly realized that you don’t remember driving the last 50 miles? Have you ever "spaced out" or "daydreamed" in a boring meeting, or ever been so deeply engrossed in a book or a movie, that you feel like you’re actually there? That’s a state of trance – a state of hypnosis.


What is hypnotherapy? How does it work?

Hypnotherapy is the process of identifying the root cause of a problem, be it an addiction, phobia or any issue causing concern. Hypnosis is then used as a tool to get to the root cause of that problem. Once the root cause is addressed, we are motivated to change unsupportive habits (such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, gambling) and behaviours (such as binge eating).

What should I expect in a hypnotherapy session?

My sessions are divided into three parts: the pre-hypnotherapy interview, the actual hypnosis session; and the post-hypnotic discussion.

At the pre-hypnotherapy discussion I get to know more about your physical and mental health, the nature of your problem and why you have chosen Hypnotherapy.

The hypnosis session with relaxing the physical body often referred to a Progressive Relaxation. Using suggestions, here is where I assist to progressively relax the different muscles in your body as you lie in a chair or couch. It is a very comforting and relaxing experience… almost a mental massage! Using one or several techniques I then deepen this state of relaxation by suggesting your body feels heavy and sooooo… .very relaxed…

At this point, I address your subconscious mind… .those in pain may be asked to ‘see’ the pain leaving the body or ‘see’ themselves reducing the intensity of the pain using a remote control..

Using trance, I explore the root of the problem and help you change deep-seated emotions, behaviour and unsupportive beliefs…

Your ability to be hypnotized is just an indication that you have strong visualization skills.

Most sessions typically last about an hour, although the first session is usually two hours and more often than not, you may never need to see me again!

How Does Hypnosis Differ from Meditation?

Meditation is a discipline that takes steady practice over a long period of time. The practice involves clearing one’s mind over long periods of time by allowing thoughts to pass by while focusing on a point, a mantra, or some other focus. Often breathing exercises accompany this practice.

A goal of meditation is to detach from your thoughts, and to experience a deep awareness that your thoughts are not you.

One important thing to know about meditation is that it is "content-less." There is no goal aside from the meditation itself. It can lead to many health benefits, including stress relief and peace of mind, but it is not goal-driven.

Hypnosis, on the other hand, is a state of focused attention where the conscious mind is distracted so that work can be done with the subconscious mind directly.

Although one can learn hypnosis and use it on oneself, the most powerful use of hypnosis is having a professional – an experienced Hypnotherapist – guide you through the change process. Using hypnosis in this way allows a person to make changes in a fraction of the time it would take working consciously.

In short, the difference between hypnosis and meditation is that they both bridge the subconscious / conscious interface, with meditation being without content and not goal-driven, while hypnosis has content and is goal-driven.

In fact, a lot of people use the aid of hypnosis to help them develop the discipline to create a meditation practice. Hypnosis helps a person create the behaviours that lead to the goals they set for themselves.

How Is Hypnosis Different from Programs Like Silva That Focus on Mind-Centered Visualization?

Programs like Silva focus primarily on visualization. Hypnosis, on the other hand, is open to all of the senses.

Visualization techniques might be incorporated into a hypnosis session, but would not constitute a complete session. Visualization is just one of many tools that may be used by a Hypnotherapist who is highly skilled in the use of hypnosis. So you might say that visualization is contained by hypnosis. Visualization can be a good practice to help focus the unconscious on goals, and it can help with concentration. Hypnosis just has a much greater capacity to overcome limitations, because it contains more tools and its practitioners have a broader skill set.

How Does Hypnosis Compare to Other Forms of Therapy?

Compared to other forms of therapy, hypnosis is the obvious choice for many issues.

Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. reviewed the overall lasting success of various psychological approaches. This study revealed the following success rates:

  • Hypnotherapy – 93% success rate after 6 sessions
  • Behaviour Therapy – 72% success rate after 22 sessions
  • Psychotherapy – 38% success rate after 600 sessions

Source: Psychotherapy: Theory Research and Practice (Volume 7, Number 1, Spring, 1970).


Is Hypnosis Safe?

Is Hypnosis safe?

Yes, hypnosis is very safe! In the over 200 years of recorded history of hypnosis, there has never been a case of anyone ever getting "stuck" in hypnosis; it is simply not possible. Nobody can keep you in hypnosis against your will, because hypnosis is a completely voluntary state of mind. Even the American Medical Association has recognized hypnosis as a legitimate and safe approach to medical and psychological problems since 1958! However, in some cases personal disappointments may arise because of unrealistic expectations or preconceived information.

Is Hypnosis Medically Approved?

The American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association have approved hypnotherapy for use by professionally responsible individuals. The British Medical Association also adopted hypnosis as a viable therapeutic tool in 1958.

Can I Be Controlled?

Because of the movies and stage show acts, there is a perception that you will lose control when using hypnosis or somehow be under the "power" of the therapist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The power lies in your mind, because while under hypnosis you have greater awareness than when you are fully awake and you retain all the power to select what you want to say or do. You won’t do anything in a hypnotic state that you would not find acceptable in your normal awake state.

In clinical hypnosis, you will be aware of what is going on – in fact, the sessions are interactive and you will find you actually feel you have more control over yourself. The state of hypnosis is simply increasing your ability to communicate with yourself.

"Hypnosis is not mind control. It’s a naturally occurring state of concentration; it’s actually a means of enhancing your control over both your mind and your body."
– Dr. David Spiegel, Assoc. Chair of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine

How Will I Get Out of the Hypnotic Trance?

You go into hypnotic trances every day naturally and come out naturally. For example, when you drive long distances and time just goes by – or right when you wake up in the morning and hit the snooze button. The trance in these programs is very light (much like becoming engrossed in reading a good book). If the phone rings, you would hear it, and then decide whether to get up to answer, or if you would prefer to stay in the focused state of hypnosis.

Hypnosis is just a focused state of attention, which for some reason increases the probability dramatically that a person actually does what they want to do. The "trance state" actually gives you more control, as opposed to less control, over yourself.

I hope this helps. The short answer is that you can get out of the trance whenever you want to do so, because you are always in control.

Has Hypnosis Been Used in the Mainstream?

Definitely: Hypnosis has been used by people such as Matt Damon, Kevin Costner, Jackie Onassis, Tiger Woods, Ellen DeGeneres, and countless other celebrities to address habits, behaviours, and athletic performance.

Hypnosis has been reported on in many mainstream publications:

  • "Hypnosis can help adult patients control other forms of pain, relieve gastrointestinal problems, stimulate weight loss, clear up skin problems, and accelerate the healing of bone fractures and surgical wounds."
    – Consumer Reports, January 2005
  • "Hypnosis can actually help you lose weight."
    – O, The Oprah Magazine, August 2004
  • "Hypnosis has gained credibility in the past five years because of research using the latest brain-imaging technology. Studies show hypnosis can help treat a multitude of disorders."
    – Business Week, February 2004
  • "Hypnosis can help. A growing body of research supports the ancient practice as an effective tool in the treatment of a variety of problems, from anxiety to chronic pain."
    – Newsweek, September 2004

Will Hypnosis Work for Me?

Am I Hypnotizable?

Research at Stanford demonstrates that about 95% of people are hypnotizable. People of average intelligence (unless there is some form of organic brain damage) can be hypnotized in most cases if they are willing and do not resist.

If you are able to get "involved" in a good book, it is likely that hypnosis can work for you. If you choose to be hypnotized, it is usually easy to achieve, especially with an experienced professional Clinical Hypnotherapist.

The depth of hypnosis varies with a person’s ability to respond. If you are not a naturally responsive subject, you can improve your receptivity to hypnosis with practice.
Remember that this isn’t stage hypnosis. You are not going to be asked to surrender your will. It is up to you as to how you interact with the sessions.

Can I Use Hypnosis CDs While Driving?

Many potential clients ask if they can use hypnosis CDs while driving a vehicle as they want to use their commute time for personal development. The answer is no. Do not listen to any hypnosis CDs while driving or while engaged in any activity that requires your attention.

Please DO NOT plan to use The Power Within hypnosis CDs while driving.