Hypnosis is simply a relaxed state of focused attention. By momentarily bypassing your conscious mind, it allows you to make behavioral changes on a deeper level than when you attempt to make changes at the conscious level. In a way you could say that hypnosis increases the communication between your conscious desires (like quitting smoking), and your subconscious mind (where your real power to make changes is located).
Hypnosis is a natural state. For example: You are in a trance state when, while driving your car, you miss your exit because you are daydreaming. Similarly, you are in a trance state when you are so absorbed in a book, movie, or TV show that you fail to hear what others around you are saying.
Our ability to enter this unique state of consciousness opens the door to countless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change. Also it can be used to gain an understanding about spiritual self. Hypnosis, called by different names in different cultures and times, has been recognized for thousands of years and used for many purposes. Clinically, hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, and many other psychological and medical problems. Hypnosis can also be useful for enhancing and strengthening purposes. It can help increase self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of mastery and control.
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
- Behavior Therapy — 72% success rate after 22 sessions
- Psychotherapy — 38% success rate after 600 sessions
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. 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.
You are not going to loose control during the session or be asked to surrender your will. It is up to you as to how you interact with the sessions. Whether you can use hypnosis to your benefit is mostly influenced by your attitude towards it and the person helping you with hypnosis. You can’t use hypnosis if you don’t want to, because no one can hypnotize you against your will. 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. You will be aware of what is going on and you will find you actually feel you have more control over yourself. The hypnosis is simply increasing your ability to communicate with yourself. Also nobody can make you reveal your secrets or personal information.
You are going to be aware what is happening during the session. You will hear what hypnotist is saying and it will be you who will decide what to do during session. Some people, after a session of hypnosis, don’t believe that they were hypnotized at all. This likely comes from misconceptions about just what a ‘trance’ really is. There are differences between the brain waves of people who are asleep and those who are in trance. In practice, people who are hypnotized often talk with the hypnotist, and can both answer and ask questions, hear everything that is said very clearly, and are perfectly well aware.
You are not going to feel different or strange during hypnosis; there is no mysterious feeling to being hypnotized and our minds are not taken over nor controlled. This expectation and perhaps a demand to have some mysterious experience beyond conscious control or awareness seems to leave some people disappointed and even denying they had any experience at all. These same people may actually have received substantial results and unconscious change.
The induction of hypnosis is never dangerous to the person, although personal disappointments may arise because of unrealistic expectations or preconceived information. The experience of hypnosis is usually pleasant. It does not involve going to sleep, losing consciousness, or giving up control.