When people find out I’m a hypnotherapist, it often conjures images in their mind of performers at state fairs making seemingly unwitting participants quack like ducks or stuff napkins in their pants as though they were hundred dollar bills. This image of the stage hypnotist has done more to hurt the public opinion of hypnotherapy than anything else. So let’s set the record straight!
What hypnotherapy isn’t…
There is no mind control, brainwashing, indoctrination or any other such influence exerted by the therapist. In fact, the client is generally conscious throughout the process and frequently swears they were “not under.” This is because they were expecting to lose consciousness and be reprogrammed. In other words, they were looking for a miracle cure to their problems. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Then what is it?
In hypnotherapy we use the hypnotic state (also called trance) to allow the client to look past their thinking mind and access the deeper programming that they’ve been operating under subconsciously. Usually this is a conclusion that they made as a child that started a pattern of behavior that they are no longer consciously aware of, but that directly influences and sometimes dominates or controls their everyday life. If the therapist simply planted a suggestion to contradict this old programming, as many clients might wish them to, the result would be internal conflict rather than healing. Doing so would be akin to putting a bandage over a splinter.
The real healing takes place when the splinter, the original conclusion, is recognized and released from the body/mind and replaced with a new conclusion that is more in line with where the client wants their life to go. Just like with a splinter, this can be a painful process, but with the support of a skilled therapist it can create real lasting results in situations where nothing else seems to help.
So how long does it take?
Here’s where the other misconception comes in. Since people expect to be reprogrammed, they think that one or two hypnotherapy sessions should fix the problem completely. If that were possible, no one would be happier than me. Sometimes we as therapists are perceived as keeping clients “on the hook” so we can keep charging them. While that might be the case for some less ethical practitioners, I would happily work myself out of a job if it meant the world could find complete healing.
The reality is that we are far more complicated beings than most of us realize. Just as the body requires time and medicine to heal, the spirit can’t be rushed and will find wholeness in its own time.
What is this going to cost me?
This is the first question on most people’s minds, as it was on mine when I first sought out a therapist. It is a very real concern, but ask yourself for a moment, “What are my unhealthy patterns costing me?” These costs are harder to quantify, but they are no less real.
- Do you want to quit smoking? What are you spending on tobacco, and what would cancer or tuberculosis treatment cost you?
- Do you want to address a problem with alcohol? What are you spending at the bar or the liquor store? How much is a liver transplant?
- Is depression taking its toll on you? What would your loved ones give to have you back?
You and your mental and spiritual health are as much a worthwhile investment as any of the other necessities of life. In fact without your well-being, all those other investments are pretty useless.
I’m still not convinced…
I completely understand. Neither was I. That’s why I offer a free 30 minute consultation to potential clients. This gives you a risk-free opportunity to get a feel for the process and to have your questions answered. It also gives you a chance to determine if you feel comfortable working with me, and if not I can refer you to one of my colleagues (I promise you will not hurt my feelings).
If you’re ready to watch your life change in ways you couldn’t have imagined, give me a call to schedule a consultation!