Some Thoughts on Hypnotherapy
As with electricity, we know more about how to make hypnosis work for us than what it actually is because much of
what is happening with our spirit/body/mind is not entirely visible yet. With the advancement of devices such as
EEG’s, FMRI’s scans, we are now able to get visuals of our brains during hypnosis. These scans clearly show certain
parts of the brain lighting up during hypnosis. Our understanding of this ancient practice has gotten better in
As with electrical energy, many applications have been developed for hypnosis which can dramatically improve our
lives. So, hypnotherapists, like electrical engineers do know how to make it work. And often, it works where other
options have been tried and were unsuccessful. Perhaps someday, it will be the first option for certain challenging
conditions when people would like to engineer positive changes into their lives.
Hypnosis allows us to get in touch with our inner resources. It’s a way of connecting to our untapped potential.
Hypnosis helps us be us more fully integrated and whole in our lives. Hypnosis gets our conscious and
subconscious minds connected. Have you ever decided to do something then not been able to follow through?
When part of you wants to do something but another part of you works to defeat the plan? Hypnosis provides a way to get those parts of you on the same page and working as a team.
Does hypnosis work? Many conditions have been shown to improve through the use hypnotherapeutic tools.
Can you name a situation that wouldn’t benefit with assistance from your conscious and subconscious minds
Below are just a few of the more common categories hypnotherapist successfully addressed.
Fear of Flying
Dating / Romance
The word hypnosis is commonly used to describe a Process, as well as, State or Level of Consciousness. Let’s look at
both uses of the word hypnosis.
Hypnosis as State of Being or Level of Consciousness
Although sometimes compared to sleep, hypnotic states are actually more similar to meditative states because in
both states individuals become more relaxed and aware.
Hypnotic states occur in all of us throughout the day. We just don’t think of them or label them. For instance, do you
recall a time when you were driving on a highway and found yourself not remembering the last few exits? Did you
ever wonder “how did I get here?” Highway hypnosis is a very light naturally occurring trance state.
Or, have you ever had the experience of “getting lost” in a project, book, movie, or a piece of music? Those are all
naturally occurring hypnotic trances we slip in and out of every day. The key difference between those examples andwhat happens in a hypnotherapists office is that therapists bring you to a hypnotic state with the purpose of
achieving your goals of making positive life changes you wish to accomplish.
From an EEG brain wave perspective, we all move through four basic brain wave states daily. From lowest energy
level to highest they are: delta, theta, alpha and beta. Beta is what you are in right now, and when you are problem
solving or functioning in an active fast thinking state. Alpha and theta are lower, slower, less active, longer, brain
wave states as shown on an EEG. Alpha and theta levels are where both hypnosis and meditation take place.
Your Conscious Mind
Now, let’s examine why these lowered brainwave states are so desirable to achieve. Your conscious mind is
responsible for logical, analytical, linear thinking. Hypnotists refer to it as the critical mind. The conscious mind
functions in the beta wave range. Visualize the conscious mind as the tip of an iceberg. Another analogy for the
conscious mind are icons that you have on your computer’s desktop display. They are visible and just an easy
mouse click away to retrieve.
Your Subconscious and Unconscious Minds
The subconscious is below or “sub” the conscious mind, and most of its contents are normally out of immediate
reach of the conscious mind. Think of the subconscious, and the even deeper unconscious mind, as the larger and
less visible below the water portions of the iceberg. On a computer you could compare these to what’s stored on
your hard drive memory. It takes a little more effort (a few more mouse clicks) to access that area.
The language of your subconscious and unconscious minds are more symbolic and holistic in nature. Emotions,
habits, beliefs and automatic body functions such as breathing and digestion are housed in these realms. Together, they are responsible for the majority of a person's behavior and beliefs.
Much of the mind’s contents a programming were recorded at a young age, and without adult abilities to question and process information. Young children operate in the lands of alpha, theta and delta and are more apt to just
Often we learn or accept ideas consciously, and then as a learned behavior it becomes coded into the subconscious
and unconscious minds. So, behaviors that we once learned step-by-step, like tying our shoes, riding a bike, or driving a car become automatic, unconscious behavior.
We’ve learned to do these so well that we don’t have to think too much about them. Habits are a prime example of
automatic behaviors. Once accepted at these levels, we behave as if it is true. And once accepted and learned, the
conscious or critical mind acts as a guardian to the subconscious. So, when someone tells you something that is
coded as false….. then your conscious or critical mind may reject the idea.
Hypnosis as a Process
The hypnotherapist uses a hypnotic process to bring a client into and out of the subconscious mind in a controlled
and purposeful manor for healing. The portion of the hypnotic process which most of us are familiar with from TV
and the movies is called a hypnotic induction. Inductions are used to “induce” or bring people into very relaxed
states of mind. “You are getting very sleepy” is probably one of the most famous induction lines from TV shows.
There are many types of inductions.
As a process we can separate hypnotherapeutic sessions into 5 stages:
1. Pre-session talk – to understand your goals and how it works
2. Induction – used to bring you to a hypnotic state (from beta to alpha/theta)
3. Intervention – when suggestions are made / or conversation with subconscious
4. Return - used to return client back from hypnotic state (return to beta)
5. Post hypnosis discussion - for client questions, homework etc.
How Hypnosis Works
When our minds are in these super relaxed alpha and theta zones, we are far more open to suggestions. A hypnotic
induction moves you from a beta level to the hypnotic states that are marked by the less active EEG brain waves:
alpha and theta. The hypnotherapist then converses with the subconscious mind. The subconscious does not filter,
question or rebut what we say to it nearly as much as the conscious mind does. So images, visualizations, and wordsproperly said make a far stronger impression on the subconscious mind, then on the conscious mind. The result is
that people are more likely to take suggestions and to change their behaviors and beliefs. It’s as simple as that!
The subconscious mind runs most of the body, our perceptions and emotions, and habits. So, when reprogramed
properly, it can marshal those resources to make things happen. Deep in your mind, changes can take place that
allow you to feel different emotions, have different habits, learn things quickly and respond better.
Hypnosis has been recognized by the American and British Medical Associations since the 1950’s as an effective
modality. It has been used by many professionals in medicine, dentistry, and psychology safely and effectively for
200 years. Here are five important safeguards about hypnosis you may want to know.
1. Hypnosis is a process that is entirely consensual, and the client retains full awareness during the process.
2. In a hypnotic state you maintain your ability to think clearly.
3. On the off chance that an emergency were to happen you would quickly return to the pre-hypnotic state (beta brain wave) and take any action you would normally do.
4. In your sessions with me you are always in control. Your will is completely intact, and should I say anything that
does not sit well with you or feel right, you could open your eyes and simply end the session.
5. Actually, anyone can emerge from a hypnotic state any time they want to. All they have to do is not follow the
hypnotherapists instructions and just open their eyes - - because it’s an entirely consensual process!
What it Feels Like
People generally describe hypnotic states as very pleasant; they often say it felt like they had a refreshing nap. You
could feel a variety of sensations while in hypnosis. Muscles may feel limp and relaxed. Sensations of warmth or
tingling may occur. Often people report an increased ability to envision much like daydreaming. Perception of time
may be altered – session may seem much shorter than they actually are.
Hypnosis is not sleep or unconsciousness. It feels most like meditation. You will feel very relaxed, alert, focused and aware. The feeling of hypnosis can be very subtle. Some walk out of therapists’ offices wondering if they have been
hypnotized! If you wanted to you could respond to anything in your environment. Usually you don’t because it feels so good to rest in a hypnotic trance state.
If you were left in hypnosis, you might just fall asleep. Many people who use hypnosis recordings often fall asleep
during or as the recording ends. When your body has had enough sleep you simply wake up as you normally would
from a nap. What keeps you awake in the hypnosis session is the hypnotherapist’s skill in keeping you in the proper
alpha and theta zones, so you that you won’t fall asleep and can follow directions or converse.
Can You be Hypnotized?
Almost everyone can be hypnotized. There is a range of hypnotizability. Those that have memory and focus
problems like dementia may not be. Some people with brain injuries and well below-average intelligence
may not be able to be hypnotized. On the other hand, some people may go into a very deep trance. And it’s
like most things, the more you do it the better you will get at it. A rule of thumb among hypnotherapists is that the
best clients tend to be intelligent, strong willed, creative and imaginative. If you are familiar with meditation, and you do it on a fairly consistent basis, chances are that you are a good hypnotic client. Hypnosis is like meditation but
with specific goals and an agenda. Mediation unpacks the mind. Hypnosis is implanting specific suggestions and or conversing with the subconscious mind.
Overview of a Hypnotherapeutic Session
The best way to approach your session is with an open mind and simply let go and follow my instructions.
There isn’t a need to try making anything happen.
Here’s your first suggestion -- Just imagine you are soaking the directions like a sponge absorbs water.
By following my simple instructions you’ll have a wonderful hypnotic experience to help you accomplish the changes
you wish to make in your life which you have requested my help with. After the session, we will have time to answer your questions.
So, to sum it all up…. ….. As your hypnotherapist my work is to enhance your natural ability to bypass limiting beliefs
so that you can use more of your mind than you normally do to solve problems!
Does this sound like something that would be of benefit to you? Call today and let’s discuss the issue you would liketo solve.
Paul DiFranco, 330-699-2532