YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT HYPNOTHERAPY
I NEED HYPNOTHERAPY?
If you have nervous symptoms such as tension depression fears
fatigue and certain physical complaints for which your doctor
finds no physical basis; if you find it difficult to get along
in your work or in your relations with people; if you have a
school, sex, or marital problem; or if you merely feel irritable,
unhappy, and believe you are nor getting the most out of life,
hypnotherapy will be of help to you.
DOES HYPNOTHERAPY WORK?
Nervous symptoms and unwarranted unhappiness are the product of
inner emotional conflicts. In hypnotherapy you are helped to understand
your conflicts. In this way it is possible for you to do something
constructive about solving them.
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS BE CAUSED BY EMOTION?
Many physical symptoms are psychosomatic in nature which means
that they have an emotional or nervous basis. When you come to
think of it, it is not really so strange that emotional strain
or worry should produce physical symptoms. After all, every organ
in your body is connected with your brain by nerve channels; and
so it is logical that when your nervous system is upset by some
crisis or conflict, you may feel the effects in various organs
of the body.
QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT HYPNOSIS
WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness that occurs normally
in every person just before he enters into the sleep state. In
therapeutic hypnosis we prolong this brief interlude so that we
can work within its bounds.
EVERYBODY BE HYPNOTIZED?
Yes, because it is a normal state that everybody passes through
before going to sleep. However, it is possible to resist hypnosis
like it is possible to resist going to sleep. But even if one
resists hypnosis, with practice the resistance can be overcome.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF HYPNOSIS?
There is no magic in hypnosis. There are some conditions in which
it is useful and others in which no great benefit is derived.
It is employed in medicine to reduce tension and pain which accompany
various physical problems, and to aid certain rehabilitative procedures.
In psychiatric practice it is helpful in short teen therapy, and
also, in some cases, in long term treatment where obstinate resistance
has been encountered.
WHO CAN DO HYPNOSIS?
Only a qualified professional person should decide whether one
needs hypnosis or could benefit from it. The professional person
requires special training in the techniques and uses of hypnosis
before he can be considered qualified, and should be certified
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT HYPNOSIS?
Hypnosis is a much misunderstood phenomenon. For centuries it
has been affiliated with spiritualism, witchcraft and various
kinds of mumbo jumbo. The exaggerated claims made for it by undisciplined
persons have turned some people against it. Some doctors and psychiatrists
too doubt the value of hypnosis, because Freud gave it up eighty
years ago, and because they themselves have not had much experience
with its modern uses.
CAN'T HYPNOSIS BE DANGEROUS?
Tile hypnotic state is no more dangerous than is the sleep state.
But unskilled operators may give subjects foolish suggestions,
such as one often witnesses in stage hypnosis, where the trance
is exploited for entertainment purposes. A delicately balanced
and sensitive person exposed to unwise and humiliating suggestions
may respond with anxiety. On the whole, there are no dangers in
hypnosis when practiced by ethical and qualified practitioners.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE HYPNOTIZED?
The answer to this is extremely important because it may determine
whether or not you can benefit from hypnosis. Some people give
up hypnosis after a few sessions because they are disappointed
in their reactions, believing that they are not suitable subjects.
The average person has the idea that he will go through something
different, new and spectacular in the hypnotic state. Often he
equates being hypnotized with being anaesthetized, or being asleep,
or being unconscious. When in hypnosis he finds that his mind
is active: that he can hear every sound in the room; that he can
resist suggestions if he so desires; that his attention keeps
wandering, his thoughts racing around; that he has not fallen
asleep, and that he remembers everything that has happened when
he opens his eyes, he believes himself to have failed. He imagines
then that he is a poor subject, and he is apt to abandon hypnotic
treatment. The experience of being hypnotized is no different
from the experience of relaxing and of starting to fall asleep.
Because this experience is so familiar to you, and because you
may expect something startlingly different in hypnosis, you may
get discouraged when a trance is induced. Remember, you are not
anaesthetized, you are not unconscious, you are not asleep. Your
mind is active, your thoughts are under your control, you perceive
all stimuli, and you are in complete communication with the therapist
The only unique thing you may experience is a feeling of heaviness
in your arms, and tingliness in your hands and fingers. If you
are habitually a deep sleeper, you may doze momentarily. If you
are a light sleeper, you may have a feeling you are completely
HOW DOES HYPNOSIS WORK?
The human mind is extremely suggestible and is being bombarded
constantly with suggestive stimuli from the outside, and suggestive
thoughts and ideas from the inside. A good deal of suffering is
the consequence of "negative" thoughts and impulses
invading one's mind from subconscious recesses. Unfortunately,
past experiences, guilt feelings, and repudiated impulses and
desires are incessantly pushing themselves into awareness, directly
or in disguised forms, sabotaging one's happiness, health and
efficiency. By the time one has reached adulthood, he has built
up "negative" modes of thinking, feeling and acting
which persist like bad habits. And like any habits they are hard
hypnosis, we attempt to replace these "negative" attitudes
with "positive" ones. But it takes time to disintegrate
old habit patterns: so do not be discouraged if there is no immediate
effect. If you continue to practice the principles taught you
by your therapist, you will eventually notice change. Even though
there may be no apparent alterations on the surface, a restructuring
is going on underneath. An analogy may make this clear. If you
hold a batch of white blotters above the level of your eyes so
that you see the bottom blotter, and if you dribble drops of ink
onto the top blotter, you will observe nothing different for a
while until sufficient ink has been poured to soak through the
entire thickness. Eventually the ink will come down. During this
period while nothing seemingly was happening, penetrations were
occurring. Had the process been stopped before enough ink had
been poured, we would be tempted to consider the process a failure.
Suggestions in hypnosis are like ink poured on layers of resistance;
one must keep repeating them before they come through to influence
old, destructive patterns.
WHAT ABOUT SELF-HYPNOSIS
"Relaxing exercises", "self-hypnosis" and
"auto-hypnosis" are interchangeable terms for a reinforcing
process that may be valuable in helping your therapist help you.
If this adjunct is necessary, it will be employed. The technique
is simple and safe.