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Frequently Asked Questions

There's so much myth and misconception regarding hypnotism, that few people understand its true nature and uses. Below are the questions that we are asked on a daily basis, about hypnotism. Please read all of them. We're confident that after reading this page you'll gain a whole new understanding, respect and appreciation of what hypnotism may be able to accomplish in regards to improving your life.

What is hypnosis?

Is hypnosis safe?

Is my first in-office consultation really free?

What, exactly, does it mean to be hypnotized?

When hypnotized, will I be in a state of deep relaxation?

When hypnotized, will I be under the complete control of the hypnotist, and can I be "forced" to do something against my will?

Will I remember what happens during the hypnotic session?

I've heard some people can't be hypnotized. Is that true?

After a session ends, what should I expect?

Will medication influence my ability to be hypnotized?

Is hypnosis effective with children?

How long do sessions last?

How long between sessions?

How quickly can I expect results from hypnotherapy?

Do you offer a guarantee?


What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a naturally occuring state of mind characterized by an extraordinary state of relaxation (physically, mentally, and emotionally), by a heightened awareness and focus, and by an open responsiveness to suggestion. Hypnosis is a perfectly normal, natural state of mind that everyone experiences a few times a day, every day of their lives. When you are engrossed in a novel, watching television, daydreaming, or even driving somewhere and not "remembering" the drive, you are in a naturally occuring light state of hypnosis. Your awareness is highly focused to the exclusion of all else.

When you "transition" into a hypnotic state, your subconscious mind comes to the "forefront" and the conscious mind takes a backseat. This is what makes hypnosis so powerful and successful. In this condition the subconscious mind is highly open to suggestion. Whereas the conscious mind is the critical, analytical part of your mind, your subconscious mind is highly suggestible. The subconscious, using your memories, greatly affect your belief systems and patterns of behavior. Your subconscious carries out your habituated patterns of behavior as well as carrying out all the involuntary functions of the body. In a hypnotic state the subconscious comes to the forefront of the mind, and old belief systems and patterns of behavior can be changed and replaced by new, more beneficial belief systems. But, and this is a very important "but," in order for hypnosis to be successful, a powerful desire for change must be present in the person who is being hypnotized.

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Is hypnosis safe?

Yes. Remember that hypnosis is a natural state of mind that you already experience a few times every day. And in case you're wondering, no, you can't get "stuck" in hypnosis.

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Is my first in-office consultation really free?

Yes. Your first consultation is free because we want to meet you, discuss what issue(s) you want to resolve, and determine how we can best help you. The free consultation will not involve hypnotherapy.

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What, exactly, does it mean to be hypnotized?

When hypnotized, a person enters a state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person (the hypnotist) whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject. However, the hypnotized person is not asleep. The hypnotized person seems to respond in an uncritical, automatic fashion, ignoring aspects of the environment (e.g., sights, sounds) not pointed out by the hypnotist. The person's memory and awareness of self may be altered by suggestion, and the effects of the suggestions may be extended (posthypnotically) into the subject's subsequent daily activity.

It's important to remember that hypnosis is not some "magic bullet" that causes you to change your behavior all by itself. When you "get hypnotized" it's a process where you are guided into a state where you have greater access to mental skills and resources that you already possess, and may even be currently using in a counter-productive way. Once you are in that state, a skilled hypnotist can alter your perception of reality by exercising a limited control over your focus, attention and imagination.

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When hypnotized, will I be in a state of deep relaxation?

Sometimes. Similar to when you are fully awake, when in a hypnotic state you are also able to experience happiness, fear, anger, sadness, and any other emotion, but usually with a greater sense of intensity. The ability to experience these emotions is why it can be useful and an excellent "tool" for the hypnotist when training people how to manage those emotional states.

It's important to understand that hypnosis is a natural state. You may not realize it, but you experience this state everyday. Remember the feeling you pass through just before waking up in the morning or going to sleep at night? Tomorrow, when you're waking up, take notice of how nice that feeling is... the "transition" between your sleeping state and fully cognizant awake state. It probably feels a bit "soft and hazy." During this transition you can also be aware of someone if they are speaking close by.

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When hypnotized, will I be under the complete control of the hypnotist, and can I be "forced" to do something against my will?

A skilled hypnotist will be able to exert considerable control over your emotional state and your perceptions of reality. Therefore your behavior within the session will be affected by your emotional state and your perception of reality. If you were in complete control of your experience, then obviously you are not hypnotized. A hypnotist, when practicing their skills, has the ability to control and manage your focus and attention for a period of time.

As to whether or not a hypnotist can make you do things "against your will," the answer is obvious: Why would you go to a hypnotist if they can't help you willingly change your behavior? However, this is completely different than the idea of a hypnotist "forcing" or "making" you do something you don't want to do. It's not about "forcing" you to do anything. It's really about the the hypnotists careful and skillful adjustment of your emotions, perceptions and focused attention that leads to your desired changes in emotional, behavior or thought patterns. But remember, these changes are only sustainable in the long term if they are achieved in a way that is satisfying to your needs.

Also, rest assured that you cannot be forced to reveal any secrets that you don't want to reveal, under hypnosis. If hypnosis worked that way, spys wouldn't be able to keep secrets very long....

Probably the best practical example of not being able to force anyone to do something they don't want to do is having teenagers keep their rooms clean. If that were possible, every parent in the world would have their teenagers hynotized. It just doesn't work that way....

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Will I remember what happens during the hypnotic session?

This varies from person to person, and also upon the suggestions given by the hypnotist. Remember, you are not asleep during the session, and you can hear everything the hypnotist is saying. (As opposed to being unconcious, when you'd not be able to hear anything.) During the session you will be so focused on any communication from the hypnotist that nothing else will matter. It's quite common to forget portions of the session, very similar to waking up from an interesting dream and then forgetting what transpired in the dream. (Hypnosis and dreaming are different and not the same thing.)

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I've heard some people can't be hypnotized. Is that true?

Let's make one thing very clear: Being hypnotized is a voluntary process. If you choose to resist entering a hypnotic state, or are uninterested in it, then you will not be hypnotized. The reality is that hypnosis is easy to resist. All you have to do is not pay attention to the hypnotist, and and don't follow their instructions.

However, not everyone is equally hypnotizable. Everyone has a certain "baseline" aptitude to hypnosis. Many people have a natural aptitude to being able to generate intense hypnotic experiences. Others are less inclined. With sufficient time and mental training, even those people can get better, but there is a point of diminishing return.

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After a session ends, what should I expect?

There is no "correct" answer. Some people seem to experience immediate and obvious positive changes to their emotions and behavior. But the majority of people simply feel very relaxed, calm, and curious about what will happen next.

Often a client will comment "Well, that was an interesting experience, but I'm not sure what's going to happen next." Consequently the client may go through their normal routine for the next few days, and in the next session report how "odd" it's been, because things have been going "differently" without them thinking about it. The changes have felt quite natural and normal.

We're very careful not to vocalize specific expectations. It's impossible to predict exactly how you will think or feel in the future. Any differences between what you experience and what you were told to expect may cause you to ignore obvious signs of progress.

Unreasonable or imaginary expectations may cause problems, not only in terms of what will happen after a session, but also in terms of how smoothly the initial hypnotic induction process goes. You'll probably have no difficulty with the process, but if you go into the experience thinking that it is supposed to go a certain way, it almost certainly will not.

Our best advice is: Expect to succeed, but please leave all other assumptions about "how hypnosis is supposed to work" at home.

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Will medication influence my ability to be hypnotized?

That's a definite possibilty, and depends on the specific medication you are taking. If you are currently under medication or have a medical condition, always consult your doctor to find out if hypnosis is appropriate for you, given your medical circumstances.

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Is hypnosis effective with children?

Depending upon the "maturity" of the child, it is possible to use hypnotism with children. There is no specific age limit.

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How long do sessions last?

It varies. Most sessions usually last between 60 to 90 minutes. Occasionally a session may last longer, depending on the circumstances.

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How long between sessions?

Normally sessions should be scheduled between 3 and 7 days apart. This allows you to go through a variety of daily experiences, and also maintains your momentum.

It's very important that right from the start you commit in your own mind to following the process through to completion. There's no room in the work we do together for any of it to be done half-heartedly. We strongly recommend that you not try a session just to see if it "works". That would be the same as showing up for a track meet wearing one running shoe.

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How quickly can I expect results from hypnotherapy?

The stronger your desire and commitment, the sooner you will see results. There are other factors of course. Some problems are easier solved than others. Many people will quit smoking the first time they have a session, some will take longer. Phobias may often be dealt with in just a few sessions. But problems in which core issues need to be dealt with obviously would take longer.

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Do you offer a guarantee?

Absolutely. A 100%, no-questions-asked guarantee. When the first session ends, if you are unsatisfied with your experience, or, if during the first session it appears to us that you are unlikely to benefit from working with us, you will receive a refund.

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THE NATIONAL GUILD OF HYPNOTISTS...
is the largest, oldest and most influential organization of hypnotists in the world. Founded in 1951, the NGH currently has over 10,000 members in 72 countries.

We at Inception Hypnotherapy adhere to the high NGH standards of Practice and Ethics.

 

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THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL HYPNOTISTS...
is a select group of hypnotists who have trained in the 5-Phase Advanced Transformational Hypnosis protocols. We are proud to be using these modern and highly effective techniques to help our clients.

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