What is Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy?
Any misconceptions a potential client may have about hypnosis / hypnotherapy should be dispelled. The technique of hypnosis does not involve the client being put into a deep sleep, and the client cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do, and are not vulnerable to every given command of the hypnotherapist.
The important thing is that the client wants to change some behavioural habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so. They have to want the hypnotherapy treatment to work and must establish a good clinical rapport with the hypnotherapist in order for it to do so…
The readiness and ability of clients to undergo hypnosis varies considerably and hypnotherapy generally requires several sessions in order to achieve meaningful results.
A definition of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring altered state of consciousness in which the critical faculty is bypassed (mind in the conscious mode) and acceptable selective thinking established.
Ok, so what does this mean?
People have been pondering and arguing over hypnosis for more than 200 years, but science has yet to fully explain how it actually happens. We see what a person does under hypnosis, but it isn't clear why he or she does it. This puzzle is really a small piece in a much bigger puzzle: how the human mind works. It's unlikely that scientists will arrive at a definitive explanation of the mind in the foreseeable future, so it's a good bet hypnosis will remain something of a mystery as well.
But psychiatrists do understand the general characteristics of hypnosis, and they have some model of how it works. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. It's not really like sleep, because the subject may be alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling of "losing yourself" in a book or movie. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the stimuli around you.