1. What is
It is a pleasant, voluntary, state of relaxed attentive concentration, an
altered state of consciousness, during which the conscious critical mind
is relaxed and relatively inactive, and the doorway to the subconscious,
inner mind is opened with a personís permission. In this comfortable
state, suggestibility is heightened, mental absorption is increased, the
senses are heightened, and the imagination is activated in a controlled
manner. The inner mind is more receptive to acceptable, beneficial
2. Can a
person be hypnotized against his will?
No. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing
subject. Your hypnotist must have your full cooperation.
3. Will a
hypnotized person perform any anti-social, criminal or immoral acts while
o. People who are hypnotized will not do anything in Hypnosis that they
would not do in the waking state. This applies as well to sexual acts.
Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship. When you are in hypnosis, you
are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your
values and morals
4. Does a
weak-minded person make a better subject than a strong-minded person?
No. Strength of mind really has little to do with it. Either a weak-minded
or strong minded person who resists will make a poor hypnotic subject. On
the other hand, a weak or strong-minded person who cooperates will be a
good subject. However, because Hypnosis helps a person gain greater
control over both mind and body, it can help a person develop a stronger
5. Will I be
No. When a person is in Hypnosis, he is not asleep. He or she is very much
aware of all that is going on. In actuality, in Hypnosis, oneís senses
become heightened and more acute. Of course, if a person is tired, it is
possible to fall asleep during hypnosis. However, then, the subject is
asleep and no longer in hypnosis. In actuality, when this occurs, the
state of sleep is a light but relaxing state of sleep. A simple suggestion
to wake up given by the hypnotist is all that is required to rouse up the
6. Is it
possible that a subject could not be brought out of Hypnosis?
No it is not possible. You cannot get stuck in Hypnosis because you do not
lose control when you are hypnotized. Hypnosis is a cooperative
relationship. When you are hypnotized, you retain full control over your
mind and your body. Sometimes, people feel so relaxed and comfortable in
Hypnosis that they may wish to remain in that state for a little longer.
However, a simple suggestion for awakening (or alerting) is all that is
needed to bring a subject back into the Waking State even if the subject
has fallen asleep. Additionally, when the hypnotist stops talking, the
subject will soon awaken on his own. Most importantly, you can come out of
hypnosis any time you want.
7. Will I
tell any secrets under hypnosis?
No. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You retain full control over what you
say. Subjects in Hypnosis reveal no secrets in the Hypnotic State that
they would not reveal (because they want to) in the Waking State.
8. Can a
person in Hypnosis be made to bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken?
No. This is not what happens in Therapeutic or Clinical Hypnosis. On the
other hand, volunteers during Stage Hypnosis Show, which is for
entertainment purposes only, will typically go along with the Stage
Hypnotistís suggestions as long as it is all in good fun and for
entertainment purposes. This is not the context of Clinical Hypnosis.
9. Can a
person be made a "slave" to a hypnotist?
No. Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship or a power relationship.
It is not about "zap, you are under my power!" like Svengali type stuff.
Hypnosis is a cooperative and collaborative relationship. The subject
retains full control and responsibility for his or her actions at all
times. This myth comes from old movies and novels such as the old novel
10. Can a
person become addicted to Hypnosis, or is it habit forming?
No. A person can resist going into Hypnosis or being hypnotized anytime he
or she desires, regardless of how many times he has been hypnotized.
11. What is
the best age for being hypnotized?
People can be hypnotized at any age. However, on the average, the years
between 12 and 20 are a developmental stage when pre-adolescents,
adolescents, and young adults are most fantasy prone and capable of
employing that trait to benefit from hypnosis. Nevertheless, children can
be helped to solve their problems with the tool of hypnosis as can middle
aged and older people.
12. Can an
"insane" person be hypnotized?
Persons who are clinically insane are typically out of touch with reality
and have difficulty concentrating. The ability to sustain concentration
and the ability to follow instructions are necessary prerequisites to
being able to be hypnotized. Thus, clinically insane persons can be very
difficult subjects. Nevertheless, there are clinical practitioners who
specialize in working therapeutically with this population, and some of
these practitioners do have the training to use the hypnosis tool
effectively and therapeutically in selected cases.
13. Who can
Anyone who can pay attention and follow instructions can be hypnotized if
they want to be. People will vary however, as to the extent or depth to
which they can be hypnotized.
14. What are
the requirements of a good Subject?
They are mainly the desire to be hypnotized and to experience Hypnosis,
the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow
instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.
15. Is deep
For most purposes, deep Hypnosis is not necessary. For most purposes, in a
therapeutic setting, a light degree of Hypnosis is all that is necessary
for experiencing the therapeutic benefits of Hypnosis. In other words, we
typically do not need or aim for Deep Trance. The therapeutic subject (the
patient or client) is awake and aware of everything that is going on, but
"poor" subjects become better subjects?
Most definitely yes. Repeated conditioning can improve the depth of
relaxation, concentration and absorption that a patient or client can
attain. Also, strong motivation is a plus. A poor subject with a strong
desire to benefit from Hypnosis to get relief from a problem can become a
very good subject. Additionally, a "poor" subject can become a better
subject to the extent that the Hypnotist instills confidence and helps the
subject diminish anxiety and fear.
17. What is
This is Hypnosis induced by a person by himself without the help of a
hypnotist. Some experts say that all Hypnosis is Self Hypnosis since the
hypnotist is in actuality not doing anything to the subject, but rather
guiding the subject into the hypnotic state of consciousness with the
subjectís permission. Because the subject permits it to happen, he is
really hypnotizing himself with the assistance of the hypnotist.
18. How can
one learn Self Hypnosis?
You can learn Self Hypnosis from
a good CD or even
a book authored by a competent Hypnosis professional. However, your
best bet is to have the experience first of being hypnotized by a
qualified Hypnosis professional, and then learn from that hypnotist how to
enter the hypnotic state on your own. At that point, tapes (CDs) and books
can be very useful aids, guides, and sources of information and
19. What are
the benefits of Self Hypnosis?
The premier benefit of learning and practicing Self Hypnosis is to
initiate and continue the process of positive self-change. The regular use
of Self Hypnosis facilitates the continuation of healthy changes in
behaviors, feelings, beliefs and attitudes. When you practice Self
Hypnosis you enter a state of self relaxation. When you are relaxed, you
cannot be uncomfortable or anxious or stressed or in pain. Relaxation is
the physical and emotional opposite of these negative feelings. Practicing
Self Hypnosis conditions your ability to relax at will. It builds your
ability to control your mind and your body. More control is the goal, and
with more control, you gain greater ability to control your symptoms.
Additionally, when you are in a state of Self Hypnosis you are able to
give yourself positive suggestions and use positive imagery for positive
anyone learn Self Hypnosis?
Any normally intelligent person who can concentrate and follow
instructions, and who is motivated and willing can learn Self Hypnosis.
21. What is
This is Hypnosis wherein one person, the Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist,
hypnotizes (induces the Hypnotic State) another person who is the subject
or patient (or client). To do this, the Hypnotist uses an appropriate
hypnotic induction, which is a method for inducing the state of hypnosis.
For many types of problems where Self Hypnosis is taught, the Hypnotist
teaches Self Hypnosis to the patient while he or she is in the hypnotic
22. What is
a hypnotic induction?
It is a method of inducing the hypnotic state. There are numerous ways of
inducing hypnosis. Most clinicians who practice hypnosis have their
favorites. However, it is important for a clinician to choose an hypnosis
induction method that fits the needs of the client or patient. The
hypnosis professional gives you carefully worded instructions to follow
with the goal of helping you enter a state of deep relaxation and focused
attention. This is called the hypnosis induction. For this hypnosis
induction to be effective, you must cooperate as an active participant in
23. How does
Hypnosis make a person more suggestible?
This occurs first and foremost with the subjectís permission and
cooperation. By following the "hypnotist's" instructions, you become more
suggestible. When you are in this altered state of increased
suggestibility, your mental "clutter" is cleared away so that you can pay
attention to the hypnotist's suggestions and be open to experiencing new
perspectives and solutions to your problem. In this "hypnotic trance
state", you remain aware of everything that is going on, but at the same
time, you become increasingly absorbed in using your imagination as
directed by the "hypnotist".
24. How does
Once the Hypnotic State is induced and the doorway to the Subconscious
Mind is opened, with your permission, the competent Hypnotist can provide
information, in a language and form that the Subconscious can accept, to
help you change the behaviors, feelings and thoughts that you want to
change. We utilize the fact that the Subconscious Mind has the ability
(actually the tendency) to accept what it imagines as real. This can
greatly reduce the felt stress of changing unhealthy habits to healthier
role does the Subconscious Mind play?
The Subconscious part of the mind, or the Inner Mind, controls all of our
living functions that keep us alive, as well as all of our automatic
behavior patterns. But, the Subconscious is not as easily communicated
with as is the Conscious Mind. Information is imprinted in the
Subconscious essentially in three ways: through trauma, through
repetition, and through the language of Hypnosis. Thus, Hypnosis is the
quickest and most efficient way to impress the Subconscious and imprint
changes in behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and feelings. The upshot is that
making changes in long-standing, core habits (e.g., eating patterns,
smoking, emotional reactivity, coping responses) often creates internal
discomfort and stress. Old habits cling and typically resist efforts to
change them. This can be because of Conscious conflict about changing, but
it can also be the result of conflict between the Conscious and the
Subconscious parts of the mind. That is, you consciously may want to
change and may have decided to change, but the Subconscious does not know
this. If it did, it would help you, but it often has no way of knowing
that you consciously want to change. So, it continues to control the old
behavioral habits and this creates and perpetuates inner conflict. Once
the Subconscious is informed that you want to change, and once it knows
that it is in your best interest to be helped to change, it has no choice
but to help you change. Then, the two parts to the mind, Conscious and
Subconscious, can work together in cooperation with little tension, upset,
or stress. Remember, what you can conceive you can achieve, and the
Subconscious has a tendency to accept what it imagines as real.
26. What are
some of the benefits of Hypnosis?
There are many benefits and uses for Hypnosis. To mention but a few of the
more common uses:
- induce relaxation
- relieve tensions
- relieve pain
- in childbirth
- diminish and control
- eliminate phobias
- treat depression
- control mood swings
- modify or change
- stop smoking
- lose weight through
changing eating and other habits
- improve concentration
- improve study habits
- develop natural
- relieve insomnia
- aid police work
- stop fingernail biting
- stop bedwetting
- in dentistry
- in optometry
- stop bruxism
- preparation for
surgery or other medical procedures
27. What can
Hypnosis by itself is not a "cure". It is a tool to be used in therapy or
treatment by a professional who is qualified to render that treatment.
Medical treatments must be supervised by a medical physician. Similarly,
psychological treatments for emotional or psychological problems must be
supervised by a qualified psychology or mental health practitioner.
28. If you
decide that you want to see a clinical hypnosis practitioner, how should
you go about finding someone who is qualified?
Do Your Homework! When choosing a qualified clinical hypnosis
practitioner, itís best to make sure youíll be working with someone who is
properly trained and with whom youíre comfortable. Consumer Beware. The
American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), the largest national
organization of licensed health professionals who use hypnosis, advises on
its official Web site (http://www.asch.net)
that, just as in choosing any health professional, you exercise care in
selecting a clinical hypnosis practitioner. Unfortunately, the practice of
hypnosis is not regulated by most states as is the practice of other
healing arts. Therefore, in most states, clinicians and therapists who use
hypnosis are not licensed in hypnosis. The implications of this are that
anyone can call themselves a "certified hypnotherapist," or "clinical
hypnotist," and hang out a shingle. Beware of quacks.
"Lay hypnotists" are people who
are trained in hypnosis but lack formal medical, psychological, dental, or
other professional health-care training and lack state licensure. There is
no way to evaluate the nature, quality, quantity, continuity, or validity
of their hypnosis training or previous academic background and schooling,
since their practice is not state regulated. A lay hypnotist may claim to
be "certified in hypnotherapy," and start a hypnotherapy or hypnosis
practice after just taking a three-day weekend course!
Most licensed health-care
professionals first attended college for four years and earned a
bachelorís degree before continuing on to graduate, medical, or dental
school for professional training. Graduate level professional training
typically takes two years for a masterís degree in Clinical Social Work,
Mental Health Counseling, or Nursing, four years for an M.D. or D.O.
doctoral degree in Medicine, or a D.D.S. or D.M.D. doctoral degree in
Dentistry, and four to five years for a Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. doctoral
degree in Clinical Psychology.
After completing their graduate,
medical, or dental school training, most state licensed health
professionals went on to take one to four years of clinical internship
and/or residency training in their specialty, plus at least one to two
years of supervised experience, before becoming eligible to sit for the
state licensure examination. These are the steps that must be passed to be
eligible for licensed independent practice. By the way, a psychologist is
a mental-health professional with either a masterís degree or a doctorate
in psychology (a Ph.D., Ed.D., or Psy.D.) who has taken post-degree
internship or residency training in clinical or counseling psychology. A
psychiatrist is a physician with a medical doctoral degree (an M.D. or D.O.),
who has taken post-doctoral internship or residency training in
Screening a Practitionerís
Qualifications. Careful questioning on the telephone can help you avoid
falling into the hands of unscrupulous persons who engage in fraudulent or
unethical practices. First, ask the person what his or her primary
health-care field is. If the person answers that it is hypnosis or
hypnotherapy, the person is a "lay hypnotist." If the person states that
it is medicine, dentistry, psychiatry, psychology, clinical social work,
or nursing, ask if he or she is licensed in his or her field by the state.
If the person is not licensed by the state, he or she probably lacks the
education required for licensure or has lost his or her license.
Find out what the personís degree is in. If the person states that it is
in hypnosis or hypnotherapy, as opposed to a state-regulated health-care
profession, the person is a "lay hypnotist." If the person is licensed in
one of the above health-care fields, check for membership in the major
professional organization for their field (for instance, the American
Medical Association, American Dental Association, American Psychological
Association, National Association of Social Workers, etc.). Also, check
for membership in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society
for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. These are the only nationally
recognized organizations in the United States for licensed health-care
professionals using hypnosis.
If you have doubts about the
personís qualifications, keep looking.