Often before a first session there are many questions about hypnosis and the process. So here I present:

Hypnosis FAQs

What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a method of achieving a relaxed state of heightened focus and concentration, it is intensified attention and receptiveness to an idea or set of ideas.

Hypnosis produces the ability to experience thoughts and images as real, bypassing the “critical factor” to establish selective thinking. When the conscious mind is bypassed, the subconscious mind is open to suggestion. This hypnotic trance state makes it possible to increase motivation or change behavior patterns.

What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the complimentary treatment of a health problem using hypnosis following a diagnosis. Hypnotherapy is performed by a Hypnotherapist. By law, Hypnotherapy must be performed by a trained professional who is a medical practitioner, or under the supervision or direction of a licensed practitioner. Some issues require a script from a medical doctor for a referral.

What is a Hypnotherapist?
“Hypnotherapist—induces hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior pattern through hypnosis.  Consults with client to determine the nature of problem.  Prepares client to enter hypnotic states by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience.  Tests subject to determine degrees of physical and emotional suggestibility.  Induces hypnotic state in client using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client’s problem.  May train client in self-hypnosis.”

– U.S. Department of Labor Directory of Occupational Titles. D.O.T. 079.157.010.

Does Suggestibility Mean Gullibility?
No, suggestibility is not the same thing as gullibility.   While gullibility means that one is easily deceived or cheated, suggestibility is the measure of intensity which the brain and nervous system accepts and responds to new ideas.   During hypnosis both the mind and the body are more responsive.

Can I Get Stuck In Hypnosis?
No. Hypnosis is a natural state that you pass through every day when falling asleep and awakening. If a hypnotic session is interrupted the subject will simply fall asleep or immediately awaken.

Will I Be Asleep Or Unconscious?
No. While the word hypnosis comes from the Greek word hypnos (meaning “sleep”), hypnosis is in fact very dissimilar from sleep. Clinically speaking, the level of alpha brain waves are very low during sleep, but are very high during hypnosis. You will be aware of all the sounds around you at all times. Hypnosis feels like daydreaming. If you have ever driven somewhere and not noticed how you got there, you have experienced hypnosis.

Will I Remember Everything That Happened?

Can I Be Hypnotized?
Yes. Everyone is susceptible (to one degree or other) to suggestion. Furthermore, hypnosis is not done to you, it is done with you!
After determining your degree of suggestibility, you will be induced into a hypnotic state using individualized methods and techniques based on the results of your suggestibility and the nature of your goal or problem. If you trust your hypnotist to guide you, you will relax and enjoy the experience.
The best subjects for hypnosis are smart, have an active imagination, and are creative and good thinkers.

Does The Hypnotist Control Me?
NO, you are in control the entire time. You will not lose control or do anything against your beliefs, morals or ethics. What is more, you can decide to emerge at any time, no one can keep you in hypnosis against your will.
Hypnosis is not mind control. Hypnosis is a method of achieving a relaxed state of heightened focus and concentration. It is a totally natural state. The hypnotist is simply the guide, you are in charge of the session. You will retain suggestions you agree with, discarding any that go against your moral or ethical beliefs.

Can I Be Made To “Confess” Secrets?
No. Your hypnotist cannot make you confess secrets. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You are fully aware of what you are saying at all times and you can censor what you say.

How Long Does It (hypnosis) Take?
One session may not be enough to eliminate a habit that took years to develop, although it sometimes happens. Each person is different and unique, but several sessions are recommended for most people. The initial session can last up to two hours and includes discussion of the client’s goals and objective, resolution or any misconceptions about hypnosis and the hypnosis session itself. Follow up sessions on any particular goal or objective may take up to an hour.

Is Hypnosis Accepted?
Hypnosis has been accepted by the American Medical Association since 1958 as a low risk therapeutic procedure.

Should Hypnosis Be A Substitute for Doctor Visits?
No! While hypnosis is safe and often recommended to help resolve many types of problems, it is not a panacea.  It is never meant to be substituted for proper, professional health care.  Often a client will turn to hypnosis for pain management, as it is highly effective.  Pain is often a symptom that something is wrong; therefore a thorough medical examination is necessary to determine the cause of the pain. With the doctor’s permission hypnosis can then be used to relieve the pain, not using hypnosis to mask it. Call to find out if your issue requires a script / referral from your Doctor.

How Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnosis takes advantage of the differences between the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind.  Hypnosis works directly with the subconscious to effect change through suggestion.
Michael Raugh, C.Ht. gives an excellent explanation of this in his report for the psychology classes of Reservoir High.  To see his full report click here: Introduction to Hypnosis

What If My Mind Occasionally Wanders During Hypnosis?
It’s perfectly OK. While your mind may wander and drift occasionally during hypnosis, it is only your conscious mind that is doing so. This allows your subconscious mind to understand and accept the suggestions for change that you desire.

How did you become hypnotist of the year?
During an interview with tampabay’s 10, Marty Mathews
Debbie – It was an honor. IACT- The International Association of Counselors and Therapists followed my work and at a convention, awarded me, much to my surprise.
MartyHow many hypnotists do you think are out there, thousands?
DebbieYes, thousands and thousands. The association represents 20 countries.
MartyWow, that IS something.