Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation or “trance.”  In this comfortable state a person, or hypnotist, is able to access the part of the mind known as the subconscious, the location where habits and patterns of behavior are stored. A “trance state” is actually a quite common state that most of us drift in and out of several times a day.  In fact, most of the time we are functioning on some state of auto-pilot while engaging in higher brain functioning. Examples might include: driving, walking, multi-tasking, watching TV, etc. Think of hypnosis like intentionally accessing the programming of an airplane’s autopilot and then making course corrections to make the flight more comfortable or efficient. This requires really only two components: deep relaxation and focused mental attention. In hypnosis the brain relaxes and slows down so that critical thinking stops and thusly your “rational mind” is relaxed enough to let go of the defensive, self defeating, and resistant practices and allow for creative problem-solving. If you have ever been in a meeting where someone was critical and negative that they shot down or ruled out every new idea before it even got started?  That's the role of the critical thinking part of the mind. When it is turned down, then creativity has a chance and innovation can occur.  Think of it like loosing a word or a memory...the harder to try to remember the worse you seem to “Blank." Stop trying so hard, you remember! If you can allow yourself to relax and choose to focus your mind on what you wish to improve, then you can be successful in hypnosis!!!

 

 

So what exactly is Hypnosis?

The trance part of hypnosis feels quite natural and normal for most people and has been described as feeling like having had short nap, awakening with pleasant thoughts.  In the moment, this feels similar to being on the edge of sleep. Though everyone experiences trance in their own unique way, most clients report having experienced at least some of the following: a deeper sense of relaxation, loss of sense of time, feeling heavy or lethargic, feeling tingly or warm all over, or a general sense of happiness or positive frame of mind.  The suggestion process feels just like right now, except the voice you would hear delivering the words would be mine, instead of your voice reading them aloud in

your mind.

 

 

What does it “feel like?”

The process is really quite simple; so simple you can do it yourself. In fact, I hope to teach all of my clients how to use the skills they learn in sessions with me at home on their own. Recall that all hypnosis is essentially self hypnosis?  The typical process goes something like this: First we discuss your goals to learn what specific things you want to change, stop, or improve. I might have you create some lists or complete some questionnaires to help me be as specific as possible. I then create a custom script or dialog to provide the requested suggestions to your subconscious. At your appointment we review the goals and make sure you are comfortable with the me and the process.  Next I will re-teach your body how to relax by showing you how to create a trance state where the body and then the mind will re-learn how to relax.  This process happens for most people very easily using these trusted techniques. When I see that you are in a relaxed, focused state of awareness, I will suggest to you how you can begin to make the changes you have requested by integrating new strategies and understandings at a deep, subconscious level. Sometimes I may ask you to use your imagination or guide you through scenarios in your mind’s eye. You will always know who you are and what you are doing. You never lose consciousness. It's easy and effective. Afterward you are “awaked” (in quotes because you are never really asleep, only deeply relaxed), we discuss the experience and you leave feeling energized and empowered.  

Sounds nice doesn’t it?  That’s because it is!  

 

There is a lot of unfortunate and inaccurate information out there about what hypnosis is and isn’t.  I’ll do my best to explain it, the same way we do it; in real life, science based terms.   Here we go...

Understanding Hypnosis

The process in a nutshell...

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Chad L. Harrold MA, LPC, CCHP-AP

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Cedar Park, TX 78613

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