August 14, 2013
Power of Hypnosis
Did you know that traditional psychoanalysis has a 38% success rate after 600 sessions? That's once a week for twelve years. Behavior therapy has a 72% success rate after 22 sessions, once a week for about six months. Hypnotherapy has a 93% success rate after 6 sessions. (American Health Magazine study).
Usually I recommend a client start with three sessions, although they will know after the first one if hypnotherapy is right for them. The first session is 90 minutes long, and we easily spend an hour doing an intake, ie listening to the client tell their story, define their goals, and create an action plan. Simply telling one's truth to an attentive listener is a form of hypnosis known as open eyed trance, much like being on a road trip and conversing with a good friend. I teach a simple self hypnosis technique and usually guide the client into three short trances of 5-10 minutes each.
In a typical session, we chat for 15 minutes to define goals and intentions. The client then sits or lies down on massage table. I do a basic relaxation and a count down to deepen trance. We spend 25-45 minutes exploring the inner landscape. Then I do a count up and check in. Homework is assigned.
The second session is devoted to establishing inner resources. This can mean guiding the client to what is called a safe space, connecting with sources of strength, and anchoring any feelings of well being in the body. Sometimes we do a fantasy vacation, where the client enjoys feelings of peace and deep relaxation, sometimes we do a shamanic journey, in order to meet spirit guides including animals, plants and Divine beings.
The third session is often when the real work begins. By now the client and I are used to each other, they know what to expect, and the real layers of the onion begin to unfold. Here we may do work to put unhealthy habits or negative emotions in what is called a container, to either be disposed of or put away for later. Also an imaginary screen is often used to create emotional distance for the client, yet away to review the past and envision the future.
Subsequent sessions serve to further peel the layers, reinforce desired states of being, and continue to teach self hypnosis techniques to the client. For example, we may examine the inner critic and change it to an inner coach, get in touch with an inner nurturer as well as the inner child, or reactive ideomotor signals, a technique to really tap into our inner wisdom. As well as age regression and progression, we can do both past life regressions and future life progressions. Dream work often comes up in hypnotherapy, as here is a natural state where the subconscious is speaking to us through symbols and metaphors.
Indeed, much of hypnosis feels like being in a lucid dream. It is easy for the client to communicate and to remember everything that they experienced while in trance. Most clients record their sessions on their phones, so that they can review the material and in fact take it much further. All hypnosis is self hypnosis, just as all healing is self healing. Working with a hypnotherapist is helpful in the process of being gentle guided and being given the heartfelt encouragement you need. Try some hypnosis today!