Clinical Hypnosis

What is Hypnosis?

The brain operates in four general states determined by the frequency of the electricity generated by the exchange of chemicals in the neural pathways. The four states include Full Conscious Awareness, the Hypnotic State, the Sleep State, and the Dream State, which occurs in REM cycles approximately every 90 minutes during Sleep State.

These four states correspond to electrical activity in the brain and are defined by frequency ranges on an EEG.  Full Conscious Awareness occurs when the majority of the electrical activity in the brain is in the beta range (14-35 Hz).  The Hypnotic State occurs when brain activity is in the alpha range (8-13 Hz).  The Dream State occurs when brain activity is in the theta range (4-7 Hz), and the Sleep State occurs when brain activity is in the delta range (.5-3 Hz).

Full Conscious Awareness is where we spend most of our waking hours.  In this state, our mind is attentive and uses logic to reason, evaluate, assess, judge, and make decisions.  Unfortunately, when making life changes, the conscious mind often gets in the way due to cognitive filtering or distortion.

In the Hypnotic State, the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious is opened, memories become easily accessible, and new information is stored.  In the Hypnotic State, you are not really "thinking" in the traditional sense.  You are "experiencing" without questioning, without critical judgment or conscious analysis, like when you watch a movie, and the Hypnotherapist can make suggestions that are more likely to "stick" - precisely because your conscious mind is not getting in the way.  You are not "judging" or being "critical" of the suggestions.

We pass through all four bands sequentially as the electrical activity decreases on our way to sleep and as it increases up on our way to total wakefulness.  Regardless of whether we are on our way to sleep or to wakefulness, when we pass through the upper theta/lower alpha range we go into hypnosis automatically.  There is no power on earth that can stop it from happening but likewise, there is no person or power on earth that can force you into it;  you must want to go into hypnosis and follow the hypnotist's direction to the letter.

Am I under someone elses control?

Hypnosis is a perfectly natural state, where you are in total control at all times; you cannot be made to do anything that is not in your interest or that can in any way harm you.  Hypnosis can be compared to a pleasant state of relaxation, where the therapist uses ideas, concepts, linguistic techniques and imagery to communicate an instruction or set of ideas to the subconscious mind on your behalf.

Training and Experience

Clinical Hypnotherapists are normally Psychologists who have specialized in the field of Clinical Hypnosis and have therefore undergone extensive academic and practical training.  There are many lay–practitioners who also practice Hypnotherapy. Always confirm the training and experience of any therapist that you intend to consult prior to entering therapy.