Hypnosis, often portrayed in movies and stage shows, has long been a subject of curiosity and intrigue. Many wonder if it holds the potential to unlock hidden capabilities of the mind and facilitate positive changes in our lives. But does hypnosis work for everyone? In this blog we will explore if hypnotherapy is a real therapy proven to work, what personality traits make a good candidate for hypnotherapy and how can you tell if you experienced hypnosis in the 'right way'.
Hypnosis is a state of heightened focus and concentration that allows individuals to enter a deep state of relaxation. It involves the guidance of a trained hypnotherapist who uses various techniques to induce this trance-like state. During hypnosis, the subconscious mind becomes more receptive to positive suggestions, making it possible to reframe thoughts, behaviours, and perceptions. You can learn more about it in my article on hypnosis and how it works.
Is hypnotherapy effective?
In 1970, the American Psychological Association revealed that hypnotherapy had a 93% recovery rate after six sessions.
This is much higher than behaviour therapy and psychoanalysis, which require countless sessions. Another study, published by Irving Kirsch, found that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) becomes more effective when paired with hypnotherapy, especially when working on depression. Other research shows that hypnotherapy is helpful in addressing issues about anxiety, self-worth and self-confidence, motivation, and phobias.
Over the last decades as technology, which enables us to study human brain, evolved, more and more scientific studies and research keep proving that hypnotherapy is one of the most effective forms of therapy available.
An essential part of hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a physical relaxation coupled with an elevated state of mental awareness. It is a phenomenal combination of a focused and at the same time relaxed state that allows you to tap into your subconscious resources to help you identify what stops you from achieving your goal, help you heal your emotional wounds, and ultimately create the life you truly desire.
Considering all the misconceptions about hypnosis that have been fed to us through media and stage hypnosis performances, it is little surprise that some are left guessing whether they can or cannot be hypnotised and if hypnotherapy is legit.
In my hypnotherapy practice in Sydney I often encounter clients who come to me with the question; is hypnotherapy a therapy that can help me? As we start talking, it becomes clear that they have doubts about their ability to experience hypnosis. They wonder if they will be able to focus long enough to enter the state of trance because their mind is too busy, or they get easily distracted and find it difficult to relax. Some are concerned that their strong will and desire for control will stop them from opening their mind to positive suggestions. Others heard that hypnotherapy uses only visualization techniques and works for creative types.
Will hypnosis work for you?
Hypnotherapy works with a wide range of issues, though there is a catch! You must truly want that change. Remember when I said in my previous blogs that hypnotherapists are not magicians? We are not, but you are! All we do is help you create your magic.
While many claim they want to make major life changes, we are often subconsciously sabotaging our success through habits and old belief patterns.
Think of weight-loss or toxic relationship patterns. We all know that eating copious amounts of carbs before going to bed is not a good idea, neither is going out with an emotionally unavailable man. And yet, it is hard to resist those old choice habits and is much easier to sabotage our best efforts to change.
Hypnotherapy work really well in such cases, because both the root cause of the problem and the therapy itself take place in the subconscious. Imagine directly addressing the pilot rather than the flight attendant. The pilot (you) can still choose to ignore the suggestions but as you are more receptive and in a heightened state of awareness while under hypnosis, you are more likely to really hear the message and respond positively!
The effectiveness of hypnosis largely depends on the individual's susceptibility to suggestion and their rapport with the hypnotherapist of choice. Some people are highly responsive to hypnosis and experience profound changes, while others may have a more limited response. Research suggests that individuals who possess a greater ability to concentrate and have a vivid imagination tend to be more receptive to hypnosis. Here you can learn more about the Best Hypnotherapy Practice Principles.
Who is a good candidate for hypnosis?
There is no one type of person that makes a good candidate for hypnotherapy. A hypnotherapist uses various techniques to induce hypnosis usually based on his or her assessment of a client’s language. Here are some of the most common characteristics of clients who achieved best results:
● Open-minded individuals who find it easy to follow their imagination and find themselves daydreaming from time to time
● Those who can easily concentrate and focus their attention. Very typical of type ‘A’ personalities who love working towards a goal
● Strong-willed individuals who are determined to achieve change. Despite what some might believe, a strong will is encouraged in hypnotherapy. Not only will it help you to enter a state of trance, better focus on positive suggestions, but it will also accelerate the change towards your goals.
● Anyone with a strong connection to their emotions, such as people who experience phobias or are empaths.
Those with a vivid imagination and the ability to visualise and engage in mental imagery tend to respond more favorably to hypnosis. These traits allow them to embrace the suggestions and create vivid mental representations of desired changes.
An important part of an effective hypnosis experience is your rapport with a hypnotherapist – a connection necessary for mutual trust and any kind of mind work whether it is hypnotherapy or psychotherapy. Much like other forms of therapy, there can be a mismatch between you and the therapists. Maybe your personalities just don’t match or you can’t feel 100% comfortable with the one that you have now. It’s okay to try a different hypnotherapist.
If you are concerned about releasing control during hypnosis, the chemistry you have with your hypnotherapist would be an important ingredient for the success of your sessions. Most hypnotherapists have an option of a free call on their websites. I highly recommend that you use this option. It helps you to learn more about hypnotherapist and get a feel for him or her before you decide to sign up for your first session.
If you are an intensely analytical type of person, known as auditory digital personality type, and you tend to process your experience through an internal monologue, then it is very likely that you would need more than one session before you can truly relax into hypnosis. Simply because it might take you a bit longer to make sense of the experience and figure out the way it works for you. I often encountered this in men who are resisting the connection with their emotional side. This does not mean that your first hypnotherapy sessions will be a waste as it will help you in understanding your inner processes much better. Be forward with your hypnotherapist and let them know about your experience, so they can adjust their induction techniques to fit your needs. It is amazing to witness this type of personality to let go and allow themselves to experience fundamental shifts on the deepest levels.
The limitations of hypnosis
While hypnosis can be a valuable tool, it's not a magical solution that guarantees success for everyone. There are certain limitations to consider:
Individual Variations: Each person's mind is unique, and responses to hypnosis can vary. What works for one person may not have the same impact on another. It's essential to respect individual differences and acknowledge that hypnosis may not work equally well for everyone.
Personal Motivation and Commitment: Hypnosis is most effective when you actively engage in the process, maintain a positive attitude, and commit to making desired changes. Without personal motivation and effort, the results of hypnosis may be limited.
Severe Mental Health Conditions: While hypnosis can be beneficial for many, it may not be suitable for individuals with severe mental health conditions or those who require specialised treatments. In such cases, it's crucial to consult with qualified healthcare professionals for appropriate guidance.
Here you can learn more about benefits and risks of hypnosis.
So, does hypnosis work for everyone? The answer is that it varies from person to person. Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for personal transformation and self-improvement, but its effectiveness depends on various factors, including individual susceptibility to suggestion, mindset, trust, and personal motivation. While some individuals experience profound changes through hypnosis, others may have a more limited response. If you're considering hypnosis, it's important to approach it with an open mind, seek guidance from a qualified professional, and be willing to actively participate in the process. By doing so, you can unlock the potential of your mind and harness the power of hypnosis to bring positive changes to your life.