Updated: Sep 15
Have you ever wondered if hypnotherapy will work for you? 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'.
Does hypnotherapy work
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 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?
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.
What makes a good candidate for hypnotherapy
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
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 in NLP 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.
Have you experienced hypnosis
Sometimes my clients tell me after we complete their treatment that at the very beginning, they were unsure whether they experienced hypnotic state the ‘right way’ and how surprised they were to learn that they could experience hypnosis in various ways. For this reason, I would like to introduce you to four different levels of hypnosis that are used in hypnotherapy protocols:
01. Light Trance
It is a little more than deep relaxation with a focus of attention. The majority of people achieve this level very easily.
Your body is relaxed, and your hearing can become more acute to the sounds around you. At this level, your mind is already open for suggestions to be received. Remember, it is not the hypnosis itself that helps you achieve desired results from your sessions but the therapy we provide within the hypnotic state. Analogies, metaphors, and guided imagery facilitate suggestions at this level.
02. Medium Trance
Your body is even more relaxed. You are aware of external sounds but are becoming more focused on internal thoughts and feelings. It is like being ‘in the zone’ where nothing matters other than a task at hand. In a medium trance, people use their imaginations more freely. Occasionally, upon reorienting, some of my clients do not remember what occurred (this phenomenon is called ‘spontaneous amnesia’) or how much time has passed (this phenomenon is called ‘time distortion’).
03. Deep Level Trance
This level is also known as Somnambulist level. Approximately 1 out of 10 can experience this level of hypnosis without practice and conditioning under the guidance of a skilled hypnotist.
Those who naturally can experience this tend to be targeted by stage hypnotists during shows. Hence, the misconception about the experience of therapeutic hypnosis. This is the most profound level of relaxation where you can hear but can’t be bothered responding to typical external influences as you focus your attention on your internal reality.
04. Waking Hypnosis
Waking hypnosis was famously used by Milton Ericsson. This is when hypnotic language is used during communication in a waking state and hypnotherapists use it as soon as you come through the doors. That’s right, you can be in a trance with your eyes open.
If we look at science, therapeutic hypnosis most commonly uses Alpha (α) and Theta (θ) brain waves. Alpha (α) equals the light trance when you are very relaxed and have passive attention. And Theta (θ) is a medium trance when you are deeply relaxed, inwardly focused.
Who hypnotherapy does not work for
Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool that will help you let go of old habits, patterns, and unproductive behaviours. But it's important to understand that hypnotherapy does not work for everyone all the time.
There are some instances where people won’t be as responsive to hypnotherapy, such as:
● someone with a mental disorder and on medication
● someone under the influence of excess alcohol or mind-altering drugs
● someone who is highly cynical or skeptical and simply does not want to change
● anyone who does not want to be hypnotised
Can hypnotherapy help you
Hypnotherapy is an effective tool to help you improve your life if you truly want to change. If you are still wondering whether you can be hypnotized, I invite you to take this test and learn more about way hypnotherapy can work for you.
If you are looking for more details about my services you can check my next article "Can you lose control during hypnotherapy? "