How Hypnosis Helps


How to overcome fears strengthen yourself and accomplish your goals.

When you think of hypnosis or hypnotherapy, what may come to mind are the stage hypnotists who take volunteers from the audience, hypnotize them, and give them suggestions to quack like a duck, act drunk, or laugh hysterically. Working with a psychotherapist who has been trained in clinical hypnosis to help people like you is an entirely different experience.

Everyone has experienced hypnotic trance states that occur naturally. You are in a trance state when, while driving your car, you miss your exit because you are daydreaming. Similarly, you are in a trance state when you are so absorbed in a book, movie, or TV show that you fail to hear what others around you are saying. I can teach you how to voluntarily enter such trance states and to use them to improve your life.

Not only is hypnosis useful in quitting smoking, losing weight, or changing other habits, but it can also help you with:

Pain relief
Stress reduction
Reduction of stress-related symptoms such as headaches, and
dermatological and gastrointestinal problems
Preparation for medical procedures and surgery
Preparation for labor and childbirth
Reduction of side effects due to radiation and chemotherapy
Enhancement of immune system functioning
Enhancement of performance skills, especially athletic and musical performance skill
Reduction of fears and phobias, (for example, fear of flying, public speaking, stage fright).
Improvement in test taking

Any situation where you might become anxious can be handled more effectively with hypnosis. Hypnosis can also be useful for enhancing, healing, and strengthening purposes. It can help increase self-confidence, self-esteem, and feelings of mastery and control.

The experience of hypnosis is usually pleasant. It does not involve going to sleep, losing consciousness, or giving up control. Instead, it involves entering a state of relaxation, or a state of alertness, where your attention is narrowed and focused and where you are able to screen out distractions. You will know exactly where you are and you will be able to come out of trance at any time.

Typically, in our first session together, we will talk about what you want to work on and what you can expect from hypnosis. Then I will teach you a hypnotic induction procedure. There are many kinds of inductions; some involving concentrating on breathing and muscle relaxation, or fixing your eyes on a particular spot, or imagining going to a lovely and peaceful place. Some people go into trance very easily and others take longer, but almost anyone who wants to have the experience of going into a hypnotic trance can do so.

Once you are in trance, I will make suggestions geared to your particular situation. For example, if you are bothered by headaches, I might ask you to visualize an image of your headache and notice its size, shape, color, texture, etc. Then I might suggest that you modify and transform that image. You could choose to break it up in small pieces, shrink it down to a tiny size, sweep it away, or transform it into an image of a cool mountain lake. There are a multitude of creative possibilities.

Initially, I will guide you, but then teach you self-hypnosis so that you can practice on your own. With your permission, I can record one or more of our sessions so that you would have a CD to listen to at home. Often, only a few sessions with me are necessary before you notice positive results.

This article was originally published at Dr Shirley McNeal. Reprinted with permission from the author.