Quack like a duck!

In this blog my goal is to explain clinical hypnosis in a way that makes sense to people who are not professionals. There are so many aspects of human behavior which can be helped by hypnotherapy that I thought it would be worthwhile to examine these areas in this series of blog posts.

The first, and most important question people ask me about hypnosis is whether anybody can be hypnotized. This leads to questions about how it works, what it can help, can it make people do crazy things, and so forth. As a certified practitioner of clinical hypnotherapy, I can speak to these questions, drawing on over 17 years of experience working directly with clients.

First and foremost, you should know that hypnotherapy is not something that is “done to you” like a magic spell. Spinning wheels and swinging pocket watches are theatrical devices used by stage hypnotists. What I am discussing here is clinical therapeutic hypnosis, not entertainment. Hypnotherapy is a partnership, not a magic act. It is a conscious decision to make a positive change in your life, and the hypnotherapist is a partner in helping you make those changes.

Thus, in answer to the first question, anybody can be hypnotized if they choose to be. If your spouse drags you into the office and insists that you seek hypnotherapy, chances are I won’t be able to help you. You, the client, must guide me to your goals, not the other way around. I then take those goals and use hypnosis to bring positive suggestions to your subconscious mind to help you achieve them. In later posts, I will describe the nature of the subconscious mind and how I use it to help you make desired changes in your life. For now, it is enough to say that hypnosis is not a spell or supernatural. It is simply an enhanced state of awareness that allows you to penetrate your resistance to change and bring your powerful subconscious into alignment with your goals.

So in answer to how it works, I can say that I use hypnosis to guide you into a relaxed level of subconscious awareness, a level where your mind will accept positive suggestions and make those suggestions part of your operating system. Again, I will go into more detail in later posts, but for now I want to emphasize that my job is to use the natural state of hypnosis to help you change aspects of your behavior that you want to change. If you don’t want to change, then I can’t help you. But once you make the commitment to reach a goal, I can stand beside you and use hypnosis to help you attain that goal.

It should be evident, then, that in hypnosis, nobody can be made to do anything that runs contrary to that person’s beliefs, values or morals. You have to believe in the goals of the therapy, or you will simply bring yourself out of hypnosis (yes, it’s voluntary) and never come back.

Clinical hypnosis is based in cognitive behavioral science. I know that portrayals of hypnosis in the popular media refer to it mockingly or in unrealistic ways, but in the clinical sense, it is simply a natural state of consciousness that I utilize to help you make positive changes in your life, according to your wishes. I cannot make you quack like a duck, or make you do jumping jacks in the middle of Wal-Mart. But I can help you with real life concerns, such as motivation, stress, unwarranted fears, unhelpful or negative habits and many other issues which hold us back.

In closing this introductory blog. I would like to say that as a practitioner of clinical hypnosis, I am not immune to the same fears and concerns that everyone else experiences. In fact, I became a hypnotherapist many years ago after experiencing some problems in my life that led me to see a hypnotherapist. The experience was life changing for me, and led me to quit my corporate job and become a hypnotherapist. I understand the fears, the concerns, the hesitation. I also understand that if you really want to make a positive change in your life, and you are struggling, there is a way forward. No drugs needed, no gadgets, just the natural power of the subconscious mind. It’s a partnership that made a huge difference in my life, and I spend my days helping other people the same way I was helped almost 20 years ago.

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