WHAT IS CLINICAL HYPNOSIS?
Clinical Hypnosis is used to treat physical or psychological problems. Clinical hypnosis can be defined as an altered state of consciousness, awareness or perception. Hypnosis is a highly relaxed state in which the client’s consciousness and subconscious mind is focused and receptive to therapeutic suggestion.
WHAT DOES HYPNOSIS FEEL LIKE?
Almost everyone has experienced an altered state at some time in his or her life. Think of those times when you were driving on an expressway and caught yourself briefly unaware of what you were doing, or when you or your children were so engrossed in a TV program that you were unaware that someone else had entered the room. Hypnosis is a safe procedure when used professionally. The relaxation you will experience will be pleasant and refreshing.
HOW HYPNOSIS IS TYPICALLY USED TO TREAT PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS?
Some examples of the use of hypnosis, by discipline include but are not limited to:
- MENTAL HEALTH
Habit control such as smoking, hair pulling, weight control, phobias, depression, anxiety, sexual problems, alcoholism, speech problems, acute and chronic pain, self-esteem/ego strengthening, memory/concentration improvement, performance anxiety (including sports).
Medical hypnosis can be a very effective adjunctive approach in dealing with anesthesia, pre/post surgery, gynecology, control of bleeding, burn therapy, dermatology, pain and habit control, bowel disorders including IBS, and issues of compliance with medical management such as Diabetes.
Fear of dentistry, dental surgery, bruxism (teeth grinding), control of bleeding, tongue biting, orthodontia, gagging, and general oral hygiene.
HOW LONG DOES HYPNOTIC TREATMENT TAKE?
Length of hypnotic treatment is like most other treatment procedures. It will vary depending on the nature and severity of the problem. Treatment may be as short as one session for such things as smoking, to several sessions for other problems. Hypnosis is frequently used in conjunction with other forms of psychotherapy. Hypnotic treatment is only one tool, and when used by itself the treatment is usually short term.
WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE PAY FOR HYPONOSIS TREATMENT?
Hypnotherapy is usually used in combination with other forms of treatment and is considered as adjunctive to individual psychotherapy. Some insurance companies will cover a percentage of the cost of individual psychotherapy. In all states, only treatment by a licensed professional will be covered.
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HYPNOSIS
- LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
All Hypnosis is SELF Hypnosis. The therapist is just a guide or facilitator for the client to enter this deep state of relaxation. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness but the client is in control at all times. You will be aware of everything in the environment and hear everything that the professional is saying. Some people compare it to lying on the beach and just drifting into relaxation where the conscious mind is “off to the side”. You may hear sounds around you but pay little attention to them. If you needed to become completely alert for any reason you would automatically come out of the hypnotic state.
- WEAKENING OF THE WILL
Your will is not weakened and you cannot be “under the spell” of the therapist as falsely depicted in the media or movies. You are in control and, if you wanted to for any reason, interrupt the state of hypnosis, you would do so by simply opening your eyes. Most people find this type of deep relaxation so pleasant they are not eager to leave it as it is a rare time when they allow themselves a chance to just “be” in the calmness of their own inner space. In addition, the client cannot be made to say, do or reveal anything that they would not otherwise do in their waking state. In fact, if someone wants to tell a lie in hypnosis they could do this just as easily as they could not in hypnosis since they are in control at all times.
Hypnosis is not sleep and in fact the EEG pattern of sleep is very different from that of hypnosis.
IS HYPNOSIS RIGHT FOR EVERYONE?
All approaches are right for some people some of the time. The therapist will do an evaluation to determine if hypnosis is recommended for your situation. If it is contraindicated, recommendations will be made for more appropriate approaches that would best serve you as an individual.
HYPNOSIS CAN BE A POWERFUL TOOL TO ASSIST IN DEALING WITH MANY EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ISSUES EITHER AS AN ADJUNCT TO OTHER TREATMENTS OR AS A STAND ALONE APPROACH.
For more information regarding Clinical Hypnosis contact:
The American Society for Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) at