If you have not been hypnotized before you are probably wondering what is it like to be hypnotized? In my twenty plus years as a Clinical Hypnotherapist I have learned that it is important to address all of the client’s fears and misconceptions about hypnosis. Hollywood and the media have done a good job in misleading the public about the true nature and benefits of hypnosis.
So what is it really like to be hypnotized? Well, first of all we need to remember that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis so you are not under the control of the hypnotist. At any point during the hypnosis session you have the ability to exit the hypnotic state though it does get a little harder once you are in a deep state, but you certainly could if you had a good enough reason.
Being in a hypnotic state is a little bit like the semi-awake state you find yourself in after the alarm goes off in the morning. If you are like me you turn off the alarm, roll over and give yourself a few more minutes to awaken a little more gracefully. At this point you are aware of any sounds around you like a car driving by outside but you really can’t be bothered with any of them.
If someone ran into your bedroom shouting “the building is on fire” you would be wide awake in a matter of seconds. The same is the case in a hypnotic state, if you have a good enough reason you can become wide awake very quickly.
One of the question I commonly receive is “Will I remember the session?”. The answer is that most of the time you remember everything though at times you may be drifting in and out of conscious awareness. Feeling comfortable with the hypnotic state of relaxation is really about trusting your unconscious mind to look after you so your conscious mind can relax.
The key to trusting your unconscious mind is remembering that your unconscious mind keeps you alive every moment of every day. It keeps your heart pumping like clockwork and breathes you when you don’t breathe consciously, which is most of the time. Your unconscious mind takes care of hundreds of other tasks like digestion, your immune system and memory storage.
To maximize the benefits of hypnotherapy it is important to give the unconscious mind sufficient autonomy without sabotaging the process.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of what it is like to be hypnotized.