What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural state of narrowed, selective concentration initiated by a suggestion either from the environment, from another person or from within the mind of the hypnotic subject. Often, hypnosis incorporates an activated imagination and increased detachment from external experience. Paradoxically, both deepened relaxation and heightened emotional arousal intensify the hypnotic experience.
Who can be hypnotized?
Everyone who lives and breathes, whose mind can be drawn to think a thought, whose biology functions in a relatively normal manner.
Who cannot be hypnotized?
Sometimes, a person already hypnotized by a pre-existing state of mind resists new suggestions. And, sometimes, an unresourceful state, such as fear, causes the individual to believe that formal hypnosis would require giving up self-control. In these few cases, exploring what suggestions are already being followed and which suggestions are desired can be enough to begin a fruitful session. Also, a gentle eyes-open exploration of the states of tension and relaxation are discussed and experienced. From this, it can become clear that the rigidity and tension of unresourceful states hold the individual hostage rather than protecting them from harm.
Will I know what’s going on while I’m hypnotized?
Yes. You will be aware of the world around you as much as your conscious mind requires you to be. What that means is that the world going on outside the room may seem miles away, having little or nothing to do with you at the moment. Rather, your body’s comfort, the creative imagery blossoming in your mind, and the suggestions the hypnotherapist invites you to concentrate upon will seem far more vivid and much more important to you.
Will I remember the hypnotic suggestion?
Most of the time, you will remember the suggestions given to you, since you will be repeating them in your own self-hypnosis practice. Once they are second nature, you may have prolonged periods of amnesia or unawareness while your body goes on about taking the desired action, in just the same way you sometimes mindlessly eat a meal, drive a car or dress yourself in the morning.
Other times, when there has been a long-held resistance to allowing yourself to improve a condition, a tenacious difficulty in dropping a no longer desired behavior, or when the negative opinions of others have dominated your life, an agreement beforehand can generate amnesia after the session. The value of this is to ensure neither old doubts nor fears can crop up to disrupt the suggestion taking solid hold. In these cases, the individual may wonder whether anything much happened during the session, yet in the days and weeks ahead be amazed at how easily he travels the new path in comfort and confidence.
Will I ever do something I don’t want to do?
In life, most of us have taken someone else’s suggestion, which resulted in our doing something we didn’t really want to do. Since hypnosis is the activity of concentrating on suggestions, this is a legitimate question.
This is why, in the first session, we have a relaxed and thorough conversation about your goals, dreams and desired outcomes. The resulting clear understanding of your intentions will ensure that all the suggestions given to you derive from your own declared objectives. In subsequent sessions, frequent review and refinement of those objectives will ensure that the direction you travel in hypnosis will take you swiftly and surely to the fulfillment you desire.
What else is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis can also be understood as the normal state of the subconscious mind. The subconscious is the storehouse of all memories, the center of intuition, the enactor of all those mental and physical processes which sustain us. What makes the action of the subconscious hypnotic is that it functions deductively, that is, the subconscious acts only on directions provided from another source.
As the first statement about hypnosis notes, those sources can be the environment, another person or the conscious mind of the hypnotic subject. The subconscious does not discern the value or truth of the directive given it. That discernment must happen in the conscious mind, whose prerogative it is to choose, evaluate, and choose again.
However, the ability of discernment in the individual’s conscious mind must be intentionally reawakened. First, we are born into families, cultures and the world as it is in the era of our birth. From the beginning, suggestions are made to us and we follow them with unquestioning obedience. This is sometimes called the “innocent genius” stage where we learn exceedingly fast how to model and imitate those around us. This is the essential socialization of every child, preparing us to join the collective of humans into which we are born.
Through this modeling and direction of his parents’ suggestions, the child is potty trained, taught to eat with utensils, and begins to learn how to participate in a small social unit. Then, his conditioning will continue with formal schooling in language arts, mathematics, computer use, science, material consumption, political alliances, peer pressure, and collective opinion. However, along with being taught (which is a form of being hypnotized) what to wear, how to eat and what ideas to think, the most powerfully hypnotic of all suggestions made to the child is the definition of who he or she is.
The rewards for this compliance are often so enticing that, for most people, it takes a couple of decades before they awaken to sensing that there is another, truer definition of who they are, their destiny’s path as it were. Yet, to follow another path, to proclaim a different definition of oneself is a difficult challenge. For those who cannot meet the challenge, inner conflict arises as the person attempts to deny their inner awakening. It is this self-denial which brings about an imbalance. And, some of the choices taken in an attempt to rectify this imbalance throw the individual further off center: overeating, drug and alcohol use, smoking, excess computer or TV engagement, angry outbursts, incessant superficial entanglements with other imbalanced people.
Nevertheless, any choice that leads far enough into imbalance will ultimately compel the individual to find a better way. And, the process of hypnosis, administered by a professional hypnotherapist whose sole intention is to help rebalance the client, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to realign with your destiny’s path.
Here at Sausalito Hypnosis Center, we listen carefully as you explore your destiny’s path, asking the questions that ensure you are understood. Then, through the process of hypnotic relaxation, we guide you along that path so you may vividly sense it, refine it and experience it as real and present. And then, we teach you self-hypnosis, giving you the means and method for traveling your chosen path in confidence and certainty. Once on that path, the subconscious mind takes over and follows with unerring determination and near effortless ease the new route chosen.