What happens in a hypnosis session?
As a hypnotherapist myself I can forget that hypnosis is new to some people and they might not know what to expect. Not knowing can make the thought of making an appointment daunting. Especially when your only experience of hypnosis may be entertainment shows you’ve seen on TV. So I thought it was time for me to fill you in on what a hypnosis session with me is like.
First of all hypnosis is a lot less dramatic than you might expect. I won’t be commanding your mind and you won’t be clucking like a chicken. Hypnosis is a natural state of attention. It’s a bit like watching TV and becoming so absorbed you forget to move for a while and get pins and needles; or like when you’re engrossed in a book and you can almost see the characters around you. With hypnosis your focus is internal. It’s a deep level of focus that helps us use the imagination to change how we feel, think and behave. This works because on a certain level the mind can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. (Ever had the experience of waking up from a dream and being angry with someone even though you know it was a dream?)
I usually speak to people before their first session to answer any questions and get some information about what it is they’d like help with. So we’ll have already talked briefly before the first session. First sessions can be up to an hour and a half to give us plenty of time. A session starts with a conversation. (It would be odd and not very comfortable to be asked to lie down and close your eyes in front of someone you’d just met.) It might seem more wide ranging than you expect. That’s because as well as wanting to know what the problem is it’s also important for me to know what you want instead and how you’ll know when it’s not a problem any more. It’s much easier to move forward when you know where you’re aiming to go. It’s also important to find out about parts of your life where the problem doesn’t exist as these are resources we can use to help. So we’ll talk for a while until we have enough information to use in the hypnosis part of the session.
The hypnosis itself involves you either sitting or lying down comfortably. People usually close their eyes. It’s not essential although most people do find it helps them to concentrate internally. Then I’ll begin to talk to you as you relax more. It’s a bit like daydreaming while I talk to you about different imagery and ideas. The idea is that you become absorbed internally and the room around you becomes less important. Your attention may drift a little but the messages are being taken in by the unconscious part of your mind anyway. That part which takes care of doing all the automatic stuff like pumping your heart and growing your hair. People find it’s a very pleasant experience. Like any conversation you may remember everything or it might be more bitty. There’s no way to get stuck in this state because like a day dream left to your own devices you’d drift back to reality when you’re ready.
When we’ve done the work I’ll let you know and give you some time to reorientate yourself to the room. It can feel a bit like waking up after being asleep. Once you’re fully awake we may leave the session there for the day or you may like to talk about your experience. I may also give you a small task to do which will help the learnings to embed further.
It’s a good idea to leave at least at week between appointments to give your mind time to process the session. This happens on an unconscious level and isn’t something you need to think about consciously apart from looking out for any changes.
So that’s it in a nutshell. If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.