What is hypnosis?
I started hypnotizing myself when I was a little kid. I used to sit quietly in some corner, tune out the world, and connect to something deeper that felt more sane. So for me, hypnosis is just another way of describing being still and going inside. I felt like I'd sink peacefully down to the bottom of some lovely ocean where it felt calm, clear and true, and just rest there for a bit. Maybe I was actually meditating — meditation and hypnosis are very similar I reckon. For me, meditation is like dropping down under the waves into the quiet, deep of the ocean, and hypnosis is doing the same thing, but with the purpose of catching a specific fish. Hypnosis has an intention, something you're looking to get clarity on, understand or access etc.
There's a certain brain state where the doors to the conscious and unconscious minds are open at the same time and both parts can communicate and access each other. Everyone goes through that place at least twice a day, between waking and sleeping and back again. It's a very creative place, where our deepest intelligence meets our day to day awareness.
This is the same place that we go to in hypnosis — where the conscious and unconscious minds are open to each other and can talk. In hypnotherapy, it is you that connects with you deeper self and finds what you are looking for. I'm simply your guide. It’s your exploration and you’re in control. I here to show you the way and support you to connect with what you most want.
What does being hypnotized feel like?
Some people say it's like lying on a soft, grassy river bank staring up at the sky, considering things from a place of deep rest, peace, creativity, safety and relaxation. Or, you know that immersed, absorbed feeling you get when you're watching a great movie or book and the rest of the world disappears? It's like that. It’s just a process of focused absorption. It's a safe, gentle, natural process that you are completely in control of, and people generally very much enjoy. People are generally going in and out of different kinds of trances all day long, so it's a very natural thing to do.
Can I be made to do things I don't want to do under hypnosis?
No. A person cannot be made to do things that they don't want to do under hypnosis. If this was possible, then people wouldn't struggle to give up smoking, for example, because they could simply override their desire to do it by force.
Instead, true healing comes from finding the positive intention of the behavior, understanding the deep unconscious needs it's meeting, taking care of this, and exploring to find other, more interesting and satisfying ways to meet those underlying needs. This could happen in one session, but only because deep and truthful healing work was happening with the full, whole-hearted participation of and guidance from the client. Or it might take longer. Or it might not happen at all.
Anyhow, by this example I hope that you can see that hypnotherapy is a process of assisting you to explore yourself. One in which you, and only you, choose what is right for you, and have control. Your subconscious mind will turn my words into what it most wants to hear, what's truly best for you, and use them to serve your highest benefit. Anything else won't stick. I tell my friends who ask about it — I can't make anyone do anything, I can't even make my boyfriend vacuum the house, so, you know.
What will happen in the session?
We'll talk, see what you're wanting and how your hypnotherapy session can support you best. Then I'll ask you to get really comfortable and relax and guide you to find your way to that still, quiet place inside yourself where your deepest intelligence is. I'll give you suggestions to support you to get there, until you have dropped down underneath the chatter of your conscious mind. Then we will do the work that we've discussed and agreed upon, perhaps calling in various positive experiences or learnings that you'd like to use now, perhaps inviting in a future self, or having a good look at the mechanism of a habit, perhaps melting away some anxiety and replacing it with ease, or visualizing success in an upcoming challenge. There's lots of ways we can work. We’ll stay in gentle communication all the way through, so that you can tell me what's going on, and I can stay with you to guide you however supports you best. When the work is complete, I'll guide you back out slowly and gently. Clients mostly have a big smile on their face when they come out, remember everything that happened, and often say they notice big, easy, subtle changes in their lives afterwards.
Can you guarantee results?
No. It works very well for many people much of the time. And people are complicated. I cannot guarantee success. But people usually know after the first session if hypnotherapy is right for them.
How many sessions will I need?
Sometimes one session is sufficient, sometimes more. Ongoing sessions are great because the work layers up and gets more and more deep and powerful. Six sessions or so is generally considered to be enough to address something substantial. Some clients like to continue weekly, especially if they are going through something challenging, or need some extra support. Some find that one, two or three sessions do the trick. I encourage clients to consider committing to the idea of six sessions and if things happen faster, then that's super cool.
Will I feel sleepy afterwards?
The final part of a session usually includes a process for integrating and gently returning to waking consciousness, feeling focused and alert. People generally find it pretty easy to reorient to their waking state after their sessions, and many feel clearer, calmer and more energized.
Can I take home an audio file to listen to later?
Yes! This is an excellent way to maximize your sessions. Please let me know if you'd like a recording at the beginning of your session. I also offer clients access to a library of my guided imagery, that they can download for their exclusive and use going forward.