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Hypnotic trance is the simple shifting back and forth between the conscious and subconscious mind, a natural process that occurs 80% of every day.
If you have nervous symptoms such as tension depression fears fatigue and certain physical complaints for which your doctor finds no physical basis; if you find it difficult to get along in your work or in your relations with people; if you have a school, Sex, or marital problem; or if you merely feel irritable, unhappy, and believe you are nor getting the most out of life, hypnotherapy will be of help to you.
Nervous symptoms and unwarranted unhappiness are the product of inner emotional conflicts. In hypnotherapy you are helped to understand your conflicts. In this way it is possible for you to do something constructive about solving them.
Many physical symptoms are psychosomatic in nature which means that they have an emotional or nervous basis. When you come to tlliI1k of it, it is not really so strange that emotional strain or worry should produce physical symptoms. After all, every organ in your body is connected with your brain by nerve channels; and so it is logical that when your nervous system is upset by some crisis or conflict, you may feel the effects in various organs of the body.
No. Even if you have no serious symptoms it is difficult to work out emotional problems by yourself because you are too close to them and cannot see them clearly. More and more people, even those with a great deal of psychological knowledge, are seeking help these days because they realize this. The fact that you desire aid is a compliment to your judgment and is no indication that you are approaching a mental breakdown. Hypnotherapy.has helped countess numbers of people to overcome serious emotional symptoms and has enabled many others -':to increase their working capacity and to better their relationships with people.
In scientific work, records are necessary since they permit a more thorough dealing with one's problems. It is understandable that you might be concerned about what happens to the information about you because much or all of this information is highly personal. Case records are confidential. No outsider, not even your closest relative or family physician is permitted to see your case record without your written permission.

1. EXACTLY WHAT IS HYPNOSIS? Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness that occurs normally in every person just before he enters into the sleep state. In therapeutic hypnosis we prolong this brief interlude so that we can work within its bounds.
2. CAN EVERYBODY BE HYPNOTIZED? Yes, because it is a normal state that everybody passes through before going to sleep. However, it is possible to resist hypnosis like it is possible to resist going to sleep. But even if one resists hypnosis, with practice the resistance can be overcome.
3. WHAT IS THE VALUE OF HYPNOSIS? There is no magic in hypnosis. There are some conditions in which it is useful and others in which no great benefit is derived. It is employed in medicine to reduce tension and pain which accompany various physical problems, and to aid certain rehabilitative procedures. In psychiatric practice it is helpful in short term therapy, and also, in some cases, in long term treatment where obstinate resistance has been encountered.
4. WHO CAN DO HYPNOSIS? Only a qualified professional person should decide whether one needs hypnosis or could benefit from it. The professional person requires special training in the techniques and uses of hypnosis before he can be considered qualified, and should be certified in Hypnotherapy.
5. WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT HYPNOSIS? Hypnosis is a much misunderstood phenomenon. For centuries it has been affiliated with spiritualism, witchcraft and various kinds of mumbo jumbo. The exaggerated claims made for it by undisciplined persons have turned some people against it. Some doctors and psychiatrists too doubt the value of hypnosis, because Freud gave it up eighty years ago, and because they themselves have not had much experience with its modern uses.
6. CAN'T HYPNOSIS BE DANGEROUS? The hypnotic state is no more dangerous than is the sleep state. But unskilled operators may give subjects foolish suggestions, such as one often witnesses in stage hypnosis, where the trance is exploited for entertainment purposes. A delicately balanced and sensitive person exposed to unwise and humiliating suggestions may respond with anxiety. On the whole, there are no dangers in hypnosis when practiced by ethical and qualified practitioners.
7. I AM AFRAID I CAN'T BE HYPNOTIZED. All people go through a state akin to hypnosis before falling asleep. There is no reason why you should not be able to enter a hypnotic state.
8. WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE HYPNOTIZED? The answer to this is extremely important because it may determine whether or not you can benefit from hypnosis. Some people give up hypnosis after a few sessions because they are disappointed in their reactions, believing that they are not suitable subjects. The average person has the idea that he will go through something different, new and spectacular in the hypnotic state. Often he equates being hypnotized with being anaesthetized, or being asleep, or being unconscious. When in hypnosis he finds that his mind is active; that he can hear every sound in the room; that he can resist suggestions if he so desires; that his attention keeps wandering, his thoughts racing around; that he has not fallen asleep, and that he remembers everything that has happened when he opens his eyes, he believes himself to have failed. He imagines then that he is a poor subject, and he is apt to abandon hypnotic treatment.

The experience of being hypnotized is no different from the experience of relaxing and of starting to fall asleep. Because this experience is so familiar to you, and because you may expect something startlingly different in hypnosis, you may get discouraged when a trance is induced. Remember, you are not anaesthetized, you are not unconscious, you are not asleep. Your mind is active, your thoughts are under your control, you perceive all stimuli, and you are in complete communication with the therapist. The only unique thing you may experience is a feeling of heaviness in your arms, and tingliness in your hands and fingers. If you are habitually a deep sleeper, you may doze momentarily. If you are a light sleeper, you may have a feeling you are completely awake.
9. HOW DEEP DO I HAVE TO GO TO GET BENEFITS FROM HYPNOSIS? If you can conceive of hypnosis as a spectrum of awareness that stretches from waking to sleep, you will realize that some aspects are close to the waking stale, and share the phenomena of waking; and some aspects are close to sleep, and participate in the phenomena of light sleep. But over the entire spectrum, suggestibility is increased; and this is what makes hypnosis potentially beneficial, provided we put the suggestibility to a constructive use. The depth of hypnosis does not always correlate with the degree of suggestibility. In other words, even if you go no deeper than the lightest stages of hypnosis and are merely mildly relaxed, you will still be able to benefit from its therapeutic effects. It so happens that with practice you should be able to go deeper, but this really is not too important in the great majority of cases.
10. HOW DOES HYPNOSIS WORK? The human mind is extremely suggestible and is being bombarded constantly with suggestive stimuli from the outside, and suggestive thoughts and ideas from the inside. A good deal of suffering is the consequence of "negative" thoughts and impulses invading one's mind from subconscious recesses. Unfortunately, past experiences, guilt feelings, and repudiated impulses and desires are incessantly pushing themselves into awareness, directly or in disguised forms, sabotaging one's happiness, health and efficiency. By the time one has reached adulthood, he has built up "negative" modes of thinking, feeling and acting which persist like bad habits. And like any habits they are hard to break.

In hypnosis, we attempt to replace these "negative" attitudes with "positive" ones. But it takes time to disintegrate old habit patterns: so do not be discouraged if there is no immediate effect. If you continue to practice the principles taught you by your therapist, you will eventually notice change. Even though there may be no apparent alterations on the surface, a restructuring is going on underneath. An analogy may make this clear. If you hold a batch of white blotters above the level of your eyes so that you see the bottom blotter, and if you dribble drops of ink onto the top blotter, you will observe nothing different for a while until sufficient ink has been poured to soak through the entire thickness. Eventually the ink will come down. During this period while nothing seemingly was happening, penetrations were occurring. Had tile process been stopped before enough ink had been poured, we would be tempted to consider the process a failure. Suggestions in hypnosis are like ink poured on layers of resistance; one must keep repeating them before they come through to influence old, destructive patterns.
11. HOW CAN I HELP IN THE TREATMENT PROCESS? It is important to mention to your therapist your reactions to treatment and to him, no matter how unfounded, unfair or ridiculous these reactions may seem. If for any reason you believe you should interrupt therapy, mention your desire to do so to your therapist. Important clues may be derived from your reactions, dreams and resistance that will provide an understanding of your inner conflicts, and help in your treatment.
12. WHAT ABOUT SELF-HYPNOSIS? "Relaxing exercises", "self-hypnosis" and "auto-hypnosis" are interchangeable terms for a reinforcing process that may be valuable in helping your therapist help you. If this adjunct is necessary, it will be employed. The technique is simple and safe.

Heather McKechnie  MSW, RSW
Registered Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Hypnotherapist
Member of the Ontario Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
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