First, you follow series of instructions to get you into a focused state of attention, also called the hypnotic state. It’s similar to meditation - sometimes it involves focusing on your breathing or developing a sense of floating and lightness in your body.
Once you’re in that calm, focused state this is where the therapy occurs in the form of ‘suggestions.’ Suggestions are statements that are directed towards the goal of the session, After you hear and absorb all of the suggestions in the session, you’ll be guided out of the hypnotic state and can take a moment to re-adjust reflect on how you feel.
Hypnosis and meditation are related but not the same. Hypnosis involves highly focused attention that can be mobilized to problem-solve by attending to novel aspects of an experience and put aside other more troublesome ones. One can intensely attend toward and away at the same time, e.g. imagining cool tingling numbness in an injured part of the body that can 'filter the hurt out of the pain.' Any sensory experience is actually a combination of many - one can learn to choose among them in hypnosis.
Mindfulness is also useful, but different - less problem-focused, more designed to keep people from fighting an unpleasant experience, a common practice that often magnifies it. They also have related but different effects in the brain: hypnosis separates the Executive Control Network from the Default Mode Network (DMN), which involves self-reflection, while mindfulness turns down activity in the DMN.
You can do the sessions as many times as you like. Early on, we suggest doing them once or twice a day. You will learn within the first session whether this is right for you.
Actually, it is a chance to gain greater control your mind and body. By focusing intently you can learn to harness your mental resources towards a particular goal, like changing your attitude towards smoking or handling stress better.
The hypnotic state is actually a state that is on the normal continuum of waking consciousness. People who are hypnotizable often slip in and out of this state during the day. Hypnotherapy just directs the focus towards a goal.
All hypnotherapy ultimately involves self-hypnosis. You must follow the instructions to focus, conjure up the images, and absorb the suggestions. You are in control.
A common myth is that hypnosis is a form of sleep. The hypnotic state is actually on the normal spectrum of waking consciousness. In fact, our app is designed to ask you questions and respond specifically to your answers before during, and after the hypnosis experience. This is just the way I conduct hypnosis in my office.
Some people even slip in and out of this state during the day. Think about a time you were daydreaming in class or at work. Hypnotherapy just directs the focus towards a particular goal.
Another myth is that you need to be relaxed. In fact, relaxation is not actually essential at all. There are some types of hypnosis that even increase your physical or mental alertness.