What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic modality used to help address behavior on a subconscious level. It uses a combination of cognitive exploration and hypnosis to help achieve desired results through adjusting one’s own negative beliefs, mindset, or feelings to adaptive, positive ones in. Sessions are typically an hour long with the beginning of the session set to discussing goals and setbacks on a deeper, cognitive level. The second part of the session is the hypnosis portion where we impress upon new subconscious inspirations to create the positive change discussed in the cognitive portion of the session.
Hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness and focuses where our conscious critical mind can relax and take a backseat and allow our subconscious mind to come forward. By working with the subconscious directly, we are able to work with the core of a behavior that is not serving an individual and impress upon new positive and beneficial responses to help one reach their desired outcomes.
In hypnosis, a client will always be in control of what is happening in the session and will be able to hear what is being suggested. A client won’t be able to do anything one is not normally comfortable with or open to. Hypnotherapy is not so much mind control as it is giving yourself permission to be more in control of your own mind by giving you an opportunity to realign yourself from what you do not wish to experience to what you do.
Hypnotherapy also may not be for everyone and in some instances, a referral from a licensed medical or mental healthcare provider may be required. Those diagnosed with dissociative disorders such as schizophrenia should refrain from hypnotherapy as it may trigger adverse effects.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Hypnotherapy uses the body's natural state of hypnosis to create new and improved outcomes by reframing one's negative responses to positive, desired results. Through deep relaxation, we are able to create a heightened state of awareness that bypasses the critical mind (the daily mind chatter) and eases into the subconscious mind. Here, suggestions that are created together will be implemented to create the positive change you wish to see.
For example, let’s say one needs to memorize lines for a very important role. Fear, anxiety, and even nervousness surrounding the role itself may cause them to find it difficult to memorize lines and hinder one’s confidence in their ability to deliver them.
Through hypnotherapy, we are able to work to reduce anxieties and fears around the experience and use the importance of the role as a guide, instead of something to be anxious about. We work to increase confidence, memorization, and ability to identify the “good nervous” to take on the audition feeling confident and empowered.
You can think of the process as learning how to ride a bike, except riding the bike, and the experience of learning to ride the bike is happening directly in your mind. The benefit of working directly with the subconscious is its inability to identify the difference between what is real or fantasy. Studies have shown that our brains respond similarly when one is visualizing an experience and when one is actually experiencing it. This means that visualizing or seeing yourself falling off a bike will offer a similar brain response as if you actually did. By using impactful suggestions and immersive and effective visualizations, we are able to use this power of your subconscious to "practice" overcoming and working through fears, let's say falling off a bike, to now feeling confident in riding one. The new, positive responses implemented in a hypnotherapy session to confidently ride a bike will then be reflected in daily life. So instead of being fearful of falling, which may have been keeping them from riding a bike in the first place, one may respond by taking action by riding a bike feeling more empowered and confident in their abilities to do so.
Can I Be Hypnotized?
Hypnosis is actually a natural state the body and mind go into regularly. We go into hypnosis about 30 minutes prior to falling asleep and about 30 minutes before we fully wake up in the morning. If one has ever been driving down the freeway and missed an exit or have been engulfed in a movie, you’ve been in hypnosis.
However, going into hypnosis in a session will vary from person to person. Not everyone will go into hypnosis the same way. This is because people respond to information being suggested to them differently. In the first session, we will explore to find the best way you take in suggestions for it to be the most effective for you. We’ll learn whether inferential suggestions would be more beneficial to you or if more literal suggestions would be better. It’s through this and by creating a calm, safe space that is able to effectively drift deeply into hypnosis for a successful session.
Will Hypnotherapy Work for Me?
Hypnotherapy is a team effort between the client and Kristen and is not designed to be a quick fix, however, it can achieve accelerated results under the right circumstances. As long as one is open to the idea of hypnotherapy and it working, and there is a strong motivation and willingness to change, the more opportunities there are for greater success. Along with sticking to tools and activities given at the end of the session to help, the commitment to your goals and takeaways is what will provide the most successful, rapid results.
If one may not be as open and may be looking more for a quick fix, then the journey to positive results may take more time than one may anticipate. Our minds like to protect us from what we don’t know, and even in hypnosis, our minds will still work to protect us from what we don’t know or are open to - which would be hypnotherapy. This may cause some additional roadblocks to work through to help you feel more at ease and comfortable to help you reach your goal. This may take reaching your goals longer than what may be expected.
How Effective is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy has been seen to be an effective modality to achieve successful results in overcoming a number of areas of one’s life. This includes anxiety, fears, weight loss, smoking cessation, phobias, pain, and depression*.
Review studies from credible sources to see results backed by science, neurology, and psychology alike here.
* In some instances, a referral from a medical or mental healthcare provider may be required.
Are There Any Side Effects to Hypnotherapy?
Since hypnosis is a natural state, side effects are typically rare. In these rare instances, some may experience drowsiness, headache, anxiety, and/or dizziness. There is some risk of false memories occurring.
Kristen does use her skillset to facilitate professional, safe sessions to minimize the possibility of false memories by eliminating the use of certain types of regressions in her practice for memory retrieval.
What Can I Expect On My First Session?
The first session will be a time to explore what it is you wish to achieve on a deeper level. We'll discuss cognitively your primary concerns and goals and work to peel away. walk through how hypnosis works and show you how we will use it to help you achieve your goals. We'll do some deep relaxing techniques as well as use guided imagery to help begin inspiring your desired results.
As sessions progress, we’ll work to continue to peel away old beliefs, explore patterns of behavior and negative beliefs that don’t align with one’s goal, and solidify their desired mindset in hypnosis that maintains and sustains one’s acceptance of their new positive results.
How Can I Prepare For My Session?
To get the most out of your session, it's important to be well-rested and prepared. Below is a list of things to be considered prior to your appointment
Be sure to eat a snack or meal about 30 minutes before your session and refrain from drinking caffeinated beverages beforehand. This helps the mind and body relax more easily.
Have a quiet, comfortable place to sit and lay down for your 1-hour session. (1.5 hours on your first session)
A good position for your camera either on your phone or computer. It should have you visible during your session. This helps me guide you, determine your hypnosis depth, and see how you are responding to better navigate your experience.
Using earbuds or a headset with a microphone will allow for a clearer audio recording of your session.
Have a notebook or place to take notes that may arise during your session.
If you have somewhere to be after your appointment, it's good to set an alarm on your phone beforehand just in case there is a possibility of you drifting off to sleep.
How Many Sessions Will I Need to Reach My Desired Results?
The number of sessions can typically run anywhere between 4-6 sessions, however, it can differ on the individual, motivations and the goal one is trying to reach. Each session provides an audio recording and activities between sessions for behavior reinforcement which can affect how many sessions may be needed. Kristen does not pressure additional sessions once a Client feels they have reached their desired results.