Frequently Asked Questions
- How does hypnosis work?
- Can everyone be hypnotized?
- What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
- What are the stages of hypnosis?
- Will I know and remember what happened?
- What if I can’t be hypnotized?
- What if I can’t come out of it?
- What if I have trouble relaxing during my session?
- What if I am skeptical? Will it prevent it from working?
- How many treatments will I need?
- What is the difference between hypnosis and talk therapies?
- What does “sleep” mean in hypnosis? Will I go to sleep?
How does hypnosis work?
We are beings that respond to situations – especially new ones. When something new happens, we remember it and learn a particular behavior in response to that circumstance. Memories stored in our brains and bodies hold the original physical and emotional reactions that occurred when the given memory was first formed. Each time similar events occur again, the physical and emotional reactions attached to the memory are repeated. These reactions may be inappropriate or unhealthy. In hypnotherapy, the trained therapist guides you to remember the event that led to the first reaction, separate the memory from the learned behavior, and reconstruct the event with new, healthier associations.
During hypnosis, a person’s body relaxes while his or her thoughts become more focused and attentive. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis decreases blood pressure and heart rate, and alters certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, a person will feel very at ease physically yet fully awake mentally. In this state of deep concentration people are highly responsive to suggestion. If you are trying to quit smoking, for example, a therapist’s suggestion may successfully convince you that in the future you will have a strong dislike for the taste of cigarettes.
Can everyone be hypnotized?
Yes, people put themselves in a state of hypnosis practically every day. It is a normal state that happens to everyone right before going to sleep. It also happens when we’re reading a book, watching television, or driving long distances. Have you ever been on the freeway and suddenly found yourself at your exit without realizing how you got there? That’s what basically happens in hypnosis, you’re put in a trance state. In therapeutic hypnosis the trance state is prolonged in order to work within its bounds.
What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
When you are in hypnosis you feel completely and totally relaxed. You are not asleep, anesthetized or unconscious. Your mind is active, you are alert, you can hear every sound in the room and your thoughts are under your control. Basically, you simply decide to ignore anything outside – it just becomes a part of normal life and doesn’t mean anything to you.
What are the stages of hypnosis?
There are several stages of hypnosis. The process begins with reframing the problem; becoming relaxed, then absorbed (deeply engaged in the words or images presented by a hypnotherapist); dissociating (letting go of critical thoughts); responding (whole-heartedly responding to the hypnotherapist’s suggestions); returning to usual awareness; and reflecting on the experience.
PART I – Profound relaxation of your body and mind.
PART II – By-pass your critical factor, your strongest sub-personality – known as your conscious mind.
PART III – To work with the subconscious mind to make positive suggestions, remove unwanted behavior or improve a behavior, such as sports performance and heal unresolved trauma. The subconscious mind is an unlimited resource of possibility.
Will I know and remember what happened?
In hypnosis you are NOT unconscious – nor are you asleep. You will always be able to hear my voice and know where you are. You will ALWAYS be able to get yourself up and leave the room or stop the process whenever you desire.
You are in control. You will remember and you will be able to speak. In fact, the sessions are very interactive. It is important to remember, “All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.” You are in control – I am simply your guide.
What if I can’t be hypnotized?
Everyone can be hypnotized because hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of relaxation. Some people, who are comfortable with meditation, deep prayer, daydreaming, etc., may go into a hypnotic state quicker and deeper than others. However, all of us can train ourselves to relax and enter a deep hypnotic state. With practice, one can enter this state more quickly. Willingness is all that is necessary.
What if I can’t come out of it?
There has never been a documented case of anyone being unable to come out of hypnosis. You can choose to come out of hypnosis and you can choose to not to enter the hypnotic state. It is a natural state of focus and relaxation. In fact, you are naturally in and out of the subconscious mind 90% of the day.
What if I have trouble relaxing during my session?
If you have anxiety that you will not be able to be hypnotized or relax during your session, simply give yourself the suggestion that you are willing to relax and you are safe. I can make you a practice tape to listen to daily which will help you relax and become accustomed to just letting go. Because our busy world trains us to be on “alert”, it is simply a question of time and practice to be able to let go and relax, knowing that even though you are relaxed, you are still in control. You will learn to trust yourself on a deeper level than ever before.
What if I am skeptical? Will it prevent it from working?
The hypnotic suggestions themselves will begin to plant the seed of possibility in your subconscious and doubt will gently be dispelled over time.
There are some people who have the purpose of proving that it will not work, and of course, for those people, it won’t. This is because, as I’ve said before, no one can force you to be hypnotized against your will. As your therapist, I am simply a facilitator, helping you access a state of consciousness that you desire. If you desire not to go there, no one can force you.
Here is how I like to explain it: Hypnosis is a dance. If you want to dance with me, then you will need to allow me to lead and you will follow. If you agree to this dance, then we will have a wonderful session together. There cannot be two leaders in a dance – one must lead, the other follow. The question is, do you want to dance with me?
For most of us, even those who tend to be skeptics, our desire to see what is possible will outweigh our skepticism. With repetition and practice we can easily train ourselves to access this powerful state of mind. And with practice, you will go deeper and deeper into hypnosis. The deeper you go, the more work we can accomplish.
How many treatments will I need?
The Cal Banyan 5-Path Method is a 5-step process. This does not mean you need only 5 sessions. Generally, it does take 5-6 sessions to relieve an issue. However, each client and their situation is different. Also, each client responds differently. Like most therapy, it cannot be said you will be “done” in ____ number of sessions. A situation is healed, when the client is relieved of the symptoms that have been controlling their life.
What is the difference between hypnosis and talk therapies?
There are two main parts of the mind: the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind, which houses your short-term memory, uses only a small part of your potential. You could think of the conscious mind as one drop in an ocean. It allows you to think, analyze, process and plan. In any type of traditional talk therapy you are basically dealing with the conscious mind. Here you analyze, figure out, or intellectualize your problems. Talk therapy improves your awareness, which is the first step in changing.
The main part of your mind is the subconscious mind where all of your memories are stored. It is the ocean. Everything you have ever experienced, felt, smelled, heard, tasted or dreamed is indelibly recorded in this part of the brain. Hypnosis provides direct access to the sub-conscious mind thus getting to the root of problems more quickly.
What does “sleep” mean in hypnosis? Will I go to sleep?
No, if the therapist uses the word sleep, in hypnosis this means, “relax.” You are never “asleep” during hypnosis. In fact, if you go to sleep, you will miss the whole experience.
Wise Heart Coaching & Hypnosis, LLC (503) 318-9343
11855 SW Ridgecrest Dr #215, Beaverton, OR 97008
Video: Iris Noack -ProGraphix and David Dodson -Stormin' Norman Productions
Photography: Heather -Brookhouse Photography and Judith Auslander