More on Hypnosis

Most people have heard of hypnosis. Many people have mistaken ideas about it, or have questions about it. I’d like to take the opportunity to define hypnosis and relate how it may be helpful for you.

First, there is no single, agreed-upon definition of hypnosis. My discussion of hypnosis comes largely from William J. Bryan, Jr. (founder of the American Institute of Hypnosis), the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychological Hypnosis, and books by well-known researchers, teachers and practitioners of hypnosis (e.g., Ernest Hilgard, Michael Yapko). The American Psychological Association states that hypnosis is not a type of therapy, and is not a treatment in and of itself, but hypnosis may be a tool and has been used successfully in treating pain, habit problems and many other psychological and medical problems.

Hypnosis is a normal but altered state of consciousness that is similar to our normal waking state and also similar to sleep. We are hypnotized when we’re highly focused on something (reading a good book, playing or watching a sports event, driving long distances . . .) and we aren’t paying attention to whatever else is going on around us (somehow we ate that entire bucket of popcorn while we watched the movie . . .). Most of us have been in a state of hypnosis!

Usually we think of hypnosis as a process in which one person (the hypnotist) offers suggestions to another person (the client) to imagine experiences that involve alterations in perception, memory and/or behavior. Thus, hypnosis usually occurs during a social interaction. The hypnotist-client relationship is a key factor in the success of using hypnosis.

Although some people are more responsive to hypnosis than others, and some people can achieve a deeper state of hypnosis than others, almost everyone can be hypnotized and almost everyone can benefit from hypnosis. It is usually not necessary to achieve a deep state of hypnosis in order for hypnosis to be effective. People who are hypnotized usually remain aware of who they are, where they are, and they usually remember what happens during hypnosis, unless the hypnotist specifically suggests amnesia. During hypnosis, people often experience increased concentration, increased bodily relaxation, and increased willingness to accept suggestions, while maintaining control of their choice to accept suggestions. Thus, clients remain in control of their choices even while they are hypnotized.

I hope the information above has been helpful to you, and informative. Before starting hypnosis with any client, we address all questions or concerns that you may have. It’s all about helping you help yourself! I look forward to working with you soon! Call (916) 990 – 7733 to schedule your appointment, or send an email to

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