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Hypnotherapy Is Not a Magic Cure

I have been a hypnotherapist for over 24 years and one thing I know for sure is that people want hypnosis to be the magic cure. Although hypnosis is a powerful adjunct to therapy it will not replace the hard work that one needs to do to change.

After being trained in hypnosis I quickly learned that people were eager to become subjects to discard old behaviors that were sabotaging success. People with habit disorders like smoking, nail biting, overeating and other indulgences were the most interested in getting the treatment. Perhaps they felt like slaves to their addiction and wanted a force greater than themselves to miraculously cure them from their demons.

Unfortunately, research has proven it is exactly the “magic cure mentality” that keeps hypnosis from working for these types of clients and disorders. Hypnotherapy works best when coupled with other adjunct forms of counseling.

If someone begins to lose weight but still sees himself as fat, he will need to reprogram his thoughts to adjust to his smaller size. If someone stops smoking but increases calorie intake, he may be substituting one compulsive behavior for another. Consequently, the most successful type of hypnosis is that combined with therapy to achieve maximum results. This allows the client to benefit from additional forms of therapy to maximize success.

What would a client likely expect if they made an appointment with a hypnotherapist? Prior to the hypnotic session, most hypnotherapists assess their clients for motivation, environmental support and self-esteem. Approximately 75% of all clients have an unrealistic vision of what hypnosis is, so psychoeducation is very important to inform the client about what they can expect. Hypnosis is not a state where someone can do things to you. You are always aware of your surroundings. You can open your eyes at any time. Closing them decreases stimulation and allows the body an opportunity to deeply relax. People with control issues have less success with hypnosis because they fear giving up that sense of control. Sometimes, psychoeducation is enough to decrease anxiety. At other times, it is important to get to know the client, spending two or three sessions with them to build a relationship where trust is established
and hypnosis won’t seem so frightening.

Similar to Personal Life Coaching, hypnotherapy believes that the client has everything they need to be successful. Unfortunately, they have developed bad habits that are predominant in their life. Changing the environment goes hand in hand with utilizing hypnosis to ensure success. Clients who want to use hypnosis as a quick fix will likely not be successful, in part because they are not willing to make the needed changes in their life to provide the infrastructure they need to make their life different.

Hypnotherapy:

  • Works if you don’t rely on it to do all the work.
  • Taps into the cooperation between your unconscious, conscious and subconscious mind.
  • Empowers you to believe you can achieve it.
  • Presupposes that you have everything you need to accomplish the goal.
  • Works with a strategy for change.

Often times a client is given homework to insure that they will have optimal success once they start the hypnosis. If a client doesn’t do their homework they are encouraged to set another appointment once the homework is done. The client must do the work. Hypnosis is not a quick fix and requires effort and continuous planning. Hypnotherapy is an excellent vehicle, but you still need a qualified driver who knows what to do to get you to the right destination and that driver is you!

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