Hypnosis was first officially recognized as a viable therapeutic tool by the British Government through the Hypnotism Act in 1952. Then, in 1958 both the British and the American Medical Associations (AMA) sanctioned the official use of hypnosis by physicians. The American Psychiatric Association also approved hypnotherapy for use by professionally responsible individuals in 1958.
Stanford University School of Medicine in San Francisco, the Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas all use and teach Hypnosis in their hospitals and medical programs. Since the AMA sanctioned the use of hypnosis, it has become commonly accepted for medical and dental procedures, including major surgery.
"I'm strong willed, I don't think I can be hypnotized...?"
Everyone can be hypnotized. It is actually a very normal state of being that we all experience multiple times a day - like being fully absorbed in a movie or driving somewhere and realising when you get there you don't remember the route you took because you were "somewhere else".
Most people can easily be guided into trance. Some people respond to suggestion quicker than others. Finding the easiest, most comfortable way to get someone into this state is all part of the process. With each session, you will become more familiar with what to expect and find it becomes easier and easier. All you need is a conscious willingness and desire to change and the ability to follow instructions - it's that simple. Having a "strong will" is a bonus - it means that if you do really want to achieve your goal, that strong will is going to help, not hinder!
No, I don't use a swinging pocket watch! I practice client-centered therapy, so the approach and techniques I use will vary for each client, and perhaps from session to session. Together we discover what works best to achieve the most beneficial state for you.
What does "being hypnotized" feel like?
Contrary to popular belief, when in a hypnotic state you are not in any sort of zombie like trance - nor a sleep state! There is no particular sensation or feeling of hypnosis. Depending on the level of relaxtion achieved, you might feel just pleasantly calm and light or very deeply physically relaxed. It is a wonderful feeling and often more relaxing and satisfying than sleep.
Could I lose control during hypnosis?
No, absolutely not. You will be aware of everything going on around you, everything being said, and whatever is happening in your mind. Throughout the session you will always be in complete control; in control of how the session goes and what you choose to share.
Can I be made to do or say something against my will?
No. You cannot be made to do or say anything against your moral or ethical code or beliefs. Anything you want to keep private, stays private. When in a hypnotic state you will not accept suggestions and ideas that do not benefit you or that you disagree with. As stated before, you are in complete control during the session.
Will I remember the session?
What if I don't wake up?
No one has ever gotten stuck in a hypnotic state. It simply cannot happen. Even if the hypnotist were to leave the room in the middle of the session, your natural internal clock would eventually wake you. If there should be a need to leave the session immediately, you could just simply get up out of the chair and go.