I am a member of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Federation of Clinical Hypnosis (CFCH/FCHC). The CFCH membership consists of licensed health professionals who are trained in the responsible, appropriate and ethical use of hypnosis.
*What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis, a natural state of heightened and focused attention, is one of the most fascinating phenomena of the human psyche. Our ability to enter into this unique state of consciousness opens the door to endless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change. Hypnosis, called by different names in different cultures and times, has been recognized for thousands of years and used for many purposes.
When we enter into a state of hypnosis, we can utilise thoughts, talents and experiences in ways not usually accessible to us. With the guidance of a trained professional, we can develop our latent abilities that enable making desired changes in our thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
Although hypnotic trance is a very natural, peaceful state of mind that most of us experience almost daily (e.g., while daydreaming), it has often been portrayed in films and television in ways that have been inaccurate and even alarming. But hypnotherapy, when practiced by a well-trained, licensed health-care professional is safe and often more efficient than many other forms of treatment–both psychological and medical.
Hypnosis has been used successfully to treat numerous psychological and physical problems and conditions. It also is a very effective technique to help individuals improve their performance in areas such sports, academics and work. “Peak performance” training, as it is called, can be used to help people uncover and overcome “blocks” that underlie their failure to achieve their desired goals.
Does hypnosis work?
As part of my clinical practice, I use hypnosis as an adjunct to psychological treatment where appropriate. I have found hypnotherapy to be particularly effective for smoking cessation, pain management, insomnia and as part of a battery of interventions for anxiety and stress management.
I initially discuss the approach with clients and provide information about hypnosis so that individuals can make an informed decision as to whether or not this will suit them. Some people, for example, worry about the potential for loss of control – this is one of the unfortunate myths about hypnosis, individuals do not lose control during hypnotic trance, rather they enter willingly into a deeper state of relaxation. We all have the ability to be hypnotised, some more than others. As part of my assessment, I work with an individual to determine the extent to which they are likely susceptible to a hypnotic induction – I have found that most people in my practice were moderately susceptible, some people were highly susceptible, while others were less so. Even those who were less likely to be deeply hypnotised, were still able to achieve a significantly more relaxed state and reported benefiting from the session.
Very occasionally, people do have an unpleasant experience during hypnotherapy where they can recall a set of events, or images which can potentially be distressing. I would stress again, this is rare, but if you are considering hypnotherapy I would recommend working with a regulated and registered professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, dentist, medical doctor) who will likely be able to intervene under these circumstances.
The nature of each session depends on each client’s presenting concerns. Typically, a hypnotic session will start with a discussion about imagery, which will then form part of the induction and the deepening stages of trance. Since hypnosis is essentially a deep state of relaxation, I consider a client’s comfort to be particularly important – as such, our office provides comfortable seating in a quiet, private and professional environment.
I also provide access to hypnosis recordings so that my clients can utilise these in the comfort of their own home – my objective is to teach my clients how to self-hypnotise and to continue utilising the skills beyond the session.
Does it work? Yes, in my experience it does.
If you have any addition questions, or would like to book an appointment please call or email me.
*Summarized from the CFCH website.