I get many interesting responses when people hear that I am a hypnotherapist,
Some people are curious and want to learn more.
Others are fearful, wondering if I can make them bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken. This thinking comes from their knowledge of the stage hypnotist who makes people do silly or embarrassing things. The stage hypnotist’s job is to put on a show, to entertain.
I use hypnosis to help people to create change in their lives.
For many people, their knowledge of hypnosis comes from the way that they see it portrayed in the movies or on TV where the hypnotist is giving suggestions while the client appears to be asleep. This is classical hypnosis.
Hypnosis is not sleep. Hypnosis can be defined as a narrow focus of attention. It is a state very similar to daydreaming. Or being so absorbed in a really good book, unaware of anything but the story. Yet if someone asked you a question, you would hear them and be able to respond.
The other day I was speaking to someone and she told me how she is tired of living with anxiety and panic attacks. She said that she had tried all sorts of therapies and medications, but never got true relief. This is something I hear quite often when my clients first come to see me.
I explained to her that I have helped many people just like her to get relief, people who thought that they would have to live with anxiety for the rest of their lives.
She was very excited to hear that she could get relief from anxiety. The conversation then moved to the kind of treatment that I use. When I mentioned hypnosis, she had a lot of questions. She wondered if I could make her say or do something against her will.
There is no doubt that hypnosis is very powerful.
I am reminded of how powerful hypnosis is every time I see a change that one of my clients has made as a result of our work together. However, when using hypnosis with a client, the client is always in control. In the same way that people can choose what they are going to say in their waking state, they can also choose while hypnotized.
People who suffer with anxiety try very hard to control situations so that they do not experience anxiety or panic. So giving up control is not something that an anxiety sufferer would want to do.
People frequently have a pre-conceived idea of what hypnosis feels like.
Sometimes people think that during hypnosis they should be “out of it” and not know anything that is going on.
I use a combination approach of Ericksonian Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and it is an interactive process. I need feedback from the client as we are working together. However, the client only needs to be in a light trance state, a state very similar to being engrossed in a good book or a movie. You feel like you are part of the action, yet if someone started talking to you, you would be able to answer.
So rather than think of hypnosis as a state where you give up control, think of it as a way to help you get back control in your life.
About the author: Tish Schuman, LPC, CMH a Licensed Professional Counselor and Hypnotherapist is the owner of Calm Pathways Counseling located in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Using an innovative approach which includes Ericksonian Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, she has helped many people to get relief from anxiety and related issues and find joy and calm in their lives. Click below to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.