Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hypnosis (and how does it work)?
Interestingly, there does not appear to be a consistent definition of what hypnosis is or how it works. If the Oxford dictionary definition of hypnosis is to be believed, hypnosis is “the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction”. Now to me, that definition reads like a very clinical assumption about what someone has heard rather than one which has its basis in first-hand experience.
When people ask me what hypnosis is, I take a very different view to the vague, and in my opinion not terribly helpful definition you’ve just heard. To me, hypnosis is a natural skill which we all naturally possess. It is a state of enhanced focus and self awareness which allows you to capitalise on your own natural potential for positive change. If you’ve ever daydreamed, gotten lost in thought, become very focused on something you’re working on to the point where you block all else out, or even if you’ve been driving along a familiar route on auto-pilot and arrive at your destination some time later with no real recollection of how you’ve gotten there – if you’ve experienced any of these things then you have experienced trance.
Hypnotic trance is not simply a binary state where you’re either in or out. It’s a process, and each stage unlocks further potential. When I describe how hypnosis works, I liken it to learning a new skill such as learning to play a musical instrument. You can learn the basic skills on your own, and perhaps enjoy limited success, but if you want to grow and develop your talent so that you can become better and achieve more, then you bring in someone to teach, guide and coach you, don’t you? Someone who can show you how you can develop and capitalise on the skill which you already possess. With hypnotherapy, that person is the hypnotist.
To my mind, hypnosis is not something that is necessarily “done to you”. When I guide people into trance, I see my role as a facilitator. I am there to encourage you to be more self-aware of how your skills develop, what that feels like, and how you can continue to build upon that potential. I teach you what you need to know to be able to build upon the foundations you already have and capitalise upon your achievements. You have an immense resource of potential with in you. A good hypnotists job should be how to show you how you can tap in to that resource and use it for your own benefit.
There are infinite ways to enjoy entering a hypnotic trance. The methods hypnotists use to encourage a trance state are known as inductions. Some hypnotists prefer using well recognised, tried and tested inductions – for instance you may have heard the “Elman Induction” mentioned as this is very popular. Other hypnotists, such as myself create unique inductions for each person and tailor suggestions to the specific needs of the individual. Some hypnotists combine both approaches. There is no right or wrong way – if the induction assists you in enjoying trance then that is what matters.
Regardless of which induction is used, the aim is the same – to help you achieve a trance state where your conscious mind is allowed to fall back, relax and take a break, and your powerful subconscious mind is allowed to be brought to the fore. The result of this change in dynamic is an increased focus, relaxation and sense of self-awareness which are all characteristics of trance.
In addition, because the trance state is a truly natural one – a state that is induced and controlled by you (with the guided support of the hypnotist) it is impossible for you to get stuck in trance.
I hope my explanation has given you a better understanding of what hypnosis is – in essence a natural state of enhanced focus – and how it works. Enjoying hypnosis can be a truly phenomenal experience and in reality, the only limit to what’s possible is your imagination.
Can I Get Stuck In Trance?
I briefly touched on this question when I answered the question relating to what hypnosis is and how it works, but in essence – no, you can’t get stuck in trance.
Why? Well, firstly, the hypnotic trance state is a totally natural state which is controlled by you (supported and guided by the hypnotist). You’ve got no more chance of getting stuck in trance than you do of getting stuck in a daydream.
A trance is a deeply pleasurable experience to enjoy, but it is not a permanent one, nor is it intended to be. If you enjoy a particularly deep trance, you may emerge with what is commonly referred to as a “hypnotic hangover” (as an aside – why people don’t more accurately refer to it as a temporary persistence of pleasure, I don’t know). This occurs when you emerge from a deep trance and still feel very relaxed, enjoying very pleasant sensations. You’re no longer in trance as your conscious mind is back in control, however you still get to enjoy the feel-good after-effects of trance. The sensations will fade after a while, but do provide an extended and enjoyable reminder of how being in trance felt.
Most of the time, a good hypnotist will ensure that you are deliberately brought out of trance at the end of each session and given an opportunity to re-orient yourself. If for whatever reason that doesn’t happen – for instance if you are being hypnotised via phone and skype and suddenly lose connection – then there is no need to panic. If the connection rights itself quickly you will easily be able to pick up where you left off. If you are not able to re-connect you will simply naturally emerge from trance a few moments or a few minutes later – whenever it feels right for you.
So, in summary there is no way for you go get stuck in trance – even if you lose your connection with a hypnotist you will naturally emerge from trance if only because you no longer have the guided support to help you maintain the trance state. With that in mind, sit back, relax and just allow yourself to enjoy your next trance when you’re ready.
Will I Lose Control?
This is a common concern and I think it stems from the idea that the hypnotist “makes” you go in to trance. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. A hypnotist simply acts as a guide/facilitator, and being in trance allows you to be more self aware and more in control than you usually are.
Is Hypnosis Dangerous?
Hypnosis and being in trance is no more dangerous than becoming absorbed in a daydream. Just like a daydream, you can’t get “stuck” in trance in any way. Instead, it’s a relaxed, pleasant and safe experience for you to enjoy.
What Does Being In Trance Feel Like?
Being in trance is a subjective experience, so it can vary from person to person. Ask most people who have been hypnotised, however, and common sensations experienced tend to include feeling relaxed, calm, peaceful, focused and happy.
Will I Remember Anything Afterwards?
This varies from person to person and can in part depend on what you want. If you’re keen to remember everything that happened, odds are you will. For most people, however, part of the excitement is simply surrendering themselves to the experience and appreciating that whilst their subconscious mind will remember everything, their conscious minds may not necessarily always do so, and instead choose to focus on the pleasurable sensations.
I'm New To This - What Should I Know?
The most important thing to remember is that going into trance is a skill, and like any skill it requires patience and practice to improve. Don’ be discouraged if you don’t achieve what you expected on the first attempt.
For more information check out my A New Journey page which should point you in the right direction.
What Can I Do To Make The Files Work Better?
Not getting the results you expected? Well, first I would suggest suspending expectations and simply listening and enjoying with an open mind, exploring and enjoying the results.
In addition, the following can also help:
- Ensure you’re free from distractions – phone is on silent, not expecting any visitors.
- Don’t listen when you have a deadline – e.g. you have to be somewhere in an hour. Don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself.
- Avoid listening when you’re overly tired. You won’t necessarily be able to get the most of of it.
How Easy Is It To Go In To Trance?
This depends on a number of factors…some people are naturally talented at being able to go in to trance (such people are rare and are generally classed as what are called “somnambulists”).
For the rest of us, practice is a substantial element as is being aware of what “signposts” to look out for – your body relaxing, your mind focusing more, etc.
If you have practiced and are still seeing no improvement, then I suggest looking at exploring other hypnotists/styles to see if there is something else that you find works better for you, and also investing in a live session. This doesn’t have to be in person – it can be done via phone/skype, but because it is tailored specifically to you and your needs you are muh more likely to experience a successful trance and in doing so get an idea of your personal “signposts” which you will be able to identify when listening to files, so you will be able to relax and enjoy the experience.
If you have any other questions which have not been answered in the FAQ, then please do not hesitate to get in touch using the contact form below and I will be more than happy to help.