You may be interested in trying hypnotherapy, or you may have already booked a hypnotherapy session…

Some are a bit nervous…

And others are very excited about it because they believe in hypnosis. 

Beyond Belief

Here is the good news: Hypnosis has moved beyond the realm of belief because there is an ever-increasing body of evidence on the efficacy of hypnosis. I did a recent search on the search term “hypnosis evidence” on and found over 50,000 results of studies in this one clearinghouse for scientific evidence. Here is just one example of a recent scientific article on the subject:

But chances are that you are not here because you want to wade through thousands of scientific articles and papers.

You want results.

You probably just want some idea about what a session is like, and some reassurance that it will be a great experience.

Does Hypnotherapy Work?

So besides approval from the American Psychological Association and approval from the British Psychological Society, you might be happy to know that most clients say that it is very relaxing. The British Psychological Society report highlighted: “Hypnosis is a valid subject for scientific study and research and a proven therapeutic medium.” 

What You Need to Know Before Your Hypnotherapy Session

The First common question to cover is “What is hypnotherapy?”

To answer that, let’s start with “What is hypnosis?” There are several different definitions of hypnosis. One of the simplest ones is that hypnosis is a state of mind where you are focusing your attention and following along with suggestion.

Hypnosis, or trance, is a naturally occurring state of mind. Common examples are watching a really good movie and getting so drawn into the story that you lose track of time. Or driving along on the freeway and being absorbed in thoughts even to the point of missing your exit but yet still being able to drive the car.

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are often confused because they have commonality but are not always the same.

Hypnosis relates to going into a trance state. Hypnosis can be used for entertainment purposes like stage hypnosis shows.

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for therapeutic reasons. It is used as a treatment in a clinical setting to help a client or patient make a change in their life. It is commonly used for presenting issues such as smoking cessation, weight loss, and stress reduction.

Cooperation and Success

Sessions are most likely to be successful when the client wants to be there. When a client comes into a session and they’re only there to try to please someone else like a spouse or a parent – that is an example of someone who doesn’t necessarily want to be there.

So your success is up to you. If you walk into your session with an open mind and curious attitude and a belief in your own healing then you are more likely to have a higher success rate.

What is Hypnotherapy Typically Used For?

Hypnotherapy is an accepted treatment for:

  • Weight Loss
  • Stress Reduction
  • Anxiety Reduction
  • Trauma Relief
  • Reduction of PTSD Symptoms
  • Pain Management
  • Depression Symptoms
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Sleep
  • Who is in Control During Hypnosis?

You are in control of your own thoughts and responses. Not the hypnotherapist. Your hypnotherapist will give you suggestions related to the goals you stated for your session. Since you are in control of your thoughts, that also means you own your success. Let that be a good thing.

To learn more about how hypnosis can help you to resolve issues and reach your goals, click below to schedule a consultation session.
Schedule Consultation Session

What Happens During a Clinical Hypnosis Session:

The Intake:

If you had not done so already during a previous consultation session your hypnotherapist will do an intake process with you. That will include gathering information about your problem and what your goals are for what you will experience when your sessions are complete and you have gotten your results. The intake can be fairly brief or it can be more involved, depending upon what you are coming in for.

If it is not your first session usually there will be a debrief on what has been better since your last session. You can then discuss what will be resolved in the current session.

It is important to be honest with your hypnotherapist so that he/she I can give you the best possible service. If you have any concerns about hypnosis or anything else at this point, this is the time to bring it up with your hypnotherapist – before you go into hypnosis. You will find that most hypnotherapists will be patient and ensure that you feel comfortable before the hypnotic process starts.

Some hypnotherapists will perform what are called suggestibility tests to see the best type of hypnosis to use with you. This can often seem like fun little games just to see how you respond to suggestions.

Going Into Hypnosis

The process of going into hypnosis is called an “induction.” The induction can happen quickly, such as in under 3 minutes, or it can take longer – sometimes up to 20 minutes. Your hypnotherapist will make the best determination of which type of induction to use based on your intake.

Most hypnosis sessions include an element of relaxation. Relaxation is not necessary in order for hypnotherapy to happen. However, what most people come in for, which includes presenting issues such as pain, stress, anxiety – they will benefit from the relaxation that comes from hypnotherapy.

Deepening Into Hypnosis

After the induction the hypnotherapist will generally take you through a process of deepening into hypnosis. Being hypnotized is a waking state rather than a sleeping state. What that means is that you will be aware of what is happening. Going back to our definition of hypnosis as a state of focused attention where you’re following suggestion, what begins to happen is that your attention becomes more and more focused. But it is a relaxed state of focus.

There are different levels of depth in hypnosis. One common myth is that a person needs to be in the deepest state of hypnosis in order to make change. The reality is that change can happen in any depth of trance.

Hypnosis is also a learned skill. This is why hypnotherapists often provide recordings so that you can practice at home and reinforce the changes that you’ve already gotten in the office.

Hypnotic Suggestions

After the induction and deepening this is where the bulk of the work in the session takes place. Your hypnotherapist will provide suggestions related to your goal. This is why the intake process is important, because the best hypnotherapist will give you suggestions that are specifically related to your unique problem and goal. He/she will give you suggestions that are specifically tailored for you.

Once people understand that the suggestions they are receiving are related specifically to their goals, they can relax and let go of any concerns they might have about what suggestions they are going to receive.

There are many different tools and techniques that are used in a clinical hypnotherapy session. Based on your intake your hypnotherapist will use the techniques that will be the most helpful based on research and their personal style.

For most of this part of the session you will just be listening. Sometimes the hypnotherapist will ask you questions. They can instruct you to answer verbally, or to give some kind of nonverbal signals such as lifting a finger if something is true. You can choose not to answer any questions you don’t want to.  Any questions you might receive will only be related to asking your unconscious for help to get your goal.

Often near the end of the session, a hypnotherapist can give what is called a post hypnotic suggestion. This type of suggestion is meant to bridge the change from the hypnosis chair out into your life.

Emergence – Coming Out of Hypnosis

When you have made the changes that you will make during the session, your hypnotherapist will emerge you out of hypnosis. It is a gradual process that often involves something like counting forward as you slowly emerge.

Contrary to some people’s concerns, it is impossible to get stuck in hypnosis. The worst thing that can happen is that you find yourself being so relaxed that you want to take a few more moments to enjoy that state before coming back to the room.

Wrapping Up the Hypnosis Session

After you have opened your eyes your hypnotherapist will sometimes do a quick debrief to go over what happened during the session. They may remind you of some things they noticed that would let you both know that you were hypnotized, and making the changes you seek to make.

Often the last step is to schedule your next session. While hypnotherapy is considered a much faster form of change than other modalities, many issues have multiple causes. That means those issues may require multiple sessions.

After the Hypnotherapy Session

Your hypnotherapist may assign some practices to do at home, which could include reinforcement exercises, awareness practices, or self hypnosis to do in the comfort of your own home.

How to Experience Hypnotherapy

To learn more, book a consultation with Dan Ross of the Silicon Valley Hypnosis Center. He is an award-winning specialist in anxiety relief, trauma relief, stress reduction and also does deep work to help people release unwanted weight. To schedule, click here or call (650) 417-3187.

To learn more about how hypnosis can help you to resolve issues and reach your goals, click below to schedule a consultation session.
Schedule Consultation Session