Hypnosis FAQ's and Orientation Information
This is for general informational purposes only.
What is an "Ethical" hypnotist? In Florida, there are two types of licenses. The official titles are "Licensed Hypnotist" and "Licensed Ethical Hypnotist." The slight differences in the terms has to do with the credentials one must present. A Licensed hypnotist simply offers some type of certificate in hypnosis- and can obtain a license. A licensed Hypnotist can ONLY work with non-medical weight loss, smoking, relaxation and teach self hypnosis depending upon interpretation of legislation.
A Licensed Ethical Hypnotist may work with almost any issues including weight loss and smoking, though for some issues must offer a referral letter from a Medical Doctor, and often must be referred clients, requiring a letter of referral or actual prescription in instances of medically related treatments such as Pain Control.
Neither license requires that the hypnotist be a mental health counselor or psychologist. Neither license allows the hypnotist to claim to diagnose.
What is Hypnosis? Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, which essentially means that any time you are guided from one state to another, you are using hypnosis. If you change your mood from grumpy to glad, you are in essence altering your state of consciousness and allowing yourself to experience a new feeling or behavior. In Hypnosis work, that is essentially what we do, we alter your state with regards to a given problem or situation, and allow you to be open to other, more positive experiences in its place.
Hypnosis V/s Trance. Many people mistakenly believe that hypnosis and trance are the same thing. They are not. Trance is a naturally occurring phenomena, it is described as an absorption of thought in one thing and a shrinking of focus where outside influences become unimportant. Some examples of natural trance states are: when someone "zones out" while watching TV or reading a good book; riding in an elevator and dashing off at the wrong floor when the doors open because you were "lost in thought."; driving home on auto pilot. Each of these is an example of when the conscious mind is drifting, and the unconscious mind has taken over the protective control for a bit. The difference between hypnosis and trance is that in hypnosis we CREATE a trance, and then we DO SOMETHING WITH IT. Hypnosis is a trance with an outcome and a goal in mind.
The Unconscious Mind? To understand hypnosis, we must talk about the conscious and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind controls all the "Left Brained" functions like logical rational though, decision making, logic, reason, and such. The unconscious mind handles all the automatic functions like blinking, breathing and all the right brained creative functions. The conscious mind handles things linearly, one step at a time, while the unconscious mind handles things holographicaly, taking in ALL the information at once. The unconscious mind is capable of processing MILLIONS of things at a single moment, unlike the conscious mind which must focus on one thing at a time.
Your unconscious mind has a duty and a right to protect you, as it has done since you were a child- it keeps the lungs breathing and the heart beating, and is there to act as a protector and do things in your own best interest. Your unconscious mind caries out all the automatic programs and learned behaviors automatically to keep you running and alive in the best way it knows how. The unconscious mind also only does positive things for you. It is always doing what it does to achieve some positive goal.
Often, we say we want to do something, achieve a goal, or break a habit, and yet we seem powerless to achieve what we set out to do. In hypnosis, our belief is this: that the Conscious and Unconscious mind are like a Jockey and a Horse. The Conscious jockey can tell the Horse (the unconscious) where it wants to go, but if the horse doesn't agree, you're not going! If the conscious SAYS it wants to stop smoking, but the unconscious has some good positive reason for NOT stopping, (like relaxation- or protecting you from imagined withdrawal.) then you will keep right on smoking. The unconscious mind has to have a good reason for stopping, and some other way of achieving its positive intent.
Continuing our metaphor... Once we convince the horse where we want to go, and it agrees, it would be STUPID for the jockey to try and tell the horse how to pick up each leg, put it down a few feet more forward, then lift the other foot....etc. The horse would never get where it was going. Likewise, once we communicate respectfully with the unconscious and get it going where we want to go, we also need to get out of its way and let it do it's job.
What about control? In hypnosis, the client is still in complete control. Because the unconscious is there to protect you, it will filter out or alter any suggestions that are not in your best interest. Likewise, if anyone were to give you a suggestion that you consider to be inappropriate, you can always come out of trance, and leave.
In stage hypnosis situations, where people appear to do ridiculous things, it is because that is what they expected and volunteered to do- in an office hypnosis setting, the contract is different. If a hypnotist told you to cluck like a chicken, you'd come out of trance, and walk out of the office.
With hypnosis, you in fact have GREATER control over yourself, because you are using BOTH parts of your mind together to achieve your goal!
Is hypnosis like sleep? Hypnosis is NOT sleep. In fact, hypnosis doesn't even HAVE to be relaxing. Usually, when you come to a hypnotist's office, they will use a "relaxation" type trance for several reasons. One of those reasons is that it makes the experience ENJOYABLE. If we made the hypnotic experience unpleasant, how many people would want to return? So, with typical hypnosis, we talk of relaxation, and use that as a way into the trance.
While in hypnosis you are awake, albeit quiet and relaxed, and will hear every word spoken to you on an unconscious level. Some people are surprised that they hear what is being said, but if they didn't what would be the point in the hypnotist talking? It is not usually however to not remember anything specific of what was said once you have returned from trance. Not everyone experiences this, but for most people, they find hat the words simply drift away and are somehow unimportant and they relax and drift. The unconscious mind records all of the words as unconscious notes and uses them to create new ideas, thoughts and behaviors to work toward your goal.
Often people also loose track of time, or have wonderful pleasant dream-like-experiences and are surprised at the amount of time that has elapsed during a trance session.
What happens before a trance? Before the trance, a lot of time will typically be spent gathering information and finding out how you create your problem or situation internally. This allows the hypnotist to know how to best proceed for you. It is often said the all solutions are hidden within the problems and that all we have to do is really understand how someone manages to create their situation in order to help them change it.
Often , waking hypnosis or NLP will be used to set up the changes and then the trance is used to communicate more directly with the unconscious mind and to set those changes in place.
How can I be sure I'll be able to come out of a trance? In the history of hypnosis, NO ONE has ever gotten stuck in a trance. Occasionally, simply because it is comfortable and relaxing, people will not WANT to come out of hypnosis, but they usually can be easily convinced by mentioning a new charge "by the minute." But seriously, hypnosis is extremely safe, and even if the client were to be left alone once in a trance, they would either enter a natural sleep and then awaken after a brief nap, or the might awaken immediately when their unconscious mind realizes that no outside guide is present.
What changes should I expect? Hypnosis takes various forms and levels, generative and immediate. Immediate suggestions are those that are experienced in the office such as feeling relaxed, or heavy eyes. Generative changes are the ones your unconscious will create and manifest over the days and week that follow your session. Often, a habit or problem has been around for YEARS, and it may take the unconscious mind time to sort through it and come up with an acceptable solution.
What about hypnosis tapes? Tapes of your actual sessions are a GREAT way to re-enforce changes, but generally they should be used for a time period in which they remain useful. Periodically you may need to set a tape aside, or move on to a new tape simply because the suggestions on the current one are no longer applicable. NEVER EVER listen to hypnosis tapes while driving, cooking, or operating any heavy machinery. They should only be listened to in an environment where it is theoretically safe to fall asleep. For more information, check out our article on using hypnosis tapes. or to purchase my hypnosis tapes go to my Product List.
What about self hypnosis? ALL hypnosis is self hypnosis! Hypnosis is not something that is done to you, it is something which you and your hypnotist do together. The hypnotist acts as a guide or a well trained coach, and communicates with your unconscious, but you remain in control and must co-operate and work with the hypnotist to gain results. You can lean more through my Learn Self Hypnosis Tape set.
Often, a hypnotist will teach you traditional self hypnosis techniques which you can then use as follow-up to your sessions. Basic instructions on entering a self hypnotic trance are included in our link: How To Enter A Trance.
How many sessions will it take? The number of sessions needed to get YOUR unconscious mind focused and going in the direction you desire will vary depending upon YOU. Some things, like smoking, can be effectively dealt with in one or two sessions with tape recorded follow-ups. Other issues, such as weight management, may need to have 6-15 sessions. Pricing varies from practitioner to practitioner, and there is no way to gauge what is a "fair" price for the services in your area other than checking out reputations and what the average fees are.
Can Hypnosis be used for pain control? Yes, hypnosis can be used for pain control, as can self hypnosis but it should be done ONLY under the supervision of a physician. Pain is a signal from the body that there is something wrong, and different people experience pain in different ways and with varied emotional significance attached to it. With simple issues like mild head aches, often imagining the steps that you experience after taking an aspirin will be enough for your body to effectively control the pain. Other techniques involve disassociating from a body part, creating hypnotic anesthesia or analgesia, or imagining the pain as some color, and allowing that color to slowly transform to a color of comfort. There are many more advanced techniques as well.
Can Hypnosis be used for memory enhancement? Certainly, hypnosis can be used to place one in optimum state for recalling information, either through relaxation, accelerated learning and study techniques and much more. It can be useful to recover forgotten information HOWEVER that information should not necessarily be thought of as 100% accurate or factual. Likewise, a person in hypnosis IS still capable of telling a lie, and therefore is not an effective "lie detector."
If you have other questions, you may wish to E-mail Dean Montalbano at firstname.lastname@example.org but please check the rest of this site.
The following text is based upon the booklet I give to people at my initial consultations about hypnosis and what we do in the office. Some of it may be redundant.
The purpose of this publication is to share information about hypnosis, what it is, what it isn’t, to deal with the myths and to give you some realistic expectations of what it will be like to do hypnosis with me, Dean Montalbano, in my office.
We do it together
The first thing I want to make perfectly clear is that hypnosis is NOT something that is done to you. Hypnosis I NOT like surgery or getting a massage. Hypnosis is SOMETHING WE DO TOGETHER. It is a cooperative effort, and a skill that you will learn. All hypnosis is, in essence, self hypnosis, with the hypnotist acting as a well trained coach or guide to help you become congruent and create your changes and evolve into the person you want to become. It requires a commitment FROM YOU.
Hypnosis is not sleep.
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, similar to the twilight state just BEFORE sleep. People are often surprised that they DO HEAR everything said during a trance session, and that sometimes they find themselves in a heightened sense of awareness of their environment, other times they may zone out or not remember any of the actual session. It is NORMAL however to hear what is being said, otherwise, what would be the point in the hypnotist talking?
Hypnosis and Trance are two DIFFERENT THINGS.
Trance is a natural experience that EVERYONE enters into several time a day, if not, one tend to go a little nuts. Trance happens when you Zone out or Space out while driving, becoming absorbed within a movie, really get lost in a good book, and even when you find yourself enmeshed in an impossible problem, they are in essence in PROBLEM TRANCE. Runners experience dramatic altered trance states when running- Time distorts, they develop anesthesia for injuries and their bodies seem to function automatically. These are only as FEW types of trances that happen every day.Hypnosis is a relationship, a skill and a process in which WE create a trance together, usually through relaxation and focusing attention, and then we DO SOEMTHING with it. So, Hypnosis is Trance with an OUTCOME- for this reason it is important we come to understand what is it that you WANT!
Hypnosis is a dynamic learning state in which we use the special learning part of you to help you create new options for behavior and unlock hidden potentials.
Your Two Minds
Hypnosis is based upon the theory that we have two aspects to our mind. The conscious mind, and what hypnotists call the Unconscious mind.. The conscious mind can be thought of as a jockey and the unconscious as the horse. The jockey can tell the horse where it wants to go, the conscious can TLL the unconscious what it wants to do or change, BUT if the horse doesn’t agree- if the Unconscious has a better reason for doing what it is doing- YOU DON’T GO! Likewise, once the horse agrees to go where the jockey wants, it would be silly for the jockey to tell the horse how to pick up it’s feet and get there… more than likely , the horse would fall over. In hypnosis we get the conscious mind out of the way, drifting in pleasant thoughts or through the trance, and then we communicate with the unconscious mind. We get the Unconscious mind going in the direction you want to go, and then GET OUT OF IT’S WAY!.The unconscious mind has a duty and a right to protect you, that is what it has done since you were a child. It controls the automatic breathing functions and is purposeful, that is it seeks to achieve ONLY POSITIVE things for you, only POSTIVE outcomes or intentions. It is holographic and takes in ALL information at once, unlike the sequential hyper focused Conscious mind. The unconscious mind is capable of quick learning and dynamic changes of thinking, feeling and behavior.The unconscious mind does not process negations- try NOT to think of a pink elephant! For this reason we always focus upon what you WANT, rather than what you don’t want when doing hypnosis.
YOU’RE IN CONTROL!
People wonder about a loss of control in hypnosis, but the protective unconscious mind is always monitoring and is there to protect you. In hypnosis you are aware and capable of coming out of trance any time you feel it is in your best interest to do so. You have MORE control in hypnosis because you are using both parts of your mind together rather than having them work in opposite direction.
People who have seen STAGE hypnosis may have very different ideas about hypnosis and control, but remember, the contract in STAGE hypnosis is different. People going on stage for a stage hypnosis demonstration are doing so KNOWING that they will do silly things. That is a VERY different set of expectations than within hypnosis as we will experience it.
Your unconscious mind acts as a safety filter and will screen out anything that might be inappropriate or unacceptable for you. It is recording everything said as a form of unconscious notes and it is there to make sure you have a safe and SUCCESSFUL experience with hypnosis. Likewise, it will always guide you out of a trance state, just as one can not sleep for a thousand hours, one can not stay in a trance state forever.
In essence, any time you buy gum, you have a contract. You give the clerk 25 cents and they give you some gum. We have a contract, you and I. That contract is that as I agree to be your hypnotist, I will do everything within my education and ability to help you and to see to it that you are kept safe. In return YOU must do what you are asked to do, immediately, without doubting or conscious questioning, and must follow through by giving the change a chance after the hypnosis. You must do as asked right away and try it out. Later, if you don’t like the change, you can ALWAYS have that option
PROBLEMS and SOLUTIONS
People think their problems are easy and their solutions difficult. I tend to think of it as being the other way and spend a lot of time exploring HOW people create their problem, or encouraging them to teach ME how to have their problem. In doing this, we take a SINGLE thing, a “problem” and make it into a bunch of little steps- much more manageable, and in a way that they can be changed much more easily.I also spend a lot of time building up a representation of what the solution WILL BE LIKE, and generally I will not enter into trance with anyone until such time as e have generated a solution that will work, at least on an unconscious level.
I tend to work in a goal oriented way, asking often what do you WANT in place of what you have, and what you need to make that happen- and it is YOUR SOLUTION, not mine. I am NOT there to act as a director or to diagnose, but rather to help you explore and discover. Again, this is something we do together and as such YOU will be expected to participate.
About your Session
The number of sessions can vary, depending upon what we are trying to accomplish, and we generally try to work no faster or slower than is ecological and acceptable for you, your life and your unconscious mind.Doctor referrals will be required for working with ANY situation that you are already under medical care for. A Hypnotist is not a Doctor and can not “Heal” or “diagnose” anything.
Typical appointments can be 60-100 minutes, with the trance being only apportion of that. A lot of time is spent on the interview, building up the solution and occasionally playing perception “games” designed to enter light “waking trances” and really access appropriate states within. Generally the client wears headphones and hears music, as well as my voice through a microphone, this helps cut back on outside noise, and makes the process more personal. It also allows the session to be recorded. The tapes remain the property of the hypnotist, but may be loaned to the client in between sessions. We seek to create more choices for behaviors with the trance, and give people options, particularly when altering habits.
Often, a “post-Scription” form will be issued at the end of a session with affirmations, instructions or things for the client to do to create the change. These are NOT OPTIONAL and MUST be carried out by the client if the change is expected to take place.
WHAT TO EXPECT
After an appointment, expect changes to be generative and to take time to work their way into your life, and expect that they will respond directly to how well YOU follow your instructions after the trance. Immediate changes are the relaxation and things you fee as part of the trance induction. Generative changes are all those things that happen in the days that follow!Payment is expected at the conclusion of every session unless arrangements are made BEFORE the session begins.Hypnosis is a dynamic skill, state of mind and tool that you will enjoy and find VERY helpful in making your changes and evolving into all that you seek to become!
Thank you for your interest- and I look forward to working with you in the future!