Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state characterized by concentration, focused attention, and physical relaxation. In hypnosis, you are able to focus on only what's relevant, whether that's a narrow sliver of experience or an expansive connection with the whole world. It feels something like a sustained daydream.

In a state of hypnosis, the critical faculties of the conscious mind take a mini-vacation, allowing the unconscious mind to openly receive communication. Clinical hypnosis utilizes this line of communication to create lasting, therapeutic change in areas of life that are generally controlled by the unconscious mind.

If you want to break a bad habit (smoking, overeating, nail biting, etc.), resolve inner conflict, improve focus and concentration, enhance creativity, manage pain, overcome a phobia, improve sleep, or develop peak performance states, hypnosis is a remarkably powerful tool.

    What if I can't be hypnotized?

    Everyone can be hypnotized.

    Even if you have never experienced formal hypnosis, you experience states that are similar to hypnotic trance every day: zoning out, daydreaming, getting lost in a movie plot. If you are capable of these things, you can experience hypnosis.

    There are many different hypnotic inductions — rapid, gradual, structured, conversational. I customize the hypnotic experience based on each client's needs and personality.

    The major impediments to experiencing hypnosis are fears and misconceptions about what it is. I hope to dispel some of the common misconceptions here. Please feel free to email me at iz@ilanzechory.com if you have any reservations or concerns about trying hypnosis.

    What is a typical session like?

    A typical first session begins with a conversation about the problem you're having or the behavior you'd like to change. I will ask you some questions, and answer any questions you have about hypnosis.

    After the initial consultation, we will move on to hypnotic induction, creative visualization, therapeutic suggestion, etc.

    After you emerge from hypnosis, we will briefly discuss your experience. I will also teach you some powerful self-hypnosis techniques.

    How many sessions do I need?

    Most people find that one session is all that is needed to kick a lifelong habit. Some people  require longer or multiple sessions. Milton Erickson, the seminal figure of 20th century hypnotherapy, saw some clients for 6 hours at a time.

    Based on the history you provide during a phone screening, we will determine the optimal length of your first session. After the first session, you will likely have an intuitive sense about whether you would benefit from additional sessions. Clients who come for more than three sessions are usually tackling multiple problems in turn.

    Will I lose control?

    If you have seen people do crazy things at a hypnosis show, it is natural to wonder how much control the hypnotist has. It is important to remember that people who volunteer for stage hypnosis have an expectation about what participating will entail. The hypnotist selects people who seem uninhibited, and sends the reluctant back to their seats.

    Context and motivation determine what makes sense as a suggestion. You will reject things that don't make sense. It would be difficult if not impossible to get someone to cluck like a chicken in my office, just as it would be difficult to suggest that the star of a hypnosis show quit smoking.

    Hypnosis is a consensual state. I am literally incapable of making you do anything you're not comfortable doing. If I asked you under hypnosis to tell me your ATM PIN number, you would just say "no" and laugh at me (in hypnosis it is completely normal to talk, laugh, scratch an itch, or shift to get more comfortable in your chair).

    Will I know what's going on while I am hypnotized?

    Hypnosis is very relaxing, but it is not sleep. On the contrary, people become extremely alert during hypnosis. All your senses are heightened, and you are able to think clearly.

    Relaxation and alertness may seem mutually exclusive, but they are not. The "deeper" you go into hypnosis, the more relaxed and more alert you become.

    How much does it cost?

    $500 for an hour long session. Reduced fee appointments are occasionally possible depending on your financial situation and my availability.

    Do you accept insurance?

    I don't deal directly with insurance companies. If your insurance company offers benefits for out of network providers, see if they accept claims for hypnotherapy. I will give you a receipt that you can submit with your insurance claim.