How do I know if I can be hypnotized?

This is the most frequently asked question from prospective clients. My typical response is that ‘if you want to be hypnotized then that’s what will happen’. We all have the natural ability to shift awareness from being fully awake and alert, to a daydream state.

Once a new client makes the hypnosis-daydream connection, I teach them how to do hypnosis well, to not focus, concentrate or try. Trying to be hypnotized is a conscious effort, which only gets in the way. Clients are instructed to allow their thoughts to travel, drift, and wander wherever they chose to go, even to the point of not being tuned in to what is being said. This approach makes it very easy to transition into hypnosis and enables clients to descend deeply into subconscious thought, which enhances the overall effect of the session.

Effective hypnotherapy relies on a relationship of trust and cooperation. If clients trust that I am going to try to help them fix whatever problem they have, then they will likely have a positive experience. But if it is their intent to not be hypnotized, then that’s exactly what will happen. I ask apprehensive clients if they wouldn’t mind relaxing for a few minutes and if it would be okay for me to help them relax. I have never had anyone refuse such a comforting offer. Then we begin with some simple breathing techniques which automatically get the relaxation ball rolling. I then teach them how they can relax more deeply all on their own, with no assistance from anyone. This whole process takes about three minutes and by then they are already in a light hypnotic trance.

At this point, I help them understand how easy this process is, and how they can do it all on their own anytime, anywhere. Then I transition into the formal session which supports whatever particular goal or challenge they have in mind. So anyone who wants to be hypnotized certainly can be. All you need is an open mind and the desire to relax.

by: Paul Gustafson RN CH