Most of my first visit hypnosis clients have been struggling for a long time and tried mainstream options without success. Of course each person is unique but there is a consistent theme with everyone, they feel overwhelmed and powerless.

Another common thread for ‘newbie’s’ is that most have never experienced clinical hypnosis. In fact, most people have no experience with meditation or relaxing techniques of any kind. Inspite of this, the overwhelming majority have a very positive experience on the first visit.

Initially, most clients experience relief just having someone listen to their story.  This certainly does not happen in the healthcare mainstream, practitioners must conform to insurance company’s guidelines as to how much time they can spend with each patient. Having someone truly listen to their problems can be extremely therapeutic unto itself.

Then comes the teaching; concisely explaining the hypnosis process and how to do it well plays a big part in the client’s success. I email all new clients an intro video that explains all of this prior to arrival. I draw connections between hypnosis and everyday experiences like daydreaming and zoning out to help demystify hypnosis which helps individuals to feel more comfortable.

Then comes the session itself; even though hypnosis is always relaxing and quite enjoyable, some new clients are unsure of what to expect and may feel a bit apprehensive. To help them comfortably transition I teach them some simple breathing techniques so they can do self-hypnosis on their own. By learning how to ‘own’ the process they become empowered and involved with their journey to success.

Next we seamlessly transition into the formal session. The client is already relaxed and in a light state of hypnosis so it is very easy for them to follow along and enjoy the ride. My clients wear Bose headphones and listen to soothing music and nature sounds while being guided into a deeply blissful hypnotic journey.

After the session I ask each client if they feel as though any emotional separation or distance from their problem. Most are pleasantly surprised by the immediate relief. They recall the problem but feel free of its hold on them. Many feel a sensation of lightness, weight loss clients feel like they have already lost weight after the initial session. Some talk about finally being able to breathe comfortably for the first time in a long time. First visit clients are well cared for; they learn a lot and leave the office feeling wonderful.

By: Paul Gustafson RN CH