The experience of hypnosis not only varies from person to person but even for each individual from session to session. It is as a unique combination of deep physical relaxation and heightened awareness. Many describe the soothing weight of relaxation in their arms or legs, or they may feel as though they are sinking into the surface beneath them. Others describe sensations of floating.

As clients progress from session to session, along with home session reinforcement, they further develop increased hypnotic skill and ability. Some even report a sensation of complete mind-body separation, as though their physical presence is no longer part of the equation.

Individuals also frequently experience profound clarity or resolution with problems that previously were complex and overwhelming. It is also very common for clients to find solutions to problems which were unrelated to the problem being addressed.

Most hear and remember everything that is said to them during a session, although on occasion, some may dip so deeply into subconscious thought that they may not consciously hear or recall segments of the session. This is not a problem because the subconscious mind absorbs everything of value.

For those who happen to doze off during a session, the therapeutic benefits are still absorbed. The subconscious mind is open and active when hypnotized and also when sleeping. When we sleep, the conscious mind sleeps. During hypnosis, the conscious mind is just less active, quietly monitoring things from the background.

A majority of my clients with demanding schedules find that bedtime is the only available time they have to listen to their home reinforcement sessions. The therapeutic value of the session is still absorbed but the client just doesn’t enjoy the ride as much. In general, the best time of day to listen is in the morning. After a full night’s sleep, you will be more engaged with the session, and you will also start your day with a burst of positive energy, clarity, and enthusiasm.

Hypnosis also offers dramatic freedom from lingering problems. For example, in my office there is a small sofa as well as a recliner. When a client comes in for their initial office visit they usually sit on the sofa, as it is closer to the entrance. This is when they share the details of their problem. The pre-talk, as it is commonly described, is not only helpful to the practitioner but it also gives the client the opportunity to offload their concerns, which helps them relax more easily.

Usually after 15-30 minutes I have gathered all the necessary information and when the client appears to be comfortable, I ask them to move over to the recliner, where I then begin the hypnosis session. After the session, I always ask if they feel disconnected from the problems they described when they were sitting on the couch. The answer is consistently positive. Then I ask them if the problems are anywhere in the room, and 75% say no.

They recall the pre-session conversation but after the hypnosis session, they feel separated from the problem. The overwhelming majority of first-visit clients leave with a new positive perspective regarding their goal. If they never followed up with another session, that new perspective would fade away, and they would revert right back to the problem patterns which brought them to see me in the first place. It is with routine reinforcement that this feeling of empowerment transitions from a concept to lasting reality.

By: Paul Gustafson RN CH