You can expect your first counseling session (assessment) to last approximately an hour and a half. You will be signing some initial paperwork (consent for treatment, fee agreement, etc.) and there will be a discussion about why you are seeking counseling or hypnosis services. This is my chance to start to get to know you by asking you questions and to determine what is happening in your life and what it is that you wish were better or different.
For an individual hypnosis session, you will sit or lay back comfortably as you listen to the sound of my voice. You can choose to hear just my voice or we can add calming music. You will then be guided through basic instructions to help you relax and go into a state of hypnosis or "sleep" as we sometimes call it. From there, we will work on what you would like to improve. After the hypnotic therapy has concluded, we will process your experience and answer any questions you may have.
The form of hypnosis that I typically practice is what is known as a long induction. What this means is that you will be relaxed very slowly as you visualize and focus on the suggestions that are given. By doing so, you will relax completely, in a step-by-step way, from your head to your feet. I prefer this method because it also teaches you to relax yourself. Typically I use the long induction, but rapid and instant inductions are also possible. Rapid or instant inductions are where the person is hypnotized within a minute or two or much less. No matter how you enter a hypnotic state, the induction that works best for you will be used. When you learn to relax yourself, you can use it to manage many aspects of your life. The goal for you is to learn these skills so you can be successful on your own.
During hypnosis, your body is completely relaxed and you will have wonderful feelings of calmness and tranquility while your subconscious mind is open to the suggestions you desire to improve your life. Quite simply, hypnosis removes the conscious mind from over thinking about the changes you want to make. You cannot be "made" to violate your own values or do anything that you do not want to do. You also have the power to reject any suggestions you do not agree with. (For example, Lets say I suggest that you close your eyes and picture a brown horse in your mind. If you do not like brown horses and want to picture your horse as a black horse with lots of spots, there is nothing I can do to change this. You are always in control.) You can come out of hypnosis at any time. It is always your choice to be hypnotized or to leave the hypnotic state.
After leaving the hypnotic state, some individuals say they do not think they have been hypnotized. The reason behind this is that hypnosis is a very familiar experience. We fall in and out of hypnosis throughout the day. It is a very normal, natural thing for us to do. Have you ever been driving your car and nearly miss your turn or realize that you have not been paying attention for the last few minutes and are further down the road than you think? The reason for this is that you were focused so much on your internal thoughts rather than your driving. This is an example of hypnosis.