The human mind comprises three parts...
The conscious mind is our place of intellect, logic and reasoning. This is the mind with which we are most familiar. When we are awake; it is the part of us that strategizes, organizes our daily life and makes rational decisions. In our active condition, Beta brain waves are in play and deliver an alert state of mind. When it comes to the human brain, the conscious mind is metaphorically the “tip of the iceberg”.
The subconscious mind, aside from managing our autonomic body functions (e.g. breathing, heart function, digestion etc.) is where we hold our emotions, habitual behaviors, memories, imagination and dreams. In many respects our subconscious mind is less accessible to us and often is challenging for our conscious mind to understand. While the impact of our subconscious is evident in the way we live our lives, it is most active when we are resting or asleep. Equally, when we mediate or are in a hypnotic state the subconscious is accessible. In these relaxed mind frames alpha brain waves are in play and in deeper states of hypnosis or trance theta brain waves may even be activated. Delta brain waves are evidenced when we are in a deep sleep.
The superconscious mind is often referred to as our “higher self” and is our seat of intuition, wisdom and inner guidance.
Hypnosis is a natural altered state that allows access and actively engages the subconscious and superconscious minds. We enter an hypnoidal state quite naturally on a daily basis just prior to going to sleep and again just as we awaken. Often, during the day, we may slip into a “daydream” this too is hypnoidal in nature; as is “highway hypnosis” that condition in which we realize you have driven some distance with no conscious recollection and yet have done so without incident.
With the help of a certified hypnotherapist, a client can be guided quickly into a hypnotic state in a matter of minutes.
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles from the US Department of Labor offers the following definition:
“Hypnotherapist induces hypnotic state in a client to increase motivation or alter behavior pattern though hypnosis. Consults with a client to determine the nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic state by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subjects to determine degrees of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic techniques based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client’s problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning.”
The express intention of a certified clinical hypnotherapist is to improve the quality of a client’s life. This is manifest by working with the client as a co-therapist and engaging their subconscious / superconscious to enable and energize positive mindsets and behaviors while removing any limiting thoughts, feelings or belief systems that may be detrimental to health and happiness.
It is estimated that roughly 90% of the population can be put into a hypnotic state by a trained hypnotherapist. The depth of hypnotic state reached does vary with the openness and willingness of the client and the skill set of the hypnotherapist. For any who are open, curious and drawn to this work, the chances of experiencing a hypnotic state and its related benefits are very good.
A certified clinical hypnotherapist is someone that has pursued studies at an accredited, licensed educational institution and has met both the written and practical examination requirements of the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (A.C.H.E.).
While many doctors, dentists, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and other health workers may use hypnosis in their work, it is also a discipline space unto itself with certified clinical hypnotherapists specializing in this practice.
No one can be put into a hypnotic state against their will. Under hypnosis a client will not do anything that is against their ethics or morals. In the majority of instances, the client will remember most of their hypnotic experience after the session. An A.C.H.E. Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist is bound by a stringent set of ethical standards to do no harm and work exclusively to support their clients’ growth, health and well-being.
The benefits of hypnotherapy are many and varied and may include but are not limited to; improved sleep, concentration, memory, intentionality, goal-setting, optimism, creativity, reflexes, coordination, dream recall, self-esteem, general health and clarity of life purpose.
Additionally, hypnotherapy can support the mitigation of: stress, pain, anxiety, procrastination, self-limiting beliefs, destructive habits, phobias and fears.
In your first consultation session we will complete a structured interview to gain understanding of what you wish to work on and explore your motivations to do so. We will cover the specific history to your area of focus along with any other related or general physical conditions you may be experiencing at this time.
We will review any past experiences you may have had with hypnosis and answer your questions about the process. We will also complete a series of hypnosis susceptibility tests to customize the techniques to be used to best support your hypnotherapy experience and well-being. We will also have you sign a disclosure form and an agreement of our roles and understanding as co-therapists in the pursuit of your well-being.
The actual hypnotic phase of a session is a seven-step process:
On awakening we will have a post-hypnosis debrief and conversation about the experience.
Subsequent sessions will include a short conversation about what has happened since our prior meeting and any other pertinent changes prior to moving into the hypnotic experience.
When practiced by a certified clinical hypnotherapist – yes, hypnotherapy IS safe. By using ideomotor signals and checking whether it is safe and appropriate for memory and/or emotion recall around a presenting issue, the hypnotherapist can manage the session in the best interests of the client.
It varies by client. Most clients experience immediate (and sometimes very pronounced) benefits right after the session. Typically, as the conscious mind integrates the insights and experiences of the session, benefits continue to materialize over the coming days and weeks. Depending on the presenting issue, while it is possible that one or two sessions may be enough for some clients to experience the desired benefits, more typically several sessions or more are ideally needed.
Most health insurance policies do not cover hypnotherapy. It is worth checking with your health insurance carrier for specific guidance. In some instances, when referred to a certified clinical hypnotherapist by a licensed medical or mental health professional, it might be allowed.
The following CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Codes may be used to inquire about coverage and billing:
From the American Psychological Association
96152 – Health and behavior intervention performed by a non-physician provider
From the American Academy for Family Physicians
90880 - Hypnotherapy
We would be happy to set up time for an initial conversation about your interests and needs.
Martin C. Lowery C.C.Ht.