For most people, the word Hypnosis brings up memories of something they have seen in movies, television shows, or for entertainment in Las Vegas or on a cruise ship.
The interchangeable use of the word “Trance” for being in a hypnotic state conjures an image of a person being programmed and controlled by someone else.
From a scientific perspective, being in the state of Hypnosis is simply being in the “Alpha or Theta” (pre-sleep) brainwave state. These are different levels of consciousness that occur on a daily basis for everyone. There isn’t anything exceptional about moving from the “Beta” (conscious state) to “Alpha”, “Theta” and then “Delta” (unconscious/sleep state).
What Is Typical Hypnosis Protocol
One misconception about Hypnosis, and especially Hypnosis used for therapy, is that it can be done to you without your knowledge or consent. One cannot be hypnotized unless they want to be. In the state of Hypnosis, the person is awake and all of their senses are functioning. The hypnotic subject is completely in control and would not do or say anything that they wouldn’t in their conscious state.
Hollywood does a great job of making Hypnosis look like a mysterious magic trick which is then used to control someone and make them do things which they would normally not do. Stage hypnosis is similar in that the hypnotist appears as a magician and seems to have some strange power over the audience members who are carefully selected to participate.
It is estimated that 5% of the population are considered “highly suggestible” meaning easily influenced in that hypnotic “alpha” brainwave state and it’s generally quick and easy to help them reach that state. The other 95% lie somewhere on the scale. For the purpose of great entertainment, the very skilled hypnotist on stage does suggestibility testing with the audience that they are not aware of and then is able to easily choose their volunteers from that 5% of the population that are highly suggestible.
Stage hypnosis is very different from hypnotherapy because taking a highly suggestible person and having them “cluck like a chicken” or hop around on one foot is not a lifelong behavior change or anything emotional for the person performing. The whole event is intended for entertainment whereas hypnosis for therapeutic reasons is quite serious and helps people to change ingrained patterns, habits, and behaviors. Stage hypnosis is real, it’s just not serious.
A qualified Denver, Colorado Hypnotherapist knows that in order to use hypnosis effectively to help a person, the person has to be able to accept, believe, and surrender to the information being given to them in that suggestible “Alpha/Theta” brainwave state. In that state, the analytical filter which is usually “guarding the door” so to speak, in the “Beta” brainwave state, is quiet or not as active so that the therapists’ suggestions can get through without being watered down by the analysis that is usually in place in that highly conscious state.
Why Do People Choose Hypnotherapy
When a person chooses Hypnotherapy, it is because they want to surrender to the new information which is used to help them change an undesirable behavior or to promote a new behavior or a new way of thinking. Any suggestion given by a hypnotherapist should be in alignment with what the client is asking for but even if it wasn’t, the client could easily reject it.
It is important to know that a person cannot be hypnotized against their will or made to do things that would be against their morals, values or desires.