by Madison Brightwell, LMFT

When I first meet people and tell them I’m a hypnotherapist, their first reaction is generally, “Oh, so are you going to make me bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken?” and I usually respond “Not unless you really want to!” Because in hypnotherapy it’s not about me controlling you or making you do anything. It’s really more about me giving you the reins so that you can control your own life.

Your Own Subconscious

Hypnotherapy is all about change – which is why I call my company Positive Transformation. It’s the change that the client is ready, willing and eager to make in their life, and yet somehow they have not been able to do it for themselves. Hypnotherapy is about guiding you, the client, to harness the power you have locked in your own subconscious mind, and use it for your own benefit. The human mind is divided in very similar proportions to those of an iceberg: 12% is conscious, represented by the tip of the iceberg, the part we can see; and 88% is subconscious, or the part of the iceberg which lies beneath the surface of the water, invisible and therefore potentially dangerous. What you know is there you can deal with, what you don’t know is there can subtly sabotage your best efforts.

Focused Awareness

Another misconception about hypnosis is that it’s a state of being asleep or unconscious. Not true at all – in fact if one of my clients should fall asleep during a session I‘ll be inclined to wake them up so they can continue receiving the benefit of the session. The state of hypnosis is one of relaxed and yet focused awareness, where the brain waves slow down, the physical senses are still functioning and the mind is more open and receptive to suggestions. If you’ve ever missed your exit while driving on the freeway, been emotionally involved by watching a movie in the theater, or been zoned out while playing a sport you love, you’ve been in a state of hypnosis.

Therefore, if there’s anyone reading this article who believes some people just can’t be hypnotized and you are one of those people – relax, it’s not true. You’ve already been hypnotized many times in your life, even if it was only by your cat!