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Going under: What hypnosis is really like

Lots of people are pretty curious about what hypnosis is all about and what it is actually like to be hypnotised.

Maybe you're thinking about giving hypnotherapy a go but aren't sure if it is right for you or if you'll 'get it right'.

Hypnosis can be a bit misunderstood, thanks in part to stage shows and TV dramas. This is where people seem like they're completely under the spell of a charismatic hypnotist. Those people on stage are specifically selected because they're the most willing and cooperative in the audience. They are highly 'hypnotisable', which simply means they are able to be hypnotised very quickly and very easily! About 20% of people fall in to this category but the god news is that the vast majority of people can be hypnotised, it just typically takes some additional tools and techniques.

It is important to remember that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In other words, you're the one who's ultimately in control. A hypnotherapist isn't a magician casting spells on you but more like a guide helping you find your way into a hypnotic state – and they can only do it with your consent.

How deep you go into hypnosis depends on a few things:

  1. Knowing you're in control.

  2. Trusting your hypnotherapist.

  3. Being open to following their lead.

So, if you're cool with the idea that you're driving this train and you're up for following their instructions, you're set for a successful ride.

Hypnosis isn't the same as falling asleep. You might feel relaxed and a bit drowsy, but if you actually doze off, you're not in hypnosis anymore – you're just plain asleep. Hypnosis is more like that daydreamy state where you're not fully asleep, but you're not entirely aware of your surroundings either. It's like those mornings when you're lying in bed, awake but drifting in and out of thoughts, memories, and random mental images that just pop up effortlessly.

It's like taking a mental stroll through the deeper parts of your mind.

Another key thing to understand about hypnosis is that it helps you bypass your conscious mind's resistance to certain ideas and information. All too often in daily life your critical mind is in overdrive, analysing every word for flaws. So in hypnosis we find ways to navigate this and connect with the unconscious part of your mind, free from that critical thinking for a short period of time. Your conscious mind takes a back seat, making way for information to flow in smoothly and be processed by your unconscious mind.

Skilled hypnotherapists knows how to talk in a way that makes your conscious mind say, "No need to be skeptical here, this all checks out," allowing the information to seep into your unconscious.

A common misconception is that you won't remember anything during the session. Some people don't, whereas others remember most of it! It doesn't actually matter. Your unconscious is listening, so whether you consciously remember or not isn't really the point. During hypnosis, your mind is in a relaxed and receptive state. If you catch yourself zoning out and not questioning what you hear, that's a sure sign that you're in a hypnotic state. If your attention drifts, that's another indicator. Feeling super relaxed (though it's not a must) is a bonus sign. As long as you're aware that you're working together with the hypnotherapist by following their lead, you're in good shape for a successful session.


Get in touch to learn more about hypnotherapy and its benefits.

Malcolm Struthers Hypnotherapy - Dumfries & Galloway and online


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