What does being hypnotized feel like?
Every human being has gone into hypnosis regularly since they were born. Hypnosis is that state that begins approximately thirty minutes before you fall asleep and that you can go back into for thirty minutes after you wake up. You also enter it when you’re absorbed in reading or watching a movie or TV. It’s that completely relaxed and comfortable state in which you become less connected to the outer world and begin moving towards that vagueness that precedes sleep.
Your body is as deeply relaxed as your mind. Sometimes you feel like you’re floating; sometimes you don’t feel anything at all. One client describes it as a “dream-like state of mind.” Others talk about being very calm and that, sometimes, it’s almost like an out-of-body experience – except that you always know exactly where you are and feel absolutely safe and secure. Others just feel relaxed and nothing unusual. These people are often not sure they’ve even been under hypnosis — until I remind them that their hand rose off the table simply because I suggested it did or they saw the images we developed with peculiar visual, auditory, and emotional clarity.
But, even in the deepest state of hypnosis, you can always hear everything the hypnotherapist says and talk with her or him. You can even have your eyes open. If they choose, a person can come out of the state at any time. But most people enjoy the whole hypnotherapeutic process so much that they rarely do.
When you posted earlier that hypnotherapy was only like the theatrical hypnosis shows in that people are hypnotized, I got curious. When you see those shows it’s always a big joke about that person who claims they “can’t be hypnotized” and always is (at least in the show). But really how often does this happen? Are there people who can’t be hypnotized, even if they are coming to you for therapy?
I’ve been doing this since I was 12, a very long time now, and in my experience nearly everyone can be hypnotized. The few exceptions have been those people who really did not want to be hypnotized because they, mistakenly, thought they would lose control. And, I get those people partially under before they are too uncomfortable to continue. The fact is, you are ALWAYS in control. You hear everything that is going on, we talk while you’re in hypnosis, and you can stop the session at any time.
The fact is everyone is in hypnosis everyday. Hypnosis is that 30 minute period before you naturally fall asleep when your imagination becomes more active and your conscious mind is turning inward. Another familiar example is when you’re reading and completely wrapped up in the book. The biggest difference between that type of hypnosis and what we do in my office is that you are focusing on my voice.
When I put you in hypnosis, it feels like a daydream only I’m guiding you through it. At the beginning of the session, we discuss what your goals are or what behaviors you want to change. From this, I learn the language of your subconscious mind which thinks in images. Some people are more visual or kinetic, so I can figure out how to phrase things and what sort of imagery to use. And then, after I put you under, everything I say is what you’ve told me that you want to hear. You’ll hear every word I say although you might drift off once or twice. When I see that, I’ll bring your attention back to me. Everything in hypnotherapy is based on being comfortable and safe.