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What Happens in a Typical Hypnosis Session?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 17, 2024
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In the initial part of a hypnosis session, the therapist will need to understand the patient’s problem, so there is usually some questioning. Once that’s taken care of, the hypnotherapist will begin putting the patient into a hypnotic state. This often involves requiring the individual to focus on something in the distance, but sometimes, the patient's eyes will remain closed throughout the entire process. Once the patient achieves a hypnotic state, the hypnotherapist will offer suggestions, often using several communication tactics designed to help change the person’s outlook. In ideal circumstances, the patient will awaken afterward and experience improvement in his problems.

If the hypnotherapist doesn’t have a clear understanding of the patient’s problems, he or she cannot formulate a sound strategy for treatment. This means the therapist may need in-depth information about the patient’s past history to get a better understanding of the issues going on in the case. Sometimes the questioning can be extensive and very probing, especially in the initial session.

Getting the patient into hypnosis is handled in various ways. It can almost be seen as a process of forcing the individual into a deep state of meditation. The person never actually loses conscious awareness of what is going on, but there is generally a deep relaxation and an increased ability to focus. The hypnotherapist is really trying to help the patient achieve a state of total internal focus with almost no real notice of what’s going on externally.

Once the patient is under, the hypnotherapist will generally zero in on the problems in the patient’s mind. This may involve asking the patient to examine his past history and look for trigger points that started a bad habit. It may also involve helping the patient learn new ways of seeing himself by using visualization exercises. The hypnotist is basically tapped into the patient’s subconscious during a hypnosis session, and he uses that to his advantage.

Since the patient is actually aware during the process, the classic approach of telling the patient that he will remember nothing isn’t generally a part of a hypnosis session. When the hypnotist wants the patient to wake up, he will generally just ask, and the patient can easily snap out of it. Ideally, once the hypnosis session is over, the person will have an easier time with his problems. The actual effectiveness of the therapy can vary, with some patients having much better results than others.

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