- Q. What is clinical hypnosis?
- A. Clinical hypnosis refers to the use of hypnosis by a trained clinician for a therapeutic purpose.
- Q. What is a trance?
- A. A trance refers to a state where individuals deeply focused on their own internal thoughts and feelings and temporarily loose touch with their physical surroundings. Many people can spontaneously enter a state of trance whether or not they are being actively hypnotized.
- Q. Are their different types of trances?
- A. Yes, a trance may be ‘light’ or ‘deep’
In a light trance, you will remember everything that is said to you and you will simply feel very relaxed and comfortable. You will be able to talk about things that bother you without the anxiety or discomfort you generally experience.
If you go into a deep trance, you will will feel so relaxed and comfortable that you will temporarily loose track of time and place. A few minutes under clinical hypnosis may feel like several hours, or vice versa
- A. You may be able to move so deeply into your imagination that you temporarily feel as if you are in another place or time. For example, the hypnotist might tell you to imagine that you are in a special place from your childhood and you may feel as if you are really there. You may be completely unable to feel aches and pains that generally bother you. If you suffer from severe or chronic pain, this is clearly a very positive thing! By practicing clinical hypnosis over and over again, you can learn to ‘hypnotize’ yourself so that you can relax at will, even during very stressful real life situations!
- Q. What will the therapist do when I go into a trance?
- A. The therapist will quietly talk to you to help you to relax your body and mind. Once you are deeply relaxed, the therapist might talk to you about how to more effectively handle difficult situations in your life. Because you will feel so relaxed you will be more open to your therapist’s suggestions, and more inclined to follow them when you leave the office!
- Q. Who discovered this tool?
- A. The term ‘hypnosis’ was originally coined by a Scottish surgeon named James Baird in the 1840s. He discovered that if his patients stared at a visual point, they would eventually become calm and impervious to pain. He named his discovery after ‘Hypno’ (The Greek God of Sleep).
- Q. What is hypnotherapy?
- A. ‘Hypnotherapy’ refers to the use of clinical hypnosis as a therapeutic intervention. Today hypnotherapy is used to treat a wide variety of psychological and physiological ailments. However, the best-studied uses of hypnotherapy are for the reduction of anxiety and pain. There have been numerous research studies documenting how well hypnotherapy can work to relieve conditions such as nausea, panic attacks, and acute pain reactions (especially those that are exacerbated by anxiety such as receiving a painful shot).
- Q. How do therapists get trained to provide hypnotherapy?
- A. There are many current schools of hypnotherapy as well as a national organization that provides training and certification in this field. In the state of North Carolina, any independently licensed psychologist can practice hypnotherapy as long as they have had specialized training in the form of courses, workshops and professional supervision.
- Q. If I come to you for hypnotherapy, is that all we will do when I see you?
- A. Hypnotherapy can be practiced in isolation or as an adjunct to ongoing psychotherapy. When I practice hypnotherapy, it is nearly always in conjunction with some type of ongoing psychotherapy.
- Q. Who should try hypnotherapy?
- A. If you suffer from excessive anxiety, phobias, compulsive or addictive behavior patterns or excessive physical pain reactions, you may wish to explore this therapeutic option.
For further information about clinical hypnosis, call Dr. Parks today to arrange for a consultation to see whether this tool might work for you!