What to Expect at Your First Hypnosis Session

The first appointment

A session usually takes about an hour and starts with you describing in detail what it is you want to change. I will clarify some points and make sure I understand what I need to do. Then I’ll explain hypnosis, what it can and can’t do, and after discussing various approaches, we’ll agree on how to proceed. Normally I will then begin the induction and guide you to into a gentle hypnotic trance. Everyone can go into trance. You don’t have to have any secret hypnosis skills and you can’t go into trance wrong; all you have to do is relax and focus on your breathing. I do everything else.

What is hypnosis like?

Many people don’t know what to expect the first time they go into trance.

Remember:

  • Hypnosis is safe and enjoyable.
  • You will be aware of what is going on at all times.
  • You cannot be persuaded to do anything against your own values.
  • You will be able to come out of hypnosis any time you want to.
  • You are always in control of what you say and do.
  • You will not experience mental fireworks or get touched by some cosmic energy.
  • What you will feel is amazingly relaxed, you will feel totally detached, that nothing
    really matters right now, that you could do anything you wanted but you can’t be
    bothered, that you just want to go on lying there and enjoying this amazing feeling. At
    the end of the session you will feel deeply relaxed and refreshed.

What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

You will be asked to sit in a comfortable chair and after checking that you are ready I will then begin an induction. The induction is a form of words designed to lead you into a relaxing and comfortable trance. If you are nervous, then I will demonstrate your hypnotic abilities by taking you briefly into trance and out again so that you experience it firsthand. That way you get to understand the amazing power of hypnosis.

Although you are deeply relaxed you are actively involved in the process at every stage. In hypnotherapy you are not a passive observer, you are always aware of what is going on and following what I am saying, and actively working with me. I might ask you at various points to open your eyes, to move a hand or to speak to me. These tasks are all designed to let me know how you are progressing, and to let you know that things are going smoothly. You will not go to sleep. I will make sure that you do not get so relaxed that you go to sleep – I need you to be able to communicate with me all the time.

Once you have reached the level of trance that’s right for you, I will begin the process of helping you to make the changes you want. I will usually start by gently taking you to a place where you can feel safe, warm and content. From there I will possibly take you on a guided journey where you overcome obstacles, meet wise leaders, or interact with people you used to know. The exact content depends on what you are wanting to achieve. I will also usually mix in a lot of suggestions about your own capabilities, assumptions, perceptions and behavior. I will also usually invite you to some future situation where you will act with complete confidence with your new found abilities. At the end of the session I will guide you out of trance again. You will come out of trance feeling refreshed and alert. Most people feel as if they have just wakened from a long nap, and feel really relaxed. Most people find the whole experience very enjoyable.

Sometimes you will have to return for another session if what you want changed
cannot all be done in one day but you can expect to get a major change after the first
session.

Will I remember everything?

Usually you will remember everything that was said to you and how you felt about it.
Very occasionally a client will get so relaxed that they will have no recollection at all
of what went on. This shows that they went into a really deep trance, and is a good
thing. They actually do remember it, but not consciously. If I say “Do you recall me
talking about a rose?” they will say “Oh, yes, actually I do, now that you mention it”.

What very often happens is the client says afterward “Look I’m sorry. I must have
fallen asleep during the trance, there are parts I just don’t remember”. This is an
indication the client was going up and down in trance and remembers the parts where
they were lightly hypnotized, but when I touched on things of real importance they
went deeper into trance and cannot recall those parts consciously, because they were
not processing them with their conscious mind. If I put them into trance again they
can give complete details but cannot recall a thing when awake. This is known as
state-dependent memory and is quite harmless.

What if I get it wrong?

Everyone can be hypnotized. Hypnosis is a natural ability we all have. Going into
trance is something you already know how to do. All is I do is guide you in, like the
air traffic controller guiding a plane down onto the right runway. It is always you
flying the plane, not me, all I do is to give you some suggestions about when you
might want to turn left or right. If you have any worries at all, just ask.