Can you make me cluck like a chicken? Only if you think it will be therapeutic – and it’s never happened yet.
The hypnotherapist has no control over you – during a session I am simply there to guide you into a hypnotic state. You are always in control. In fact it is often though the all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis.
Once you are in this state, which is as unique as you are, you are responsible for being curious, allowing memories of the past to come your way, accepting suggestions, using your imagination, allowing negotiation of the different parts (for example the part that loves doughnuts and the part of you that wants to be healthy), visualising new futures and finding your own internal resources to help make positive changes, plus lots more.
If I was to suggest anything that went against your intrinsic beliefs or future goals, then you would certainly reject it. If at any point you did not feel comfortable you can simply open your eyes and become fully conscious and aware.
Part of our chat before beginning hypnosis will be to reassure your mind that you will be safe. Whatever you are going through at present your mind is under the impression that is the most appropriate and healthiest way forward (based on it’s life experiences); therefore, we thank it and then begin our change work. (For example, I have seen a client with chronic back pain which eased as he allowed himself to feel and accept some old emotional pain. His mind was simply distracting him from something that it deemed more painful. The intention of the mind was a good one; once the client was strong enough to deal with the emotion safely the unwanted aches just faded away).
Hypnosis – and therein self-hypnosis – is a powerful tool that can be used in therapy with a trained therapist as a guide and facilitator, but also when you are back home.
After a session I often expect clients to continue the work we have started. This may be in the form an audio to listen to or self-directed hypnosis. As with any new technique it can take a while to feel comfortable; and there may be days when you just can’t drift into a trance. And that’s fine; maybe then just go for a walk, listen to music or potter around the garden, just some simple, but effective, ways to free your mind.
The most important thing is that your mind feels safe and always in control.