What is Ericksonian hypnosis?
Hypnosis has been around since antiquity and has long been practiced by shamans. Certain aspects of it are used today in hypnotist stage acts. Its scientific basis was established by American psychiatrist Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980), who in the 1950s laid the foundations for contemporary hypnotherapy, more generally known as Ericksonian hypnosis. A far cry from shows and fairground acts, therapeutic hypnosis took off medically as anæsthesia for certain surgical procedures and as treatment for problems that poison people’s lives.
Why consult a hypnotherapist?
Consult a hypnotherapist when you feel the effects of troublesome behaviour that is difficult to handle by yourself and is poisoning your life, such as weight problems, tobacco addiction, fear of flying, dizziness, nervous tics, stress at work or at home, lack of self-confidence, or insomnia. The issue may be related with an internal difficulty affecting your relationship and decision-taking, or with external difficulties disturbing your image of yourself or your lot in life. Many people want to improve their lives through a simple course of hypnosis to alleviate a debilitating symptom without the need for embarking on long and painful introspection.
How long does a consultation last?
At least three quarters of an hour is needed to perform hypnosis.
How often are consultations?
The frequency of consultations depends on your needs and the problem to be treated.
How long does a course of consultations last?
To quit smoking, for example, a €200 package of four sessions is recommended.
What will my relationship with my hypnotherapist be like?
A hypnotherapist is a professional whom you consult within the framework of a therapeutic relationship. Consultations are therefore confidential and subject to the Professional Secrecy Act (Clauses 223-6,13,14 and 434-1,6,11). What is said during a consultation therefore remains within the walls of the consulting room. No one is authorized to request any information about what happens there, or about what you have said or heard during your consultations. No employers, family members or friends will ever be informed of the content of your consultations by your hypnotherapist.
How do sessions proceed?
The first session generally involves an in-depth interview targeting the origin of the problem. The next session is entirely devoted to deep hypnosis prepared in advance and tailored to your case. Subsequent sessions are devoted to consolidating the progress made. It is preferable to take up a relaxed position on a couch to deepen the hypnosis.
Can I tell my hypnotherapist anything?
You are free to say anything you wish to your hypnotherapist. However, it is the interview prior to the hypnosis session that tries to define the target and circumstances of the appearance of the symptom to be treated. It is therefore in your own interests to be as clear and precise as possible in order for the therapy to work effectively. If you find answering a question from your hypnotherapist embarrassing, you are under no obligation whatsoever to respond. At the end of the interview your hypnotherapist will summarize any suggestions to be made to you during hypnosis.
I think I’ll be too stressed; what should I do?
The state of hypnosis is above all a comfortable state of relaxation. If you are worried about lying down, hypnosis can also be performed in a seated position.
I’m scared of losing control; what should I do?
During the hypnotic sleep state, akin to drowsiness, you will not lose consciousness or your critical faculties; you will simply be receptive to suggestions you have prepared at the previous interview. If you are genuinely afraid of the hypnotic state, your hypnotherapist will suggest deep relaxation in a horizontal or seated position to be able to treat your problem as effectively as possible. During hypnotic sleep or deep relaxation, your eyelids may flutter or blink. You may also have trouble swallowing or drool a little. This is perfectly normal. It is an excellent sign of therapeutic success, so do not worry about it.
I’m scared of never waking up again!
If you fall asleep, you wake up naturally after sufficient rest. With hypnosis, because of the appointment schedule of the practice, it will be your hypnotherapist who wakes you up. When you awaken, you will feel as rested and content as you do relaxed and reassured. The hypnotic sleep state is very much like sleep itself: pleasant and refreshing.
Is taking certain medicines incompatible with hypnosis?
As a state of consciousness, hypnosis is close to sleep. But it is not sleep. Certain medicines, however, do run the risk of making you fall asleep under hypnosis and that will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. It is in your interests to inform your hypnotherapist of the nature and dosage of any medication you are taking so that allowances can be made in the treatment. Hypnosis is especially contraindicated with the use of neuroleptics, sleeping pills, or any other narcotic or toxic substance.