Choosing a Hypnotist For Sensitive People
Considering a hypnosis session? You can start with a referral from a trusted individual, or choose an actual hypnotherapist (a licensed psychotherapist who practices hypnosis).
Sensitivity. Choosing your hypnotist carefully is particularly useful if you are very sensitive and strongly affected by others’ words and emotions. Some people have the ability to enter deep trance quickly and easily. These individuals may have an exceptionally strong ability to affect their own emotional state, and even physical health, in accordance with their thoughts and beliefs. This is a positive power — when used wisely — yet this power requires extra protection. Such people will need to be more careful about taking in other’s words, beliefs, feelings and attitudes — especially during hypnosis, when their critical faculties (the ability to question and critique) are relaxed.
Mismatches. Even with a well-trained hypnotist, it’s possible to receive a message in a way which doesn’t work so well for us. For instance, if a hypnotist says, “When I touch your hand, you’ll go into a deep trance,” you’ll generally prefer to go into the trance DURING the hypnosis session — not later, if you happen to decide to shake his hand on the way out the door.
Although it’s unlikely, if you later go into trance from a handshake, then the hypnotist’s words — which may have been fine for his other clients — were a mismatch for you.
It’s okay – errors and mismatches CAN be fixed. (You can even take yourself out of trance, for example, by affirming: “I have the ultimate power to choose my own state of consciousness” – or more simply: “When I count to 3, I’ll be back to normal. 1, … 2, … 3!”) Of course, you may prefer to take steps in advance to minimize the (already small) possibility of problems. For advice, see “Deeper Preparation for Hypnosis.”)
The possibility of waking up old feelings. Hypnosis will sometimes bring up strong feelings which you previously repressed or dissociated (buried, cut off from consciousness). This can be a wonderful opportunity to heal old issues and free up more energy for your life. You might want to take this into account when choosing a hypnotist – to ensure that she or he is empathic, and ideally that she or he is a therapist as well. Either way, this could be a great time to start (or continue) psychotherapy, which may possibly take the form of hypnotherapy.
Symptom removal. If your goal is to eliminate a symptom or habit, such as nail-biting or smoking, ideally the hypnotist will help you to do this in a way which supports your total well-being. Sometimes we use these symptoms (or habits) as a way of coping with stress, and if we simply take the symptom away, we might (possibly) feel even worse. You may want to choose a hypnotist who is sensitive to this issue, and who can guide you (if you’re up for suggestions) to take care of your deeper needs in a healthy way. She or he may do this by working with you closely to help you deal with stress, or simply by reminding you of your own inner ability to deal with (or transform) the stress in the best possible way.
To schedule a session with Dr. Laurie Greenberg in New York City or online, please contact me directly:
[email protected] – or – +1 (212) 501-4647
Alternatively, perhaps you can find a hypnotherapist near you at www.psychologytoday.com or www.goodtherapy.com.