What is Hypnosis?

I’ve just qualified as a hypnotist and as a result I’ve been talking about hypnosis with lots of different people. It seems to fall into 3 camps, those who are interested but haven’t tried it, those who have tried it but say they didn’t think they were in hypnosis and, the smallest camp, those who already get it.

So, if you haven’t tried it, or have and don’t think it worked, this post is for you.

What is hypnosis?! Hypnosis is simply a state of focus. A slightly altered level of consciousness where you are focussed more intently on the important stuff, rather than distracted by all the hubbub on the periphery.


It isn’t really what you’ve seen in the movies, where hypnotists turn people into zombies with no free will to do their bidding. A lot of people expect some kind of strange dimension where you have no recollection of what’s been said, what’s happened or anything that went on around you at the time – which is why some people think they’ve not been hypnotised, they simply haven’t had their expectations managed.

When you’re in hypnosis you remain aware, you remain in control and you remain conscious of what is happening around you and your thoughts, but you are able to focus on only what’s important – usually the voice of the hypnotist and your reaction to it. That sounds like less of a trance state than how we go through our days normally to me but it’s up to you whether you decide to consider a hypnotist as someone who puts you into a trance or takes you out of one.

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A hypnotist cannot make you do something you really don’t want to do. (Mores the shame, I can think of someone I’d make do the house work!). I know you’re wondering now about people acting the fool in stage shows (mind reader as well as hypnotist!). Usually the people that volunteer for this are outgoing and want to entertain and are often a bit pissed. Add to that an audience they don’t want to let down and the belief that they will do whatever the hypnotist says and low and behold they are quacking like a duck every time the doorbell goes.

That being said, a hypnotist can really help you do something you DO want to do. Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, get over a phobia, reduce old pain or anxiety, hypnosis can get you to a place where you can get out of your own way and start making real and lasting change. If this sounds like something you want to do, or you have an issue I haven’t mentioned and want to know if I can help, give me a shout.
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