Finding the Zone: a powerful self-hypnosis/meditation exercise

Frequently Asked Questions About Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

What is self-hypnosis?

Self-hypnosis occurs when you take yourself into altered state, a trance state. In effect you are both the hypnotist and the subject. You can learn to use self-hypnosis purposefully, to give yourself positive suggestions, or to just relax and de-stress. Most meditation is a form of self-hypnosis.


For a powerful self-hypnosis experience, see the video above.


Will I remember what happens during my session?

Most likely, you will. But some people, in a deep trance, have a tendency to forget all or most of it - spontaneous amnesia. For things that are important for you to remember consciously, I may suggest that your remember.


Will I lose control in hypnosis?

No.  The fact is, in hypnosis you are always in control.  You can and will reject any suggestion you do not like, that goes against your values or your wishes, or that you do not accept for any reason. You will ignore the suggestion or perhaps come out of trance completely.


How does it feel to be hypnotized?

Most people find hypnosis very pleasant, but exactly how it feels varies from person to person. Parts of your body may feel tingly, light or heavy, warm or cool, expansive, “strange," or none of these things. Many people are surprised at how normal and natural hypnosis feels. Some say it’s the most relaxed they have felt for years.


Hypnosis is not sleep. A hypnotized person is aware of everything that is happening and knows that he or she is in a hypnotic state – you don’t “zone out” or become a zombie. Some may not feel any different, and may not even believe they are hypnotized. The only sure way to tell is how well the person responds to the hypnotist’s suggestions.


Can everyone be hypnotized?

Anyone who allows themselves to engage can be hypnotized. A qualified hypnotist uses a variety of techniques, with the understanding that some people require unique ways to relax into a state of hypnotic trance.


Hypnosis is an altered state, a trance state. Everyone naturally transitions in and out of various trance states throughout the day without noticing or thinking about it. Daydreaming, watching TV or a movie, and becoming engrossed in a book are all states of trance. In the hypnosis chair you are guided into a suggestible trance state; this allows your unconscious to more easily accept the beneficial changes and suggestions you want.


Can hypnosis help with my pain?

I am very good with pain. For pain that you are feeling in the moment, I use several "mind tricks" that are usually very effective, and you will be able to do them later on your own.


These "mind trick" can also help with chronic pain, but often there are emotional and even identity issues involved that need deeper techniques (especially Wholeness) to resolve.


That said, your pain may be an indication of a medical or dental condition that you should have evaluated and treated by a physician or dentist. We do not want to use hypnosis to mask an injury or medical condition. If you sprain your ankle, the pain is telling you something important: lay off that ankle - you may injure yourself further! If you have a toothache, go to a dentist!

What is NLP?

NLP - NeuroLinguistic Programming - represents an understanding of how each of us creates our own model of reality, and ways to modify that model so that it works better for us, in terms of our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and how we experience the world.


NLP processes usually involve altered states, thought the may be no obvious induction. The person may appear to be alert and just following directions, but changes are happening beneath the surface. Of course, you could say that these are all different forms of hypnosis - and you would be right - but they often do not appear to be what most people expect when they think of "hypnosis."

I get very anxious. Can hypnosis help with that?

People use this word, "anxiety," for a number of things. Do you worry? Feel antsy in certain situations? Is there fear involved, or a phobia? Is flying a problem for you, or do you have difficulty driving on highways or going over bridges or through tunnels?


I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist - I do not think of anxiety as a diagnosis or a condition. Instead, I will ask you to tell me what you are actually experiencing, and we go from there.


I use several powerful NLP modalities to work with anxiety, in particular, Core Transformation and Wholeness, with wonderful results!


Also see my blog, "Stalked by Bird Callers".                                                    Top

How many sessions will I need?

Hypnotherapy is a relatively short-term process, compared to Psychotherapy which can go on for many months or even years.

Typically, we can resolve most issues in three to five 90-minute sessions. It is rare for me to work with a client for more than a few months, but occasionally I do, when there are multiple interrelated things going on. Sometimes the later session or sessions morph into more of a coaching mode.

Smoking cessation typically requires three sessions. With weight loss we usually start out with 4-5 sessions, but for larger amounts of weight I will want to continue working with you the entire time, with followup sessions every 3 or 4 weeks, until you get to where you want to be.


What happens in a hypnosis session?

In a first session, I ask a lot of questions and listen carefully to what you tell me.  I need a thorough understanding of what your issues represent to you and how you experience them.  I ask what changes you want and how you will know when you have achieved them.

We talk about hypnosis, what it is, your previous experience with hypnosis, if any, and your expectations.

I teach you one or two basic self-hypnosis and meditation exercise. 


And then we go to work! We will do hypnosis sessions, pain work perhaps, and I will utilize paradigms such as Core Transformation and Wholeness, guiding you to change the things that have been keeping you stuck and unhappy; to re-integrate parts of you that have been split off and alienated, to help you change how you look at and interact with the world, in ways that better serve your thinking, feeling, behavior, and being.


Can hypnosis really make me lose weight?

With hypnosis, we guide you to change your eating habits, conquer stress-related and emotional eating, and motivate you to exercise. This builds a new relationship with food. You manage a healthy weight without dieting or feeling deprived. 


But none of that makes you lose weight – you do not just go about your business after hypnosis and, with no conscious thought as to how it might be occurring, somehow become slim.


The purpose of the my weight-loss program is bring your subconscious on board; so that all of your being, consciously and otherwise, moves in the direction of achieving your desired size and weight and maintaining it long-term


See also my Virtual Gastric Band Weight Loss Program.


Can hypnosis really make me stop smoking?

If you want to stop smoking, hypnosis helps align your subconscious, your “body-mind”, with your conscious desire; thereby enabling your success. See Smoking Cessation


If you don’t really want to stop; if the motivation is coming from someone or something else; I recommend you delay hypnosis and come back when you are ready. Or if you are on the fence, not sure whether you really want to quit, I will work with you, but in a different way, to help you decide what you really want to do, and if you do want to, to become smoke-free.


Could I become stuck in hypnosis, unable to wake up?

It has never happened. It never will.  Even if the hypnotist vanished, you would emerge from hypnosis naturally, in a fairly short amount of time.


I am a certified hypnotherapist (by the IMDHA - International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association), not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist licensed by the State. Hence I am not able to accept insurance payments.

Initial Consultation Session

I offer an Initial Consultation session for those who may want to get a sense of what hypnosis is like and how I work. In this session we will discuss your issues and talk about what hypnosis is. I will teach you a basic self-hypnosis exercise ("The Zone") and do some preliminary hypnotherapy work.

Session Packages

With a new client I typically schedule a package of several sessions:


Smoking (and Vaping) Cessation: We will do three sessions, a two-hour main session, followed by two shorter sessions for follow-up and reinforcement. Of those who do this three-session protocol, 75-80% are still smoke-free a year later.


Anxiety, Depression, Phobias and Feard, and Other Issues: I usually schedule 4.5 or 6 hours of work. The first session is 90-minutes; after that sessions will be (usually) 90 or 60 minutes, as we decide together. For many clients, this will be all they need; others may want to do a few more sessions, scheduled one at a time.

Weight Loss: We will start with 4.5 or 6 hours, to change your eating habits and enable you to slim down at a healthy and sustainable rate (1-2 pounds per week). I will want to continue working with you until you reach your desired goal (losing 50 pounds will take 6-12 months), but shortening the sessions spreading out the time between them. After a point these will be very short check-ins.