If I had a penny for every time someone asks me "So what do you do" and I answer -- "I'm a hypnotherapist" -- and they say -- "Oh, I cannot be hypnotized".
My usual response?
Have you seen a billboard on the way here?
-- "You were hypnotized."
-- "Did you hear a song or see a political or a burger ad recently on TV?"
-- "You were hypnotized."
So -- EVERYTHING is hypnosis. If someone -- a parent or another caretaker -- told you certain things about you or behaved a certain negative way -- you are likely to internalize that, creating a false limiting belief.
Very often when we hear negative things about us repeatedly -- we start to believe it. And before age 8 as children -- everything goes especially deep.
It's a pet peeve of mine people still think of hypnotherapy as stage hypnosis with some kind of hokey creepy fellow on stage making someone do something against their will in a zombie like state. Arghhh!
This has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with hypnotherapy -- not when you ask me anyway. I've been to Vegas, I've seen some of those shows -- they are fun. I'm not sure how they do it but this has very little to do with hypnotherapy that helps people feel better, achieve goals and shift limiting beliefs.
For example, I always thought I couldn't draw. I had a really mean arts teacher in first grade that made fun of my drawings, humiliated me in front of the whole class, I just gave up, dissociated completely, I was very hurt.
Until I met a wonderful art therapist right here in Santa Fe and became her client a few years ago -- just the idea of drawing gave me anxiety and fear. And when there was someone like this brilliant woman who encouraged me, gave me hope -- gained a lot of confidence, let go off pain .
I'm not ready for the Louvre yet but I can draw for fun -- and have zero anxiety while doing it! Bless this beautiful marvel of an arts therapist who helped me.
So basically that mean arts teacher hypnotized me into believing I couldn't draw. She didn't put me under though! There was no stage or hokey music playing or me walking around as a zombie. No! She was just really nasty to me and being a little kid there was very little I could do about it at the time. My mom eventually took me out of her class but the damage was already done.
But the point is -- any experience we have -- positive or negative -- is hypnosis. People showing us ads or billboards on TV -- is hypnosis. Our friends telling us things -- is hypnosis... Our family... you get the idea!
So hypnosis is simply acquiring certain beliefs and programming about yourself and how the world works -- and if those beliefs we were hypnotized into were not helpful, productive, or useful -- we walk around with a very limited, negative, or sad mind map of ourselves and the world we live in.
Hypnotherapy helps change that. When we expect the best -- the best is more likely to come our way. And when we expect the worst and think of ourselves as unworthy -- you get the idea.
And furthermore, in my experience and contrary to many schools of hypnotherapy -- it is absolutely not necessary for someone not to remember the hypnotherapy session or to be in a trance in order to benefit from it.
From personal experience as a long term client of various hypnotherapists -- I've had some sessions where I was in a trance and remembered nothing and they were very helpful and I've had many more sessions where I was not in a trance and remembered what the hypnotherapist said and they were just as helpful if not more. I actually probably had many more sessions where I was not in a trance and it was just as helpful.
Therefore, if you're a human being -- you've already been hypnotized a million times by your parents, marketers, our society. Proper hypnotherapy helps you identify if some hypnotic ideas about yourself, your abilities, or the world were not helpful to you and change them so they ARE helpful and so that you experience greater happiness, contentment, joy, reaching your goals, whatever that is you're looking for.
So, I know not too many people are reading this at the moment, but maybe one day -- please, remember -- all of us had been hypnotized, not just the people in Vegas doing stage hypnosis. Conscious work with a hypnotherapist helps you identify, uncover some of those beliefs and ask yourself -- is that really true? Is that helpful to me? Does this help me or does it bring me down?
If it doesn't help you, if it does bring you down, and if it's not really true -- you have been negatively hypnotized and hypnotherapy can help correct that to a more helpful functioning model of the world.
But I doubt there are too many people, myself included, of course, who have not received some kind of bad programming along the way of growing up.
Hypnotherapy helps with that. That's what being hypnotized is and if you ask me it has little to nothing to do with stage hypnosis.