FAQs

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.

What is Clinical Hypnosis?

Clinical Hypnosis is a procedure during which a trained health professional or professional hypnotherapist gives a patient or client carefully worded instructions to guide the client into a focused state of relaxed attention. When there is good rapport between the client and hypnotist, the client’s conscious critical mind relaxes and temporarily quiets down. This allows the client to attend to the hypnotist’s suggestions and to imagine what the hypnotist is suggesting is real. The doorway to the subconscious mind opens with the client’s permission and the therapist provides information in a form that the client’s subconscious mind understands and can readily accept. This bypasses the conscious mind’s critical factor.

What is the reason to use clinical hypnosis?

The reason to use clinical hypnosis is to enlist your subconscious cooperation so you can get the results you want from therapy.

Do you need a hypnotist to induce a hypnotic state?

You need a clinical hypnotherapist to induce an intentional directed hypnotic state for therapeutic purposes. However, every day we all naturally and spontaneously slip into alternate states of consciousness similar to the hypnotic state. Examples include when you become absorbed in a good movie or a compelling book, when you are laying down comfortably and are about to fall asleep, right after you wake up from a nap, and so on. When you are listening to or telling a good story, you tend to enter a hypnosis like state. And if you have ever noticed your mind being on something else while you are driving, this divided state of consciousness is a hypnosis like mental state.

What kind of therapeutic tool is clinical hypnosis?

Clinical hypnosis is a linguistic tool for utilizing therapeutically the mind’s natural tendency to process information on different levels, as in the above examples. It is a unique form of therapeutic communication that, when used appropriately by hypnosis-trained health professionals, makes many treatments more effective. For example:

Some dentists who are trained to use clinical hypnosis help their patients who have dental anxiety relax using hypnosis. They also use hypnosis to help their patients better tolerate dental pain and to eliminate jaw clenching and teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.

Some physicians who are trained to use clinical hypnosis use hypnosis to prepare their patients for uncomfortable medical procedures as well as surgery, and to help their patients adhere to recommended or prescribed treatment regimens.

What is hypnoanalysis?

Competent hypnosis trained therapists, who can be called “Hypnotherapists”, use the hypnosis tool to make psychotherapy deeper, briefer, and more effective.

A good hypnotherapist not only utilizes direct suggestions in hypnosis but also uses the hypnosis tool, with the client’s informed consent, to explore and resolve the unconscious emotional causes of unexplained persistent physical and psychological symptoms. This way of using hypnosis in counseling and psychotherapy is called hypnoanalysis.

What do I specialize in?

I have trained in both suggestive hypnotherapy and in hypnoanalysis. I have co-authored two books on hypnoanalysis (Ewin & Eimer, 2006; Hunter & Eimer, 2012) as well as several books on clinical hypnosis (Eimer, 2007; Zarren & Eimer, 2002). I have been practicing hypnosis and hypnotherapy for over 30 years to help people get better, make the changes they desire, and keep the change. I specialize in hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, overeating, weight loss, chronic pain, depression, addictions, anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, annoying habits such as nail biting, complicated grief, PTSD, learning problems and study habits, public speaking and “stage fright”, and athletic and sports performance problems.

Call me for a free 15-minute no obligation initial phone consultation to learn how I can help you accomplish what you want using hypnosis.

Can you stop smoking in just one visit?

Yes. The most common reason people go to a professional hypnotist or hypnotherapist is for help to stop smoking. When you consult with me to help you stop smoking, after your hypnosis session, you will recognize that smoking is a choice and you do not have to smoke anymore. You will be able to refuse to smoke with little to no stress or withdrawal symptoms, because you really want to be a non-smoker. I have been using hypnosis as a tool to help people stop smoking for over 25 years. Often, this can be accomplished in just one visit. However, results will vary in each individual case.

Is hypnosis mind control?

No. Hypnosis is not mind control. You cannot be made to act on suggestions unacceptable to you. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing cooperative subject for clinical hypnosis to work for you. You and your hypnosis provider need to work together.

Is hypnosis a form of sleep?

No. Hypnosis is not sleep. The hypnotized client or patient is not asleep. To the contrary, hypnosis is a mental state of focused attention. Under hypnosis, you may become very relaxed, but you will remain aware of what is going on and continue to hear your hypnotist’s voice. You may remember what your hypnotist says after your hypnosis session. If you come to your session feeling very tired, you may fall asleep during hypnosis. But if you fall asleep, that is not hypnosis anymore. If you fall asleep, your hypnosis provider will gently wake you up!

Who can be hypnotized?

Most people can be hypnotized if they want to be. You need to want to cooperate and you need to be able to focus and follow instructions.

Can you get stuck in hypnosis?

No. You cannot “get stuck” in hypnosis. Hypnosis is a method that can help you gain greater control over your feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Since you are the one in control, you cannot be hypnotized against your will and you cannot “get stuck” in hypnosis.

How do you come out of hypnosis?

You emerge from hypnosis easily feeling good when you work with a competent hypnotherapist. Some people sometimes initially emerge from hypnosis feeling temporarily foggy, groggy, or drowsy. Other times, some people feel energized. You may feel as if you have just awoken from a nap, although you were really not asleep. I will help you re-alert completely from the hypnotic state and emerge feeling clear headed, physically normal, refreshed, and in control of your feelings.

Can hypnosis be used to refresh memory?

Hypnosis can be used as a tool to refresh and explore unconscious memories and feelings. But hypnosis is not a “truth serum”. Memories recalled under hypnosis can be distorted. Independent and objective verification is necessary to establish the factual basis of any memories recalled under hypnosis.

Does going to a clinical hypnotherapist complicate legal testimony?

In certain states and jurisdictions, hypnotically refreshed testimony is inadmissible in court. This means that (a) if you are a witness to, or a victim of, a crime, and (b) if you may have to testify about that crime in court, then, (c) the use of hypnosis to address any of your memories of that crime could result in your being disqualified from testifying about that material in court.

Are there “risks” or “side effects” of clinical hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a low risk, non-drug alternative for creating positive therapeutic outcomes. However, there is the possibility that certain “side effects” could occur. For more information, read the article I published in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis (see Eimer (2012).

  • There is the potential for you to feel sad or tearful if pent up, buried or suppressed feelings are released and come to the surface during a hypnosis session. You also may feel tearful and not immediately know why. It is your hypnosis provider’s job to help you appropriately, safely, and therapeutically deal with these feelings.
  • You may spontaneously recall old memories, but there is no way to know how accurate these memories are without independent objective verification.
  • There is the potential that you could temporarily feel more anxious. This could come about for several reasons: (1) if you try too hard to make hypnosis work, (2) if you are afraid of what may come to mind if you enter a hypnotic state, (3) if you are afraid to relax, and (4) if you recall upsetting or traumatic experiences or feelings from the past. It is my job to help you manage these types of experiences should they occur.

Do I teach self-hypnosis and do relaxation training?

Depending on your problem and treatment plan, I may teach you self-hypnosis and relaxation exercises to use on your own. Practicing these self-help methods can help you continue the process of change, improve your coping ability, and have more control over your symptoms.

Call me for a free 15-minute no obligation initial phone consultation to learn how I can help you accomplish what you want using hypnosis.

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