Today I am discussing what hypnosis is and what it isn’t. I usually do this in person with my clients who have chosen to experience hypnosis for themselves but now I am discussing it with all my readers! The “pretalk” is a very important part of the hypnosis experience. It allows the client to receive an education about what hypnosis really is and what it isn’t. This relieves anxiety and adjusts their expectations for the experience. First and foremost, hypnosis is easy! Easy for you to experience and easy for me to teach to you. I use the word “teach” instead of “do” because I am teaching you how to hypnotize yourself! This is because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You only achieve a hypnotic state because you 1.) want to be hypnotized, 2.) you’ve released any fear you may have had about hypnosis and 3.) you have allowed yourself to accept suggestions that are agreeable to you and have become hypnotized. Fear is the only real barrier to achieving hypnosis. The purpose of the pre-talk is to eliminate fear and allow anyone to achieve the hypnosis they came to see me to achieve. Fear can come in many forms. Some examples of fears include “I can’t be hypnotized” Answer: Anyone who “wants” to be hypnotized can be hypnotized. Usually anyone who has made an appointment to come in to do hypnosis with me has passed that obstacle already. However if someone has been sent in by a spouse or a parent or a friend because that other person wants them “fixed”, they may not have gotten by this first obstacle. They may not want hypnosis for themselves because they fear it or they are not ready at this time. Only clients who really want to eliminate their suffering using hypnotherapy should be coming in for appointments for hypnosis. If you want to come in to make someone other than yourself happy, you’re not ready. Select another of the therapies I do such as counseling or psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. I’ve had clients see me for psychotherapy and medication management (psychopharmacology) for years and then, when they heard some positive press about what hypnosis can achieve, asked me to do hypnosis with them. Then once they see how much it helped them, hypnosis becomes their preferred therapy! They don’t stop all other forms of therapy since they have also been helped by those but hypnosis becomes their “go to therapy” when they reach a roadblock in their lives and want to find out what their subconscious has to say about the obstacle they are experiencing. In my next post I will discuss some other fears I have encountered over the years.