Frequently Asked Questions

All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. While in hypnosis, you are fully awake and hear everything that is told to you by the hypnotist. It is physically and mentally impossible to indefinitely remain in hypnosis. A hypnotized client will not violate his or her ethical standards. You may freely exit hypnosis simply by willing it to happen. Children for the ages of about 5 to 8 are in hypnosis most of the day! Hypnotherapy has over 300 applications, and it is the oldest of all therapies. Early civilization saw the establishment of Greek and Egyptian sleep temples where hypnosis took place. Hypnotherapy is recognized by the American Medical Association and by the American Dental Association. Hypnotherapy is perhaps the fastest growing alternative health modality for the 2000’s! Many leading medical and dental schools are teaching their students the basics of this discipline. The popularity of self-hypnosis is also on the rise. It is our hope that the information that you find here will answer questions that you may have about self hypnosis and its applications .

We try to anticipate questions you might have about our services and provide the answers here. If you need additional information please send us an email at joe@joepackard.com, or call us at (508)478-8500

You are known for getting results quickly. How do you do that?

 First, hypnotism is by definition a short-term intervention. We are usually able to help with a problem quickly as we by-pass the conscious mind which is where resistance to change tends to be.

Second, in hypnotism the center of control must always remain with the client. Therefore, we work on what you came for, and we stay on target.

 

What is hypnotism?

Hypnotism is the professional practice of the hypnotic arts and sciences. Some people prefer to call it “hypnotherapy,” but I like the original word.

All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis. It is not something I do to a client; it is something a client does for him or herself. The self-hypnotic state is a state of relaxed concentration that anyone can enter naturally. Hypnotists provide their clients with instruction in how to enter this natural state more easily and effectively. Then, the hypnotist functions as a teacher and guide to show the client how to use the self-hypnotic state to overcome whatever problem is at issue.

Can a hypnotized person be made to do something he or she doesn’t want to do?

No, as hypnotism is something a person does himself or herself, it is logically impossible for someone to do something they refuse to do.

As a demonstration of this, reflect that hypnotism has existed as a body of technique for more than 200 years. If it were possible to use hypnotism to make people do things they didn’t want to do, hypnotists would be running the world. The fact that we are not indicates that hypnotism cannot be used for coercive purposes.

What hypnotism can do is enable a person to overcome resistance to doing what needs to be done in order to achieve what that person wants to achieve. It can help you get out of your own way and become successful, and it can help you stimulate your own natural healing power by soothing away the worries that interfere with that power.

 Are there spiritual dangers concerning hypnotism?

 Some argue this. However, the arguments make no sense to me. As hypnotism is something a person does for him or herself it is hard to see how it could pose any more of a spiritual danger than any other behavior. The claim that a person “opens” him or herself to spiritual influences during hypnotism rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of what the hypnotic state actually is.

Also, it makes no scriptural or theological sense to say that a person can somehow endanger their soul accidentally while trying to do something else (such as control pain or weight). One cannot endanger one’s soul “accidentally.”

Where can I find research about the effectiveness of hypnotism?

 Any good practitioner should be able to give you research references about the techniques used with you. It is an ethical requirement that a National Guild of Hypnotists certified practitioner make only those claims that are supported by outcomes studies.

If you would like to find the research on your own I suggest you go to the web site of the National Institutes of Health of the United States (www.nih.gov). Enter the word “hypnosis” in the search box at the top right hand side of the screen and you will get a list of hundreds of recent research articles that have appeared in refereed scientific journals. Clicking on a study will bring up a short abstract of the research findings.

 How are hypnotists trained?

 There are three large hypnotism organizations in the United States, and many small ones. The largest organization is the National Guild of Hypnotists, which is also the oldest.

National Guild of Hypnotists certified practitioners undergo a standardized training program, typically delivered by certified faculty at a state-licensed hypnotism school. Upon passing a standard examination a person can be certified as a hypnotist. Many practitioners then undergo an internship or period of mentoring by a senior practitioner.

After practicing general hypnotism for a minimum of one year a hypnotist may sit for the Board Certification Examination, which is an advance practice oral and written examination given by a peer group.

If successful, a hypnotist who has been Board Certified may sit for the Fellow examination after three more years of study. The Fellow examination is also peer reviewed, and requires writing an original dissertation on some aspect of the hypnotic arts and sciences and defending it before an examining committee. The Fellow exam also requires one submit a video of a hypnotism session with a client (who has given permission for the session to be recorded) and passing a peer review about how the session was handled.

There is no more rigorous credential for the professional practice of hypnotism then becoming a Fellow of the National Guild of Hypnotists.

 

What is self-hypnosis?

Self hypnosis merely means that you make positive suggestions to yourself while your mind is in a highly suggestible state. In self-hypnosis, constructive, healthful thoughts are placed in your subconscious mind BY YOU! No one else is telling you how to behave. YOU are the one that drives your desire to change.

How Do I Know I’m Hypnotized?

Usually, a person being hypnotized for the first time won’t think that they have been hypnotized at all, simply because they think it will result in being unconscious. This is not the case at all. Hypnosis is a state of complete relaxation. Some people sense a feeling of “heaviness”, while others have a light or floating sensation. Although you are perfectly aware of surroundings and sounds, your attention becomes concentrated on the voice of the hypnotist and other sounds seem to fade away. Your ability to succeed in being hypnotized relates directly to how well you follow the instructions of the hypnotist.

Is it possible that I could not be brought out of hypnosis?

Absolutely not! The state of hypnosis requires that you concentrate on an outside stimulus, the hypnotist’s voice. If that voice disappears for a few minutes with no other stimulus, you will naturally fall asleep and awaken after a short time. Because you are not “asleep”, it is impossible for you not to “wake up”.

Can I be hypnotized?

Everybody is hypnotizable. The key factor is you must want to be hypnotized and cooperate with the hypnotist in order to have success. The level of concentration that you achieve will depend directly on how well you follow the hypnotist’s instructions.

Can hypnosis really help a person to stop smoking?

If you really want to stop smoking, hypnosis is one of the most effective tools. It helps you avoid the anxiety and irritability that usually accompany the process of quitting. It helps reinforce your reasons to stop, so those positive thoughts become more important than giving in to the urge to smoke. Literally millions of people have used hypnosis to help them stop smoking.

How effective is hypnosis in weight control?

Again, hypnosis alone will not make you lose weight. It is, however, VERY effective in helping you deal with the tensions and worries that may people “relieve” by running to the refrigerator. Hypnosis helps you improve your self image: a recognized factor in helping control your weight. When you posses self-confidence and are proud of how you look, you don’t need the stress “crutch” that food can become. Hypnosis helps you visualize that slimmer, more attractive you.

Is hypnosis dangerous?

Hypnosis is no more dangerous than normal sleep. Many hypnotists begin with an initial suggestion that if any emergency occurs, you will be immediately alert and ready to deal with it. In this sense, it’s safer than normal sleep. There is no evidence that hypnosis causes any physical, emotional, or psychological damage. Relaxation, which is the primary focus of hypnosis, actually helps relieve anxieties and allows greater relaxation in a far shorter period of time than natural sleep.

Are group hypnosis sessions effective?

There are two basic types of group hypnosis sessions.  The first type is perhaps the best known, the hypnotist who reserves hotel meeting rooms on a circuit he or she travels, doing smoking cessation or weight loss with perhaps 100 strangers who pay $75.00 to $125.00 each.  Although they often advertise 98% or better success rates, these are greatly inflated figures.  Realistic estimates are closer to 30% to 50% at the most.  But this is pretty impressive when you compare it to strategies in the medical model (e.g. nicotine gum or patches) which have a success rate of only 5% to 15%!

The other type of group hypnosis sessions occur in a stable group where members know each other and meet on a regular basis.  This type of group is common for weight loss.  Members may meet weekly for reinforcement until they accomplish their goals, then may come monthly for a period of time.  Obviously, in this setting more individual attention is possible and success rates increase.

However, one on one sessions where all strategies can be individualized are the most effective.  Depending on the issue, the therapies, and individual commitment, success rates of 80% to 95% are common.

Do you accept insurance?

We do not at this time.   Your confidentiality is greatly compromised when an insurance company is involved.    You enjoy the greatest possible confidentiality and treatment decisions are based upon your needs and desires, not a managed care company’s needs or policies.   Currently, very few insurance policies provide coverage for hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

 How long will it take?

The average number of session for most issues is 5 sessions.  You will see great improvement after the first session, but the goal is to make life long changes so reinforcement is required.  Our goal is to provide you the assistance you need in the fewest sessions possible.  Our success is based upon your success and your recommendations to others.

What will my first session be like?

With hypnotherapy you begin with an educational session to dispel common fears and misconceptions regarding hypnosis.  Then your therapist will explain how hypnosis works to help you accomplish your goals, what hypnosis is and is not, and how to get the most from your hypnosis sessions.  This is followed by a pre-hypnosis interview to discuss your problem, needs, and goals.  After all your questions are answered and you feel comfortable, it will be time for the hypnosis session.  Most appointments are typically one hour in length.

You will use headphones and state of the art electronic audio equipment in your hypnotism. I will blend my computer-enhanced voice with special music and complex suggestions that will teach your unconscious mind to change. Both the music you will hear and my voice will be “pulsed” with a special beat that will assist you in achieving a deep state of self-hypnosis where wonderful things are possible. Throughout the experience you will be monitored by electronic sensors that will show exactly what techniques work for you. With trial and error eliminated, we achieve results rapidly.  There is no more powerful system of professional hypnotism available anywhere in the world.

Why is a physician referral sometimes necessary for hypnosis?

A physician’s referral is always necessary when addressing medical conditions such as pain, irritable bowls syndrome, impotency to name a few.  The possibility exists that the symptoms could be related to a more serious condition that would not be addressed because the hypnosis would reduce or eliminate the symptoms, covering signs/symptoms important to proper diagnosis. These signals are important information for your doctor in diagnosing the problem and determining appropriate treatment.  Through a variety of mechanisms hypnosis is very effective in reducing or eliminating your perception of pain.  Thus, it is important for your physician to be aware you are using hypnosis for pain relief and to determine whether your pain is acute or chronic.

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