By Laura Peterson
Here you are again. It’s 2006, and you’re making the same New Year’s resolutions for the (inaudibly grumbled number) time. You’re going to lose that weight this year, or quit smoking, or unload unnecessary baggage from your past to feel healthy, wonderful and ready for all of the great things life has to offer. You could be feeling like this is the year it will happen, or you may be feeling jaded, like your resolutions have become nothing more than empty promises to yourself. Well cheer up and regain your hope! With a time investment of about 90 minutes, you may be able to say goodbye to your bad habits forever with the help of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is an underrated and sadly very misunderstood therapy that has an impressive track record in smoking cessation and weight loss. Just ask Matt Damon, who finally quit smoking in 2005 thanks to hypnosis. Damon claims he’d tried everything to quit and nothing worked until he tried hypnosis. Well, if it’s good enough for Matt Damon, ladies, what are you waiting for?
“I don’t want someone controlling me like that!” “It won’t work for me.” “It’s so… creepy!” These are the excuses I hear most from people about why they would never try hypnosis. As a certified hypnotherapist who said all of those things myself not too long ago, allow me to address these concerns and explain how hypnosis works.
Our subconscious mind holds the answers to all of our long-term memory and esoteric information: “Why do I keep smoking when I know it’s killing me?” “What makes me reach for another donut even though I don’t want it and I’m not hungry?” “What was the name of my second grade teacher?” The subconscious mind has a powerful and obnoxious security guard though – the conscious mind! So while we’re trying to focus to remember where we left our keys, we will often get conscious flashes of fear, worry or unrelated things popping into our head. “I’m going to be late now!” “What if someone else found my keys and they break in here tonight to kill me?” “Did I set the DVR for Lost?” These thoughts literally prevent us from hearing our own subconscious, which is the part of us that knows we left the darned keys on the kitchen counter when we brought in the groceries. Now imagine how our conscious mind is messing with us on the deeper issues!
Hypnosis is a simple method to send that annoying conscious mind out on a little daydream vacation so there is an uninterrupted dialogue with the subconscious. During your first hypnosis session, the hypnotist will likely start off by discussing with you what your goals are and what you can expect from the session. They may also do a couple of simple demonstrations to show you how hypnosis works. The hypnotist will then bring you into a state of hypnosis through a technique called induction. There are several different induction methods, but the goal is to get your conscious mind to fly off to la-la land so the hypnotist can talk to “The Great and Powerful Oz” within you. (The guy behind the curtain pulling the levers, that is!) Please remember, you pay the hypnotist whether you get hypnotized or not, so you may as well try to go with it. If you focus on resisting, then you’re just taking away from a potentially life-changing experience, so try to keep an open mind (pun intended!) and have fun with it.
A skilled hypnotherapist, like Morrin Bass of New York Awareness Center, will lead you through a wonderful, imaginative journey, filled with metaphorical stories, as she provokes you to face the truth about why you do certain things or feel certain ways. As Morrin explains, “Once these things are out in the open, you can deal with them and then get rid of them. It’s like cleaning out a closet that is filled with junk you’ve saved for decades. Most of that stuff doesn’t even fit you anymore!” After getting rid of these things, you will experience the freedom and lightness of your unfettered self. This process can be quite emotional for some, but Morrin assures, “Any truly difficult feelings can be easily dismissed with the simple phrase, ‘And the scene fades away…'”
Once you free up some internal space, then the real fun begins as the hypnotist provides some wonderful new additions for your internal closet. The hypnotist can boost your self-esteem, reinforce that you are in control of your own life, and let you literally see yourself as a non-smoker, or a thin, healthy and truly happy person, etc. The process is called “hypnotic suggestions,” and these are basically affirmations repeated during hypnosis that will become implanted in your subconscious. It’s important to note that any suggestions made in hypnosis that you morally disagree with will not be followed once you emerge. A hypnotist cannot change who you are; they can only help you change your habits or change your perception of yourself in ways that are already agreeable to you. When you emerge from hypnosis, you remember everything that happened, and you really do feel all of the positive effects immediately with no negative side effects.
There’s another important thing to keep in mind — you really have to want to change for success to happen. Without the desire to change, change just won’t happen no matter what you try, but as intelligent women you already knew that. If you are committed to changing your life and would like to try the fastest, simplest and most effective route to achieving your goal, give hypnosis a try. You have nothing to lose except your bad habits.
Aside from Morrin Bass, you can find hypnotists through the National Guild of Hypnotists, or if you would prefer working with a mental health professional to include psychotherapy in addition to hypnotherapy, you can find practitioners through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
* Note – There is no difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist, aside from the spelling, of course. Technically, we are all hypnotists, but because many want to differentiate between those of us that work with clients on self-improvement and those that do tricks on stage, we use a different term.
Morrin Bass can be reached at New York Awareness Center, 866-522-5886, or through her website: http://www.newyorkawareness.com
The National Guild of Hypnotists can be reached through their website: http://www.ngh.net
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis can be reached through their website: http://www.asch.net