To many people, hypnosis seems like a mystery.

You might have seen a stage hypnotist get people to do weird and even wonderful things in front of an audience, for example, acting like a chicken. As an audience member, you probably cringed at the thought of doing some of those things in public. You don’t realize that the stage hypnotist could never get you to do those things unless you were willing. The hypnotist deliberately chooses people who are naturally outgoing and receptive to his instructions.

The famous psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson would demonstrate the limits of hypnosis to his students. He would instruct a subject, who he had placed in trance, to take off his or her clothes. The person always refused.

No hypnosis practitioner can get you to do something that is against your will. You would just pop straight out of the trance. Any hypnosis practitioner has to be in rapport with you (i.e. aligned with your will) to be able to help you access the trance in the first place, and then to help you stay there.

I have noticed in my hypnotherapy practice that if I make a suggestion to a client that does not accord with his or her views – even slightly, he or she will begin emerging from the trance. This is evidence of an ultimate truth. You cannot go into a trance unless you are willing and you cannot be made to do anything unless you are willing. Your conscious mind is always protecting you from anything unwanted.

When using hypnotherapy, I always talk with the client beforehand to make sure the intervention is aligned with exactly what the client wants.

Of course, there are often blocks to the client getting what they want. It could be trauma from childhood or past lives. Even though they want to be put into the trance, sometimes, because of these subconscious fears, the client is afraid of letting go. They might also have a busy mind. Sometimes this has to be addressed first. We work together, with the client and guides, to remove as many blocks as possible. Making changes in a way that does not offend the client’s world view, moral code or operating system is part of the skill of hypnosis practitioner. But attaining trance is not possible without the client’s complete willingness as well. Ultimately, clients’ spiritual guides ensure they recieve what they need whether that is what they desire or not.

To help someone attain a trance takes a lot of skill on the therapist’s part and much trust of the part of the client. The conscious mind is responsible for all our day-to-day thinking and problem solving. There are many challenges in our lives. We need to have food, shelter and not be fooled so we can survive. Our conscious mind is focussed on keeping us safe in this physical world. To go into trance, the client’s conscious mind needs be fully committed to achieving trance and then relax so the trance state can be accessed.

People tend to wonder if they can be put into a trance, thinking that the hypnotherapist does that. But that is not the case. The hypnotherapist helps, by relaxing your body and settling your mind as much as he or she can. However, the only person who can put you into a trance is you. You relax and go along with the instructions or you do not. If you find you cannot relax and follow the instructions, it is you – at least a part of your consciousness – that is objecting. Your mind can be too active. ( See Blog, Busy Minds) Usually this means you have some belief, fear or agenda that is getting in the way. It can be an old pattern that you have long forgotten or never looked for.

No one puts you into a trance but you, yourself. If you consciously want to achieve trance but it is not happening, then something is hidden from you. You decide if you want to surface this issue to review its usefulness. If you are willing, your therapist will do his or her best to help you uncover and resolve this impediment.

To be regressed, you need to feel safe and secure in the environment where the regression is happening. You need to be open, receptive and confident in your ability to gain access to your greater self. This is why you need to feel safe and secure with the hypnotherapist, trusting that she or he will be a caring, approachable and a skilled guide.

Read more about your hypnotherapist, Karen Joy.


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