If you are interested in hypnotherapy, you would like, of course, to inform yourself in detail about this form of therapy. The best address to do this is the therapist whom you would like to consult regarding hypnotherapy. But before this step is taken - to enter a hypnotherapy - there still remain some questions beforehand that we would like to deal with in the following.
What is hypnosis?
Often, an expectation - or even the fear - exists that hypnosis is a state of consciousness totally different from normal consciousness of everyday life. This is not the case. Patients who are able to experience hypnosis well describe it as a state like the one being experienced shortly before falling asleep, when the environment diminishes, the body is calming down and rational thinking gives way to spontaneously arising images. One could be disappointed that the hypnotic state is not unique, nothing spectacular. But even when the hypnotic state only causes a well-known change of consciousness, it still is spectacular what can be achieved by the therapeutic use of this state. Besides the psychotherapeutic possibilities and the diverse bodily changes - from processes in the brain to changes in blood count - hypnosis furthermore offers the possibility to control acute pain in a way that a surgical operations or extractions of teeth is possible without anaesthetic.
Often it looks quite impressive what a stage hypnotist is performing with his “medium” for the fascinated audience. But like a magician the stage hypnotist, too, intends to entertain his audience because he earns his money this way - and this often at the expense of those who make themselves available and who are then laughed at by the audience. Like the magician he wants to impress his audience, but while the magician openly admits that no supernatural abilities or special powers are behind his partly unbelievable effects, but only simple tricks, the stage hypnotist lives from selling his tricks as expression of the power of hypnosis or rather his own hypnotic power. And these tricks have absolutely nothing to do with the therapeutic work using hypnosis.
If you would like to learn more of this subject, please click on stage hypnosis.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
Fears to loose one´s own will under hypnosis, to tell things about oneself that cannot be remembered after having waken up or to wake up from hypnosis only with great difficulty, do not hold true. The hypnotic state as such is not dangerous. But the question if hypnosis really is beneficial for the patient, can only be answered after a carefully performed diagnosis. Therefore it is necessary that diagnosis and hypnotic treatment is carried out only by appropriate trained therapists (like psychologists or physicians).
Who can be hypnotized?
A patient consulting a hypnotherapist will wonder whether he or she really is suited for hypnotherapy. Can everybody be hypnotized? On which factors does the ability to experience hypnosis depend?
Only a few persons are not at all able to experience hypnosis; likewise only a few persons are able to experience hypnosis to a especially high degree. But most persons are able to experience a medium depth of hypnosis, which is totally sufficient for therapy.
If you would like to learn more of this subject, please click on susceptibility to hypnosis.
Where is hypnosis used?
Hypnosis is an effective form of therapy in the treatment of various disorders, a fact that has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies (meta-analysis). An important field of application of clinical hypnosis are the so-called psychosomatic disorders, i.e. bodily diseases, that result from emotional stress and conflicts - mostly in connection with permanent problems at work or in private life. These include, apart from chronic pains, cardiovascular or gastrointestinal diseases (e.g. Crohn´s disease) also skin diseases (e.g. neurodermatitis), as well as respiratory diseases (bronchial asthma) and diseases of the nervous system (e.g. polyarthritis). Over and above that, hypnosis is used as well for the treatment of anxiety disorders (e.g. social anxiety, fear of heights), depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders and eating disorders (e.g. bulimia nervosa). Hypnosis also finds application in the treatment of addictions (e.g. smoking). Furthermore, sleep disturbances and sexual disorders can be treated by hypnosis. Hypnosis is not appropriate however for the treatment of psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia.
Hypnosis is successfully applied as well within the context of somatic medicine, as for example in the treatment of cancer, i.e. to control fears and pains or to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy. Acute pains, like childbirth or in dentistry up to surgical operation, can also be easier tolerated with the help of hypnosis.
When thinking of hypnosis one perhaps first thinks of suggestive sentences that somebody receives as patient during a hypnotic state in order to free himself or herself of problems in this way or rather to get access to the experience of safety and confidence, painlessness, optimism, release from addictions etc.. This classical procedure, nowadays, is completed or rather replaced with the resource-oriented work with hypnosis. While doing this, the available reservoir of positive experiences and own strengths of the patient is being awakened using hypnotic techniques and is used for coping with physical/psychological problems. Clinical studies exist for both ways of proceeding that verify the effectiveness of this procedure. If you wish further information on this subject, please click on “hypnotherapeutic procedurey”.
Duration and costs of hypnotherapy
The encounter with stage hypnosis with its apparent rapid effects often results in the audience´s expectation that a removal of physical or psychological problems is easily and rapidly achieved by hypnosis. And indeed, it happens that sometimes only a few visits are sufficient for feeling a clear success. But as a rule the duration is longer. Even if hypnotherapy is regarded as short-time method, the duration is still to be estimated at - like with behavioral therapy - according to the problem - between 20 and 50 visits. And with difficult problems it can take very long. The costs amount to between 60 and 120 Euro per hour of therapy. Health insurance companies possibly agree to pay the costs but it would be best, of course, to first inform yourself about the fee of the therapist and about the reimbursement policy of the insurance.
How do I find a serious hypnotherapist?
You will find serious hypnotherapists here on this website under “list of therapists”. These psychological and medical colleagues are thoroughly trained in the use of hypnosis and have apart from their studies of psychology or medicine mostly further psychotherapeutic or medical professional qualifications. If you want to find therapists outside of Germany, please, go to the link list where you will find the homepages of international hypnosis societies.
Additionally, here are two important hints for the selection of your therapist:
- Only untrustworthy therapists demand a certain sum of money from patients preceding treatment. You would better look for someone else, if you should meet such a person.
- For therapeutic success, it is important, that you have confidence in the therapist. If this still is not the case after some visits, you better should look for someone else.