My First Taste of Hypnosis
Author: Heather Towndrow
The Beginning It started out as a birthday gift to myself. I had hear from many of my friends about their experience with a local hypnotist. I couldn’t believe that someone locally knew the art nor that it was still being used. You hear of hypnosis, but usually to the third degree. “I had a friend who used it to quit smoking. Best thing he ever did!!” Or more common, “I once went to a bar and there was a hypnotist. He hypnotized me and I acted a fool on stage!” Or for others, they are familiar to the process only through the eyes of Hollywood. Of course, hearing from my friends their own experience of being hypnotized, “I found out so much about myself. It was crazy! One minute I am remembering this about myself and the next I’m in a totally different time and place!” I collected the name and number of the person I had to reach. I was a bit nervous calling her. She returned my phone call the next day after receiving my voicemail. I heard the most warm and friendly voice over the phone asking me about what I was looking for and then explaining the appointment. It felt so new and exciting. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. Hopefully not an experience of feeling like a fool. The Appointment The day arrived and I could not wait for my appointment. I arrived and upon entering her home, I immediately felt a warm and inviting presence. She walked me to the room and had me lay on a chair, ensuring that I was comfortable. “Are you ready?” She smiled at me and I nodded my head. And so began the hypnotic induction. The Experience There are many ways to get someone induced into a hypnotic state, fast, slow, instant, listening to someone’s voice, watching a finger or hand move towards your face. At the time I did not know this. Whichever way, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that one is hypnotized. My session lasted about two to two and a half hours. The entire time I felt so aware and calm, as though this wise part of myself was able to instantly answer any questions I had always had. I drew out stories from my past that I had never had any awareness of and yet somehow these stories made sense the more connections I made. Once I was brought out of the hypnotic state, I was still in awe and wonder of what I had experienced. All I could describe was how similar it was to having a few glasses of wine, but rather than acting silly and losing your faculties, you do the opposite: you have more wisdom and you gain more control. Many individuals think that you lose the element of control; however, it is actually opposite. You gain more control with how much you let go. At that time, I had recently attended my first training in EMDR. Having learned that new therapy modality, I was open to other new modalities that could be therapeutic. Even though this experience had been for purely spiritual purposes, I thought about how much hypnosis could be useful for myself and others I work with. There were so many benefits to my one experience I had. I was interested in learning hypnosis myself. The Benefit So what was I giddy about. Here were some of the most helpful parts to my experience with hypnosis:
I was able to let down my ever-questioning guard, that part of me that is defensive.
I became less analytical, while remaining analytical enough for pure benefit.
I was relaxed. Having anxiety for most of my life, whenever you can experience any sort of relaxation, you take it as a gift.
I was able to take in difficult information about my past with full acceptance.
I was able to see myself with utter compassion.
Having the experience of hypnosis, I thought about so many other therapy experience I myself had. I thought about my own experiences as a therapist. Sometimes we get so on guard that our walls prevent us from looking at the bigger picture. Talking only does so much, but with that element of the hypnotic state, it can do so much more. This is how hypnosis can help: with increased awareness, you guard does not to be so active. It can work with the other parts about yourself to create significant insight and lasting change. Action!
I mulled over the experience I had for a while. In fact, I think I had in the mean time had another session of hypnosis, this time exploring age regression. Once again, the experience proved beneficial. I got the number of the closest trainer. While I still did not know much about hypnosis nor how to use it therapeutically, I was ready to learn! Seven months after my initial experience, I became a certified hypnotherapist and have been using it to help others since gaining my certification. Once again I took a chance and have reaped the benefits.