This is a question I get asked often. Unfortunately, there can be any number of reasons why a person comes to the conclusion that ‘hypnosis hasn’t worked’for them and so I’ll do my best to give some examples.
The first issue usually stems from a misunderstanding of what the Hypnotic effect actually is. For many people their only contact with hypnosis previously has been to watch a TV show where hypnosis has been used for entertainment, or maybe they’ve seen a stage hypnotist at a holiday camp, for example.
This unfortunately gives the impression that hypnosis is some sort of mind control, from which you’re powerless to control your responses. Actually the effects of the hypnotic state are very subtle and can be difficult to notice at first.
There’s no such thing as a ‘hypnotised feeling‘ really. Also, every person on the planet has experienced the hypnotic effect several times in their life, without knowing it was a form of hypnosis.
Physically, the hypnotic effect is simply a state of relaxation. The most noticeable time when you’d have entered hypnosis, is just before you drop off to sleep, when your mind begins to wander and you start to ‘daydream’.
How often have you been lying in bed and suddenly jerked, or jumped up to realise that what you thought was happening to you, was really just in your mind.
Other occasions when a form of hypnosis is apparent, is when you are lying in your bed early in the morning, you know that you’re awake, but you just can’t be bothered to open your eyes and get up. That feeling of total calm and relaxation is simply a form of hypnosis.
So, the lesson here is don’t expect to ‘feel’ hypnotised. With experience you’ll begin to notice small tell-tale signs and feelings that’ll indicate the hypnotic effect is present.
You may experience slight numbness in your arms, or legs, so you can’t actually ‘feel’ the position they are in. You might begin to feel increased warmth in your body, the more you relax, etc.
These sorts of effects are completely normal. All that’s happened is the joints and muscles of the body have relaxed completely and are therefore, totally free from tension and feel ‘a bit numb’.
The next issue that comes up is more difficult to explain to everyone’s satisfaction, because everyone’s situation is different. But, I’ll give some examples and hope that it’ll help you to understand your own particular reasons…
There are basically two types of hypnotherapy, Suggestion Therapy and Analytical Therapy.
There will always be the odd occasion when the tried and trusted form of suggestion therapy doesn’t work, but it’s important to put that failure into perspective. For some people, the ‘normal’ process just isn’t suitable for them.
Imagine for a second that you’ve decided to go to a restaurant, but unfortunately you didn’t enjoy the meal. You wouldn’t then decide that “food doesn’t work for me” , because you’re aware that it was just one meal. Similarly, if you hear a song that for some reason annoys you, you wouldn’t think “music doesn’t work for me”
The same is true for suggestion therapy. The usual starting point is to help the person see the benefits of achieving their goal; Using smoking cessation as an example, better health, more energy, more money in their pocket, etc.
For some people though, their subconscious is more motivated by trying to escape from pain, than it is to achieve more pleasure. For these people, it may be necessary to use a form of ‘aversion’ based therapy where the therapist gives the client adverse suggestions such as “Each time you go to light a cigarette, the acrid smell of burning rubber fills your nostrils.” etc.
So, it may just be the ‘type’ of therapy used didn’t work for you and maybe a different tack is required.
It could also be, of course, that you’re not truly ready to make the change. Using smoking again as an example, some people use the act of smoking like a pressure valve. They see it as a way to relieve their stress and tension. By taking away that option, they worry that they won’t be able to readily deal with stressful situations, so subconsciously block the effects of the therapy.
Another example is weight loss therapy. For some people, it’s a subconscious belief that they’re not worthy of having a slim, attractive body shape, that keeps them from losing their excess weight. With this underlying issue, suggestion therapy is never going to be a long term benefit. Some form of Analytical therapy would be required to understand and remove this underlying lack of self-esteem, before the lesser issues will be truly ready to move on.
I hope this gives you a brief understanding of why Hypnosis may not have worked for you…. this time.
If you have a specific situation that isn’t covered here, you’re welcome to contact me directly using the contact page on the main site and I’ll do my best to offer a suitable answer.