The Expectation for Your First Hypnosis Session

Man thinking too much

What can I expect from my first hypnosis session?

I get asked this all the time by new clients. Some have certain expectations of what they 'think' they should experience, whereas others may already have preconceived ideas about whether it will work or not without ever having been hypnotised before.

Let me start by saying that every person is different. The way in which we react to hypnosis - the level of trance, feelings, experience, thought process, and most importantly the changes - a lot of this comes down to your mindset when you come in for your first session.

Let me give you some examples:

Person A - The Positive Mindset

Person A has been recommended by a friend who experienced some fantastic results using hypnosis. They come in for a session with a positive mindset and confident of achieving change because they saw the transformation with their friend first-hand. This person will embrace a level of trance that is right for them and simply allow the process to happen naturally. This person is also more open to embracing the new ideas and suggestions, and as such, the changes tend to be more profound and with less sessions. Person A really is a benchmark of the best way to approach hypnotherapy for the first time. Like most things in life, a positive attitude goes a long way to making change.

Person B - The Negative Mindset

On the other hand Person B comes in begrudgingly because their spouse or family told them they have to. Person B is already sceptical about hypnosis and has tried to come up with all the excuses that it won't work before they even try it. Person B often puts up the most conscious resistance to going into trance and their mindset is already made up before they begin. Interestingly enough Person B will still experience positive change, however it may take a little longer to break down their resistance to embracing the changes. My advice to person B always is to just give it a go. You don't know until you have tried, so just switch off, go with the flow and see what happens. Generally once this happens I can facilitate the change much more efficiently and the person becomes more responsive to moving forward.

Person C - the Over-thinker

Person C is always an interesting case. I like to call them the over-thinkers. Person C is usually the insomniac, the person who can't switch off and worries about every single little thing. If you are a 'Person C' type I want to quickly let you know that as humans we all have 60 000 to 80 000 thoughts per day. The trick is knowing which ones are important to take action on and the vast majority to simply let go. When it comes to hypnosis, Person C generally comes in for the session ready to quiz everything, analysing before, during and after the session, and is generally restless. This can usually go one of two ways. The first way is they create a conscious resistance to hypnosis and are more resistant to entering a level of trance or just letting the process happen. Or... interestingly enough, the other way is that they are actually more susceptible to hypnosis. This is because once the conscious mind tries to focus on 5+ things at once it, its resistance is lessened and it becomes easier to slip into a trance allowing the subconscious to take over. This is a good thing. For Person C my best advice when you come to see me is to just go with the flow. Try to switch off your thoughts just for an hour or so. Doing this will help you make the changes that you desire and for the process to be much more effective.

The Level of Trance

There are many factors that affect the level of trance a client will go into during hypnosis. The aforementioned mindsets play an important role, as does our general biological make-up. Some people may go into a very deep trance (somnambulists) whereas some people may only enter into a light trance. It really is an individual thing. You can find out if you are generally easily hypnotisable at my other blog here. The most important thing to note, is that even if you do not enter into a deep hypnotic 'sleep-like' trance state, that the changes are still going to occur. In fact, I often choose to limit the level of trance some of my clients experience because it may be more beneficial to approach a particular issue with some level of conscious involvement. This being said, if you go in for your first hypnosis session expecting it go a certain way and it goes another direction - don't be discouraged. The changes are still happening, most of the time without you even realising so. This is very important because expectation, like everything in life, is a subjective experience and hypnosis is no different.

Final Advice

My final word of advice for any new clients or for those wanting to experience hypnosis - just go with the flow! Hypnotherapy is absolutely 100% safe (this is very widely documented) so you have absolutely nothing to worry about. However, when it comes to the results you can expect - a great part of this will simply depend on just letting the process happen without over-thinking or expectations. This is just the way in which your subconscious works best. Doing this you can expect to get the most from your therapy and to successfully address the issue you are looking to improve in your life.

- Jacqui Dornan