Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is hypnotism?

Hypnotism is the professional practice of the hypnotic arts and sciences. Some people prefer to call it “hypnotherapy.”

All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis. It is not something I do to a client; it is something a client does for him or herself. The self-hypnotic state is a state of relaxed concentration that anyone can enter naturally. Hypnotists provide their clients with instruction in how to enter this natural state more easily and effectively. Then, the hypnotist functions as a teacher and guide to show the client how to use the self-hypnotic state to overcome whatever problem is at issue.

How do I know if I am hypnotizable?

Anyone can be hypnotized.  What drives the hypnosis to take place is the willingness of the person to allow themselves to move into an altered state.

What is hypnosis like?

Hypnosis is experienced differently by each client. There is no particular “feeling” of hypnosis.  Hypnosis is a trance state.  If you have ever watched television and really got involved in the show that you were watching, you’ve experienced a trance state.  Or when you drive from point A to point B and everything in the middle is a little fuzzy, you’ve been in a trance state.

You are known for getting results quickly. How do you do that?

First, hypnotism is by definition a short-term intervention. I am able to help with a problem quickly as I by-pass the conscious mind which is where resistance to change tends to be.

Second, hypnotherapy is quite different from psychotherapy. Psychotherapy often finds it appropriate to explore issues beyond those that the client identified as a problem when the client came for help. This may be appropriate for psychotherapy, but it is not appropriate for hypnotism. In hypnotism, the center of control must always remain with the client. Therefore, we work on what you came in for, and we stay on target.

I would like my husband (or wife) to stop smoking.  Can you help?

The motivation to change must come from within the person being hypnotized.  If you want someone else to change, but that person doesn’t really want to, the chances that hypnosis will work for the other person is greatly reduced.

This is also true when a parent calls on behalf of their child. Many parents, with good intentions, call for help for their children whom might not want the help or are embarrassed to receive help. Many children, unacknowledged by the parent, tell their parents they want to go in for thereapy in order to please the parent.

Can a hypnotized person be made to do something he or she doesn’t want to do?

No, as hypnotism is something a person does himself or herself, it is impossible for someone to do something they refuse to do.

As a demonstration of this, reflect that hypnotism has existed as a body of technique for more than 200 years. If it were possible to use hypnotism to make people do things they didn’t want to do, hypnotists would be running the world. The fact that we are not indicates that hypnotism cannot be used for coercive purposes.

What hypnotism can do is enable a person to overcome resistance to doing what needs to be done in order to achieve what that person wants to achieve. It can help you get out of your own way and become successful, and it can help you stimulate your own natural healing power by soothing away the worries that interfere with that power.

Where can I find research about the effectiveness of hypnotism?

If you would like to research hypnotism further,  I suggest you go to the web site of the National Institutes of Health of the United States ( Enter the word “hypnosis” in the search box at the top right hand side of the screen and you will get a list of hundreds of recent research articles that have appeared in refereed scientific journals. Clicking on a study will bring up a short abstract of the research findings.