Many people find that “talking therapy” has severe limits. They sense that there is something that could heal them that is beyond words and logic. To a large degree the “talking therapies” are concerned with “helping people”. Hypnotherapy, which is experiential, is based on empowerment rather than helping. In a sense the clients do all the growth and learning by themselves and the hypnotherapist’s job is to keep out of the client’s way.

Hypnotherapy is most successful with people who can relax enough to get in touch with their whole and the situations that they are evolving through. It is what the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson calls “the great surround”. Most people report a “wholly longing” to be in full touch with their true Self. When a person is trusting enough to break through their fears and connect with their aspirations and dreams they do indeed become very whole and joy-full. The techniques of hypnotherapy are designed to enhance a persons ability to access, maintain and stay in a heightened state of consciousness throughout the hypnosis session and eventually, with practice, throughout each entire day of their lives.

Radical honesty is the keystone of effective hypnotherapy. The hypnotherapist needs to combine his or her own characteristics of honesty, trust – worthiness, loving – kindness, courage and alert sensitivity and to apply them to the challenging situations that the client is experiencing in their everyday life. The client needs to trust in the hypnotherapeutic process for effective healing to take place.

Many people have abrogated response – ability for their actions and for the situations that they find themselves in. They do not apply the expression, “If it is happening to me, then it is about me.”, to themselves. They do not look at each event in their day as a their own response – ability. They are fragmented or dis – membered within themselves and/or within their “great surround”.

With the advent of self-conciousness (as in the Garden of Eden) it became very easy to get out of touch with oneself (often called sin). What seems to be required is the ability to meaningfully incorporate self – consciousness into an integrated experience of the whole present tense that one is involved in. Acceptance of each and every part of that presence is essential for wholeness. People who access this level of presence report feelings of elation and self – love. They also feel that their heart and their mind and their body are all connected and acting in synchronization. The Buddhists have a word for this state. It is called “metta”. Metta is an all – encompassing compassion for all others, for Self, for all animals, for all plants, for all entities, etc.

One very powerful technique for accessing this high level of presence with regard to a challenge or dilemma that one is facing is as follows:

a. Becoming very, very calm.

b. Holding this calmness for a very long time.

c. Re – crafting the familiar way of dealing with the challenge

By practising the above technique, and several other techniques of hypnotherapy (guided imagery, applied meditation, concentration, contemplation, fusion, focusing, suggestion, relaxation, breathing, etc.) a client can become completely re – membered. The following poem, “Remember?”, by Mel Bucholtz (who is an Erickson hypnotherapist) encapsulates the essence of the incredible feeling of presence that envelopes a person when they are completely re – membering their whole life experience.


The purpose of remember
is to remind.
The purpose of imagination
provides image.
The purpose of the dream
provides the drama.

Between these worlds
swings the pendulum curiosity,
“I wonder”,
“I wonder”.

Wondering is the first song – whisper
of me,
the original breath of feeling
I step into
for form,
announcing my presence.

Remember is a road
leading to
and coming from home,

as the heart blossoms its rose wings wide,
with each returning,
each departure.

by Mel Bucholtz

This picture of the man at the bars is very funny to most people because they can see themselves doing this throughout much of their lives. The answer is right before their very eyes and yet they don’t see it because because they are so pre-occupied with their emotions, fantasies, belief systems, etc.


What is hypnosis?

Can I be hypnotized?

Is it dangerous?

Can I be made to do things against my will?

What does it feel like?

How do I know I’ve been hypnotized?


It is a natural, relaxed and focused state of attention characterized by:

a. Increased muscle relaxation

b. Feelings of well – being

c. Increased pain threshold

d. Predominating alpha brain waves

e. Diminished ability to vocalize

f. Flashback access of memories

g. Literal, childlike understanding of ideas

h. Ability to accept new ideas about yourself if emotionalized and not in conflict with your values

Simply put, it is either interactive imagery or applied meditation toward a specific goal.

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There are only three types of people who cannot be hypnotized:

a. A person in a psychotic process

b. A person with a low I.Q.

c. A person who really does not want to be hypnotized

If you focus your attention, use your imagination, and desire to be hypnotized, you can enter into at least a light state of hypnosis anytime you wish. It becomes a question of how deep are you willing to go in the presence of another person. Practice will improve your ability to bring your awarenes to your “subconscious” level without falling asleep.

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Absolutely not. Hypnosis was approved by the Council of Mental Health of the American Medical Association in 1958 as a safe practice with no harmful side effects. To date, no one has been seriously hurt with hypnosis. We greatly underestimate the ability of the “subconscious” to protect itself.

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Absolutely not. You could never be made to do anything outside of your value system. The truth is: All hypnosis is self – hypnosis. You must agree to be hypnotized and participate fully in the process with your whole mind. You will only act on suggestions that serve you in some way and anything else your “subconscious” will just ignore.

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It feels like in the morning when you hit the snooze button on your alarm, and you are aware of yourself lying in your bed with your eyes closed, not quite asleep, but not quite awake either.

The “subconscious” is the seat of creativity. That is why some writers or painters do their best work the first thing in the morning. Their “subconscious” is closer to the surface, especially after dreaming in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM often occurs in hypnosis.

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Generally, you can feel it in your body in some way, either your limbs will feel heavy and like lead or light and tingly, almost numb. Sometimes a good indicator is the experiencing of light twitches in your body as your nervous system relaxes. Hypnosis is wave like, so there may be parts of the session you won’t remember consciously. Of course, the outcome of your efforts will depend on your belief in yourself and your abilities. Hypnosis can make your goal more compelling, thus setting the stage for change.

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For more information please visit www.ottawahypnosis.com