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What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state, very much like when we’re daydreaming or driving down the highway and not paying attention to the signs for a while.  It’s not the same as sleep, but we’re in a trance-like state.  Children and adults experience such a state when they’re deeply absorbed in an activity, such as watching TV, playing video games, on the computer, or reading a good book.  Our attention is highly focused on what we’re doing, to the exclusion of other thoughts, emotions, or sensations, such as pain or discomfort.  In the hands of a skilled therapist, the patient or client can make changes in some or all of those areas, either via post-hypnotic suggestions from the therapist or from our unconscious mind, provided that such suggestions are consistent with our beliefs and expectations.  Nobody can control our mind or force us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise be prepared to do.