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Frequently Asked Questions

If you're new to hypnotherapy, you probably have some questions.  Let's answer those questions right up front. Here are some questions that many people have when they are first introduced to hypnotherapy: 

1)   Will it make me bark like a dog, or do weird things?

2)   What is the difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

3)   How does hypnotherapy actually work? 

4)   Can Hypnotherapy take me back to a previous lifetime?

5)   How does the typical session work?

6)   Does it work on everybody?

7)   Is it like brain-washing? Does it involve mind-control?

8)   How do I know I won't be made to do things I don't want to do? 

9)   Are there any drugs/medications involved? 

10) How many sessions does it take?

11) How much does it cost?

12) Is it covered by health insurance?

13) How long does it last? Will it wear off?

14) What can hypnotherapy be used for?

1)   Will it make me bark like a dog, or do weird things?

No.  Many people think of stage hypnosis when they hear the term hypnosis.  But stage hypnosis is for entertainment purposes only, and does not work with everyone, and certainly is not effective at solving the kinds of problems that clinical hypnotherapy can.

2)   What is the difference between Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

It is estimated that hypnosis techniques have been around for over 5,000 years. Modern Kappasinian Hypnotherapy (Developed by Dr. John Kappas, the founder of HMI College of Hypnosis, the first fully accredited school for hypnosis in America) has been around since 1967.


Hypnotism / Hypnosis

Basically, hypnotism is the act of putting someone into a hypnotic trance.  That process is called "Induction" because it induces the hypnotic session where the client's brainwaves are slowed from Beta waves to Alpha or even Theta waves, which is the stage just before Delta waves where the client is fully sleeping. It is important to realize and remember that the state of hypnosis is a normal state that all people go through naturally before they go to sleep each night.  It's an intermediate state between waking and sleeping where the person is fully aware, but the mind's attention has drifted to other things than the current room and chair they are sitting in.  If you've ever missed your exit while driving on a highway, then you've probably been in a hypnotic state.  It's no more mysterious or strange than just that! It's not dangerous, it's completely natural and normal.  The tricky part is to get the person to just the right level of relaxation and suggestibility where they can hear and absorb suggestions into their subconscious mind at just the right level for the type of therapy they need, but without going too deep and falling asleep. 

Hypnotherapy is the addition of post hypnotic suggestions into the subconscious while the client is in the hypnotic state and open to suggestion, to help the client achieve the goals they are there to achieve. This is where the client gets messages about not smoking, or not drinking, or not biting their nails, or being on time for meetings, eliminating fears, adding focus and confidence, etc..  There is a whole art and science to this part of the process using trigger words that already have meaning for that client, using the right language that matches the client's E&P suggestibility score, etc. This is where the real value is for most people.  

It's important to note that, unlike surgery or drug therapies,  hypnotherapy is not something that is done "to" you.  Rather, it is something we work on together.  It is fully cooperative and requires you to participate.  You have to do your part as well.  You must be committed and  really want the results for it to work. 

3) How does hypnotherapy actually work?

See here about the Theory of Mind.

See here about E&P (Emotional and Physical) Theory

See here about Hypnotherapy to Reduce Pain.

4)   Can Hypnotherapy take me back to a previous lifetime?

In a word, yes.  HOWEVER, it cannot guarantee that what you see in that previous lifetime is actually provably true.  Let me explain. 

Over the course of human history many people have come to believe that there is a soul inside the body that survives death and goes on to either experience Heaven, or Hell, or else be reborn into another life.  Another chance to “get it right”, so to speak.


Most of the world’s major religions teach reincarnation, with the exception of Christianity. When Christianity began, it was the Roman Catholic Church, created  in 325 CE at the Council of Nicaea. At that time, reincarnation was accepted, but by the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 553 CE, the Church had decided to remove it from canon.  The general consensus was that if people thought they could make up in the next life for their mistakes in their current life, then there was less incentive for them to behave properly and morally in their current life.  So they removed it from canon and did not teach it.


Nevertheless, there has been no shortage of people, especially in modern times with the current medical technologies for resuscitation, who claim to have died on the operating table or at accident scenes and witnessed the beginnings of an afterlife.  These are known as NDEs (Near Death Experiences), made known to most people through Raymond Moody’s 1975 book,  Life After Life.  A bestseller and the first of many best-sellers from many authors on this topic to come afterwards.


Then there are those who, under hypnosis, seem to revisit times and events in earlier lives where they lived out complete lifetimes as other people, and even opposite genders. What’s more, they seem to recognize other people in those previous lifetimes who are in their current lifetime but as a different person and in a different role.  Perhaps paying back a karmic debt, or keeping a promise made in the past lifetime, etc.. The same souls seem destined to remain intertwined through the course of many lifetimes.


There are many, many stories and books written about these cases, and some can be quite compelling.  A man who, only while under hypnosis, can suddenly speak fluently in a dead language known only to Viking fisherman in the era from 200 CE to 800 CE.  A language not heard in 1200 years, and only known to a small handful of linguistics experts now. Or a woman who, only under hypnosis, can both speak and write in a dead language known only to the royal family of Persia and only practiced for about 60 years, 800 years ago.  Or a man who remembers a previous life where he lived in a castle in medieval Germany and hid some papers inside a wall, and then some investigators went to that castle, found it still standing, and broke into that wall and indeed found those papers still sealed inside that wall for centuries, exactly where he said they were.

For people who believe that we live multiple lives, they say that each lifetime in this world is a chance to learn and grow spiritually.  At the end of each life, there is a life-review process where we are judged for our deeds, good and bad, and assessed.  If we are found worthy, we ascend into a level of cosmic consciousness, and become one with the creator of the universe. This is called Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana, or other terms. For those who are not quite finished learning and growing spiritually, they are allowed to plan their own next lifetime and to create the events and obstacles in that life that, by surviving and overcoming them, they will learn and grow into better people, to be judged again at the next life review. This process repeats until all the lessons are learned and the person is allowed into Heaven/Nirvana/Cosmic consciousness or whatever they believe is the final reward.


Officially, the HMI College of Hypnotherapy does not believe or disbelieve in the concept of reincarnation.  However, that does not mean that regressing a person into a previous lifetime is not useful.  Often it can be very useful as a part of hypnotherapy to understand causation and motivation for certain behaviors a client might like to fix.


The subconscious mind is an amazingly powerful thing, but it has its quirks. 

  1. It generates the emotions that a person feels.

  2. It remembers everything that person is ever exposed to, whether it is in this lifetime or any previous lifetimes.

  3. It cannot lie.

  4. It cannot tell the difference between reality and a story/movie/TV show/Dream, etc.


Because of these facts, the current behaviors might be caused by any range of causes from events either real or imagined.  For example, if a person believes that in a previous life they died by drowning, they might have a fear of water in this life. There is an emotional causality connection there, even if the previous life, or that memory of that previous death is not “real”.  If it is real to that person at the subconscious level, then that can be a triggering cause.  By uncovering this source cause, a hypnotherapist can begin a series of techniques that may include circle therapy, dream therapy, inner child, desensitization, or several other techniques to help ease the fear of water that is resulting from it.  Just understanding that connection goes a long way to helping to dissipate the fear in the current life. 


So past-life regressions are useful, regardless of whether they are “real” or not, or regardless of whether a client even believes in them or not. There is an emotional cause and effect relationship here which can be addressed in hypnotherapy. 


I have used past-life regressions for clients that asked for them to find out some interesting things in their past that explains their current attitudes and behaviors. It helps to know these things.


As a hypnotherapist, I cannot determine if your past life that we discover in your subconscious is true, but I probably CAN tell if it is useful to your therapy. If you want to know if it is actually true and provable

5)   How does the typical session work? 

The first session is a little different and longer than the subsequent sessions that follow. 

What happens in the very first session?

We begin by discussing the reason you are seeking help.  This is the discovery process.  We try to determine what the specific issue is, how long it's been going on, what caused it (if known), how it affects your life and happiness, and get a sense of how motivated you are to try to fix it, etc.  This could be anything from fears and phobias like a fear of dogs, or dentists, or a fear of taking exams, or stage fright, or public speaking, etc.) to an addiction to smoking, drinking, gambling or food cravings for sugar and carbs, to behaviors like biting your fingernails or procrastination, or past-life regressions, or also improving personal performance for things like sports and athletics.  There is a very long list (Over 150 items) of all the things that hypnotherapy can help with. 


But there is also a list of problems that hypnotherapy alone cannot solve.  There is a large book called the DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version 5) that lists out all those types of problems.  They may include things such as Schizophrenia, Paranoia, Psychosis, or family counselling, marriage counseling, sex therapy, etc. These things might require a different medical specialist such as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.  Once we can identify what your need is, I can determine whether it lies within the scope of practice for hypnotherapy, or whether instead, I should offer a referral to a mental healthcare doctor in your area. 

Please know that I am a highly principled, highly ethical professional whose main interest is in seeing you get the right help to achieve the goals you would like to achieve.  Therefore I do not offer services which are deemed to be outside the scope of practice (industry defined) for hypnotherapy.  That said, there are still quite a lot of things that fall within the purview of "vocational and avocational self-improvement" which the standards for hypnotherapy state are within the normal scope of practice.  For example, your physician might tell you to stop smoking, or stop eating the wrong foods, or to exercise more in order to improve your health and lengthen your life, but they have no means to MOTIVATE you to follow that advice. That is where a hypnotherapist comes in. A hypnotherapist helps adjust your subconscious motivations to follow that advice so that you are emotionally driven to do it rather than just trying to follow it through sheer willpower.  It is very difficult, even impossible for some people, to quit an addiction using just their will power alone because of the way the mind works.  The subconscious mind is larger and more powerful than the conscious mind and it usually calls the shots in these areas.

In the first session only, I will explain the process, the capabilities, the limits, show you some diagrams on a microsoft powerpoint presentation to help you understand how the mind works and how hypnotherapy works, I will have an initial set of questions designed to deliver an "E&P Score"  and then we begin our initial induction into a hypnotherapy session. For this initial session, I will usually give a few general post-hypnotic suggestions, but not necessarily tuned to your specific problem yet, since that will require some time to build a treatment plan, write some customized scripts for you personally, etc..  Those will come in the 2nd and subsequent sessions.  That portion may be 20 to 45 minutes or so for this initial session. 

I then bring you back up and out of the hypnotic state.  We recap what we have discussed, what happened during this session and set a time for the next session, which will be shorter, but more precisely tuned to your specific problem or goal. 

What happens in the subsequent sessions after that first session?

In most sessions (after the first session), we start with a frank, open, completely confidential private session where we follow the progress so far toward the goals, perhaps we might dig a little deeper into causes and discuss any obstacles or new issues that have arisen since the last session.   This is called the "cognitive portion" of the session and might seem similar to sessions you might have with a psychotherapist.  In most cases, unless the client is a child accompanied by a parent or guardian, these sessions are one-on-one.  If the problem lies in the area of relationships then the analysis and therapy is based upon the person present.  Couples do not do hypnotherapy together.  For couples therapy, a Family Therapy doctor is recommended. 

Then we will have an induction process into the hypnotic state. This is a part of every session.  During this part, I am speaking and you are following my instructions in terms of breathing, visualizing, placing your hand in certain positions, etc. until I can tell you are in the correct state level for the kind of therapy you need.  Then, while you close your eyes and listen, I will begin speaking about a journey and you follow along in your mind's eye.  You are completely aware of everything and just following along.  While in this state, I begin to weave "Post hypnotic suggestions" into the narrative. These suggestions are where the therapy comes into the hypnotherapy process.  This is all explained in the first session, which typically lasts longer than subsequent sessions, because of the discovery, the explanations, the questionnaire, and initial set up work. Then the hypnosis session is brought to a close, I will bring you back up to normal waking (Beta wave) state, and we sign off. 

Most sessions normally last an hour or so. The very first session usually lasts 90 minutes, or sometimes longer.  This is because this includes the initial discovery, the E&P questionnaire and scoring for both suggestibility/ learning style, and personality compatibility, the explanations and presentation of how the Theory of Mind works, and what hypnosis and hypnotherapy are, so that you have a complete explanation of how everything works.  Also the first induction itself takes a little longer because it uses a different specific method which takes longer but is most effective for the first time and provides a leverage for future inductions.

Is it recorded?

No.  Not usually.  But you can turn on recording yourself, if you like, in case you want to view it again later.

6)   Does it work on everybody?

It works with the vast majority of people but not literally EVERYBODY. There are some people with severe psychological disorders for example, where hypnotherapy is not recommended.  In the days before modern Kappasinian hypnotherapy was created (pre-1967) most hypnotherapists just accepted that there were some people who were more able to benefit from it and others who resisted it and were not able to benefit from it.  But then Dr. John Kappas created the E&P system for suggestibility and personality/sexual traits. E&P stands for Emotional and Physical. It defines a scale of suggestibility where at one end is an introvert (Emotional) and at the other end is an extrovert(Physical) . Then he created a series of specific questions that determines where on that scale a person is in order to determine the method of learning, and therefore the types of wording that is most effective for their suggestibility type.  In this way, we can help most people by tailoring the language in the induction and in the post-hypnotic suggestions to match.  The easiest and most ready for this therapy are those that have a 50/50 score on E&P.  They are referred to as "Somnambulists".  The most difficult are those that score higher than 80% on the Emotional side.  Special language is needed in the induction process for them and it takes a little longer.  

7)   Is it like brain-washing? Does it involve mind-control?

No.  It is most definitely NOT "brainwashing" or "Mind control".  It does not affect the conscious mind at all.  It merely adds some positive suggestions to the subconscious mind to bring it into alignment with the goals of the conscious mind.  So, for example, if a person truly wants to quit smoking, but cannot, that is because his conscious mind and subconscious mind are disagreeing.  Intellectually, he knows it's bad for him, and wants to quit, but emotionally, something keeps compelling him to smoke anyway.  These are emotional urges and they come from the subconscious mind.  When the two fight each other, usually the subconscious mind wins.  This is explained in more detail in the first session.  It is part of the "Theory of Mind", also developed by Dr, John Kappas. 

8)   How do I know I won't be made to do things I don't want to do? 

You cannot be forced to do things your conscious mind would not want to do anyway.  You are aware during the whole process, and would simply reject or refuse any suggestions like that.

9)   Are there any drugs/medications involved? 

No.  There are no drugs or medications required for hypnotherapy.  In fact, it is highly recommended that you do not use any drugs that affect attention, mental alertness, hallucinations, etc. when beginning a session.

Hypnotherapy is a wonderful way to solve many different problems for many people and it does not require drugs, surgery, and therefore has no physical or medical side effects.

10) How many sessions are required? 

That is hard to know since it is different for different people and for different types of problems.  For some things like smoking cessation, there is a 6-session plan that often works, but will take longer for some people depending on a number of factors. Weight loss probably takes the longest time, but it depends upon how much weight the client would like to lose, and lifestyle issues, stress issues, etc.  However there are some things such as fears, which can sometimes be eliminated or greatly lessened in just 2 or 3 sessions in some cases. 

So there is no definitive, concrete answer.  It really depends upon the person and the problem at hand. 

11)   How much does it cost?

The initial phone consultation and the first Zoom session are both offered at no cost.  This allows you to try it and see how it works and what is involved. After that, the fee per session is $99 paid by Paypal.  Or 6 sessions for $495.  Most sessions are 1 hour, but if it takes longer than an hour, there is no extra charge. The fee is based on the session not the time.  Also, there is no schedule of different fees for different types of problems and therapies. The fee is for the session.  The session can be used to work on whatever issues need work.

12)   Is it covered by health insurance?

Not usually.  Unfortunately, health insurance companies have not yet started covering hypnotherapy-related services.  

13) How long does it last? Will it wear off?

Again, this depends on a number of factors, but mostly it depends upon how deeply ingrained your emotional impulses are on the subject at hand in your subconscious.  The general idea is to add new suggestions that overshadow the old associations.  If the old ones are deeply entrenched, it might take a lot more new suggestions to outweigh the old.  The new associations do not wear out, but if the client continues to expose themselves to the sources of the old associations, that will work against the therapy, and begin to outnumber the therapeutic suggestions.  So it's a good idea to keep doing new sessions until the new suggestions are firmly embedded, and then try to avoid the old triggers and old sources of ideas that you are trying to avoid.  

14) What can hypnotherapy be used for?

See the list below

145 Things Hypnotherapy can do

Age Regression
Assist Healing
Attitude Adjustment
Bed Wetting
Career Success
Change Habits
Chronic Pain
Death or Loss
Exam Anxiety
Fear of Animals
Fear of Death
Fear of Dentist
Fear of Doctor
Fear of Failure
Fear of Flying
Fear of Heights
Fear of Loss of Control
Fear of School
Fear of Success
Fear of Surgery
Fear of Water
Hair Twisting
Immune System
Improve Health
Improve Sales
Irrational thoughts
Lack of Ambition
Lack of Direction
Lack of Enthusiasm
Lack of Initiative
Lower Blood Pressure
Medication Side Effects
Nail Biting
Overly Critical
Pain Management
Panic Attacks
Past Life Regression
Performance Anxiety
Premature Ejaculation
Problem Solving
Public Speaking
Reach Goals
Relationship Enhancement
Resistance to Change
Self-Defeating Behaviors
Sexual Problems
Skin Problems
Sleep Disorders
Social Phobia
Stage Fright
Study Habits
Substance Abuse
Surgical Recovery
Thumb Sucking
Weight Loss
Writers Block

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