Frequently Asked Questions

What will my first hypnosis session be like?

Sessions last an hour. The first session includes an intake interview where we talk about your issue(s) and I address any questions or concerns you may have. Next, you will have a chance to experience for yourself how pleasant and relaxing hypnosis can be. You sit in a comfortable armchair or lie on a couch if you prefer, close your eyes, and listen to me talk. That's it! After the hypnosis, I will assign your "homework" - a brief self-hypnosis exercise which takes only a couple of minutes each day - and will talk about your next session. I also give all my clients mp3 recordings to download and use at home.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

About twenty percent of the population can go into a state of hypnosis that is so deep they can undergo surgery without anesthesia. A further 60% can attain a medium state of hypnosis, and most people have experienced at least a light hypnotic state (like daydreaming).

Is hypnosis mind control?

Definitely not. You will be aware of what is happening during a session of hypnosis and can choose at any time to open your eyes. Many people hold misconceptions about hypnosis from watching stage hypnotists on TV who appear to control their subjects and have them act foolishly. Remember that these people have volunteered to go up on stage and the hypnotist has selected the most highly hypnotizable subjects from the volunteers. Hypnosis in an office setting is not like that at all. You are in control and will not do or say anything that you would not ordinarily do in an alert, wakeful state.

Will I be asleep or unconscious during hypnosis?

While some clients find hypnosis so relaxing that they will actually fall asleep, a state of hypnosis is a state of focused concentration and physical relaxation. You will not be asleep or unconscious. Hypnosis feels a little like daydreaming or deeply absorbed state. Our minds often wander during the day when we are doing routine activities: driving, sitting in meetings, listening to lectures or taking a walk. During these times we experience a light state of hypnosis and in fact may often get creative flashes of insight.

Is hypnosis dangerous?

Hypnosis is not dangerous. However, it could be misused in the hands of an untrained or unscrupulous practitioner. It is therefore important to check the credentials of a practitioner before you become their client.
In the state of North Carolina, only medically-trained personnel, social workers, and clinical psychologists may practice as "hypnotherapists". Certified hypnotists like myself may only offer "non-therapeutic" services.

Do insurance companies cover hypnosis?

Generally not. I suggest that you think of hypnosis as a service that you will pay for yourself. This will also mean that when you sign up for a course of hypnosis you are highly committed and value the services you will receive.

Can children be hypnotized?

Children respond very well to hypnotic techniques and are less likely to have pre-conceived ideas about hypnosis. In children, hypnosis is very good for habit disorders such as nail-biting or bed-wetting. I have a lot of experience working with children who have functional bowel disorders like IBS. I also work with children and adolescents on school-related issues such as test-taking anxiety, time management, sleep issues, procrastination, and transitions to middle school, high school or college.

Does hypnosis really work?

Yes! And there is a growing body of scientific research that provides evidence for its effectiveness. Hypnosis can help reduce or eliminate how pain is experienced, lessen the stress response, improve how your immune system functions, help to overcome compulsive or repetitive behaviors, and is a useful adjunct to treatments for many medical and psychological disorders and conditions.

In 1892 the British Medical Association (BMA) published a report in the British Medical Journal, stating that they “satisfied themselves of the genuineness of the hypnotic state” and recognized that hypnotism is “frequently effective in relieving pain, procuring sleep, and alleviating many functional ailments.” In 1955 the British Medical Journal endorsed the 1892 report, stating that hypnosis is a effective in treating psychosomatic disorders, revealing unrecognized motives and conflicts, removing symptoms, changing morbid thoughts and behaviors, and alleviating pain. The report also recommended that medical students be introduced to hypnosis as part of standard psychiatric training, and that specialists in psychology should receive instruction in hypnotism.

In 1958 the American Medical Association (AMA) approved a study by its Council on Mental Health, which recognized hypnotherapy as an orthodox medical treatment (as opposed to an “alternative” or “complementary” treatment). The AMA committee stated their agreement with the report of the BMA, and it recommended that instruction in hypnosis be included in the curricula of medical schools and postgraduate training centers. However, in 1987 the AMA rescinded almost all policies from 1881–1958 and as a result the AMA currently does not have an official position on the use of hypnosis.