How to Prepare Yourself for Hypnosis

Posted on May 6, 2021

Many therapists use hypnosis techniques to put their patients through a sort of guided dreaming, giving the patient suggestions that may help her alter her behavior. A good therapist will bring you to the correct state of mental preparation himself, but there are ways to help that process along.

1) Find a trustworthy therapist. 

The therapist should be licensed in hypnotherapy, and understand why you are seeking it. If you are afraid of the hypnotist, or certain that she cannot hypnotize you, the hypnosis will likely not work. This process requires trust.

In some regions, the license may read "neuro-linguistic programming" rather than "hypnosis."

2) Take care of your needs and comfort.

Wear sweats or other comfortable clothes, and take off your shoes. Make sure you aren't hungry or thirsty, and use the bathroom before the hypnosis session begins. Remove all sources of distraction, including your ring tone.[2]

If you have a bad taste in your mouth, take a mint.

3) Avoid stimulants or other sources of discomfort.

In the hours leading up to your hypnosis session, stay away from caffeinated drinks, cigarettes, and over-exciting activities. Show up to your hypnosis session sober. Some hypnotherapists ask their clients not to eat or drink an hour beforehand, or at least to avoid large meals.

4) Find a quiet, comfortable position.

Lie down on a couch or bed. If you prefer, sit in a reclining chair, or any chair you can't fall out of. If you like, cover yourself with a light blanket for warmth and comfort. Adjust lighting to a dim, relaxing setting.

5) Take deep breaths.

Slow, deep, steady breaths will settle your nervous system and prepare you for deep relaxation. It may help to count as you breathe, counting to four on the inhale and six on the exhale.

Some therapists have the patient take three or four "Buddha Breaths:" inhale slowly, then exhale rapidly as if blowing out a candle.

6) Practice mindful meditation.

You do not need any meditation experience to undergo hypnosis, but some lessons from practicing mindfulness may help. Stay in the moment, allowing your thoughts to pass by without holding onto them. Observe your own mind without making judgments about what you're thinking. The longer you can do this, the easier you will find it to keep a calm and relaxed mind.

7) Listen to the pre-talk.

The therapist should give you a "pre-talk" before the session begins, at least the first time you visit. The goal of the pre-talk is to reassure you, clarify any misconceptions, and put you in a relaxed frame of mind. Feel free to ask questions of the therapist or to voice your concerns.

8) Focus on the therapist's words.

When the induction into hypnosis begins, focus your attention on the therapist's words as much as possible. You will have other thoughts, but keep practicing that mindfulness, allowing them to come and go without focusing on them or judging them. Between this technique and your therapist guiding you, you will soon slip into hypnosis.

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