When you are ready to move forward, the first step is to make an appointment. This first session allows you the opportunity to experience hypnosis and see if the method is a good fit for you. It is recommended that you focus on one tangible area that you would like to change, so that you can notice and reflect upon a difference in your thoughts, behaviors, or level of relaxation.
Your first appointment
A typical first session lasts just under one hour and focuses on gaining an in-depth understanding of one specific issue of the client's choosing. The session starts with an overview of hypnosis and how it is used, followed by the opportunity to discuss any questions the client may have about the process.
After the introduction, the client and therapist will have an extensive conversation about the client's specific issue, focusing on past failed attempts at change and reasons why the behavior persists. The therapist will then induce a light hypnotic trance that allows the client to explore their unconscious for ways to change, while helping the client tap into their internal resources in order to make that change.
Working together for change
After the client and therapist have worked together in their first session, they decide together the best way to work moving forward. Generally, short-term hypnosis is best for singular struggles such as smoking cessation or simple habits, and usually takes one to five sessions. Often times, however, people are struggling with several ongoing problems that are intricate, interconnected, and complex. They may want to lose weight, but this is complicated by their negative self-image or problems in relationships. They might want to quit smoking but find themselves compelled to do so because of ongoing anxiety or low self-esteem.
For issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addictions, and struggles that involve more than one issue, the client and therapist develop an ongoing therapeutic relationship where appointments can be set up weekly or biweekly at the same time or flexibly according to the client's schedule. The work together is flexible and organic, striking a balance between deep analytic work to get to the root of the problems and using hypnosis for specific changes along the way.