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In my work as a college counselor, I find that hypnosis is very beneficial for students in the areas of relaxation, stress management, improving study skills, changing habits, and particularly overcoming test anxiety. 

The best part is, hypnosis accomplishes the goal in one or two sessions what could easily take weeks of counseling.  Because the hypnosis session is recorded and the student is able to listen to the recording as often as needed, this makes for a flexible and effective method of self-change that fits easily into busy schedules.

Self-hypnosis is another resource that can be easily taught and benefits students by allowing them to take responsibility and make necessary changes to improve their study habits, increase motivation, work on self-defeating habits, and enhance a healthier lifestyle.

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June 16, 2010

I became interested in hypnosis in high school. I can’t remember exactly how, but I learned some rudimentary hypnotic techniques that I practiced on my little brother, Mike — a most willing “guinea pig.” I managed to make his arm rise up and become ‘light as a feather,’ then make it so heavy he couldn’t lift it; I ‘glued’ his knees and hands together so he couldn’t separate them. Needless to say we had a lot of fun until we got caught in the middle of a session in which Mike’s arm was  so ‘stiff as a board’  he couldn’t bend it, and my mother walked in the room. My mother’s command, “stop that nonsense” overruled my hypnotic suggestion and put an end to my early hypnosis practice.

Years later, as a counselor/therapist, I decided to learn and practice hypnosis and incorporate it with other therapies. My clients (many of them students) were interested in overcoming test anxiety, weight loss, quitting smoking, relieving stress, panic attacks, fear of public speaking, phobias, including social phobia, etc. I have found that hypnosis produces quite remarkable results in no time at all.

As for those who think hypnosis is mind control, or that it’s only possible with ‘weak-minded’ people, it is not. The strongest-minded people make the best hypnotic subjects. The fact is, you have to want to be hypnotized, in order to be hypnotized.

Thanks, Mike, for giving my hypnosis work a start.

If you’re eager to learn more, an excellent website is http://www.howstuffworks.com/hypnosis.htm.

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Some people think that hypnosis is “mind control.”  If you consider that hypnosis is an opening of the mind to suggestions, we are hypnotized every day to various degrees. For example, the mother who gets her baby to sleep using soft music, low, soothing vocal tones, and repetition of sleep-producing words is using hypnosis; the preacher who engages the congregation with a story that captures their attention; the teacher who uses metaphors to plant ideas in children’s minds; the lawyer who uses convincing statements and gestures to focus the attention of and to convince a jury; the advertiser who uses lively music, images, and repetition of words to sell a product; – all of these are examples of hypnosis.

Begin to notice how hypnosis may be influencing your thinking and behavior. (Hint: pay close attention to TV commercials).


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“I don’t think I can be hypnotized.” – The fact is, hypnosis is an agreement between you and the hypnotherapist. It is your decision and intention to be hypnotized that determines whether or not you can, or cannot, be hypnotized. No one can be hypnotized against their will, and no one will accept suggestions under hypnosis that are contrary to their values and innermost intentions.
“Does it work?” – Hypnosis only can work if the person being hypnotized accepts the suggestions given by the hypnotherapist. As stated previously, if the person is not in agreement with the suggestions, his/her subconscious mind will override them.
“Does it last?” – This depends on a few things. First, did the person’s subconscious mind respond to the suggestions made; second, were the suggestions reinforced over time; and third, did the person believe that the changes brought about were worth keeping up?

I intentionally record my hypnosis sessions and tell clients to listen to the recording over a period of time, especially when they feel inclined to return to an old habit or behavior. Yes, hypnosis lasts, if you continue reinforcing it.
What questions do you have about hypnosis? Feel free to use this blog to get answers or share your experiences with hypnosis.

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