The Process of Therapeutic Hypnosis

Traditionally, hypnosis has been known for suggestions. Essentially, you come in with a problem, such as you’re a smoker, we give you positive suggestions of you being what you wanna be, a non-smoker, and happy, and healthy, in this example, and we give you multiple versions of that suggestion to program your mind, if you will, so you now have more choice, so you don’t result to the old resort, to the old behaviour.

Now, it is successful. In fact, it’s 30% successful, suggestion only. And that sounds not very much, but when you look at a study that was done by New Scientist magazine in 1982, it found that traditional talk therapies, it could take up to 600 sessions to even start to get movement away from a problem, in comparison to suggestion-only hypnosis, which was 6. Fortunately, hypnosis has advanced so much in the last 30 or so years that we now have a thing called advanced structured hypnosis, and this is what I practice. And, in fact, I say hypnosis, but that’s not all that I do. See, I do a form of eyes-opened and eyes-closed hypnosis. I bring other modalities of kinesiology, such as muscle testing. I bring in modalities from neuro-linguistic program, which is really the cutting edge science on how our brain works to make changes.

So, typically, at a typical sis session for say stop smoking hypnosis in Toronto, the first thing I do with a client is I have a screening call, and that screening call can be about 30 minutes long. And really the purpose of that screening call is for me to determine if I can work with the client. It’s very much like an interview, and it’s very much so that honestly, and I tell clients this, at the end of the call, it’s really for me to say if I think I can work with you or if I don’t think I can work with you. Now, I’d love to help you, but if honestly I don’t think that we’re on the same page or you’re not ready, I’m also gonna be very, very honest with you. So that’s typically the first interaction that I have with the client, potentially you.

The second part will be the client will fill out an intake form. It’s private, it’s confidential, only I see it. Now, that intake form has many different questions, and I ask clients to fill it out very, very thoroughly, because based on the notes I made for the screening call and what they put on the intake form, that’s how I start to structure and custom the session. So all that work’s gone on before you even come into the office. Now, when you come into the office, I actually find out what you know about hypnosis, because you might know a lot about hypnosis, you might not know a lot about stop smoking hypnosis. I explain what hypnosis is, but also demonstrate what hypnosis is to you before we actually do the real work together. So you know undeniably that you can be hypnotized, and everyone can be hypnotized, by the way.

Three things need to be in place for you or anyone to be hypnotized. Those are, number one, your IQ needs to be above 70, which means if you’re really, really not too smart, if you suffer from some kind of mental delay syndrome, hypnosis is not great for you. Number two, you have to want to be there, meaning you’re not being bullied or cajoled by somebody, a family member, a friend, to be there. You wanna be there for you, and, yes, those other people may benefit, but it comes from you. That’s the second thing that needs to be in place for you to be hypnotized. Number three is you have to be able to follow simple instructions, so simple, in fact, that I had five-year-olds that could do it, all the way up to senile 80-year-olds that could do it, simple instructions like, “Close your eyes.”

If those three things are in place, absolutely you can be hypnotized, because you’re hypnotized multiple times a day. When you watch TV, when you listen to radio, when you read a newspaper, when you watch a good movie, when you read a book, when you’re driving down the highway and you always take the same exit every night to get home, but one day you forget and you keep going straight, these are all forms of hypnosis that you probably didn’t realize until then. So you already know how to go into hypnosis. My job at Toronto Hypnosis is to help you to go into hypnosis better so you get to choose your trances rather than your trances choosing you. Then typically what will happen is after you’ve had that demonstration of hypnosis, we’ll do some physical relaxation, which helps you to mentally relax, which coincidentally is the next step to help get you mentally relaxed to stop that hamster spinning inside your head. Then I essentially drop in suggestions, suggestions that are totally beneficial to you, to you living that new life, to you having a resolution to that problem.

And if we stop just there, it would be 30% more successful than anything else you could do psychologically for the problem, but that’s not where we stop. In fact, what the next step is we do a form of therapy, called parts therapy, which is very, very powerful. And the best way for me to describe it…I mean, you can use this for many different types of problems. Again, I’m just gonna use the smoker, for instance. The smoker comes in. There’s one part of the smoker that wants to quit smoking. There’s another part of the smoker that doesn’t wanna quit smoking. Because you see, if both parts want to quit smoking, they wouldn’t need me, they wouldn’t need anybody. They would just, you’ve got it, quit smoking. If both of them wanted to continue to smoke or do their problem, again, they wouldn’t need me, because they’d be at home doing their problem. It’s not really a problem. They’ve accepted it. It only becomes a problem when one part wants to get rid of the problem and one part wants to keep the problem.

That’s when everyone enters my office, and that’s when we do parts therapy. Parts therapy is almost like negotiating between two neighbours, if you will. Now, these two neighbours are not gonna move. They’ve paid for their houses, they’re gonna be there forever, but they don’t like one another. They both, let’s say, they play music very, very loud at 3 a.m., but no one’s moving, and no one’s dying any time soon. So in parts therapy, I help to facilitate a negotiation between both those parts, the part that wants to let go of the problem, the part that wants to keep that problem, until eventually they realize they can come together, be harmonious, both be listened to, but they actually go their own separate ways in peace. That’s a very, very powerful thing I do.

Follow that up with a form of therapy called regression therapy. Regression therapy is very, very powerful. In fact, the best way for me to describe regression therapy, it’s almost like if you’re a fan of the ’80s movie “Back to the Future.” It’s almost like getting into your DeLorean car and setting the year to whenever the problem first started and going all the way back. If you don’t like that metaphor, just imagine getting on a magical carpet and floating all the way back to when that problem first started. Consciously you won’t be aware, although you think you will. But we go back unconsciously to when the very seed, the very seed, not the most significant event around that problem, but to when that seed was planted. So we can help you to get insight as an adult and not as a youngster when you first experienced that problem once and for all. And going in with the insight of an adult and seeing through the view of an adult having that experience, as opposed to the younger version of you, sometimes things oftentimes just self-correct there.

But we don’t finish there. That’s very, very powerful in and of itself, but then there’s some other tools that I use with people, tools such as forgiveness therapy. Of all the things I do, honestly, 20 years of learning all these cutting edge sciences when it comes to mind and transformation, probably forms of forgiveness therapy have proved to be the most powerful when it comes to working with clients, and really, really powerful. And I just don’t mean forgiveness, because forgiveness is never about making it right to somebody who may have wronged you. Forgiveness is about just letting yourself let it go so you can be happy and go on with your life without being angry or feeling guilt, or whatever that negative emotion is. But it’s not about forgiving the person who may still be on Earth, they may have passed away. It’s about forgiving that part of the person you carry inside of you and also forgiving yourself, which is a very, very big thing that I’ve encountered with every client that has any kind of problem for 20 years, thousands, is the ability to be able to forgive yourself, and I mean really profoundly forgive yourself, not just say it and pay lip service with your mouth, has profound change.

We then follow that up with things like future pacing, which is essentially your ability to go into the future to use that time machine to go into the future to see you experiencing situations in the past that had you…in the future that had you experienced them in the past, you would have had the problem, but then you start to see, feel, hear, and experience things going completely different. Now, you’ve got new choices and new resources at the helm. I always follow up with clients as well, some clients for up to two years, to see how they’re doing.

And that really is the process of hypnosis that I do with people. Those are the very different stages. There’s different stages of people, so many techniques and abilities that I have. It’s about me finding the techniques that I know that will work for you. And that all starts with our screening phone call and you filling out the intake form. So, hopefully, that gave you a little bit more insight into how hypnosis, advanced structured hypnosis, works. Typically, if it’s a smoker, it can be as little as one session. Most of our problems are generally up to four sessions to go through all those different levels to make profound changes.

Luke Michael Howard PhD is a Clinical Hypnotist and owner of Hypnosis in the West end of Toronto.

He has been a Clinical Hypnotist for almost 2 decades. He solves problems that people believe are unsolvable. He fixes people who believe they’re unfix-able. He’s worked for governments and he’s worked for armies. But he also works with those who have fallen through the cracks, those that have nowhere else to turn and feel they’re at their last resort. His mission is to prove that no one is beyond help. He has a particular set of skills. These skills make him a nightmare for your problems.

He specializes in helping people quit smoking, lose weight, overcome anxiety, and alleviate pain.

If you have a problem that you’ve been told is unfix-able. And you’ve lost all hope, come find Luke. He can fix you.


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