Hypnosis is a discipline that allows individuals to reach a different state of consciousness called hypnotic trance. When in trance, attention is deeply focused towards your inner self. It is a natural state that frequently and spontaneously emerges during the day. While in it you brain and your body can rest, re-elaborate past events, fantasies, desires... Those who study and practice hypnosis learn how to access this state whenever wish or need.
Is it a supernatural phenomenon?
No. It’s a special state of consciousness.
People in certain cultural contexts or historical periods, often attributed magical, esoteric or spiritual meanings to the trance state. While completely respecting such traditions, we aim at teaching such methods in a technical and ethically sound fashion. This way anyone can use hypnosis to pursue their personal goals.
Is it like sleeping?
We now know that hypnotic trance and sleep are two different states.
This idea came from the fact that hypnosis can lead to deep relaxation states.
It’s just one of the effects that can be achieved by using these techniques. Modern neuroscience taught us that, while in trance, the brain increases its levels of activity and that is why hypnosis can be used also to improve attention, memory, athletic performance and general well-being.
What is self-hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis is a practice that allows individuals to autonomously reach hypnotic trance.
Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in clinical settings (e.g., medicine, psychotherapy...). While some techniques can be learned by anyone and can be used to work with yourself (self-hypnosis) or with others (e.g. coaches, teachers, counselors...), other techniques must only be employed by clinical staff (e.g. physicians, psychotherapists, psychologists...).
What happens during a hypnotic session?
Ericksonian hypnosis is all about flexibility. Sessions are tailored on the individual’s requests and personal characteristics. More broadly, each session aims at:
- Gathering information about the individual’s request, current life and history.
- Producing change through hypnotic interventions.
The latter can require a formal hypnotic induction or use spontaneous trance states that emerge when people are absorbed by a problem, an issue, a feeling, an perspective on life.
Will I remain aware?
Yes. Hypnotic trance has different levels of depth.
While in the past it was believed that the effectiveness of the intervention was directly related to trance depth, today lighter trance states are preferred. In these states individuals actively interact with the environment and are directly involved in the change process. Even in the deepest trance states, subjects can exert their volition, act according to their values and react to relevant stimuli.
Will I remember what happens during the session?
Yes. You will be able to remember anything that will happen during the session.
In some cases some parts of the experience remain “in the background” while your unconscious mind keeps working for your well-being.
Will I still be in control of myself?
Even in the deepest trance-states, individuals preserve their values, their volition and ability to decide what to do and what not to do. The myth that depicts the hypnotized subject as a robot is, indeed, a myth.
Can I remain “stuck” in a hypnotic trance?
In any moment you will be able to redirect your attention outwards.
Is it true that some people are unable to reach hypnotic trance?
In the Ericksonian perspective, and according to the modern understanding of the phenomenon, everyone is able to reach hypnotic trance. That old idea emerged in the 19th century, when very rigid hypnotic inductions were used. Because of such rigidity, these methods only worked for some people.
Do I have to believe in hypnosis for it to work?
Modern research shows that hypnosis works regardless of personal beliefs.
Can everyone learn how to use hypnosis?
Everyone can use it to voluntarily produce a trance state in her or himself.
Despite being true that everyone can also learn to induce hypnotic states in others, fields of competence must always be kept in mind. We will teach coaches how to use hypnosis in coaching, physicians in medical procedures, trainers in mental preparation of athletes, psychotherapists in psychotherapy, etc. We believe that individuals must be treated with respect and competence and that specific requests must me met with specialized responses.
What professionals can use hypnosis?
Hypnosis is primarily a relational skill, therefore all professions requiring contact with other people can benefit from the use of hypnotic tools. Hypnosis can be used by all professionals as long they are acting within their field of competence. The Nicoletta Gava Hypnosis Center aims at promoting cooperation between different professionals to competently meet individual needs (ex. psychologists, physicians, coaches, trainers, teachers…).
Can hypnosis be used to access past lives?
Despite the fact that some hypnotized individuals report of seeing scenes taking place in past times, this doesn’t necessarily imply that such experience is a past-life regression. The unconscious mind communicates through symbols and certain symbols pertain to more archaic settings. Furthermore, there is no methodologically sound evidence supporting this kind of phenomenon. We believe that hypnosis, as a scientifically based approach, should be accessible to all, regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs.
Is there any risk related to hypnosis?
Being hypnosis a natural state of consciousness, there are no risks related to the state itself. When used by an expert professional, hypnosis has no side effects. The only risks, as in any helping discipline, are related to improper, uninformed, inappropriate use.
Can hypnosis be used with children?
Yes, and with great benefit.
Children’s ability to reach and use hypnotic states is generally greater than that of adults.
Can hypnosis be used in psychiatric cases?
Hypnosis, since its first incarnations in western culture, has been used as a therapeutic tool to treat psychopathological conditions. In addition to precious clinical tradition, scientific literature supports the use of hypnosis to treat mental health related issues.
Is it true that hypnosis can solve any problem in a few sessions?
Despite treatment duration tends to be shorter when hypnosis is integrated in therapy, it is not true that a few sessions are always sufficient. The Nicoletta Gava Hypnosis Center, in accordance with Ericksonian tradition, conceptualizes hypnosis as a process whose duration depends on the specific configuration of the request, the individual and the therapeutic relationship. Sensitive, significant or complex issues deserve the right amount of time to be dealt with.