What is Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?

The first thing I would like to do is explain what hypnosis is, and what it is not.

Hypnosis as far as I am concerned is a way of reprogramming the mind to affect your thinking, your behavior or your body, in a positive way so that you are able to have what you want: whether it be, a better body, improved performance of a sport or music, or freedom from an addiction like cigarettes, a bad habit or a fear. It is also the act of leading someone into a trance so that they have access to inner consciousness. From there a whole new world of healing opens up.

Whether you know it or not you all have experienced hypnosis – in fact you experience it several times a day! Drivers often experience the alpha state (which is the first level used in hypnosis) whilst driving. How many of you have got to your destination safe and sound and wondered how you got there! We go into a kind of focused auto pilot. If anything dangerous happens though we are immediately back to the normal conscious state. This is an experience of an hypnotic state. If you have ever been absorbed in a good book or a good movie or working at your computer and one hour seems to flash by in 15 minutes – you have experienced hypnosis. In fact when you come across someone absorbed in TV say, you will notice how still they are, how their eyes are fixed and how sometimes they appear not to hear or notice you.

Half the confusion over hypnosis comes from its name. Hypnosis is a Greek world for ‘sleep’ and it’s not. Contrary to a popular belief – that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness, resembling sleep – contemporary research shows that hypnotic subjects are in fact fully awake and are focusing attention, with a corresponding decrease in their peripheral awareness. 

Levels of Consciousness:

Our minds function in four stages of consciousness. The first is Beta – this is when you are awake and making conscious decisions. The second is Alpha. This is when your brain slows down and narrows its focus. In Alpha your brain is 200 times more susceptible to suggestion than when in Beta. This is why companies pay so much to advertise during your favorite show. Not only do you feel good but you are totally open to suggestion. Yup, you suddenly think it is a good idea to go and buy that greasy, toxic fast food! 

Hypnosis on the other hand induces this alpha state not to sell you a burger but in order to give you beneficial suggestions that allow you to make the positive changes you want in your life and in your body. Instead of being hypnotized whilst playing a video game you can choose to go into a hypnotic state for your own healing or benefit, using self-hypnosis or a hypnotist to guide you.

The third level of consciousness is called Theta. This is what you experience when you first enter sleep or before you wake up. This state is induced for deep hypnosis and deep meditation. It is associated with dreamlike imagery, insights, and long-forgotten  memories so it’s the perfect state for age regression or experiencing a past life.

The last stage is Delta – a very slow and long brain wave pattern. This is a deep sleep and the time when your body regenerates itself.

The Mind is a Hard Drive:

In fact your mind registers everything and I mean everything! It is like a hard drive that stores all data and then just uses what it thinks it needs for normal conscious living. For example there was woman who was attacked. The attacker came from behind and she never got to see his face. In hypnosis the woman was taken back to the event and asked to relive the experience very slowly. When the attackers hand came up to her face she was asked to slow it down almost frame by frame. She was asked to stop at a frame of the fingers. She did and managed to focus on one finger so closely that she was able to see and draw the part of the finger print of the finger she could see. It was a partial print but it was enough to catch the guy.

In the same way the mind stores every event, everything it sees, everything it hears, everything it feels, all of the time since you started to exist. There is no difference made between good or bad, true or false when it goes in. Over the course of our lives we collect beliefs however which act like filters on what information we actually use and how it is interpreted. For instance someone who believes cats are crazy will only bring to consciousness those sights and sounds that correspond to cats being crazy. The 99% of instances where cats are not behaving in a crazy way will not be noticed consciously. If we could change the filter (the belief) for something like ‘cats are loving’, the experience of cats would totally change as only cats behaving lovingly would come into consciousness.

Our beliefs are often not conscious and could very easily have been formed at an impressionable age – such as when your mother said ‘don’t talk to strangers, they are dangerous’. This may be useful in one sense but makes it very hard if you later want a job in sales and talking to new people terrifies you! 

What can hypnosis be used for?

Hypnosis can be used to change unhelpful beliefs whether they are conscious or not. Positive suggestions are made in a super-suggestible state, which override the existing unhelpful belief. Hypnosis can be used for losing weight, quitting smoking, getting rid of fears and phobias.

We can use Hypnosis to improve sales ability, speaking in public or increasing self confidence at work or socially. It can be used to stop stuttering, nail biting, grinding teeth, hair pulling, hand wringing or any annoying habit that we no longer want.

We can use Hypnosis to change and forgive the past and free ourselves from traumatic events that keep us stuck and depressed. There is some amazing work being done with ex-soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome.

We can use Hypnosis to stop pain as I’ve mentioned or recover from illnesses or surgery much faster than normal. People who have hypnotherapy using positive suggestions before surgery all leave hospital much earlier than those who don’t and need far less post operative medication.

We can use hypnosis to relieve pain and bring relief to chronic illness. Chronic pain and illness usually has a root in emotional pain or trauma of some kind. By releasing the  stuck emotion the physical issues can finally heal. Hypnosis can also be used to relieve pain directly and even to act as an anesthetic before dental or minor surgery. In October 2017  an article in the Wall Street Journal said:

"...two studies from Sweden found that one hour a week of hypnotherapy for 12 weeks eased symptoms of irritable-bowel syndrome in 40% of patients (compared with 12% in a control group) and that the positive effects can last as long as seven


We can use Hypnosis to stop negative emotions like jealousy and anger that mess up our lives.

We can use Hypnosis therapeutically or just for interest, to discover past lives – giving enormous meaning to our understanding of this one. 

We can also use Hypnosis to end nightmares and to release spirits that attach themselves to us. We can use it as a kind of exorcism for dark entities that interfere with us in a negative way. This works brilliantly well for addiction, depression and chronic disease. Hypnosis for weight loss and hypnosis to quit smoking are quite well know these days but it can be used for a whole lot more.

The cost?

I charge $150 for a first 2 hour session and $125 for additional 90 minute sessions or $500 for 5 sessions.

Please seek medical advice for all medical and psychological issues. Note that some treatment can only be provided under the control of a medical practitioner. Helen Basinger is not a  therapist or a doctor.