What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state of mind  in which you are highly focused and more receptive to positive suggestion.

Is Hypnosis real?

Yes. In fact, it is so real, that it is often used as an adjunct to the practice of medicine. It is recognized as an effective practice by the British Medical Association, The American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. There have been more than 12,000 articles published in medical and psychological journals. EEG research suggests that hypnosis removes the emotional experience of pain while allowing the sensory sensation to remain. Thus, while in hypnosis, you would notice that you were being touched, but you would not interpret it as being painful.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Almost anyone, yes. Studies have shown that 95% of people can be hypnotized. Some degree of hypnosis is experienced by almost everyone, pretty much every day. It is the state of mind that you find yourself in while watching a movie, and you become so focused on the story that you forget you are in the theatre, or reading a book and you do not hear someone who is trying to get your attention. Any time you are in a state of highly focused attention, that is a form of hypnosis.

How does it work?

Scientists have found through EEG scans of hypnotized brains that fast-wave brain activity decreases, while slow-wave activity, which is exhibited during both relaxation and focus, is increased. In this state of mind, you may become more aware of things about which you weren’t previously aware, but which had been affecting your life, nonetheless. Hypnosis often leads to important insights, mental clarity and renewed energy to pursue goals.

When used as a pain management technique, EEG studies have shown pain to first be registered in the sensory cortex and then also in the prefrontal cortex, wherein it is ascribed meaning. During hypnosis, the activity in the prefrontal cortex and the pain processing regions is reduced.

Will I lose my free will?

No. During hypnosis, the client is in complete control. They can not be “made to do” anything that goes against their will. While it is true that the subconscious mind is more open to positive suggestion during hypnosis, that does not mean that the client’s free will or moral judgment is turned off. On the contrary,  while in hypnosis, the client becomes even more aware of what is right for them.  All hypnosis is self hypnosis. The hypnosis practitioner is merely there to assist the client into relaxing into a deep state of focused relaxation. 

Does Hypnosis go against the Bible?

No, despite the claims of some, hypnosis is not contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Those that make that claim do not properly understand hypnosis. Because Hypnosis is a natural state, experienced by all to some degree, it has been around since the dawn of mankind. It is even mentioned in the Bible several times. This is an article written by an ordained minister who was also a hypnotherapist.


What is the difference between Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis?

Not much. It is really a matter of use. Hypnosis is sometimes used as a form of entertainment, or as a form of light relaxation in which suggestions might be given, but it can also be used as a tool for self inquiry, self improvement or pain relief. Hypnotherapy, however would not be used as a form of entertainment, but is usually used exclusively for self inquiry, self improvement or pain relief purposes. In the state of Texas, only licensed counselors or other health professionals may use the word “therapist” in their job title. I am not a licensed health professional, counselor or therapist.

Where did you receive your training?

I am a graduate of the Hypnotherapy Academy of America, located in Albuquerque NM, where I received 400 hours of medical support hypnotherapy training, 50 hours of natal regression and 30 hours of past life regression therapy. The Hypnotherapy Academy  of America is a private Post-Secondary Educational Institute, licensed by the New Mexico Department of Higher Education. The methods developed by and taught at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America were proven effective in a clinical trial by the National Institutes of Health  in a study of women with Overactive Bladder Syndrome.  I am also certified as a fellow of the International Board of Hypnotherapy.

The IBH was co-founded by Robert Sapien, MD, CMS-CHT, FIBH, Chief of Emergency Pediatric Medicine at University Hospital in Albuquerque, a Medical Professor at the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine and medical support hypnotherapy instructor at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America, and Tim Simmerman-Sierra, CMS-CHT, FIBH, internationally recognized clinical hypnotherapist, author, a former nationally registered paramedic and the lead instructor at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America. The IBH was founded out of a desire to raise the standard for practicing hypnotists and hypnotherapists, as other hypnosis/hypnotherapy guilds and boards only required 300 hours of training, which simply was not enough to assure quality work was being done. The IBH Advisory Council is comprised of an outstanding group of  professionals with advanced degrees. All IBH fellows adhere to a strict code of ethics, and maintain continuing education credits as a requirement of their membership.

I have also completed 26 hours of conversational and Ericksonian Hypnosis training with Daniel Jones, author, hypnotherapist and founder of the Sussex Hypnotherapy Centre, and 20 hours of Ericksonian hypnosis training with Bill O’Hanlon, Psychotherapist, Author, speaker and co-creator of Solution-Oriented Therapy.

In addition to my formal training in hypnosis, I also attended a 14 day facilitator training course with Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, creator of the Birth Into Being Method.  The Birth Into Being Method is a unique method of self-development that enables us to alter the unwanted and limiting side effects of stressful or even tragic events we’ve all experienced during the course of our lives. It is somewhat similar to hypnosis and is very effective in resolving emotional and behavioral patterns which express themselves as limiting beliefs, blockages, self-sabotage, low self-esteem and  an inability to love. It is also highly effective as birth preparation, utilizing the same techniques and principles, since the tools that are needed to create profound positive changes in a woman’s life are the same ones necessary to prepare a woman for an easy  and enjoyable birth.

Is hypnosis right for me?

Do you have a desire to better your life in some way? Change a habit? Reach a goal? Feel more confident and more in control of your own life? Improve your relationships?  Get over debilitating fears? Lose weight? Stop smoking? Have an enjoyable childbirth? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then, hypnosis can be of help to you.

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International Board of Hypnotherapy’s Code of Ethics

The International Board of Hypnotherapy requires all of its members to conduct their profession according to the following ethical principles.

Code of Ethics & Continuing Education Requirements Preamble: 

Hypnotherapists help people use their own inner resources to improve the quality of their lives. Hypnotherapists are committed to the service of life, which includes health and wellbeing–the actualization of human potential. Hypnotherapists, therefore, take on the role of practitioner of hypnotherapy, life skills and achievement coach and educator.

The code of ethics I follow as a hypnotherapist means I do not implant false memories during any hypnotherapy session. I will not suggest anything that a client does not approve of first. I tape each and every session so that information can be reviewed both by the therapist and client. ONLY YOU HAVE YOUR OWN ANSWERS. That is the number 1 guiding principles of my work. We cannot reliably distinguish true memories from false memories. It is my role as a hypnotherapist to deal with all the emerges as present information to be used for your healing, without validating, reinforcing, or dismissing them.

The International Board of Hypnotherapy bases its Code of Ethics on the fundamental principles of the Clinical Hypnotherapy profession, which embraces the uniqueness, worth, dignity and equal rights of all human beings.

The International Board of Hypnotherapy requires all of its members to conduct their profession according to the following ethical principles.

I. The Member’s Ethical Responsibility To Clients

The member’s main responsibility is the client’s safety and welfare. They are to respect the client’s mental and physical well-being at all times.
The members are not to practice any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic culture, age, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, political belief, physical handicap, or any other characteristic or personal condition.
The members are to uphold a professional relationship with clients, and not engage in physical abuse, hugging or touching in an erotic way or any other sexual activities.
The members are to seek advice of colleagues, mentors and supervisors whenever the consultation is in the best interest of clients.
In compliance with HIPAA regulations, the members are to respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence information acquired during the course of professional service. Also, members are to inform clients fully about the limits of confidentiality. The limits on confidentiality are provided to the client in writing prior to entering into a client-therapist relationship. On the client intake form, the client is to give written permission for use of voicemail, email or emailing MP3 files of customized self-hypnosis. Hypnotherapist is to clarify with client what type of communication may occur via email.
The members are to obtain consent of clients before audio or video recording or permitting others to be present during their sessions or activities.
The members are to practice hypnotherapy services in accordance with the level of their training, competency and respecting the laws of their state.
Members are to inform clients of what to expect during sessions, so that they can make an informed decision as to whether they consent to participate.
Members are to work with only those clients that fall within their scope of practice.
Members are not to have any intimate social contact with a client for at least two years after their last session with the client.
Continuing education keeps practitioners informed of the latest developments in the field of hypnotherapy and reduces unethical behavior. Fifteen hours of continuing education is required annually.
Members fully disclose their educational qualifications and professional credentials and certifications to their clients in writing on their client intake forms.
Members agree not to use wording in the title of their business or any other promotional materials that could mislead the public.
Members agree to be accurate in their description of their services, business name, and work place, so as not to imply in their advertising and marketing communications that their hypnotherapy services are in any way the practice of medicine, psychotherapy or that they are licensed to practice hypnotherapy.
Members agree to be truthful in advertising and marketing communications. Also, members agree that they will not in any way state or imply in their advertising and marketing communications that they provide medical or psychotherapy services if they are not licensed by their state board of regulation to do so. Members agree that Hypnotherapy will not be offered as a substitute for medical or mental health treatment. Hypnotherapy sessions are provided as a complement or adjunct to medical and mental health treatment only with a licensed physician or therapist’s consent or referral.
Members agree that as a hypnotherapist they will not use the following words in any of their promotional materials or marketing communications, such as websites, print brochures, newsletters, business cards, etc.: “psychologist,” “psychotherapist,” “psychotherapy,” “psychological,” “counseling,” “therapist,” “medical hypnotist,” “licensed hypnotherapist,” “doctor of hypnotherapy,” “treatment,” “treatment of…” any mental disorders or mental health conditions or medical ailment, this includes but is not limited to “anxiety,” “addiction,” “insomnia,” “depression,” “trauma,” “eating disorder,” and other words like: “alternative” “cure,” “clinic,” “patient.” Again, members agree not to imply that they are practicing psychotherapy or medicine, unless they are licensed by the state they practice in to do so.
Members agree that clients should seek the appropriate and highest level of care and that members will therefore be reasonable in their practice of hypnotherapy. Members agree not to provide hypnotherapy services if a client’s behavior, or statements, would lead a reasonable person to believe that such a client should be assessed by a licensed physician or mental health professional. (If already licensed by a board of regulation, for example as a therapist, psychologist, clinical social worker, or physician, and you also provide hypnotherapy services, elements of #16 and #17 may not pertain.)
Members understand that their hypnotherapy school training prepared them for certification by the International Board of Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a “non-licensed” profession, licensing of a professional group can only be authorized when a law is passed by a state legislature and then implemented by a state regulatory agency. They will not use the words “affiliated,” “licensed” or “approved” by the IBH. Members may refer to themselves as “certified” by the IBH or that they are a “member” of the IBH, or if they have achieved level 3 certification status, “fellow” of the IBH.
Members agree that foundational training for certification in hypnotherapy should be live, in the classroom setting, with instructors. Foundational training in hypnotherapy online or via correspondence course is inappropriate. It is the IBH position that any field that includes direct client or patient care, must be taught in a classroom setting.

II. Fees

The members are to set their fees in a fair and reasonable manner.
The members are not to give any kind of economic compensation for receiving or making a referral, i.e., “finders fees” or cash “kickbacks” (including multilevel marketing type of compensations) for clients or seminar attendees.
Prior to conducting sessions members disclose their fees, what type of methods will be used and what the client can generally expect to experience with the methods described.
Members are to provide clients with their refund policy in writing.

III. The Members’ Ethical Responsibility To Colleagues

Whenever dealing with unusual or difficult cases, ethical conduct concerns or other dilemmas related to their practice, members are to seek the advice of other Board members.
The members are to treat the members of the Board of Directors, members of the Advisory Council and colleagues with respect and professional decorum, during all interactions, including but not limited to phone conversations, email and social media. Negative comments, judgmental language, speculation and/or gossip will result on revocation of Certification.
The members are to respect confidences shared by colleagues in the process of their professional relationships.
The members are not to exploit a dispute between a colleague and employer to obtain a position in a company.
The members are to seek the mediation of a superior or administrator when conflicts with colleagues arise, to reach appropriate and equitable solutions.
The members are to relate to clients of colleagues in a professional manner.
The members are not to solicit the clients of colleagues.

IV. The Members’ Ethical Responsibility to the Hypnotherapy Profession

The members are to maintain high ethical standards of integrity to protect their profession.
The members are to take actions to correct all unprofessional and unethical practices.
The members are to always be honest about the origin of their professional degrees, education, certifications or other qualifications.
The members are to advertise their professional services with honesty and good faith. They are to insure that all their marketing and promotional materials are truthful and realistic. Members acknowldege that medical support hypnotherapy sessions are provided as a complement or adjunct to medical and mental health treatment and only with a licensed physician or therapist’s consent or referral.
Members are committed to their own personal growth and actively pursue self-actualization.
The members agree to conduct their practices and all professional relationships in accordance with the International Board of Hypnotherapy Code of Ethics and in accordance with State Law.
The members understand that they are responsible for completion and maintenance of all certification and re-certification requirements. Members understand that failure to complete their documentation results in non-certification or revocation.
Members agree that foundational training for certification in hypnotherapy should be live, in the classroom setting, with instructors. Foundational training in hypnotherapy online or via correspondence course is inappropriate. It is the IBH position that any field that includes direct client or patient care, must be taught in a classroom setting.

V. Claim of Unethical Behavior

After the Board has received via U.S. mail, a written complaint, signed by the complainant, an ethics committee will be formed to review the complaint. If there is reasonable merit to the written complaint, the ethics committee will form a quorum to receive testimony from all involved parties. After the complaint and response to the complaint are reviewed by the quorum and it has reached a decision, it will issue a report, then, the parties will have 30 days to respond to the quorum’s findings. A failure by the accused to respond to the complaint within the allotted time will not prevent the quorum from taking action accordingly. Actions the quorum may recommend include: 1) dismissal of the claim, 2) written warning, 3) request requiring actions by the respondent to correct unethical/unprofessional conduct in a reasonable amount of time, 4) suspension or 5) revocation of membership. After doing so, the ethics committee will submit its recommendations to the Board.

The preceding Code of Ethics was copied with permission from the International Board of Hypnotherapy’s website and has not been altered in any way. This code is strictly enforced and is part of the Hypnotherapy Academy of America’s curriculum.

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