Hypnosis: 6 things to know before a session

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Hypnotherapy is being used more and more frequently to combat anxiety and pain. But it is still shrouded in mystery. Update the ins and outs of this practice to calmly capture a hypnosis session.

Loaded with stereotypes, hypnosis actually reinforces a dreamy, relaxed state that we experience on a daily basis. These are some principles to keep in mind before starting a follow-up with a hypnotherapist.

It is not only the therapist who works

When a show is put on, hypnosis often shows a person in a deep lethargy who is no longer aware of anything. "So some patients hope that only the therapist will work," says Antoine Bioy, a psychologist and hypnotherapist. This is not the case and it is a great disappointment for them. This image of hypnosis is misleading. During a session, the therapist only creates the conditions that allow him to enter a state of "dissociation", also known as "trance", which amplifies the internal resources of the patient.

Actions are separate from thoughts. "It is a bit like daydreaming while looking at the light of a candle," says Alexandra, 30. This state encourages the appearance of images, of impressions through which we can describe our problems, visualize them and overcome them. The hypnotherapist is a guide whose presence is important. "She accompanies us to enter the hypnotic state. Then she asks us, offering us images, changes," says Isabelle, 54 years old.

The patient must be alert throughout the session

"A therapist is not an authoritarian person who compels another," explains Jean-Marc Benhaiem, a medical hypnotherapist. On the contrary, it will help you to free yourself from the clutches of a fear, an addiction, a traumatic memory. To do this, the person must remain conscious. If you feel uncomfortable, you can come out of the hypnotic state. Staying alert also allows you to move if you want, or say if a used image is not suitable. "I consulted about an anorexia problem," said Justine, 28. During the first sessions, my psychiatrist used images that did not speak to me. I told him and he hired others. It helped me. "

Hypnosis helps find solutions

By allowing one to change ones focus from the painful or anxiety-provoking nature of a problem, hypnosis helps take a step back, promoting resolution: "Being too involved with a problem does not solve it," explains Antoine Bioy. On the contrary, it is when we accept that the situation may not change that we open ourselves to another possibility. Furthermore, hypnosis creates a form of confusion during which it is possible to sweep away different emotions, memories, facts, without having to justify any connection.

"Hypnosis, therefore, takes us out of our usual way of opposing thoughts, making choices and can change the way we see or approach a situation. It is a generator of new solutions," adds the therapist.

Hypnosis is not for everyone

Especially for those who cannot mobilize their imagination, because hypnosis uses metaphors. However, contrary to popular belief, hypercontrol does not prevent hypnosis. "People who tend to want to be in control may need a little more time," explains Édouard Collot, a psychiatrist trained in hypnotherapy. Then we start with relaxation sessions, with breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. "There are no contraindications, even for psychiatric illnesses, as long as the therapist is trained to work with these patients.

After a session, you may feel very tired.

"I was often exhausted after a session, I just wanted to curl up on the couch," said Noémie, 43. This fatigue is usually a reaction to the state of relaxation obtained during the session. Sometimes patients are so relaxed that they feel like they have fallen asleep. Especially since breathing is slower and deeper and can be accompanied by slight snoring if the nasal septum is deviated. And because we lose track of time. However, it is very rare to fall asleep.

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