1. Misperception: I will lose self-control and be under the hypnotherapist’s power and control during the hypnosis.

A: Hypnotherapy is not the same as stage hypnosis. Each of the 8 certifying national organizations for certified clinical hypnotherapists require their hypnotherapists to sign a Code of Ethics to certify and recertify. These ethics speak to not taking a client into so deep a focused trance that their conscious mind (the discerning, thought based mind) has been sent completely away leaving the very literal unconscious mind open and vulnerable to the hypnotherapist’s suggestions.

Your unconscious mind has some built in safeguards that protect clients choosing hypnotherapy to evoke change in their lives. These safeguards include: the unconscious mind never revealing more than the client can handle, the unconscious never contemplating something it wouldn’t ordinarily do and any deeply seeded belief (such as a religious faith or strong value) can not be changed without the client’s permission. For example, you could never talk a client into changing faiths just because it was suggested, besides the fact that such a suggestion would be counter to the Code of Ethics of certified clinical hypnotherapists.

2. Misperception: Hypnotherapy is a magic bullet for my problems and habits.

A: Hypnotherapy is highly effective for many medical and mental health illnesses. It is one of the top 2 evidence based practices for general anxiety, panic attacks, social phobia, specific phobias like fear of public speaking or heights and trichotillomania.

It is highly effective for overcoming habits such as nail biting, smoking, gambling, over-eating, alcohol abuse and test taking anxiety. It is not a magic bullet, however my years of experience doing both psychotherapy and hypnotherapy with clients has confirmed that clients that choose hypnotherapy make faster progress than those clients that choose just psychotherapy regarding overcoming their challenges or making the changes they desire.

3. Misperception: Hypnotherapy is an alternative therapy that my insurance won’t pay for.

A: Hypnotherapy is an American Medical Association and American Psychological Association approved therapy. It was approved by both associations in 1963 through the efforts of a famous hypnotherapist psychiatrist, Dr. Milton H. Erickson. Client appointments (commonly called outpatient mental health counseling visits or behavioral health outpatient visits) are billed and classified according to the challenge the client presents with, not the type of therapy used. People contacting the toll free numbers of their insurance companies will often be told that their policy doesn’t cover
hypnotherapy but that is information provided by a telephone triage staff member of the insurance company. This person does not do mental health or behavioral health counseling, they just answer questions of their subscribers. I have been in business since 1998 and have successfully worked with insurance companies. Please contact me for further details at (509) 448-5660.

4. Misconception: I can’t be hypnotized.

A: 97% of the population can be hypnotized. We operate in and out of trance states at different times. For example, ever had a day dream, like stopped at a red light, and woke up to the present by car behind you honking? Have you
ever had a sexual fantasy during the day? Have you ever been so transfixed in a tv show or movie that you didn’t hear someone in the same room calling your name several times? These can happen to most people at different times in their day or life. Simple suggestibility tests can check to see how tight a control you keep over your conscious mind.

5. Misconception: I would never allow any therapist to mess with my mind, conscious or unconscious.

A: Hypnotherapy allows a person to quiet the often loud and overbearing conscious mind that judges them and holds very limited info about themselves while accessing the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is a person’s emotional and mind-body connection mind. It holds all their imagination, memories, programming or ‘autopilot’ and runs their body systems. Albert Einstein knew the value of the unconscious mind which has been dubbed ‘the powerhouse’ of a human being. Dr. Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of coming attractions.” He also said, “You can never solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.”

The judgment our conscious mind exerts on us makes any profound forward movement in our life more difficult. It adds a second cup of pain to any existing cup of pain from a trauma or significant painful event or habit. Quieting the judgment of the conscious mind while accessing the answers held in the unconscious mind is very helpful to the client understanding a particular behavior or the absence of a behavior they say they want to cultivate and gently working toward a resolution of such a discrepancy. The hypnotherapist doesn’t provide the client’s answers. The client is guided into their unconscious mind, which is the only mind that can access Higher Consciousness, or what Einstein called ‘the stream of superconsciousness’ which can problem solve anything and provide inspired answers.

6. Misconception: A person is totally exposed in hypnotherapy.

A: The unconscious mind has the built in safeguard of never revealing more than the client can handle. A client has the freedom to speak their awarenesses aloud in hypnotherapy or remain silent to what they observe and note. After a client has been guided into their unconscious mind, by the hypnotherapist, the client can do the work quietly and nonverbally, of they so desire and ask the hypnotherapist for help as needed.

7. Misconception: How does organized Christian religions view hypnotherapy?

A: Most organized religions have approved the use of hypnotherapy, just as the AMA, APA and the BMA (British Medical Association) have.

Prospective clients would be wise to check a hypnotherapist’s education, clinical experience, current professional association membership is in good standing, and their state licensure, as they would for any health care professional they’re considering.

8. Misconception: I called my insurance company and they said hypnotherapy isn’t covered.

A: First, commend yourself for lasting on ‘hold’ all that time before talking to a real human being! Second, most people don’t realize that insurance companies are not liable for their telephone triage, even if you documented the customer service telephone operator’s name and the date and time you called them. (Please see misperception number 3 above). Insurance companies are liable for their written benefit explanations in benefit booklets or online versions of your group plan’s benefit descriptions, which can be printed off their site. Some printers will note the url or the date of printing.

Here are the questions you may want to research:

  1. Does my plan have any behavioral health or mental health outpatient visits?
  2. If my plan has behavioral health or mental health outpatient visits, how many in a benefit year?
  3. How does the benefit year run? For example, is it January to December?
  4. Does my policy require a deductible be met before the policy’s benefits kick in? If so, how much is my deductible?
  5. Does my policy have a preferred provider list?
  6. Does your policy require a doctor’s referral? Most insurance companies allow their subscribers to self-refer to a counselor.
  7. Does your policy require that you get a pre-authorization number from your insurance company to give to the counselor when you start therapy?

If you get stuck any where along this maze of questions, please do not fret. Please call me and I will be happy to assist you. Large employment offices often have a benefits person who can help as well.

So whether we ever meet or not, I wish you the very best in your personal development progress.

Kathy Jo M. Avery, BSN, MA, CHT, MSW

Thank you for your interest in hypnotherapy and Heartfelt Hypnosis.
I welcome your call, Call me now at (509) 448-5660