FAQs
Click on the questions below to find out more infomation on the different types of therapy:

FAQs on Hypnotherapy:

FAQs on EMDR:

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How can I tell what type of psychotherapy treatment is best for me?

To the novice client or patient of psychotherapy it might seem a particularly daunting task to choose the type of therapy to become involved in. This is why an initial consultation comprising of the first two to three sessions with the potential patient should produce a recommendation by the therapist as to what approach will be taken with the patient given their desired outcome or goals in seeking treatment.

For example, an individual suffering from severe panic attacks should be offered the type of treatment that will produce immediate relief, such as might be provided using a cognitive approach or EMDR. These methods have more immediate results rather than an approach aimed at exploring the underlying cause of the attacks that might take many months.

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H
ow do I know if I am choosing the right therapist for me? What are the guidelines I should follow?

The therapeutic relationship is of primary importance in choosing a therapist. How the client feels about the relationship is very subjective and the qualities of the therapist he or she is interviewing is extremely subjective and has defied critical analysis by researchers. Thus it is difficult to outline what might be the component parts of a client choosing one therapist over another. However, empirical studies have shown that patients benefit the most when they feel committed to working within the therapeutic approach offered by the therapist.

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What is hypnotherapy and how is it used as a form of psychotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting to help the patient change unwanted thoughts, feelings and types of behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often enhanced by the use of hypnosis because many of the negative thought patterns can be more effectively removed using this process. As well new more effective ways of thinking can be reinforced through hypnosis. Rational emotive behavioral therapy which seeks to discover and dispute the underlying beliefs, which are often irrational, behind a persons maladaptive behavior is also quite compatible with EMDR and hypnosis. New imagery using hypnosis help a person to move away from long held irrational beliefs and therefore help to establish and reinforce new patterns of behavior based on new thoughts and feelings


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What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to change behavior or alter emotions. Hypnotherapy is practiced by a trained professional who is a psychotherapist as well as a hypnotist.

Virtually everyone who has the ability to achieve focused attention and concentration can be hypnotized. Often a "good subject" will not even realize hypnosis has taken place. However, some people have better abilities to concentrate than others, and therefore are able to achieve a deeper hypnotic state. Practically all normal people can be hypnotized, though not necessarily by the same person, and practically all people can learn to be hypnotized. - Dr. Milton Erickson (1985)

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What is hypnosis?


Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness characterized by relaxed brain waves and a state of hyper-suggestibility. Hypnosis is a perfectly normal state that just about everyone has experienced. It is a normal cognitive function. By this we mean that it is a normal capacity of the mind to be able to block out the noises around us when we are in a deep state of concentration, or to be unable to hear our name called when deeply engrossed in a book or TV.

An extreme example of this hypnotic capacity is illustrated by the ability to unwittingly fall asleep while focusing on the lights of on-coming cars while driving in an automobile. In still another example of this ability to alter consciousness is the phenomena known as highway hypnosis. This occurs when we drive somewhere and don't remember driving or even remember seeing the usual landmarks. The hypnotic phenomena is very closely linked to the ability to concentrate.

People vary in their ability to concentrate and therefore vary in the depth of hypnotic trance they can achieve. The purpose of the hypnotic state is to produce a deeply relaxed state. It is during this relaxation of the body that the subconscious mind becomes open to suggestion.

Healing, emotional and behavior changes can only take place when the hypnotic state is achieved and the mind becomes open and receptive to suggestion. When suggestions are made while in the hypnotic state they have an impact on the desired wish for change. This is why no one can be made to do something that is against their morals or principals or against their will.

There is indeed a collusion between the hypnotist and his or her subject to effect the desired change.

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How does hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis is not a modern invention. It has been used by the medical profession before chemical anesthesia was available to eliminate pain during surgery. There is no question that hypnosis is an effective non-invasive technique that can not only eliminate pain but is highly effective in producing desired behavioral changes.

Changes in habits such as smoking, over-eating, nail-biting, hair pulling, etc. As well hypnosis is highly effective in producing deep states of relaxation so necessary for sleep and reduction of stress. Hypnosis is equally effective in producing behavioral changes of some severe psychological conditions such as phobias, severe anxiety and panic attacks.

Hypnosis is also is used in building self-confidence and self-esteem and in improving academic, athletic and sexual performance.

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How does the hypnotist produce the hypnotic state?

The hypnotist uses a process called hypnotic induction. This is a method used to focus your attention and concentration so you will go into a normal hypnotic state. Once the state of hypnosis is achieved suggestions can be made directly to the subconscious mind. Some clients are able to achieve desired changes with just one visit with a hypnotist.

However, most habits are deeply embedded in the subconscious mind and may require repeated visits or audio tapes that the client can use on their own. This is why we offer a free initial consultation at the center in order to give each client an accurate assessment of the type of hypnotherapy they may need.

During the consultation you will be tested for your ability to achieve a hypnotic state and for your suggestibility level. This will allow us to give you a more accurate assessment of the number of sessions you may need and the type of results you can expect to achieve.

One final note: Hypnosis Is Not Dangerous
There are no risks when used by trained professionals. At the center you will be seen by a licensed psychotherapist who is also a master hypnotist with many years experience. You are in safe hands.

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Who can be hypnotized?

Although it is true that people differ in their ability to be hypnotized, almost anyone with a good ability to concentrate and achieve focused attention can be hypnotized. Studies have shown, however, that individuals who have a good imagination, and who are highly suggestible have a greater ability to achieve deep hypnotic states.

By the same token it would be difficult for individuals with an attention deficit disorder (individuals who are highly distractible) to achieve an adequate enough state of hypnosis to have any effect.

However, a deep resistance to the hypnotic process, and a desire not to be hypnotized will prevent the process from occurring or being in any way effective. By the same token, a deep desire to be hypnotized and to be receptive to the suggestions being made either through direct contact with a trained hypnotist or self-hypnotic tapes, can produce highly effective results.

Some people give up after a few sessions because they believe they are not being hypnotized or are not suitable subjects. However, hypnosis improves with practice, the more you experience the feeling, the better the response.

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Am I asleep when under hypnosis?

When in the hypnotic state you are not asleep, but quite awake and aware. Your mind is still active and your thoughts may become quite clear. As you listen to the hypnotists words you can speak, laugh, and remember everything that has happened.

In fact, while in the hypnotic state, your senses may become more alert. Your sense of hearing may become quite clear, as you become selectively focused on the subject of your hypnotic trance.

The hypnotized individual can remain aware of everything that is taking place. Even after being brought out of hypnosis the client will be able to recall everything that has taken place while in trance.

The only exception is when a specific suggestion has been given by the hypnotist to forget all or part of what has taken place. This is generally discussed and agreed upon prior to entering the hypnotic trance.

The experience of being hypnotized is often likened to the stage just prior to going to sleep but is quite different from night time sleep. It is best described as a state of deep focused relaxation. In fact, an hour of hypnosis is equivalent to three hours of sleep because the body achieves a deep state of relaxation.

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Will I be in a trance?

Trance is a very common every day occurrence. For Instance, when we daydream. Another common example of "trance" is when we concentrate on particular visual images such as staring into the traffic lights of on-coming cars during night driving. This phenomenon is known as "highway hypnosis". By allowing our eyes to become fixated on the lights created by the oncoming traffic, the driver can fall unexpectedly and suddenly in a "trance-like sleep".

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Will I be in control?

The hypnotized subject is always in control and if he or she wishes, can choose not to respond to any suggestions. Hypnotic subjects can bring themselves out of hypnosis at any time.One common misconception that people have about hypnosis is the notion that the hypnotist exercises some "magic power" over the client and does this with some unique gift which only the hypnotist possesses. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If a suggestion is not appealing or appropriate for a client, it will be ignored. In fact if an incident occurred or suggestion made that was completely to the contrary of a client's belief or desires, the client would be able to bring himself out of the hypnotic state.


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Is hypnosis dangerous?

Many people fear hypnosis because of a lack of knowledge about what hypnosis is. This fear is usually based on lack of knowledge about the hypnotic process. Hypnosis is simply the process of allowing the conscious mind to become distracted enough for the subconscious mind to be influenced by suggestions that will achieve the clients specific goals and desires.

There is nothing dangerous about hypnosis. Hypnosis is a method of communication, between the client and the hypnotist that induces a trance or trance-like state. The trance-like state that occurs during hypnosis, also occurs spontaneously in each of us, under different circumstances throughout the day, without our being consciously aware it is happening.

Trance, although the term may sound mysterious, is simply a natural process which occurs when your attention is narrowly focused and free from distraction.

Another common misconception that generates fear is that the hypnotist will make the person do things or think thoughts they would not ordinarily do or think. We have all seen stage hypnotists and the peculiar and humorous things they have their subjects do. It's worth noting that the subjects are all volunteers, and their self-appointment to be on state implies a certain willingness to cooperate and be "part of the act". By self-selection, they have chosen to cooperate and perhaps don't mind, in fact even enjoy being the focus of attention, humor and sometimes even ridicule.

In fact, if a fire alarm or any other kind of emergency alert system were to go off during the act, all would instantly be out of the hypnotic state.


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What is EMDR?

EMDR is a systematic psychotherapeutic approach that has been proven more effective than some traditional therapies in resolving panic attacks, recurring nightmares, phobias and painful recollection of traumatic events. It is a treatment directly aimed at removing both the negative thought patterns as well as the emotional pain associated with recalling the incidents that occurred in creating the original traumatic response. As an alternative treatment it has received heavy criticism from traditional therapists because of its seemingly simple method, the waving of two fingers in front of the eyes requiring a patient to follow the fingers while recalling the traumatic event. The rapid results produced by this treatment method for many patients who have suffered life long from symptoms produced by traumatic events also raises the eyebrows of traditional therapists. Nevertheless since its discovery in 1987 by Dr. Francis Shapiro, its widespread use by trained mental health professionals has documented its efficacy.


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What is the history of EMDR?

The system was discovered quite by accident by Francine Shapiro, PH.D., then an English teacher. She was walking in a park in California and having disturbing thoughts about her life. Eight years earlier she had been diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly she noticed that these thoughts had vanished. She tried to recall them again but they no longer disturbed her. The relief from painful thoughts about her body had disappeared. She tried to recreate her actions and discovered that she had been moving her eyes rapidly from side to side. She tried this again and again and felt the same relief. At the time of this incident Shapiro was studying for her Phd. in psychology. There she began to experiment on several dozen volunteers to see if they could duplicate her results. She discovered that by themselves they could not, but if they followed Shapiro's hands with their eyes, they were able to find relief from painful memories and traumatic incidents. Shapiro then planned and carried out a research study involving 22 victims of sexual abuse and combat-related post traumatic stress disorder, the disorder with which many Vietnam veterans were afflicted.According to Shapiro, all of the subjects who received EMDR showed a marked improvement, while a control group did not. Shapiro wrote the study for her dissertation. Since then, a national organization (EMDR Network of Professionals, certified in EMDR, 408-372-3900) has grown of therapists trained to conduct EMDR.


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Who Can Benefit From EMDR?

EMDR is for people who have had one or more traumatic experiences, either in the past or in their current life, that has altered their thoughts and emotions in such a way as to produce behavior that limits their personal life and ability to realize their goals.Often their behavior is limited by painful memories, phobias, unbearable and uncontrollable panic attacks, recurring dreams and nightmares, depression, reclusive behavior or avoidance of some essential life experiences. EMDR is best used in conjunction with other psychodynamic therapies, especially if an individual is trying to solve other issues in their life. Trauma may be only one part of a persons problem for which they seek treatment. However, specific traumatic events that produces severe changes in behavior can more easily and quickly be resolved through EMDR. In such cases a person can then go on to benefit from the traditional therapies more effectively in attaining their particular life goals.


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Is EMDR for me?

The purpose of EMDR treatment is to eliminate the pain associated with traumatic event, whether it is one or many events. It is ideal for resolving the symptoms derived from one single event. In fact the more specific and self-contained the traumatic event, such as a rape or accident, the faster and more beneficial the result. It is because of this that EMDR has been both heralded and criticized as a quick fix. However, since its widespread use by many trained professionals, a more realistic assessment of the treatment has evolved. For those with a greater number of traumatic incidents such as is the case of childhood or spousal abuse, the treatment required is greater than just one or two sessions to obtain results. However, treatment progress and lasting beneficial result can be achieved in a shorter period of time than with traditional therapies. Deciding if EMDR is for you can best be done with a professional therapist trained in EMDR . Since EMDR is a specific technique it is important to see a mental health professional with specific credentials and training in EMDR.

Call us for a free consultation at 1 877 4 sex help (1 877 473 9435).


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How does EMDR work?

Many clinical reports as well as some experimental studies have shown the efficacy of this approach. In spite of both clinical reports and experimentally designed research results that prove the efficacy of this treatment, many traditional therapist are still unfamiliar with this treatment process and express their doubts about its ability to produce immediate long lasting beneficial results. Some theories have been developed offering the explanation that the eye movement, known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) which occurs during EMDR treatment reproduces the same process in the brain that occurs during dreaming. Dreaming helps the unconscious mind cope with conflict by processing unresolved emotions and thoughts, particularly disturbing ones. It is well documented that REM is quite evident during dreaming. However, even though the connection between REM and night-time dreaming, and REM during EMDR is clearly established, it is not clear how either process actually works on the brain to resolve painful negative emotion and thought. It is of special interest to those studying this process to discover how REM during the EMDR treatment works to eliminate the suffering caused by traumatic events.Unlike traditional therapies which seek to uncover and analyze ones response to traumatic events, the EMDR process has been shown to resolve the behaviors that result from traumatic events, even those that have occurred in the past, without insight and in a much shorter period of time. Beneficial results often does occur in just a few sessions, even when treating long establish patterns of behavior that have resulted from a series of traumatic events.


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Who can practice EMDR?

A licensed mental health professional with specific training in EMDR through Dr. Frances Shapiro and the EMDR organization.