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Q&A
Have a question regarding hypnosis or hypnotherapy? Write me at AskYourQuestion2@aol.com and I will respond either personally or here to each and every question.
Current Topics:
Suspicious Mind
Quitting Smoking
Taking Back Control
Anxiety
Lost Myself
Overcoming Fear
Compulsive Behavior
Weight Loss
Past Lives

Suspicious Mind


Question:
I am so jealous and it is driving me crazy. I can't seem to stop myself from trying to control my boyfriend. Who he sees, what he looks at, even what he is thinking. I hate myself for doing it but I can't seem to stop. I didn't use to be this way. Is this something that you or hypnosis can help me with?

Answer:
Jealously is a completely non-productive emotion and you are right, it can and will drive you crazy. Focusing on your fears just enlarges them and brings even more fear into your life and your world. Often, what comes up as jealousy really is a lack of communication. When we leave our needs unspoken, they lie in wait like a crouching tiger until someone or something exposes them. It is essential to communicate very clearly and explicitly with your partner about your needs and expectations.

It is also important to note that there is a distinct difference between love and attachment and all to frequently what we call love really is attachment. Loving someone is loving the uniqueness of who and what that person is. You can love your partner and want to see them thrive, enjoy, and grow. You want to see them become more of who they are, no matter what that entails. That's the truth of love. Attachment is quite different. You want to make your partner conform to a preconceived idea of what you think they should be. That is Attachment. Attachment is not caring for the other so much as it is care for yourself. If your relationship is based on Attachment, you will continue to experience the pain of jealousy frequently. The most common, worst and ineffective way to deal with jealousy is trying to control your partner. Every person has their own individual and unique sexuality, and each person must take responsibility for themselves and take care of their own sexuality as best they can. You are not responsible for and cannot truly control the sexuality of another. You do not own it. It is their own. And what they choose to do about it is their own affair.

This insight, this realization can help with jealousy more than any other. Take a look at your beliefs, really analyze them, and drop the ones that aren't functional.

Becoming aware of what you are actually feeling and discovering the source behind it can give you the power to alleviate the pain. It is possible that the jealously you think you are experiencing really might not be jealously at all. Perhaps you are feeling anger. Often time these emotions and feelings of jealously, anger and resentment have more to do with illusion than reality. They come from our past, from childhood, or perhaps from a prior bad relationship or relationships. If you are experiencing jealous feelings and you start looking deep inside at these feelings, suddenly you can begin to see how frequently they are not real, they are an illusion and that you are torturing yourself because of fear.

When you attempt to possess another person, you become yourself possessed. You become vulnerable. The stomach-churning pain of jealousy and fear of abandoment comes from that vulnerability. That is what you are experiencing.

If you love someone, go deep into your own unique experience of what that love is, and just let that be who you are. Surrender to it. Open your heart and mind to it. You do not need to experience jealously. You do not need to control another and you do not need to be afraid. You can choose to move away from those feelings. Hypnosis can help. You can be experiencing love itself deeper and deeper within its own fullness.

I hope this helps you understand a bit more about the dynamics of jealously.

Linda Simmon, C.Ht.



Quitting Smoking

Question:
I've decided to quit smoking and have heard that hypnosis can help make the process easier and help with relapses. Is this true and how does it work?

Answer:
Yes, hypnosis can make the process easier and most definitely help with relapses.

The underlying principal of hypnosis is relaxation. This makes hypnotherapy a gentle, soothing type of treatment which also happens to be very effective. This is the reason for why the process to quit smoking (or lose weight) with the aid of hypnosis is easier.

In order to appreciate the therapeutic benefits of hypnosis, it is important to realize that hypnosis actually allows a person to take back personal control of their life. As Dr. David Spiegel, professor and associate chair of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine says, "One of the interesting ironies about hypnosis is that old fantasy that is takes away control.. It's actually a way of enhancing people's control, of teaching them how to control aspects of their body's function and sensation that they thought they couldn't."

Using techniques such as deep breathing, imagery, visualization and positive suggestions to relax the client, allows them to experience a feeling of peacefulness and euphoria yet be fully aware during a session. This is similar to what is experienced during meditation; however, hypnosis differs in allowing the client to more easily focus on the ability to do something for a specific purpose, such as to stop smoking. This is how hypnosis achieves its strength, by using positive statements and suggestions while a client is in a fully relaxed state, enabling the client to more easily focus on their past problematic patterns or behaviors and in this way achieve the desired change. Working from the inside out, releasing negative thoughts, perceptions and behaviors and replacing them with the positive thoughts and suggestions that the client desires.

It is this technique of focusing and strengthening willpower that is responsible for hypnotherapy's high success rate. For the client who wishes to quit smoking, positive suggestions about their body and visualizing their lungs becoming clear and free of smoke as well as instilling images of the client happy, healthy and smoke free are the types of suggestions that are most effective. When Arreed Barabasz, director of the laboratory of hypnosis research at Washington State University in Pullman and coauthor of Hypnotherapeutic Techniques (Brunner-Routledge) tested this approach on 300 heavy smokers who had previously quit and relapsed, almost half stayed smoke-free 18 months after hypnotherapy - compared with 10 percent for the nicotine-replacement therapy alone.

Repetition is the key to success. Repetition can be achieved by having several face to face or telephone sessions, but the most economical way would be to have one or two initial sessions to get the process going and then use a Quit Smoking CD program which can be used daily to reinforce the fact that you are now a non-smoker. I have created such a program. The Quit Smoking CD Volume 1 has been specifically created for the heavy smoker and/or the person who would rather not have a personal session or the person who has tried many times before to quit and failed. Volume 2 is a reinforcement CD that can be used by the person who smokes less than a pack a day, who is confident that they can quit but would just like a little reinforcement and can be used in conjunction with Volume 1 after the first couple of weeks as a reinforcement CD. Volume 2 is also especially effective when used to supplement face to face or phone sessions.

Linda Simmon, C.Ht.



Taking Back Control

Question:
I'm frequently asked how people can regain control of their lives and if hypnosis is an effective way to do this. Here are my thoughts:

Answer:
I was reading recently an ezine from Elyse Hope Killoran of the Project Prosperity website and in her ezine she quoted:

"The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination." -- John Schaar, a sociologist and professor emeritus at the University of California Santa Cruz

Professor Schaar has stated the underlying philosophy of my practice so much more succinctly and clearly than I have ever been able to.

Over the years and especially since I've been working as a hypnotherapist, I've come to observe how frequently people relinquish the control over their future to someone other than themselves and so frequently to someone they don't even respect or admire. The future is indeed a place that we are creating, and not just the future, each and every day we create our current reality as well.

It is our perception of any incident, occurrence, activity or situation that determines whether we are happy or sad, have feelings of joy or hopelessness, think we are making progress or stagnating. "If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." -- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

This ability may very well be the most powerful tool that each of us has at our disposal to shape and guide our present as well as our future and it seems as if it has been forgotten by so many of us. Or perhaps we are just afraid to try. Perhaps it is easier to place the blame for the negativity in our lives on someone else thereby abdicating any personal responsibility whatsoever.

My question to each of you is... Why? Why do we not only allow others to take this power and use it, frequently we give I to them. Why do we allow others to start directing and controlling not only our present but our future.

I love what I do. It is the most rewarding career that I've ever had. One reason is because with hypnotherapy I can help every single person take back responsibility and control of their own life, their destiny and help them do it much faster and easier than any other form of therapy or healing that I've come across. It is rather ironic because so many people express a fear of "losing control" if they are hypnotized, when in reality the exact opposite is true, they regain and reclaim control.

If we are what we repeatedly do then we are also what we repeatedly think. So why not take control of your thoughts. Guide them, mold them and do it over and over again. One of the easiest ways to do this is by listening to a CD, tape or download that uses positive thoughts, phrases and images and listening every day or night for several weeks. It does make a difference. You will feel stronger, happier and soon you will realize that you have taken back control of your own life.

Once you have taken back the control, then the real fun can start, realizing all the possibilities available to you, all the directions you can go in and finally realizing that life is indeed a journey more than a destination. A journey that you can control.



Anxiety

Question:
How can hypnotherapy help me with my anxiety and fear?

Answer:
Phobias, fears and anxieties generally develop from an unknown primary cause through an association. The trigger (which is usually non-threatening itself) is frequently buried in the subconscious and over time an association with the specific phobia, fear or anxiety (which was threatening at the time) develops at a moment of extreme stress or suggestibility. These fears and anxieties usually develop in adulthood and yet the person suffering from them can feel vague and unclear about the onset and is usually aware that their reactions are irrational.

Many phobias, fears or anxieties can show a direct link to a drop in blood sugar which can cause physical and emotional symptoms and may include dizziness, weakness, nausea, mood swings, anxiety, shakiness, cravings for sweets and/or a general inability to function normally. The repetitive cycle of blood sugar drops alternating with adrenaline increases (from a fear or anxiety or simply the body's effort to balance the blood sugar drop) can create tremendous physical and psychological stress. If these emotional and physical symptoms are associated with any particular event (such as going outside, driving a car, being home alone, etc.), an individual can associate those symptoms with the event and a vicious cycle ensues.

By understanding the possible relationship of blood sugar levels to a phobia, fear or anxiety and balancing those levels with diet can reduce or eliminate the physical sensations thus eliminating one major contributing trigger to that phobia, fear or anxiety. In addition, reducing hyper-suggestibility by repeatedly hypnotizing and counting the individual out with suggestions that they will no longer experience the fear or anxiety that has been bothering them while at the same time suggesting that they will no longer be in a suggestible state will eventually relieve or eliminate the phobia, fear or anxiety.



Lost Myself

Question:
Dear Linda ~ I've finally walked away from a bad relationship. It didn't seem that bad most of the time, just stressful; but since it has ended I've realized it wasn't good for me. Even worse than that, I don't feel like myself anymore. It's hard to describe, but it is like I am uncomfortable in my own skin (something I never felt in the past). Feels a bit like I'm lost. Even though I've gotten better over the past couple months, I still am not completely "me" and am afraid that I will never completely be myself again. Does any of this make sense to you and is this something hypnosis can help me with? ~ Lost in transition~

Answer:
Short answer, Yes! But in order for you to understand how it can help, I need to explain what has happened to you.

When we live in a stressful situation for a period of time, our minds and bodies get overloaded with message units (thoughts, feelings, information coming at us). When the conscious/subconscious is attempting to process too much incoming information, we naturally (meaning a normal response) go into a light form of hypnosis. The hypnosis allows us to cope better with the stressful situation for a variety of reasons. The problem is that we are in a more suggestible state - more easily influenced by words, events and the people around us.

You can imagine how this might negatively affect you, especially if you are subjected to any kind of abuse. This negativity is dropping right into your subconscious and affecting the way you think, act, feel, etc., affecting everything about you and what makes you unique and special. This negativity undermines your self-confidence and belief in yourself. If you feel easily overwhelmed by even the smallest problem, can't seem to cope with even small changes, are experiencing fear or anxiety and definitely feeling out of touch with yourself, there is a good chance that this has happened to you.

In addition, if this situation remains with individuals for a long while, they may live their lives in a light hypnotic state. Even when the situation ends, they may not come out of hypnosis. Just understanding that this can and has happened may start the healing process. However, it can be a long, slow and difficult process by yourself. Hypnosis can help.

Simply having a hypnotherapist put you "under" hypnosis several times will bring you out of the hypnotic state that you may have been living in. It also has the benefit of clearing away many of the cobwebs that have built up in your psyche. Each time you are put under, you will go into hypnosis a little deeper and will be counted out more and more until you are completely out of hypnosis.



Overcoming Fear. . .

Question:
What happens if I encounter something frightening while I'm being hypnotized - a terrible memory or buried fear?

Answer:
First of all, hypnotherapy should never work on age regression with a client unless there is a doctor present. We work with clients all the time during Past Life Regression. We also do work with hypno drama and releasing, which might appear to be age regression, but the technique is different. It would take pages to explain the difference here and it is not necessary to explain that in order to answer your question about being frightened with a memory. While under hypnosis there is an emotional distancing that is accomplished naturally. Sort of like having a window between you (client) and a particular thought, emotion, event, situation, whatever. It allows a client to see herself as an impartial observer. Depending on the situation or request from a client, the hypnotherapist can bring up feelings of anxiety, fear, or whatever. This is a process that is used to help a client overcome a debilitating fear or phobia. But even then the client always feels safe and not threatened. Hypnotherapy is a healing modality. The whole goal is to heal people by helping them overcome anything negative that may be holding them back. Hypnotherapy also helps clients feel good about themselves and their lives. It is about empowerment. At least it is with the right therapist. And this brings up another issue. Check out the credentials of your potential hypnotherapist. Where did the therapist go to school? Check out the school. Find out how long the practitioner's training was. You do not want to go to someone who attended a weekend seminar and now claims to be a "therapist". And they are out there. So, do your homework, and then you can feel secure that you are working with a qualified, trained professional.



Compulsive Behavior.

Question:
Can hypnosis help me overcome compulsive thoughts, habits, and desires?

Answer:
Yes, hypnosis can be very effective with these issues. Habits and frequently desires tend to be very closely linked with association as are many addictive behaviors. Compulsive thoughts can have many different sources. Hypnosis, however, working from the inside out and starting with the subconscious and work to modify, correct or even reverse these behaviors. Hypnotherapy has also been very effective in work with addicts. In order for hypnosis to be effective, however, the client must have the desire to change. With addicts, I insist that they be in a 12-step program. I work with them to make the whole process so much less painful and easier. The bottom line is that the desire to change and utilization of the subconscious creates tremendous strength. The strength of your own mind, along with the help of a hypnotherapist to guide you can offer insight into cause and effect.



Hypnotherapy And Weight Loss?

Question:
Can Hypnosis actually help me eat less?

Answer:
The short answer is yes. But the short answer is just the tip of the iceberg. Food and weight issues actually need to be treated much like an addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. There can be many underlying issues involved and sometimes these must be resolved before there can be a permanent change for the better. The good news is that it has been my experience that if a person is willing to commit to a couple of months or anywhere from 6-8 sessions, hypnosis is about 85% effective in making permanent changes in this area. Some clients find positive changes after only 3-4 sessions. One must remember, though, that in order for hypnosis to work, you've got to want the change - and not be doing it for someone else.



Past lives.

Question:
Can hypnosis help me understand my past lives and spiritual purpose?

Answer:
Hypnosis lends itself really well to past life work. I have several clients who have found this particular method of therapy extremely effective and it can be fun as well!

Each client and each "journey" is different. No claims can be made as to the validity of a past life journey and, from a therapeutic viewpoint, it doesn't really matter whether the journey is real or imagined. Therapeutically, if a client has very strong images and memories, they are there for a reason, frequently to help with a problem that they are currently experiencing.

However, as many of you who have taken one of these journeys knows, they can be very spiritual and life altering. I have not encountered any such experience that was other than positive.

I have a statement that I make with my clients who have chosen to take a past life journey: "Respect where the subconscious takes you whether it is fantasy, memory or imagination, respect the journey."

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