What is Hypnotherapy?
It may be easier to explain what hypnotherapy is not rather than what it is. There are many, many myths, misconceptions and preconceptions about hypnotherapy and hypnosis. Jon Connelly, Ph.D., LCSW, who created Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) wrote, “Hypnosis is not being asleep, unconscious, out of it or under it. It is not losing control, giving up or being controlled. It has nothing to do with susceptibility or the power of suggestions. Hypnosis does not require concentration or relaxation….The most common misunderstanding about hypnosis is probably the idea that to learn from or influence the subconscious mind one would have to get rid of the conscious mind. That’s why people think someone who is hypnotized is unconscious. That is not the case at all.”
He goes on to describe hypnosis as “purposeful communication utilizing connection, credibility, and effective language to get the desired response from the subconscious.” Fortunately, Dr. Cancemi has had the pleasure of training under Dr. Jon Connelly and is a Nationally Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Why Do We get Stuck?
The human senses and mind are very similar to a computer. All day long, data and information enter through our senses. Just like a computer uses software to detect viruses and corruption, the mind sifts through this data to see if it is “dangerous,” “corrupted,” or potentially problematic. If, during this scan, our mind determines the incoming data is dangerous, that data is not permitted to go into storage or our long term memory. Unfortunately, this “dangerous” material stays “stuck” on the way into storage. Think of when you are working on a computer and have many applications open. Tasks take much longer and the system does not operate efficiently. When we have data stuck (“a data glop”) on the way into long term storage, it is as if we have a bunch of applications running at the same time. We may not even know that these applications are open. All we know is that we are not operating efficiently and that our battery is getting drained. In addition, the “data glop” pollutes and distorts other incoming data. There are a number of things that can get stuck on the way into storage and decrease our performance. They can be events we have experienced (such as trauma, sexual assault, the death of a loved one, physical violence, rape, combat, etc.), emotional issues we struggle with (such as frozen grief, anxiety, panic attacks, guilt and shame, or anger), or problematic, self destructive behaviors (high risk sex, gambling, or substance abuse). And just as in a computer, the more data that is stuck, the less incoming data can be moved into storage and our efficiency goes way down.
For What Issues Is Hypnotherapy Useful?
Hypnotherapy can be useful for people struggling with events they have experienced (such as such as trauma, sexual assault, the death of a loved one, physical violence, rape, emotional or verbal abuse, divorce, combat, etc.) emotional issues (such as frozen grief, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, guilt and shame, or anger), physical pain, or problematic, self destructive behaviors (high risk sex, gambling, or substance abuse). Dr. Cancemi has found hypnotherapy particularly helpful and has had great success treating first responders such as police officers, firefighters, correction officers, EMTs, and members of the military.