If you didn't know, I had a hypnotherapy consultation a few weeks ago to discuss helping me with my anxiety. Read about the consultation here.
Yesterday evening at 6pm I had my first session. My therapist Paul started off by explaining what this session was going to be for - getting used to being in trance and seeing how I react to it. He re-iterated that I would be fully aware throughout and at any time if I wanted a break or if I didn't feel comfortable, I could easily get up and leave. He then asked if I wanted to go into trance quickly or slowly, I said I didn't mind but he said he would do the slow route just to ease me in.
The hypnotherapy itself started with him turning on some relaxing music, asking me to get comfy and start taking big, deep breaths to then slowly closing my eyes. As soon as my eyelids went they fluttered uncontrollably and I couldn't stop them. He told me to focus on relaxing the muscles in my eyes. He then started a process where he asked me to focus my concentration on one hand, he continued repeating how light my hand would feel, how the temperature would change, how it would tingle and how it would slowly rise.
My first thought was this is NEVER going to happen and 'should I just do it myself?' - but then I thought no, let's see what happens. And, very slowly my wrist started to creak and then eventually my hand did lift (after 10 minutes maybe?), ending with me touching my face. He spoke about my hand and how it had so many answers and information that would help me and when it touched my face I would receive these answers.
He then asked me to imagine my mind floating out of my head and up to the ceiling, watching my body sat in the chair. He then asked me to continue imagining my mind floating into the sky and up into space - as just a mind without a body. Floating through space with peace.
By this point I felt so heavy and although we hadn't spoken about my body parts any more, I honestly had NO clue where my arms were. They could've honestly been held in the air or spread out wide for all I knew.
As he continued to focus my attention on my mind floating in space, he asked me to think of a happy memory with friends and imagine that I was watching over from above, but with no emotion - I thought of my 18th birthday party and how care free I was. He then 'woke' me up briefly explaining that from the neck up I would be mobile, my eyes felt so heavy.. he asked me about my memory and then explained that he was going to tap me on my knee and say 'sleep', and that I would go back intro trance 100x deeper.
And would you believe - he tapped my knee, said sleep and my head fell back down. It's weird as I was totally aware of his voice and could think my own thoughts (about things like my boyfriend waiting outside!), but I didn't feel fully in control of my body.
He then asked me to imagine floating in space again, as a mind without a body, with a strong feeling of happiness (with no attachment to a memory or image) that grew and grew until I smiled. I felt a little emotion at this point but not as he was telling me. He then brought me back again from the neck up asked me how I felt and then tapped my knee, saying 'sleep' again. I was then directed back to focusing on the my mind in space and to think of any positive emotion not linked to an image or memory again, I thought of excitement and felt it a little more than I did the happiness.
I was then asked to imagine walking into an empty cinema and taking a seat at the very front, on the screen an image of me as the movie was about my life. He said the movie was about to start and in it I was to imagine everything I aspire for in life and once the movie finished to lift up my right index finger. He informed me the movie had started and to watch it - I found this a little difficult and didn't really see too much to be honest but lifted my finger to signal the 'end'. He then asked me to get up out of my cinema seat and to walk into the screen and to live the movie as it played again. This time I imagined myself travelling, having a family, taking lots of beautiful photos and just generally being content and at peace - I lifted my right index finger again as these thoughts finished.
Now this bits a little hazy - but I think he started to speak to me with positive statements. Talking about how I will soon be confident and happy, and that big changes are coming in my life. He then told me that over the next week I will begin to forget what happened in this session (which is why I'm writing this right now, just in case) and then I will notice changes. He then said he would count to 10, and once he said 10 I would wake up slowly and in my own time - which I would did.
We then spoke about the session (which lasted an hour 20 minutes somehow?!) and how he said I had a great mind for hypnosis and that as soon as my eyes started flickering he knew it would be good.
He actually asked me not to think about it at all until my next session so writing this is probably against the 'rules', but I wanted you guys to know what you might expect if you were ever going to have hypnotherapy.
I've booked my next session in for next week where we will go more in depth and start to tackle my 'problems'. I left the room feeling so relaxed, peaceful and sleepy. It was an amazing and very strange experience and I'm so excited for my next session.