I receive questions constantly about my work as a hypnotherapist and in our trainings and workshops. A great deal of misunderstanding surrounds the subject of hypnosis.

These are some of the most-asked questions about hypnosis and my books and CD’s. I invite you to send me your own, no matter how silly or inconsequential they may seem to you. This includes questions about the book or our work. I’ll update this page with them, and my replies. To send me a question, please email me.

J. A. P-F.

“My husband says hypnosis is ‘bunk’ and won’t do the exercises with me. But I want to learn.”

Do you think you could hypnotize yourself effectively? Of course you can. Every individual can learn self-hypnosis in his or her own way. You can read the book — perhaps several times — to bring self-mastery into your life. Commit yourself to yourself, and do the exercises by yourself. You can order the audiotapes if you wish. No one can ever change anyone else, you can only change yourself. When you change yourself on unconscious levels, other people will pick it up unconsciously. And he may at some time get curious enough to want to join you.

“I feel I am already controlled by my husband. If I go into a ‘trance’ with him I’m afraid he will control me all the more.”

All hypnosis is self hypnosis, and you are already in a trance with him. If you let him control you against your will you are cooperating in that game with him. Self-hypnosis can help you find your own strength. If you find that you can’t do it all by yourself seek professional help to guide you. And read the book and do the exercises by yourself. Good luck!

“I think I have been in a trance all my life. How do I wake up?”

There are all kinds of trances – positive, negative, healing, and toxic. In self-hypnosis you can shift out of your earlier programming and discover your own natural self.

The first step is to know when you shift into a negative trance. With that information, you are armed and empowered to shift out of it. With self-hypnosis you can learn how to shift out of the negative trances you can discover for yourself. For example, when your husband yells at you and you freeze with immobility, you have shifted into the rageful trance of an adult, perhaps one of his parents. The difference is, after self-hypnosis both of you will be aware that this is happening and can change that negative pattern.

“I thought the unconscious was full of instinctual urges and powerful negative forces. People spend years in psychoanalysis trying to analyze and understand it. To be honest, it scares me a little.”

Psychoanalysis is founded on Freud’s concept of the unconscious and it has its profound value to many people. This is a different concept. Milton Erickson saw the unconscious as a vast treasurehouse of millions of memories, learnings, understandings, adventures – experiences that can be accessed and transformed into resources for the present and future. In both systems, the relationship of trust plays a very important part.

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