top of page

What Goes on in an Ericksonian Hypnosis Session?

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

Two faces made of tree roots communicating to each other
Ericksonian hypnosis allows me to talk to a deeper part of yourself

You might wonder what goes on in an Ericksonian hypnosis session. There's such an air of mystery about hypnosis that you might have a certain idea of what the hypnotist does and what the purpose of the session is. If you wonder what happens and why Ericksonian hypnosis is different from regular hypnotherapy, please read on.

What is Ericksonian Clinical Hypnosis?

Clinical hypnosis is the application of a state of focused awareness that allows people to accomplish tasks that they struggle with under normal circumstances. The conscious mind is very handy for balancing the checkbook, doing business transactions, and counting change. But the unconscious mind can help a person accomplish a great many things when the conscious mind is distracted, out of the way. Milton H. Erickson, MD raised hypnosis to a high art form, with his use of indirect communication, utilization (using what was going on with the client instead of imposing directives on the client) and confusion to break the usual thought and behavior patterns.

Have you ever tried to do something so hard but just couldn’t seem to do it, like fall asleep? And then you just let go, surrender… and before you know it, you’re seeing images and realizing that you’re in a land of free association? That’s what a hypnosis session can be like.

The Power of the Hypnotic State

During hypnosis, you respond to suggestions without conscious mind's interference. Time seems to be going at a different pace than normal. Your movements are somewhat restricted. Your heart rate, circulation, and breathing are different. Sometimes you experience changes in sensation, perception, and body orientation.

This all allows you to become more open to suggestion than normal. A hypnotist will use that in psychotherapy to your advantage. There is nothing that I as a hypnotist can make you do that would be against your values or moral code. It can be a very pleasant, relaxing state that leaves you feeling refreshed, calm, and ready to face new challenges in your life.

what goes on in a hypnosis session - white woman hypnotizing white man
Some people use watches, but usually words help you enter trance instead

How can an Ericksonian hypnosis session help you?

What do you want more of in your life? More confidence, more money, a better job, better health? Would you like to change the way you treat your body and have greater satisfaction in your physical life?

Are you ready to eat healthier, give up cigarettes, or other harmful habits? Would you like to feel more motivated for exercise and healthy behavior patterns? How do you define success? How much do you want that, now? How would you like to get out of your own way?

Hypnosis can open the door to having more. You are not a passive recipient of life’s experiences. You co-create your reality with the way you think, feel and act in situations.

So it is too with hypnosis, yet most of the work is being done by your unconscious mind. You can trust it. It has your best interest in mind. And it can be your best ally in the journey to success. I help you walk through the door to your unconscious mind during the hypnosis session.

My Experience

I have been a licensed psychologist for 20 years, specializing in trauma recovery, grief, and chronic illness. I use clinical hypnosis to help people achieve success however they define it. I favor Ericksonian hypnosis because people tend to respond to it better. No one likes being told what to do, or at least very few people do. But if you are in a relaxed, focused state and someone suggests something to you that would be life-enhancing, you generally have a more favorable response. And with a better response, you would probably have more success, both in the session and in achieving your goals.

Maybe success means coping with physical pain better or overcoming an unhealthy habit. For other people, success might mean greater self-esteem and less anxiety or tension. Stress management can pave the way for many different benefits, mentally and physically. Success can mean so many different things to different people.


I trained at the Milton Erickson Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona with direct students of Milton Erickson, MD. The people who taught me were Dr. Brent Geary, Dr. Jeffrey Zeig, Mr. Steven Lankton, and Ms. Lilian Borges. They taught me about Ericksonian hypnosis and psychotherapy, which is different from traditional hypnosis and therapy in many ways. I have also received consultation from Mr. Steven Lankton and Dr. Eric Greenleaf.

I respect Dr. Milton Erickson's non-scripted, tailored way of doing hypnosis more than traditional hypnosis. Ericksonian hypnosis uses the unique strengths and characteristics of the client. Traditional hypnosis imposes a script, a message, and a standard operation on all clients the same. I am grateful for learning about this approach to helping people change.

While some hypnotists promise success in one session, I find that hypnosis is a relational process that happens more effectively when you trust me and feel comfortable in my presence. For some people, that takes a short time, and for others, it might take a bit more time. Whatever you feel most comfortable is right for you. Your needs and unique goals shape how many hypnosis sessions we have.

How Ericksonian hypnosis works (usually)

I meet with you and find out more about how you want to change your life. Sometimes it feels good to let someone who is nonjudgmental know how you’ve been struggling and what your dreams and hopes are. It is important for me to know what you are experiencing, what you've tried already that works or doesn't work, and how you want to be when you're done. Sometimes just clarifying what you want more specifically gets you motivated to change, because you're already picturing or getting an experiential glimpse of what is possible.

It also helps me know more about you and how to customize your hypnotic experience. Then I help people get comfortable and relaxed and help bring forth the change while they are in the hypnotic state.

After that, I bring the person out of the state and help them re-orient to their current surroundings. Many clients report feeling relaxed, happy, and peaceful after sessions. One person said, “That’s just what I needed.”

I want to help you achieve your version of success, and have a lot of faith in hypnosis as a great way to achieve that. Please call if you want to use hypnosis to create your success. I would be delighted to hear from you. To schedule or ask questions, please call me at 661-233-6771. Let’s see what’s possible for you! 

42 views0 comments


bottom of page