Do Hypnosis CDs and Mp3s really work?
Yes! is the short answer to that one.
Imagine attending a live, one to one hypnotherapy session and being asked to put on headphones, the therapist then speaking to you via a microphone and gently taking you into hypnosis using their voice. The point I am making is that in that situation, once your eyes are closed, it may be impossible for you to tell whether you are being spoken to by the hypnotist speaking live, or whether you are listening to a recording!
Hypnosis audio is not a gimmick, and can bring about tremendous changes. After all, nothing is potentially more powerful than the human mind. Conventional treatments, techniques and therapies (such as talking therapies) often give us insights into our problems, help, advice, and information - but none of this is usually heard by, or registered in the subconscious part of the mind. The subconscious (often called the unconscious) is the powerhouse within the mind, rather like a computer, which decides how we feel and react to situations. It is in control of our habits, abilities, emotions and so on. Hypnosis is most definitely the most effective way of gaining access to this "computer" to tune in to what is being said and carry out instructions and requests.
Of course one to one hypnotherapy treatment is bound to be more effective than listening to recorded hypnosis audio - anybody who produces hypnosis recordings is misleading you if they encourage you to believe otherwise. No genuine, ethical hypnotherapist would ever do so, but good hypnosis recordings can be very powerful and effective. They have their own special advantages and can often bring about precisely the changes you are looking for, in their own unique way.
Its a little bit like trying to compare live music to recorded music - both have advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps the majority would argue that live music is best. In the days of Elvis Presley, watching him perform live may have been worth thousands of dollars to many people and the experience very likely had a lasting, and permanent effect on them. Most people would agree that it was money well spent, although they could just as easily gone out and bought one of his records for a few dollars or pounds and saved a fortune! However, Elvis recordings have also had a far reaching and and life changing effect on people, in their own way, and of course you can play them again and again as often as you like.
Recorded hypnosis can have its own unique charm and effect, and be played again and again repeatedly. This is a huge advantage because repetition and hypnosis were made for one another. Quite often, the more a hypnotic command is heard, the more deeply embedded it becomes. Repeated hypnotic suggestions, like affirmations, are a form of conditioning. Live hypnosis may be the ultimate, but the recorded medium has an appeal and power all of its own. As with rock and roll, it all boils down to quality. If you purchase a second rate record, don't expect it to want to play it very often or expect it to change your life! The same applies to hypnosis audio - if you buy the cheap stuff, you will soon discover, like any other product in the market place or record store, that it was cheap for a good reason!
Should you visit a hypnotherapist instead of purchasing a hypnosis CD?
There should be no harm in trying hypnosis audio and seeing if it helps first of all. In much the same way as people often find self help or self improvement books turn out to be better than therapy! On the other hand, I've been a hypnotherapist for over fourteen years and I can honestly say that no problem I treat is ever quite the same. More often than not, the people I treat have a complicated story to tell about the lead up up to the problem they are experiencing. All of us are unique and have different pasts, different characteristics, different experiences, different ways of looking at things. Obviously the help they receive from one-to-one hypnotherapy is aimed specifically at their own personal needs and expectations.
Some people have "blockages" that need to be tackled, sometimes there are issues in the past that need to be resolved because they were not dealt with properly at the time and they are still suffering as a consequence. For example, some people remain full of guilt, anger or frustration because of things that happened, or failed to happen, in the past. Sometime they are not even aware that problems from the past are still stewing and festering beneath the surface in the subconscious mind, causing all sorts of upset, problems and even physical illness. These are not the kinds of issues that can be easily addressed just by putting on a hypnosis tape which contains generalised help for a whole range of people.
On the other hand some people come along to see me because they simply want hypnosis to help them boost confidence, lose weight or get rid of an unwanted fear or habit. Quite often they simply do not want to drag up the past or have their whole personality analysed by hypnosis for weeks on end! Hypnosis audio is by no means incapable of healing deep rooted trauma and problems, it just means it is less likely to do so. By its nature it is more likely to address the symptoms of problems rather than look for and treat the underlying causes.
Hypnosis audio is underestimated
The potential of hypnosis audio is often overlooked by many within the hypnotherapy profession because of the quality of some of the existing and earlier recordings. I'm not talking about technical problems such as hiss or clicking, I'm referring to the terrible vocal delivery and content on some of the stuff previously released. Good hypnosis is not easy to capture because there are so many things that have to be right.
Its a bit like hearing your aunt singing opera for the family...it may sound impressive and go down a treat but hearing it recorded later is totally another matter.... A good comedian may find it easy to make people laugh on stage but fail completely when he or she tries to record the same jokes in a studio. Suddenly it's a whole different ball game. Obviously telling jokes is more of an art than a science, and though hypnotherapy is not about making people laugh, the same is true about hypnotic induction and delivering hypnotic content.
Hypnotherapy as a profession is naturally keen to form strong bonds with psychologists and the medical profession and join hands under the umbrella of science and standardised techniques, but there's just one slight problem here ...being good at hypnosis is as much an art as it is a science however good the "script". The word "script" has connotations with acting and just as there are good actors and the not so good, so there are good hypnotists and not so good ones!
Only a certain type of hypnotist can make most people go into trance when they record a hypnotic induction, however successful they may be in daily practice. In both cases the script has not only got to be good, but only certain people can make it sound good.
A good hypnosis CD/mp3 will take most people very deeply and pleasantly into hypnosis. All of my own hypnosis recording were originally transcripts from actual sessions and therefore retain the improvised feeling that good quality, live hypnosis usually has. In fact, only inexperienced, or newly qualified hypnotherapists rely on scripts, or use them at all. As more experience and confidence is gained most hypnotherapists deviate from scripts until every session they conduct is fresh and completely improvised.
I recorded literally hundreds of sessions over three or four years. With so many recordings I had the problem of deciding which ones I would use to make up hypnotic scripts. The answer was clear - I based the scripts for my recordings on the sessions that had taken people deepest into hypnosis and had also turned out to have the most successful outcomes! I was determined to raise the benchmark for hypnosis audio and attempt to bring it up to a much higher level than had previously been available. I'd been making personal recordings for a number of my patients for years and had gradually improved them, modified them and perfected them.
Sadly, a lot of hypnosis audio out their sounds stilted because the content relies heavily on specially written scripts that are dry and lack the flow and attractiveness of professional, real life hypnosis sessions. Many recordings I have heard sound as if they were made by a boring school teacher reading out a list of instructions from a self help book! ironically, this may sound polished and "professional" to some people, but after one listening, they are unlikely to want to play it again.