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Monday, January 18, 2010

Clinical Hypnosis and Perceptions of Time

There was an article in the New York Times' Science section called, "Where Did the Time Go? Do Not Ask The Brain" by Benedict Carey that discussed our perception of time (http://www/ 

Perceptions of Time

The article reminded me that our perception of time is also different when we experience clinical hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy.

As a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist in NYC, clients, who experience clinical hypnosis in my private practice, will often tell me that they experience time differently in hypnosis.

Even though clinical hypnosis clients maintain a dual awareness (meaning that they are in a relaxed state and they are aware of everything going on in the here-and-now around them as well as what they are experiencing in the hypnotic state), they often experience a certain timelessness in hypnosis.

Clinical Hypnosis and Perceptions of Time

This is essentially because clinical hypnosis helps to access the unconscious mind, and there is no time in the unconscious. The unconscious is timeless. Whether we're experiencing what happened 20 years ago or what happened yesterday, the unconscious doesn't make a distinction.

The other phenomenon that occurs in clinical hypnosis is that, whereas it might take weeks, months or even years to resolve certain problems (phobias, smoking cessation, anxiety, depression, and other problems) in regular talk therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), very often, issues are resolved in 1-3 sessions in clinical hypnosis, depending upon the complexity of the issue.

This is is because, through clinical hypnosis, our unconscious minds can access the answers to our problems. We often don't know exactly how it happens, but it's not unusual, after a clinical hypnosis session, for the answers to our problem to come to us, seemingly, out of the blue. Of course, it's not really out of the blue or magical at all. It's the power of our own unconscious mind to access the solution through clinical hypnosis.

Remember, when considering clinical hypnosis, there is a big difference between a lay "hypnotist" and a hypnotherapist with regard to training, skills, clinical expertise, and licensure. Always choose a licensed mental health professional who has advanced training in clinical hypnosis.

I am a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist in NYC. I have helped many clients overcome problems through clinical hypnosis.

To find out more about me, visit my web site: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:

To find out more about clinical hypnosis, visit ASCH: American Society of Clinical Hypnosis

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