A gentle transition to motherhood

Nervous as a cat about chicken-trances, and other tales from the hypnotherapist’s office

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

In the course of my hypnotherapy practice, the question of chickens comes up a few times a month.

Let’s say a client is coming in because her doctor suggests it will help her get a handle on her insomnia. She’s made the appointment, maybe excited about the possibility for change but insecure about what to expect.

When I go to the lobby to welcome her I might find this client stiffly perched right inside the door with the expression of someone about to undergo a root canal. Once sitting in my office, this client picks up every little object within reach and quickly puts it down again. She talks fast, and laughs nervously and often, as if whistling in the dark.  And she avoids looking at my eyes.

All the while, this client is checking out the room with glances that zing around from one thing to another.  The coat rack (checking for signs of my macramé caftan?). Peeking at my bangs for a glimpse of my mesmerizing third eye? Peering at my shelves for a book of secrets?

And you know what? I don’t blame her for being nervous as a cat.

Truly, if I didn’t know better I might be among those who worry that the embarrassing or spooky ways hypnosis is portrayed in the media are inevitable components of hypnotherapy.  But I do know better, and it’s my job to help people over this hurdle. So I chat about hypnosis and how relaxing and safe it is and then ask “any questions or concerns about hypnosis?”

“So I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Are you really going to hypnotize me? What if I can’t be hypnotized?”

Pretty much everybody can be hypnotized. If you can focus enough to follow simple verbal instructions you can be hypnotized if you so choose. And it is always a choice.

“Ok… What if I can’t come out of it?”

It is your choice to enter hypnosis and you can always choose to leave it.

“Oh. Are you going to make me say embarrassing things?”

We may have a conversation, but it’s always your option to speak. You have total control over your own privacy.


Is there something else on your mind?

She pauses — looks around the room once more, not so suspiciously, but still… I know it’s time to talk about chickens.

I won’t make you cluck like a chicken. Just in case you were wondering.

 “Oh good! [Genuine laughter, no longer so nervous.] ”

She and I talk some more, and then we do some work with hypnosis. It’s a good experience for her. As she leaves she is relaxed, as if she feels right at home in the office, and we may even share a laugh about how she was once scared of hypnosis.

Again and again, day after day, hypnotherapists have the chicken conversation to gently let people know….

It’s not mind control… Hypnosis is a process that allows you to be in focused, calm control of your thoughts.

It’s not going to make you do or say anything you don’t want to… Hypnosis is a process to help you to discover choices and resources you didn’t know you had.

It’s not a place to get stuck… Hypnosis is a process to help move forward, by living most fully in the moment.

And as often as this sort of conversation takes place, it’s a joy every single time. Hypnotherapists do not tire of helping people move to other side of misconceptions, where all the good stuff is waiting.

Kira Dorrian and Tracy Adams are Seattle-based Clinical Hypnotherapists and HypnoBirthing® Practitioners, each a mom of twins. Together they have created HypnoMothering™, a class designed to help prepare women for a gentle transition into motherhood, and a safe space for new mothers to be seen, heard, and supported.

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