Am I unconscious in a session?

  • You are always aware during hypnosis and not “unconscious” as some people describe. There are two different types of description for “unconscious”, the first describing a physiological state and the second deriving from psychoanalysis.


  • There is a difference, however people often merge the two. For simplicity you are not “unconscious” physiologically. From a psychoanalysis standpoint, it is that part of the mind you are not aware of. It is much more appropriate to term that part of the mind the subconscious to avoid confusion.

  • Often you might hear people describing the subconscious part of the mind as the unconscious in relation to hypnosis and this can create confusion to the true meaning as mentioned above. The state of hypnosis allows a person to access subconscious (suppressed / forgotten) memories, feelings and emotions, which might not be available to the everyday thinking conscious mind and memory. Through hypnosis those forgotten and suppressed memories, feelings and emotions can be accessed with the critical mind (conscious mind) in passive observation.


  • A person is responsive to the hypnotherapist who helps them to enter a state of hypnosis, which they can also learn to do for themselves through self hypnosis. A person is responsive to following the hypnotists instructions, directions and suggestions, except those that generate conflict with their values, i.e., character attitudes, religious beliefs and moral principles.


  • The critical point is a person can program (via a hypnotherapist) their subconscious with ideas and suggestions that they actually want to put there. Now for the better part the programmed ideas and suggestions are positive. In the case of addiction a person might want to program the mind with the damaging effects drugs can have on the body so from the addiction point, negative ideas are used alongside positive ideas to stimulate attitude and behavioural change.


  • Everything the hypnotherapist does, you can learn to do for yourself.

The following two definitions are referenced from Wikipedia:


In physiology:


  • Unconsciousness is the lack of consciousness or responsiveness to people and other environmental stimuli.


In psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, psychology:


  • The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) refers in psychology (particularly psychoanalysis) to all the processes of the mind, which are not available to consciousness. The mind operating well outside the attention of the conscious mind as defined by Sigmund Freud and others. These phenomena include unconscious (often repressed) feelings, unconscious or automatic skills, unacknowledged perceptions, unconscious thoughts, unconscious habits and automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and desires.