In the first session, patients are evaluated by means of a formal history so that realistic therapeutic goals can be developed. Hypnosis and its applications are then explored through a standard assessment of hypnotizability, which takes five to ten minutes. These results are discussed and used to plan the role of hypnosis in the overall therapy process.
Training in the use and application of self-hypnosis is taught in the initial and subsequent sessions. Follow-up appointments focus on evaluating response and refining these techniques, or pursuing other matters of interest to the patient. The number of sessions needed depends upon the response, goals, and interests of the patient.