Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I’ll bet you think that I’m going to talk about Hypnosis, don’t you. And, you would be right. Right and well conditioned to expect a certain result without even thinking about it hmmm kind of how one would respond to hypnotic suggestion. But, let’s back up a bit.

What is hypnosis? Summarizing from the Ontario Hypnosis Centre literature on the subject, hypnosis is an altered state of awareness or perception in which the body is relaxed and the mind is sharply focused and receptive to therapeutic suggestion. In this highly aware state, your mind supports changes in thinking, mood and behaviour at a very deep level by bypassing the conscious mind and accessing the subconscious – where the blueprint for behaviour is formed. You are in control at all times. You can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do.

That last sentence is very important as many people come to hypnosis full of fear and misconceptions. Let’s dispel these myths by listening in on a typical first visit.

Client comes in full of trepidation noticed by wringing of hands, nervous laughter and eyes darting about the room in search of spinning spirals, pendulums and the like all the while cocking his ear to scan for the possible faint sound of a *theremin in the distance.

“Hi I’m Nance your Consulting Hypnotist,” (What’s a Consulting Hypnotist you are asking yourself as you read this. That is a matter for another post, back to our scenario.) I approach offering a reassuring, warm, welcoming handshake.

Client checks out my hand concerned that it may conceal an item that could lead him into trance and upon finding no such thing strongly grips my hand. “You’re not going to make me cluck like a chicken or bark like a dog are you?”

“No, no not at all unless you want to”. We both laugh, though his weak smile reveals that he is not convinced.

“You see”, I explain “all hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis and contrary to popular misinformation fueled by false portrayals in the movies, T.V. and popular fictional literature you can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to.”

“Whew, I’m really glad about that because what I really want to do is cluck like a dog if a dog could cluck and bark like a chicken if a chicken could bark.”

Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to mention that the client is my nephew Kyle, an actor who has landed a character voice role in an animated film and is having performance anxiety which has blocked his creative ability to imagine what a dog clucking and a chicken barking would sound like.

“You’ve come to the right place” I assure him. “Hypnosis is excellent for alleviating both performance anxiety and tapping into the subconscious creative mind, that part of the mind that would be able to imagine just what these sounds would be like, bring them back to the surface conscious awareness and enable performance of the clucking dog and barking chicken.”

He beams with confidence in my abilities as a hypnotist; rapport has been achieved and the hypnosis session procedes smoothly and effortlessly. One hour later Kyle virtually dances out of the office elated, practicing his new skills barking like a chicken and clucking like a dog.

And yet another successful outcome has been achieved through the power of hypnosis!

(*weird sounding instrument from popular B sci fi movies of the 50’s)

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