Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MYTH BUSTING - Hypnosis 101

So if you read my post CLUCK LIKE A CHICKEN; BARK LIKE A DOG Wed. Jan 21/09 you know that hypnosis is as an altered state of awareness or perception in which:
- The body is relaxed
- The mind is sharply focused
- The mind is receptive to therapeutic suggestion.

You know that when you are in hypnosis:
- You are in control at all times
- You can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do
- And, that all hypnosis is essentially self-hypnosis.

Seems very clear doesn’t it? But, let’s put it together another way and a mind boggling paradox seems to appear.

Hypnosis is an altered state of awareness in which you are in control at all times.

“Wait a minute”, the flower children amongst you are raising up their hands, “doesn’t being in an altered state imply that you have no control or you go to those wild places in your mind where the brave dare not go (Remember that psychedelic movie Altered States with William Hurt?), or you go somewhere and then re-emerge having no memory of what has transpired but you feel very full and you notice that you’re holding the partially eaten, raw, drumstick of a wild buffalo in your hand?”

No. Remember in hypnosis you are aware and in control. And, the hypnotist is there to keep you on your desired trajectory.

A Consulting Hypnotist (aka Certified Hypnotherapist) is a facilitator. Their voice guides you to experience the magical state of your subconscious mind where imagination and creativity are heightened. Their voice keeps you connected to the here and now. You are aware of their voice and their words though at times your mind might wander.

In a sense you are in 2 places at the same time - participating in the world of the subconscious through imagination; at the same time conscious of the hypnotist’s presence, able to respond to their questions or describe the experience you are having.

“What does it feel like to be in this state?” you ask.

It is an individual experience. Some people feel merely pleasantly relaxed while very aware of the hypnotist’s voice; others see themselves like one would watch a character in a movie; while others are fully immersed in the scene seeing it from an embodied vantage point similar to that of daily reality. The more you do hypnosis the easier it gets and the fuller the experience becomes as you learn to navigate your inner landscape and understand the language of your own unique subconscious mind.

And remember, since you are in control you can choose to come out at any time – just open your eyes. But, chances are you will want to remain in hypnosis to enable yourself to achieve the desired outcome with greater ease than can be achieved by will alone.

“So I come in, sit down and the hypnotist does their thing to me and I’m ready to go?”

Not exactly.

In a typical visit the actual guided “hypnosis” part of the session takes about 20 minutes the rest of the time is spent in discussion, answering questions and exploring the reality of one’s life. A first visit lasts 1 ½ hrs; follow ups are approximately 60 minutes. Surprised?

Since hypnosis works to align the conscious with the subconscious mind towards the same goal we need to understand your conscious mind and the way you perceive the challenges in your life. In speaking your story to a non-judgmental listener the healing, empowering process begins. This is another little known aspect and benefit of hypnotherapy.

Ask yourself how much of your life is spent living out self-limiting beliefs about: yourself, how the world works, behaviour that is expected of you. Are you hypnotized into believing for example, that: money corrupts, that you are heavy because your parents are, that you can do nothing about your life because that is your lot in life…? As we confront these beliefs we are beginning to de-hypnotize ourselves and strip these misinformed notions of their power.

With awareness comes the power of choice. Once aware you are either maintaining the status quo, digging yourself deeper into some undesired experience of life or moving towards the change of your desired outcome. And that can be either a scary prospect or a liberating one – the choice is yours.

“So, here I am de-hypnotized, liberated but feeling a little scared because foundations that I’ve built my life upon are being taken away. What happens next?”

Hypnosis moves us forwards towards our desired outcome.

We replace the old negative program with a new one through the techniques of hypnosis and self-hypnosis. You explore what you want, practical actions needed in order to get it and how it will feel when you get what you want with the hypnotist i.e. I want to get rid of excess weight. I eat consciously and exercise every day. I am fit, healthy and feel full of energy. After you have consciously established the details of the desired outcome the “hypnosis” session begins. The hypnotist talks to you about your goal using your own words, in the present tense, painting a positive, detailed picture. Hearing these messages while relaxed and focused allows your mind to flesh out the experience and make it your own.

“So then it’s done, right?”

The new positive program is installed and will be reinforced each time you follow through with the actions you’ve determined are necessary to help attain your goal. Each action you take is a step towards success and is a reward in itself.

Practicing the daily self-hypnosis techniques that the hypnotist teaches you will enable you to move towards your goal with ease and to live the life of your imagining.

So, now the process begins. Imagine - you are in control and you can’t be made to do anything that you don’t want to do.

1 comment:

  1. This is a nice article Nance. Good job. I've been interested in hypnosis and hypnotherapy for quite sometime. Although lately I've been doing more reading on stage hypnotism... which is definitely interesting in itself.