Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, concentration and heightened attention. Think about a photograph taken with a high-powered lens and the clarity achieved in little details. Similarly, when our minds are highly concentrated and focused, we are able to use them more powerfully while in a hypnotic state, thus gaining access to information that we previously could not see.
Although most people are capable of being hypnotized, some individuals have a higher natural ability to be hypnotized. This natural ability is referred to as hypnotic talent. Approximately 90% of people can be hypnotized, making Hypnosis an effective therapeutic technique in getting to the root of what is causing problems.
Practitioners use clinical hypnosis in a variety of ways. There are three commons applications.
- The use of imagination. The mind is capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the things we are imagining.
- Presenting ideas while in a state of hypnotic trance. In a state of concentrated attention, ideas and suggestions that are compatible with what the patient wants to achieve seem to have a more powerful impact on the mind, thus on manifesting desired changes.
- Unconscious exploration enables a better understanding of underlying motivations, and provides insight into barriers or experiences that are associated with causing a problem.
Hypnosis avoids the critical censor of the conscious mind, which often defeats what we know to be in our best interests. The effectiveness of hypnosis appears to lie in the way in which it bypasses the critical observation and interference of the conscious mind, allowing the client’s intentions for change to take effect. Hypnosis helps us get out of our own way.
It is important to keep in mind that hypnosis is like any other therapeutic technique. Depending on the clients’ needs and preferences hypnosis may be an effective treatment in combination with other therapeutic techniques.
Here are some common myths about hypnosis:
Myth #1: You are out of control or under the control of another person
This is simply not true. It is a common misconception that a hypnotized person loses their will and is partially or completely under the control of the hypnotist. This unfortunate belief is reinforced by many stage or comic hypnotists. Your will is not weakened in any way. You are in control and cannot be made to do anything against your will. In the case of hypnotism for entertainment, for example, you will not cluck like a chicken unless you are willing to do it.
Myth #2: You go into a deep sleep when in trance
Hypnosis is not sleep. You will not become unconscious and you will be aware of everything at all times. When using hypnosis for deep relaxation, individuals may become sleepy or experience a level of relaxation that restores energy. Hypnosis, particularly the deeper forms, can appear to be like sleep because the person’s body is typically very still and quiet. There is usually a great deal of mental activity, however, and measurements of brain activity during hypnotic states show a significant level of neurological activity.
Myth #3: You don’t remember what happens while in trance or will have amnesia afterwards
The majority of people, about 95% of the population, go into a moderate level of trance where they tend to remember everything. Only 5% of the population are unable to remember what takes place in trance.
Myth #4: You will have a loss of privacy or reveal secrets when in trance
You will not be compelled to answer questions while in trance you would not otherwise answer. You will not begin to reveal information or secrets you wish to keep private. What you share about your trance experience is up to you.