Most of us have heard performers of all kinds–athletes, speakers, artists–describe an experience that was effortless: “I was in the zone,” they say. These experiences refer to a state of being in a performance trance. A trance state simply refers to a heightened state of narrow attention and focus, which allows access to the full power of your mind.
Due to the myths, misrepresentations and misunderstandings surrounding hypnosis, many people don’t realize the benefits it can provide. Using hypnosis to create a very relaxed state is different from using hypnosis to create a performance trance state.
For general information about hypnosis, the myths associated with it and ways it is used, please see the Hypnosis page under Approaches.
Psychological Resilience or “mental toughness” and “creating the zone” are talked about frequently regarding successful performers. When hypnosis is applied to one’s performance, it brings your accessibility to the power of your mind to a whole new level. When clients are open to using it in our work together, they are very likely to obtain a level of performance where they can say, “I just get into the zone and it flows.”
When considering the use of hypnosis, and which hypnotic approaches to use with a mental performance client, it all depends on the client. The goals of the individual and the level of interest in using hypnosis are the primary factors that determine the hypnotic approach.
In considering your interest in hypnosis to assist your performance abilities, it may be helpful to know the variety of applications and strategies available. I commonly use hypnosis to facilitate desired changes with tension, anxiety, blocks, barriers and plateaus, clarity in thinking and decision-making while under pressure, pain management, return from injury, increased focus, distraction control, sleep disruption, stress, and relaxation prior to and during performance.
It is important to note that hypnosis is regulated by law in some states and not in others. What this means is the level of training required to get certified varies greatly. This results in a vastly different level of skill and knowledge about the application of hypnosis from professional to professional. Working with a professional who is clinically trained as well as certified by one of the leading hypnosis organizations, ASCH or SCEH, is what I would recommend. It assures professionals providing hypnosis have sufficient training to obtain the desired outcomes.