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Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

What is Hypnosis?       

Hypnosis is a particular state of our minds where the conscious mind is in a passive but focussed state.  In this state the conscious mind’s critical filter is relatively inactive facilitating communicaton with and programming of the subconscious mind. 

The state is similar to that we achieve when we are either just dropping off to sleep or just waking in the morning.  The conscious mind is registering impressions but not actively ‘thinking’.  Passively watching television or working in the garden where we are performing repetitive tasks can also induce a ‘hypnotic’ like state.  In this state the analytical part of our conscious mind is narrowly focussed on the activity and frees up the ‘observer’ aspect of our conscious mind to interact with our subconscious.

An analogy would be that we can’t see the stars in the sky during daylight because the sun is so bright – however at dawn or dusk when the sun is just below the horizon we can.  Hypnosis is dimming the ‘brightness’ or slowing the activity of the conscious mind to a passive observer state.  At this level of mind state we can more easily communicate with the subconscious mind.

From the above description of hypnosis, we can see that the state of hypnosis is very similar to that achieved using meditation techniques.  Like meditation it is usually a state of deep relaxation which people find very pleasant.  The primary difference to meditation is that with hypnosis another operator or facilitator is actively engaged in guiding the focus of the subconscious mind. 

Unlike commonly held beliefs, usually based on demonstrations of stage hypnosis, hypnosis is actually a state of mind which a person allows themselves to enter.  Even with stage hypnosis, the volunteers that choose to go on stage know what they are letting themselves in for and have consciously agreed to participate    

As such all hypnosis is in fact self-hypnosis.  In the same way that people allow themselves to go into a hypnotic state,  they are also free to return to a normal state of consciousness anytime they like. 

What is Hypnotherapy?       

Hypnotherapy is the use of therapeutic techniques employed while the client is in a state of hypnosis.   Hypnotherapy takes advantage of the unique aspects of the mind in this state. 

In the words of Dave Elman – Hypnotherapy, Westwood Publishing Co. (page X)

Under hypnosis, a person has control of more than his selectivity, or will power; he has control of all his faculties except one.  He can hear, see, feel, smell, taste, speak.  Though he may sometimes look unconscious, he is completely aware and can therefore cooperate.  The single exception is control of the critical faculty.  If you give him a suggestion which pleases him and which seems emotionally and morally reasonable to him, he will accept it despite the fact that under ordinary circumstances he might consider it an impossible suggestion.

This bypassing of the critical faculty under hypnosis enables the client to be able to perform functions with their subconscious, which their conscious mind and critical filter might refuse to contenance as even possible. 

Therapeutic work with the subconscious mind can include:

·         inducing selective anathesia

·         recalling memories right back to the beginning of conception and further

·         discovering the source of issues (be they physical, emotional, mental or spiritual)

·         reliving past experience, where necessary, to release buried emotional issues

·         using the subconscious mind to release unwanted subconscious programs affecting the persons physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being

·         programming the subconscious to provide positive support towards personal objectives