Nothing but the Truth about Therapeutic Hypnotism
Written by Peter Fink.
Most clients who come to see me for the first time ask me if they will cluck like a chicken after they are done. I respond "only if you want to".
It is surprising how little people know about Therapeutic Hypnotism and what it can do for almost everybody. Hollywood with its stories about shady men making weak women do what they want them to, or hypnotized subjects on stage behaving like they have lost their minds have tainted the image of this powerful, effective and most natural science.
The truth is that we use a state of trance every day to survive the busy world around us. When driving along a highway, or watching an interesting movie or when concentrating on a good game of golf. Our ability to tune out the outside world, put ourselves into the zone or to focus our attention on one specific task at hand is nothing else but a light state of hypnosis. My preferred definition of hypnosis is "focused attention to bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind." Focused attention in my sessions is the willingness to listen to my voice and follow along.
It feels like sitting in the chair in my office and listening to a long story. My clients are surprised to find out that they are fully aware of everything happening around them, that they hear the other people in the reception area or the fire trucks go by. They realize that they do not disappear or become unconscious as they might have expected. Au contraire, I say. They are more aware and alert then they have been in a long time.
We start with a long conversation around the issue that brought them into my office. We spend a lot of time talking about the history of the problem as well as its positive and negative effects. I need to know everything there is to know about the person sitting in front of me to be able use the right techniques and language patterns to create the best results. The reason for all my questioning is that our subconscious mind only accepts those suggestions that make sense to us or correspond with our own moral standards and personal values. Needless to say that we cannot be asked to do or say anything in hypnosis that we would not normally do or say.
I explain that our mind works like a beautiful, big and powerful iceberg. Above the surface, we have access to the conscious part of our mind which controls our analytical, judgemental and critical thinking, our willpower and short term memory. But below the surface lays the biggest part of our mind. More than 80% of who we are is subconsciously controlled. Our habits, fears, emotions, our automatic body functions like heart beat, breathing, walking, talking and everything else we automatically do. Our long term memories and creative parts are subconsciously stored. I tell my client that they have the natural ability to tap into that subconscious part below the surface to create the positive changes they are looking for. Basically, they do all the work and I show them how. They are the driver of the vehicle; I am nothing but the tour guide.
We do a few exercises and I try to make sure that the person in front of me feels as comfortable as possible in my office, with the process and with me. Fear and misconception are the biggest enemy of what is about to happen. In fact, someone who does not want to be hypnotized cannot be. It is that easy. On the other hand, almost everybody who wants to be induced can be.
We begin with an induction that allows my client to relax their body and mind. It is that relaxation that allows him or her to open up the subconscious awareness, to drift and float into him or herself.
What follows are specific techniques that are catered to the individual and the issue at hand. The hypnotic part of the session takes about 40 minutes which feel like five to ten minutes to most people. My clients come back into the room feeling refreshed, energized and excited about their new goals. Most people experience a tingling sensation or numbness in the body, a lightness that is described as amazing or positively surprising. Nobody in my office has ever disliked the experience of the hypnotic trance.
Mind you, everybody is different and nothing works the same for all. Some people come in for one session and are happy with the results; some people need to see me for multiple sessions. It all depends on the subconscious willingness and ability to allow change. Hypnotism can work miracles, but needs time and practise to do so.
In short, Therapeutic Hypnotism is a powerful, effective and safe method that allows us to access our subconscious mind. And keep in mind that anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be hypnotized. We use the state of hypnosis to create healthy changes (look, feel and live better), release unwanted habits (smoking, eating, nail biting, etc.), eliminate limiting beliefs (I am stupid, I am ugly, nobody likes me, etc.), negative emotions (anger, sadness, guilt, etc.) and let go of overall stress and tension. In fact, it is much easier than you think.
Hypnotism is a procedure which causes changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical pain.
If everybody used Hypnotism in one way or the other, the world would be a better and much happier place.
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