Definition: Defining the Meaning of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy used to create subconscious change in a patient in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors or feelings. It is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. A person who is hypnotized displays certain unusual characteristics and propensities, compared with a non-hypnotized subject, most notably heightened suggestibility and responsiveness.
Hypnotherapist: Induces hypnotic state in client to increase motivation or alter behavior pattern through hypnosis. Consults with client to determine the nature of problem. Prepares client to enter hypnotic states by explaining how hypnosis works and what client will experience. Tests subject to determine degrees of physical and emotional suggestibility. Induces hypnotic state in client using individualized methods and techniques of hypnosis based on interpretation of test results and analysis of client's problem. May train client in self-hypnosis conditioning - The U.S. (Department of Labor) Directory of Occupational Titles (D.O.T. 079.157.010)
The Definition Of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a state of hyper-suggestibility where the conscious and subconscious (unconscious) minds dissociate. It is a state of mind where the subject is more likely to accept the operator's suggestions. That is the technical definition.
But a description rather than the definition of hypnosis may be easier to understand.
In general, hypnosis is characterized as a state of increased relaxation where the conscious mind becomes subdued and ideas and suggestions can be introduced to the unconscious more easily. Notice that I said "in general," meaning for most people, but not everyone.
You have been in hypnosis often without even realizing it. Hypnosis is the alpha level of consciousness. You pass through this daydream like state as you fall asleep at night. And you pass through it again as you awaken in the morning. Research has proven that if you watch much television, you are in this alpha state for two-thirds of your viewing time. If you have ever watched a sad TV show and reacted with a tear in your eye, you have been hypnotized by the television.
You entered a state of increased suggestibility where you uncritically accepted the suggestion of sadness on the TV screen and reacted with a sad emotion, your tear. In other words your reasoning ability, which is contained in your conscious mind, was bypassed. You did not reason that the show was just a play; you accepted the action as being real. So you reacted with real emotion.
Who Can Be Hypnotized
It has been found that all normal people are hypnotizable to a greater or lesser extent. People with less than a 70 I.Q. or lower, generally are not hypnotizable.
People who are in an active state of psychosis generally are not hypnotizable. Most senile people are difficult or impossible to hypnotize.
I have found in my own private practice dealing with a large number of retired people, as old as 85 years of age, that hypnosis is a potent and beneficial method for most people. The person's motivation is the key to success.
Do I Have To Be A "Deep" Subject For Success
For the therapeutic applications of hypnosis we most often deal with, depth of any kind is not required. You can be the lightest possible subject and still receive all of the benefits from hypnosis that the deepest subjects will obtain. I strongly feel that over the years, far too much importance has been placed on how deep a subject is. If the subject is deep, it could be beneficial. This however, is not necessarily the case.
Actually, with the latest hypnotic techniques like Ericksonian Hypnosis and state of the art "NLP" (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), depth is one of the least important aspects, which contribute to success.
Are There Any Dangers In Hypnosis And Self-Hypnosis
There are basically no dangers to the practice of self-hypnosis. It is impossible to "get stuck" in hypnosis. The worst thing that could possibly happen while a subject is in hypnosis is that she might fall into a natural state of sleep for 20 or 30 minutes. She would awaken rested and out of the state of hypnosis.
Misconceptions About Hypnosis
There are many misconceptions about hypnosis. Most of them are due to the stage and television acts. Ironically, it is because of the fact that the television can hypnotize you that these misconceptions are so strongly entrenched in people's mind.
Is Hypnosis Sleep
The largest misconception about hypnosis is that it is sleep. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are asleep, you are unconscious. If you are unconscious, you cannot hear anything. If you cannot hear anything, then the hypnotist cannot help you. Hypnosis is a state of keen awareness. The subject is wide-awake and aware of everything around her. This misconception stems from the stage hypnotist's use of the word "sleep" as analogous to the hypnotic state. When the old time hypnotist swung the watch in front of the subject's face, he told the subject that she was getting "sleepy." He then told the subject to go to sleep. What he meant was to go into a hypnotic sleep; not a natural sleep.
Is There A Hypnotized Feeling
The second largest misconception is that there is a hypnotized feeling. There is no hypnotized feeling. I repeat, there is no hypnotized feeling. Most people feel very relaxed when in hypnosis, as relaxation seems to be the essence of hypnosis. Some people feel heavy. Some people feel light. Some people have other sensations and feelings. Other people have absolutely no feeling that they are in hyp-nosis, and believe they have not been hypnotized when they most definitely have.
Can The Hypnotist Control Me
NO! The hypnotist cannot make you do anything against your will. There is always an observing ego state. Should the hypnotist make an offensive suggestion; this ego state would reject the suggestion. You will probably come out of hypnosis if the hypnotist makes an offensive suggestion.
Can The Hypnotist Make Me Divulge All Of My Secrets
You will not divulge any secrets under hypnosis unless you want to do so. The hypnotist does not have any control over the subject. Quite the contrary, the subject has more control over herself since at this time she has control over her own subconscious mind. The subject can easily reject any suggestion the hypnotist makes, no matter how simple or complicated the suggestion might be. The subject can open her eyes, emerge from the state of hypnosis, and walk out of the room at any time she chooses.
Must People Tell The Truth When In Hypnosis
NO! People can lie when in hypnosis.
Do Hypnotists Have Special Powers And Vibrations
This is a common misconception. The hypnotist does not have any special powers, nor does he have any special vibrations with which to hypnotize you. Actually, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist leads the subject into a state of hypnosis. In other words, the ability of hypnosis is in the subject.
Why Do People Fail To Reach Their Goals Using Hypnosis
Perhaps the greatest reason for the inability to reach ones goals through hypnosis is an inadequate amount of practice where self-hypnosis is concerned. The greatest reason for the return of a symptom or "relapse" is the premature discontinuance of hypnosis with the Hypno-technician.
While self-hypnosis is important, it is generally the hetero-hypnosis with the hypnotist, which has the greatest impact upon the subconscious mind. This is because of the training and experience of the hypnotist vs. the lack of training and experience of the client. Some people are penny wise and pound-foolish. They mentally set an amount of time, or money that they are willing to spend for help. And then they prematurely discontinue their sessions because, "I can't afford it." Or, "I didn't lose 50 Lbs. in two days." If a person or method is really helping one to make their desired changes, then it is priceless and it should be continued.
It is for this reason that follow up hypnosis is generally recommended even after a symptom seems to have disappeared completely. Self-hypnosis should be an ongoing affair on a daily basis. Ultimately, YOUR SUCCESS IS UP TO YOU!
Reference: Alan B. Densky, CH - http://www.neuro-vision.us/
- The word hypnosis has the root hypnos which is actually a word for sleep in the original Greek.
- Hypnosis is said to have been used in the early 1800s as a form of anesthesia, known as hypnoanesthesia.
- Hypnotherapy seeks to create unconscious change in the patient, by putting them in a state that is highly suggestible.
- Statistically, the majority of individuals never reach deep hypnosis or somnambulism when undergoing an hypnotic induction.
- The use of hypnosis has been found as far back as 3000 years ago, where it was practiced by the Ancient Egyptians and was said to also be performed in some form by the Ancient Greeks as well.
- Professional hypnotherapy and use of the occupational titles hypnotherapist or clinical hypnotherapist is not government-regulated in Australia.
- Scientific literature suggests a wide variety of hypnotic interventions can be used to treat bulimia nervosa.
- Cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) is an integrated psychological therapy employing clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
- Hypnotherapy has long been used in relation to childbirth. It is sometimes used during pregnancy to prepare a mother for birth, and during childbirth to reduce anxiety, discomfort and pain.