What is hypnosis and more importantly what is it not!?
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness and contrary to popular belief is very much a collaborative process doing it with the client, as opposed to doing it to the client, so no Svengali, “look into my eyes, look into my eyes” type power over others here. Put simply it’s a powerful collaboration between a highly skilled facilitator, the Hypnotherapist and an equally highly committed and responsive Client.
Hypnosis is definitely magical in it’s results but not mystical in it’s approach, what it truly is, is an incredibly powerful natural state which everybody, has, can and will experience.
At some stage during the course of each and every single day we will all have experienced some level of trance. Whether it be day dreaming, “I felt as though I miles away just then” or maybe being engrossed in your favourite television program or book, where you were in such an altered state of awareness that didn’t hear someone call your name. Even falling asleep (Hypnogogic) and when you are waking from sleep (Hypnopompic) involves a hallucinatory trance state.
There is even highway hypnosis, this is where you arrive at your end destination and can’t really remember the journey or maybe you have experienced being on the motorway and you miss your exit, purely because you were driving in trance?
All of these are examples of trance which means your experience of WHAT IS hypnosis will be pretty familiar, not really awake nor really asleep and very much the same sort of experience as daydreaming but with the added sense of experiencing or dropping into a lovely physical and mental relaxation.
Hypnosis then can be described best as an altered state of consciousness where your conscious awareness goes a bit on the fuzzy side. In technical terms your brain wave activity slows down form Alpha, being the waking state to Beta being the light trance daydreamy state and Delta the powerful deep hypnotic state, if you were to drift all the way down to Theta, you would be unconscious, literally.
We can all naturally enter each of these states, the preferred therapeutic states being Beta and Theta for optimum Hypnotic results. Once these states are entered the conscious mind can be bypassed and positive congruent suggestions can be delivered to and accepted uncritically by your clients unconscious mind. The use of the hypnotic state, can and does affect amazing positive and sustainable change easily for anyone.
That said there are a couple of caveats’ such as the person must first truly desire to change and be willing to pre suppose the possibility that they can change, in other words they have to be willing to play at 100%.
A person will not and cannot enter the state of hypnosis against their will and if they have chosen to experience hypnosis, a person can still choose consciously and unconsciously to reject the positive and beneficial suggestions that are given, if on some level they are not congruent with their core belief system. Thus hypnotherapy relies heavily on the co-operative collaboration the “do with” process as previously mentioned and not the power over “do to” process as the old myths would have had us believe. So
“WHAT IS HYPNOSIS?” all you really need to understand is “All hypnosis is self hypnosis!!”