Hypnosis is a very natural state. In fact, each one of us experiences a varying state of hypnosis throughout the day. It is simply focused attention to the subconscious.
When you are focused on a book and your conscious side is quiet, you are in a state of hypnosis. When you are completely immersed in a movie and aren’t thinking about anything else, you are in a state of hypnosis. When you are driving somewhere and, upon arrival, don’t recall the ride, it’s called highway hypnosis, acknowledging that your subconscious took over the task. No swinging watches or spiralling swirls involved. Hypnosis happens to us all the time.
The subconscious controls all of our physiological responses and all of our involuntary body functions. It cannot decipher between a true memory and an imagined visualization. It is completely safe and one of the oldest methods of healing available to us. The subconscious mind’s primary focus is on protecting you, both your mind and your physical body, around the clock.
There are fears of losing control, of being susceptible to implanted suggestions or directives, but this is not how it works. A hypnotized client cannot accept any direction or suggestion from a therapist that he or she doesn’t agree with ethically and morally, regardless of how deep the trance is, for, as I’ve said, the subconscious mind’s primary objective is to protect the physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of the body. Stage hypnotists breed wild misconceptions in their stage acts. It is entertainment, nothing more. Volunteers must willingly comply with the hypnotist’s bid to play, to perform and make a fool of themselves in front of the audience. And yet, even with this confirmation, they won’t follow a direction from the hypnotist to perform an act they don’t want to, either waking up from their critical factor or remaining in their trance but staying motionless, waiting for new instructions they can agree to. At this point, the performing hypnotist will usually cover up the gaff by quickly waking up the volunteer and sending them back to their seat.
There is no risk or danger with clinical hypnotherapy. It is a healthy, safe, natural release of suppressed pain and negative emotions that leads to relaxation, healing, focus, happiness, and inner peace. It is very similar to guided meditation, as the brain waves switch to alpha waves and the conscious side is quieted. Hypnosis with a clinical hypnotherapist, however, also incorporates a psychotherapeutic element.
It is important to demystify hypnotism and hypnotherapy as it presents a very valid and empowering method of overcoming trauma, paving the way for personal growth and further healing.
Book excerpt from “A Therapist’s Guide to Treating Bipolar Disorder with Hypnosis: An Introduction to Environmental Stress Targeted Therapy” by Meera Duncan
Available now in all major bookstores Worldwide.