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Archive for the ‘Hypnosis’ Category

The Magic of Hypnosis…

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

retro-hypnosis

 

Imagine a space of infinite creativity and potential…

A place where something that would normally have a fixed meaning can suddenly mean multiple different things, sometimes even contradictory, all at the same time…

A place where you can access a colossal reservoir of imagination, choice and resources. A place where you become open to consider and take on new ideas and then integrate these new ideas into your day to day life….

A place where you can take challenges or problems and very quickly shed new light on them…

As you imagine this space i’d like you to put a label on it…The label is called ‘Trance’.

 

One of the reasons I first got involved in NLP over 15 years ago was because I was utterly fascinated by hypnosis. The mystic surrounding it, its therapeutic uses and the unbelievable things that stage hypnotists could seemingly do captured my imagination like few other things could.

 

Then, when I started learning about all the amazingly useful things NLP can do, it’s not that I lost interest in the subject, it’s just my attention got redirected to something I found equally fascinating.

 

I still used hypnotic trance with clients (and willing friends & family!) but my first port of call for personal change was generally NLP and the many techniques it had to offer.

 

It wasn’t until a few years when we started running our ‘Art of hypnosis’ weekend course that my passion for hypnosis was rekindled. Then, after attending a four day hypnosis supervision course with one of the world’s most skilled hypnotists, my passion for the subject turned from a kindle to a burning, roaring flame.

 

For me, nowadays I’d say that hypnosis (when done well) has to be one of the most powerful tools for problem resolution, personal change and self development we have available.

 

It allows us to go to places we would normally struggle to go when we are being all conscious and analytical.

 

It makes it possible for us to capture and lead people’s imagination and affect them in ways that we simply couldn’t if they were in the normal waking state. It allows us to explore solutions to long existing problems and help others to do likewise within a safe and structured framework.

 

Quite simply, it’s awesomely cool, awesomely useful and awesomely powerful.

 

A few questions that you tend to get ask quite regularly when you tell people you use hypnosis (out with, ‘can you make Darren dance like a chicken?’) are –

 

What actually is trance? How does it really work? And what makes it so powerful?

 

I used to try and waffle round these questions with descriptions of everyday trance experiences and explanations of bypassing critical faculties but now I just pretty much repeat the opening paragraph of this post:-

 

Imagine a space of infinite creativity and potential…A place where….Well, you know the words, you’ve only recently just read them :-)

 

Going into trance can feel like a wonderfully relaxed, waking dream…

 

One where you are skilfully guided and supported as you explore the incredible potential of your mind within safe, secure boundaries…

 

One where you can become absorbed in the exploration of finding new solutions to problems that previously appeared fixed and rigid…

 

Going into trance can connect us more fully to the experience of life in a way not unlike the way we used to when we were kids. When kids play with abandonment and allow their imaginations to run wild they are most definitely in trance.

 

They might have their eyes open but they are most certainly entranced, absorbed and deeply connected with the experience of life.

 

They aren’t analysing whether what they are doing is right or wrong they are just connecting with their deep reservoir of creativity and allowing things to flow…

 

Hypnotic trance is very much like this…

 

So it doesn’t really matter if, while you’ve been reading this post, you have found yourself comfortably slipping into a deep state of light trance or a light state of deep trance because i know that you’ll be absolutely right when you allow a feeling of curiosity to emerge from somewhere deep inside…

 

A feeling of curiosity as to where your journey into trance could potentially take you…

 

A feeling of curiosity as to what kinds of things you’d like to change, develop or refine if you were to learn fully how to step into this deeply powerful place…

 

…and, if that curiosity continues to grow, then feel free…to check out our last seminar of the year:

 

The Art of Hypnosis taking place in the Marriott hotel, Glasgow on the 22nd, 23rd of November.

 

For more info click on the link below:

 

The Art of Hypnosis – Making powerful shifts through Trance – 22nd, 23rd November. 

 

We very much look forward to seeing there…Trance faces at the ready :-)

 

All the best

Steve

 

What’s beyond your problem is most likely your truth…

Monday, April 7th, 2014

 

Imagine for a moment that you completely unlearned your biggest psychological problem. Might stretch your imagination a bit but just imagine that you clicked your fingers and ‘hey presto’ it was gone, exposed as an illusion, as if by magic.

 

If that was possible and you stepped into the space beyond, what do you think would naturally be there without you having to do a single thing?

 

Chances are you’d be massively relieved and just pleased that you don’t have to feel bad any more but once the dust had settled what would you notice to be there without you necessarily having to create something new?

 

A sense of peace, purity, happiness, freedom, pure potentiality perhaps?

 

It’s funny, we often think that we have to create positive alternatives to our problems from scratch – ‘Out with the old and in with the new’ so to speak. The assumption being that, when we change, we always have to create something new to put in the old problem’s place.

 

Well have you ever considered that there is already something special and pure sitting behind the problem, in the background, only you can’t see or experience it yet because you’re too pre-occupied with all the turbulence?

 

What if you were to go beyond and catch a glimpse? What if you stepped fully into it and then looked back at the problem…how do you think that might change things?

 

I know this probably sounds a little strange and possibly a bit esoteric but stop and fully consider it for a moment…

 

 

If your problem was to suddenly be exposed as an illusion and you stepped beyond, what would naturally be there without you having to create or do anything other than simply notice?

 

 

I think when you honestly do this you start to get an appreciation of your truth.

 

When I first learned NLP I was told that when you quote ‘remove’ a limitation you are left with a void that needs to be filled. If not then the client (or you) would be left confused and may end up falling back into their old ways of thinking.

 

Unless you strongly suggest this to them then I don’t think this is what actually happens when we resolve a problem. I think, in the absence of the problem, something pure exists behind and it’s more a case of ‘unblocking’ things to allow the natural energy and emotion to flow.

 

That change is often more a case of ‘unlearning the not so useful stuff’ so that we can ‘re-tune into’ our natural sense of pure potentiality rather than ‘removing limitations’ and ‘installing new stuff’.

 

Sure, sometimes we need new strategies and learning brand new ways of looking at ourselves and the world is an essentially part of being Human but to suggest that change is always about creating something entirely new is a bit of an insult to human nature.

 

It’s a bit of a trick of the left hemisphere really, creating a kind of narrow focus, spotlight type thinking that stops us from having an appreciation of the layers behind.

 

It operates from the utterly false assumption that we are born as complete blank slates and that without our ‘learnings’ our ability to experience the world would completely collapse. It’s just not the case and there is plenty of beauty naturally there that we start to re-connect with in the absence of our problems.

 

I remember talking to a Yoga teacher who told me that, throughout his training as his body gradually returned to something resembling its default form, he started to experience pure, positive emotions he hadn’t felt since he was a child. He wasn’t even really doing anything other than getting his body back into a healthy place, human nature did the rest.

 

There’s something about the process of unblocking the body that allows you to experience a once felt purity that you perhaps haven’t felt for some time and I think a similar thing happens with psychological change. When you resolve a big issue and then step beyond, it feels different but it also feels kind of familiar, like you’re recapturing some of the purity of what it felt like when you were a kid. At least that’s what it feels like for me and I know from talking to people that it’s also like that for many others.

 

So have a think about it again as you rarely get the full appreciation of it on first reflection –

 

 

If you snapped your fingers and suddenly realised that your deepest psychological issue (and we all have one!) was an illusion, what would naturally be there in its place without you having to create or do anything other than simply notice?

 

 

Because when you honestly step beyond into this place, what’s naturally already there is most likely your truth.

 

 

All the best

 

Steve

 

Top 3 Myths of Hypnosis

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

 

Look into my eyes, look into my eyes…and sleep! You are now under my complete control and will do everything I say…

 

It’s funny how, when you ask people about their opinion on hypnosis, you get a lot of responses that are close to or in some way related to this.

 

I first trained as a hypnotherapist when I was 22 and ever since then, when I’ve told people about it, I’ve had some pretty weird looks and often some even weirder questions.

 

The all time most popular question from the men (usually asked in a kind of ‘half joking, half serious way’) has to be: “Can you use hypnosis to get girls into bed?!” Closely followed by a genuine request to ‘Make Darren dance like a chicken’ (Act like a tumble drier is one of the stranger ones)

 

My female friends tend to ask a lot more intelligent questions…Usually ones involving the practical applications like relaxation, weight loss and confidence while remarking how fascinating a subject it is.

 

However, I did get asked by one woman at a party if I had ‘brought my watch with me’because she would ‘love it if I made her stop eating!’ I said I could but asked if she realized that stopping eating would in fact lead eventually to death!”

 

She looked at me kind of strangely and re-stated with complete conviction that she really needed to stop and I had free reign do my ‘voodoo magic’ on her…

 

I think the general perception of hypnosis has improved a lot over the years but there are still lots of misconceptions about what it actually is and how it works. Stage hypnosis certainly doesn’t help but I think it would be a bit rich to criticize given that the high level of intrigue surrounding it is probably one of the biggest factors in making hypnosis so widely recognised.

 

It does lead to a lot of misinterpretations about hypnosis though that can sometimes get in the way when you are either working with a client or training people how to use it.

 

Here are what I consider to be the 3 main myths of Hypnosis and hypnotic trance. Hopefully it will clear things up a bit and help give you a better understanding into what is, in my opinion,  one of the most useful therapeutic and personal development tools we have available.

 

 

Myth number 1 – When you are in a hypnotic trance you are zapped, zonked out or in some weird unnatural state.

 

This is a favourite…That idea that when you are hypnotised you ‘get put under’ and that you are in some weird, zonked out state of mind as if your brain has been stopped in some way. The truth is hypnosis can feel a little strange (in a very pleasant way) but it is by no means unnatural.

 

Hypnotic trance is a perfectly natural state that we go in and out of at various different times of the day. It can often be like a ‘deep daydream’ or similar to the feeling you get when you becoming so absorbed in what you’re doing (like reading a book, watching a movie or playing a video game). An hour can go past and it feels like it’s only been ten minutes, people can walk past you and you don’t notice them and the world around you can almost feel like it’s disappeared because you’re so engaged in what you were doing.

 

There are lots of different examples of ‘naturally occurring’ trances we experience on a day to day basis. For example, have you ever driven your car on a routine destination (perhaps to your work) and then, when you arrive, you can’t fully remember how you got there? You don’t consciously remember every turn, road sign and roundabout but you know you managed to navigate the journey safely. Perhaps you kind of went into auto pilot or maybe even a little daydream while at the same time feeling comfortable that you didn’t have to have your full conscious attention on the road. We all experience this from time to time, sometimes everyday and it’s a common example of when we drop into a hypnotic trance.

 

A more comical example is the ‘elevator trance’ (one that I frequently succumb to). You step into an elevator, punch in your floor number and patiently wait for your destination to arrive…The doors open and you walk out only to notice that you are, in fact, on the wrong floor! The turn back round with your tail between your legs (while checking to see if anyone noticed) and head back in the lift.

 

It’s an understandable opinion that hypnosis is a weird, unnatural state of mind but it is utterly misinformed and untrue. It’s a perfectly natural, enjoyable and useful state of mind that we all go into at various times of the day and the hypnotist’s job is to guide the person into this state of mind, deepen it and then put forward suggestions so that they get the changes they want.

 

Myth number 2 – The hypnotist had complete control and can get you to do things you don’t want to do.

Again this is a common myth that can often concern people when you mention hypnosis and one that is definitely born from stage hypnosis. Let me be clear about this…hypnosis is very powerful and can most definitely influence people to change deeply held emotions, behaviours and mind sets. However, the power it has is held by the hypnotic subject rather than the hypnotist.

 

There’s that phrase we often use that ‘there is no such thing as hypnosis only guided self hypnosis’ which is very accurate about what really goes in the trance process. As a hypnotist you are a guide that helps the hypnotic subject through an exploration of their own mind to find different ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.

 

You may be thinking though - ‘Well that’s all fine and dandy but what about stage hypnosis?’ ‘Surely that gets people to do things they don’t want to do?!’ Well, I know it seems that way but the truth is a bit different. The hypnotic subjects know fine well what they are getting themselves into when they volunteer. They know it’s an entertainment show, a performance and that they are going to be asked to do things they wouldn’t normally do. By walking on the stage and volunteering they are essentially saying ‘I am okay with this’ at a subconsciously level and possibly a conscious one.

Stage hypnotists also go through something called a ‘selection process’ where they work their way down from a large number of volunteers to just a handful. This process is designed to highlight the ones who are highly suggestible and deep down feel the most comfortable with going along with pretty much everything the hypnotist says. There are also a lot of other psychological factors involved such as crowd psychology that add to what is already a very persuasive hypnotic environment.

 

The kind of hypnosis that is used on a one to one basis shares some similarities but is not the same.

 

Essentially the subject is the one who makes the shifts and changes and the hypnotist acts as a guide. The more skilful a guide you are the better a hypnotist you are…The trick is to weave your words in such a way that the person being hypnotized attaches their own meanings and reaches their own solutions as opposed to you ‘just telling them to do something’. It’s a highly skilled craft and can be truly mesmerizing to watch and listen to when it’s done well.

 

 

Myth number 3 – Not everyone can be hypnotized…

This one has probably been covered already indirectly but I think it still merits its own mention. I’m not exactly sure when and where this popular myth was created but I think it may have come from a time when the main style of hypnosis was ‘Authoritarian hypnosis’. This is where you are very direct about how you induce trance and give suggestions for changing behaviours, emotions and mind sets. This type of hypnosis can work with a small percentage of people and is certainly worth doing as part of the hypnotic process but if it’s the only approach you have then there will be a large number of people who will not respond. (Both in going in trance and making changes)

 

Modern day hypnosis is about utilizing the hypnotic subject’s experience of the world to guide them into trance and then allow them to explore further. It’s about recognising that trance is a naturally occurring state and that everyone goes in and out it at some point during the day. Given the discovery that trance is, in fact, not some weird unnatural state this myth should really be confined to the bin.

 

People are often a bit confused, however, after they are hypnotized as to whether they were in fact in trance. Some will even convince themselves that they weren’t because it didn’t feel that much different than relaxation, meditation or being in a daydream. This is more of a reflection on public perception of what trance is than the reality. Because trance is something we have all experienced then it does feel similar to experiences we have already had. That doesn’t make it any less useful though it just leads to people mistakenly jumping to the conclusion that they ‘ couldn’t get put under!’

 

For more information on hypnosis feel free to comment and/or get in touch. We’re always happy to chat about it. If you fancy learning hypnosis check out our weekend seminar that’s coming up soon:

 

The Art of Hypnosis Glasgow

 

Take care

Steven