What is hypnosis...?
And what is it not?
There are so many misconceptions and preconceived ideas about what hypnosis is, but it's actually a natural and familiar state to most.
Hypnosis in and of itself is just a state. It's lovely for tuning out or recharging, but what you do with it is the key, that's when it becomes therapeutic. Hypnosis is a state of heightened awareness of the unconscious processes. It's that none-thinking-awareness state. It's the state in which you can draw unconsciously on all your resources and all you experiences. It's a state in which learning is easy.
You go into this state regularly and automatically: when you're driving a road you know well and after 5 minutes you realise you can't remember going past a certain landmark or roundabout... You were daydreaming but a part of you has been shifting gears, changing lanes, doing the driving. That part of you is your unconscious and it was fully focused on the task at hand. Even though your conscious wasn't really paying attention.
You also go into hypnosis when you're staring into space.... Or starring at something or right through someone in a meeting or in class and suddenly you realise you're mind just went somewhere without you necessarily knowing exactly where that was.
Children do it all the time, standing on the front lawn, seemingly oblivious to the world, but in full peripheral vision, taking it all in, absorbing, learning.
While you are in hypnosis:
- You are fully aware of where you are
- you hear everything going on around you
- you still have your thoughts
- you are in control of your own hypnotic experience
- you can go into a deep hypnotic state or a lighter hypnotic state
- you will remember everything, because otherwise: what would be the point?
I work a lot with athletes and they often describe it as the flow zone - that being fully aware and blissfully oblivious at the same time - zone out and tune in at the same time.
Keeping hypnosis simple
I will keep this simple because the mind loves simplicity. Only the ego loves complexity. And ego is most certainly not what I work with...
What is the job of the unconscious?
The main job of your unconscious is to keep you safe, to preserve the mind-body connection. So it will never allow you to do anything that is perceived as against your safety.
The unconscious is the store house of all your experiences.
It's the part of you that always refers everything back to itself and takes everything literally.
Your unconscious processes information through metaphors, through stories, through images and feelings.
Your unconscious processes recognises patterns and runs on programs.
it's a bit like a learned stimulus => response. Ever heard of the Pavlov dogs...? The salivating when the bell rings is a learned response. It doesn't matter when that was learned or if you can consciously remember any of it.
During your first session you will understand a lot more about your unconscious processes. Which will assist you in having a better and much happier relationship with yourself and realise that there is no such thing as self-sabotage.
Some people believe I could hypnotise people to do things they don't want to do.
No, nobody can hypnotise you or anyone else for that matter if they don't want to. Hence it is not possible to stop your husband, wife, son from smoking if they absolutely don't want to. Get my child to love vegetables. Get my spouse to always do the washing and pick up his/her socks. Wouldn't that be fantastic...?
If any of that was possible I would hypnotise all my clients to always be on time and without reminders...?
Wouldn't it be easier for the police to hypnotise people to always drive according to the speed limit? Or hypnotise people to be law abiding, peaceful, polite, good humans with impeccable manners, instead of needing police, lawyers, judges etc..? Sorry, no.
Also you won't tell me or anyone for that matter your deepest darkest secrets because your unconscious job is to protect you. I wouldn't bet interested
Hence "mind control hypnosis" is a lot of, oh, can't use that word here, ummm, let's say it just doesn't exist. Read my blog post about stage hypnosis 'You're back in the room' and how it works here.
Understanding unconscious strategy
My work is very much often like a detective. There is, what I call, a strategy behind every problem. There are certain things you do on the inside, which you aren't aware of yet, to produce a certain result.
The result may be a behaviour, a reaction, a feeling. I can and will help you work out what that is as long as you stay open minded and allow yourself to go with it.
The unconscious runs on programs and does a very simple strategy:
stimulus => =. something happens on the inside => response.
When you've reached the point of being fed up with getting the same response then it's time to help your unconscious update it's programming.
Even though that response may have been useful in a specific situation or may have been a useful response a long time ago but now it's outdated. You don't need it anymore, heck you don't want it anymore, so it's time for you to change it at the level of your unconscious. That's where the problem actually exists. Welcome to your unconscious. Welcome to hypnosis, real NLP, Mind Training and clinical hypnotherapy.
It is impossible to explain this in a few simple sentences but in your first session with me you'll quickly realise how simple it actual is.
"The heart has its reasons, reason knows nothing off" - Blaise Pascal
What drives unconscious change?
Some people are concerned they may get upset or emotional when they talk about the problem and are always pleasantly surprised. This is because knowing all the reasons and going into all the detail, actually doesn't actually change anything. It doesn't help my work, nor your results. In actual fact talking about it can make the problem worse.
Every time you talk about the problem the same neurological pathways that were created when the problem / traumatic event first happened light up again. Not good! We want to do things differently now.
Neurons that fire together, wire together - Norman Doidge
Hence we don't go there. If you need to talk about it in great detail or want to understand it consciously then I highly recommend you see a counsellor or a psychologist. They are much better for that than I ever will be.
Wouldn't it be nice to start doing things differently, so you get a different behaviour, a different reaction, a different feeling, a different result...? It sounds too simple? Well it does and it's not always that simple but it's definitely better than talking about the problem.
Curious? Want to change those patterns? Please call my reception on (07) 5471 2201
Various ways of working with unconscious processes
Working with unconscious processes takes many forms.
Waking trance: It's utilising the earlier described day dreaming - eyes open state. I help you become more aware of your unconscious strategy.
Once you realise that your level of thinking hasn't helped you in resolving the problem then you agree to explore things differently. This can take mean forms. I assist you in slowing down, becoming more aware, more curious, then I may ask you a question... Most likely neither yourself nor anybody else has ever asked you anything like that before....
I hear it all the time, clients saying "hmmmm, I never thought about that..." That's a very good thing! The answers may not be instantly obvious to you. There are no right or wrong answers.
During this waking trance you may have your eyes open or closed, whatever suits you... You might be sitting down or standing up. You won't be laying down though.
Hypnotherapy: You are probably thinking about classical hypnotherapy. You may have images you have seen somewhere in your mind. Whether what I do matches your images or not depends on what you have seen. Chances are I will work differently. Because for me this is a very collaborative approach.
Simply put: Hypnotherapy is using the state of hypnosis for therapeutic outcomes.
Depending on what we have established in the beginning, how comfortable and motivated you are we may use more waking trance hypnotherapy or more eyes closed hypnotherapy processes.
Self-hypnosis: Zoning out and tuning into your unconscious. Here you can draw on all your experiences and all your resources...
Albert Einstein used self hypnosis very regularly. That was the only way he could imagine himself riding on a beam of light through the universe...? Wondering what would happen if there was another beam of light next to him...? Then imagining another him riding that beam and shining over a torch at the first him...? What would happen to the light from the torch and the riders and those other beams of light...?
Trying to work this out consciously would overwhelms the conscious mind very quickly, hence he had to go into a state of daydreaming and hand it over to his unconscious.
Real NLP: NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming refers to
Neuro: how the brain works
Linguistic: how our language reflects our internal world
Programming: to make it clear that we are running on unconscious programs
Note: It has nothing to do with somebody else programming you! It is all about realising that you can learn how to run more resourceful programs if you wish to...
Curious? Want to feel better? Please call my reception on (07) 5471 2201
Hypnotherapy what it's not:
Real hypnotherapy doesn't require the showmanship of pocket watches or spirals or people falling over theatrically.
No, you won't be telling me you darkest, deepest secrets (I wouldn't want to know and remember your unconscious job is to protect you)
Hypnotherapy is not something done "on" a person, it is with the person.
If you don't want to go into hypnosis, we got nowhere to go...
And no, the way I work: you won't be lying down, you don't become unconscious and you won't fall asleep (and if you do I will notice and wake you up... ;-) )
All of the above will become a lot clearer in your first session.
Why does hypnosis and working with the unconscious work?
Your unconscious job is to protect you. It will do that in the best way it has learned up until this moment how to do. Which may not be the most suitable way for you anymore. It may perceive something to be threat that today isn't a threat anymore. You know that logically, consciously but your unconscious just runs around with that old software, runs around with that old pattern. So no amount of thinking about it, reasoning with it, being logical about it will get the change done. Because your unconscious processes are much much faster than your conscious, Hence your unconscious always wins.
If you want a different outcome, things need to change at the level of your unconscious.
There are many tools you can use to help your unconscious learn something new. Help your unconscious work differently.
Remember when you first learned to drive...?
Maybe you drove a stick shift car and it went like this: Whoa, the revs are way up, okay I need to shift gears, okay engage clutch, now, which gear am I in? Ahh, okay, I'm in 3rd okay, up to 4th, let clutch out, and now right foot down slowly again, Phew!
Or you drive an automatic and it went like this: okay, turn key, move from P to D (why isn't that working?) okay put foot on the break, okay what now? Oh, yes, release hand break, okay... Yay, driving! woah, car over there, not sure, how fast that one goes...
That was very conscious driving. Thinking-about-it-driving. You have trained, you have learned, and now all those processes have become unconscious and you just drive. It wouldn't have become unconscious without doing it, practicing it, keeping at it... Read more about this on my blog post here...
Once things have been accepted by your unconscious they become natural, effortless and automatic.
Curious? Excited? Want to sort it out? Please call my reception on (07) 5471 2201
Hypnosis: Just a state, relaxing, aware
Modern Hypnosis: Working with all unconscious processes through many different ways
Clinical Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy in a clinical processes, focussed on outcomes
Real NLP: Utilising processes from Neurological Linguistic Programming in a way that actually lets the unconscious get the awarenesses it needs.
Medical hypnosis: working with the unconscious to assist with medical conditions (only after a referral and only in cooperation with your GP)