The word hypnosis originates from the Greek word for sleep (hupnos). Even though this is how, and from where the word originates, hypnosis does differ, in some respects, to sleep. In fact, it could be said the use of hypnosis – in a modern therapeutic setting – actually wakes us to a new awareness; an awareness of why we often seem to behave in limiting, and uncontrolled ways.
There has been, and still is to some extent, much confusion around the subject of hypnosis. Let’s clear it up.
Think of a time when you’ve drifted of into an imaginary would all of your own; think of how that has distorted time. Think of a time when you’ve been so lost in your own world, that you’ve not heard what someone said, or even seen them leave the room.
Think of a repetitive activity – a car journey, coach, or train trip for example – and think of how you’ve not noticed time slipping away. Think of how good it felt, that time, when you were so very focused, to the exclusion of all other things; in the zone, as they say. All hypnotic states.
It could be said we’re all constantly in a state of hypnosis, that simply varies from light, to slight, and back again during the course of our day.
Sleep is something we do at night to rest our bodies. Our minds are potentially more active during sleep than during medium to deep hypnosis. Notice the use of the words medium to deep there.
Medium to deep hypnosis is used by the Clinical Hypnotherapist as a means of accessing the unconscious, non-critical, part of the mind. Once hypnosis has been induced, positive suggestions for change are indirectly (through judicious use of metaphor) or directly emplaced – “You find change attractive and exciting” – for example.
It’s often the unconscious part of our minds that keep us on a self-destructive path. Reprogramming – that which has become an unconscious activity – is the name of the game here.
Here’s a gentle example – of something that has potentially become unconscious: could a good hypnotist suggest you no longer remember where your keys are? Could he suggest you’ve forgotten where you put them? The simple answer is yes, however, the professional Hypnotherapist, is only interested in emplacing suggestions that are beneficial.
Analytical Hypnotherapy is used to help resolve the more stubborn confusion and conflict (neurosis) the mind may harbour. Often, we must understand the purpose and origin of a behaviour or way of thinking, before we can convince the mind to give it up.
So there we are, relax, it is all in the mind.