How Will You Know You’re Hypnotised?
I love it when I get asked, “How will I know I’ve been hypnotised?”
I usually like to reply in terms of “trance”. Not that it’s the same as the process of hypnosis, just that it is easier to relate to sometimes.
A few years ago, a very smart guy called Stephen Wolinsky wrote a cool book called Trances People Live. He looked, as others have done, as our day to day existence and saw it as a set of shifting states or trances, which habitually occur, and produce a fairly consistent set of results.
My clinical experience over the past 14 years is that this is accurate. Clients come to see me and my job is not to hypnotise them, so much as to dehypnotise them from a sense of:
- I can’t do x
- I can’t lose weight
- I can’t stop smoking
- I can’t speak in public
- There is no way I can get on a plane
- I can’t get a partner
Of course, these are not unrealistic unbelievable desires, but the trance they are in when they think about the problem or outcome keeps them stuck.
We’ll look at dehypnotising yourself in future articles (For now, just now it IS possible with sufficient DESIRE). What I want to introduce here is a cool video I did a while back with my good friend and video expert Adrian Baker.
Before you watch, I want to give a bit of context. If I was recording this again, I would tell you that hypnosis is the process, and trance equals the state – the beginning and end points of hypnosis. I’d do that otherwise some of my colleagues who I love and respect will be on the phone telling me to make that clear!
Secondly, thanks to some amazing teachers, the field of hypnosis is evolving. In the 70s, we had the introduction of NLP, which had some useful tools, some of which I use. We have a lot of modern studies about metaphors we live by that I use in therapy, which again is cool. But we also have some of the more modern approaches to hypnosis and hypnotherapy and hypnoanalysis that take a person very quickly into somnambulism (this is the state of hypnosis you might have seen in stage shows where people are deep and very responsive).
I now work to get a client deeper than even deep somnambulism in their first session. I also teach them self-hypnosis so they can do that themselves. Why? So they can take good care of themselves long-term once the therapy sessions are complete. You don’t want to be coming back after your block of tailored hypnotherapy sessions, unless there is an even bigger goal you are determined to achieve – or you are thinking about life coaching or executive coaching.
Thirdly, hypnosis is not always deep relaxation, but because I tailor sessions so that all my clients go very deeply in somnambulism (deep hypnosis) and deeper, they tell me it can be profound, in some cases almost “spiritual” for them. However, the aim is always the same: help a person make the shift they really want as fast as they can, so they keep all the good things they already have and build on them! Usually, clients are surprised at how quickly this process happens.
This a cool video and worth watching a couple of times because it shows the sorts of things that a hypnotherapist will be looking for when working with you. The main thing I would add is that you are going to go VERY deep in your first session. We used to wait, and build up with the older techniques, but time is…well it’s time!
Finally, when I talk about “the fixation of attention” (e.g. you are transfixed watching TV), you are in a light or medium state of hypnosis. We know this from how hard it is to get people’s attention, from studies on brainwave patterns of people watching TV and the media / marketing studies on “covert hypnosis” that are all used in advertising! Hypnosis is widely used because it works! I give those examples simply to illustrate that trance is normal. On the video, we are talking about the therapeutic aspect, which is very different – and you will go FAR DEEPER NOW in client hypnotherapy sessions.
I love hypnosis. My clients do. Please enjoy watching!