Tuesday, May 1, 2007

On the Fly and trancing out

No coffee today, sadly. Well, there will be coffee but it will be while sitting in traffic listening to a book on tape as I head toward the office.

Here's a question for all the practitioners of the mind arts reading this: When doing trance work, do you trance out as well? I've heard that Erickson did and that was a huge part of his success.

I've heard others talk about it too as not being such a good thing, especially if you read scripts. Heard one story (no names mind you) about one such hypnotist losing his place in the middle of a session and asking the client where he was. Ah, the stuff of urban legends.

I find that I do have a tendency to go into a hyper state of awareness with certain clients provided that I am appropriately relaxed and completely focused. And I admit, I use notes (ever the purple clipboard) to help me keep my place or if there is specific wording I want to get absolutely correct in the suggestion portion. It keeps me in a certain awareness.

So, anyone else? Oh, and what are your views on trance? Some say it is what happens during hypnosis, others say there is no such thing as a trance.


Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, I always go into trance while working with people. Look at it this way: if you're in rapport with your client and your client is going into trance, it's natural to follow suit. The difference is that while the client is in an inward-focused trance state I'm in an outward-focused state -- specifically, focused on the client. Being aware of their breathing, watching their face for early signs of a possible abreaction, always on the lookout for clues as to how the client is feeling about the suggestions being made.

My teacher encouraged this, not only because it helps to keep track of all that incoming data but because she believes that going into a light trance also allows me to tap into my own subconscious and let it help with the process of formulating and giving suggestion. I never use scripts, you see; all of the suggestions I give are made up on the spot, often based on previous successful experiences or suggestions I've read but all improvised for that client at that time. Being in trance makes that process very natural and smooth.

I don't have your purple clipboard, Ellie, but I do jot down a few notes during the pretalk and refer to those during the trancework. Mostly it's key words or ideas that I want to make sure I include.

-Michael Raugh, C.Ht.

Lee Darrow said...

When working in a therapeutic situation, I invariably go into trance with my client(s) to some extent. Part of it, I attribute to good pacing and leading and part of it I attribute to good connection, or rapport between my client and myself.

Let's face it, if a hypnotist is leading a client via breathing, body posture, vocal timing and so on, it's going to be very difficult for that therapist not to go into trance along with the client!

As Mike so appropriately poined out, doing so does seem to help in keeping aware of all of the information, on many levels, that the client is giving to us as therapists, but also, to be honest, there is probably a bit of mirroring going on in these cases on our parts as well, which leade each of us into trance as well.

Lee Darrow, C.H.

Paul said...

I was just about to comment when I read Michael's post and well, he's pretty much said everything I was planning to say. :)

Obviously if your intention is to truly work on the same level with the subject - that's the heart of rapport right there - you're going to experience some level of hypnosis or trance depending on your definition of either one.

My personal definition is this:

Hypnosis is a state of highly focused *conscious* attention where external stimuli is ignored for the most part in favor of that internal focus, and suggestibility is heightened because the critical factor is sidestepped, again, for the most part - but note this is still a conscious mind activity.

"Trance" is when the hypnotic state crosses over squarely into the threshold of the unconscious and that side of the subject gets to "come out and play," as it were.

Things can and do happen in a state of trance that simply leave nothing for the conscious mind to work with when the hypnosis or trance is ended; this is the classic definition of amnesia in that respect also.

If I asked you to forget that old number 6 consciously, you can attempt it, even fake it, but sooner or later you'd count it in some way. If I asked your unconscious to do that for me, and I worded the suggestion properly and the rapport was strong (as well as the trust), that suggestion would hold on for a really long time. :D

I'm a firm believer myself in Erickson's number one belief: that the best way to learn and teach hypnosis is to experience it for yourself - both as teacher and subject, and typically as both at the same time like when working with others.

As for scripts I don't use them myself; I prefer to wing it and tailor the induction or session based on what I'm witnessing with the client - we create a feedback loop of sorts where I take what I'm witnessing (as Michael mentioned) and give it back to them as proof positive aka ratification of the hypnotic experience.

But that's just me... :)