Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Look At Traditional Hypnosis

All the cliches come into your mind - swinging stop watches, swirls, a hypnotic voice that sounds a bit like Dracula honing in on his victim, people barking like dogs and quaking like ducks. Seem familiar? If you were to ask a modern day hypnotist about these things he or she would probably just grimace or embrace the cliche. But they are cliches none the less, and cliches, like stereotypes have come about for a reason. The reason is because people live up to the expectations.

So, here is where we will start our discussion on tradition hypnosis, keeping in in mind that hypnosis is all about using suggestions to create some form of inner change, whether long-term or short-term. The idea of traditional hypnosis fits this definition perfectly as it means that the hypnotist will make suggestions to the subconscious or unconscious part of the clients mind. It relies on post-hypnotic suggestions that the client responds to after the session. Post-hypnotic suggestions are instructions that the subconscious mind utilizes to help create the inner change.

So what happens during a traditional hypnosis session? You will probably fill out an intake form, be given a pre-talk, begin a relaxation process or be given a simple mental task to focus on, will be given a method to deepen your relaxation, which will be followed by the suggestions. Then you will be brought back to normal consciousness. Depending on the hypnotist, you may or may not be tested to see how suggestible you are to that particular hypnotist's suggestions or may be given convincers that you are in a hypnotic state. We will delve into all this sooner rather than later because these concepts are found in much hypnosis work.

So what do the stereotypes have to do with all this? Well, the swinging watch is what is called an eye-fix induction, where the person being hypnotized is directed to focus on the object. While he or she focuses, suggestions are given for relaxation. This involves a little more than just saying the words "You are getting sleepy." The placement of the watch in proximity to the client is important as are the visual cues the client gives during the process. The same goes for the swirl. The hypnotic voice? This is a simple technique to instill a little monotony, trust, and calmness. Barking like a dog and quaking like a duck? Those are the post-hypnotic suggestions (we will talk about this later, but rest assured you will only do what you are inclined to do with the post hypnotic suggestion, in other words you will not do anything against your will).

In a traditional hypnosis session, the session relies mainly on the hypnotist, who will do a great deal of talking. As the person being hypnotized, you will not be asked to interact very much, other than responding to various instructions. For most people, it is an incredibly relaxing experience.

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