There are different types of hypnosis. The video will give you a idea of the variety of approaches that are used. There are a great many more techniques, styles and approaches that can be covered in a brief video. However, you’ll get some idea of the subtlety and complexity in the different styles, types, and techniques of hypnosis. There is also a fascinating example of multiple levels of communication and subtle suggestions in a single short story.
The simplest form of hypnotic suggestion is very straightforward. “You go to sleep easily. You awaken refreshed in the morning.”This is a direct command to your unconscious mind. Hypnotherapist tend to repeat the same simple suggestions over and over again to reinforce unconscious acceptance.
The next layer of complexity involves a more sophisticated use of language. “You may be pleased to find that you go to sleep easily every night. And, you may notice feeling more refreshed every morning after that good nights sleep.” These two sentences have a more permissive tone. “You may be pleased to find” presupposes that you will “go to sleep easily every night.” This version is easier to accept for someone who does not like to be told what to do.
A more sophisticated technique involves the use of imagery. “In your mind’s eye see yourself going to bed, and easily and quickly drifting into a restful sleep. See yourself awakening refreshed in the morning, and having plenty of energy throughout the day.” This is called “end point imagery”. Imagining ourselves already having accomplished our goal engages the creative resources of the unconscious mind. You may notice that the hypnotherapist is not giving the client’s unconscious mind specific instructions on how to create that good nights sleep.
A more sophisticated hypnosis technique might be to have the client imagine taking all of the anxieties that have been preventing them from going to sleep easily and throwing them into a furnace. This kind of symbolic imagery can be very effective for releasing tensions and anxieties, and increasing calmness and relaxation.
Regression is another technique that is used by some hypnotherapists. Regression is a memory so vividly remembered that the person seems to be reliving the remembered event. In the case of insomnia, the client is asked to remember the emotions that prevent them from going to sleep quickly. The client is asked to focus on those emotions and go back in time, and their mental time machine, to the very first time they experience those emotions. Once the incident is recalled various techniques are used to release or eliminate the emotion associated with that incident. This method can be more complex, because there may be multiple incidents to clear.
Most hypnotherapist will use stories when working with their clients in hypnosis. Stories can convey a simple message, or include multiple layers of meaning, and complex suggestions. In the video above I told the story of one of my clients who came for a stop smoking program. He very much needed to be in control. And when I pointed out to him that all of his examples of being in control of his smoking were examples of how smoking was controlling him he spontaneously went into hypnosis for 45 minutes. At the end of that time he had become a non-smoker. I tell that story to most of my clients to give them the suggestion that they too may go into hypnosis spontaneously in response to a question or something that I’ve said to them. And, when they do, they can make some or all of the changes necessary to accomplish their goals. And, quite frequently my clients will do just that. They go into spontaneous hypnotic states for a few seconds or a few minutes usually. And that was in response to the indirect suggestions in the story of the man who needed to be in control.
I also point out to my clients that if they go into a spontaneous hypnotic state, I will not ask them what was going on when they did. I respect the privacy. Of course, they are certainly welcome to tell me what happened when they went into hypnosis. I would be happy to discuss it with them.
Perhaps now you have an idea a few of the techniques that hypnotherapist use with their clients. The purpose of this article is simply to give you an idea of just how vast and complex the field of hypnosis can be.