Hypnosis / Self Hypnosis - discuss this most useful, and misunderstood, of therapeutic tools.

Postby Roger Elliott » Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:29 pm

I was just thinking the other day how much I think about clients' problems in terms of trance. This was brought on by listening to a play on the radio in which a man who was besotted with a woman suddenly 'snapped out' of it when her behaviour became too much for his trance to be maintained - he just couldn't fit what she had done within the frame of reference he had built for her.

Understanding that trance states exist in all emotional problems is such a key to treating problems for me.

I guess at this stage I should try to define trance... (trance) isn't too helpful for our purposes - it basically says "it's hypnosis" :?

I like to think of trance in terms of 'tunnel thinking', or perhaps more accurately "tunnel perception".

Basically, trance allows you to create an inner world that is different to what is actually going on around you.

For myself, I find it is useful to think "If I wasn't thinking about this, would there actually be a problem, and if so, what would it be like?"

This meandering chunter all reminds me of Erickson's comment which went something like "The happiest people are those that can work out the way the world works the quickest, then work around it."

Perhaps he was referring in part to the fact that the only way to problem solve is to be clear on what the problem is, if there is one, otherwise your efforts are misguided.

Now I shall go to bed and wonder about whether I should have bothered posting this at all :wink:


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Postby Mark Tyrrell » Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:44 pm

Wonder no more Roger. This is profound and important. It amazes me how people segment their thinking sometimes when they really don't need to. Peole talk of NLP as if it is distinct from the use of trance states. Much better to understand the whole meal rather than just have a working understanding of the ingredients. If trance is a natural part of the human range of expereince then it's logical.....(captain :lol: ) that hypnotic phenomana occurs naturally off the stage and out side of the therapy room so to speak. So we see the post hypnotic suggestion operating in the 'flashback' of the traumatised person where a particular response becomes 'glued' to a particular trigger which reminds the emotional centres of the brain of the original trauma. Behaviours such as smoking rely largely on post hypnotic triggers such as 'after breakfast' and 'having a drink' etc. All psychological problems from depression to severe anger are forms of trance. The role of a therapist is really to keep patients out of trance as well as teaching them useful states of mind for particlular circumstances
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Postby kfedouloff » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:03 pm

Is there a state of mind which we can accurately describe as "not trance"? What is that state of mind like? What do we call it? Is it the same state that Buddhists call "awareness" (by which I understand: awareness of everything, not just the single focus awareness that we evoke in hypnotic trance).

Have you ever met anyone who was aware of everything? Have you ever been "aware of everything"? Is it possible to know that one is in such a state, or only possible (or impossible) to experience it?

Do my words make any sense?

I once conducted a complete consultation with a client while thinking she was someone else, and calling her by the other person's name. I did not notice this until the end of the session, and she did not call my attention to it either. I kid you not. So much for being an aware therapist!

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Postby grovelli » Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:10 pm

Mark said, "The role of a therapist is really to keep patients out of trance".
If you were to use hypnosis to treat depression, would you be then...making people go into trance to have them go out of trance, hence using positive hypnosis to beat negative hypnosis?

p.s. Hi Mark, I guess this is a silly question but...what do you mean by saying (captain :lol:)?
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Postby Roger Elliott » Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:26 pm

That's pretty much it giorgio - or at least show people that they are going into trance, so that they can watch out for it.

And here's what Mark means... Spock speaks :lol:

And yes, of course Kathleen we have to be careful when defining states of consciousness willy-nilly. Any state of awareness involved a level of focus (apart from perhaps the observing self, pure consciousness or whatever it's called).

What I mean here are the more extreme extents of focused attention, where the degree of focus can lead to emotional difficulties if the content of focus is emotionally 'negative' or peak performance in other cases.
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