Question: Self-hypnosis in deep states

#120

Postby moonlightress » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:48 am

jimmyh wrote:And yeah, it was a little awkward gesturing towards the exit,....
... but hey... it was very intentional gesturing, and you seem to have gotten to the destination.

Where were you "gesturing towards the exit"? I mean, what did you say that was gesturing?
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#121

Postby jimmyh » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:52 am

I just meant with everything as a whole. "The way you get out of this is by asking yourself whether it makes sense to actually accept what I'm saying as suggestions, or whether you actually have to stay in the critical/rejecting mode you're in"
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#122

Postby moonlightress » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:56 am

jimmyh wrote:I just meant with everything as a whole. "The way you get out of this is by asking yourself whether it makes sense to actually accept what I'm saying as suggestions, or whether you actually have to stay in the critical/rejecting mode you're in"

Gods, I'm even more confused. I'll read through it all again.
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#123

Postby GoodVIbes » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:25 pm

Here's what I have to say about this, I read your initial post and some of the others, but decided to share my 2 cents.

When you go into hypnosis, typically you are aware. That means you have recall of what is going on during the experience. While it is true that some people go to sleep when they enter hypnosis, a good test to determine if you were sleeping or just really deep is this:

Did you open your eyes at the end when you were told to open your eyes?

If so I'd say you just went really deep and do not recall what happened. If you didn't I would not say that you were definitely asleep, but the odds are high. If you have trouble going to sleep while in hypnosis, don't get so comfortable and do not listen at bedtime, unless you are using it to help you get to sleep.

Some people are naturally somnambulistic, meaning they have amnesia after the session. Others can learn to go deep by practicing, just going into hypnosis multiple times. With these people it may not happen the first time. My wife usually (but not always) goes so deep she does not recall anything, but then that's part of who she is.

Often people who were abused as a child have a tendency to check out when they go into hypnosis because when they were young they learned to dissociate during the bad times. Then when they go into hypnosis it can trigger that same response and they check out. Again, with enough practice, and it seems you have had a lot of practice, it is possible to learn how to go that deep.

Another important point to keep in mind is what are known as brainwave states. While the specific cycles per second differ slightly depending on who you listen to, there are certain ranges of frequencies that have been assigned names and descriptions. I'll briefly mention the 4 main brainwave states then get to my next point.

  1. Beta - Conscious waking state
  1. Alpha - Light state
  1. Theta - Deep state
  1. Delta - Very deep state

We go through these states on a daily basis, they are a part of our everyday life. While most people are in beta most of the time they have their eyes open, there is a tendency to drift in and out of alpha through the day. Reading a book, watching a movie or even driving your car then wondering how you go to your destination so quickly are all examples to entering into a alpha state during the day.

Theta is a deeper state that sometimes is accompanied by fluttering eyelids, AKA rapid eye movement (as in REM sleep). Some say this is where we dream at night when we sleep.

Delta is a deep, deep, deep, DEEP state, this is likely where people go when they have amnesia after the session.

So what's the connection with hypnosis and brainwave states? Well, when you go into a light state of hypnosis, you are in an alpha state. This is also a light state of sleep and a light state of meditation. There's an easy way to enter into a light state of alpha, just close your eyes.

You may have guessed by now that the theta brainwave state exists in hypnosis, meditation and sleep. In fact it is a deeper state in all those situations.

Delta is special. It is a very deep state of sleep, some people in delta while they are asleep, even if you can talk to or give them a nudge and they do not wake up. There are those who enter into the delta state during meditation and it is possible to go into delta when you are hypnotized.

Here's the point I have been setting up. When you are in hypnosis, you are open to suggestion. Some say that depth is important in terms of accepting suggestions while others say it is only one factor. A big part of accepting suggestions is trusting the suggestions which can be done by getting the conscious mind out of the way.

So what happens if you do actually go to sleep while listening to a recording? You go into the different brainwave states, perhaps alpha or theta, and your subconscious mind is open to the suggestions. In fact, when you are so deep you do not have any conscious recall, your subconscious mind if wide open, there is no interference from the conscious mind.

So if you are sleeping while listening to the recording or if you are in a deep state of somnambulism (amnesia after the session) you may actually be more open to accepting the suggestions than if you were hypnotized and aware of the sound the the hypnotists voice.

To summarize, from what I have learned over 15 years as a hypnotist as well as being around hypnosis since I was a kid (my Dad used hypnotist) and teaching hypnosis, suggestions are accepted even if you are not aware of the voice of the hypnotist. That means you could be asleep or you could be in a deep state of somnambulism.

One more thing about accepting suggestions while you are asleep. The people who create TV commercials know about this and often take advantage by using hypnotic language in their advertising. With that in mind, it might not be a good idea to leave the TV on while you go to sleep.

One more point related to the question at hand. When you listen to a recording it can be helpful, but working one on one with a well trained and experienced hypnotherapist can provide much more benefit. In your case, if you made the decision to have a session with me and wanted to find out if you were asleep or just deep, I could interact with you to assist you in figuring that out. I might ask you to speak to me or move a finger.

Even in a deep state of somnambulism, the client can speak and move a finger, this way I know you are not asleep, even if you have amnesia after the session. There are also many benefits to what are called interactive processes. Basically a conversation between the hypnotist and the client while the client is in hypnosis that provides the opportunity to gain insight into the current situation or challenge the client is facing.
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#124

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:30 am

@Jimmyh, what alternate goals might exist in a public forum, other than as moonlightress puts it your closed loop, “softly, softly, catchee monkey” approach?

moonlightress wrote:Interesting discussion you two are having. :)

jimmyh wrote:What, did you start to believe Richard that I was just feeding you the sugar and telling you what you wanted to hear with stuff like “you’re *so* courageous!”? Do I seem like the kind of person who would say that kind of thing if it wasn’t true just to make you feel good!? Does that make any *more* sense?


Did I start to believe Richard? Look, I know I have some issues, but really… :D

Nah, I never judged you to be someone who’d say that kind of thing. I wouldn’t have gone into the “test” if I thought you were. I wanted to be challenged. And, like you're talking about with Richard, your closed-loop "softly, softly, catchee monkey" approach, works very, very well. Not that you were trying to "snare" me in any way, but why ruin a good analogy, just because it doesn't fit, exactly. :D -- I've just never understood it when people have said I'm "courageous" and always just rejected it. I don’t know what to do with it because it doesn't make sense to me. So when you said it, I did what I always do, reject it. I did wonder, in passing, why you'd say that, since letting go into trance wasn't difficult and didn't take any courage? Again, it didn't make sense. But I just let it pass.


In a public forum, rather than a private therapy session, the goal might not necessarily be to persuade, change, or otherwise convince an individual on the pulpit of a particular point of view. The primary goal might not be to necessarily help that one individual to metaphorically deal with the monsters under their bed, feeding them sugar and telling them they are courageous as to win them over in time so as to eventually address their underlying fears. Certainly this is one potential goal, and an admirable goal, but not necessarily the only goal in public discourse.

In public discourse, there can be multiple goals, the most common of which is to present a case or opinion to be considered not by an individual, but by a broader audience. And in a public forum, how often is any particular opinion accepted by 100% of the audience, especially if that opinion goes counter to what the broader community has come to accept as true. Still, just offering up the alternate perspective provides value. Even if summarily rejected by some individuals, offering up a different frame of reference or way to consider the issue meets the broader goal.

In this instance, I have argued and continue to argue that it is self-evident that hypnosis has been and continues to be largely ineffective. And this depends on asking the public to decide for themselves what 25 years of participating in self-help forums and still worried about being told you are courageous means? Is that evidence of hypnosis working?

How should the public or outside observer interpret the evidence? How should one interpret this thread? Is this thread evidence of the success of hypnosis or the failure of hypnosis?
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#125

Postby jimmyh » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:23 am

Recapping, you asked:
But, what if getting a specific individual to a different place is not the goal? What if achieving consensus or agreement with a specific individual is not the goal? How might that impact how you balance the risk you are willing to take in making a particular error?

And I asked the clarifying question:
It depends entirely on what you’re trying to accomplish with the public. What is it that you’re trying to accomplish, exactly?

The answer to your question depends on what *exactly* you’re trying to accomplish with the public. If the purpose of “presenting an opinion” is to try to “persuade, change, or otherwise convince” *the broader audience*, then how to go about that depends on which subset of the audience you care about, and why you care to get through to them. If you’re trying to see whether your opinion holds up so that you can learn what you’re missing, that’s an entirely different thing, and perhaps might be approached a bit differently.

A lot of what I was saying applies very well to a very broad range of goals (particularly, the bit about tight feedback loops and visibly/publicly acknowledging and correcting all errors that you can find), but if you want me to comment on how, specifically, “the goal *isn’t* X” might balance the risk I am willing to take in making a particular error, then it depends on what, specifically, you *are* trying to accomplish.

The primary goal might not be to necessarily help that one individual to metaphorically deal with the monsters under their bed, feeding them sugar and telling them they are courageous as to win them over in time so as to eventually address their underlying fears. Certainly this is one potential goal, and an admirable goal, but not necessarily the only goal in public discourse.

The purpose of pointing out the courage had nothing to do with “winning her over”. In fact, that was the point of the joke. We’re laughing at the idea that I could actually be doing what you think I’m doing because it’s so clearly not the case that it can’t even be considered with a straight face.

There definitely are cases where I am significantly slowed out of concern that if I simply stated my actual beliefs and evidence behind them, the person in question would desperately rationalize a way to justify not listening to anything I say. However, my conversation with moonlighttress certainly is not one of them. She can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s safe to say that she was sufficiently “won over” well before that. In fact, the failure mode I was taking care to avoid is actually the *direct opposite* failure mode of the one you’re talking about.
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#126

Postby moonlightress » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:06 pm

jimmyh wrote:The purpose of pointing out the courage had nothing to do with “winning her over”. In fact, that was the point of the joke. We’re laughing at the idea that I could actually be doing what you think I’m doing because it’s so clearly not the case that it can’t even be considered with a straight face.

:lol: :lol: I followed a great link from one of Jimmy's old blog posts and 'confirmation bias' seems to work.

(I should add I had an interesting time, sheepishly recognizing ones that I use, too.)

jimmyh wrote:There definitely are cases where I am significantly slowed out of concern that if I simply stated my actual beliefs and evidence behind them, the person in question would desperately rationalize a way to justify not listening to anything I say. However, my conversation with moonlighttress certainly is not one of them. She can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s safe to say that she was sufficiently “won over” well before that.

Very safe to say. In fact, this’ll amuse you, Jimmy:

I was on the path to “won over” (cringing at the phrase!) before you’d even entered the conversation. Joe planted the seed by vouching for you, back in my first thread in April. Paraphrasing what he said, “Hopefully one of the old-timers like jimmyh or jargan will chime in to answer your very valid question”. I went to Joe's blog and determined “Joe knows what he is talking about”. Using the Boolean logic I learnt in comp.sci. IF (a=b) AND (b=c), THEN (a=c), I hypothesized that “Jimmy knows what he’s talking about, too”. I read your first post + went to look at your blog, and yup, Boolean logic seemed correct. By your second, I was "won over" (please read: "this guy is worth listening to").

You have to share the credit with Joe. :lol:
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#127

Postby moonlightress » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:40 pm

jimmyh wrote:Yes, exactly that. It’s different than consciously trying to make sense of it like you were doing before you threw up your hands, but it’s still your mind trying to make sense of things. Like walking outside and seeing a bright green sky. It’s not words and conscious thought that does the work, it’s just being speechless and taking it in while your subconscious mind tries to process what the heck is going on. You can let that process run whenever you recognize that you don’t have any good answers consciously, and you don’t have to try and try until you feel like throwing your hands up first.

So *that's* what you meant. Thank you - the light bulb just lit up in my head. Possibly the better for having sat and pondered and wrestled and breaking my brain over it? But really, had I known that I wasn't *supposed* to try and figure it out, but could *also* let it sit and work itself out - "do nothing".... somehow I thought there was some other process, something I had to figure out cognitively. So I didn’t think of that as an option to do here.

Because – and this is startling; here it comes again – I knew how to do that; I’ve done that before, too. How is this different from “gut feeling”? By that I don’t mean “reflexive, instinctual response”. I mean put all the factors and your conscious considerations in a cauldron, let it simmer while you stop looking at or thinking about it, add the catalyst of sleep - and then listen to what your gut says. Different body part, same mechanism. It’s what I finally did when I couldn’t figure out your method. That’s worked for me before, when I haven’t been able to figure stuff out. And that isn’t any different, surely?

Yeah, well, don't forget to write that bit into the ‘jimmyh protocol’ manual.... :lol:

I kinda try to stay in this mode by default. When someone says something to you there’s often the reflexive response (which can sometimes be defensive or whatever) where you already know what you’re going to say before they even finish talking. There’s *also* the response that comes if you just sit with their words and let your brain come up with something and just “I wonder what my brain is going to come up with in response to this!”.

For example, if someone were to say “is that what you think?”, one reflexive response would be to simply say “yes”. Another might be “what do you think”, or “no, I just said it for no reason /s”. What I’m talking about is noticing those reflexive responses and just kinda saying to them “okay, thanks, but I’m gonna think this one through” and then just looking at the person, and taking in where they’re coming from. Why is *that* the thing they chose to say? Not that you ask yourself consciously or in words, but coming from that perspective. Then when it comes to you, it’s like “Ah! They aren’t sure if I’m keeping my mind open to their perspective!”, or whatever it is, and so you respond to *that*, which you couldn’t have done reflexively.

I *really* like this - it’s my kind of thing - and I’d never thought of the applicability of that technique to everyday interactions with people. Thanks!
And yeah, it was a little awkward gesturing towards the exit, given that I didn't realize I had to mention that one piece, and given that things aren't always clear on the first iteration …
… but hey... it was very intentional gesturing, and you seem to have gotten to the destination.

I'm confused because I’d read the following as a specific instance of where you were gesturing at the exit, but now you seem to be saying something meta:
(post #74) Yeah, people might get angry. They might get angry anyway, though worrying about it might (or might not) help make it less likely. The point is less about “things will go exactly the way you *want*”, and more that even if it goes the way you don’t want and they get angry, it’ll be okay anyway. Not *ideal*, of course, but *okay*, and something we can do something about.

Now match that to what I wrote in post #116:
It’s a kind of resting in myself? A feeling of rediscovering a piece of solid ground inside that you’d forgotten was there, that makes it not matter that there’re angry people you don’t have control over. That you don’t have to have control over them, because if you needed to react to something they said, you’d have that solid ground to stand on?

To re-use the metaphorical monster-under-the-bed example, the feeling that you could go to sleep, knowing the monster was under your bed, but be ok with that, because if it tried to grab at you, you had a mallet under your pillow you could bop it on the head with, send it scurrying back under the bed and maybe show you a bit more respect next time - and go back to sleep.

And I'd thought, isn’t that incredible? That didn’t happen consciously on my part. My subconscious heard that, and when I finally quit the conscious processing, it said “At-bloody-last you’ve shut up. Here’s your solution. And for god’s sake, don’t let it get so far next time?”

So if that wasn't it, then I’m still not managing to extrapolate, though and I still don’t feel like I grasp the model. And what I’d like, I guess from the ‘student’ role, is to understand how to implement it myself *without* needing to bumble my way through. Repeat the experiment for myself, because, you know, reproduceable results, empirical evidence, that stuff. I’ll probably run my next thing, the exam anxiety, through the Acknowledgment, but it would be really cool if I could also use this. “Why don’t you just not do that” isn’t working.
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#128

Postby moonlightress » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:59 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:In this instance, I have argued and continue to argue that it is self-evident that hypnosis has been and continues to be largely ineffective. And this depends on asking the public to decide for themselves what 25 years of participating in self-help forums and still worried about being told you are courageous means? Is that evidence of hypnosis working?

How should the public or outside observer interpret the evidence? How should one interpret this thread? Is this thread evidence of the success of hypnosis or the failure of hypnosis?

Richard, I’ve already told you you’re basing your conclusion on paltry and very incomplete information. The gains I allude to having got from hypnosis (specifically my two SP sessions) with my “beyond my wildest dreams” description, are *far* too personal and private for me to want to share in a public forum. In fact, I’ve not shared the specifics with a single soul. My family and friends are noticing the outcomes and clear positive changes; I smile, hug them and tell them, “one word: hypnosis”. They don't ask for details, they just hug me back and say "I'm so happy for you."

It’s really hard to help you not look foolish. 25 years on self-help forums? I said, “on and off since 1993”. Use what you’ve seen me say here as “evidence”, deny that anything you can’t see here exists at all, conveniently forget you didn’t know me before, so you can’t compare before and after. I don’t have to prove hypnosis works, you’re the one who has to prove it doesn’t. The ‘empirical evidence’ of foibles and flaws you've extracted from observing me, strikes me as a highly flawed method of conducting science and asserting proof of your hypothesis, but by all means, proceed to extrapolate to your conclusion, you’ll continue to do it anyway.

Just don’t claim you weren’t informed that your data set is woefully incomplete.
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#129

Postby moonlightress » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:23 am

moonlightress wrote:Boolean logic I learnt in comp. sci. IF (a=b) AND (b=c), THEN (a=c)

Not Boolean! :roll: I'm confused. I just looked it all up again. T'was so long ago and my memory is faulty.
(Moral of the story: do not try to be too clever... :? )
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#130

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:57 am

jimmyh wrote:The purpose of pointing out the courage had nothing to do with “winning her over”.


I recognize that, you recognize that, moonlightress recognizes that. It is more that it is even a point of discussion in the first place. The mere idea that it could have even been a passing thought is the relevant point.
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#131

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:13 am

moonlightress wrote:Just don’t claim you weren’t informed that your data set is woefully incomplete.


But is it really? Isn’t the “case study” the standard in the hypnosis community for data? It certainly isn’t peer reviewed replication. Hypnosis deals almost exclusively in the “case by case” approach and as stated earlier a healthy dose of “personal empiricism”.

And I can see and acknowledge your point of view. I think it is great seen through your eyes what must be perceived as wonderful progress because of one word: hypnosis.

This doesn’t mean there is not another viewpoint or interpretation of what you have written. Your personal interpretation of what you have written is not the only interpretation. From a different perspective, many of your responses do not seem to indicate the successful application of hypnosis.
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#132

Postby jimmyh » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:34 am

I was on the path to “won over” (cringing at the phrase!) before you’d even entered the conversation. Joe planted the seed by vouching for you, back in my first thread in April. Paraphrasing what he said, “Hopefully one of the old-timers like jimmyh or jargan will chime in to answer your very valid question”[...]
You have to share the credit with Joe.


Hehe, sounds good. Not that he needs any more social proof since it's pretty clear from his writing alone, but Jargan knows his stuff too.

Yeah, well, don't forget to write that bit into the ‘jimmyh protocol’ manual....

Definitely. That’s the point of practice :)

Actually... hmm.. you know, that was absolutely 100% in the plan already. I think I thought I could skip that step because you're already experienced as a hypnotic subject and kinda assumed you'd have had that part down already. In hindsight it was clearly a bad assumption to make.

I *really* like this - it’s my kind of thing - and I’d never thought of the applicability of that technique to everyday interactions with people. Thanks!

Yep. The lens of “hypnosis” (along with many others) applies to human interaction *in general*. It’s just a few weird corner cases where it stands out as different enough for anyone to pay attention as a thing to figure out. And it’s a damn shame too, since all the value comes from integrating it into everything you do, so that you don’t accumulate the effects of silly mistakes like answering “have you already made up your mind” with “yes” just because the words they used were “is that what you think?”.
I'm confused because I’d read the following as a specific instance of where you were gesturing at the exit, but now you seem to be saying something meta:

Okay, I see some of the confusion. There’s the object level stuff about how “how to deal with [people you see as] idiots”, and the difficulty there was that you had a mental block against the idea of actually letting yourself see people for what they’re showing you, when it’d be too painful for them to see themselves the way they look to you. Separately, there’s the meta level stuff about “how to be open to suggestion when appropriate so that you can learn things like ‘how to deal with [people you see as] idiots’”, and the difficulty there was largely that you didn’t realize you could just sit and “do nothing” (which isn’t really “doing nothing”, of course) until you could see where to go (either on the object level or figuring out the rest of the meta level).

I’m far more interested in the meta level, since it applies to far more things. The object level is useful in its own right, but I’m more interested in it as a training example for meta level point which can apply to so much more. I wasn’t being that specific when I said “gesturing towards the exit”, and wasn’t trying to distinguish between “showing you the exit itself” and “showing you the map that will lead you to the exit”, because either way I was gesturing with the intent to getting you actually through the exit, and it seems that the bumbling around could largely have been avoided by simply pointing out that that it’s okay to “do nothing” and process subconsciously. It seems to me that you understood both the object level point AND the meta level point, and are just getting confused about what I’m referring to while “debriefing”.

Does that help/sound right to you?
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#133

Postby jimmyh » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:45 am

The primary goal might not be to necessarily help that one individual to metaphorically deal with the monsters under their bed, feeding them sugar and telling them they are courageous as to win them over in time so as to eventually address their underlying fears.

jimmyh wrote:The purpose of pointing out the courage had nothing to do with “winning her over”.


I recognize that, you recognize that, moonlightress recognizes that. It is more that it is even a point of discussion in the first place. The mere idea that it could have even been a passing thought is the relevant point.


Uh…. what? I’m confused here. It looks partially like you might be (semi-reasonably) confused about what’s happening here with the joke I made, so I’ll explain that bit first. My point with Moonlighttress was that by flinchingly rejecting what I had said, she was implicitly *acting as if* I had been doing what you were saying. It wasn’t because she had a “passing thought” which said “this is what he’s doing”, it’s because she had a passing *lack* of thought, where she didn’t stop to think “does this fit?”. The reason it makes for a joke is that the moment she does, she has to imagine the idea of me behaving in the way you seem to see me behaving, and it’s *humorously* out of place. It’s *not* a point of discussion or a passing thought in our minds -- at all.

Am I to assume that it isn’t obvious enough to be humorous to you?

Though that doesn’t seem to explain all of it though. Because when you say:
The primary goal might not be to necessarily help that one individual [by] telling them they are courageous as to win them over in time so as to eventually address their underlying fears

It sure makes it look like that’s either what you think I’m doing or what you would like to frame me as doing. Feel free to explain the relevance of that one, I guess.
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#134

Postby moonlightress » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:37 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Fair enough, but it is equally fair that others might have a different perspective that X is not working given the objective is to do away with the monster all together.

If I've learnt anything at all from self-help/therapy, it's that when monster-fighting, this is *not* the objective at all. You're confusing monster-fighting with dragon-slaying. The objective is to render the monster non-threatening, the objective is to be able to sit on the bed with your feet on the floor; to sleep soundly despite the monster. You don't fight the monster itself, you look it in the eye until you can see that its fierceness is just a projection of your own mind and not real. Your mistake is believing it is real. There are many types of monsters, so you need to learn that one by one. There are many methods of doing this and I'm having a fantastic time learning a new one.

Having monsters under your bed is a human condition, or we wouldn't have a sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze response). Some of us (like me) have, through a nature/nurture combination, sub-optimal beliefs and perceptions, and our sympathetic nervous system activates too easily and unnecessarily. I didn’t slay the particular monster earlier on, I just saw it was only a threat because I believed it to be. It may shrivel up, it may not, doesn’t matter; the point is gaining a mallet and not being afraid to use it. *That’s* the objective.

If you're judging hypnosis by its dragon-slaying ability alone, you're missing the point.
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