Question: Self-hypnosis in deep states

#45

Postby moonlightress » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:31 pm

This reply is longer than usual, because I combined the two concurrent conversations, which I felt got confusing. Feel free to split them again, if the length gets unwieldy (it might well).
jimmyh wrote:… In short, it’s easier to empathize and be kind when you know you can be assertive when you need to be, and it’s easier to be assertive if you trust that it will be okay if people’s feelings get hurt in the process…

Makes complete sense…. but <sigh> that last phrase (“if you trust that it will be okay if people’s feelings get hurt in the process”) is a massive IF and I’m not there yet: I just don’t trust that something won’t break and they’ll get angry and I’m afraid of people’s anger directed at me. In fact, there’s an active one going on (it’s 1.5 years old) that I know the person is still stewing over - and that one wasn’t even intentional; I intended to do a good thing which totally backfired. :|
Meh, I don’t think the voice itself is a problem.

That voice is a huge problem to me, though. Or what do you mean?
“Alright, we can go through them once…. I know I’ve said and done a lot of hurtful things over the years and I know I haven’t been the person that I feel like I should have been. I’ve been trying to flinch away from looking at this, which has made your job a lot harder and held me back. I won’t flinch anymore. You can tell me what I’ve done wrong and how much anger you hold towards me and I’ll listen. What have I done wrong, and how can I how can I make things better?”
It’s amazingly hard to stay mad at people who listen to your feedback, and once you learn that you can defuse anger that easily it’s kinda like a cheat code :P

<smiling broadly> yes, it’s very disarming. I’ll keep that one in a back pocket so it’s at hand.

I have to say I flinched big-time, when I thought of sitting down and saying the above to myself and then actually having to listen. It’s work that needs to be done at some stage, at least for those things that haunt me most; maybe they’ll give up haunting me then. Freaks me out to think of doing it alone, though; I’d prefer to do (or at least start to do) it with another person (to contain it, you know?) and I have neither another person, nor the money to access their time, right now. (And yeah, chances are it won’t be even half as scary as I make it…)
Yeah yeah. You can keep repeating yourself if you want, but you can also consider it to go without saying if you want, because I do understand. I consider it to go without saying that I'm enjoying these conversations and finding them useful as well. Hopefully I was right that the latter goes without saying as well :)

Thank you and I’m glad of that. Yes, I could, but I’m finding gratitude an immensely powerful practice, almost as powerful as self-hypnosis. Just noticing and acknowledging every good thing that comes my way (and there are startlingly many since the sessions with Ines, and the changes in my mindset) is as affirming as positive suggestion. (Plus there’s a very old, nagging fear I’ll wear people out, but never mind that one.)
The way I imagine it going is something like “So what would you need in order feel safe enough to let this stuff go?” ….. If you didn’t have this prior experience with hypnosis working so well for you, I’d expect that you’d respond (after some thought) something more like “the knowledge that everything will be okay if I do”, which is the question you had to implicitly answer before allowing yourself to go into hypnosis in the first place.

I’d not even have needed to give it any thought, I’ve been there before; I didn’t get convinced it would be ok. But I don’t think that question even occurred to me before I first sought hypnosis. That was for exam anxiety, and I was majorly keen to get rid of that. And desperate enough to decide to trust the guy.
Do you think you’d screw it up and not heed a valid fear that you knew about, simply because you could and are sick of being bossed around by fear?

Can’t parse this last sentence. Simply because I could: screw it up? or simply because I could: not heed a valid fear? Do you mean, if I just decide to be fearless? – I’d specify what it is I don’t want to be fearful of, surely?
… You clearly have plenty of that kind of courage, given that you can put it all aside and go into a deep trance where fear just isn’t an issue. Since you do so well when you allow yourself to turn down the “importance” of your fears until they just disappear, why not allow yourself do it outside the special context of “hypnosis” as well?

Maybe it’s because I still need the training wheels of the belief that it requires (formal) trance? To grow into the still-just-sprouting different self-image and try to figure out how to even live from a not-fearful base? Maybe because the regrets could overwhelm me? Maybe because I’m not brave enough to let go and believe I can do that consciously without second-guessing myself (a skill I have down to a fine art) and want to hang on to the belief that I still need the training wheels?

After the last session with Ines, we talked a bit, and she said (referring to changework), “Can we go from A to Z in one go? – you never know, it could happen; but I think that often we’re not ready for it all at once.”

Maybe there's actually sense in it? I'm trusting there's a good reason why there were several things my superconscious judged unsuitable for my conscious to know about at this time? It feels like it would be wiser to build a more solid foundation subconsciously first, in a state where my conscious isn't second-guessing and criticising and breaking down. Then when the new foundation is a fait accompli, it'll be like it was always that way and my conscious is going to find it hard to say "that won't work, because...."

Of course that’s not to say it can’t be done gradually (I’m just trotting out all my excuses) and I’m grateful for, and curious about your suggestion. And interested in your take, on the kind of courage needed. Having that courage in hypnosis is easy; I feel very safe. Out of it? Not so much.
Joe wrote up his acknowledgement routine on his blog. Take a look, and try it out next time you stub your toe or something.
http://wikihyp.com/theory/acknowledgement-part-1-the-basic-conflict-and-the-formula/

OMG. I had to tie a rope around my waist and the other end to a tree, to avoid getting lost in the rabbit hole of Joe’s blog, as I jumped in, and read all of parts 1-8, it was so fascinating :D (or I might’ve forgotten to go back to the school for the next exam…) :lol: I recognized the first part as something I’d done with my kids when I could see their disappointment over something they couldn’t have, and wanted to comfort them, but hadn’t thought it any further, plus I’m notorious at not extending understanding to myself. :roll: I’ll definitely try it out! :D and not wait till the next time I have pain; I have plenty of other stuff to try it out on. (I did start - because, procrastination! - but I *have* to focus on the exam, just 6 more days, so I had to drop it….) Arghhhh, the superpower I most want to have is the ability to stretch 24 hours into 48. (Time distortion in trance? I'm grasping at straws.)

---

(This conversation is starting to become a bit open (all my own doing) - I’m feeling it in my chest - and I’m aware we’re talking publicly (this thread has had 2132 views) but I also know I’m just yet-another-person with these kinds of issues (or hypnotists would be out of business :lol: ) and maybe someone reading this will have their own fears reflected and feelings validated. So I’m OK with it; it’s not as though I’m saying anything I can’t stand by, and they may find the stuff you’re saying as useful and interesting as I do. And, like I said a while back, if it helps anyone to read a “this hypnosis stuff works fantastically” story, it’ll make me happy and be very in line with how I’d like to live.)
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#46

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:48 pm

moonlightress wrote:(This conversation is starting to become a bit open (all my own doing) - I’m feeling it in my chest - and I’m aware we’re talking publicly (this thread has had 2132 views) but I also know I’m just yet-another-person with these kinds of issues (or hypnotists would be out of business :lol: ) and maybe someone reading this will have their own fears reflected and feelings validated. So I’m OK with it; it’s not as though I’m saying anything I can’t stand by, and they may find the stuff you’re saying as useful and interesting as I do. And, like I said a while back, if it helps anyone to read a “this hypnosis stuff works fantastically” story, it’ll make me happy and be very in line with how I’d like to live.)


I too hope people will read this very public thread and that they will be able to decide for themselves to what extent hypnosis does or does not work. When I read this thread, I don't see it as an example of hypnosis working, quite the opposite.

In my opinion, what readers will see is an individual that is searching not for truth, but for validation. I think they will read about a person that in spite of using and being a champion of hypnosis continues to struggle and experiences anxiety and frustration over relatively benign issues, including with any opinion that fails to validate what they wish to believe.

How does the average reader reconcile this contradiction?

If hypnosis was working, the person would no longer need validation. If hypnosis was working, the person would no longer experience fear or anxiety in the face of an opinion that was counter to their belief. If hypnosis was working, they would no longer consider an alternate opinion as the crushing of hopes and dreams. Instead, as evidenced in this very thread, you continue to struggle with any feedback that does not reflect your fears or validate your feelings. In my opinion, that is the opposite of hypnosis working. That, in my opinion, is the take away for our reader.
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#47

Postby jimmyh » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:30 am

Thanks for the input Richard. I’ll take it for what it’s worth, and I’m sure others will as well. :)
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#48

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:24 am

Exactly jimmyh. And what it is worth to you, moonlightress, or any person seeking to have their own fears reflected or feelings validated, will be different than the worth it holds for someone seeking truth. It’s all good.
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#49

Postby moonlightress » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:38 pm

Thanks for restating your opinion Richard, which I actually appreciate (!) because it was interesting for me to see how my reactions have changed and how that confirms my ongoing personal growth.

It was also a valuable opportunity for me, to remind myself that my struggles, anxieties and frustrations, mean I’m not dead yet. :D

I don’t have anything new to add to what I’ve already said.
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#50

Postby moonlightress » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:35 pm

So I was musing earlier today, about what’s been happening here. You make a suggestion in a post. What you say is *interesting*. I respond with all sorts of reasons why that isn’t possible.

I go about my day. Since I’m an inveterate day-dreamer, I disappear off into my head numerous times during the day as usual, and during some of those times it occurs to me “Hmm. He’s got a point there. Why *don’t* I do that?” I ponder it, without actually pondering, it just drifts around, then someone interrupts with, “Wakey, wakey, Karen, come back to us.” :lol:

Ye gods, I’m getting too good at this self-hypnosis thing. Hell, one of these days, it might even *change* something!

Scary thought. :lol:
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#51

Postby Joe100 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:41 pm

For what it's worth, I had a nasty headache last night, threw some acknowledgement at it, and it all it did was take a bit of the edge off. Went from an 8 to a 7.

So yeah, even as the inventor of the process it doesn't always work for me.

I could of course have troubleshot that and probably would have discovered something very profound, but I just wanted to go to sleep. So I took an Advil...

What is interesting is that I still use acknowledgement as my bread and butter in session even though it's almost 5 years old. Pretty unusual for me to stick with something that long!
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#52

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:07 pm

moonlightress wrote:Thanks for restating your opinion Richard, which I actually appreciate (!) because it was interesting for me to see how my reactions have changed and how that confirms my ongoing personal growth.


And that is great. The question, why have your reactions changed? What is the cause or causes of your personal growth?

In my opinion it is not necessarily the act of hypnosis, but rather the participation in the hypnosis community that is most influential. It is the support of jimmyh and his ability to talk you through your reactions and provide different ways to reflect and usé hypnosis. It is very much CBT.

An apt metaphor is that of prayer, the church, and the priest. It is not the act, but rather the participation in a community of like minded individuals providing support and validation that then results in reflection and personal growth. It is faith that then allows the believer to better respond to what they perceive as a potential threat.
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#53

Postby jimmyh » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:37 am

So I was musing earlier today, about what’s been happening here. You make a suggestion in a post. What you say is *interesting*. I respond with all sorts of reasons why that isn’t possible.

I go about my day. Since I’m an inveterate day-dreamer, I disappear off into my head numerous times during the day as usual, and during some of those times it occurs to me “Hmm. He’s got a point there. Why *don’t* I do that?” I ponder it, without actually pondering, it just drifts around, then someone interrupts with, “Wakey, wakey, Karen, come back to us.” :lol:


Hehe, good.

Yes, the "why not do this instead?" is absolutely intended to provoke thoughts of "why *don't* I do that??".

I was trying to calibrate to what you’re open to/interested in, and it looks like I got pretty close to the line given that I got *both* the immediately defensive answers *and* the “wait a minute, he has a point...””. I wonder what’s going to happen *next time* you find the urge to give me all sorts of reasons why what I’m saying isn’t possible :)
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#54

Postby jimmyh » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:44 am

And that is great. The question, why have your reactions changed? What is the cause or causes of your personal growth?

In my opinion it is not necessarily the act of hypnosis, but rather the participation in the hypnosis community that is most influential. It is the support of jimmyh and his ability to talk you through your reactions and provide different ways to reflect and usé hypnosis. It is very much CBT.

An apt metaphor is that of prayer, the church, and the priest. It is not the act, but rather the participation in a community of like minded individuals providing support and validation that then results in reflection and personal growth. It is faith that then allows the believer to better respond to what they perceive as a potential threat.



It’s pretty well established (and accepted as consensus in hypnosis communities) that the state or “act” of hypnosis alone doesn’t accomplish much without the suggestions that it facilitates. The same is true for any supportive community one might join. Regardless of how much you pave the way for change to be made, the change still needs to be made and knowing *which* changes to make in particular and which changes are necessary in order to make them stable is a critical part of the overall puzzle. I consider this to be fairly obvious (at least when pointed at), and fairly uninteresting.

What’s more interesting is that you see my comments here as an example of CBT at work. It’s interesting because there definitely *are* aspects of CBT in there, but to me, that’s about the least interesting part of what I do.

Whenever you look at things through a certain lens, you’re going to see the things that the lens you’re using highlights. When your hammer is CBT, you see “hey, changing thoughts leading to changing feelings leading to changing behaviors, that’s CBT!”, and that’s definitely there. At the same time though, if you’re familiar with the hypnotic toolbox, you’ll see all sorts of indirect suggestion, “going first”, and even aspects of confusion and a weeks long “induction” leading towards something that bears some resemblance to (a partial and consciously mediated) “permanosis”. Of course, the hypnotic effect is fairly weak and atypical compared to what we normally refer to with the word “hypnosis” and it’s not the whole story, but those aspects are there and with a keen eye you can spot them.

Here’s a quote from the wikipedia article on CBT:

[CBT] is different from historical approaches to psychotherapy, such as the psychoanalytic approach where the therapist looks for the unconscious meaning behind the behaviors [...]


Looking for unconscious meaning behind the behaviors is exactly what I was doing when I said “it’s easier to empathize and be kind when you know you can be assertive when you need to be, and it’s easier to be assertive if you trust that it will be okay if people’s feelings get hurt in the process”. A naive interpretation would therefore be that I’m doing psychoanalytic therapy, not CBT. Then again, hypnotists would call the exact same thing an example of “pacing”.

The reality is that the psychoanalytic guys had some insight into a piece of it that ended up going towards the acceptance of what functioned as indirect suggestions and resulted in her changing her thoughts to a specific new thing — no one toolset is enough. There’s really *no such thing* as “only” doing CBT or “only” doing hypnosis. Whatever isn’t covered explicitly is covered implicitly and is left unexamined. What is unexamined is left unable to be optimized.

A “pure” CBT therapist with well developed emotional and social skills is going to be able to pick out the right CBT techniques to use at the right times, and have the type of presence that allows the techniques to work flawlessly when he uses them — however, it cannot be said that it is CBT *alone* that is working in cases like this. It’s CBT when used in conjunction with everything else a socially competent and emotionally developed person does, at the time and in the way such a person would use it. Give that same CBT to a nincompoop, and he’s just going to get frustrated when people don’t respect his input that they have irrational beliefs, and you won’t see any positive effect from it.

The idea isn’t to find the “one true perspective” that shows all of the valid things (thus invalidating the things you cannot see), but to learn to see things from enough different angles that together there are fewer blind spots and you get stumped less often. You’re not wrong to look through the CBT lens and think you’re seeing things here. The things you think you’re seeing are definitely real. It’s just that the CBT lens doesn’t show what in my opinion are the far more interesting pieces. "Why that is" gets to be a long and fascinating story, but enough for now….
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#55

Postby moonlightress » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:35 pm

jimmyh wrote: I wonder what’s going to happen *next time* you find the urge to give me all sorts of reasons why what I’m saying isn’t possible :)

Ha! Now I'm curious, too. I'll let it just happen the way it happens and we can both find out. :)
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#56

Postby moonlightress » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:04 pm

Hi Joe, cool of you to pop in. :D

I should have taken your "you can safely ignore everything he says", back in April, to heart; I have now.

I'm so up for trying out the acknowledgement (as soon as my exam is over, 3 more days) :D
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#57

Postby Joe100 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:10 pm

My pleasure. I wake up every now and then :)

Let me know how acknowledgement goes!
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#58

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:38 am

jimmyh wrote:What’s more interesting is that you see my comments here as an example of CBT at work.

The idea isn’t to find the “one true perspective” that shows all of the valid things (thus invalidating the things you cannot see), but to learn to see things from enough different angles that together there are fewer blind spots and you get stumped less often. You’re not wrong to look through the CBT lens and think you’re seeing things here. The things you think you’re seeing are definitely real. It’s just that the CBT lens doesn’t show what in my opinion are the far more interesting pieces. "Why that is" gets to be a long and fascinating story, but enough for now….


I do see your comments as similar to CBT, minus the B. I also mentioned it being similar to prayer. We could also use the lens of education. That is a minimum of 4 perspectives through which we might discuss causation related to the stated personal growth.

I would be interested to know how you might compare prayer with that of hypnosis?

And while I agree there is no one true perspective, there is arguably a vast difference in measurable outcomes.

Regardless of lens; hypnosis, CBT, prayer, or education, the structure is similar. You have a person experiencing some discomfort. There is some degree of fear or anxiety of the unknown, the unexplored. A community offers up a belief system to help navigate the unknown, allowing the previously uncomfortable to become the familiar, the comfortable, the explored. In each case the intentions are good. In each case, the particular method is more or less effective dependent on nature of the unknown.

The challenge, in my opinion, comes when the belief system is fundamentally misaligned with the nature of the unknown. As joe states, sometimes he just takes an Advil.
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#59

Postby moonlightress » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:00 am

Exam done and passed. Someday, I must do some work on exam/test anxiety, it slays me every time. :shock: Then I get all high afterwards and forget about it. There's always a next time because there's so much fun stuff to learn but it keeps being relegated to the back of the queue. Something is screwed up with that. Could hypnosis help me? <now where is the poker face emoji when you need it?>

Now, where were we? :D
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