Undoing a Previous Hypnotist's Work

Postby Anne O'Nymous » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:54 pm

Hi all.

I know nothing about hypnotism, and signed up just today to ask a very important question for a friend - they were involved in an unhealthy relationship with someone with whom they experimented with hypnotism. This person gave them a trigger word to fall into trance. Now, after cutting off all contact for their safety, they're concerned about that trigger word still being in their brain, especially should they stumble into this person again.

Can they undo this via self-hypnosis? Can a second person, perhaps a professional, undo that neural pathway or however it is the trigger word works?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:11 am

Anne O'Nymous wrote: This person gave them a trigger word to fall into trance.


That is not how hypnotism works. A trigger word is only in movies like Zoolander.
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#2

Postby Anne O'Nymous » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:46 am

Well crud, I can completely believe that (and had sort of believed so myself before she explained to me what it did to her!) and yet somehow at the same time, whether it's because she so believes it's true or is anxious enough about it or anything, it's worked on her, with or without her consent.

Does anyone have any idea what to do, anyway? Is it possible even for her to get some placebo effect of undoing it, if a placebo effect is all this is? Obviously I'm not taking one person's word for it never being possible just like I'm not immediately believing that it absolutely must be, but I've heard her experience, it is influencing her, and it is terrifying to her, and so I want to fix it regardless.

Does anyone have any experience where such a word HAS worked, by the way? Because clearly there's an extent to which it can, at least for her. Maybe not by the mechanisms that the movies claim, but figuring out how it works isn't relevant in determining how real it is but rather solely in working out how to undo it.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:33 am

What is the trigger word?

Use the trigger word and observe for yourself this “trance”. Slip the word in a conversation or have it played in a song, etc. Anytime that word is said it should trigger a trance. That’s the movie version. The trigger word is said and the Russian spy that doesn’t realize they are a Russian spy activates.

Once that is all dispelled, then the issue is very narrowly confined to the belief that only this single person can use a magic word and instantly trance this person. This can be harder to address.

Anyway, start with the broader and work to the more specific.
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#4

Postby jimmyh » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:10 am

Don't mind Richard. He's not a hypnotist and has no experience with hypnosis whatsoever.

Can they undo this via self-hypnosis? Can a second person, perhaps a professional, undo that neural pathway or however it is the trigger word works?


The short answer is "Yes". Depending on the situation it may be more complicated or it may be less.

whether it's because she so believes it's true or is anxious enough about it or anything, it's worked on her, with or without her consent.


That is sorta true, as hypnosis is intimately tied with expectation. That is not to invalidate her claims, of course. Her experience is very real, very compelling, and simply saying "it's not real" will do nothing to break the effect because it will just prove to her that you don't know what you're talking about.

One of the common "party tricks" people do with hypnosis is to "stick" people's hands to the table. What is actually happening isn't that they "can't move their hand" but that they can't *intend* to move their hand because the hypnotist has done such a good job of crafting a scenario where the subjects attention is locked onto the idea that it cannot work. This often takes a bit of active work to sustain, since the moment attention drifts from that idea and starts to encompass the idea "maybe I *can* move my hand", the intention can be formed and that's all it takes.

Kev Sheldrake (one of the guys who used to post here) talked about how he'd like to mess with his friends' attempts to stick people's hands by reminding the hypnotic subjects "you can stop imagining whenever you want". While this may seem very similar to Richards "hypnosis can't do that", it is very different in an important way. Kev is lending *permission* to stop thinking a certain way instead of acting to invalidate it. Kev takes for granted that one *can* have their hand stuck to the table, so long as one's mind stays in that "imagination".

Does anyone have any idea what to do, anyway? Is it possible even for her to get some placebo effect of undoing it, if a placebo effect is all this is? Obviously I'm not taking one person's word for it never being possible just like I'm not immediately believing that it absolutely must be, but I've heard her experience, it is influencing her, and it is terrifying to her, and so I want to fix it regardless.


Yes. That's a very good mindset to have both in general and with undoing the damage of shitty hypnotists in particular. Bad hypnosis comes from focus on a bad idea to the exclusion of better ones, and the main reason this can persist without the hypnotist there to constantly reinforce the suggestions is that fear can do the reinforcing itself. If you get stuck in the "omg, what if I never recover!?" stage, then you never get to the stage of realizing that you can stop "imagining" whenever you want.

This goes for both "you" as the person who has been hypnotized or "you" as the friend. As an outsider wanting to help, your job is to open up the span of her attention to encompass the idea that she can just not respond to the suggestions, because that *is* the process of "rewiring" her brain to no longer responding to the suggestions. If you were to fall into insufficient skepticism and accept her fears as "true and unquestionable", then you'd essentially have fallen under the spell yourself and would just be reinforcing the troublesome (and *false*) idea that she can't stop responding to the suggestion. If you were to fall into insufficient empathy and fail to see how her experience can be a compelling reality to be dealt with, then you'd essentially be shutting yourself out of being able to reach her. So far, you seem to be doing this exactly right, which is commendable.

Having a good friend in a time like this can be invaluable, especially since the source of answers on how to deal with this problem ("random hypnotists on the internet") is uncomfortably close to the source of the problem. I've been talking to someone who found herself in a similar situation, and by far the most difficult part of helping her is that she has learned a pretty reasonable fear of actually engaging with things intelligent hypnotists say.

Without having talked to her or knowing more about the situation, it's hard to give specific advice about what would be the best way to proceed. A competent hypnotist could certainly help her, but professional hypnotists can be kinda hit or miss and cost money either way. It also might not be necessary. One thing to look into is the "deep reset" type files that some hypnotists have out there. They're free and you can read reviews/screen them yourself, so there's really not much cost to trying that approach.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:39 am

jimmyh wrote:Don't mind Richard. He's not a hypnotist and has no experience with hypnosis whatsoever.


Happy New Year! Jimmy....great to see you starting the year off positive.

Have you been using your post-hypnotic abilities to insult any more minimum wage security guards over the holidays? I know you were really proud of applying your extensive knowledge of hypnosis to call a person trying to make a living working a front line job a “douche”. Was that the “trigger” word in that instance? Enlighten me.

@Anne...Jimmy is the resident “post-hypnotism” expert. This is when you are so talented at hypnotism, when you are so advanced, that your skill is beyond hypnotism.

BTW, Jimmy used his great skill to tell a child with 2nd degree burns on his hand that he wasn’t experiencing pain. Then Jimmy was upset when other people ruined it for him and actually wanted the child to seek medical treatment, triggering the child to recognize that 2nd degree burns actually cause pain for a reason. Silly adults, wanting to treat second degree burns with other than post hypnotic wisdom.

Good stuff.
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#6

Postby Candid » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:06 am

jimmyh wrote:Kev Sheldrake [liked] to mess with his friends' attempts to stick people's hands by reminding the hypnotic subjects "you can stop imagining whenever you want". [...] Kev is lending *permission* to stop thinking a certain way instead of acting to invalidate it. Kev takes for granted that one *can* have their hand stuck to the table, so long as one's mind stays in that "imagination".


This is what I've always believed about hypnotism and self-hypnosis, viz. that we're all hypnotising ourselves all the time by the thoughts we give credence to and keep thinking, day by day, year after year. It's the basis of good therapy, countering a client's negative self-talk with what therapists call unconditional positive regard. The idea is that the client eventually internalises the therapist's 'voice' to the degree that when he or she starts with the self-flagellation, the better-feeling suggestions immediately arise.

I'd be curious to see the OP's friend in a trance. What exactly does that mean? Has she been programmed to do something in particular, can she while entranced receive messages from the dead, or is it just a blank-eyed freeze?
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#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:40 pm

Candid wrote: This is what I've always believed about hypnotism and self-hypnosis, viz. that we're all hypnotising ourselves all the time by the thoughts we give credence to and keep thinking, day by day, year after year.


I can see it, but that is a very broad definition of hypnotism. It would amount to almost any form of repetitive communication being considered hypnotism. You have repetitive political statements labeled as propaganda, a form of brain washing or hypnotism. You have repetitive messaging in the media...are you being hypnotized? If you give credence to those repetitive statements then given a broad definition the answer would be yes.

I use a more narrow defintion of hypnosis. The etymology of hypnosis is a condition of sleep. I don’t think jimmyh has hypnotized himself into believing in hypnosis. I don’t think he is in some sort of trance or nonvolitional state of sleep as to convince himself that hypnotism is what it is.

Instead, I think jimmyh has used his critical thinking skills to evaluate and volitionally develop and reinforce his beliefs. Similarly, I don’t think your beliefs, my beliefs, or Anne’s beliefs are properly labeled as us putting ourselves into a state of sleep, just because we repeat certain things. We all suffer from confirmation bias in this regard, although jimmyh claims he has transcended such things.

I guess...typing off the top of my head...I can understand the broad definition, but I think there is a difference between using critical thinking skills to volitionally choose beliefs we wish to give credence to verses those beliefs that are given credence and we are less than aware. For example, a parent repeatedly telling a child that they are bad.

I'd be curious to see the OP's friend in a trance. What exactly does that mean? Has she been programmed to do something in particular, can she while entranced receive messages from the dead, or is it just a blank-eyed freeze?


Exactly. I think this is the approach, to debunk or confirm the belief based on getting into the specifics of the trance. I think the more specific, the more questions the OP was to ask, the more you would see the friend evade the questions, providing generic answers as to protect the belief.
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#8

Postby moonlightress » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:56 pm

Anne O'Nymous wrote:Does anyone have any experience where such a word HAS worked, by the way? Because clearly there's an extent to which it can, at least for her. Maybe not by the mechanisms that the movies claim, but figuring out how it works isn't relevant in determining how real it is but rather solely in working out how to undo it.


Yes, I have triggers words for trance. They were given to me by a hypnotist for everyday self-hypnosis work and to obviate the need for induction in subsequent sessions. They work very well for me. Or they don’t – and I’ll explain.

The hypnotist qualified her installing of the words, by saying “when it is safe and appropriate”. My triggers words are ordinary words, for example one of them is “deep”. It would be ridiculous if I went into trance whenever someone said “the water is deep over there” or whatever. So they work when I sit down to do self-hypnosis and when she says them in a session. I’ve compounded them over and over, so my mind knows what to do in this context and goes easily into trance. But out of the context of deliberate sessions, they simply don’t work and my mind doesn’t even register them as triggers. To me, the actual words only have the power to put me in trance, when I intend for them to do so, and give them that power.

If I sit down for a session, say the words and go into trance and then suddenly remember, “sh**, I forgot to take the roast out of the oven” (I’m *dreadful* at that!) I snap out of trance immediately and go attend to it.

I’m no hypnotist, mine is a layperson's perspective and Jimmy can correct me if this is a bad idea, :) but perhaps you two could practise saying the word and then showing her she can come out of trance by choice and eventually choose not to go there? It’s not a simple “just choose not to” once the fear of reinforcement and powerlessness is embedded (and it's very real) but it's a goal that can be worked towards. It may be that if she says the word in a safe context (with you) it opens the possibility that "hey, maybe it doesn't actually have this power over me".

It’s a lot like other beliefs we have absorbed in contexts that were not explicit hypnosis, but nevertheless "programmed in" to the extent we believe them to be fixed and untransmutable, that are held in place by fear. Once we can release the fear, the belief crumbles.
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