by Rex Steven Sikes
is a word that usually gets strange responses from people. Some
people think it's a gimmick that night club acts use for making
people do obnoxious things, some people think it's a cure for
smoking and weight loss, and others think it is the "devil's
work". The truth is, Hypnosis is not a process of taking
control of people; rather, it's a process of giving people control
of themselves by providing them with feedback that they wouldn't
fact, if you think about Hypnosis as a way to control other people
you won't get very far. Hypnosis is an amplifier. It's a very
powerful amplifier. No matter what you are doing, whether you
are selling cars, doing psychotherapy, or working with juries,
you can use it to elicit more intense responses from people.
itself, hypnosis won't do anything. It's not a cure, it's not
a state, it's not a thing. It's a set of tools. (And buyer beware...
if a person has a set of mechanic's tools, that doesn't mean s/he
can fix a car.) Hypnosis is a set of procedures that can be used
to alter someone's state of consciousness and direct them, or
yourself in a way which is useful for attaining a particular outcome.
is no such thing as the "Hypnotist Master Manipulator".
In fact, most people can be talked into doing absurd things simply
by talking with them. It is less likely that a person in trance
would do anything that wouldn't positively benefit them in some
way. When people move from the so called "every-day-waking-state"
into other states of consciousness, they become more apt to look
for and find that which is useful, positive and healthy for themselves
to begin to make changes that they want.
is a way to bypass conscious resistance and begin to amplify inner
resources, or to develop new resources that enable a person to
feel better about themselves, develop a positive mental attitude,
or make the changes they desire. For too long, the Freudian notion
of a dark, malevolent unconscious perpetrated a frightening notion
of hypnosis; when in reality, our unconscious mind is a vast warehouse
of past and present resources, pleasant memories and abilities
to make our lives more of what we want when we allow ourselves
to communicate with ourselves in respectful ways.
effective communication is hypnosis. Successful poets, attorneys,
salespeople, parents, politicians, religious leaders, etc. all
use forms of hypnosis to alter someone's state of consciousness.
example, one of the most commonly used and simple hypnotic patterns
is the "negative command." If I say, "Don't think
of a pink elephant with a yellow monkey on it's back", you
have to think of it in order for you to not think of it. If a
hypnotist says "I don't want you to feel too comfortable,
now", the subject often finds her/himself getting comfortable.
same language is often inadvertently used to get unwanted responses.
"Don't spill the milk," or "Don't worry about it
so much..." The listener has to think about doing the behavior
in order to understand what has been said, and this makes the
behavior more likely to occur. Unknowingly, we already "hypnotize"
our children or spouses into doing (or at least thinking about)
things we don't want them to do.
books present hypnosis as something that you sit down and do on
yourself or on someone else for a specific period of time, usually
to solve problems. Then you get up and do something else. If you
still think of hypnosis in that way, you are depriving yourself
of the most important ways you can use these tools - in your daily
life. Most of the satisfactions that we all want in life don't
take place in a hypnosis chair; they happen with the people we
love, the work that we do, and the ways that we play and enjoy
hope you will discover that you already know a great deal about
hypnosis under other names, or under no name at all. The most
fascinating arena for exploration is what is called Ericksonian
hypnosis, after Milton H. Erickson M.D. Ericksonian hypnosis means
developing the skills so well you can put some one into a hypnotic
state in a conversation in which the word hypnosis is never mentioned.
watched people closely and made observations about how people
responded to the things that he said (a skill that most people
have yet to learn). By carefully noting their reactions, he knew
how to influence them conversationally into a productive altered
people ask, "What can hypnosis be used for?" The question
is not "What can you do with hypnosis?" but rather "How
can you use hypnosis to do whatever you want to do?"