Hypnosis 101 - The Basics

The Hypnosis Network upholds the highest professional standards for our products, quality and therapists. We carefully monitor our product list and therapist requirements against the standards of The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), the largest U.S. organization for health and mental health care professionals using clinical Hypnosis.

Founded in 1957, ASCH’s members are psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, medical doctors, master’s level nurses and dentists. Their efforts to support research and set standards for ethical practices of Hypnotherapy are respected world-wide, and The Hypnosis Network is proud to meet (and in some cases exceed) their standards.

The following information on Hypnosis is taken from the ASCH’s website.

Definition of Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention. It is like using a magnifying glass to Focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. Similarly, when our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use our minds more powerfully. Because Hypnosis allows people to use more of their potential, learning self-Hypnosis is the ultimate act of self-control.

Everyone has experienced a trance many times, but we don’t usually call it Hypnosis. All of us have been so absorbed in thought – while reading a book, or riding the bus to work – that we fail to notice what is happening around us. While we were zoned out, another level of consciousness which we refer to as our unconscious mind, took over. These are very focused states of attention similar to Hypnosis.

Ruth Dart, assistant to Dr. Eric Greenleaf who founded the Milton H. Erickson Insitute of the Bay Area, has this to say about what Hypnosis feels like:

At the end of my first Hypnosis session, my Hypnotherapist said, “When we’re through here you’ll be . . . you’ll be yourself!” This was prophetic. I would describe all of my subsequent experiences with Hypnosis as remembering or discovering parts of myself that were characteristic, and following their lead.

Therapeutic Hypnosis has not involved suppressing or discarding any part of me. It has not meant using will power to force behavior changes. Rather, it is a way to allow change to arise inevitably, even joyfully, out of the unique person who has always been present. It is a tool for utilizing what is already there.

Clinical hypnotists do essentially three things with Hypnosis. They encourage the use of imagination. Mental imagery is very powerful, especially in a focused state of attention. The mind seems capable of using imagery, even if it is only symbolic, to assist us in bringing about the things we are imagining. For example, a patient with Ulcerative Colitis may be asked to imagine what her distressed colon looks like. If she imagines it as being like a tunnel, with very red, inflamed walls that are rough in texture, the patient may be encouraged in Hypnosis (and in self-Hypnosis) to imagine this image changing to a healthy one.

Another basic Hypnotic method is to present ideas or suggestions to the patient. In a state of concentrated attention, ideas and suggestions that are compatible with what the patient wants seem to have a more powerful impact on the mind.

Finally, Hypnosis may be used for unconscious exploration, to better understand underlying motivations or identify whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. Hypnosis avoids the critical censor of the conscious mind, which often defeats what we know to be in our best interests.

Myths About Hypnosis

People often fear that being hypnotized will make them lose control, surrender their will, and result in their being dominated, but a Hypnotic State is not the same thing as gullibility or weakness. Many people base their assumptions about hypnotism on stage acts but fail to take into account that stage hypnotists screen their volunteers to select those who are cooperative, with possible exhibitionist tendencies, as well as responsive to Hypnosis. Stage acts help create a myth about Hypnosis which discourages people from seeking legitimate Hypnotherapy.

Another myth about Hypnosis is that people lose consciousness and have amnesia. A small percentage of subjects, who go into very deep levels of trance will fit this stereotype and have spontaneous amnesia. The majority of people remember everything that occurs in Hypnosis. This is beneficial, because most of what we want to accomplish in Hypnosis may be done in a medium-depth trance, where people tend to remember everything.

In Hypnosis, the patient is not under the control of the hypnotist. Hypnosis is not something imposed on people, but something they do for themselves. A hypnotist simply serves as a facilitator to guide them.

When Will Hypnosis Be Beneficial?

We believe that Hypnosis will be optimally effective when the patient is highly motivated to overcome a problem and when the Hypnotherapist is well trained in both Hypnosis and in general considerations relating to the treatment of the particular problem. Some individuals seem to have higher native Hypnotic talent and capacity that may allow them to benefit more readily from Hypnosis.

It is important to keep in mind that Hypnosis is like any other therapeutic modality: It can offer major benefits to some patients with some problems, and it is helpful with many other patients. But it can fail, just like any other clinical method. For this reason, we emphasize that we are not “hypnotists,” but health- care professionals who use Hypnosis along with other tools of our professions.

Uses of Hypnosis

LEGITIMATE USES OF Hypnosis

Below is a list of legitimate uses of Hypnosis as defined by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH)

SOME NON-LEGITIMATE USES

  • Growing taller
  • Getting lucky
  • Penis growth
  • Psychic powers
  • Remote influence
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Magical seduction powers

QUESTIONABLE USES

Breast growth (there have been instances where Hypnosis has worked with breast growth, but we are not confident in the research)

LEGITIMATE BUT INAPPROPRIATE FOR AUDIO PROGRAM

  • Clinical Depression
  • Burns
  • Childbirth
  • Surgery/Anesthesiology
  • Victims of abuse (incest, rape, physical abuse, cult abuse)

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