What Is Hypnosis?


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Finding a definition of hypnosis that everyone agrees with is virtually impossible. Because they come from diverse backgrounds, the different therapists in The Hypnosis Network probably would not agree on a single definition. Therefore we are going to provide multiple definitions:

From William Broom, Chief Executive& Registrar, The General Hypnotherapy Standards Council: Hypnosis is a state of mind, enhanced by mental and physical relaxation, in which our subconscious is able to communicate with our conscious mind. It is widely accepted as a most excellent method by which we may access our inner potential. The state of mind referred to may be brought about either by oneself, unaided (Self-Hypnosis) or with the help of another person.

From Eric Greenleaf Ph.D.: The notion of hypnosis is to help a person, by focusing and searching inwardly, to utilize all his learning and skills to resolve his problems, and to do so with the aid of unconscious learning and understanding. What scientists do when they “dream up” inventions and theories, what statesmen do when they “sleep on it” before solving problems of state, what athletes do preparing for a match by “visualizing” the flight of the ball‹this is the sort of thing hypnotized persons do to apply themselves to difficult problems of living.

Hypnosis is based on respect for us as a whole organism, in all that complexity and unique experience that has made us who we are. It may be thought of as a state of mind which can imitate many of the original and useful actions of the mind, body and spirit. In Hypnotic trance a person may experience reduced pain, heightened sensation, strong emotion, remembering and forgetting, imaginings and creativity and an enhanced sense of self. Hypnosis points people toward those capacities within themselves and the learning they contain.

From Krasner, A.M. The Wizard Within: ABH PRESS, 1990/1991: Hypnosis is “a process which produces relaxation, distraction of the conscious mind, heightened suggestibility and increased awareness, allowing access to the subconscious mind through imagination. It also produces the ability to experience thoughts and images as real.”

Healing by trance state (hypnosis) is one of the oldest phenomena known to man and is found, in one form or another, in virtually every culture throughout the world. The Hypnotic State is, in most respects, entirely dissimilar to sleep.

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