Hypnosis was accepted by the AMA in 1958 as an effective method for treating stress, and stress related symptoms. But does it really work, and what should a person look for when seeking a therapist, or purchasing hypnosis tapes & CDs?
There are many different hypnotic methods that are used to reach the unconscious mind to invoke change. Each method has it’s strengths, and it’s weaknesses. Every person is different, so it stands to reason that the best results will be obtained by utilizing the methods that each person will respond to.
Most hypnosis tape venders offer programs that consist of standard traditional hypnosis techniques. A few vendors offer much more modern and effective Ericksonian hypnosis techniques. And fewer still offer NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques. The newest and possibly most effective technique available is video hypnosis. Video hypnosis utilizes the latest NLP mind patterns to produce instant change in an individual. Video hypnosis methods are not subliminal in nature.
With “Traditional Hypnosis” we simply make direct suggestions to the unconscious mind. In case you are wondering, as far as I’m concerned, the term unconscious, and subconscious are interchangeable – they refer to the same part of the mind. This type of hypnosis works well for someone who generally accepts what they are told without a lot of questions.
Most hypnosis tapes sold today are based on “Traditional Hypnosis” techniques. The reason for this is that it really doesn’t take much training or experience to write a script and just tell someone what to do. Unfortunately Traditional Hypnosis is not very effective for people who are critical or analytical in their thinking processes.
By contrast, Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP techniques work far better for most members of today’s generation! This is because today people are taught to analyze and question everything, rather than just follow the flock. So these methods do work very well on people who are critical or analytical in their thinking processes.
While its true that these methods are much more effective at reaching and influencing the unconscious, it’s also true that it can take years of training, study, and most of all experience to learn how to apply these techniques effectively. So this is a challenge that is only accepted by the truly dedicated hypno-therapists.
With “Ericksonian Hypnosis,” we use little stories, called metaphors, to present suggestions and ideas to the unconscious mind. This is a powerful and effective method, because it usually eliminates the blockage of and resistance to suggestions that is often caused by the conscious mind. There are two types of metaphors, “Isomorphic,” and those of the imbedded command or “interspersal” nature.
Isomorphic metaphors offer direction to the unconscious by telling a story that offers up a moral. The unconscious draws a one-to-one relationship between elements of the story and elements of a problem situation or behavior. For example, if a child is telling a lot of lies, the parent might tell the child the story about the “Boy who cried wolf.” The unconscious would draw a parallel between the boy in the story and the child, and realize that telling lies could lead to disaster, so the child would probably stop lying.
With the Embedded Command technique, the hypnotist tells an interesting story that engages and distracts the conscious mind. The story contains hidden direct suggestions that are usually accepted by the unconscious. For example: While the client is in hypnosis, he might hear the hypnotist say something like: I’m going to tell you a story about …a beach that has feelings. Isn’t that strange to you? It’s a warm summer’s day, and… the beach feels great.
The hypnotist pauses, shifts his voice tonality, and emphasizes the underlined text. The unconscious recognizes a “Selectional restriction violation.” Beaches can’t have feelings. So it’s like the unconscious says to itself: “Wait a minute, a beach can’t feel anything, so that must mean that I’m supposed to feel great.” Since the suggestions are embedded in a story that is distracting the conscious mind, its unlikely that the conscious will realize that it has just received a command, so it won’t block it or resist it.
Process Instructions direct the unconscious to find a memory of an appropriate learning experience from the past, and then apply that experience to making a change in the present.
With “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” (NLP), rather than using suggestions, we use the same thought patterns that are creating a problem, like an excessive appetite or stress, to eliminate the problem. NLP in the hands of an experienced practitioner can be very effective.
NLP Anchoring: Have you ever heard an old song and had it trigger feelings from the past? When you originally heard the song, you were feeling those feelings, and they unconsciously became attached to the sound of the song. So the song became an Anchor for the feelings. Now when you hear the song, it triggers the same feelings again.
Anchoring can be a very useful technique. Suppose that you have a memory of being commended for having done something well in the past. If you go back into that memory, you’ll be able to recreate the feelings of self-esteem that you had at that time. If you touch two fingers together while you re-experience those feelings of self-esteem, that touch will become an anchor for the feelings of self-esteem.
Now suppose that you want to create motivation to stick to a diet and lose weight. If you make a mental image of yourself with a thin, sexy body, and simultaneously trigger the anchor – (press the two fingers together again), your unconscious will attach the feelings of self-esteem to the image of you with the thin body and your level of motivation to lose weight will increase dramatically.
NLP Flash: This is a very powerful Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique that can be used to “flip” things around in the unconscious, so that thoughts and experiences that used to trigger feelings of stress actually trigger relaxation instead.
The NLP Flash technique is also extremely effective for extinguishing conditioned responses. For example: If a smoker has a cigarette while drinking coffee, his/her unconscious will pair the two behaviors together so that he/she automatically gets a craving for a cigarette anytime he/she has a cup of coffee. The Flash will cause the smoker’s mind to disassociate the image of a cigarette from the cup of coffee so that he/she does NOT get an urge to smoke just because he/she is drinking coffee.
With “Subliminal” programs, the recording has two tracks. One track contains a cover sound that is heard by the conscious mind. The cover sound could be anything from music to nature sounds. The second track contains direct suggestions that are heard by the unconscious mind. These suggestions are repeated hundreds of times during a session.
Subliminal programs can be played in the background while you are working, or watching TV. You don’t have to stop what you are doing and relax like you do with hypnosis or NLP. Subliminals can be an addition to hypnotic programs. But Subliminals will never replace Hypnosis or NLP because they are not as effective! They don’t even come close!! Some studies have claimed that it can take up to 80 hours of listening to a subliminal recording before it will have any effect on many people.
The last form of hypnosis that we’re going to discuss is Video Hypnosis. Video Hypnosis is the most effective form of hypnosis! The techniques used in video hypnosis are based on the Neuro-Linguistic Programming technology, which works based on the utilization of a person’s existing thought processes instead of post-hypnotic suggestion.
Over 70% of the population learns much more quickly and easily by seeing, rather then by hearing. Think about it. If you feel an urge to eat or smoke when watching television, it’s because your mind recorded the video image of either food in your hand, or a cigarette in your hand, and then associated that image with the image of the TV. You never spoke to yourself and told yourself in words to associate them together, did you?
And that’s why the Video Hypnosis technology is so effective. Video Hypnosis is not hypnotic in the traditional sense, relying on the spoken word. But if you’ve ever cried when watching a sad movie, then you know how effective Video Hypnosis can be at reaching the unconscious mind. With this technology, results usually start with the very first viewing!
Alan B. Densky, Pres.
Video and Audio Hypnosis & NLP CD’s