What do you think of when I say the word hypnosis? Do you think of mind control? Or perhaps you think of someone strutting around a stage doing the funky chicken? Or of a strange-looking man telling you to ‘look into my eyes’…. Or perhaps you think that hypnosis only works on the weak-minded and people who can’t think for themselves. And finally you might ask yourself what the heck does hypnosis have to do with NLP anyway?!
So here’s the simple truth – hypnosis has nothing to do with losing control, being weak-minded or controlled by someone else. It’s not about being zonked out or asleep. Trance is a normal state of relaxed consciousness and light trance feels no different from gentle relaxation. You’re always in control and you remain aware of everything at all times. And if I suggest to you to do the funky chicken dance, you’ll only do it if it fits your values and beliefs. If it doesn’t, you won’t. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. There is no hypnosis unless you participate actively and voluntarily. It takes practice – the more you do it the better you get.
Humour me for a second and close your eyes. That’s right…….. That’s what trance feels like. Trance is a normal, familiar, daily state for all of us. I have to say that I breathed a huge sigh of relief when GPS’s/Sat Navs came into general use. I was so great at going into trance when I was driving that I was forever ‘waking up’ and scaring myself that I’d missed my exit from the highway! Sometimes it took a long time for the next exit to appear to confirm or deny whether I was driving extra miles out of my way or not!! Or perhaps you’re in a lift and watching the numbers change from 1 to 2 to 3, 4, 5, 6 ….. the doors open and you just stand there staring. Then just as the doors start to close you jump awake… is this 7… it’s my floor… and make a dive to get out! That’s trance.
Hypnosis is just a guided, facilitated trance that helps you gain access to, and enables you to communicate more effectively with, your unconscious mind. It’s a state where your unconscious mind is more suggestible and you can make or reinforce change very effectively. For those of you that say – you can’t hypnotize me – you’re dead right. Only you can take yourself into trance. But if you say you can’t be hypnotised then that means you’re saying you are incapable of following a few simple instructions.
But we’re back to that question again – what does hypnosis have to do with NLP? Well NLP started with Richard Bandler and John Grinder modelling 3 exceptional therapists – Virginia Satir, renowned family therapist, Fritz Perls, originator of Gestalt Therapy and last, but definitely not least, Milton Erickson, renowned hypnotherapist who saw up to 14 clients a day for 60 years from 1920 to 1980. Why did they model these people? Well they could see they were excellent communicators and they wanted to model their success to teach to others. They were trying to find out what it was that each of these outstanding individuals did with language to create change so successfully in their clients.
So that was just the start and I’m sure I’ll be coming back to hypnosis and some of the great things you can achieve with it. It will certainly be coming up again in the think yourself thin series. I’ll be writing at a later date about Milton Model – a collection of langauge patterns that all have some sort of ambiguity built-in to elicit the curiosity of your unconscious mind. These patterns have been cleverly used by more than one savvy political speech writer, and the odd spin doctor, to make you think that a politician can only be talking to you. And in 3 weeks time I’m off to see two of the masters at work – or as the promoters would have us say ‘the boys are back in town’ – as I’ll be spending a couple of days in the company of Richard Bandler and Paul McKenna to Get the Life You Want….. Watch out for my review around the first week of October.
So what’s your point of view or your experience of hypnosis?
[Picture credit – Microsoft Clip Art]
© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- Will Hypnotherapy Help You Stop Smoking? (everydayhealth.com)
- HYPNOSIS: MYTHS vs. FACTS (intellectualferment.wordpress.com)
- What Is Hypnosis? (psychology.about.com)
- The Magic of Hypnotherapy (alwayswellwithin.com)