Hypnotherapy has several advantages over many other
forms of healing and or helping modalities. One study shows Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600
sessions. Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions. Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions. Some 80% of my clients
see major positive changes in one to four sessions. How is this possible? Hypnotherapy is a powerful set of tools that are capable
of producing rapid and profound change. So what are these advantages of hypnotherapy that make it so effective? Using the leverage
of trance states combined with uncovering therapy (hypno-analysis), visualization, guided imagery, regression, hypnotic suggestion
therapy, and other therapy modalities gives an enormous boost to results already heightened by the use of hypnosis.
1. Hypnosis has a powerful mystique that amplifies
the placebo effect.
It has been known
for a long time that pills created from an inactive ingredient, (sugar pills), are highly effective for many people. This
is known as the placebo effect. 80% of persons given a placebo instead of morphine got significant relief from pain. Some
20% more than the real thing! Recent research has shown that the subject’s belief in a treatment positively influences
outcomes. The stronger the belief, the greater the relief. This is thought to be due to the creation of endorphins (feel good
neuro-transmitters) in the brain. The person thinks, “I’m feeling better, I must be getting better.” This
tends toward becoming a cyclic self-fulfilling prophecy. The success of faith healing is probably largely based on this. Popular
views about the near magical mythic qualities of hypnosis, it’s mysterious reputation tinged with
secret occult powers, give people a strong belief or faith that hypnosis will help them, and engage these mechanisms par excellence.
Psychologists usually detest this “dubious” aspect of hypnosis , it’s not respectable, or “scientific”,
and they miss the scientific fact that this can be of enormous benefit to their patients. Medical Doctors have known that
conveying a positive attitude that the patient will recover can be a major part of accomplishing a treatment. In years gone
by they were advised to create a cheerful, positive bedside manner to reassure patients that they could and would get well.
Hypnotists who are not trained in the more extensive tools of hypnotherapy may rely on this for the majority of the benefits
their clients obtain.
2. Relaxation and states of inner peace can be accessed with greater ease.
Though people can enter trance without appearing half asleep, even with their eyes open, it is usual to induce
eye closure and profound relaxation for the inward focus desired for therapeutic purposes. Muscular relaxation is the opposite
of anxiety, this being one of the main actions of tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines, (the Valium family). Anxiety usually
involves the sympathetic, (fight or flight), nervous system, and relaxation causes a lessening of this arousal mode and a
shift over to the parasympathetic mode. Subjectively this is experienced as a state of peace and calm, and if powerful enough,
as a feeling of bliss, allowing a fresh, detached less stressful psychological perspective on current difficulties. Relaxation
may allow deep rest for the system, sometimes for the first time in a long time. It can interrupt a pattern of reaction to
“stress” that can be built upon. This significantly adds to further amplification of the placebo effect as above.
“I feel different, I must be hypnotized, I will get better.” In her book, “Molecules of Emotions.”
Dr. Candace Pert demonstrates how our emotions can literally trigger different hormones in our body. When we are calm and
peaceful, a host of chemicals, such as serotonin and nor-epinephrine, and further endorphins as mentioned above are produced,
promoting and strengthening the immune system. When we are in chaos or fear, the body likewise produces stress chemicals;
which can literally impede our natural daily cell repair.
3. Hypnosis heightens responsiveness to suggestion.
definitions of hypnosis regard it entirely as a state of heightened
responsiveness to suggestion, (hypersuggestibility), though this is a far too limited a description for me personally. This
aspect is used in a sensational fashion during stage hypnosis for entertainment purposes, and is the most
common facet of hypnosis many people have had with contact with. For
therapeutics, suggestion can be used in both direct and indirect ways, for symptom relief, or targeted at emotional processes.
Such as maturation, self-confidence, self-esteem, etc. Also suggestion can
alter physical difficulties. Brain scans of “high responders” to hypnosis show that the pain signals do not reach the
frontal lobes, are kept out of awareness as powerfully as with an anesthetic. Burns can be significantly reduced if the suggestions
are given within the first four hours following the injury, and many skin conditions also respond easily in trance to imagery
suggestions, among others. Books I have by Medical Doctors from eighteen ninety onward describe numerous successful uses of
hypnotic suggestion in cases that were resistant to any other standard forms of treatment.
4. Hypnosis creates a heightened awareness
and knowledge of present and past thoughts and feelings.
The first video I saw of my instructor Gil Boyne using hypnosis, in a class at his Hypnosis Institute, caused
me to exclaim, “You are getting people to tell you things in five or ten minutes that would take six months to a year
in therapy, because they would not know them!” This was my first glimpse of the huge potential value of hypnosis for hypnotherapy. In trance, the general lowering of tension
and defensiveness due to a state of inner calm, allows people to see their past and present difficulties, thoughts and feelings
with greater honesty and clarity, and from a new perspective. With the trust engendered by the hypnotherapist forming a safe non-judgmental emotional environment;
behaviors, thoughts and feelings can emerge that are difficult, distasteful, fearful, or rejected from conscious knowledge
for a variety of reasons. In some cases, difficulties can be resolved with no conscious awareness or recollection on emerging
from the trance state. Levels of understanding not available to the usual here and now consciousness can be initiated. Inner
clarity and wisdom that exists in most persons on some level may be tapped, and become available for problem solving. All
of the following categories of advantages of the hypnotic state for therapy can be amplified by suggestion. In
other words, if buried events are needed to reveal the source of a difficulty, heightened recall can be suggested, or a visualization
in trance of valuable discoveries made in hidden caves can be introduced.
5. Hypnosis leads to a lowering or softening of emotional defenses.
In simple language, trance gives people
a rapid opportunity to have a deeper experience of themself. A deeper and broader experience actually. All human beings develop
ways of blocking thoughts and emotions, known as defenses, in layers, (described by the metaphor of an onion), as they grow
up. These reactions still operate the same way in later stages of life, yielding reactions to current events that do not match.
Current stressful events, which partially overlap some aspect of the past, may trigger a whole reaction pattern, that makes
current stress overwhelming. For example, loss of a love partner may trigger off past deeper subconscious fears of loss of and/or abandonment by a parent
at a very young age, where it is associated with intense survival fear. In trance, when clients connect to or enter into a
deeper emotion, well-documented physical responses occur, almost instantaneously, as the emotion surfaces in a powerful flood.
The face puffs up, tears flow. I have never seen this occur so rapidly, smoothly and strongly with counseling therapy in the
usual conscious state. Also body sensations in the chest, stomach and lower gut can be reconnected to the emotions or thoughts
creating them. This can then be used as a bridge or channel back to the source of the distress, (regression), as follows.
There are many documented clinical reports of persons releasing emotional traumas spontaneously as they enter trance, and
with minimal guidance from a hypnotherapist, client’s can often quickly gain a huge
relief. And because so many difficulties are largely caused by blocked development and emotions trapped behind defenses, a
healing process in general is easily facilitated.
6. Hypnosis can increase access to memory of
the past: Hyperamnesia.
is not uncommon for people to recall life events prior to four years old, back to birth, during their first session
of hypnotherapy. Not usual, but not rare either. The relaxation
of defenses, plus the inward focus of therapeutic trance, allows for both the opening up and intensification of memories.
The past may be recalled with great color and detail, viewed retroactively. Or it may be relived, with regression to that
emotional age, termed revivification. Either can lead to powerful emotional discharges as abreactions or catharsis, known
since Sigmund Freud to possibly produce emotional paradigm shifts than can be highly curative. Several methods as follows
are readily available to help reprocess the events, beliefs and feelings, to reduce any aftereffects of past events, thus
lessening their impact on the client’s present life.
7. Hypnosis can be advantageously combined
with other psycho-therapeutic processes.
Heightened responsiveness to suggestion
gives flexibility of combination with many other therapeutic process. Most forms of modern psychotherapy can be utilized in
trance, where they are far more focused and empowered. They seem so much more real to the entranced client, and intense mental
involvement with any therapeutic process can be the result . The use of the imagination can be easily enhanced. As above,
access to memories and emotions is facilitated. So imaginary dialogues, with aspects of the self or others, (Gestalt Therapy),
can be used. Reframing, the alteration of the harmful meanings and perceptions of past events is simple to engineer. Re-decision
therapy, altering forgotten past decisions made in response to stressful circumstances, with an immature limited consciousness.
“Inner Child” work of all kinds in a very concrete way. Conflicts between different parts of the consciousness
can be accentuated, surfaced, and brought to a win-win conclusion instead of the usual lose-lose conclusion that is the basis
of the difficulty. So hypnosis can be integrated with any combination and permutation
of therapeutic thought and feeling processes, putting a wide range of tools in the hypnotherapist's hands
8. Hypnosis allows blocked emotions and reactions
to be resolved on the level where they were formed.
If one regards the storage of emotional
patterns from a physical or physiological perspective, they seem to be some kind of holistic hologramic electro-chemical circuitry
in the mind/body plane. I have on two occasions guided persons in deep trance to a major emotional insight, and as the connection
was made, it was as if they received a jolt of electricity from the crown of their head to the tip of their toes. (I inform
them on emerging from trance that they can leave double the time till the next session, as I know it will take time to allow
the amount of change to integrate). It was if they had reconnected a major cable in their circuitry. Apart from this it seems
to me in general that work done on deep levels in trance actually corrects/repairs malfunctions in this circuitry, whether
by suggestion and/or emotional processing. I sense that the insight and correction seem to take place on the level and/or
in the area where the difficulty was formed. I cannot account for the rapid, positive and permanent huge gains in thinking,
feeling and behaving that take place in any other way. And this is of course is the result both the client and the hypnotherapist are seeking.