How does it feel to be hypnotised?
Hypnosis is an individual experience that often is dominated by a distinct state of deep relaxation that you allow yourself to enter. The individual remains in control and can choose to come out of hypnosis at anytime, where the therapist uses techniques to enhance the self-regulation of the individual in their experience.
Hypnotic states can be deeply moving and allow states of reverie, learning and a deeper sense of personal awareness. Hypnosis generally involves a number of psychological processes, often the absorption of attention, an enhanced imagination, relaxation, receptiveness to memories, imagery, consciousness and feelings. Theorists note the decrease in the levels of stress, anxiety and an enhancement of creative visualisation.
To me, the experience has so often been tranquil, moving, where I have felt a greater connection with myself, my awareness, my dreams.
You might relate to my personal example of an everyday trance that most of us will have experienced in some form.
‘Have you ever watched a film so profoundly relaxing, that you become so absorbed into the images and atmosphere that you begin to drift in and out of awareness? You might fall asleep for a while and see the images on the screen and on awaking you may not remember what was the film and what was the dream?
The film has ended and time has just disappeared as if it were just a brief moment. You wonder at when and how you have moved between both realities, with sense of entrancement and reverie. You feel heavy and peaceful in the relaxation that you fall in and out of’.
Maybe you have read a book and loose the thread of time as you are deeply engrossed. Or you have laid on the bed listening to music and let it transport you away into daydreams.
Often we experience the state of a natural trance in between sleep and waking up, hence the name of hypnosis, named after Hypnos, the Greek God of Sleep. There are moments for all of us, we have a pleasurable and engrossing dream, but in the distance, we know it is time to awaken!
There are many everyday trance phenomena, from age regression by listening to old songs that we remember, books that engross us, to habitual trances when we walk or drive the same route and go on automatic pilot to where we should not be.
For others’, it is the concerns and thoughts that cannot leave the mind and you just wish the racing mind would shut up! In fact in, “Trances People Live” by psychotherapist Wolinsky, suggests every day insecurities, traumas and psychological concerns become overriding trances and can consume our identities. In fact the role of the hypnotherapist can be to de-hypnotise clients from their trance phenomena, as they form the way a client creates, magnifies and perceives their issue.
Natural states where the individual seeks altered states of consciousness are in meditation practices, yoga and controlled breathing. Sometimes the mind naturally wanders in daydreaming, focusing on internal processes like in sport, or external stimuli, like music or films as well as in natural states before waking and as a person falls asleep. Some theorists suggest in the negatives states we are self-hypnotising and reinforcing behaviour through intrusive thoughts on a problem. Certainly the natural trances we enter are not necessarily happy ones and sometimes the therapeutic intervention to see these concerns differently is needed through the induction of a formal and therapeutic trance state.
The main characteristics of altered states of consciousness are:
A. Alterations in thinking. B. Changes in perception of time.
C. Increased relaxation. D. Increased spontaneity
E. Changes in emotional expression. F. Changes in bodily perception.
G. Perceptual distortions. H. Change in meaning or significance.
I. Sense of connection and the transcendent. J. Feelings of rejuvenation.
Hypnosis is a deeply unique experience and varies between experiences and ultimately as a learnt state, people can learn to develop their own self-hypnosis and be aware of how to enhance and respond to their own experiences.
Adam Prince | Counselling | Psychotherapy | Hypnotherapy | Manchester | 0161 2355187 | 07722405823 | firstname.lastname@example.org