Frequently Asked Questions
- Definitions of Hypnosis
- History of Hypnosis
- Can I be Hypnotized?
- Will I remember what happened?
- Myths about Hypnosis
- What is NLP
- History of NLP
Definitions of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is defined many ways. Here are some meaningful definitions used in Hypnosis:
“Hypnosis is a state of intensified attention and receptivity to an idea or a set of ideas.” Milton Erickson
“Hypnosis is a particular altered state of selective hyper-suggestibility brought about in an individual by the use of a combination of relaxation, fixation of attention, and suggestion.” Masud Ansari
NOTE: The use of hypnosis for pain control, stress management and more rapid healing has been accepted by the American Medical Association since 1958. Although everyday use of hypnosis hasn’t quite reached mainstream availability here yet, in Europe hypnosis has been used to assist in operations and healing for several decades. The British Medical Association endorsed hypnosis in 1892, and approved the use for child birth, pain, etc. in 1955.
The Definition of Hypnosis given by the US Government covers two parts:
(1) The Bypassing of the critical factor, and (2) The establishing of acceptable selective thinking.
“Bypassing the critical factor” is about getting beyond limiting beliefs. Hypnosis can be used effectively on medical, dental and personal issues. However, if you have the limiting belief that the mind cannot create a powerful change, you will limit your ability to do so.
In hypnosis, this limiting belief can be bypassed. “The establishing of acceptable selective thinking,” the second part of the definition, refers to using hypnosis to guide someone into a receptive state of mind by using a hypnotic induction. Opening the mind to selective thinking creates the mental environment or state of mind that enables you to change limiting beliefs (the ones you acquired during your lifetime), so that you can empower yourself with new and more useful ones.
The hypnotic state is a receptive place, where you are easily able to make useful changes in your life.
You can change limiting beliefs that may have been preventing you from moving forward. Hypnosis is the tool that helps you to reach more receptive levels of your unconscious mind, where you can eliminate unresourceful beliefs and create more useful ones! Taking on New Beliefs that would be enhancing your life now!
Most people can be hypnotized. In fact you probably already are…and just didn’t know it.
You have gone into these “Altered States” literally thousands of times. You do it yourself when you are daydreaming. You enter an altered state when you drive down the road thinking about something …. and you don’t quite remember the trip, but you’re here (self-hypnosis)! You have been hypnotized when you enjoyed a television program (being hypnotized by the media), and you have followed hypnotic and post-hypnotic suggestions when you preferred some brand name that you saw repeatedly on television (hypnotic compounding of suggestion). You have in fact been culturally conditioned your entire life and now you can choose to use it working for you by your own choice, for Your Own good!!!
History of Hypnosis
Hypnosis has been used in one form or another for at least 5000 years (e.g. the sleep temples of Ancient Egypt and Greece) for thousands of years. It is the oldest healing modality on the planet and is useful for all manner of personal changes, medical, dental uses and pain control.
What do you think of when you hear hypnosis? People sometimes think of when they saw it on stage. Stage hypnosis records go back only 200 years. This is where the fear and curiosity developed. It is only recently, in the past 50 years, that hypnosis has been recognized for its true benefits by the AMA (American Medical Association) in America. however, it has been used for just about everything for decades more in Europe and other places.
Over 5000 Years Old
Cultural Perspective – Moving from one culture or time to another.
430 BC – Hippocrates – Hippocrates is known for beginning modern medicine. In discussing illness, he said, “The affliction suffered by the body, the soul sees quite well with the eyes shut.”
960 – Avicenna – a Persian psychologist and physician known as Avicenna (or Ibn Sina in Farsi / Persian) (980-1037) spent many hours with “common” people in the taverns, and wrote “the Book of Healing in 1027. In this book he referred to hypnosis as Al-Wahm Al-Amil which roughly translates to the pleasant dreamy imagination. He stated that one could create conditions in another person so that this person accepts the reality of hypnosis.
1500 – Leonardo da Vinci – used his own version of hypnosis
1527 – Paracelsus elaborated the theory of an influence upon disease / healing with hypnosis. He was also the first to use magnets with hypnosis.
Pre-1600’s Chinese medicine – Sleeping Temples
1628 – Harvey published work on heart and circulation of blood – Medical Science begins
1734 – 1815 – Anton Mesmer
First time – In 1774 Mesmer witnessed animal magnetism
1765 – Franz Anton Mesmer claimed he influenced magnetic fluid to bring about healing
1784 – Ben Franklin and Le Marquis de Puysegur investigate (per Louis XVI request)
End of 19th Century – Animal Magnetism
1837 – John Elliotson organized public clinical demonstration of hypnotic phenomena
1845 – James Esdaile, Scottish surgeon, demonstrated hypnosis techniques in India. Although he performed hundreds of operations under hypnosis, the British rejected the technique.
1841 – James Braid, Manchester doctor, introduced use of the word “hypnosis.”
1884 – Dr. Ambroise & August Liebeault – founder of Nancy School set up “De La Suggestion”
1890 – Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud developed the application of hypnosis
1914 – 1918 Germans used hypnosis for shell-shock
1945 – After – Milton Erickson, David Elman, Richard Bandler, amongst others – developed extensive use of hypnosis by watchful examination. Milton believed that the client had all the resources he needed and the therapist’s job was to connect the client to life-changing resources. He focused on client-centered hypnosis, an indirect process, where David Elman’s practice was more direct and authoritarian.
1987 and after – Dr. Ernest Rossi, Dr. deShazer, and many other professionals have continued research and development of Modern Clinical Hypnotherapy and has helped bringing hypnosis to a more proven science.
1987 – Rich Aanrich formed A Positive Change, now Apositiva, in Portland and in 2001, Cat Wilson joined the team. The team practice and teach Modern Clinical Hypnotherapy through Apositiva Institute in Portland Oregon.
Can I Be Hypnotized?
Most people can be hypnotized in fact you probably already are…and just didn’t know it.
You have gone into these “Altered States” literally thousands of times. In fact it is almost impossible to think of how any intelligent person who was raised in society hadn’t been influenced or indoctrinated (hypnotized). This is called a Consensus trance and is part of how we follow and are influenced by other people in our lives. It is completely natural. We’ve all had it happening since birth…we just didn’t think of it as just another version of hypnosis. So, yes, the good news (or disturbing news, however you want to look at it) is that you can indeed be hypnotized…only this time you will be doing it for your own choices and making your own changes!!!
This time rather than an unconscious consensus, it will be your choice.
Consensus Trance is Involuntary
People have had a lifetime of conditioning of going in and out of Altered States of Consciousness [Trances].
“Conditioning” or “Imprinting” happens naturally in many forms and comes from all of the following life effecting cultural experiences: parents, churches, families, schools, colleges, sports, business, military, medias, peers and many more.
Cultural conditioning is consensus trance. People learn how to think or behave and condition themselves to what the rules are (consciously or unconsciously) according to that culture or system that they have been operating within!
What’s it like to be hypnotized and will I know what’s happening?
Everyone is Different. Everyone experiences altered states differently, and it is OK in whatever way it is experienced by them. It is unwise to presuppose a hypnotic state has to be in a certain way or as it happened to others. Each person’s experience is uniquely their own.
“Everyone reacts differently, according to their own background of personal experience.” Milton Erickson
The experiences in hypnosis are unique to each person. Your experience and those of others are always different in some ways. Please accept that there is no right (same) experience for everyone and that everyone will experience their altered states in different ways.
How You Feel In A Trance
A trance is a normal and natural state. It is a “heightened state,” like a daydream, meditating. Some say it feels like floating as light as clouds in the sky. Trance is represented by a normal range of brain waves, as measured by an Electroencephalogram. We all go through each of these states every day. In a hypnosis session you will be guided into the right states for making the changes that are useful for reaching goals that you have selected and help to design!
The waking state or Beta state has brain waves of from 14 to 40 cycles per second.
The hypnotic state or Alpha state has 8 to 13 cycles per second. REM occurs at high Alpha at end of cycle.
Theta state is deep hypnosis and has 4 to 7 cycles per second.
Delta state or deep sleep state has 1 to 3 cycles per second.
The only thing unnatural about the Alpha state is that we don’t normally recognize it for what it is naturally. Alpha is a focused state of heightened creativity, visualization and emotion.
Hypnosis is Progressive
Clients learn how to enter states of hypnosis and relaxation more quickly with each practice. People will have different, usually more relaxed and responsive states, as they continue experiencing entering altered states. Observe yourself and notice how much you continue to change with each hypnosis experience and self-hypnosis practice! This time you will be learning to direct it for yourself.
Will I remember what happened?
Will I remember what happens during hypnosis and after I come out of my trance? Different people maintain different degrees of consciousness during trance. Some people are proud to report remembering everything that was said during the hypnotic session. Others report remembering certain pieces of their experience, but not much else. Some report little or no memory of their hypnotic experience. Memory functions are quite varied from person to person.
Will I be asleep?
Hypnosis is different than sleep. You will generally notice being nicely relaxed and that you go in and out of consciousness. Sometimes you are very aware of hearing what is being said and other times you mind wanders off and then you cycle back again. You will be touching sleep as you enter the Theta state and becoming more aware again as you move into the Alpha state. It is totally normal to hear and not hear what is being said to you and you don’t have to try to pay attention as your unconscious mind does hear everything that is being said.
Myths about Hypnosis
Myth of the weak mind: There exists a belief that only the weak minded or gullible can be hypnotized. Actually we now know that it is quite different and the opposite is in fact true. People of average and above average intelligence who are capable of concentrating and also those who have active, vivid imaginations make good hypnotic subjects.
Fear of revealing secrets: Genuine concern that they will tell all and reveal some secret from the past. In fact, in hypnosis the subject has greater awareness than when fully awake and retains the powers of selectivity.
Fear of humiliation: Afraid they will be made to look like or act like a fool. Something like they saw on some stage show or movie. In reality the stage show subjects volunteered to participate, and were quite willing to act silly or clown around. The people were there by choice, and knew what they were doing. Volunteer subjects expect to participate in an entertaining show, and these are usually outgoing, fun-loving people who likewise expect to be entertained.
Fear of loss of control: Who would want to lose control of themselves? A hypnotized subject is in full control of themselves. They are fully aware of the environment and completely capable of making decisions. If the subject were presented with an idea or suggestion they would find objectionable in regular consciousness, it would still be objectionable and would be rejected. Hypnosis does not make anyone do anything
Fear of not waking up: Hypnosis is not sleep! Sleep and hypnosis may seem similar, since the subject is relaxed and has their eyes closed; yet there are many differences. One main difference is that the subject is in a relaxed state, but with heightened awareness! If a person fell asleep during a session, they would return to normal consciousness when asked to, or simply awaken after a short nap. They would feel refreshed, relaxed and would have no ill effects at all.
Myth of “I wasn’t hypnotized”: I must not have been hypnotized, because I heard every word you said! This comes from an erroneous expectation that they would be unconscious or asleep. There are no mysterious feelings, no knocked out depths, in being hypnotized and the subjects mind is not taken over nor controlled beyond their own awareness. This expectation and perhaps a demand to have some mysterious experience beyond conscious control or awareness seems to leave some people disappointed and even denying they had any experience at all. These same people may actually have received substantial results and unconscious change. You will feel relaxed with a peaceful feeling when you are ready to enter hypnosis and you will remember everything important for you in the moment.
Real hypnosis is not to be confused with some stage show or movie. You won’t be knocked out and you won’t be in someone’s control. For most people a good hypnosis session is like being guided into a really wonderfully relaxed and receptive state of mind where your mind is allowed to open up past the critical mind and where you will receive the right suggestions for change! Hypnosis is also Progressive and you go to an even deeper place with exposure.
Long Term Benefits
Hypnotherapy is especially effective for pain. Many patients struggle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and will come in to see us as a last resort. Hypnotherapy has been found to reduce health care costs according to studies on long-term effects of hypnotherapy with patients of refractory irritable bowel syndrome. (Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)
What is NLP?
(Neuro Linguistic Programming)
“NLP could be the most important synthesis of knowledge about human communication to emerge since the sixties…” Science Digest
NLP started out in the early seventies primarily as the study of excellence in Human Behavior. The initial question was about how to understand the difference between somebody who is competent about something and someone who is able to excel at something. This study of Subjective Reality and the Modeling of Excellence opened up a new doorway into human possibilities. Two men are at the forefront of the initial studies which has since blossomed into multiplied thousands of skilled students and practitioners all across the world. The first two were John Grinder a Linguistics Professor and Richard Bandler, a Mathematician, musician and Computer Scientist.
That first question on excellence was the in the study of people who were known to operate in very excellent ways such as Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, and Fritz Perls all of which were recognized for their pivotal knowledge and excellence in the field of therapy. Those studies opened the doorway to discovering their Internal Representations engendered a model to understand how we as humans perceive the world, how we organize our thinking, feeling, skills and behaviors.
These initial studies have in many ways changed the way new possibilities for how we can more effectively understand people in every area. Areas including: Therapy, Business, Sports, Learning, Relationships and Life.
‘Neuro’ acknowledges the fact that we process information about the world neurologically, using the brain and the nervous system, and it happens through our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.
‘Linguistic’ refers to the verbal language that we use to communicate with each other both intrinsically and extrinsically with our internal thoughts and our external ‘body language’. It’s how we communicate within ourselves and how we communicate (externally) to others.
‘Programming’ relates to the ‘programs’ or patterns of behavior we all demonstrate: it’s the internal yet unconscious strategy that we use as we organize our thoughts and our behaviors in producing our outcomes.
NLP is about how we work as a whole new paradigm of thinking. It is about helping people make effective and empowering change and to enhance peak states of performance. It is a set of guiding principles, attitudes, knowledge, skills, techniques and a sort of magic in how greatly it enhances our human possibilities.
NLP offers you some of the most powerful communication skills available. Much of our success in life depends on our ability to communicate effectively to others and within our selves.
NLP provides a beacon light that can enable you to uncover, change and transform old behaviors. It also presents interferences into new and resourceful beliefs and successful behaviors. It can move you to make positive and far reaching changes that will affect your life in positive ways and can usually do it in a quicker and more elegant manner than most anything else has been able to do.
NLP is built around the idea that all thought, belief and behavior are inseparable from our neurology (Neuro). It is the way we recognize events and actualize them with the internal strategies (Internal Representations) we use, the sequence of mind/body events is the (Programming). Learning and the language we use (Linguistics). It is about knowing how this processing works for you and others that unleashes for you a set of immensely useful and powerful tools for more effective and desirable outcomes.
The human brain and the body are inseparable and operate very much like a mega-computer. Using information that is programmed into it through life experiences and the adapted behaviors created in each moment, it will operate or react with the same adapted responses until the original programming is replaced.
It is widely known that the majority of all our dominate programming has already happened in the formative years of 0 to 6 years old. Although we don’t want to believe that we are basically operating on automatic and that we are so directed and controlled by earlier programming, denying it doesn’t make it not so. Unfortunately we didn’t come with an owners manual at birth, so we don’t actually know how we operate and we for the most part operate out of a “consensus trance” like reality and without taking determined and courageous steps to understand that go on basically thinking and acting in the same old programmed behaviors throughout our lives and believe that is just the way I am.
It is good to know that when using NLP change for most people can happen easily, painlessly and fast.
We are often told that our brain is the most amazing computer on the planet, but nobody ever gave us an instruction manual on how to use it. The good news is that Neuro-Linguistic Programming was created as a set of tools (software for the mind/body) to update our data and to be able to move toward a truly conscious life with far more excellence and satisfaction that would happen otherwise. NLP offers the tools to make excellence and more satisfying behaviors more easily attainable. It can now happen because if you have some areas where you are achieving excellence or having satisfying behaviors, or if someone else is achieving excellence or satisfying behaviors anywhere, then it can be modeled, detailed, replicated, and enjoyed by you.
“NLP…affords the opportunity to gain flexibility, creativity and greater freedom of action than most of us know how…” Training and Development Journal
NLP is short for Neuro Linguistic Programming, yet the term goes beyond the literal translation. It is art and it is science. It is our sensory response and it is programming. Our response is our nature … to us… until we explore the territory… and discover that our “old map” is not the territory… and we create a new map to fit our new choices. NLP can explain how we do what we do when and where we do it. In the exercises to come, we guide you to understand how to help others and get it in the muscle.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a behavioral technology, which simply means that it is a set of guiding principles, attitudes, and techniques about real-life behavior, and not a removed, scientific theorem. NLP allows you to change, adopt or eliminate behaviors, as you desire, and gives you the ability to choose your mental, emotional, and physical states of well-being.
NLP is based on many useful presuppositions that support the attitude that change is imminent. One of the most important is, NLP is about what works, not what should work. In other words, if what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else, anything else, regardless of whether what you had been doing should have worked. Flexibility is the key element in a given system, the one who is most likely to do well responds to changing (or unchanging) circumstances.
Presuppositions are beliefs that someone practicing NLP will find useful for creating changes in themselves and the world, and do it more easily and effectively. The emphasis here should be on “useful” not whether each one could be proven to be “true”.
Communication is more than what is said verbally.
The body communicates constantly in ways that go far beyond words.
People already have all the resources they need to effect a change.
They just need to find where the resources are and to be able to access them.
Choice is better than no choice. The person with the most options is in control.
People are stuck or unable to make a change because they lack the right choices.
Every behavior has a positive intention connected to it, and within a given context it has value to them or they wouldn’t be doing it.
Like someone binge eating because it brings comfort to them, somehow, in that moment..
If someone else is able to do something, then it can be decoded and accessed to make changes by others.
That even includes us.
The map is not the territory.
Trying to understand or talk about something is only a small part of the actual experience of it. So we create a “map about the territory”. By changing a person’s map, we can then change their reality.
The meaning of your communication is the response you get.
If the way someone is communicating isn’t getting the desired results it means it isn’t working and another way of communicating is needed until the desired results is happening. (Insanity principle. If you always do…).
People work in Patterns.
No one is “broken”. They are following patterns they learned sometime in the past and it over time it has become habitual. More useful ways of doing things are needed to create better patterns. Implementing can help them make a change into doing something they consider more desirable.
History of NLP
NLP was originated by John Grinder (whose background was in linguistics) and Richard Bandler (whose background was in mathematics and gestalt therapy) for the purpose of making explicit models of human excellence. Their first work The Structure of Magic Vol. I & II (1975, 1976) identified the verbal and behavioral patterns of therapists Fritz Perls (the creator of gestalt therapy) and Virginia Satir (internationally renowned family therapist).
Their next work Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Vol. I & II (1975, 1976) examined the verbal and behavioral patterns of Milton Erickson, founder of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and one of the most widely acknowledged and clinically successful psychiatrists of our times. As a result of this earlier work, Grinder and Bandler formalized their modeling techniques and their own individual contributions under the name “Neuro-Linguistic Programming” to symbolize the relationship between the brain, language and the body. The basics of this model has been described in a series of books including Frogs Into Princes (Bandler & Grinder, 1979 ) , Neuro-Linguistic Programming Vol. I (Dilts, Grinder, Bandler, DeLozier, 1980), Reframing(Bandler & Grinder, 1982) and Using Your Brain for A Change (Bandler, 1985).
Over time, developers of NLP have created powerful techniques that are considered highly attuned tools and skills. NLP is highly instrumental in situations requiring communication and change in a wide range of professional areas including: counseling, psychotherapy, education, businesses of health, creativity, law, management, sales, leadership and parenting.
Hundreds of books on NLP and the scope and breadth of its applications continue to expand each year by developers, NLP Master Practitioners and Trainers. NLP is a continually evolving and generative technology that continues to broaden and brighten lives…and appears to be unlimited in its possibilities!
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT US, OR TO SET AN APPOINTMENT CALL: APOSITIVA @ 503-525-0594 or 503-525-0595.