Frequently asked questions
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a name that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language and programming.
NLP was developed initially as an alternative school of psychotherapy in California, USA, during the mid-seventies. It was initiated by John Grinder, a linguistic professor, and Richard Bandler, a mathematician, at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).
Since around 1980, NLP has transformed itself from a mere alternative tool to psychotherapy to a full-fledged methodology of "communicational psychology", which assists its practitioners in such areas as personal development, creativity enhancement, increased performance, improved communicational skills, accelerated learning, and the achievement of personal health and well-being.
NLP provides us with a set of models of the world; they are called NLP presuppositions. NLP doesn't claim that they are necessarily true, but they are extremely powerful in the sense that they will assist those who follow those models of the world in achieving more easily what they really want to achieve.
Hypnosis and NLP both influence the subconscious mind and when they are combined they become a powerful tool for human achievement. With Hypnosis and NLP one can give suggestions directly to the subconscious mind. Once accepted, these empowering suggestions can expand your energy, skills and resources, thus encouraging your desired changes which move you towards achieving your goals.
It is a pleasant, voluntary, state of relaxed attentive concentration, an altered state of consciousness, during which the conscious critical mind is relaxed and relatively inactive, and the doorway to the subconscious, inner mind is opened with a person’s permission. In this comfortable state, suggestibility is heightened, mental absorption is increased, the senses are heightened, and the imagination is activated in a controlled manner. The inner mind is more receptive to acceptable, beneficial suggestions.
No. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing subject. Your hypnotist must have your full cooperation.
People who are hypnotized will not do anything in Hypnosis that they would not do in the waking state. This applies as well to sexual acts. Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship. When you are in hypnosis, you are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your values and morals.
No. Strength of mind really has little to do with it. Either a weak-minded or strong minded person who resists will make a poor hypnotic subject. On the other hand, a weak or strong-minded person who cooperates will be a good subject. However, because Hypnosis helps a person gain greater control over both mind and body, it can help a person develop a stronger mind.
No. When a person is in Hypnosis, they are not asleep. He or she is very much aware of all that is going on. In actuality, in Hypnosis, one’s senses become heightened and more acute. Of course, if a person is tired, it is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis. However, then, the subject is asleep and no longer in hypnosis. In actuality, when this occurs, the state of sleep is a light but relaxing state of sleep. A simple suggestion to wake up given by the hypnotist is all that is required to rouse up the subject.
No it is not possible. You cannot get stuck in Hypnosis because you do not lose control when you are hypnotized. Hypnosis is a cooperative relationship. When you are hypnotized, you retain full control over your mind and your body. Sometimes, people feel so relaxed and comfortable in Hypnosis that they may wish to remain in that state for a little longer. However, a simple suggestion for awakening (or alerting) is all that is needed to bring a subject back into the Waking State even if the subject has fallen asleep. Additionally, when the hypnotist stops talking, the subject will soon awaken on his own. Most importantly, you can come out of hypnosis any time you want.
No. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You retain full control over what you say. Subjects in Hypnosis reveal no secrets in the Hypnotic State that they would not reveal (because they want to) in the Waking State.
No. This is not what happens in Therapeutic or Clinical Hypnosis. On the other hand, volunteers during Stage Hypnosis Show, which is for entertainment purposes only, will typically go along with the Stage Hypnotist’s suggestions as long as it is all in good fun and for entertainment purposes. This is not the context of Clinical Hypnosis.
No. Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship or a power relationship. It is not about "zap, you are under my power!" like Svengali type stuff. Hypnosis is a cooperative and collaborative relationship. The subject retains full control and responsibility for his or her actions at all times. This myth comes from old movies and novels such as the old novel "Trilby".
No. A person can resist going into Hypnosis or being hypnotized anytime he or she desires, regardless of how many times he has been hypnotized.
People can be hypnotized at any age. The early years of life are the developmental stage when pre-adolescents, adolescents, and young adults are most fantasy prone and capable of employing that trait to benefit from hypnosis. Nevertheless, children can be helped to solve their problems with the tool of hypnosis as can middle aged and older people.
Persons who are clinically insane are typically out of touch with reality and have difficulty concentrating. The ability to sustain concentration and the ability to follow instructions are necessary prerequisites to being able to be hypnotized. Thus, clinically insane persons can be very difficult subjects. Nevertheless, there are clinical practitioners who specialize in working therapeutically with this population, and some of these practitioners do have the training to use the hypnosis tool effectively and therapeutically in selected cases.
Anyone who can pay attention and follow instructions can be hypnotized if they want to be. People will vary however, as to the extent or depth to which they can be hypnotized.
They are mainly the desire to be hypnotized and to experience Hypnosis, the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.
For most purposes, deep hypnosis is not necessary and, in a therapeutic setting, a light degree of Hypnosis is all that is necessary for experiencing the therapeutic benefits of Hypnosis. In other words, we typically do not need or aim for Deep Trance. The therapeutic subject (the patient or client) is awake and aware of everything that is going on, but very relaxed.
Most definitely yes. Repeated conditioning can improve the depth of relaxation, concentration and absorption that a patient or client can attain. Also, strong motivation is a plus. A poor subject with a strong desire to benefit from Hypnosis to get relief from a problem can become a very good subject. Additionally, a "poor" subject can become a better subject to the extent that the Hypnotist instils confidence and helps the subject diminish anxiety and fear.
It is a method of inducing the hypnotic state. There are numerous ways of inducing hypnosis. Most clinicians who practice hypnosis have their favourites. However, it is important for a clinician to choose a hypnosis induction method that fits the needs of the client or patient. The hypnosis professional gives you carefully worded instructions to follow with the goal of helping you enter a state of deep relaxation and focused attention. This is called the hypnosis induction. For this hypnosis induction to be effective, you must cooperate as an active participant in the process.
This occurs first and foremost with the subject’s permission and cooperation. By following the "hypnotist's" instructions, you become more suggestible. When you are in this altered state of increased suggestibility, your mental "clutter" is cleared away so that you can pay attention to the hypnotist's suggestions and be open to experiencing new perspectives and solutions to your problem. In this "hypnotic trance state", you remain aware of everything that is going on, but at the same time, you become increasingly absorbed in using your imagination as directed by the "hypnotist".
Once the Hypnotic State is induced and the doorway to the Subconscious Mind is opened, with your permission, the competent Hypnotist can provide information, in a language and form that the Subconscious can accept, to help you change the behaviours, feelings and thoughts that you want to change. We utilize the fact that the Subconscious Mind has the ability (actually the tendency) to accept what it imagines as real. This can greatly reduce the felt stress of changing unhealthy habits to healthier habits.
The Subconscious part of the mind, or the Inner Mind, controls all of our living functions that keep us alive, as well as all of our automatic behaviour patterns. But, the Subconscious is not as easily communicated with as is the Conscious Mind. Information is imprinted in the Subconscious essentially in three ways: through trauma, through repetition, and through the language of Hypnosis. Thus, Hypnosis is the quickest and most efficient way to impress the Subconscious and imprint changes in behaviours, attitudes, beliefs and feelings. The upshot is that making changes in long-standing, core habits (e.g., eating patterns, smoking, emotional reactivity, coping responses) often creates internal discomfort and stress. Old habits cling and typically resist efforts to change them. This can be because of Conscious conflict about changing, but it can also be the result of conflict between the Conscious and the Subconscious parts of the mind. That is, you consciously may want to change and may have decided to change, but the Subconscious does not know this. If it did, it would help you, but it often has no way of knowing that you consciously want to change. So, it continues to control the old behavioural habits and this creates and perpetuates inner conflict. Once the Subconscious is informed that you want to change, and once it knows that it is in your best interest to be helped to change, it has no choice but to help you change. Then, the two parts to the mind, Conscious and Subconscious, can work together in cooperation with little tension, upset, or stress. Remember, what you can conceive you can achieve, and the Subconscious has a tendency to accept what it imagines as real.
Hypnosis by itself is not a "cure". It is a tool to be used in therapy or treatment by a professional who is qualified to render that treatment. Medical treatments must be supervised by a medical physician. Similarly, psychological treatments for emotional or psychological problems must be supervised by a qualified psychology or mental health practitioner.
Hypnosis carries very few risks. Hypnosis may be contraindicated for individuals with certain medical problems, or who are intoxicated or are actively abusing drugs or alcohol, or who are delusional or hallucinatory. Hypnosis should not be used for physical problems without the client first having consulted a physician to determine or eliminate any underlying physical causes.