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What are the most common types of hypnosis?

Types Of Hypnosis

John McGrail, C.Ht. (Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist) gives expert video advice on: What are the most common types of hypnosis? and more...

What are the most common types of hypnosis?

There really aren't different types of hypnosis. Hypnosis is a state of conscious awareness in which a person is very, very relaxed and very open to suggestion. Hypnosis can be used in a variety of modalities, therapeutic modalities, for instance. Therapeutic imagery utilizes the trans state of hypnosis to help people use imagery, which is basically how our brains work anyway. We think in pictures, so we use a lot imagery as a discipline, and use that very relaxed state to help people visualize or envision either the state they want to be in, or forget the state they were in. S,o there aren't types of hypnosis, but it is used as a tool in a variety of different modalities.

What is "therapeutic hypnosis"?

“Therapeutic hypnosis” is very simple to explain. It is using the state of hypnosis to effect some therapeutic change. Now that change can be anything from an unwanted or unhealthy habit--like smoking cigarettes, being overweight, biting your nails, pulling your hair or grinding you teeth--to a medical condition like chronic pain, irritable bowel, fibromyalgia and a variety of others. Also there's a whole spectrum of things in between: fears and phobias. If you can basically consider the spectrum of human behavior, therapeutic hypnosis probably can be used and is used at some level to treat unwanted or unhealthy behaviors, habits and emotions and help a person adapt, take on and start expressing new ones. And that can be anything from psychiatric problems to something as simple as biting one's nails.

What is "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" or "NLP"?

Neuro-linguistic programming can be termed, I suppose, a technology. It attempts to, and as much as can be done, quantify and codify how and why we behave the way we do. It was developed in the 70s by a couple of guys named John Grinder and Richard Bandler. Grinder was a linguistic, and Bandler was a behaviorist. And what they basically said was, "How come people behave the way they do? Why are some people so successful, and others not, even though they grew up in the same environment?" And so they looked at hypnotherapy, they looked at gestalt psychology, they looked at some of the leading edge work in all the behavior sciences, and they came up with a system, if you will, to codify behavior. If you take the three words, for instance, "neuro" simply is how we perceive our world through our nervous system: sight, sound, smell, taste, and of course feelings. Linguistic is the communication - the language and other non-verbal communication tools and strategies that we use to go about doing what we do, living and interacting with the world. And then programming basically refers to the programs that a person uses, the strategies, if you will, to get through their life and achieve the goals and outcomes they desire. So if you take those three together, it's how we perceive, how we put out, and the programs we use. NLP helps us understand how and why we develop the behavioral strategies we do. And in knowing that, we can use tools to help change those strategies if it's appropriate.

What is "anchoring"?

Anchoring is a technique that we use to help a person remember something. Anchoring can be something as simple as squeezing two fingers together to remember not to think about being afraid to speak in public, or to take a deep breath and calm down. So anchoring is a way of utilizing the mind-body connection to produce a certain behavioral or emotional result, and we use it extensively in hypnotherapy.

What is "submodality modification"?

Submodality modification is a very big word for basically saying instead of being scared, be calm. If you think about the way people act and interact with one another and with the world, submodalities would be considered how do you feel fear? What is your fear response and how does it work? To modify that fear response we would perhaps use an anger or some sort of a trigger to elicit deep breathing and a vision of calm and that sort of thing. So it's a very big word for a very simple process. It's basically changing the way you think or feel.

What is "Therapeutic Imagery"?

How do you think? You think in pictures. If I say “think of your mom" whether you like her or not, you see a picture. If I say “think of your dog" you see a picture, or your house or your car. The human mind thinks in pictures, basically, and therapeutic imagery uses that facility the way the mind thinks to create feelings. And, sometimes it can be something as simple, or actually not simple, but as complex as, something that's really repressed. And a person doesn't have the where with all the ability to talk about something that really bothering them. If we allow them to create an image that represents that issue through examining and interacting with the image, often in a trance state they give themselves that permission to explore the issue. It can be a very, very powerful tool because it allows people to explore and often transcend issues in a very safe way. And it's usually the way the brain works. We think in pictures, it's a very powerful tool, Use it a lot.

What is the "Emotional Freedom Technique" or "EFT"?

Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT, is actually a cognitive modality. It's a very interesting tool and it can be extremely powerful in helping people with either a physical or emotional issue. EFT borrows from two ancient techniques: acupuncture and kinesiology, and basically the theory behind EFT is that we are energy machines and that's not very much of a stretch. We are energy machines and I could give you the McGrail theory of energy but maybe another time. But EFT says we have this energy flowing through us and if there's an emotional or physical disease, then there's a natural block in the flow of energy. Of course they've proven that we have seven charkas and the energy centers are no longer in the world or milieu of the new agers, it's proven that we have this. What EFT does through a series of tapping procedures in various parts of the body, is unblock the flow of energy. Now, it's done in a cognitive way, in other words, the person isn't in any sort of hypnotic trance. The person is normally awake and aware and it's my opinion that one of the reasons EFT is so powerful is that through the tapping the person is actually affirming that they have an issue and accepting themselves even though they have the issue. To see it in action is amazing because issues very often disappear in minutes. We don't know exactly how Emotional Freedom Technique works but again, we don't know how exactly aspirin works, but it's a very powerful tool for some people.

What is timeline therapy?

Timeline is a marvelous tool that allows us to visualize our experience in terms of time. So we can look at negative emotional patterns like chronic anger or sadness or fear or guilt or a limiting belief like "I'm not good enough" in terms of "When did I learn that?" Since we learn almost all of our emotions, our beliefs, our values, our attitudes and how we act and react to the world, we can travel back along our timeline and look at some of those moments of learning and then say, "What can I learn now from that moment that allows me to release this?" It is amazing how powerful healing that can be, and I have seen people, in the course of 15 or 20 minutes, release a lifetime of anger or excessive sadness or fear or guilt, simply by using the concept of time. Then we can have them go into the future and see themselves not having the problem anymore, in fact, not being able to remember what that problem was. Of course, they're in a light state of trance when they do this work and suddenly, they realize, "Hey, you know what? There's not only hope. I've seen myself out there. I know what's going to happen." Once we establish that expectation, the mind will take care of the rest, and this is the clear benefit of using timeline.