You likely have heard of hypnotherapy but have never experienced it.
Unfortunately, the only exposure most Americans have is stage hypnosis performers. They recall some kid on the football team jumping up and down and excited that they won the lottery whenever they hear the word “Button.” (This happened to my son at his prom)
Therapeutic hypnotherapy is entirely different and deeply powerful in people’s lives.
Have you ever been driving somewhere and suddenly arrived, not recalling any of the journeys? Instead, you had a deep internal focus. Have you ever been so involved in a movie you lost yourself in the story, or perhaps during a run, you were unaware of your body and lost in thought? These are all hypnotic states. Hypnosis is where outside distractions are muted, and your attention is highly focused internally.
You can use your brain in therapeutic ways when you are highly focused.
Hypnotherapy is a fantastic opportunity to think more deeply and clearly. There are several advantages to allowing your brain to be in this highly focused state. A big one for my clients is that you can use this opportunity to let go of old beliefs that no longer serve them.
The experience of hypnotherapy also allows you to dissociate from yourself.
This is a unique experience of looking at yourself from the outside in and inside out simultaneously. When you look at your younger self, your current self, or events that happened in a non-judgmental way, it allows you to reframe its meaning. A “Zooming out,” in a sense, where you see yourself more objectively. One of my mentors, David Spiegel, MD, calls it an “intense dissociation” This allows you to give yourself compassion. This outside-looking experience will enable you to change your narrative and open you up to the willingness to learn something new. For instance, if you are trying to drink less and are in the habit of beating yourself up for not being able to stop, hypnotherapy allows you to take a step back and look at yourself with some emotional distance. As a result, you become more accepting that beating yourself up is never necessary. Not only can you release that notion, but you can easily absorb a new perspective and learn to believe,” your body is an innocent bystander and is a gift that deserves your care.” Pretty cool! Right?!
Next blog, I will touch on how the effects of hypnotherapy can help your physical health.
If you are curious, most of my hypnotherapy training and knowledge come from two thought leaders.
First, Marisa Peer is an expert in hypnosis and the creator of this beautiful tool I use with my clients called RTT, or Rapid Transformational Therapy. Several years ago, I trained with her and continued to base my practice on her techniques. Second, I also learn from David Spiegel, MD, by catching his guest spots online and reading his books. He is a Stanford psychiatrist and has been using hypnosis with his patients for decades, as well as scientifically studying its effects and benefits.