What exactly is hypnosis? Is it the same thing as “mind control,” or is it something else? Unfortunately, the preconceptions people have about hypnosis and hypnotherapy can lead them to run the other way when the use of these powerful tools is suggested. In fact, they would be much better served if they were to explore hypnosis-based healing and its tremendous power to help people modify their behavior, and experience mood modification and deep psychological healing.
Like many tools and techniques, hypnosis can be used to accomplish “mind control” with nefarious motivations as well as intentions that are pure and therapeutic. This article from Decision Making Confidence uses direct and accessible language to describe what hypnosis is, and covers the issue of how it can be administered covertly by unethical practitioners, including cult leaders and advertisers.
In clinical practice, hypnosis is a process that is done overtly, and only with the full consent of the client. It is extremely effective at helping individuals to abandon undesired behaviors and engage in self-affirming ones that are in alignment with their objectives and goals.
The client undergoing hypnosis is placed into a relaxed state of mind, which allows the active, rational consciousness to slow down so that there is greater access to the subconscious part of the mind. This state, also known as the trance state, is a natural condition that people experience as a matter of course in their daily lives. Activities such as watching TV, playing computer games, knitting, crafting, and even highway driving can induce the trance state.
In hypnosis, the client’s relaxed state of mind increases suggestibility. This is how the clinical hypnotist can teach the client to reduce an impulse to indulge in an addiction or eating disorder. It is also possible to induce the client to perform at optimal levels on a test or in an athletic or artistic endeavor, or to manage pain, anxiety, and physical distress.
With reinforcement, usually through a recording provided to the client, the suggestions and affirmations developed during the session can become a new “program” that helps clients lead more productive lives.
This kind of “hypnosis healing” as a technique for modifying behavior can also be used to augment the deeper transformation that takes place with clinical hypnotherapy. Mood modification can also be accomplished through hypnosis to some degree, but the effects are more lasting with the deeper and more nuanced procedures involved in hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is a much more intricate process than hypnosis. As it is taught and practiced at The Wellness Institute, Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy™ includes hypnosis, but goes much further. Once the trance state is achieved, clients are given the opportunity to explore core emotions that underlie their issues and problems. After expressing these feelings fully, the client is taken back through two age regressions.
The age regressions allow the client to revisit events that are at the source of disconcerting emotions they experience in the present. By engaging in a corrective experience, whereby that younger version is permitted to safely express emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, loneliness, abandonment, hurt, shame, and feeling “not good enough,” in that regressed state, the client can heal. They are led to examine the old ideas they took on at the time of a traumatic experience, and the behavior they chose as a result.
After this is completed, the client transforms these old conclusions and decisions, and creates new ones that are life-affirming. In this way, a neglected child who concluded “I’m not important, so I allow everyone around me to take advantage of me” can transform his or her self-assessment into “I and my feelings do matter, and I create healthy boundaries that allow me to find fulfillment in my life.”
Often, especially where an addiction or an emotion such as anxiety or shame is present, the hypnotherapist will use hypnosis in order to help the client install healthy behaviors. They might work together to “turn down” the intensity of an unwanted feeling, or they could collapse the “anchors” to which the client might be bound through self-destructive behaviors by identifying them as repulsive and totally undesirable.
Hypnotherapy sessions always end with healing that includes work with the inner child and “parts,” such as self-esteem or trust, that may have been lost at the time of a childhood trauma. The client is also encouraged to notice the connections between the original expression of the issues brought into the session and the events revisited in the regressions.
Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy™ is an exceptionally powerful tool for healing through changes in behavior and mood modification. Going back to the source of feelings and issues allows clients to discover the reasons behind the cravings they have for substances that soothe or numb their negative feelings. Once this is accomplished, it’s far easier to let go of addictions and behavior patterns that come between clients and their happiness.
At the Wellness Institute, you can learn hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Try the Introduction to Hypnosis course to learn about the nature of hypnosis, how to induce trance, and how to motivate clients to engage in healthy behavior. There are experiential as well as didactic presentations, and participants will learn how to use hypnosis to help clients manage pain, modify behavior, and break bad habits. This course is open to mental health professionals as well as other practitioners in the helping profession, from acupuncturists and massage therapists to energy healers of all kinds.
The Six Day Hypnotherapy Training and Certification Program is designed for mental health and medical professionals. It provides training and information about hypnosis along with the deeper experience of learning how to conduct full Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy™ sessions. You will learn how to use hypnosis and hypnotherapy to treat codependency, addictions, eating disorders, relationship addictions, and the disorders that arise from them, including anxiety, depression, and even DID.
Participants also experience their own healing through hypnotherapy through exchanging sessions with their peers, under the close supervision of experienced Advanced Certified Heart-Centered Hypnotherapists. After completion of this program and the requisite practice sessions post-graduation, you will receive full certification as a Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Many graduates of the Six Day Training and Certification Program elect to continue their training in The Wellness Institute’s advanced training programs. These include the Advanced Internship, Personal Transformation Intensive Leadership Training, and Mentorship. These courses are eligible for CE credit in many instances. Read more about these programs on our website, and enroll in the hypnosis or hypnotherapy program of your choice.