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Different Kinds of Hypnosis Phenomena (part 2)
The term “hypnosis phenomena” refers to the different kinds of responses that can be elicited from a person who has been put into a hypnotic state.
In some cases these responses also happen on their own without any suggestion coming from the hypnotherapist.
Most of these phenomena are employed during hypnotherapy to assist with one kind of therapeutic change or another.
The majority of these hypnotic phenomena can also be achieved, at least on some level, outside of hypnotherapy sessions in ordinary life. Here is a brief outline, in alphabetical order, of the major types of hypnotic phenomena that a hypnotherapist is likely to employ during hypnotherapy sessions.
5) Mental Rehearsal
Mental rehearsal, sometimes also referred to as “future pacing”, is often used by athletes or other performers to rehearse an upcoming performance in their mind prior to the actual execution of it.
It can also be used to help people achieve any kind of goal, and hypnotherapists often employ it not only for performance rehearsal but to help people imagine where they want to be in 2 years, for example.
Future pacing is a surprisingly powerful tool, and it seems to be the case that what you tend to focus on is what you are most likely to end up with. People who dwell on negative possibilities can benefit greatly from some guided future pacing to refocus them onto better possibilities.
There are two sides to hallucination: there is “positive hallucination” in which the mind adds something into your perception which isn’t actually there, and there is “negative hallucination” in which the mind takes away or overlooks something that is in fact there.
Both of these can happen in everyday life to some extent, when you see a rope in the dark and imagine that it is a snake, or when you look all over for your house keys when they’ve been in your hand already the whole time, for example.
Hypnotherapists will sometimes employ positive hallucination in order to discourage certain habits in their patients. For example the hypnotherapist might condition the patient to associate smoking cigarettes with the smell of rotting garbage by inducing a hallucination of the horrible smell.
7) Automatic Writing & Ideo-motor Response (IMR)
Ideo-motor response refers to a movement in response to an idea. Hypnotherapists will often use IMR in order to communicate directly with the subconscious mind of their patient, having them move one finger for a “yes” and another one for a “no”, for instance.
IMRs also occur sometimes in real life, like when you put your food down on an imaginary brake pedal as the passenger in a car that nearly gets into a crash. Automatic writing is also a type of IMR in which the subconscious mind is allowed to express itself in writing directly, without the need for the conscious mind. If the client is able to distance their conscious mind from what their hand is writing, you can often come up with some very interesting as well as telling results.
8) Post-hypnotic Suggestion
This is not so much a technique as a fundamental aspect of hypnotherapy itself. After all hypnotherapy wouldn’t be worth very much if its power to suggest wasn’t able to last beyond the sessions themselves.
Post-hypnotic suggestion refers to any kind of suggestion made during hypnosis that has consequences in the patient’s life beyond the session. The suggestion to quit smoking, for instance, stays in effect long after the patient has left the hypnotherapy clinic and continues to help them to resist the urge to smoke.
9) Regression or Revivification
Both of these phenomena are about going back to a past event to experience it over again. With “regression”, a patient is able to see the event at a distance and reflect on it in a different way from which they originally experienced it. With “revivification”, on the other hand, the patient relives the experience exactly as before as if they were really there, not being aware that they are viewing the experience again for therapeutic purposes.
Hypnotherapists often employ this phenomenon in order to let patients sort out unresolved issues from their pasts. To some extent both regression and revivification occur naturally in ordinary life through dreaming.
10) Time Distortion
This is another natural aspect of hypnosis that doesn’t necessarily need to be brought about by the therapist intentionally. Many people find that after only a few minutes of hypnosis they feel like an hour or more has passed.
On the other hand, some people who have been under hypnosis for an hour or more will feel upon coming to that they have only been under for a couple of minutes. This also occurs naturally in everyday life to some extent, like when time flies by when you are enjoying yourself but seems to drag on forever when you are at work or school and waiting for four o’clock to come.
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