In this article, I discuss how you can learn self-hypnosis.
A lot of hypnotherapists that use hypnosis within their work, sometimes offer a disinterested and unconcerned response to being confronted with such theory and rationale.
Some might incorrectly state that some of the debates, discussions, and points raised in this article are nothing more than “academic debate”. And, as a result, do not have any practical signiﬁcance.
The points I shall be making about the nonstate theories of hypnosis and the cognitive-behavioral conceptualization of hypnosis, do in fact have incredibly important practical beneﬁts and implications. Having an understanding of these things has been shown to lead to the development of hypnotic skills and enhanced responsiveness to hypnosis, which is very important as we learn how to use self-hypnosis. I will later explain this in more depth.
This article then provides the rationale for an explanation of this book’s approach to self-hypnosis. Therapeutic hypnosis is seen and considered by some (hypnotherapists in particular) to be an independent modality of therapy that is comparable to psychodynamic, behavioral, or cognitive approaches to therapy.Learn about hypnosis training accreditation.In recent times though, hypnosis has been used as an adjunct to other forms of psychotherapy.
Hypnotherapy in the modern world is quite different in theory and real life from the traditional approaches. Today, instead of just relying on delivering suggestions to someone who is hypnotized as a means of creating change (which you will also learn how to do in this book), we hypnotherapists also incorporate hypnosis into other well-established psychotherapeutic interventions. The same can be said about how we apply self-hypnosis.
We can subsequently employ a wide range of impressive therapeutic strategies, techniques, and processes within our self-hypnosis sessions, as will be demonstrated within this book. The added beauty of this, is that we get to employ empirically supported interventions in conjunction with our self-hypnosis skills.
When you consider that currently, clinical hetero-hypnosis is not really recognized as an empirically supported treatment for any psychiatric disorder (though getting very close with some applications), does it not make sense for us to be using hypnosis as an adjunct to a therapeutic modality that does?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
For example, hypnosis goes well with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), because many of the processes and techniques used in the ﬁeld of cognitive behavioral therapy (the mental imagery techniques) have real parallels to those used in hypnosis and self- hypnosis. There are some dissenting viewpoints about the level of enhancement that hypnosis offers CBT, often based upon expectancy and belief, as well as the hypnotisability factors that affect results. However, hypnosis has been used as a successful adjunct to CBT for a wide variety of issues and ailments.
The results of the previously mentioned Kirsch et al. (1995) meta-analyses, does indeed suggest that hypnosis may even enhance cognitive behavioral therapy. Other similar studies suggest the same, but the Kirsch et al. Meta-analysis of 18 studies that compared CBT with and without hypnosis as an adjunct, found fairly signiﬁcant improvements when hypnosis was used an adjunct to the treatment. It seems to make sense that we can, therefore, employ a number of strategies from the ﬁeld of CBT within our self-hypnosis sessions.
Learn How To Use Hypnosis
It is an aim of this article that any student of self-hypnosis, therefore, learn how to use hypnosis in a more sophisticated manner than simply delivering suggestions; though we’ll look at how to do that too. Instead, this article aims to incorporate strategies from the ﬁeld of cognitive-behavioral therapy and use self-hypnosis as an adjunct with them.
That is one of the reasons that this article adheres to a cognitive-behavioral approach. However, in order to start using that approach, we need to explain what it actually is. That is, we need to understand how self-hypnosis is conceptualized within this approach before we then learn how to use it to make changes in our lives.
Instead of now asking “what is hypnosis?” We need to ask “what do we mean by the cognitive-behavioral approach to hypnosis?”
The cognitive-behavioral re-conceptualization of hypnosis replaces the often used notion of “hypnotic trance” with its explanation based upon more ordinary psychological processes.
The Founder of Hypnotism
The founder of hypnotism, James Braid, adopted an approach based on the Victorian philosophical psychology known as Scottish “common sense” realism. Hypnotism was discovered by Braid in 1841, and entailed a more common sense psychological explanation of the apparent effects of Mesmerism (a historical precursor of hypnotism). We’ll revisit Braid often in this book.
Braid deﬁned hypnotism as ‘focused attention on an expectant dominant idea or image”. Later, Hippolyte Bernheim, a very important ﬁgure in the history of hypnotism, said that there was no such thing as “hypnosis” other than heightened suggestibility, and named his approach “suggestive therapeutics”.