What can you expect?
Here I do my best to offer more of an explanation of how I work and what to expect. I also get into the technical aspects of my approach to hypnosis for those who are interested.
Hypnosis is a Dynamic Natural Process
Due to it’s history and popular image, many people mistake hypnosis for something it is not — a special altered state that renders people open to suggestion.
- Modern research has shown this not to be so. -
Yet modern research also verifies the phenomenon of hypnosis… So what is it?
Well, formal hypnosis (the type you might see happening in a hypnotherapists office or at a stage show) is a process. It’s a process of harnessing a person's natural deeper neuro-cognitive processes through which they shape our everyday experience.
Here's the definition I work by:
“Hypnosis is the use of language and communication to direct attention, lead cognition and seed ideas for the purpose of leading a person into an altered perception of reality.”
THIS is what a hypnotist really does through their rituals and suggestions. But what is really useful to know is that we are doing this to ourselves, all day everyday. Shaping our own perception and experience through our internal communication and processing. Understand this and harness it and you can transform your life for the better in so many ways.
Be careful what you say to yourself… you might just be listening!
We Co-create our Experience of Reality
There is an old Zen Koan hat asks “Who is the great magician that makes the grass green?”
What we perceive as the world around us is not really the world around us, it is the world as it occurs to us. Sure there is something out there — an erratically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup — but we do not get to experience or ‘know’ it directly.
Through our senses and meaning making processes we take the raw data presented to our senses and shape it into experience. WE do this (albeit unconsciously). WE are the magicians that make the grass green as without our acts of perception, there are no images or sounds, only light waves and sound waves.
If this seems a little abstract, remember our perceptions inform (drive even) our behaviour and responses, and that it is not just our perception of the physical world we are are co-creating, it is also our perceptions of our social world.
Think about your emotions — they are driven by your perceptions. Think about your reactions — they are driven by your perceptions. Think about the choices you see in life — they are driven by your perceptions.
By coming to understand HOW you are perceiving, you can begin to repattern your habits of perception, leading to new emotional and behavioural responses and new options and choices.
The Three Levels of Mind
The three levels of mind model is a functional model of the human mind.
Many approaches to hypnosis utilise the notion of the conscious and unconscious mind — Hypnosis Without Trance doesn’t!
Instead we utilise the ideas of Mind and Consciousness, with consciousness as a faculty or tool of the mind.
As a metaphor, think of the mind as a warehouse and full of cool stuff and machinery… but there are no lights!
Consciousness is a torch (flashlight) – it illuminates whatever it shines on and nothing else!
Now remember that definition of hypnosis again… remember the ‘directing attention’ bit?
A key part of what we are doing is directing the torch.
So if the torch is consciousness, what is the stuff and machinery that’s in the warehouse?
Well, the ‘stuff’ is your semantic material – all the ideas and concepts you hold outside of consciousness (the torch is rarely shone towards them) about the world you know and how it works. This includes all your ideas and concepts about who you are (sometimes called ‘the ego’).
The ‘machinery’ represents your cognitive processes – the manipulation of data via thoughts, feelings, imagination, mental imagery internal dialogue etc. Most of our cognitive processes take place outside of consciousness too, but consciousness tends to get more involved with that than it does with the semantic material.
We can think of this as 3 levels of mind:
Consciousness = Conscious awareness along with the sense of ‘I’ and a sense of agency. ‘I am’ and ‘I can’. In our metaphor, it is the torch.
Cognitive Processing = the processing of visual, auditory, kinaesthetic/emotional, olfactory/gustatory and semantic data.
It is the internal ‘theatre of the mind’… but only when your consciousness is paying attention! In our metaphor, it is the machinery.
Semantic Base = all of your belief, ideas, concepts, stories etc. about how life the universe and everything works.
This semantic materiel essentially equated to the rules by which we operate and respond in life. It is the main operating system, if you like. In our original metaphor, it is the stuff!
It is through the interaction and interplay of these three levels of mind, in relation to the world around us, that essentially
dictates a person's experience in life.
Consciousness and Generative Change
Using this model, I work quite differently from traditionally hypnosis. Traditional hypnosis wants to bypass the ‘conscious mind’ to work with the ‘unconscious mind’.
With Hypnosis Without Trance we are interested in working with ourselves as whole systems, understanding and utilising all 3 levels of mind.
Consciousness has a key role to play in experience and change, so we need to know how to lead it and why.
When using Hypnosis Without Trance, we are often using consciousness as a conduit for transformative feedback. It is the channel through which we connect the system back into itself to create an amplifying generative change loop, a new pattern of thought!
Let's Work Together