The article below summarizes the video above.
There are many varying views and explanations about how hypnosis works. Many first impressions of hypnosis are from a movie or a television show, where the experience of hypnosis, and what the hypnotist can do, is overly dramatized. Here at The Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis, we make hypnosis make sense. In the spirit of that mandate, we’ve written this three-step explanation of hypnosis that does away with the concept of the unconscious mind altogether.
The first component is understanding that people are affected by the speech of others. Imagine sitting in a lecture hall listening to a speaker, and being absorbed by their words. You become completely transfixed by the speaker and their words. A common misconception of hypnosis is that you have to be gullible or weak-willed in order to be hypnotized, but this is simply not the case. In such an experience in a lecture or talk, which most people experience at least once in their lifetime, you are not thinking critically or analytically about what is being said, especially if you respect or admire the speaker. You are simply taking it all in. When you attend such a speech or lecture, you are able to be influenced by the words spoken.
Your opinions, perspectives, thoughts and knowledge will be affected. A very good speaker or lecturer can alter the way you think about a topic for the rest of your life. So the first human character hypnosis makes use of is our ability to be affected by another person’s well chosen, and well spoken words.
The second component is that hypnosis feels like that state of mind when you are half-awake and half-asleep. A very common misconception is that someone in hypnosis is in fact, asleep. This misconception stems for hypnotists use of the word “unconscious”, referring to the unconscious mind. Instead, someone in hypnosis will have their attention focused inward, meaning they are not as attentive to the outside world — yet they are awake and able to hear what is being said.
As hypnosis is like being in the state of mind you are in when you are drifting off to sleep at night or waking up in the morning, this allows for the client to more easily accept the ideas put forth by the hypnotist. Have you ever nodded off on a train or in a chair? It’s such a state where you are not thinking as logically or rationally as you are in an awakened state; often your imagination seems to take a life of its own. You have some of the most original or bizarre ideas that you take as a matter of fact. Hypnosis puts you in a similar state where you are not fully asleep, nor are you awake and alert.
In that half-awake, half-asleep state, the hypnotist’s words guide your thoughts and your imagination. In this state, you are not under the control of the hypnotist. Even the greatest speaker would not be able to convince you of any idea that you refuse to accept. The state of hypnosis makes people more suggestible — it cannot make anybody completely suggestible. It is up to the client to take on the ideas, to listen and learn new attitudes carefully.
The third component is to understand that the hypnotist-client relationship is like a teacher-student relationship. Imagine the hypnotist is a golf instructor and you are the student showing up to learn how to play golf. The instructor can teach you, and show you with words by painting mental images, how to think about whatever problem you have or situation you are in. It is up to the student to take on the ideas and the words of the instructor and to listen and learn carefully.
For hypnosis to occur, all it requires is for you, the client, to suspend analytically thought and disbelief, and for the hypnotist to speak clearly and articulately. When these three components occur and both you and he hypnotist show up to do the work, that is where the magic happens.