What is a hypnotic state?
The hypnotic state is a natural process.
It is a state of modified consciousness that we all experience approximately every half hour. Our awareness and our attention are focused on elements which surround us, as when we concentrate on learning something. The mind is like a muscle which needs to regularly release tension in order to relax. The conscious mind switches off, giving way to daydreams or thoughts to distract it, wandering… This distraction, the notion of time which escapes us completely, is the hypnotic state.
The hypnotic state is a personal experience.
As we are all unique, there isn’t any standard hypnotic state. We all have different representations, different ways to understand our experiences and our environment.
The hypnotic state allows for learning, heightened relaxation and ease at finding solutions to life’s challenges.
Different types of hypnosis
The stage hypnotist may have to sometimes deceive the audience by staging actors who
play the role of a hypnotized subject.
The stage hypnotist may choose spectators from the audience considered to be easily hypnotizable. Quick hypnotic tests are used before the beginning of the show to select those most receptive to trance. These subjects will then be asked to participate onstage.
Clinical hypnosis has been practiced in scientific circles for a long time. Freud relied on hypnosis to develop the concept of the unconscious which constituted a revolution. Used in the medical community, this approach allows for rapid treatment of pain, and preparation for medical interventions.
The therapist seeks to understand the patient and is not the source of knowledge. Used for therapeutic purposes, this approach applies to all types of subjects.
During the sessions, the therapist ensures a particular attentiveness to the subject, adapting his attitude, his language, and his voice according to the indications revealed by the subject. This information, which is used during the session, is equally meaningful : the rhythm of the patient’s breathing, his style of speech, his use of words, his concerns, values, beliefs, habits, and interests. The therapist is considered to be a facilitator.
Integrative hypnosis is a tool of communication, development and transformation which focuses on the specificity of the subject, on their individual reality. It is a person-centered therapy tailored to the individual; an approach in which the therapist helps the subject connect to their inner resources.
Integrative hypnosis fits into the realm of ‘brief therapies’.
Through conversation, the therapist, by his/her attitude and use of suitable language, brings the subject to a state of well being oriented towards solutions. The therapist consciously trusts his/her own unconscious without paying attention to the technical aspects behind this approach. Milton Erickson was the first to develop this form of hypnosis.
Self-hypnosis enables the individual to reach a hypnotic state on his/her own. Individuals can access this state of letting go as they wish to amplify their resources or find solutions to improve daily life.
Hypnosis is a natural state; it is quite possible to put oneself in a state of modified consciousness without outside intervention. We access this state several times a day, without often even realizing it.