Hypnosis sessions follow standard patterns
Learn to go into trance and enjoy the experience.
This is the point where many people falter. Trance is not something that a hypnotist does TO you – trance is a mental state that client and hypnotist co-create. Being a successful client requires a sense of surrender (which, contrary to intuition, is highly empowering) and a commitment to create the most vivid possible internal reality from the hypnotist’s suggestions and commands.
The more vivid the internal reality, the more powerful the changes. It’s that simple. What makes hypnosis work is not magic – it’s the enthusiastic participation of the client. The mind-control clap-trap that Hollywood would have people believe is just that – clap-trap and nonsense.
Access motivating pleasure states.
Having a powerful, positive resource available is important for any coaching or hypnotic work. This means that whenever any challenges come up, there is a positive resource instantly accessible to counter them. There are some additional advantages to using strong and motivating pleasure states:
- Pleasure states feel good, get associated with trance and make it more likely that the client will want to remain in productive trance states.
- Pleasure states are motivating. Linking responding to hypnotic commands with pleasure states makes it more likely that the client will be motivated to execute them.
- Pleasure states release oxytocin, dopamine, endorphins and more in the brain. The more powerful the pleasure state, the more of these perfectly natural, endogenous neurotransmitters are released. These brain chemicals have powerful healing effects to start with, but there is one critical function that is most important:
- Oxytocin stimulates the brain, via the hippocampus, to dramatically accelerate consolidation of learning memories. This is a big academic phrase that simply means that the more pleasure is involved, the faster positive changes happen.
An important component of the way we work at TurnOn Toronto is that one of the first things we teach to new clients is a rapid re-induction trigger. We use this as an integral part of all sessions AND it serves as a cornerstone for teaching clients how to do self-hypnosis.
Learn eyes-open trance.
In hypnosis traditional work is done with eyes closed. Some hypnotists even believe that eyes open trance is a very advanced phenomenon.
- Having commands that bring clients back and forth between eyes closed and eyes open trance is called fractionation and it deepens trance rapidly.
- Having a state where a client is able to speak clearly makes getting feedback much easier. We constantly verify with the client what’s going on in their experience. This allows more meaningful and rapid adjustments during the course of each trance session.
- Being able to make direct eye contact with a client allows for stronger bonding to take place – which means that the client is more likely to carry out whatever instructions are required.
Clearing negativity is a huge part of any series of hypnotic sessions. The techniques we use are, for the most part, what I call “double blind”. In conventional change work, both the client and the hypnotist know a lot about the issues that are being worked on. Blind therapy means the client knows, but the hypnotist does not. Double Blind, as I use the term, means that neither the client nor the hypnotist know exactly what is being changed. What actually happens is the client’s unconscious mind decides what to work on and deals with it out of conscious awareness. I believe this is a very important quality of the work we do at TurnOn Toronto – it means that we rarely impose our values on a client. They choose their own deep values; our job is to help them align themselves congruently with those values.
Examples of negativity clearing strategies:
- Teaching ways to shift attention away from negative thoughts and beliefs towards positive ones.
- Recoding negative memories so the facts remain the same but the emotional valence shifts from negative to life lessons learned. The concept is that bad feelings just make you feel bad; life lessons guide your future.
- Shifting limiting beliefs so they empower rather than limit.
- And much much more …
Most change happens in the Unconscious
Deep changes follow two primary patterns: negativity clearing and resource recognition. Negativity clearing means guiding the unconscious mind to consistently diminish negative thoughts and beliefs and to augment positive thoughts and beliefs. For example, replace motivation based on fear with motivation based on desire. The choices around what that actually means are left to the client’s unconscious processes. This means that the conscious mind does not actively participate. If there is old trauma to be let go, this is good because the client doesn’t have to re-live it. If there are unhelpful or destructive beliefs to be dropped, this is good because while the unconscious understands that they are not helpful, the conscious mind often resists with vigour.
From FEAR to DESIRE
What typically happens after a client works with Bruce for a period of time is that they become gradually empowered; their world, their focus begins to shift from fear to desire, from pain to pleasure, from scarcity to abundance, from victim to master of their own destiny.
- Fear is a belief.
- Beliefs are thoughts.
- Thoughts can be changed.
Dealing with fear is an iterative process handled at an unconscious level. The unconscious mind has to be satisfied that whatever fears we bypass or transform increase it’s protection of the client and don’t create more risk.
Accessing desire is a more complex process. In the long run, this is what clients are most grateful for: learning what they really want; learning why they are on the planet.
Instead of going through life with their tanks on empty, suddenly they are “filled up”. The world looks different, they surround themselves with new, more vital people and they simply feel empowered.
The use of hypnosis scripts is not permitted at TurnOn Toronto. We have a very strong belief that each client is a unique individual and each interaction with each client is unique. Scripts are created as one-size-fits-all and are not consistent with our philosophy.
Magic Glasses and flashing lights
We do not use gimicks – technology already has too big a place in our lives. A major component of growth from hypnotic interaction is the ability to be present, to be in the moment, to be connected to one’s body. Technology interferes with that in a big way.
Binarural Beats and hypnotic music
These items have a place in one-size-fits-most hypnotic recordings. Hypnotic music and brain wave entrainment via technology actually works – but it is not amenable to the kind of one on one work that we do, where every session is different and the timing of every session tailored to the client.
At a deep level, the kinds of things that people need follow very strong patterns. At the surface, they may be wildly different. That’s why we prefer working deep. The biggest resources that show up over and over again are a deep feeling of
- not being loved just because you are you
- not being safe
- not being worthy and deserving
In this context, if we give someone an actual experience of, say, being totally safe and lock that in, that experience becomes a resource. The unconscious mind does not know how to learn slowly. It makes choices at speeds well beyond what the conscious mind can deal with. Once a new resource is in place and serves the client better than what was there before, there is no hesitation, no delay – the unconscious simply uses it in place of the old resources.
An example of a strategy for creating a resource is to take a client on a hypnotic journey – often to places far away and long ago (where the limitations of their current belief system don’t apply) and have a fun adventure – which includes a deep and profound experience of the resource we want to create or augment or reinforce.
The art, and it is an art, of identifying, installing, locking in and activating important resources is what takes decades of experience. It’s also the most rewarding part of hypnotic work.
There is an overwhelming abundance of ideas on creating resources available. See, for example, the 1,700 page Collected Works of Milton Erickson. The challenge is narrowing things down to ideas and patterns that work effectively.
A standard component of the hypnotic training at TurnOn Toronto is teaching each and every client strategies for self-hypnosis. One of the curious impacts of spending time in trance is that, for nearly everyone, meaningful positive change comes about from just going into trance! It doesn’t matter what they DO in the trance state – just being there creates benefits. We want clients to take this home with them.
The most difficult aspect of self hypnosis for most people is the very first step: learning how to reliably go into trance, know that you are actually in trance and feel comfortable doing so. Once you master this skill, you can pick up practically any book on self hypnosis and profit from it.