What is intended hypnosis?

What is intended hypnosis?

Deliberate hypnosis involves intentionally inducing a trance state, either through self-hypnosis or guided instruction. It aims to replicate the everyday hypnotic state to purposefully tap into the subconscious mind—the realm responsible for facilitating change. Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious is highly receptive. When the subject is willing and open to suggested changes, these ideas can bypass the rational, critical, and analytical conscious mind. Consequently, suggestions are more likely to succeed than if relying solely on willpower and determination.

Alman and Lambrou (1983) elaborate on hypnosis, describing it as a mental state where suggestions exert a much more potent influence than in normal conditions. In this state, the power of conscious criticism diminishes, focus narrows, and awareness on a focal point intensifies. Suggestions seem to directly penetrate the subconscious, allowing control over areas typically beyond the reach of the conscious mind.

It is crucial to clarify that hypnosis is not a process imposed on an individual without their consent. A hypnotherapist or hypnotist may guide with words, but the subject retains autonomy in choosing which suggestions to follow. Even during visualizations, where the subject might envision a beach or forest, they have the liberty to decide the specifics or opt for an entirely different mental landscape. If suggestions feel uncomfortable or unsafe, the subconscious mind rejects them.

Distinguishing between a ‘hypnotist’ and a ‘hypnotherapist,’ the former employs hypnosis for entertainment, while the latter utilises it for therapeutic purposes. Both scenarios require the subject’s openness and willingness to receive suggestions. Notably, susceptibility to therapeutic suggestions does not necessarily translate to compliance in an entertainment context.

When deliberately entering a trance state, individuals may experience varying levels of trance based on their receptiveness. Building trust with the guide facilitates quicker and deeper trance induction. It is common for the mind to generate random thoughts, termed the “monkey mind,” especially as deeper trance levels are reached. Managing this phenomenon involves redirecting focus to the hypnotist’s voice, breathing, or muscle relaxation.

Physical sensations, such as feeling heavy or light, accompany the release of muscle tension and profound relaxation. Importantly, individuals practicing hypnosis maintain the freedom to move or change positions at will. If the desire arises to exit the trance state, a simple act of opening one’s eyes suffices.

As the trance deepens, the individual’s Generalized Reality Orientation (GRO) diminishes. GRO represents the accumulated frame of reference, belief system, and worldview developed through experiences. In hypnosis, as GRO fades, critical faculties reduce, making individuals more open to positive suggestions without the need to rationalize or draw on past experiences.

Hypnosis, as an intentional process, offers a natural, side-effect-free mental relaxation. It is not akin to sleep or unconsciousness, even though it may feel that way in deeper states of relaxation. Individuals always retain control, and no one can compel them to act against their will. Hypnosis involves constant communication between two levels of the mind, becoming more pronounced with heightened emotional experiences. Ultimately, intentional hypnosis harnesses these dynamics to achieve desired results or bring about change.