Hypnosis has been used as a therapeutic approach since the early nineteenth century.
The approach is that all psychological problems are created in the mind by the way of thinking. Therefore the mind has the power within it to create healing and wellness. If you work with this on a conscious level with the usual type of psychotherapy, we would be talking about what you consciously can remember. Conscious therapy is very useful and valuable when the problem is on a conscious level of awareness. However, most of what is in the conscious level has very little to do with the real underlying subconscious problem.
To be able to understand hypnosis it is important to understand how our cognitive processing works. In the brain there are two parts of the mind. A conscious mind (C) and a subconscious mind (SC). The conscious mind is the logical, thinking, reasoning decision making part of the mind. The subconscious mind is the memory bank of the brain, everything you have ever experienced in your entire life - from before birth, to this very moment. It is the imagination and creative part of your mind. It is the source of all your emotions and your experiences in the living of your life.
Information normally comes in during the waking state from all our senses - vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell, enters the C mind where you can filter it, analyze it and process it. Thereafter it is stored in the memory bank of your SC mind. This becomes part of your memory bank and represents all the information you have learned in life - from the beginning of your life. This is the “learning process” as it functions for all human beings. Everything you have ever learned consciously and subconsciously, becomes the basis of all the habit patterns that we as human beings develop in life. In other words, most everything that you do in your life is really a habit pattern that has been learned previously at some point in your life. Your symptoms are habit patterns that you want to change. Anything that is a habit can be unlearned and relearned in a new way, which is what you desire to have to happen.
Most of the information that goes into our mind is neutral and of very little significance. Some is positive and some is negative. Our SC stores it all. It does not screen the information that enters - rather it accepts all data input without question. Some of the negative information that enters the SC mind goes in with a lot of emotional energy attached to it, whether the emotion itself is positive (happy, excitement, joy, love etc), or negative, (fear, panic, anxiety, grief, depression, sadness, intense pain). Highly charged emotional negative information can accumulate inside the SC mind. It piles up and all of it together becomes the “underlying problem
” or the “real problem
The mind is not able to easily access this SC information, because of the brain barrier that exists between the two functioning parts of the mind. This prevents you from seeing what is in the SC mind. Therefore you are unable to make a change in it. The specific negative information that we are calling the “real problem” was activated in response to some kind of stress in your life. It was so negative and so intensely emotionality charged when trying to surface that you could not use it. The mind puts a barrier or wall of protection around it. The wall of protection becomes the symptoms –the very symptoms that you are experiencing. The symptoms are NOT the problem. They are only the symptoms of the underlying problem. Your depression, anxiety, and smoking habits and whatever else is a problem to you, are really only your “symptoms”. You are in the habit of producing these symptoms by the way you think, feel and behave. It is a way of protecting the real problem from surfacing. The symptoms serve as a wall of protection to keep the subconscious problem from getting through. In other words, it is better to have these symptoms than to have to deal with the real problem. By way of an example, a smoker may have a lot of suppressed anger with no way of getting rid of it. The anger builds up inside and the smoke is a way of blowing off steam. Therefore for such a person it is better to smoke and release anger in such a way than to let anger build up and erupt in an explosive or destructive manner. Please understand that not all smokers smoke for this reason. In this example, once the underlying problem with anger is resolved, the person is free to give up the smoking habit without anxiety over the anger inside.
In using medical hypnosis as a tool we gain access to the inner (SC) mind. By using metaphors, words, experiences, images and memory techniques a trained hypnotherapist enables people to learn to relax and inspires them to awaken the healer within, to take charge of their lives. Like the tools a surgeon uses to remove a diseased organ, hypnosis is a tool to remove a diseased thought or negative belief system.
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, a state of mind where the body is relaxed and the mind is super-concentrated and more open to receive and accept suggestions. It is similar to the “twilight time”, before you fall asleep. You are neither awake nor asleep. Hypnosis is a very natural and normal phenomenon that we all experience many times a day.
A person in hypnosis can not be made to do any thing or say something that he/she does not want to do or say. He/she is completely aware of what is happening and always in control. The hypno- therapist is a guide, a teacher.
The therapist will help you to unlock and enter the SC mind to the deepest recesses of the SC mind and be able to identify the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. Once you can identify enough of the pieces, and put them together, you will have a whole picture of exactly what the problem is. Once you know what it is, it is not a problem anymore. You can do something about resolving it. By bringing the real problem to the surface, to the C mind awareness, the C mind can then do something about it.
It is safe to go back and replay the video-tape recording of past traumatic experiences with your adult mind to understand it all, make whatever corrections are needed for you to be able to “let go” of it and to be well. So what we want to accomplish, is to identify by using age regression, and other techniques, what the seeds of negative messages are and how they got there. Then we identify what stress experiences have triggered the SC seeds to germinate and grow and become the root system in the SC mind. We also need to find out why your mind chose the symptoms that it did to protect from the SC problem. Once we have all these pieces identified, and put together, you will be free to make whatever changes are possible for you to make, in order for you to take control of your mind, your body and your life.