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 How Do You Define Hypnosis?
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9 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  10:36:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand that hypnosis is a broad topic but it can't be so broad as to be undefinable can it?

I read that hypnosis is basically a non-analytical,relaxed, and highly suggestible state, but then I read about analytical hypnosis which sounds like the exact opposite, instead I am focusing my analytical mind on a task! I try more normal routes to the hypnotic state but by listening to descriptions of nice scenery and such I start thinking about how illogical it sounds to turn off the analytical mind and focus on relaxing scenery in my mind as this seems just like I'm using my analytical mind, and once I start thinking about this I can't get to that super relaxed state I've experienced in other sessions. it is extremely annoying.

further reading unearths for me the claim that hypnotism is also achieved when either extreme fear, pain, and/or intense focus upon something. this baffles me because it suggests hypnosis isn't necessarily a state of relaxation. intense focus again suggests an analytical thought which i've also read hypnotism doesn't involve.

some places suggest that there are analytical thoughts and subconscious thoughts such as during imagining, but how can I tell the difference as all thoughts seem conscious and analytical to me cause I am thinking them.

thus far I am only able to define the hypnotic state as being suggestible, but this feels insufficient to me.

I really hope someone can help me with these paradoxes as they frustrate me immensely.

Edited by - TransientKnight on 11/08/2012 10:45:18 PM


724 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2012 :  11:12:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is both art and science to hypnosis..

There are solid scientific physiological signs when a person is in hypnosis.

Hypnosis and relaxation are different things and they can happen independent from each other. A person experiencing a panic attack is in hypnosis.

The hypnotic state is not always suggestible, that depends on the relative strength of the targeted behavior and the relative subjective quality of the suggestions.

Hypnosis is still a mostly theoretical state of mind. We know what it can look like in fMRI, and often can reliably tell when a person is in state with objective observations of that person.. but how the mind functions around this is still a lot of theory. There are no definite answers.

Conscious/subconscious thinking can "feel" different and many people can eventually tell the difference, most of the time... possibly compare it to a "knowing" way of thinking and a "feeling" way of thinking.

Subcon is usually more spontaneous.. around 1/2 second quicker to be triggered than conscious/analytical thoughts.

Analytical hypnosis is more referring to the hypnotist's role in the process, not the client's.

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
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United Kingdom
72 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  09:59:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes analytical therapy is about the therapist rather than the client and one of the hardest things for the client is to forget the analytical art of the mind during analytical therapy. You could say that was like you need to be in charge or even your ego that wants to solve the mystery whereas trusting your feelings to find the answer is much quicker and more effective.

It is quite true that you do not need to be relaxed or even have your eyes closed but generally it is easier that way when using hypnosis for therapeutic reasons.

Andrea Lowe
Hypnotherapist/analyst, NLP Practitioner and trainer
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724 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  11:26:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like your answers, Andrea. Nice to have you here!

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
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369 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2012 :  11:46:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You may find our HypnoWiki of interest. It is in the typical Wikipedia format. It is constantly evolving and rewritten by volunteer Hypnosis Professionals. These approved Authors update it to keep it current.

http://HypnoWiki.com by HOL.

There is a "sign up" form for those who are interested in being an Author.


"Relax, Listen and ______ with Hypnosis" Audio Series.
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"Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind." Rudyard Kipling.
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United Kingdom
72 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2013 :  9:51:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by patrickg

I like your answers, Andrea. Nice to have you here!

Thanks Patric - that;s lovely, Sorry only just read this.

Andrea Lowe
Hypnotherapist/analyst, NLP Practitioner and trainer
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5 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  06:34:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bringing about changes at a subconscious level.
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57 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  2:16:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The question might be more about our need for clear and concise definitions. That in itself is analytical, but being analytical is not necessarily unhypnotic. The experiences of hypnosis may vary accordingly. So, getting caught up in one's frustration can be hypnotic, as it increases the focus on finding an answer to the question, 'What is hypnosis'? In your examples, I think the interpretation that intense focus suggests analytical thought is where the confusion may come from. Focus is focus and the more intense it is the greater the intensity of the hypnotic experience. However, the experience is unique in the moment because of a range of variables, including what you focus on. So, if you focus on an emotion, you may not be relaxed, but rather emotional. This too is a trance of sorts. The majority of times, the therapist will begin with focusing on something pleasant, like being at the beach, and that evokes the responses the body mind because it remembers such experiences. So if you like going to the beach and it is soothing, then that is what you will experience. If your body mind remembers a near drowning experience you had as a child, then it might make you more tense and fearful. Both are hypnotic experiences, albeit very different. So, if I were you, I would go back to the original idea of hypnosis being about focus, but not limit yourself to one resultant experience of hypnosis, because the experience of hypnosis is in fact infinite. There are infinite possibilities with regard to the actual experience all evoked through focus. This is all you probably need to know. Then you can leave to your curiosity what your experience will be the next time you are hypnotised. Remember, sometimes it is nice to be surprised and it is the surprise factor that leads to people's enjoyment/being impacted by their hypnotic experience.

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,


Jeremy Barbouttis
MA, MHlthSc, Dip Teach, Dip Hyp & Couns., Dip EST., Cert IV Clin Hyp, CMAHA, ASCH
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Counsellor
Suite 211, Level 2 160 Castlereagh St
Sydney 2000
(02) 9518 9912

Edited by - jeremyb on 10/10/2013 2:24:53 PM
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