Did you ever of that nice ol’ parable about the banquet where everyones forks are longer than their arms? One room is like hell, because they can’t reach their mouths and slowly starve. The other room is heaven, because they figure out they can feed each other instead, across the table. What room are you in?
Its really just a metaphor to distinguish various psychological processes and phenomena into “aware” and “not aware”. The subconscious mind isn’t really a “thing” like many hypno sorts would have you believe – and used as such, the metaphor can actually be very limiting. Let me explain why, because this gets very interesting.
There’s a lot messed up about the UK hypnotherapy scene.
Here’s the basic unfortunate pattern, and it doesn’t seem to change:
1) Someone burns out of a sales or IT job, normally in their forties. Read More
So I went to a stage hypnosis show, with the eager goal of going on stage and experiencing it. I wanted to have a greater appreciation of how stagecraft, lights, audience and unpredictability affected things, as well as to experience being a hypnotic subject with a seasoned professional.
Unfortunately, the night didn’t live up to my expectations, but I found myself learning a lot by negative example. Read More
One of the most common things I hear about hypnosis is “It’s not real though is it?” and “I don’t think I could be hypnotized”. If this sounds like you then good – because a) it means you’re normal, and b) it means I get to share some thoughts and ideas that will hopefully blow the lid off of hypnosis for you. Read More
I recently read Richard Bandler’s “Make Your Life Great” (2008). It reawakened my frustration with NLP as a whole, and how it preys on a crowd hungry for hope (the customers) or power (the practitioners) to perpetuate its inflated promises and flimsy doctrines. Here’s an example of the kind of bullshit I’m talking about:
“I had one case that was even more bizarre. Somebody had grabbed the victim from behind and covered the victim’s eyes. The police weren’t clear about what happened, so [in hypnosis] I slowed the [mental] movie down, froze it just before the hands touched the victim’s face, and magnified the image. Then I had the victim draw the fingerprint – and the police found the attacker. That’s how precise the mind is. Now I’m not saying that was quick by any means. That took me hours to do. The person concerned was a good hypnotic subject and could also draw pretty well. The image wasn’t perfect by any means, it was only what they call ‘a partial’, but it was enough to get a match” (p230)
Compliance vs Unconscious Response
I saw a hypnosis demonstration recently in a lecture hall of professionals. The speaker asked for a volunteer, then selected one based on their prior suggestibility. As the volunteer stood up, the speaker said “and you can just go into a trance right now… as you come up to the stage”. The guy shuffled along, slowly like a zombie, obeying the speakers every command. Gasps from the audience. Read More
On most occasions, when I’ve met highly reputed hypnotists, I’ve had that realisation of “oh, they’re just people too”. What was I thinking? Many seem to become these almost mythical figures, wielding some special power that isn’t available to anyone else. Its all hype of course – suggestion and influence being the very thing that they’re using to market themselves as gurus.
Here are the common things used to build hype: Read More
There are a few theories that attempt to explain hypnosis, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. I don’t particularly want to get into them all here to prove anything, but I will touch on a few that resonate with my intuitions and experiences the most.
Recently through studying the idea of conscious will being an illusion, I got to thinking about how:
the feeling of conscious will and voluntariness,
the nature of imagination and automaticity…
…tie together. Read More
No, I’m not just talking about hypnosis – that’s just a tool. I’ve been wondering for years whether there’s a pattern to all the therapies, that if harnessed, could provide the most efficient solution for “feeling better”. I think I may have found it, but it will take a little longer to refine. Read More