Which Hypnosis Technique is Right for You?
Trying to get to the depths of your unconscious mind can be accomplished though several different hypnosis techniques. All methods have their pros and cons, as well as being either more or less effective depending on what kind of a person they are being applied to. Below are some commonly used hypnotic techniques. There are others, too, but this should give you a good starting point to learn more.
Conventional hypnosis focuses on giving straightforward, easy to follow directions to your unconscious. This technique is typically most effective for people who are inclined to follow orders and don’t question them. However it doesn’t work as well on people who tend to be extremely critical and analytical in their thought processes.
Ericksonian hypnosis is named for Dr. Wilson Erickson who pioneered this form of hypnotherapy in the 1960s. It does away with the traditional hypnotic directives, rather using stories to embed ideas into the unconscious. These stories, or metaphors, come in two varieties: isomorphic and embedded. The isomorphic variety makes use of a story that contains a moral related to the concern that the patient is receiving hypnosis for. An embedded metaphor involves a story or anecdote to distract the conscious mind while containing hidden, indirect suggestions likely to be accepted by the subconscious.
Another technique of Ericksonian hypnosis is the use of what are called “Process Instructions.” These are supposed to direct the unconscious to find an appropriate experience from the past and then use that experience to effect change in the present.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) doesn’t rely on suggestions as do other forms of hypnosis. NLP uses thought patterns that are contributing to a problem and redirecting them towards eliminating the problem. Common NLP techniques include anchoring, which involves invoking positive past memories in order to apply them to present day problems. As you’re bringing forth these upbeat memories, you employ a specific gesture, such as pressing two of your fingers together. The ideas is that each time you perform this gesture, it is an “anchor” that invokes those positive thoughts, which can be used to deal with troubling situations.
The Flash is another common NLP technique. The idea is to mix things up in the unconscious mind. Thus, things that previously triggered feelings of stress can be reprogrammed in the unconscious to trigger feelings of relaxation instead.
Modifying conditioned responses is another thing the Flash is good at. For example, a smoker typically smokes when he or she is reading the newspaper. In the unconscious mind, the two actions are strongly linked, and picking up the newspaper immediately creates a craving for a smoke. The Flash technique aims to disassociate these two behaviors from one another so that reaching for the newspaper does NOT automatically trigger a desire for a cigarette.
Both Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP hypnosis have a lot of critics in the scientific community. A number of specialists refuse to acknowledge that Dr. Erickson’s method is even a form of hypnosis, since it bears little resemblance to conventional hypnosis. In the case of NLP, a lack of firm empirical evidence of its effectiveness has hindered its acceptance. Nonetheless, it is becoming a very popular technique among private psychotherapists and has also had a huge influence on the management training and life coaching industries.