View Full Version : Advancing the States
02-13-2005, 12:52 AM
I am new and just found this group. I am a male, 33 years old from New Jersey but now living in East Tennessee, and have been interested and trying Hypnosis since I found a discarded book by Melvin Powers when I was about 13. I have never formally been hypnotized dispite my seeing a hypnotheropist for 3 months. I have since 13, read all the books on the subject that I could find or that time permitted. I have tried all the technecs and varied them through my 20 years of experimenting with myself. The above mentioned doctor told me there was no need for hypnosis and after all my hours of sitting and talking, labeled me "fine." and sent me on my way. I wanted to find a way to control rage, eliminate my fear of lose and in my youth... explore my dreams and sleep states.
Now, with that preknowledge of my experience and background, I am here to ask for a simple answer to my puzzlement. I can not seem to attain any stable level of even the most minor hypnotic state or at least not produce the same results each and everytime on command. The best I seem to produce is an effective sleep aid! Sorry, but to me it is to the point of humor. I seem to respond to the eye roll back, fixing my gaze upon a point on the ceiling or wall behind my head , slowly count through, and upon the point of eye closer, I lose my focus concentration, and fall in to deep REM sleep.
Sometimes this varies, but only on rare occasions such as under EXTREME stress, emotional states, or extreme distraction. As such in the situation of testing... Even then I am not sure as to if I was just lifting my own arm out of frustration or if it was due to hypnosis. the same with the hand clasp and so on. Shouldn't my hands be "glued" together, unable to be pulled apart by my own power? It was mildly difficult but only as difficult as when you are very tired and need to get out of a chair and your weight seems doubled because of fatigue but you can still arrise. Other more perminent tests are always negative as well like post hypnotic suggestions that I will feel refreshed or crave a drink of water and the like after the waking.
Can I please get a possible reasoning for this, a possible solution, and some educated guesses as to what I can expect when under as far as control during self hypnosis. How about undoing a suggestion without clinical or outside help as in the note below.
One last note, I was VERY impressed but the original book and the ideas I found in it. Might it be possible that I in my youth and haste to enter hypnosis, "planted" a suggestion to "Sleep" upon entering self hypnosis so deeply that it is now an automatic responce to the state itself???
"MasterMind" as in the Logical Brains behind the Plans,
"User" as in Computer
What an amazing number of questions you have! Thanks for coming here and I hope that some of the people here will be able to help you in your quest for answers.
From your post, it sounds to me like you have never been hypnotized "formally," and you have a lot of conceptual questions about hypnosis: how do I know I was hypnotized? Should my hands have felt glued together with me unable to pull them apart by my own power?
First, I have good news. These are not uncommon questions. You are not alone. The cause of such questions in your case, I believe, is based on two things. First, you (like most people) have some misconceptions about the nature of hypnosis as a result of misinformation spread by movies, TV, novels, comic books, incomplete news reports, etc. Second, although you have read several books on hypnosis, each one had its own point of view, never really covering all of your needs or answering all of your questions. Again, this is quite common.
I am coming to a point where I must say (and this has nothing to do with you personally), that I regret to say the answer is for you to take a course in hypnosis. I am saying this with regret because some of the people who post here want a simple answer to their questions because the questions seem like they are simple to them, when, in fact, they are complex. Some people have not been happy with this answer, but we can't teach an introductory class in hypnotherapy on this forum. It's a hands-on technique, and IMO the best way to learn and understand it is with an in-person class. After you take a class, books will expand the knowledge greatly.
So let me explain what I mean. The fact that you choose not to pull your hands apart or felt like it would have been just too difficult to do so or not worth your effort indicates to me that you were hypnotized. In a structured learning situation I'm sure you would have learned that.
From your post, it seems you have some behaviors you wish to change and were surprised that you were pronounced "fine." But in hypnotherapy as I understand it, no matter how you wish to change your behaviors, you are quite "fine." You are not broken. You are doing the best you possibly can with the knowledge and skills available to you. As a hypnotherapist, it is my job to give you new knowledge and skills so you can easily make the behavioral changes you desire. This is a completely different attitude from the common Western "You broke, doctor fix" point of view. Again, you would probably learn this in a structured learning environment.
There are basic introductory classes in hypnotherapy give all over the world. They usually start as weekend classes, although some may end up taking a week or months. There are usually two objections to this. First, it costs too much. Actually, the classes I've seen are very reasonable, costing less (often far less) than U.S. $600. Does that sound like a lot of money? It's not. Take your lunch with you to work instead of buying it, don't go to movies or a club for a few weeks, walk or take a bus instead of paying for gas, and you'll have that money in no time.
Second, you may live in a small town and might have to travel to find a place where a class is taught. Many people in smaller towns go on a vaction to a larger city. Places like Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Orlando thrive on tourists who visit their locals for the purpose of spending money on ephemeral experiences. You could visit a city for a few days with the goal of learning skill that will improve your way of living for the rest of your life.
One of the things I've learned is that the body and mind tend to resist change, and the greater the change, the greater the resistance. Most people can come up with all sorts of reasons not to take such a course other than the two I've given. If that is you will, that's fine. But I don't know if you will ever have your questions answered to your satisfaction.
I do have one question for you, though. If I took my car in for repairs, and the mechanic simply talked to me every time I asked about my car, after 2 or 3 visits I'd be unhappy and want to take my car to another mechanic.
If I went to a doctor for treatment of a physical ailment and all he did was talk to me about it when I needed some treatment, after 2 or 3 visits I'd be unhappy and go to another doctor.
But you went to a hypnontherapist for three months and weren't "formally" hypnotized. Why didn't you go to another hypnotist?
02-13-2005, 12:02 PM
Welcome to our forum.
>I can not seem to attain any stable level of even the most minor hypnotic state
What are you expecting?
It's awkward to try to hypnotise oneself. Also very awkward to test for hypnosis on oneself.
There are many kinds of trance states, that's easy. But if you seek hypnosis, testing is difficult.
>The best I seem to produce is an effective sleep aid!
Then it's best to avoid any mention/suggestion of relaxation or sleep.
>I seem to respond to the eye roll back, fixing my gaze upon a point on the ceiling or wall behind my head , slowly count through, and upon the point of eye closer, I lose my focus concentration, and fall in to deep REM sleep.
I think you should try a different method of hypnosis and different test methods.
The best way I have found is to have someone else (who is skilled in hypnosis) hypnotise you, them anchor the state.
>Shouldn't my hands be "glued" together, unable to be pulled apart by my own power?
Yes, *if* you were hypnotised and *if* the suggestion were appropriately given.
>Other more perminent tests are always negative as well like post hypnotic suggestions that I will feel refreshed or crave a drink of water and the like after the waking.
Once in hypnosis, it's very difficult to give self-suggestions like that. It works somewhat on a recording, but it's still a challenge.
> Can I please get a possible reasoning for this...
Self-hypnosis doesn't work well in this format.
>a possible solution...
Have someone else (who knows how) hypnotise you, and anchor the hypnosis.
>and some educated guesses as to what I can expect when under as far as control during self hypnosis.
You will maintain full control under hypnosis, but not full judgement. Hypnosis is about bypassing your ability to judje suggestions and their probable effect.
>How about undoing a suggestion without clinical or outside help as in the note below.
Once you achieve hypnosis, removing suggestions is easy.
>I was VERY impressed but the original book and the ideas I found in it.
The book may be impressive, but it seems (for you) it's not working. Is it really that good of a book if it doesn't work for you?
>Might it be possible that I in my youth and haste to enter hypnosis, "planted" a suggestion to "Sleep" upon entering self hypnosis...
>...that it is now an automatic responce to the state itself???
It sounds like your "hypnotherapist" didn't describe hypnosis adequately.You may have been hypnotized and didn't recognize the state.
It also sounds like you were seeing some other type of practitioner i.e psycologist, psychiatrist, LCSW, who was "using" hypnosis, not a hypnotherapist.
A fine and comprehensive answer from Don. I would only add that you may be one of the small percentage of people who cannot be hypnotised formally, even though you may be capable of entering a trance state informally, as most people can.
A good few years ago now I had a client whom I could not hypnotise. I tried everything I knew, and each time it was a failure. So, my pride heavily knocked, I enlisted the help of several members of my peer group and they too failed to even elicit a light trance state. It would have been easy, at this stage to blame the client for resistance, but I was always taught, there is no conscious resistance, only an inability to achieve sufficient rapport by the hypnotherapist. So we all blamed ourselves.
Two years after that I became involved in a university project examining human brain states and we noticed that in a very few people cycling between states of awareness was very rapid, with no discernible peaks and troughs. In other words these people were moving from a beta state of awareness (normal waking state) to various consciously unaware states and back again so rapidly that apparent consciousness, or normal waking state was not interrupted. This could be an explanation, but is not definite.
If it was an explanation it might account for the few people who cannot stay in a trance state long enough for any useful work to be done, or even for the 'feeling' of an hypnotic trance to be noticed. I honestly don't know.
As a codicil: the original client took up transcendental meditation and after six years was able to achieve what he considered to be an 'out of body' experience.
02-14-2005, 10:43 PM
Hello yet again Group! I have read through the posted replies and find that they all list good points. Just to be clearified on my statements and the answers given to them...
First: To Don no, I was never formally hypnotized. The Doctor I saw was first a "therapist" and not so much of a hypnotherapist. He was the only person listed under my medical coverage who would even use the term "hypnosis" as part of his therapy. More often than not, my voice sent him in to sleep. He was not just my first choice for where I lived but my only one.
Secondly: This is also directed to Don. When I entered (what felt most like a different state) with enough wits about me and concentration, and gave myself suggestions such as heavy hands or eyes glued shut and the hand clasp, I was so aware and so expectant that I am not sure if that my logically reasoning didn't overpower my mental state. I felt the heaviness of eyes or hands, but consciously resisted it in my efforts to test if I truely was where I wanted to be and at a level that my mind would accept as "deep enough".
Thirdly: To Russ, the guy didn't seem to want to use any form of hynosis at all. Dispite his supposed knowledge of this science, he always seemed to direct me away from what he called "not for everyone" and that we COULD use that but that he needed to know more about what I was there for and why I was there. He like every shrink I have ever talked to, seemed to whip up the easier problems to a peak so he could reason them out to me and say "there don't you feel better?". So in the end I would leave with a pat on the back and a mildly reassuring statement like "like fine. SHE was the problem not you". Yes, I was frustrated but I was sort of holding out, trying to outlast his hessitations and get him to break down and say, "fine, since you BELIEVE it will help you, then, maybe it will" but that never came.
Forth: To Merlin, what I am asking here is for personal feedback of a sort. If I was to ask you personally to enter a state be it light or medium, and to tell yourself that your eyes could not open, would you personally be able to unknowningly resist your own suggestion and open your eyes with a slight struggle or would your minor thought of resisting cause the whole suggestion to collapse and your eyes would open without so much as a second thought???
To Jack: I do believe in what your saying, but just as well, I have been accused of being robotic and too logical to accept things unless it is proven and can be deplicated within a controled envirement. I have seen signs that my three states of mind do interact quite openly and well. We surely have all heard explainations of a trace when one is watching a TV show or an interesting subject has their attention. Well, I have been known to give complete and whole answers to questions without thought and then realized what I was answering after I repeated it back to myself. Yet, when I tried to answer the same question I had to "think" about the answer before I could verify that it was right. Not just substandard questions like what would like for dinner, but complex mathmatical formulas for class work or biological works and such. Then by the same token, I have questioned myself as to what would be the correct course of action at given times and either found that I would dream the events in varying dreams during the night and see a few possible conclusions in order to make the better possible judgement. I see the mind as an infinate mental recording device with the ability to draw upon any and all things it has sensed (through the 5 senses) and create alternate possiblity from only what it has experienced. Example, to tell your mind you want to act like a xyclonic biophoid. It will refer to it's stored memories, add creative knowledge, and through in a mild amount of drifting (personality does play a part) and it will act like something... not the right thing if it doesn't know and has no knowledge of it, but the key is that it acted period. It did to the best of it's ability to conprehend what it could. "Act - like - a - blank."
It is my belief that in the instant that I think a doubtful thought as to my level, when I can achieve it, is the breaking point. The other times I have no time to doubt the level because the program says, When your eyes close you will (sleep) enter a deep state of relaxation" from my earliest possible suggestions in my youth. Back then there was awe and wonder not doubt. Many of the verbalized statements from then did seem to work. Such as before trying I would be talking to someone about trying to attain any level of hypnosis and say "I wish I wouldn't fall asleep, I've been trying to remember my dreams for 3 months now." and would find that for a short point in that year I had insomnia for about 3 weeks following that statement. Later I would have short memories of abstract dream content and then as with the sleep disorder, I would dismiss it in my head as "not being caused by hypnosis" and it would fade away. Now after so many more of what seem to be failed attempts, (as in trying 3 times a week for 2 years straight!) that I may have unknowingly logically convinced myself that I can get no results.
On a slightly side path, in my first ever willing subject, my girlfriend, while explaining the steps one by one and emulating them while laying down for the night and preparing her for hypnosis, I unknowingly had her silently drift in to trace. She followed through each of 5 tests and even awoke on command 2 hours later with time distortion! Thinking it was about 15 minutes long. I have been thrilled about that and does prove that I am on the right track, just doesn't seem to be a strong enough subconscious belief to me.
I look forward to hearing a responce to my question to Merlin be anyone else as well. Thank you all for your replies. Hopefully they can all be positive ones.
02-15-2005, 11:51 PM
You ask, "can you resist commands given to yourself, such as eye closure?" Yes of course you can, I certainly can. I understand what is happening, but that makes little difference to me, but for you it seems to be important. So you want proof eh? Well instead of testing that you can open your eyes, be patient and wait for proof in the results you get. Now I know that results aren't always conclusive proof, but after several have worked I suggest even the biggest sceptic can accept the obvious...... For example. a lady visited a hypnotist friend of mine, and asked if he could hypnotise her because she had lost a camera and it contained all the pictures she had taken while on holiday. She was sure she remembered taking it out of the car when she arrived back, but couldn't remember what she did after that. He complied with her request, placing her in the trance state, and asking her to go back through time to when she arrived back home from her holiday. She went through all the motions and low and behold remembered were she had put the camera. However once awake she claimed that she hadn't been hypnotised at all, but just remembered were the camera was...... Expectations are not always met, and never met when they are poorly concieved. You may well be entering the trance state, but not understanding what it is. Only results will convince you that you are indeed hypnotised if indeed you are.
and bingo was his name....
Nail on the head Terry, nice one.
02-16-2005, 08:38 AM
>Forth: To Merlin, what I am asking here is for personal feedback of a sort. If I was to ask you personally to enter a state be it light or medium, and to tell yourself that your eyes could not open, would you personally be able to unknowningly resist your own suggestion and open your eyes with a slight struggle or would your minor thought of resisting cause the whole suggestion to collapse and your eyes would open without so much as a second thought???
My eyes would easily open, unless I was hypnotised.
Hypnosis is not light or medium, or...
Hypnosis is different.
02-20-2005, 10:36 PM
Hello My friends,
I think you each for your time and efforts in answering my posts. As such I have one final question to ask that refers back to my original post and I believe quite a few others here.
As I read the varied posts and the peoples questions, I find myself relating to the number of people who have been disappointed by the seemly large number of medical professionals who make the claim to use hypnosis as part of their treatment or as a sole treatment, then upon the appointment, are treated with the therapy sans the 'hypno'. When this is not the case, the said 'hypnotist' turns to many other alternative treatments first, that is, if you can find someone who doesn't advertise metaphysical styled treatments. To me this amounts to quite a few chances of finding someone who doesn't meet the needs of the client in more ways than one, including a loss of time and money.
My quary is simple to state but requires a fairly detailed answer.
How do you pre-screen the perspective hypnotist in a short time without having to go through the trouble of finding one, making an appointment, paying and coming away afterwards with resentment for the person who was supposed to use hypnosis but in short seemed to try everything short of saying "no" point blank to get you to use a different therapy???
Is there a way to weed through the seemly 90% of people who would rather use up your time on talking or trying to convince you to seek other means of treatment???
I live now in East Tennessee, near Knoxville. I can find few listings for a specialist in the sole art of Hypnosis. Actually, I have found none. They all claim more than one title or to be Hypnotherapists. If you were going for a tooth ache you wouldn't need therapy but these people explain that after a "required amount of therapy, we may decide that hypnosis is right for your problem".
Once again in short, basically, how do you find a hypnotist that is just that, a hypnotist (not accoupucture or an LMT or Yoga Meditationalist or 'hypnotherapist'), and how many times should you expect to see this person before they attempt hypnosis???
Once again, thank you for any and all help with my questions!! ~ Jim
02-21-2005, 12:00 PM
You are the client, and until you open your pocket book no payment is made, and you don't pay until you are satisfied that the help you have asked for is offered. False advertising is fraudulent in most places if not in all, and once I advertise myself as using a certain therapy, I must be able to do so if I expect to get paid. NEVER go to someone who advertises a variety of skills, they are usually not efficient at any.....To ask us how to avoid the inefficient, is abrogating your own duty to yourself. Surely you know how to tell someone what it is you seek, and walk out if they dither?
When a hypnotherapist becomes certified by a national organization such as the American Board of Hypnotherapy and National Guild of Hypnotists, they have to show that they have training, show that they are continuing their education, and are willing to put money into themselves (people pay for their certification).
Being certified does not guarantee that someone is an excellent hypnotherapist with a specialty that will work for you, but it is an indication that points in that direction. I would therefore suggest that you go to the websites of the guild and the board. In each case you will find how to contact them to request a referral in your area. In your request, be sure to include information on the specific service that interests you.