I have talked before in previous posts about the hypnotic trance, but you may wonder what exactly is that. It’s explained sometimes as a sleep-like state where the subconscious is active while the conscious mind rests, but there’s a lot more to it.
Hypnosis is a process, and goes through a number of defined stages. Understanding what these are dispels the myths that make people feel reticent to visit a trained therapist, so I’m pleased to explain further.
All sessions start with an introduction, a general conversation to set the goals for the day and understand the general mood of the client. This is not part of hypnosis per se though it does help setting the scene for what comes next. In other words, it’s patient care!
Hypnotic trance starts with the induction phase. In a way, this is the opening of the door to the subconscious, and to allow the conscious mind to start resting. Your brainwave frequency drops, and relaxation of the body begins. During this time, the client can hear and understand me fully, but we start to instigate the imagination to do its thing – this is the playground where conscious and unconscious act as one.
After that comes the deepening, when the brain frequency drops further. You may not follow what I say so closely or you may start feeling fuzzy. The mind starts to wander off on its own, and your consciousness takes a back seat. It simply means that you are now open to suggestions.
At this stage we recommend for your eyes to close and in fact, 9 times out of 10, they normally close on their own. Here begins the therapeutic intervention, where I work on the goals you’ve set. Your mind is fully receptive at this point, and though you will not be aware of what I’m saying, you are listening closely.
At the end of this phase, the work is done. So my job is to bring you back up from slumber. It’s called the awakening phase, and is done slowly to allow your brain to adjust. The subconscious mind goes back to its usual hidden state and your conscious self gets back in control. With a simple count, your eyes open, trance has ended and the process is complete.
One thing I can’t fully explain is why the client doesn’t remember what happened during the therapeutic intervention phase. I’ve always saw it as a way for the subconscious to protect itself, as it does during the normal day to day… The suggestions are firmly implanted during this stage and that’s what matters.