What is Hypnosis

  • Hypnosis is a natural state. It can be likened to:
  • ‘lost in thought’ or day dreaming
  • Absorbed in an activity, such as sport, reading, listening to music
  • Long distance driving and not recalling the route
  • Meditation and relaxing

It is a state where the critical faculty barrier between the conscious and the unconscious mind is removed, and we are able to dream, and accept fantasy events, eg we know Superman cannot fly, yet, we put aside our critical faculty and accept this fact.

Hypnosis has been around for millennia, from the times of the ‘sleep temples’ of India to the ‘healing temples’ of ancient Egypt. In the 1800’s, there was much interest in this phenomenon in Europe. Many physicians and surgeons including Dr Franz Mesmer had tried to investigate the effect of ‘animal magnetism’ or ‘mesmerism’. Dr Esdaile had performed hundreds of major operations using ‘mesmeric sleep’ as anaesthesia in India, and Dr Elliotson, an English surgeon reported painless surgical operations performed under mesmeric sleep.

The Scottish surgeon, James Braid, coined the ‘Hypnotism’ in 1842. He opposed the view of ‘mesmerism’ as a paranormal effect and explained it in terms of psychological and physiological processes, and postulated that ‘protracted ocular fixation’ caused a trance like state. Hypnotism was derived from a Greek word, hypnos, meaning sleep. However, Braid realised that ‘hypnotism’ was not sleep, however, the term stuck before he could rectify it.

In the 1900’s the eminent physician, Dr Milton Erickson brought Hypnosis to the forefront of the medical profession. In 1958, the American Medical Association approved Hypnosis as a valid form of therapy and medical intervention.

There are many definitions of hypnosis. The following definition encompasses all of the above.

“Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. Clinical Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy, therefore, is the use of an altered state of consciousness or trance for therapeutic endpoint. This means that people are NOT treated with Hypnosis but are treated IN Hypnosis”
London College of Clinical Hypnosis

In the practitioner trainings, Ericksonian inductions will be introduced. During the master practitioner trainings, advanced Ericksonian inductions, together with Elman and Estabrooks inductions will be used. These interventions will not be used for clinical hypnotherapy, but, to cement change and provide a deep relaxing state as part of personal transformational work.

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