For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been formally studying and taking trainings in hypnosis for over a decade. I’m certified as a clinical hypnotherapist by several organizations and am also certified to teach hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis can be an incredibly powerful tool for change, and isn’t that the essence of magick? Hypnosis is not the only means of magick, nor is it necessary for magick, but it can be used as a magickal tool.
When doing hypnotherapy with people, one of the first things a good hypnotist will do is refute and break down the misunderstandings and myths a person may have about hypnosis. It’s time that could be better spent actually helping someone, but it is necessary due to the false beliefs about hypnosis so many people have. Such false beliefs can actually prevent, delay, or limit successful hypnotherapy. Year after year, the myths and misinformation about hypnosis are spread on TV, in novels and in movies. Â Unfortunately, the spreading of these myths continues.
Recently, I saw the movie The Fourth Kind. The title comes from J. Allen Hyneck’s classifications dealing with UFOs. The first kind is sighting them. The second kind is finding evidence of them. The third kind is contacting them. This was expanded to a fourth kind, being abducted. And that gives you the focus of the movie. A psychologist in Nome, Alaska, using hypnosis, discovers that people are being abducted by aliens.
The film is cleverly made. Although fictional, it includes sections that purport to be actual videos of the real people (really just different actors) whom the main actors are supposedly portraying. The implication is that this is based on real events that took place in the year 2,000. Further, the implication is that hypnosis, as shown in the movie, was an example of what real hypnosis is like.
Due to the imitation documentary aspect of the movie, people who see this film will get the idea that it is showing real hypnosis. It’s not. The film shows people having violent reactions to hypnosis, ranging from screaming and levitating (!) to breaking the bones in their neck. While it is true that hypnosis can result in some unwanted reactions (technically called abreactions), this movie was way over the top. Further, while some psychologists and old-school hypnotists try to get abreactionsâ€”at a far lower levelâ€”for a supposed emotional release, modern hypnotists find them unneeded and avoid them. Meanwhile, the psychologist in the movie who is using hypnosis merely watches and rather ineffectually repeats, “I want you to wake up.”
When I give workshops on hypnosis, one of the things I say is that I often find people will go to movies with vampires or zombies, admit the movie was scary or fun, but say that those type of zombies and vampires aren’t real. But the same people will see a movie where the filmmakers misrepresent hypnosis and believe that’s the way hypnosis really is. Movies such as this misrepresent hypnosis to move the plot and do a disservice to hypnotherapists and to people who might otherwise effectively use hypnotherapy.
I deeply appreciate and value the work that psychologists do. In many cases today, psychiatrists do little in the way of actual therapy; they just prescribe drugs. The challenge of working with people who need counseling primarily falls to psychologists. To become a licensed psychologists takes a couple of years of specialized study. In some cases it also requires gaining experience counseling while under the guidance of current professional. In any event, a licensed psychologist may help many, many people.
The problem is that once licensed, psychologists (or psychiatrists) can practice a wide range of techniques even if they have not taken extensive, specialized training in that area. This is not limited to psychological professionals. Some MDs began offering liposuction surgeries after taking a weekend course in the practice. But the point is, if a licensed psychologist believes that hypnosis will help a patient, they can legally use hypnosis even if they have not received extensive, specialized training in the field. I have received over a thousand hours of trainings and studied hundreds of books on hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Unless a psychologist can say the same, I would not want them to use hypnotherapy with me.
This is not meant as a criticism of any form of psychotherapy or any psychotherapists. All I am suggesting here is that before allowing yourself to participate in any sort of therapy, you should ask your prospective therapist their specific training in this area.
Hypnosis is too easy. By that I mean it is easy to learn how to lead a person into hypnosis. The difficult partâ€”the part that the schools and teachers rarely talk about in their advertisementsâ€”is what you’re supposed to doÂ after you hypnotize someone.
It is actually easy to learn how to hypnotize people. Books such as Hypnosis for Beginners and New Age Hypnosis can give you all sorts of techniques for this. In my opinion, however, it’s what you do after the hypnotic induction and before you emerge a person from hypnosis that is the most important part of hypnosis. BecauseÂ most schools don’t focus on this in their advertising, students come in not realizing that this is so most important. They want to learn more inductions and faster inductions. This misunderstanding of the very nature of hypnosis leads to new students often not focusing on the parts they really need to learn.
The most common hypnoticÂ induction taught in books is known as the “progressive relaxation” induction, also known as the “progressive muscle relaxation” induction. The problem with this is that people may end up confusing relaxation and hypnosis. While it is true that hypnosis often is accompanied by relaxation, relaxation is not necessary for hypnosis. Nor is merely being relaxed hypnosis.
I am a moderator an internet forum dedicated to hypnosis. Often we get questions from people trying to learn hypnosis from books who say, “I felt relaxed, but the suggestions I gave myself didn’t hold.” That’s probably because they were only relaxed and not hypnotized.
This is the reason I am really happy to see the appearance of two new items. First is the book Self-Empowerment Through Self-Hypnosis by Weschcke and Slate. Second is the Self-empowerment Through Self-Hypnosis CD Companion by the same authors. Although the items work fine independently, together they make a great set. For most people it is initially easier to be hypnotized by someone else. The CD helps you experience hypnosis and learn self-hypnosis. The book adds to it with methods and techniques for suggestions that can help you make positive revolutionary changes in your life. You can break unwanted habits and visit past lives. Magickally, this corresponds to making talismans or working with your magickal memory.
If you’re interested in breaking through a wide variety of issues in your life and magickally using hypnosis, any of the products I’ve mentioned will be excellent resources. If you would like an actual, high-quality training in hypnosis leading to certification, I will be conducting a training in the Southern California area. You can learn more about it on my website (click HERE and scroll down) or contact the venue, The Green Man, 818-985-2010. Dates to be determined.