So just recently I have found myself addressing the real basics of hypnosis, induction and deepening processes here on the blog, because they are often overlooked or even spurned for being too simple, but I like things kept simple.
Last Friday I was running a self-hypnosis seminar and we discussed deepening hypnosis for ourselves when hypnotised.
Of course, someone mentioned the notion of going down stairs and the next person said going down an escalator and we all joked that this was the lazier version of the two.
When someone does go deeper into hypnosis, they are not actually going to a deeper place, not tangibly, it is their perception that is being deepened. When fellow hypnotherapists report that a client said they did or did not feel like they were “under” following a hypnotic experience, I am always baffled as to what kinds of expectations they must have had.
Under what exactly? The floorboards? Or were they expecting to feel as if they were anaesthetised and completely oblivious and unaware of anything? Isn’t that just a sleep?
Deepening by it’s very nature lends itself well to the notion of imagining going downwards in some way. So going down stairs is easy, metaphorical and effective for anyone that can imagine going deeper down a set of stairs.
When we use these kinds of ways to deepen hypnosis, the client is encouraged to use imagery and previous experience to imagine that he/she is at the top of a flight of stairs. They are then told that for each step that they take down the stairs, they experience themselves going deeper into hypnosis.
For those that like the hypnosis to be relaxing, the hypnotist may even suggest that they take steps deeper into the basement of relaxation in their mind, for example. of course, escalators and lifts may also be used, as long as the individual being hypnotised is not scared of these things or have any unpleasant associations with them. In which case, you use something different.
It does not have to limit itself to every day, typical notions of taking steps or going down an escalator. People can go deeper into space, they can dive deeply, they can ski down slopes and use their imagination in all manner of ways to encourage the hypnosis experience to also be deeper.
I’ll start stepping it up (see what I did there) with the depth and level of hypnosis discussion here again in coming days anyhow…