How about a simple self-hypnosis process today? In hypnotherapy sessions, we often use the fundamental ABC model to help focus the session before it begins. A = affect, B = behaviour and C = Cognition. Prior to employing an intervention within our therapy session, we run through a target situation of some kind that is problematic or causes discomfort and is usually the type of situation that provides a challenge that the client is seeing you to help overcome and deal with.
As they then consider that target situation we ascertain what their existing affect (sensations, feelings) behaviour and cognitions (thoughts, beliefs, internal dialogue) are. Then we look at the desired or ideal affect, behaviour and cognitions are and use interventions to mentally rehearse that outcome happening or to expose the client to the situation and they practice dealing with it more effectively.
This ABC model can be applied in therapy and using simple self-hypnosis to mentally rehearse and desensitise to the problematic situation and I thought I’d show you how anyone can do that.
So prior to starting, think about a problematic situation, maybe one that you avoid or that causes you to feel anxious or that is a situation you wish you could cope with better in some way. As you think about entering that situation, just rate your level of discomfort or frustration at the reaction to have to that imagined situation, on a scale of 0-10. With that in mind, we now begin.
Step One: In a comfortable position where you are going to be undisturbed for a while, ideally with your arms and legs uncrossed, in a balanced posture, take a nice deep breath and as you exhale allow your eyes to be comfortably closed.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Step Two: Having gone through the induction process, there is no need to deepen because the process includes a relaxation section that can double up as a deepening for your experience of hypnosis.
Heighten your awareness of your own body for a few moments and be mindful of it. Throughout the entire session allow all your perceptions to deepen your experience of hypnosis. Just observe your thoughts, feelings, any sounds and be content to just observe.
Then you just use any process you know of progressive relaxation. This is simple self-hypnosis so any relaxation process you know of will suffice.
You can imagine a light flowing through your body, relaxing parts of it as it moves. You can imagine tensing and then relaxing muscles throughout the body, You might command each muscle one by one to ‘soften’ or use any other method and engage your imagination in the process of deeply relaxing your entire body. Do it methodically and thoroughly.
Step Three: You will have noticed that as you started to relax, your breathing changed in line with that. Notice how it has become more gentle and shallow. Make sure that you do not interfere with your breathing, just observe it and let your body do the breathing while you spend a few moments watching it and allowing it to enhance your relaxation.
Make sure that you have relaxed all the tiniest of muscles in your face, including your jaw and forehead and muscles around the eyes and as you continue to relax, start telling yourself that you are reaching deeper inside yourself and within your awareness.
When you feel that you have completely let go and are at peace, absolutely relaxed… Only then move on to the next step and we begin with the exposure and rehearsal.
Step Four: So first we work on the Affect.
Now you go back to that target situation that you thought about immediately prior to step one.
In order for this to be effective, you need to really imagine that youa re there; be there in that place, seeing what you see, hearing the sounds, feeling as you feel in that situation. Make it as real and as vivid as you are able to do.
All the while though, you continue to relax, all the time relaxing deeper and deeper. Relax body and mind further and further while you imagine being in that situation, facing things, exposing yourself to that situation that used to be problematic.
You take yourself through that entire scenario, this time rehearsing it at the same time as feeling deep relaxation and an inner peacefulness. Just let yourself be calm and relaxed in every way possible about being in that situation.
Whenever you feel that you are deeply enough relaxed, then have a good think about any level of discomfort and measure it on that same scale of 0-10 and ideally the number is lowering.
Then again apply all your own relaxation skills and let that situation fade, breathe deeply, relax your body deeper and deeper and repeat this exposure a couple more times, relaxing after each exposure to that situation and using the classic desensitisation process.
Step Five: Now we work on Behaviour.
This is where you start to rehearse coping well in that situation and behaving in a better way.
So imagine being in that very same situation again now, make it very vivid and real again. As you imagine that situation now, imagine yourself acting and behaving the way that you’d like – maybe more calmly responding, maybe more confidently with a good level of self-assuredness, or whatever you think is the best, appropriate way for you to behave in that situation.
Continue in that situation, making it as vivid as in the previous step, and start to alter the way you hold your body, how you communicate, how you act in that situation; do whatever needs to be done for an effective new way of being in that situation.
Then once you have gone through the entire scenario, measure the level of discomfort you felt on a scale of 0-10, again, all the time working towards lowering that number with each repetition of the exposure.
Then relax yourself thoroughly and deeply as you let that situation fade before repeating this step another couple of times, or until you get your score on the scale to 0 (and even consider doing it after 0 too!)
Step Six: Finally we work on the Cognition.
Create and construct a positive statement that you tell yourself in that situation. Don’t just phrase it in a laborious manner, use words that elicit an undeniably convincing response and reaction from you. Create a positive cognition that really helps and feels like it is deeply meant when you say it to yourself.
Repeat it to yourself a few times to generate some positive feelings from it, start to imagine what it is like when you truly believe this statement and engage in it.
Now again, you put yourself into that same target situation, you run through the entire scenario while repeating that positive statement to yourself over and over with more meaning and drive and inspire yourself with the delivery of this statement to yourself, so that it effects how you react and respond to that target situation.
Once you have run through the target situation, repeating that positive cognition and really believing in it at the same time, then measure on a scale of 0-10 how uncomfortable you feel about that situation. Again, aiming to bring that number down.
Then fade the scene and spend some time relaxing yourself just as you have done earlier in the session before you repeat this step another couple of times, all the time aiming to bring that score on the scale down lower.
Step Seven: Finishing the simple self-hypnosis exercise.
Thank yourself for the energy and time you invested in yourself. Be appreciative of what you are doing and start to think about bringing this rehearsal into real life and believing that you now have a new way of reacting to that situation. take a deep breath and open your eyes, wiggle your fingers and toes and bring the positive belief and thought process with you into your life.
Repeat the process every day for a week prior to then placing yourself in that situation and watching how things have changed.
There you have it, a simple self-hypnosis process that is as easy as ABC.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about simple self-hypnosis skills, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.