You Don't Need Hypnosis -- You Need Dehypnosis
by Bryan KnightYou usually go to a hypnotherapist with the expectation of being hypnotized. But most likely you need to be DE-hypnotized.
Hypnosis is simply being wrapped up in your imagination. Your imagination is pumped up with words and images from your parents, family, friends, school, TV, video games, movies, books and society. Your willpower is helpless against the immense strength of these messages.
Dehypnosis is helping someone to "wake up" from their imposed hypnotic trance.
For example, Gloria's mind was trapped in the Princess Syndrome -- because of fairy tales implanted when she was little, she's convinced that life should present her with a handsome Prince Charming.
Such a damsel in distress is vulnerable to egotistical men. Gloria is unaware of being attracted to sociopaths because their superficial charm appears to fit her preconceptions. Despite the objective evidence [disdain, distrust, denial] that he is a creep she kids herself that the guy is a great catch. And Gloria will even regret "losing" him when he either dumps her or she finally rebels at being mistreated.
Sadly, without dehypnosis, damsel Gloria will continue to pine for her Prince.
Dehypnosis is also needed if you are too timid, anxious, depressed.
Like Peter who suffers all the symptoms of a timid person for whom almost everything is frightening:
- He's more afraid of living than of dying.
- He can't enjoy the moment because he fears an impending problem.
- Life seems empty to him.
- He's too scared to be positive.
- He sees the glass not only as half empty but as disintegrating.
So, without dehypnosis, timid Peter is doomed to a state of terrified half-living.
Dehypnosis is essential to end Amelia's addiction
Amelia's addiction to overeating is fed (pardon the pun) by her imagination that is packed with convictions such as:
- food is so delicious, satisfying and comforts me
- it's wrong to leave food on my plate
- I'm completely helpless to cut down on my eating
- after I diet I just gain back all the weight
These powerful hypnotic influences are a combination of Amelia's upbringing and her being afraid to face the reasons why she is self-medicating with food. Actually, Amelia is aware of some of the emotional conflicts that contribute to her desperate need for comfort. But the negative self-hypnosis overrides her better judgement. To counteract the strong self-destructive convictions requires a massive dose of dehypnosis.
How Dehypnosis will help
Dehypnosis puts you in control. It changes your negative hypnotic thoughts to positive, empowering thoughts.
Dehypnosis has 3 main characteristics:
1. Cognitive behavioural therapy: a fancy label for straightening out your thinking. (In Amelia's case it would involve facing the reality of the kind of men she actually chooses rather than the type she daydreams about).
2. Action assignments: change your behaviour and you change your thoughts and feelings. (So, for example, Peter would be encouraged to take risks that could result in his enjoying life-affirming activities).
3. Positive self-hypnosis: you would practice such techniques as Thought Stopping, EFT or PSTEC and future progression. In Amelia's case this would mean she changes what she tells herself from helplessness to knowing she can control her eating. She would resolve emotional conflicts and traumas plus imagine herself slim and content in the future without overeating.
You will only even consider dehypnosis if you're troubled
Dehypnosis is a little like deprogramming former members of a cult. That's because it's all to do with belief systems. You'll only even consider dehypnosis if something is troubling you.
If, for example, you grew up in a home where your family taught you to hate outsiders and this prejudice was approved at your school and reinforced at your family's place of worship you probably wouldn't see any need to change. You might even feel a strong urge to convince outsiders to adopt your faith. Or even to kill the unbelievers.
That's why fanatics of all stripes are so dangerous: they live in absolute certainty that their way is right while being blithely unaware that their "reality" is hypnotically induced.
And that if they'd grown up in a different family or a different country, their trance of certainty would be greatly different, yet equally compelling.
Here's a quotation that explains the power of our initial programming by parents and caretakers:
"Much of our most important emotional and interpersonal learning occurs during our early years when our primitive brains are in control. The result is that a great deal of learning takes place before we have the necessary cortical systems for explicit memory, problem solving,or perspective. Consequently, many of our most important socioemotional learning experiences are organized and controlled by reflexes, behaviors, and emotions outside of our awareness and distorted by our immature brains."
How To Know if You Need Dehypnosis
Ask yourself one of these questions:
- "Am I dating the kind of man I claim I want or am I, like Gloria, choosing a frog instead of a Prince?"
- "Do I want to continue believing like Peter that life is empty, frightening and pointless?"
- "Am I, like Amelia, smothering emotional conflict or traumatic feelings with food?"
- "Is there another, perhaps equally valid way to understand myself and those around me?"
Entire site Copyright © 1995-2013 Bryan M. Knight, MSW, PhD.