Clinical Hypnosis Essay

Submitted By phibbert0419
Words: 2085
Pages: 9

Clinical Hypnosis

Risks vs. Benefits

Preston Hibbert


Hypnosis is defined as the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. When a person is hypnotized they are placed into a highly suggestive and focused state called a trance and then the person is fed suggestive phrases to induce someone to formulate certain internal processes such as feelings and memories. A trance can be described as a heavy restful feeling or a light floating sensation. While in a trance you aren’t asleep, people can still hear, speak and move. You know exactly where you are and can react to situations that need your immediate attention. Some people may fall asleep while in a trance due to becoming so relaxed but they can still hear the instructions given to them and move, breathe or awaken accordingly. When someone comes out of a trance they may or may not remember even remember the suggestions given to them. Every individual hypnosis experience is unique and the level of susceptibility a person is to hypnotic suggestion varies. It is very rare that you will be immune to hypnosis. Over the years the understanding of hypnosis has changed but the basis of hypnosis itself hasn’t changed. Some still like to view hypnosis as an occult power used to control a person’s mind. Despite what some people still think today, hypnosis doesn’t entail mind control or brainwashing. Not only is it against unethical for a hypnotherapist to try to get you to do something other than help with the stated issue, it is also almost impossible for hypnosis to force someone to do anything against their moral code or something they wouldn’t normally do. It is still possible to refuse instructions given to the subject if they really want to. Rare cases and extremely skilled hypnotists have shown that hypnosis can be misused through sophisticated deception. Hypnotherapists simply use persuasive and influential communication methods, much like advertisements and lawyers, to get you to feel or remember what is needed. Probably the last use of hypnosis for occult purposes and the first time it was used by scientific ones was in the 18th century by Franz Mesmer. He was the first one to propose a scientific basis for hypnosis. He developed a consistent method for hypnosis that has been passed down and developed further by his followers. Though Mesmer was unable to really make a career out of hypnosis, hypnosis did work. In the 19th century individuals worked at understanding and applying the effects of hypnosis. The hard work of James Braid and John Elliotson trying to get to the heart of hypnosis is what got hypnosis accepted for clinical use. Still, debates of whether or not hypnosis had any physical basis or not still occurred. In the 20th century, use of hypnosis shifted from the US to Europe and the style and availability changed. Now those outside of a clinic could utilize it and instead of it being carried out by a kind of authoritarian, it was carried out in a more subtle way through persuasive language patterns to induce a trance. Therapists such as Milton H. Erickson, who is regarded as the leading hypnotherapist in the world, helped mold hypnosis into what we recognize it today. In addition to the way hypnosis was carried out, it also became more practical to use. Increased understanding of the brain and advances in neuroscience coupled with the works of Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell’s work linking hypnosis to REM (Rapid Eye Movement) have produced the understanding that hypnosis is something we experience on a daily basis. Activities such as reading, watching a movie, driving or even mowing the lawn can put a person into a type of trance. In the case of watching a movie or reading a book, the imaginary events seem real in the sense that they fully engage our emotions. While reading a book we feel sadness, happiness, anger and