Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hypnosis and Hyperempiria -- Perfect Together!

Like peanut butter and jam.
I have previously been inclined to refer to hypnosis and hyperempiria as two distinct approaches to induction, one based on expressed or implied suggestions of drowsiness and sleep, and the other based on suggestions of enhanced alertness and sensitivity. But they don't have to be separate, and in actual practice they often are used together. 

Michael Ellner has written, "I do often have my clients switching from "hypnotic" to "hyperempiric" states of mind with the belief that doing so translates into a neurophysiology that seems to increase hypnotic outcomes in the same way that conventional hypnotic fractionalization seems to increase hypnotic outcomes."

Instead of continually bringing clients out of hypnosis and then re-hypnotizing them in order to increase depth, as is done in conventional fractionalization techniques, Ellner takes them "down" into hypnosis and "up" into hyperempiria, so that they can go both deeper and higher, deriving greater benefits from the combined experience. "I think hypnotic influence is most effective in natural default states that occur when people focus on A and put B, C, D, etc. out of their awareness during the activity -- we can think of this as a trance or not." Fable Goodman has subsequently pointed out that the technique pf alternating between diminished and higher experiences of consciousness was originated by Masters and Houston in 1970. But in actual practice, how you get to a different experience of consciousness is less important than how  you use it after you get there.

In our chapter on inductions in the Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis, Lynn and I have noted, "Given the inherent flexibility of hypnotic interventions, inductions can contain a mix of hyperempiric and relaxation-based or even sleepy-drowsy suggestions" (Gibbons & Lynn, 2010, pp,381-382). Since hyperempiria literally means enhanced experience, when a hypnotized person is given suggestions to increase his or her responsiveness, the hypnotist is using hyperempiric suggestions, or a combination of hypnotic and hyperempiric suggestions, in order to bring about the change which s/he desires. If I suggest, for example, that when a people need to study for a forthcoming test, they will be able to touch their thumb and forefinger together and that will give them the extra boost of energy that they need to study effectively and well, that is still a hyperempiric suggestion even though it may have been given within the context of traditional hypnosis.

Another example has been provided by +Kelley Woods  who writes: "Your cite from your primer reminds me of of how I might, when anchoring a sense of calm or peace with a finger clasp mechanism, suggest a client intensify that feeling even more by pumping or pulsing those fingers together. This very act builds belief and affords relief...our ultimate goal! . . Hypnosis and hyperempiria go together like peanut butter and jam!"  


In no particular order, here are just a few the other practical applications of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, contained on this Blog,  You can learn how to:
See also the following print sources:

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

Gibbons, D. E., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.

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