"Is that it can not speak!"
What you think to yourself about what is going on while you are in the process of being hypnotized is more important than anything the hypnotist tells you, because it is the voice of your other hypnotist -- your self-talk -- that has your complete trust. Perhaps it might be helpful to re-examine the well-known history of hypnosis from the perspective that there are two hypnotists involved, rather than one. . Perhaps it might be helpful to re-examine the well-known history of hypnosis from the perspective that there are two hypnotists involved, rather than just one. Failure to adequately take the client's inner hypnotist into account can explain much of the behavior which is currently labeled as the result of a "hypnotic trance."
Until comparatively recently, in Western culture the experience of trance was interpreted as due to demonic influences or, occasionally, the mark of holiness or sainthood, as it was in the case of Saint Teresa.
|Saint Teresa was a prone to spontaneous|
states of ecstasy.
When the demand for his services had reached its height, Mesmer proceeded to "magnetize" a large elm tree on the estate of his patron, the Marquis de Puysegur, a few miles outside of the city of Paris; and great crowds would often gather to stand under the tree, either to derive the benefits if its healing power for themselves or simply to observe the dramatic results which were apparently produced in others.
Events were to take yet another turn when a retarded peasant lad of twenty-three named Victor Emmanuel was brought to stand under the now-famous elm tree, in the hope that the "magnetic rays" which were supposedly emanating from the tree might also be of some benefit to him. As many retardates are apt to do when they are placed in a situation in which they are not quite certain what is expected of them, Victor, though he remained standing, promptly utilized the occasion to avail himself of a quick nap. Other patients standing under the tree, seeing Victor asleep on his feet, apparently perceived this event as merely another result of the strange mesmeric rays emanating from the tree; for they promptly began to feel drowsy and to "fall asleep" themselves, thereby initiating a change in the form of suggestion-induced trance experience which heralded the death of mesmerism and the birth of traditional forms of hypnosis.
|Hypnosis immediately became an object of fascination.|
Today, we no longer need to rely upon the model of trance behavior provided to us by a sleeping retardate over two hundred years ago, when much better models are available. A hyperempiric induction is based on suggestions of mind expansion, enhanced awareness, and increased responsiveness and sensitivity, in contrast to traditional hypnotic inductions based on expressed or implied suggestions of lethargy, drowsiness, and sleep. (Gibbons, 1973). Hyperempiric inductions, or "alert hypnosis," has been found to be just as effective as traditional hypnotic inductions in facilitating subsequent responsiveness to suggestion (Bányai, & Hilgard, 1976; Gibbons, 1975, 1976). But this time, we didn't have to wait for another historical accident to come along. I simply made it up!
I presented a standard hypnotic induction to one class, and a hyperempiric induction, based on suggestions of mind expansion and increased alertness, to another class, and compared the subsequent increase in responsiveness to suggestion between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference between them -- both inductions had worked equally well. I coined the term hyperempiria from the ancient Greek word for "experience," wrote a book about it, and that was that.
Bányai, E. I., & Hilgard, E. R. (1976). A comparison of active-alert hypnotic induction with traditional relaxation induction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 218-224.
Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016.
Phillips, B. D. (2007). Tranceplay: Experimental approaches to interactive drama involving experiential trance. Journal of Interactive Drama, 2.1, pp. 15-55.
Sacerdote, P. (1977). Applications of hypnotically elicited mystical states to the treatment of physical and emotional pain. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 25(4), pp. 309-324.