Hypnosis - Who it will work for and why it will work for them
by Alan Densky
Hypnosis was accepted by the AMA in 1958 as an effective method for treating stress, and stress related symptoms. It's also used for the elimination of pain; to increase the ability to focus concentration to learn faster; eliminate irrational fears and phobias, and much more. But does it really work, and what should a person look for when seeking a therapist, or purchasing hypnosis tapes & CDs?
There are many different hypnotic methods that are used to reach the unconscious mind to invoke change. Each method has it's strengths, and it's weaknesses. Every person is different, so it stands to reason that the best results will be obtained by utilizing the methods that each person will respond to.
The word hypnosis is a general term that is often improperly used. Hypnosis is a state of mind. And for a clear understanding of this "state of mind," I refer you to another article on this site, Hypnosis - The Truth Finally Revealed.
There are many different method that are used to guide a person into this state of mind that we call "hypnosis." And once that person is in the hypnotic state, there are many different schools of "hypnotherapy." I'm going to define the word "Hypnotherapy" as the therapeutic methods that the hypnotist or hypnotherapist uses to treat the subject's symptoms.
Most hypnosis tape venders offer programs that consist of standard traditional hypnosis techniques. A few vendors offer much more modern and effective Ericksonian hypnosis techniques. And fewer still offer NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques. There is only one vendor that can offer the most modern and effective technique, which is called Neuro-VISION®. Neuro-VISION is a Video that utilizes the latest NLP mind patterns to produce instant change in an individual.
With "Traditional Hypnosis ("traditional hypnotherapy")," we simply make direct suggestions to the unconscious mind. In case you are wondering, as far as I'm concerned, the term unconscious, and subconscious are interchangeable - they refer to the same part of the mind. This type of hypnosis works well for someone who generally accepts what they are told without a lot of questions.
Most hypnosis tapes sold today are based on "Traditional Hypnosis" techniques. The reason for this is that it really doesn't take much training or experience to write a script and just tell someone what to do. Unfortunately Traditional Hypnosis is not very effective for people who are critical or analytical in their thinking processes.
By contrast, Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Techniques work far better for most members of today's generation! This is because today people are taught to question everything, rather than just follow the flock. So these methods do work very well on people who are critical or analytical in their thinking processes.
These methods are much more effective at reaching and influencing the unconscious. However, it can take years of training, study, and most of all experience to learn how to apply these techniques effectively. This is a challenge that is only accepted by the truly dedicated Hypnotists.
With "Ericksonian Hypnosis," we use little stories, called metaphors, to present suggestions and ideas to the unconscious mind. This is a powerful and effective method, because it usually eliminates the blockage of and resistance to suggestions that is often caused by the conscious mind. There are two types of metaphors, "Isomorphic," and those of the imbedded command or "interspersal" nature.
Isomorphic metaphors offer direction to the unconscious by telling a story that offers up a moral. The unconscious draws a one-to-one relationship between elements of the story and elements of a problem situation or behavior. For example, if a child is telling a lot of lies, the parent might tell the child the story about the "Boy who cried wolf." The unconscious would draw a parallel between the boy in the story and the child, and realize that telling lies could lead to disaster, so the child would probably stop lying.
With the Embedded Command technique, the hypnotist tells an interesting story that engages and distracts the conscious mind. The story contains hidden direct suggestions that are usually accepted by the unconscious. For example: While the client is in hypnosis, he might hear the hypnotist say something like: I'm going to tell you a story about …a beach that has feelings. Isn't that …strange to… you? It's a warm summer's day, and… the beach feels great.
The hypnotist pauses, shifts his voice tonality, and emphasizes the bolded text. The unconscious recognizes a "Selectional restriction violation." Beaches can't have feelings. So it's like the unconscious says to itself: "Wait a minute, a beach can't feel anything, so that must mean that I'm supposed to feel great." Since the suggestions are embedded in a story that is distracting the conscious mind, its unlikely that the conscious will realize that it has just received a command, so it won't block it or resist it.
Process Instructions direct the unconscious to find a memory of an appropriate learning experience from the past, and then apply that experience to making a change in the present.
With "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" (NLP), rather than using suggestions, we use the same thought patterns that are creating a problem, like an excessive appetite or stress, to eliminate the problem. NLP in the hands of an experienced practitioner can be very effective.
NLP Anchoring: Have you ever heard an old song and had it trigger feelings from the past? When you originally heard the song, you were feeling those feelings, and they unconsciously became attached to the sound of the song. So the song became an Anchor for the feelings. Now when you hear the song, it triggers the same feelings again.
Anchoring can be a very useful technique. Suppose that you have a memory of being commended for having done something well in the past. If you go back into that memory, you'll be able to recreate the feelings of self-esteem that you had at that time. If you touch two fingers together while you re-experience those feelings of self-esteem, that touch will become an anchor for the feelings of self-esteem.
Now suppose that you want to create motivation to stick to a diet and lose weight. If you make a mental image of yourself with a thin, sexy body, and simultaneously trigger the anchor - (press the two fingers together again), your unconscious will attach the feelings of self-esteem to the image of you with the thin body and your level of motivation to lose weight will increase dramatically.
NLP Flash: This is a very powerful Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique that can be used to "flip" things around in the unconscious, so that thoughts and experiences that used to trigger feelings of stress actually trigger relaxation instead.
The NLP Flash Technique is also extremely effective for extinguishing conditioned responses. For example: If a smoker has a cigarette while drinking coffee, his/her unconscious will pair the two behaviors together so that he/she automatically gets a craving for a cigarette anytime he/she has a cup of coffee. The Flash will cause the smoker's mind to disassociate the image of a cigarette from the cup of coffee so that he/she does NOT get an urge to smoke just because he/she is drinking coffee.
With "Subliminal" programs, the recording has two tracks. One track contains a cover sound that is heard by the conscious mind. The cover sound could be anything from music to nature sounds. The second track contains direct suggestions that are heard by the unconscious mind. These suggestions are repeated hundreds of times during a session.
Subliminal programs can be played in the background while you are working, or watching TV. You don't have to stop what you are doing and relax like you do with hypnosis or NLP. Subliminals can be an addition to hypnotic programs. But Subliminals will never replace Hypnosis or NLP because they are not as effective! They don't even come close!! Some studies have claimed that it can take up to 80 hours of listening to a subliminal recording before it will have any effect on many people.
The last form of hypnosis that we're going to discuss is Video Hypnosis. Video hypnosis is the most effective form of hypnosis! The techniques used in the Neuro-VISION videos are based on the Neuro-Linguistic Programming technology, which works based on the utilization of a person's existing thought processes instead of post-hypnotic suggestion.
Over 70% of the population learns much more quickly and easily by seeing, rather than by hearing. Think about it. If you feel an urge to eat or smoke when watching television, it's because your mind recorded the video image of either food in your hand, or a cigarette in your hand, and then associated that image, with the image of the TV. You never spoke to yourself and told yourself in words to associate them together, did you? And that's why the Neuro-VISION Video Hypnosis technology is so effective.
Have you ever watched a child sit mesmerized in front of a television, completely entranced by the images on the screen? If you have every tried to get the attention of a child in this state of mind you probably found they were oblivious to everything going on around them. The video image was so powerful, so compelling, that the child was literally HYPNOTIZED by it.
Video has an amazing ability to alter and compel behavior. TV advertisers have known this for years and have capitalized on it! Advertisers spend billions of dollar to send messages to you, convincing you to part with your hard-earned money to buy their "new and improved" shampoo or the new year model SUV.
Video advertising works because it reaches your unconscious mind. You see it. You hear it. You also unconsciously accept the messages into the unquestioning part of your brain. Video Hypnosis is not hypnotic in the traditional sense, relying on the spoken word. However, if you've ever cried when watching a sad movie, then you yourself know how effective video hypnosis can be at reaching the unconscious mind.
Thanks to computerized digital optics and Neuro-VISION, we can now apply hypnotic video technology to invoke desired behavioral changes in an effortless manner.
I remember when I heard about the death of actress Natalie Wood. I remember thinking ... this doesn't feel right. What are they not saying?
I also recall seeing the movie "Brainstorm" with Natalie and Christopher Walken. I liked the movie very much but don't recall knowing that it was released after Natalie's death on November 29, 1981.
I haven't read Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendor but was interested enough in the subject matter to write one of the authors, Marti Rulli, how she came to write such a book.
Below is what I received from Marti Rulli, and I have her permission to share it here with you:
Guest Article from Colleen WainwrightFeatured Resource: Conquer Stage Fright
Related Article: How to Cry on Cue
Act Smart!: 10 things you can do in 30 minutes
I get a lot of questions e-mailed to me. Most of them are of the “will you look at my reel and pictures and websites and help me get an agent?” variety, but some are actually smart, non-obnoxious ones the answers to which would benefit most actors. Like the one about how much time to spend on marketing each week. The answer is…it depends: on how much time you have to spend, on what needs to get done, on where you are in your career. But I would say that everyone should be spending a half-hour per day on some marketing- or promotion-related task. Here are 10 ways you can spend those 30 minutes wisely.
30 minutes searching/submitting yourself for roles.
You can do it solo, you can do it with a buddy (or several—read Bonnie Gillespie’s newly revised “Self-Management for Actors” for her system, along with lots of other great ideas). The thing is, DO IT – at least once weekly, or better yet, break your 30 minutes into five six-minute segments and do it daily.
30 minutes sketching out video ideas.
If I were an actor working now, I would be doing everything I could to leverage the amazingly cheap and powerful tools available for putting myself out there in the new media world. I don’t mean that you should turn on your webcam and get all LonelyGirl15 (although if you can come up with the 2009 version of an attention-grabber like that, more power to you). I mean coming up with a clever, interesting way to showcase what you do (i.e., act) online. Back in my day, some poor actors paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to get some crappy tape of themselves. You have no excuse not to be doing 10 times better.
30 minutes doing your social media sweep.
30 minutes getting current on film and TV.
No one can go see everything. But there’s no reason you can’t know about most of it, including who was in it, what it was about and what people are saying about it. This is not a free pass to go spend a half-hour on the online Lost forums, either. This is about you learning the whole landscape, not gorging yourself on stuff you’d watch anyway.
30 minutes schmoozing before or after a play.
Yes, schmoozing. Yes, even if it’s just your dumb friend’s dumb play and there’s no one there “worth” meeting. (A) You never know who’s “worth” meeting, and (B) you most likely need the practice in a low-stakes environment.
30 minutes punching up your bio.
Read through these old columns. Look over your own bio. Is it up-to-date? Does it show you in the best light? Is it user-focused (i.e., interesting for the reader)? Here’s a hint: a bio can almost always be better. And shorter. And by the time it is, you’re usually overdue for revising it again. Always be writing.
30 minutes putting yourself on tape.
How do you work on scenes? Are you watching how you look on-camera? Getting more comfortable with working small? I’m a big fan of actor play-reading groups.
30 minutes writing thank-you notes.
You get auditions. You go to seminars and workshops and classes, meet with casting directors, read acting columns (ahem!). You could easily fill 30 minutes this week writing thank-you notes to people who have somehow, in some small way—even a very, very small way—helped you move the ball forward. Be brief, be genuine and be polite. But be grateful, out loud. It will make you more aware of all the goodness in your life, and it will make the day of the person on the receiving end.
30 minutes reading the trades AND the news.
This one is self-explanatory. Don’t be a dummy actor with no awareness of your industry or the world around you. Even if you’re not in a union yet, educate yourself on the issues. Even if you’re not going out for A-list parts yet, know what’s going on in the business. You don’t have to know the minute details of every last deal, but you should have some understanding of what’s going on in and around your chosen profession aside from what you read in OK! magazine. And you should have some idea of what’s going on in the world around you, if for no other reason than having something besides the latest celebutard DUI scandal to talk about over lunch on a shoot day. You are your own best P.R. agent; don’t feed into the Dumb Actor stereotype.
30 minutes making sure your meeting wardrobe is in shape.
Missing shirt buttons. Run-down heels. Stained suit pants. It’s a good idea for any business person to have a good, working wardrobe; for an actor, it’s indispensable. Do not give them any reason to not hire you; do not let yourself go out looking anything other than your best.
I have a standing request here at Act Smart! HQ, which is to send me your questions on acting: where you’re stuck, where you’re clueless, where you are eager to know more. This very column came out of an e-mail sent by a curious reader. (And hey! Curious Reader? Thank you!)
If you want more tips, tricks and inspiring stories about how to put yourself out there better/smarter/faster, please sign up for my newsletter. Every issue covers one aspect of communication (i.e., you getting your word out there) and includes actionable steps; I also share the best of all the many, many inspirational, how-to and otherwise useful links I come across in my nerdly travels.
Colleen Wainwright is writer-performer-consultant who started calling herself “the communicatrix” when she hit three hyphens. She spent a decade writing commercials and another decade acting in them for cash money. Now she uses her powers for good and not evil by helping actors and other good, hard-working people with a dream uncover their unique fabulosity and get it out there in the world.