Hypnosis is easy. Most people can learn various formulae for inducing a hypnotic trance. It is what you do with the trance that is where the real work and expertise is. The problem is in the second half of the word “hypnotherapy”, that is ‘therapy’. Therapy is what we do with the hypnosis. In general, it is possible to combine it with most forms of psychotherapy; it enhances and strengthens them.
Many so-called hypnotherapists use formulaic scripts that don’t work for everyone. They are using a shotgun approach for a target, your problem, that needs a sharpshooter. These scripts are the reason people think hypnosis is not for everyone.
The truth is trance is natural. Everyone is going in and out of trance all day and every day. It is the standard we all use to judge how entertaining movies, novels, games, conversations are. And also whether we’ve had a good day at work. The more thoroughly engaged, absorbed you become in any activity the more fun it is. These states are most powerful when there are elements of interaction.
Even the apparent active-receptive version that is the surface of a hypnotic session – one person or group of people being hypnotised by another – is interactive. It is interactive in the way a novel is interactive, because the receiver/reader/hypnotised creates the whole experience in their mind, from the words spoken/read.
You can learn to be better at giving yourself to these absorbing activities by understanding how to manage your attention, your mental and emotional states, and your relationships.
There are plenty of simple versions of hypnotic trance we often experience where someone is guiding us. Such as the guided visualisations you may have experienced in many sports and athletic training, in relaxation and stress management classes, in Yoga and meditation training, even in situations where people are teaching you how to learn better. They don’t have you dancing the funky chicken, or doing anything you don’t want to. These are often generalised experiences and not targeted to help solve specific problems with an individual solution suited to your lifestyle.
Some people professing to be professional hypnotists/hypnotherapist read scripts you can download from online that are targetting for particular problems with a generalised solution. They can make you feel good but don’t teach you skills for avoiding relapse.
Hypnotherapy fails for some of the same reasons other therapies, including drugs, fail. They fail because they are not specific solutions tailored to your lifestyle, mentality, history, and needs. And because they are presented as magically able to fix you as if you are a broken machine, computer, without you being interactively involved in ‘your’ solutions.
The primary reasons Hypnotherapy fails are:
- You and your therapist assume hypnosis is the solution in and by itself.
- The therapist did not tailor your solution to your specific lifestyle and role in it.
- You aren’t truly ready to solve the problem, maybe the cost to you isn’t personal enough.
- The cost hasn’t become extreme enough.
- You are ‘trying’ to solve it for someone else’s sake.
- You, with the therapist, haven’t a clear sense of what your lifestyle will be like without the problem.
- You, with the therapist, haven’t taken into account how the problem affects your relationships.
- You, with the therapist, haven’t examined how the solutions affect your relationships.
- You, with the therapist’s guidance, haven’t taken into account how the solutions will affect your sense of self.
- The therapy caters to your magical thinking. You believe it happens to you, solving your problems without your participating effort.
- The therapy makes you feel good, without teaching you skills that let you manage your responses to triggers that may bring on recurrence of the problem.
- You haven’t coached or even asked your friends, family, lovers and workmates what you need to be the person you want to be without the problem and with the solutions.
- You, with your therapist, haven’t isolated the most profound source of the problem.
- Your therapist hasn’t educated you in the mechanisms that empower you to manage your mindset, your point of view, your presuppositions and mental-emotional processes in ways that help you solve the problems and make your solutions.
- The therapy is not client focused, but also lets the client stay problem-focused and leads with from that attitude.
- You didn’t choose a therapist that you feel trust, feel a real connection and comfortable with in a way that lets you follow their processes.