Visual system

You will have seen how easy it can be to alter the content of the visual system when the eyes are closed. You might try to achieve positive and negative visual hallucinations with the eyes open. As examples of positive hallucinations you might try to create a script which will include the suggestion of something like, When you open your eyes you will notice that while they were closed I have placed a book on my desk. I think you will find the title interesting, and I would like you to read it...

Taste and smell

These two senses are closely related, so that in fact much of what we think of as taste is really sensed by the nose. You may try to get your friend either to smell or taste something that is not there, or to alter or ignore a smell or taste that is. Taste receptors basically can distinguish sweet, sour, salty and bitter. All flavours that are not a combination of these have at least some smell component. (Think about how impoverished taste seems to become when a heavy cold blocks out any...

Sensory systems

At the lowest level you will be simply aiming to increase or decrease the activity of the wide range of sensory systems that the body is provided with. (Try to forget the phrase the five senses - it involves only a rough categorisation) You have already done this at a simple level you have for example aroused a sensation of touch - of a slight tickle, when there is nothing there, and in relaxing a hand or arm you will probably have reached a point where it is unable to feel whatever it is that...

Involuntary activation of the vocal system

At the lowest level of the vocal system we simply have the muscles controlling the vocal chords. Why not see if you can produce an involuntary activation of these Hint Focus attention on breathing then on the sound of the out breath, then suggest a slight sighing might develop, then increase its intensity - probably some sound like aah. (A feedback loop, as usual, in which a slight change leads to expectation of a greater change which leads to more change, and so on.) Once you have achieved...

Automatic writing

All the above are working with rather lower level aspects of the muscular system. But you can use these as a foundation on which to build up to higher level systems. As an example of this you might set the goal of automatic writing in which you will build on the fact that you can get a finger to make small involuntary movements up to the point at which it is, equally involuntarily, forming entire sentences on paper. In doing this I would like you to remember that you have already done something...

Involuntary movement of muscles

You have already seen how easy it is to get a finger to move. It is usually quite easy to extend this and to get the hand and then the arm to lift into the air and perhaps rise as high as the face. Or even high into the air. Hint in many schools you have to hold your hand up to get the teacher's attention. You may be able to use the imagination to take your friend back to a memory of such a time and then suggest that he or she knows the answer to the teacher's question and the arm will lift to...

Possible Goals

Now I will give you a range of ideas to choose from for your continuing practice. Many of these are phenomena that are mentioned often in books on hypnosis, sometimes as parts of an initial induction, sometimes as deepening techniques, sometimes as tests of hypnotisability. Others of the phenomena I will mention have, as far as I know, never been attempted before (Such as the involuntary smile.) That is not to say that they are particularly difficult, it is just that the systems approach to...

Next before you start I would emphasise that you should Always say to your subject before you start that if they feel

The reason for this is that many people get very anxious when they feel that they are losing control or that something strange is happening to them both of which are quite common characteristics of hypnotic phenomena. Another (rare) possibility is that you may accidentally inactivate an inhibiting system - one that has been very active keeping something else under control - and the controlled system may spontaneously start to act quite dramatically. Since at this stage you will not have the...

Bringing it all together

And then the rest of the chapter is directed at giving you a variety of goals - changes that you might make in a subject - in order to practice and expand on what you have learned. Many ofthese are accompanied by hints on how to go about them. The advantages of writing out scripts for yourself at this stage are presented. You should have discovered for yourself the following things, others. 1) It is possible to alter the way in which the brain and nervous system...

Summary

You should now be far more aware of the existence of a resistive system in most people you meet and the importance in inactivating it if you want to change their minds on anything. Argument tends to activate even higher levels of resistance which you will find very hard to break, but the skills that this chapter encourages you to practise will enable you to lower resistance in others with gentle words. If, beyond that, you can activate positive feelings of rapport towards yourself you will have...

Exploring Inductions

In this chapter for the first time we will meet some processes which have been passed down the years as being ways of producing some dramatic changes in the functioning of people. These are what have been called hypnotic inductions. We start with a close look at an induction used by James Braid, the father of hypnotism. Then some other's, again from well-known names in the history of our subject, are given more briefly for you to try. The question of whether as a result of such inductions a...

Further ideas

There are an enormous number of variations on the above, and people will vary a lot in the extent to which these come naturally. The following is just a possible list of things that might be easily visualised. We have covered flying, so why not swimming deep in the sea like a dolphin, running the earth like a dog or horse, entering deep tunnels or caverns like a rabbit. Or you can play with time. We have covered some simple memories, but you might want to explore further back into childhood. Or...

Discussion

Every picture that is seen by your friend has arisen in their visual system a complex one which extends from the eyes to the visual cortex at the back of the brain. When the eyes are open then this system responds to the messages it gets from the eyes. In these exercises you will have seen that it can also be activated by messages from other parts of the brain. In particular the words that you use are altering the content of the system. One of the beauties of these exercises is that the visual...

Exercise 6 An imaginary life

I now want your mind to wander and to think about all the different lives people have led. Today there are people all over the world in different lives. Some live in deserts, some in cities. Some are rich, others are poor. And in the past things were more different still. You might think of the ancient Egyptians or Druids, or even back to the stone age and before. After a while I would like you to pick on a particular time and place that seems of interest. F. (After while.) A stone age...

Exercise 4 Floating Journey

You can then build on the above and see if you can direct them to fly outside. Y. Next, at whatever height you feel comfortable, find yourself out of doors. Just let me know when you are there, and exactly where you are. F. (If there is difficulty getting an outside view you may first need to guide them through a door or window.) I'm out now. About head high. Just by the door. Y. Why not enjoy traveling from there towards the sea side. You can be as high as you like. (After a few minutes) Y....

Exercise 3 Floating viewpoint

The next thing you could try is to see if your friend can alter the viewpoint so that they seem to be higher than is normal, i.e. is floating or flying. This might proceed as follows. Y. Now I just want you to be aware of the room again. And your position in it. Y. Next you are going to start to feel as if you are slowly floating up towards the ceiling. It will be quite effortless. Just as if you are a helium balloon. Just rising. Just rising. Just let me know when this starts to happen. It is...

Exercise 2 Introducing a strange element

Now, you will be surprised to see that there is a picture, or drawing or mark on the walls or ceiling that you have never noticed before. Look for it and tell me what you see. F. It is a painting of a strange woman. F. Someone has drawn a heart on it Y. What are the initials Or F. There IS a strange mark. F. In the top right hand corner. Y. How could it have got there F. Perhaps someone threw something at the ceiling. Each of these cases demonstrates ways in which your suggestion can be...

Exercise 1 Picturing a specific room

Please just close your eyes and make yourself comfortable. Pause. Now I want you just to think about a room you know very well. When you have it clearly in mind let me know. F. (After a while.) Fine. F. The kitchen at home. or My bedroom or Y. Could you describe it to me F. Describes it, perhaps with a little prompting. The main thing that you need to establish from this is how detailed the images are, and the amount of colour in them. These vary from person to person.

Directing and Controlling the Imagination

The visual imagination can not only be used for exploration, it can be guided and directed. This chapter provides exercises to develop this ability. The specifics used are to imagine a place, then a strange element in it, then a changed, floating viewpoint, then a floating journey Next the ability to change images is used to change a small memory then developed to see if a completely different life can be pictured. This chapter should teach you how much can be done with the imagination in many...

Example 4 Starting with an actual memory

I want you to remember something - anything - from your past. F. OK. I can remember a day on holiday a few years ago. I was sailing. Y. Were you alone F. No, with some friends. Y. How was it F. I remember a storm, in which we nearly got drowned. Y. (After getting some description of the time.) Now if it had been a story things would have been even more dramatic. I wonder if you can imagine it as a story, or a film. There may be other people with you. The boat could be different. And so on....

Example 2 Starting with a house

I want you to let your mind roam over houses. They can be old or new. They can be big or small castles or cottages. Ones you have seen and ones you have never seen. After a while one will seem somehow more interesting than the rest. I want you to tell me once that happens. F. (After a few minutes.) I am in front of a large house. Y. Is the front door open Y. How about going in and exploring F. OK. And then you allow him or her slowly to explore the place room by room. Example 3. Starting...

Example 1 Starting from whatever is visible with closed eyes

With your eyes closed you may see simply a colour. Black, grey or pink. Just keep your eyes fixed on this and after a while you will see changes. What can you see F. Mainly grey, with blotches. Y. Just keep watching. After a while you will find that you can see something through that mistiness. F. (After a while.) There was a cheese sandwich passing by Y. Fine. Keep watching. Something else will happen soon. F. There are some trees. And nearby there is a big house. Y. Which would you like to...

What I would particularly like is to get you into the way of always having in mind at least two different

If the visualisations have given you ideas about certain possibilities then you can proceed to find out more and thus be better able to choose between possibilities. Some of our uncertainties can be resolved simply by asking questions in the normal way. Others can be resolved by asking more detailed questions of the friend while she is visualising. But at times you may find that there remains no way of clearly distinguishing between two possibilities and at other times both can be true.

Question 3 Is there any significance or meaning in what the friend saw

It does not take much imagination to discover certain possibilities about the friend. But with an eye to the use of such things in therapy I would emphasise that there is a big difference between a possibility and a certainty and it will be necessary to check the possibilities out. Here are just a few possibilities that some people might see in the above. a1) The opening scene suggests that she feels alone in life. a2) But it could be that she once felt alone in life. a3) It could just be that...

Suggest that primarily it is to help your friend to keep her mind focused on the images If you

Were to try to do it yourself you will find that the mind can slip away for a number of reasons. One is that there is little to stop your mind wandering back into everyday preoccupations. Another is boredom there would not be enough interest in the beach scene in itself to hold your interest. Another is a slight emotional resistance you might not have liked the initial alone feeling, and it would have tempted you away immediately. Another might be sleep the scenes have a certain dreamlike...

Analysis of the compound script

We are using just simple words such as relaxed, peace, and rest. The departures from this are a) the use of the word happy which is more clearly designed to activate an emotion b) holiday in the most luxurious resort which is likely to conjure up an image or memory and c) smooth as silk which could arouse the tactile system. 2. Primarily this paragraph aims at activating strong visual images of the boat journey. The main exceptions are the words a) lying on...

So in short the approach that you are learning here gives you Flexibility it enables you to Personalise your approach

The scripts that we have used above can be called simple scripts because they focus tightly on using one specific system to produce a required change. By contrast most scripts that you will find in other books are compound or complex scripts, which is to say that they aim to produce a specific change by using a variety of different systems. As a final exercise I would like you to read the following compound script which is designed to relax. Each paragraph is based primarily on one particular...

Total inactivity atonia

At the other extreme you can aim at total inactivity of the muscles combined with the impossibility of voluntary motion. This goes well with a relaxation approach. You aim to make it impossible for the subject to be able to use a given muscle or set of muscles. A simple example that you have met previously is involved in eye closure you are making the muscles that lift the eyelids feel so tired that it becomes possible for the subject to lift them to keep the eyes open. In the same area you...

Learning tends to happen best when there is focused attention

So, with that idea in mind, you can try to establish if for a given person you can get a more reliable reaction to a suggestion if you can focus their attention more. There is of course no one way of establishing this. But you might try out something like the following You. I want to see next how far we can steady your mind so that it will concentrate on what I am saying and nothing else. So to begin with sit so that you are not distracted by any physical discomfort or muscular strain. Just...

The idea I am going to ask you to work with is a simple one The more of their attention you have the greater the effect

I am going to motivate this by observing that the true name for what you or your friend are doing is learning. The process of creating a cause and effect association between two patterns of activation of the brain is called learning. When a child links a picture of an apple with the word apple she is learning a certain pattern of activity in the visual cortex associated with an image of an apple leads to the activation of another pattern of activity in the verbal cortex which is connected with...

Them in a way that NO surgeon NO drugs can begin to match The techniques of hypnotherapy are powerful precise and

Here are some more sample scripts which focus on activating one particular subsystem of the brain with a view to using it as a means of relaxing everything else. I would like you to think about a piece of music that you have have found very peaceful and relaxing. Perhaps The Magic Flute (If the answer is anything like I can't or I don't have much time for music then it is probably not worth bothering with this exercise. As I keep on emphasising, people's minds are very different. Some are...

We end with a sample compound induction script

In the previous chapter we looked at ways in which activity in various parts of the brain could be switched on which were sometimes obvious and at other times rather unfamiliar. In this chapter we will be exploring this area of how to switch off a system. In particular we will look at reducing the activity of the muscular system and its related nervous system. There is one very important fact about muscle tissue that is worth bearing in mind in this context. It has no direct Off switch ANY...

Resistance and Rapport

We focus on high-order mental systems those which determine whether to accept or reject statements made by another. The ability to reduce the resistance and increase rapport is an important part of hypnosis. This highly practical chapter gives exercises which take the form of two-person games which may be used to increase your skills in this way. We run through making impersonal statements statements about yourself and then personal statements about another person all in an everyday setting....

What does focus of attention mean

Although I am trying to keep things a simple as possible while we are going though this introduction to hypnosis it is always good to remember that the brain is FAR from simple. Already you should be beginning to see that it involves many subsystems and that these can be interconnected in many ways and that the systems and their connections vary a lot from person to person. Now just as you seldom say that a class of students is paying attention, though you might be able to say that Dylan and...

NOTE This is NOT intended to provide you with a rigorous scientific demonstration of the power of an induction there

The sort of things that you are likely to find include the following. The people who quickly respond to the induction by eye closure etc, are also those that you will have previously established as producing rapid changes in other mental systems in response to verbal input. To put it in older language the people who respond well to inductions are the most suggestible in any case. Consequently you might well consider whether, if you wanted a given response, you might do just as well by using the...

He is intensely affected

This phenomenon sometimes goes by the name of limb catalepsy. We have already met it in Chapter 1, where you should have found that with some people it can be produced with no preamble as a result of kinaesthetic cues. If this is not the case, in a soft tone of voice desire him to retain the limbs in the extended position, and thus the pulse will speedily become greatly accelerated, and the limbs, in process of time, will become quite rigid and involuntarily fixed. What this tells us is that in...

A simple way to speed up relaxation

In the above we have seen various direct ways of producing a relaxed, switched off state. If you are dealing with a very anxious person there is a good chance that they will not work, and even for an average person they can take some time. It is therefore often an excellent idea, if you are doing hypnosis proper, to prepare the ground by means of a simple and obvious step first. To see why it works you need only recall that the times when it is most easy to let your muscles relax is when they...

Autonomous systems

However there are many essential systems of the brain, nervous system and body that I have NOT suggested that you attempt to affect. The digestive system is an example of this. The reason is simple. Since, we presume, any such system is working normally in your friend, the only thing that you would be able to achieve is to get it to work abnormally. Hypnotherapy, which you have not learned anything about on this course, is concerned with precisely the opposite state of affairs. A client comes...

Why resistance and rapport

In the above I have been somewhat casual about whether to regard rapport and resistance as being different aspects of one system or as two different systems. For practical purposes at this level the question is not very important. However it is a good principle to always look out for pairs of opposing organic systems. You might see that there is only need to develop an active system of resistance if there is also an active system of rapport. A child that never had any desire or motive to...

Feedback loops

After you have done these exercises quite a lot you will be able to see the sense of what I am going to say next. Every time you have got a positive response you have reduced the activity of the resistance system of the mind. But the less active it is the easier it is to get the next statement past the resistance. And the very fact that then there has been another 'yes' response lulls the subject still further into acceptance. And so you are actually involved in a feedback loop, in which you...

Words can trigger pictures in your mind

This must seem a pretty obvious fact. You need only think of reading a novel and remember the pictures that come to mind as you do so to realise the obvious truth of this. But it is still worth doing a little exercise on it, as follows. First just think to yourself, I am on holiday. STOP NOW did you see a picture of it in your mind People vary, but it is unlikely, in the very short time I allowed you, that you saw anything very clearly. Now allow yourself more TIME. Think, I am on holiday....

Exploring the Imagination

We explore the visual imagination, which is enormously rich and varied. This is a tool much used in hypnosis and so it is valuable to explore its natural processes in many people, including yourself. You may agree that one ofthe main functions you have when helping another to explore his or her imagination is in helping to maintain focus, primarily by asking questions. The question of what kind of meaning such an exploration gives is left open. There are a wide variety of interpretation schemes...

Posthypnotic suggestions

Posthypnotic suggestions are a large part of what people regard as typical of hypnosis. We start by comparing it with the common phenomenon of social compliance the fact that people quite normally will do what another asks them to do. A description of a subject (Nobel Prizewinner Richard Feynman) is used to illustrate what it feels like to carry out a post hypnotic suggestion. Both phenomena are based on establishing a causal connection between two subsystems of the brain. Some exercises are...

Rigidity of muscles catatonia

In rather a different vein you may aim not for a comparatively mild activation of a group of muscles to produce a movement but for total rigidity catatonia of a set of muscles, to the point where the subject is unable to release them. Stage hypnotists often use a form of this as a test. They ask everyone in the audience to clasp their hands together firmly, then suggest that they will be unable to unclasp them. Those that can't do so are rather more likely to respond to other suggestions. You...