Our Hypnotherapy Techniques in Toronto
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Here is a list of some of the hypnotherapy techniques we use at The Toronto Hypnotherapist. Please keep in mind that we will not use all of them in a single session, but will choose the ones that are most appropriate for you.
All sessions begin by helping you to slip into a state of hypnosis by encouraging you to relax your body and mind. This initial process is called an 'induction' and it can last anywhere from a few minutes to 20 or more minutes.
A simple, though effective induction is to combine a countdown with a progressive relaxation exercise: 'As I count from ten down to one, see and sense these numbers. TEN see and sense the number TEN as you begin to relax all the muscles in your forehead and eyebrows...'
Please keep in mind that there are many different types of inductions. Some are more conversational, others involve creating mental confusion through the skilful use of language patterns, others involve cheap gimmicks such as pendulums and swirling images, and others are more physical (such as the hand-shake induction).
A deep state of hypnosis can even be induced by getting you to recall an extremely emotional event (which is a form of Revivification) because strong emotions come directly from the subconscious.
A 'deepener' is simply a second (or third or fourth...) induction the hypnotist uses after you have already entered into a hypnotic state. As its name suggests, the purpose is to lead you deeper into hypnosis.
Hypnotists discovered that their clients went deeper into trance each time they came for a session. They eventually realized they could achieve the same result much more quickly.
Here the hypnotist leads you into a hypnotic state. Then they get you to emerge for a millisecond, before they use a deepener to lead you back into an even deeper state of hypnosis. Then they get you to emerge again and immediately follow this with another deepener to lead you even deeper into a state of hypnosis.
Suggestions are the most basic hypnotic tool and all hypnotists, regardless of their level of skill and training, will utilize them in every session.
Direct Suggestions: These involve, as the name implies, simply suggesting something directly to you. For example: 'You feel safe and secure in this room.'
Indirect Suggestions: These involve a more circuitous route which makes it harder for your conscious mind to reject them. For example: 'There was a lady who came and sat in that chair you are sitting in right now and I said to her... [then slightly changing the tone of their voice] you feel safe and secure in this room... don't you?'
Self-Suggestions: The most powerful suggestions made during a hypnotic session are the suggestions you make to yourself. This is why hypnotists will often ask you to repeat certain phrases over and over again when you are deep in trance.
The more a suggestion is repeated, both in one of your sessions and over a number of sessions, the more powerful it becomes. Hypnotists refer to this as the Law of Compounding. This is why hypnotic recordings, which are not really that effective if you only listen to them a few times, become more and more powerful the more you listen to them.
Metaphors are another way of bypassing the critical nature of your conscious mind. So rather than telling you that you are not taking good care of yourself (and have you possibly grow closed and defensive) the hypnotist might talk about: 'a man who was never taught how to take proper care of his car... he would let the battery run down until it just didn't feel like moving... he never gave it the right fuel and it grew heavy and sluggish. But then one day he met a mechanic who taught him how to care for it properly.'
Studies have shown that your subconscious does not really 'think' in words, but rather in pictures, images, emotions and sensations. So if a hypnotist suggests that 'you erase your pain' -- your subconscious is far less likely to comply then if they suggested: 'Image you see a blackboard. Now see your pain as jagged piercing lines harshly scratched in chalk on the surface. Then imagine you are holding an eraser in your hand. Now see and sense yourself step up to the board and use the eraser to erase you pain.'
Much is made of the power of Visualization. However, we are not all created the same. Some of us have a much easier time using the visual part of our imagination. Others may find it easier to use our tactile, auditory, olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste) or emotional imagination.
This means that the hypnotist might suggest that you: 'see and sense yourself putting your knife and fork down between bites. Now hear the sound they make as you place them on the table. And notice how you now become so much more aware of the satisfying aroma of the food and how you are now able to take your time and savour each delicious morsel in your mouth.'
This is a technique for using your full sensorial imagination to rehearse some of the ways you will now change, by imagining yourself at some specific time and place in the future. Perhaps you might see and sense yourself sitting at your parent's dining room table on Thanksgiving and leaving a little food on your plate and effortlessly resisting your mother's attempt to get you to have a second helping.
This is the process of revivifying a past event by getting you to remember it as completely as possible. This technique can even be used to induce a deep state of hypnosis by simply getting someone (who was previously hypnotized) to describe exactly what it was like when they were previously hypnotized.
This is an advanced technique and it requires specialized training on the part of the hypnotist. There are two different uses for age regression. One is to go back to a time in your life when you possessed some quality that you lost but wish to regain. Perhaps to a time of vibrant health or happiness.
The other is to go back and neutralize a bad emotional experience by learning to dissociate yourself from the memory and view it much more objectively. During this process you can even bring resources and understandings you currently possess back to that event to strengthen your younger self so that your younger self is no longer emotionally affected by the experience.
This process, if done correctly, can have a profound and powerful effect on you. Particularly if you are an angry, or a fearful, or a guilty, or a resentful, or a depressed type of person: because age regression can really help you to cleanse you of these emotions and change your life.
Every thought and feeling you have has an effect on your body's chemistry. Anger, hatred, guilt and resentment cause your body to produce all sorts of harmful and toxic bio-chemicals.
This means that when you refuse to let go of past hurts and resentments, this causes all sorts of harmful things to happen to you on a physiological level. This is why it is said that refusing to forgive and let go of your grievances is really like drinking poison and then hoping it somehow magically hurts the other person.
And here it must be emphasized that forgiving is not the same as forgetting. Nor does it require you to invite trouble back into your life. It is simply the act of cutting the chords of anger, hatred and guilt that bind you to other people.
Parts Mediation Technique
A skillful hypnotist can get you to imagine you see two contradictory parts of yourself, so that the hypnotist can then act as a mediator to reconcile these parts. Perhaps one part of you loves smoking and another part of you hates wheezing and feeling out of breath every time you walk up a flight of stairs.
The hypnotist might then have you imagine the part that loves smoking and get it to list all of the benefits it gets from smoking such as how smoking helps you relax when you are tense and agitated. Then they might have the wheezing, fearful part list all of the benefits you will get if you stop smoking from the money you will save to how this will improve your health.
Then the hypnotist, acting as a mediator, will slowly bring these parts little-by-little into accord. Perhaps they might ask the smoking part if there are other ways it would be able to achieve the same benefits: perhaps by stopping and closing your eyes and taking three conscious breaths whenever you feel tense and agitated. And then using your full sensorial imagination to remember exactly what you saw, sensed, smelled and felt that time you waded into the warm surf on that tropical vacation you took when you were a college student on spring break.
Ericksonian Hypnotic Techniques
We also use the language and hypnotic patterns developed by the American psychiatrist Milton Erickson MD who was the most innovative and revolutionary hypnotist of the last century. These techniques are too numerous (and linguistically complex) to list here. If you really want to learn more just Google him.
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Hypnosis is a remarkable tool that can help with all sorts of problems. If you do not see it listed here please call us and ask if hypnosis can help you.
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