These are the fundamentals you want to grasp before we start! To accelerate your results, read these sections before we meet. Then we can begin with your questions, and dive into your goal sooner.
I. How the Mind Works
There are two main aspects of the human mind:
Conscious (limited processing capability, wields logic and willpower) and Subconscious (the seat of emotion, imagination, dreams, instinct, and long-term memory). The Conscious Mind has the role of “accepting” or “deciding” what is true, before choices are then automated by the Subconscious according to these beliefs.
The purpose of Subconscious automation is to keep us safe, by freeing up limited analysis bandwidth of the Conscious Mind and allowing us to act instinctually. The mechanism of Subconscious automation is Emotion. Once an idea is accepted by the Subconscious as true, it is charged with negative or positive emotion, moving us ever-after towards pleasure and away from pain. Each time that suggestion is accepted anew, its emotional charge increases. Habits and unconscious responses are created and strengthened in this way, according to the experiences we have and to the associations we make.
The Conscious Mind gives us the unique opportunity to deviate from instinct, making our lives vivid, but also complex. In order to take advantage of this choice, Step #1 is to become aware of our own subconscious “programming”, or Belief Systems. This can happen when we relax the inner critic, stop analyzing, and listen in new ways. The skill is called hypnosis.
II. Hypnosis and Brain States
Waking, Daydreaming, Light Sleep, Deep Sleep. Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta. These are all natural states of mind, accessible to everyone, and you enter all of these brain wave patterns daily.
Of all the ranges of brain activity, Alpha is especially beneficial (graph below ➸ purple text). Playing sports, meditating, coloring, “zoning out”, and accessing Flow State are all examples of times when you were probably in alpha brain frequencies: hypnosis, or light trance. In this state, we set aside normal internal dialogue and mind chatter, and become more in control of our minds — fully immersed in an idea — better able to focus. Transformational shifts in awareness happen for people in this spectrum. During our first session you will begin to access this relaxed mental state of increased control (alpha brain wave frequency, approx. between 8 and 14 Hz, hypnosis) on your command. You will bring to conscious awareness the subconscious programming that is running you daily, and reject that which doesn’t serve your goals.
To reach this place of mental quiet takes practice. It’s not something that I can do “to you”, but it is something that I can teach you. The fact is, many people are walking around hypnotized, but the object of focus is not of their conscious choosing. They are lost in concerns or worries, retraining the same thought patterns which created the problem or issue. If this sounds familiar, together we will break the pattern and increase your power of choice. To reiterate, it is not possible for anyone to control your actions or thoughts through hypnosis. The graph above shows the same; only you can accept or decide that something is true.
III. Hypnotherapy & Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
While classical hypnotherapy addresses content (quality) of belief/memory/experience, NLP addresses structure. I weave NLP into every session because the structure of our beliefs has just as much transformational leverage as content does, and NLP offers additional tools which clients enjoy.
NLP is a “solution-based” approach, using what we know about how emotion is created or applied to belief content. The direction and values come from you, the client. We use imagery and the Internal Representational System (the imagination’s version of the five senses) to make change happen. It’s gentle, instantaneous, creative, complete, and honestly kind of fun.
Hypnotherapy has two major branches, and I use both: suggestion therapy and uncovering (analytical) techniques. All styles and schools of hypnotherapy (i.e. Ericksonian, Alchemical, Transpersonal, etc.) break down to be a form of one or a combination of both. Suggestion therapy is saturating the mind with the right thinking and imagery to bring about new positive behavior. Analytical techniques are for processing and healing the underlying subconscious cause(s) of the issue being worked.
These modalities, practical executive experience across four industries, and nine years leadership in the Department of Defense are the cornerstone resources of my practice.
Q: What does hypnosis “feel” like? A: Many report a pleasant physical relaxation and mental alertness, other subtle body sensations, or suspension of the sense of time. However, judgment, gauging, or measuring “how hypnotized am I” weakens response and results. It’s best to leave expectations at the door and just experience hypnosis for yourself.