Hypnotherapy is an art, a science, and a skill. Being effective at helping clients achieve their goals and objectives requires both attention to details and mastery of fundamental concepts. In this course you will learn all the fundamentals of effective hypnotherapy. Studies show that students who master the fundamental elements of the hypnotherapeutic process achieve rapid success while helping their clients heal.
Two things make this course particularly effective: 1) It is presented in a unique way that resembles an actual hypnotherapy session, thus helping you train your mind and ears along the skill lines you will use as a practicing professional. 2) The coverage of each of the fundamentals is of such depth and meaningfulness that students immediately identify with the material in an intuitive way.
As a result of this combination of factors student retention and success is maximized without requiring memorization of meaningless information. The course is pleasant to watch, funny at times, interesting, and of superb technical quality.
The course covers important applications of hypnotherapy, such as weight adjustment, smoke cessation, self-hypnosis and meditation, frequently requested by clients. You will learn how to start a professional practice, and how to work with difficult clients.
I have been a full-time hypnotherapist since 1996, with more than 31000 actual sessions, and personally trained thousands of hypnotherapists. This course contains the same material I teach at our school, but for thousands of Dollars less.
Working with experienced hypnotherapists who feel "stuck" from time to time shows that a review of the fundamentals often solves the problem. This is a thorough academic course that requires work and time to master the concepts. It is intended for a person who wants to be a professional hypnotherapist, or one who wants refresh the fundamentals of a successful clinical encounter. This course is not intended for the person who needs help, or the person seeking hypnotherapy services.
It will be helpful for you to start here, where I mention some of the story behind this course and a great explanation of what you will learn. Keep in mind that you have life-time access to the course.
Welcome to the course and to the profession of a hypnotherapist, the noblest of all professions. This course is one part of your training if you intend to become a certified hypnotherapist, but it is a great resource on its own if you want to learn about the fundamentals of hypnotherapy, or if you want a great review of the subject for continuing education purposes.
In this lecture we describe the importance of loving to help people live a better life for a hypnotherapist. We then describe in detail the contents of the entire course as well as the importance of each segment to the overall process of hypnotherapy.
We conclude the description of the contents of the entire course as well as the importance of each segment to the overall process of hypnotherapy. In this lecture we also describe the importance of commercial success through efficiency of the hypnotherapeutic process for those of you interested in practicing hypnotherapy clinically.
Here we learn about the definition of pre-induction and basic terminology used in hypnotherapy practice. The importance of practice and experience in the development of the hypnotherapist, and how that level of utility to the potential client may actually be a factor in attracting clients. The pre-induction is critically important because it literally determines the success of the induction and therefore the success of the therapy as a whole.
In this lecture we learn about the uniqueness of the hypnotic estate, and its importance to the overall process of therapy. We describe what is meant by “state” in this context. The work of Dr. George Estabrooks (1885 – 1973) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Estabrooks
Three things must happen during the pre-induction in order to produce a successful induction and thus a successful therapeutic outcome. Rapport must be developed, the subject must develop an expectation of therapeutic success, and all objections must be eliminated. If the induction fails, the most probable cause is lack of one or more of the three elements described in this class. You can “test” the success of the pre-induction prior to the hypnotic induction through the “hypnotic contract”.
“Rapport” can be understood as a feeling of affinity between or among people that leads to some sort of desired outcome. Whether you life or dislike a subject (client), that may become a distraction. Neutral emotions allow you to be centered and be more effective as a hypnotherapist. But even when emotions are neutral, rapport is still necessary for the success of the process.
Two different pathways to learn how to develop rapport are the Dale Carnegie system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Carnegie, and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming
Important concepts to understand are “modelling” and “pacing”. Modelling is the process of adopting another person’s beliefs, behaviors, strategies, etc, in order to create rapport and enhance understanding. Pacing leads to “leading”, which can be a part of hypnotic induction process.
People tend to express themselves using one primary sense for the most part. Some people express themselves visually, others in an auditory fashion, yet others are kinesthetic. A “visual” person tends to say… “I see…” often. An auditory person tends to say… “I hear…”, and kinesthetic often use phrases like “I feel…, or a gut feeling…”.
Clients often unconsciously believe that they cannot achieve their own goals, even though they are at the hypnotherapist’s office. It is possible that this belief builds up gradually from years of frustration with a problem, or perhaps that belief had something to do with the formation of the problem in the first place. Either way, one objective that must be met during the pre-induction is the creation of a positive expectation; the client eventually believes that he can overcome the problem.
There is a certain amount of displeasure within the client’s unconscious when they come to the hypnotherapist. Clients come over to solve problems that, from the world’s point of view, do not exist. They have been told that “it is all in their heads”. Understanding this lecture is critical for the performance of a successful pre-induction.
Operators and subjects need to address all major objections prior to the hypnotic induction. Objections can be towards the operator, the subject himself, the process of therapy or hypnosis, or the objection may be relating to life after healing.
Objections can be quite simple and natural, such as the temperature in the room, need to visit the restroom, time restriction, or even thirst. Be sure to address all such natural objections since your client must be comfortable in order to go into hypnosis.
The notion of secondary gain is important in any therapeutic setting. Be sure to understand this concept and help your client ventilate such concerns.
The hypnotic contract allows you to test the success of the pre-induction prior to the induction. Make the promise to work with them professionally and in turn ask if they are willing to do as you ask without questioning you.
The importance of what we call “eye lock” in the hypnotic contract. Anything other than success requires a rework of the pre-induction without giving client the sense that something went wrong.
The true nature of dialogue is described and explained. Proper dialogue is important to the therapeutic process.
A dialogue is a fragile form of communication. If any party in the dialogue feels threatened the dialogue breaks down. The conversation may continue, but in the absence of a true dialogue, a therapeutic hypnotic induction may not be possible.
Listening with compassion and reverence means that we withhold all judgment and internal dialogue (within our own minds). That ability is essential for “total presence”, and the subject will absolutely perceive the power of your true presence.
Some sort of “waiting room” may be a good idea as a buffer between the person’s life and the therapeutic process. It is a good idea to have a written financial “contract” signed if you expect payment for services. Then there is the presentation by the client, and your presentation.
The mind model as hypnotists typically describe it is a simple way to help subjects understand what hypnosis is, and why they will succeed. Basically between the conscious and unconscious we have the critical faculty, the bypass of which constitutes hypnosis.
Notions of philosophical monism and dualism and the relevance to the therapeutic process. Since we cannot claim to treat a subject’s brain directly, hypnotherapists are dualists
The four levels of the mind: objective, subjective, subconscious and supraconscious. Their characteristics and the importance of reaching the subconscious for the therapeutic process.
The functions of the subconscious involve autonomic functions and self-protection; from real or perceived danger. More on the critical faculty.
Selective short term memory, processing of sensory information and formulation of organized speech are examples of functions of the objective mind. Threats, real or imaginary, are stored as lessons learned in the subconscious portion of the mind. That “lesson learned” forms the basis of many later problems.
Introduction to hypnotic inductions. Understanding the meaning of critical faculty bypass in the hypnotherapeutic context is important for the formulation of any induction.
Verbal inductions can be built with combinations of relaxation, surprise and confusion. Thus, all practical verbal inductions are “mixed”.
The word “suggestion” may refer to the therapeutic process or the inductive process, hence the idea of hypnotic suggestion, post-hypnotic suggestion, and therapeutic suggestion.
All about progressive relaxation. Being still and using imagination effectively are important. Laying down is not necessary, just a comfortable sitting position.
Hypnotic inductions by confusion. Confusion is generated through sensory and mental overload, and by contradiction. Inductions by surprise are rapid inductions; although hypnosis is not “sleep”, the suggestion “sleep” is often used in rapid inductions.
The concept of depth of trance. The deeper in hypnosis a person is the more information flows between conscious and unconscious portions of the mind. Deepening happens by suggestion.
The use of suggestions to deepen hypnotic trance involves coupling or associating something that inevitably happens to something that you want to have happen. An example would be: With every word you hear you go into deeper hypnosis. Another way to induce deeper trance is fractionation, a process of inducing several small hypnotic trances.
Testing hypnotic trance before proceeding into therapy is important. We offer a suggestion and “test” whether the subject accepted the suggestion completely, partially, or negatively. Physical and mental relaxation are typical ways to test for suggestion acceptance.
Learn about exductions and become motivated to keep learning about hypnosis. The exduction is sometimes called emergence, which is the process of guiding the subject out of the hypnotic state. This process gives the hypnotherapist an opportunity to boost success for their clients.
What do you suppose happens within the subject as he or she is coming out the hypnotic state? Proper attention to this phase of the process creates better outcomes therapeutically and more comfort for your clients.
A hypnotic suggestion is anything the subject perceives while in the hypnotic state. Thus your first suggestion should be one that limits the scope of what the subject will accept. While it is generally believed that if you keep the “laws of suggestions” in mind while working with your subject it is likely that your success rate will be higher, these are not meant to be taken as absolute rules, just concepts or ideas that tend to improve the acceptance of suggestions by the subject’s mind.
In order for a hypnotic suggestion to be effective two conditions must be met: the person must be in the hypnotic state, meaning that some degree of critical faculty bypass must prevail, and the suggestion has to be actively accepted by the subject.
These are some so-called laws of suggestions. Understand the idea behind it, don’t worry too much about possible slips during a session.
State suggestion positively, what to do instead of what not to do.
Repeat the idea, not necessarily the words, several times.
Speak in simple terms, as though you were talking to a child.
Emotion, color, and rhythmicity enhances the power of suggestions.
The content for the suggestions comes from the subject. The person will tell you what they want to achieve, and when you are not clear you will ask for that content. One way to do that is to ask the person to fill in the blank within the following phrase: If only I could/would ___________ I would be happier (better off)…
In essence hypnotic suggestion make and break associations between and among ideas. Most automatic behavior (habits) occurs as a result of associating ideas. With hypnotic suggestions we can reset those associations in order to change behavior in a direction that is consistent with the subject’s best interest.
As a hypnotherapist, the only tool you work with is the spoken word, called suggestion. Words are so powerful that often the subject comes in to solve a problem created by them. Remember that the mind is in constant activity; that activity is sometimes called “inner dialogue” and it constitutes the basis for the person’s life.
Final words about suggestions. Deep dive.
Here we look for a common denominator among all sorts of problems for which people seek hypnotherapy. Experience shows that some sort of philosophical framework within which to work helps the operator be more effective.
The principle of duality is useful to understand because we can then remove blame from all parties involved in any conflict, and thus set ourselves up for true forgiveness.
Understanding something known as the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs can be very useful here.
If in fact we are spiritual beings who temporarily adopt a human form, what would be the purpose of that adoption? In some ways, a person’s understanding of the answer to that question is important to their healing through hypnotherapy.
Are there true passive victims in life? Does the idea of victimhood suggest the idea of a consequence without a cause? Think deeply about these questions, because a working understanding of these issues will help you become a more effective hypnotherapist.
The law of scarcity is important because a person’s suffering may stem from their conflict with success. Under the false belief of scarcity, one’s success can only come at the expense of another’s. Thus the shame and guilt sometimes associated with a better quality of life.
One common use of hypnotherapy is for weight adjustment, mostly weight loss. Here we consider something called “self image” and the law of image matching. It is common to claim, perhaps metaphorically, that we all have an image of ourselves stored within at the level of the sub-conscious mind. The law of image matching says that, given enough time, we will always look like that inner image, whatever it is.
Impressing the sub-conscious mind with a “better” self-image causes the effective self-image to change, and therefore, in time, the body changes. Helping a person change their self-image is done through what is called end-result-imagery.
End result imagery is a powerful way to help subjects achieve their objectives. The operator elicits from the subject images and ideas, but most importantly, feelings that represent his or her objectives in seeking hypnotherapy. Then, with the subject in deep hypnosis, impresses those feelings upon him.
The weight loss process presented here is comprised of three phases, not necessarily three sessions or meetings. First help the subject identify the primary problem, food or situation, responsible for the excess weight. Second, use end result imagery to help the subject correct that situation. Third, ask the subject whether there is anything else that may be contributing to the problem. Finish with what we call the thanks but no thanks suggestion therapy.
About half of the people seeking professional hypnotherapy do so in order to adjust weight and quit smoking. Besides providing you with a steady supply of clients, mastering smoke cessation work will make you a better hypnotist.
The method presented here is primarily a hypnotic method, not a therapeutic one. You need to find what the subject associates with smoking and disrupt that association with the appropriate hypnotic suggestions. In addition to temporal and situational associations, such as “in the morning” and “when I drink coffee”, look for feelings, such as “when I get upset”.
Once the person recognizes the association between some form of rage and smoking, you can use hypnotic suggestion to “install” an association between the sane emotion and deep breathing, for instance. The second step in the process is to help the subject build a new identity, that of a non-smoker.
The third phase of the process has to do with what we call a “recovery mechanism” (RM). The RM is a post-hypnotic suggestion designed to be elicited if all else fails and the person “feels” like smoking. This step is really important for the subject’s long-term success.
Think of the smoke-cessation process as having three parts, regardless of how any meetings or sessions you decide to schedule with the subject. The entire process uses only hypnotic suggestion, the client does not need to regress or recall past experiences.
We start off with a bit more on the importance of limiting the scope of your practice during the first six months of professional practice to certain issues. Some nomenclature: self-hypnosis and meditation.
Continuation of the discussion on self-hypnosis and meditation. How to help your client achieve true self-hypnosis.
Flavio Souza-Campos Ph.D.
Dr. Flavio Souza-Campos is the founder of the Hypnotherapy and Counseling Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. Souza-Campos studied engineering and philosophy at Florida International University. His Ph.D. in biomedical engineering delved into the etiology of degenerative diseases and the relationship between medical paradigms and health care provision. He started practicing hypnotherapy in 1996, established the Miami chapter of IACT in 1998 and was awarded the IACT Humanitarian award in 2000. Flavio practices hypnotherapy full time, teaches basic through advanced hypnotherapy, metaphysics and philosophy classes on a daily basis as well as online courses & webinars, is a frequent guest on local radio and TV programs, and directly trained several successful hypnotherapists.