Hypnosis has been around for centuries. It has long been understood that people can enter into hypnotic states that bypass the critical filters of the conscious mind. Sometimes, these “states” can result in radical changes to a person”s personality, or even the emergence of abilities and talents they never knew they had.
We”ve all seen stage hypnosis, where someone ends up quacking like a duck or doing a side-splitting Elvis impersonation; but hypnosis has also proven to be a valuable resource for personal change. In particular, NLP hypnosis (neurolinguistic programming) has been used to cure phobias, overcome shyness and social phobia, even change lifelong bad habits like over-eating, smoking or procrastination.
It”s ironic then, that many NLP practitioner”s don”t recognize hypnosis in the traditional sense. Richard Bandler, one of the pioneers of NLP, has been quoted as saying there is no such thing as hypnosis in any formal sense — there are only hypnotic states, and they are perfectly natural and common. For example, everyone has experienced that feeling of “spacing out” when they”re bored or distracted. You may have also experienced driving from one location to another and upon arriving at your destination not being able to remember much about the trip.
These are both examples of natural pseudo-hypnotic states, and there are hundreds of others that are quite common. What makes NLP “hypnosis” different from traditional hypnosis is that a skilled NLP practitioner will use your own natural hypnotic states to your advantage. This can be done by using a wide variety of techniques, including “slight of tongue,” hidden or embedded commands, anchoring, reframing, visualization and timelines.
The idea is simple: to use these natural hypnotic states to enable clients to experience themselves and their world in a different way — a way that is more empowering and useful to them to achieve whatever their goals may be (lose weight, stop smoking, develop confidence, etc.). And because NLP hypnosis tends to use “covert” techniques, the client is usually consciously unaware of the techniques being “used on them.” A skilled NLP practitioner can have a simple conversation with a client about their daily routine and still affect remarkable changes at the unconscious level, resulting in feelings of empowerment, optimism, motivation, greater mental focus and awareness, and other positive attributes. In fact, it”s not uncommon for a client to leave an NLP hypnosis session feeling awesome about themselves, without really being sure
But you don”t necessarily have to go to the expense of seeing an NLP practitioner to reap the benefits of neurolinguistic programming. There are MP3 and CD sessions available online, covering a wide variety of issues ranging from overcoming shyness to eating healthy. And while there are many different types of NLP sessions available, they all tend to have one thing in common — misdirection. NLP hypnosis very often draws the client”s attention to one area, while covertly making changes in another area. This is sometimes compared to the “slight of hand” techniques used by stage magicians to misdirect an audience, and that”s a pretty good analogy.
The reason misdirection is often used in NLP hypnosis is to bypass the clients conscious mind. If the NLP practitioner can get your conscious mind focusing in one direction, it becomes easier to “slip in” embedded commands or positive suggestions in another direction, bypassing the barrier of critical thinking. This is the same technique that results in grown men getting up on stage and barking like a dog at a stage hypnosis show; except with NLP hypnosis, the technique is being used for personal empowerment and to make positive changes on the deepest levels.
You”ve probably seen famous NLP practitioner”s such as Paul McKenna and Darren Brown, both of whom are remarkably skilled in creating and using hypnotic states. It may seem like a parlor trick, but the effects of NLP hypnosis are real, and the changes that individuals can experience as a result of using these techniques are often quite dramatic and empowering. This is one reason why more and more therapists, counselors and mental health professionals are using NLP hypnosis to help clients make positive changes and achieve goals.
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