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                                            30 yrs Behavioural Science Experience

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Why is Hypnosis So Useful  ?


In all our ordinary activity,  without even knowing it,  we rely enormously on unconscious programs which ‘ do ’  the majority of things we need  with only a  minimum of conscious thought.


These programs are seamless and VERY powerful. ( For example - we can become aware of the colossal energy which is effortlessly managed in our legs as we climb the stairs in the dark. When we make an error and attempt to go up the next step that isn’t there,  the sheer power of the downward thrust as the foot misses its mark is almost appalling in its violence )


The vast majority of our mental processes operate in similar ways. This has the enormous advantage of  allowing us to be consciously aware of things other than the petty details of our performance - whether thinking or doing.  The downside is that these seamless automatic processes are mostly  ' up and running '  before we realise, even where they may be about to plunge us into embarrassment, conflict or even greater difficulties.


Many times when  attempting to  ‘wilfully’  deal with a  difficult situation, we find ourselves in a process which is going wrong - but are already  too ‘locked in’. We become unable to find a perspective  to allow us to get back on the rails.  This is often somewhat disorientating.  Already feeling uncomfortable and slightly out of control we cannot then help but become ' over-aware ' of our inadequacy to deal with the process.


This ‘over-awareness’ then further blocks our ‘freedom of mind’ - preventing unconscious access to far more useful options. ( How frustrated one can be to think of the right thing to have said or done after the event - when the mind is calm  and the original opportunity past ! )


But  by ‘ trying harder ’ to put it right or get what we want, we find ourselves playing out programmed behaviour or persisting with efforts that have a minimal chance of success. We often upset ourselves or others in the process.


Although we don’t want these things to happen,  the difficulty is that these habitual programmes are very deeply entrenched and powerfully reinforced.


In order to change the operation of  automatic  programmes our cerebral processes need a way of going 'off-line' to find better options - as we do every night when we  sleep.  With the automatic programs disengaged the brain can adopt a much more flexible mode where it can re-organise its internal neurological structures.


Numerous experiments have demonstrated consistent improvement in many kinds of physical and mental performance without further practice - after we have slept.   But it is seldom in everyday life that we can ‘sleep on the job’ sufficiently to give unconscious process a break .


This is where hypnotic work comes in. Hypnosis can take the brain offline in a different way. By using unconscious process - incredibly fast by comparison with our conscious modes - it can allow the mind to de-activate dysfunctional processes and  to ‘cue’ appropriate new ways of seeing and doing things in their place.


Choice is not removed  but it  becomes much easier,  and  more  natural and obvious how to do something better.  Instead of a desperate struggle against the seemingly uncontrollable there is a sense of expanded possibilities and the leisurely arrival of good options.


This relaxed sense is the clearly recognisable indicator that lightning fast unconscious options have replaced the old pattern.


This is one of the ways in which we can experience ourselves becoming a changed and more capable person.

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Copyright Keith Bibby© December 2009                              >> More About Ericksonian Hypnosis