Multi-Method and Client-Center Approach to Hypnosis
- Private Hypnosis, Meditation and Visualization Training
- Ericksonian Hypnosis
- Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP)
- Time-Line Therapy
- Past-Life Therapy
- Medical Hypnosis
- Visualization and Interactive Guided Imaging
Multi-Method and Client-Centered Approach to Hypnosis
There are countless hypnosis methods, and hypnotherapists are creating new ones every day. Dr. Stone practices “client-centered healing” instead of “treatment-centered healing.” Client-centered healing focuses on each patient’s own needs, goals and therapeutic process rather than having each patient follow a pre-ordained form of treatment. Client-centered healing means that Dr. Stone must remain flexible and creative to meet your particular objectives. Besides the methods listed, Dr. Stone may employ many other hypnotic techniques, such as age regression, hypnoamnesia, negative hallucinations, positive hallucinations, post-hypnotic suggestion, therapeutic dissociation and time distortion. During each hypnontherapy session, Dr. Stone usually combine several hypnosis methods for optimal results.
Private Hypnosis, Meditation and Visualization Training
Frequently clients opt for private hypnosis, meditation or visualization training because they learn better one-on-one, or they don’t want to wait for his class. The advantage of private training is that all Dr. Stone’s time and instruction are geared toward you and your goals. You will receive handouts for each method that you learn, and and you have the option of receiving a DVD or CD recording of your private training. At home you can review your DVD or CD of your private session to reinforce what you changed or learned in Dr. Stone’s office.
Many hypnosis techniques in use today come from the work of psychiatrist Milton Erickson. Despite being stricken with polio, Dr. Erickson had a long, productive and distinguished hypnosis career. He was a genius at motivating and helping people improve their lives. Some of Erickson’s techniques include enlarging the possibility, prescribing the symptom and the utilization principle.
Dr. Erickson believed that most physical and mental health problems stemmed from a “rigid mind set” or “fixed mental attitude.” According to Erickson, the solution for a rigid mind was enlarging the possibility. This usually meant having patients break their own rules, prohibitions or inhibitions. For example, if a man had rules that severely limited his food choices, during hypnosis Erickson motivated the man to expand his diet and selection of restaurants.
In prescribing the symptom, the problem behavior is actually recommended to the patient. For example, a ten-year-old child sucks her thumb intermittently throughout the day. She is not told to stop sucking her thumb. Rather, she is prescribed 15 minutes of daily thumb sucking so she can become the best thumb sucker in the world. The thumb sucking problem is prescribed more intensely until the child says, “I don’t want to suck my thumb anymore.”
Utilization principle means that the hypnotherapist employs all of the patient’s resources and behaviors, including any resistance. For example, a client came to Erickson for obsessive-compulsive behavior. He had been thrown out of a dozen psychiatrist’s offices because of his frantic pacing. The patient said, “Do you mind if I pace.” Erickson replied, “No, pace all you want provided I get to tell you which direction to pace in.” The patient agreed to follow Erickson’s pacing commands. Erickson directed the patient to pace right, pace left, pace backward and pace forward for twenty minutes. Finally, Erickson said, “Now sit down in that chair and go into a trance.” The tired patient whose defense mechanism was worn out by Erickson’s commands complied with the suggestion to sit and go into a trance.
Enlarging the possibility, prescribing the symptom and utilization principle are just three of the many Ericksonian methods.
Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP)
Richard Bandler and Tom Grindler were trained linguists who observed Dr. Milton Erickson’s work. NLP helps people become better therapists and communicators by following the effective patterns of Dr. Erickson. The N in NLP stands for the nervous system; L, linguistics or language; and P, for physical, mental and emotional programs. According to NLP, our verbal and non-verbal language reveals the deep programs that influence how we think, feel, act and react to others. NLP techniques help patients identify and improve the programs that are governing their lives. For more NLP information, read Dr. Stone’s article “NLP as Simple as XYZ.”
NLP teaches hypnotherapists how to very carefully listen and watch for clients’ verbal and non-verbal communications. Hypnotherapist observe whether or not verbal and non-verbal and conscious and unconscious communication are congruent.
There is surface communication and deep communication. When clients make surface communication statements, they omit part of their message or meaning. After surface statements, the hypnotherapist asks follow-up questions so the clients can access their own deep communication. Each time clients discover their deep communication it is an opportunity for them to reframe the underlying programs that are influencing their impulses and behavior (see figure below).
Transderivational searches occur as clients switch from surface to deep communication. Clients complete their partial messages or meaning by exploring their own deep communication.
Besides initiating transderivational searches and reframes, some other NLP techniques are anchoring, therapeutic methaphor and depotentiating conscious sets. Clients can also schedule appointments for personal NLP training. Sales people who want to earn more money, supervisors who want to become better managers or couples who want to improve their communication can request private NLP lessons.
The primary focus of time-line therapy is feelings. Time-line therapy founder Tad James refers to his method as “content free.” Time-line therapy does not concentrate on the specific content of events, but instead focuses on the emotions and toxic residue in the mind and body. Time-line therapy traces anger, fear, nervousness, resentment and worry to their original sources and alleviates them through the learning of crucial life lessons. Because this therapy helps patients learn from their mistakes and suffering, it follows the principles of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy. As time-line therapy patients work through and release their emotional pain, they perform the basic tenet of logotherapy: “Derive meaning from suffering.” Sometimes time-line therapy clients find that their current life’s pain or challenges began in a previous life.
Past-life therapy provides answers and relief that other methods do not address or attempt. Past-life therapy helps to uncover health challenges, relationship problems or career choices that began in a previous life. Unresolved conflicts or repressed memories from a past life will carry over and influence this life. Past-life therapy attempts to discover the previous life where the problems began and bring closure by understanding the implications of what occurred before you were born into this life. During past-life regression, you learn about your life between lives and find out the reason why you chose to reincarnate. Your life will have more purpose and meaning if you discover what your intentions were before you were physically born. Please note that not all clients who come for past-life therapy actually discover a past life. Recalling a past life utilizes the sum total of everything you have done to spiritually evolve and emotionally mature. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t recall a past life in your session; the work you do to try to recall a past life may prepare you to remember one in the future. Clients should come to a past-life regression appointment with some specific therapeutic goals. By setting and attaining one’s goals, the session can be a complete success even if one doesn’t recall a past life.
Medical hypnosis is intended to complement and support your current health care. Hypnosis is not a replacement or substitute for any kind of medical treatment. Hypnosis can help you heal faster, manage your pain, instill positive expectations for a successful recovery, prepare for surgery or childbirth, and cope with the stress that is often associated with illness and injury. Hypnosis supports your recovery because your mind concentrates on healing while your body completely relaxes. Visualization and guided imagery are often key components to medical hypnosis. For more visualization and guided imaging information, please review the description of “Visualization and Interactive Guided Imaging” listed in this web site’s section. Caution, do not stop taking medications, change treatment plans or cancel medical appointments without first consulting your primary health care provider.
Visualization and Interactive Guided Imaging
Visualization and guided imaging can help you achieve goals, lose weight, release emotional pain, instill positive expectations, silence your inner critic, relieve stress and recover from physical illness. While performing experiments with a positron emission topography (PET) machine, researchers discovered the human brain and body can’t distinguish between a real or imagined experience. First, researchers had subjects see, hear, feel, smell and taste actual objects as the PET and other machines recorded changes in the subjects’ bodies. Next, the subjects were told to imagine that they were seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting objects as the PET and other machines again recorded changes in the subjects’ bodies. The brain and the body’s response to the imagined sensory impressions were nearly identical to the actual ones. Some people use their imaginations to create negative goals, social problems or physical illnesses. If the imagination can cause problems, then the imagination can prevent and solve them.
If necessary or desired, Dr. Stone will teach you visualization so you can develop a habit of using your imagination in a positive and healthy way. Intrapersonal communication is communication that occurs within a person. Our right and left brain hemispheres communicate internally with each other. The left brain hemisphere primarily communicates with words and the right brain hemisphere, with pictures. The left brain hemisphere is literal, the right, metaphorical. By improving the communication and understanding the messages that passes between our two brain hemispheres, we can lead happier and healthier lives.
First, the hypnotherapist helps clients to feel relaxed. In a relaxed state, clients are more likely to produce an image that accurately portrays their problem. Next, the hypnotherapist helps clients uncover the meaning or message that is contained in the image representing their problem. Finally, clients transform the problem image to an image that is happier, healthier or better. By improving the intrapersonal communication between the left brain hemisphere’s thoughts and the right brain hemisphere’s images, you will find peace within yourself and with others.