Frequently Asked questions ( FAQ )


Please explain "post-hypnotic" suggestion.

The expression- "Post-hypnotic suggestion" –designates an action carried out by a subject at some future time, in accordance with suggestions given while in the hypnotic state. Usually, the subject will carry out the suggestion without realizing why he is doing it, but is compelled to follow through and probably will feel uneasy until he does so. He may have been given a Cue, a signal of some sort; i.e. a word, a gesture, to precipitate the action. Or, he may be given a time- "so many minutes from now." Actually, all benefits of hypnotic conditioning are enhanced by post-hypnotic suggestions, reinforced by repetition through self-hypnosis.

Suppose a post-hypnotic suggestion is given to be carried out, say, a year later, will this be done ?

We often read of such fantastic cases, and although it may happen rarely, it isn’t the normal, average reaction. I’d say, speaking generally, that a single post-hypnotic suggestion would last at the most two days and probably much less. It would depend, to a great extent, on the suggestibility level of the subject, and can last a few minutes, an hour….more, perhaps… but not that year business.

Can hypnosis compel one to confess a crime ? Can a hypnotized subject tell a lie ?

Self-preservation is a strong factor and a person can lie, hypnosis or no hypnosis, to protect himself. If the suspect is determined not to confess, he certainly will not. However, there are techniques, utilizing hypnosis, to detect a lie, or verify truth.

Can a person be hypnotized without knowing it, against his will ?

That is a two-part question! To begin with, a person cannot be hypnotized against his will. You can be the best subject in the world but if you didn’t want to be hypnotized you couldn’t be. However, since the average person doesn’t know what hypnosis is really all about, and has preconceived misconceptions about it, such as the fallacy that you fall asleep, or that you are oblivious to what is going on, etc., he can usually respond to a "disguised" technique quite nicely, not realizing he is being hypnotized. This does not mean he is being hypnotized against his will. Actually, we all are hypnotized many, many times, without realizing it. Driving your car, for instance, and arriving at your destination without remembering getting there…or just daydreaming, becoming engrossed in a good book, or movie…These are hypnotic influences.

Can hypnosis increase functions of the brain, in learning, etc ?

There is a wide gulf between the capability of individuals. In fact, the difference can be so great, it is difficult to believe. Assuming that we are all born with the same brain, difference in function must have occurred after birth. Let us consider the brain to be an "organic computer," being programmed and conditioned. Its output consists of all functions, including behavior and emotions and, of course, learning abilities can be included. The conditioning factors, or the "input," is received from three sources: environment, body sensations and cognition (conscious thought). During the hypnotic procedure, reflexes can be established rapidly and developed with specific goals. For the most part, during our lives, the development is sort of random, with the high achiever having produced effective reflexes. The low achiever, unfortunately, acquired ineffective results. Through hypnosis and proper suggestive techniques, the old reflexes-or conditioning which was negative-can be removed and replaced with positive suggestions. "What suggestion can do, suggestion can undo!" In this endeavor, self hypnosis properly learned can reinforce the new pattern of conditioning until it becomes permanent. Hypnosis can provide rapid-and selective-human programming.

Why is the learning process made easier in hypnosis ?

In the hypnotic state, we are communicating directly with the subconscious mind, which is the subjective portion of the body. This subconscious mind accumulates and stores everything fed into it and accomplishes this more readily during hypnosis. We teach students the art of "self-hypnosis," which greatly enhances concentration and retention, as well as recall ability.

Can hypnosis be used to help students ?

Definitely! Hypnosis can help a student overcome certain learning difficulties such as concentration, retention, recall, etc. We do learn more efficiently when relaxed and, in hypnosis, the student is as relaxed as possible. He is more receptive to the study material and his ability to concentrate is increased to maximum level. Another important area of help is in eliminating "exam jitters."

Can hypnosis sharpen recall ability ?

Yes! Self-hypnosis may be used quite effectively as an aid in learning, including retention and recall. To begin with, the student will learn to relax, an important factor in learning processes. New material will be absorbed more rapidly, so less study time is needed and recall is facilitated. Study habits can be improved, distractions eliminated, through hypnosis.

Can hypnosis help to overcome mental blocks ?

Definitely! Often, people think they cannot learn certain things, for example, and thus they condition themselves to really react negatively. Or perhaps, a person fears speaking in public. The subconscious mind...and this is the part we are dealing with...literally accepts whatever you tell it, without reasoning. So, if you feed in negative thoughts, that is exactly what you will have!

Using hypnosis, and communicating on the subconscious level, we recondition the subconscious and use the same "power" which has one negatively programmed, to overcome the problem. Remember, "what the mind causes, the mind can cure!"

Negative thinking can have devastating effects, and this can be seen every day, in all walks of life. However, the person who habitually thinks positively is constantly programming his subconscious in this direction. Hypnosis can certainly aid in this endeavor.

Can a salesman use hypnosis ?

Not in the sense you mean, judging by the rest of you’re your letter. The old misconception of some Svengali influencing people is a specious one. However, learning self-hypnosis can definitely help a salesman do a better job. One can improve confidence, create enthusiasm, enhance concentration, and generally gain confidence in all his abilities, through hypnotic conditioning. A salesman who is a defeatist, for instance, will just be "turned-off," so to speak.

By minimizing-or eliminating-faults and enhancing abilities through hypnotic conditioning, salesmen who tend to "freeze up" when making cold calls, can certainly be helped. Hypnosis can improve one’s self-confidence, and create enthusiasm, as well as enhance one’s ability for the "closing" phase of selling. Such other attributes as an ability to express oneself, improve affability, etc., can all be helped by hypnosis.

Can hypnosis help overcome stage fright ?

Definitely! Stage fright varies in degree, with the greater degree bringing devastation to a performance. Dealing directly with the subconscious, as we do with hypnosis, confidence is instilled with proper suggestions. An excellent technique is to use "visual imagery," with the subject "living" through his performance, in the hypnotic state, with confidence and success.

"Exams jitters" is something akin to stage fright. Many students just seem to freeze up when taking an exam and in such cases hypnosis can be quite effective. Self-hypnosis would be taught in both type situations, so that future events can be met with equanimity.

Can hypnosis permanently help you get rid of "hang-ups" and bad habits ?

Yes. Actually, in hypnotic conditioning, it is re-training process. However, as we have mentioned before, hypnosis is no panacea, nor does it work miracles. You cannot expect to overcome years of bad habits in one or two sessions. Let’s compare the subconscious to a computer. We all know how the computers are programmed; whatever is fed in, comes out. Same with the subconscious mind, which will accept literally whatever you feed in. Thus, imagined fears become real fears. By learning self-hypnosis, we continually reinforce our newly acquired abilities.

Would hypnosis be helpful in overcoming phobias ?

A phobia is a condition wherein fear reactions are instigated by a specific situation. There are many such fears ranging from "exam jitters" and "stage fright" to fear of high places, closed places, flying, driving, darkness, crowds, etc., etc. Fear reactions seem to be innate in everyone; however, those fears-or phobias-which are abnormal are usually products of events which have happened to us, or said to us, especially when we are quite young.

Although fear is normally evoked when we are threatened by some danger, many phobias exist when there is no danger and although it may seem silly, this does not stop the fear reactions. Often we know the cause of a particular fear, such as an automobile accident, or other causes dating back to childhood, some unpleasant experience which has been suppressed from conscious memory. There are two procedures in standard therapy for a phobia and hypnosis can be useful in each of these.

The first technique, used when the root cause is unknown, is to dig into the "buried memories" and discover the causative experiences. This is the basic principle of psychoanalysis and hypnosis can certainly sharply reduce the time necessary to accomplish this. This can be called "hypno-analysis," wherein instead of usual programming of positive, helpful suggestions into the mind, it involves a reverse action, one of digging out harmful impressions from the past. In the past, it was considered by some therapists that uncovering causative experiences and bringing it into the conscious level, giving "insight" to the patient, is all that is needed to cure the phobia. However, many people already know the cause of their fear (such as an incident), but still have the fear reaction.

The second technique might well be called "re-conditioning" and is less time consuming. With many patients it is all that is needed. Not long ago, in research cone at Ohio State University, this procedure was employed in training women not to be afraid of mice. It certainly wasn’t necessary to find out just why they were afraid of mice, in the first place! A recent case involved a pilot who, after recovering from an accident, found he was panic-stricken at any attempt to fly. He didn’t need psychoanalysis, or hypno-analysis, to find the cause. He knew every terrible detail of the accident. He was re-conditioned, through hypnosis, over a period of time, and was soon flying again without the fear reactions. The hypnosis allowed the re-conditioning to proceed more rapidly.

We must repeat that hypnosis is no panacea, no cure-all, and any case involving phobias, or fears of any type, must be properly referred. An ethical hypnotist will not undertake any such work otherwise, in order to conform to the Code of Ethics promulgated by the Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis. Proper referral is also a condition imposed by the Florida law, as of May 15, 1961.



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