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I always believe in keeping things simple. Therefore, the best way to simply explain hypnosis is by using Dave Elman’s definition of hypnosis. “Hypnosis is a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human is bypassed, and selective thinking established“ [Dave Elman, Hypnotherapy, 1964, p26] Mr Elman’s techniques are very popular with many hypnotherapists. He pioneered the use of rapid induction techniques and was a great advocate of the hypno-analytic approach to therapy.
Gil Boyne was a well-known hypnotherapist who was in full-time practice for over fifty years. In his book Transforming Therapy (1985, pp380-38), He states that: hypnosis is a natural state of mind with special identifying characteristics:
- An extraordinary quality of relaxation.
- An emotionalized desire to satisfy the suggested behaviour: The person feels like doing what the hypnotist suggests, provided that what is suggested does not generate conflict with his belief system.
- The organism becomes self-regulating and produces normalization of the central nervous system.
- Heightened and selective sensitivity to stimuli perceived by the five senses and four basic perceptions.
- Immediate softening of psychic defenses.
Check out this article entitled: Harness the Power of Your Beliefs: Create Your Own Placebos. You see hypnosis is nothing more then rewriting or re-coding your limiting beliefs that lead to your behavior/issue. The British Psychological Society has published a peer review entitled: The Nature of Hypnosis.