Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis, Imagery, Trance Work
Hypnosis and its clinical use (hypnotherapy) involve an alteration in one’s state of consciousness sometimes including increased concentration, a narrowing of external awareness, absorption in internal states, increased response to suggestion, dissociation. Its roots lie in shamanic practices, so it has been around for tens of thousands of years. That these practices persist in human society and have been found in all areas of the world, speak to their practical utility, or survival value.
Hypnosis in its many forms (self-hypnosis, mental imagery, guided imagery, active imagination, naturalistic trance, NLP) can be used for chronic pain, chronic illness, anxiety, increased stress resilience, ego development or identity consolidation, trauma, habit reduction, phobias, those insecure moments spent waiting at the crossroads uncertain about which way to go in life, and many other uses. While it helps one overcome resistance to change and increases one’s ability to alter negative behavioral patterns and resolve disordered thought patterns through suggestion, it also helps people understand themselves. It is thought to give access to the unconscious mind and so is used in the form “active imagination” by Jungian psychologists to do “depth” work, or an exploration of the unconscious mind and transpersonal realms.
Hypnosis’ ancient history and modern research have proven it to be one of the most effective ‘psychotherapeutic” interventions, and when appropriate, can be used in the context of psychotherapy or neurotherapy. It can be used in-session as hypnotherapy, but often clients learn how to use self-hypnosis for home practice.
Dr. Vieille has had extensive training in hypnotherapy, singled it out for study in graduate school, and defined it as a specialty by making it the subject of his doctoral dissertation.
“Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.”
Meditation is a reflective self-regulation practice in which a person, using a technique such as mindfulness, is able to bring their conscious mind to a state of calm awareness and presence. By regularly engaging in a meditation practice, one can cultivate greater voluntary control of their mental processes, a general sense of well being, and the ability to be more present and aware. There are many forms of meditation, secular and nonsecular, which all have their own nuanced way of doing it but the essential thread that binds them is the practitioners need to retain their attention.
Diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing is a practice that helps to balance the the autonomic nervous system and counteract the effects that stress has on the mind and body. Diaphragmatic breathing is a self-regulating practice in which the practitioner focus' the breath into the stomach rather than in the chest usually to a count of 10. The idea being that when we breath in, our diaphragm contracts pushing down on the organs located in the abdomen thus expanding the belly. When we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and expands up into the chest cavity and releases the pressure put on the abdomen. In breathing into the belly, the vagus nerve is also stimulated telling the body to relax and return back to its normal functions (i.e. digestion and perfusion of the extremities.
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