What is Hypnotherapy? How does Hypnosis work? What can Psychology teach me? How can I learn to understand both my own mind and others people's minds? Connecting Hypnotherapy aims to answer these questions in a continuous stream of posts that fill in the enormous jigsaw puzzle piece by piece with articles that shed light on a myriad of fascinating different topics all related to the mind, and to life. I hope you enjoy reading.
As detailed in my previous posts a very effective way to do self-hypnosis is to make a recording of your own voice then play it back to yourself either when you are already in a hypnotic state OR to actually help put yourself into hypnosis.
If you are not computer literate, one method is to use a cassette tape recorder, which is very user friendly and despite being anti-technological it gets the job done well enough and was the only method of use for many years. Put in a blank tape cassette, make sure it is at the beginning, press ‘record’ and start talking.
However if you are confident using computer software ‘Audacity’ is a very competent free service downloadable from the internet to make digital recordings. Garageband is a great piece of software that comes included with Apple Mac computers, while Sony Sound Forge is great if you are willing to pay for something at the higher end of the market. The other benefit of using computer software is that you can more easily add in effects such as echo or background music as well as being able to digitally cut and edit your piece to suit your needs. For instance you might like one particular hypnotic induction that you have recorded, so instead of repeating yourself time and time again you can simply cut and paste it into the beginning of each audio you make using one of the software programs. Anything on the computer is easily sharable, either sending it by Email or uploading to MP3 player. For these reasons I use the computer a lot, it makes my life easier and the end product more professional. I put my recordings on my IPod and they are ready for me to use at the click of a button whenever I need them.
So what to record?
Building a script is very personal, and the content you include should be things that are specific to your needs. My previous posts on self-hypnosis (parts 1-3) as well as Rules of Suggestion will give you the basic framework from which to work your way through the basic three stages.
If you find imagery of the sea relaxing, build that into your induction script…use whatever it is that makes you feel the most relaxed, and be creative! This might take some experimentation by trial and error, and often things can take you completely by surprise. A client of mine once said she had never felt more relaxed when we did a visualisation of a steam train moving through a forest, even though she didn’t like trains! Simplicity is a good place to start, the subconscious mind likes things kept simple and focused, just remember to start with steady deep breathing, close the eyes and then RELAX!
Some are easier than others to word correctly. The Rules of Suggestion post covers this quite succinctly so I will not repeat myself, but what I will say is if you are just starting out doing something like this it is a good idea to begin with something quickly achievable, like stress relief or improved moods and not something bigger like dropping a lifelong habit. Engaging the subconscious mind takes practice, and tapping into it gently is certainly the easier route to follow. Also remember to include suggestions that every time you go into hypnosis you will find it easier and even more enjoyable and relaxing (this always helps with a continued program of hypnosis!).
Awaken in the same way you ‘went to sleep’. If your induction had you visualising slowly walking down some steps, your awakening should have you visualising walking up those steps, and with each step and every breath feeling more and more wide-awake and alert. Your suggestions at this stage should be about ‘coming back around’ and feeling fantastic, but also taking with you the positive effects of your session.
So be creative with your script and play around with it as much as you like so long as you stick to the basic rules. Write it down or type it on your computer and have it handy when you do your recording. Speak slowly and softly, and speak in a way that you would find soothing and relaxing. If music works for you and you know how to put some gently into the background that is both slow and relaxing then do so, or even recordings of the sea or a natural setting like a forest – whatever works for you. If voice on its own is what connects with you best then so be it. Experiment, you will soon find a good match, and even after that variation always keeps things fresh and interesting over a longer period.
I will be posting some information shortly on the different methods you can use in your script to both induce hypnosis and deepen the whole experience. But in the meantime…happy recording!