Sunday, August 11, 2013

Brainswitching As Post-Hypnotic Suggestion

Although I am a certified hypnotist as well as a board-certified cognitive behavioral therapist, I had not thought of using brainswitching as a post-hypnotic suggestion until I received the following letter from a counselor in Australia.

Isn't the Internet a wonder? Here I am in San Diego, California and in an instant can interact with someone in Australia, and confer with a fellow in my field to share information and keep current with my profession. Here is the letter:

"I am a qualified counselor and a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist in Australia. It is with great interest that I read an article of yours about brain switching and depression. I hadn't heard of brainswitching before I read the article, and am going to purchase a book about brainswitching on Amazon,,

However, time is of the essence as I am seeing a clinically depressed client on Tuesday. Her husband has stated she is suicidal, so any additional information which you could give me now which would help me with her session on Tuesday would be greatly appreciated.

I was wondering if brain switching could be incorporated as a post suggestion in a hypnotic script, and, if it could,what would be the best way of going about this. Thank you for taking the time to read this email."

What a great idea. Yes, of course any counselor who uses hypnotherapy can use brainswitching as a post hypnotic suggestion. But I had not thought of it until I received that counselor's email. Whenever you think of something you make a new neural pattern of that thought that remains in your memory banks. This is due to the brain's neuroplasticity. When you think of that same thought repetitively, over and over, you make the thought dominant. The brain always follows the direction of its most current dominant thought.

With hypnosis, you accomplish making the thought dominant with your post hypnotic suggestion since the hypnosis trance provides the same strength (dominance) to the thought as thinking the thought over and over repetitively.

Another way to make the thought more dominant is to think the thought during emotional stress. This is why faith healers say "You're cured" Then push the person backwards. The person does not know that someone has been stationed right behind them to cushion their fall, and so experiences emotional stress (fear) at the same time the thought occurs which "sets" the thought (makes it more dominant).

Any counselor has to confer with their patient to mutually decide what thought is to be "set" in the patient's brain and the patient must choose some specific mind exercise to be reminded of by the post-hypnotic suggestion. For myself I have "set" the thought "Do an exercise right away" and "linked it" (through learned association) to occur at the same time a depressive thought occurs.

The patient will have to choose a specific mind exercise to use in place of the depressive thought, then the counselor can link the idea of doing the exercise with the depressive thought so whenever the depressive thoughts pop up, the get-out-of-depression thought pops up simultaneously.

Of course the patient will need to be warned that, since depression deprives us of all motivation (not will, as is often supposed), when the reminder thought to do a get-out-of-depression exercise pops up, the patient will have to move out of their comfort zone to actually do the mind exercise. Number one, they will not "feel" like doing the exercise and, number two, they will have no faith that any exercise will actually work. They must commit themselves to doing the mind exercise "anyway." I have often likened doing the mind exercise to taking a pill. You just do it because you are supposed to, not because you feel like it or because it will do any good.

If someone is suicidal, I would certainly make sure that they not be alone as long as they are suicidal, and that, if they are physically capable, they do some hard physical exercise to tire themselves out--jogging, working out, etc. to deplete some of the stress chemicals.

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