Guided Meditations and Hypnosis
It has been a while since I published the previous instalment of this Understanding Hypnosis Series. However, there is a reason for this. I have been busy developing a guided meditation audio series that uses hypnotic techniques to temporarily suspend the critical faculty and enhance existing unconscious patterns to improve the listeners Emotional Intelligence capabilities. The series consists of seven guided meditations that can be downloaded individually or as a bundle. You can listen to samples on the Emotional Intelligence Guided Meditation page or on the Career Tune-up YouTube Channel.
Hypnotic Techniques in Guided Meditations
As I have explained in an earlier post about Self-Suggestions, the way people feel, think, behave and react is to a large extent based on who they were modelling during their childhood. In his book The People Puzzle Sociologist Morris Massey has described the following three major learning periods in a person’s live.
- Year 0 – 7 Imprint Period (Critical Faculty does not exist yet)
- Year 7 – 14 Modelling Period
- Year 14 – 21 Socialization Period
The critical faculty is the part of the mind that evaluates and filters input. It is the voice in our head that says OK…or yeah, right! During the Imprint Period without a critically faculty almost everything is accepted as true and handed over to the unconscious mind. Once the critical faculty has been developed the amount of new information that is accepted is drastically reduced.
These imprints result in unconscious decisions, beliefs and behaviours that may not be helpful for a person’s progress and growth. The fastest way to change is by temporarily suspending the critical faculty using hypnotic techniques and giving suggestions guiding the unconscious to overcome unhelpful decisions and adopt more desirable beliefs and behaviours.
Do Hypnosis Audio Recordings Work?
In the 1950ies Ernest Hilgard made experiments to determine the extent that people were susceptible to hypnosis. He got groups of people off the street to listen to a hypnotist’s voice recorded on a phonograph. The findings were that by simply listening to the phonograph about 20% of the people tested would go into a light trance, 60% of people would go into a medium trance and another 20% would go into a deep state of trance.
Most of us have experienced the trance state. Daydreaming and Expanded Awareness are light trance states. The state just prior to falling asleep is a trance state. Trance is a restful state that supports repair and de-stressing. Another characteristic of the trance state is the suspension of the critical faculty. As such we can assume that suggestions delivered to the unconscious via an audio recording while in trance can indeed have the desired effect.
Fears and Misconceptions about Hypnosis
The perception of hypnosis in the public eye is full of misconceptions and people are often fearful when confronted with being hypnotized. This is mostly due to the image of hypnosis that has been enforced over time by stories of pick-pockets employing ‘hypnosis’ to take advantage of people, by movies projecting the hypnotist as the villain and by entertainment shows where people’s dignity appears to be violated by the hypnotist.
The first major misconception is that a hypnotist has power over people. I believe that this is false. Hypnosis requires cooperation or at least a state of indifference to achieve a deep trance. Hypnotherapy only facilitates the client’s ability to carry out specific behaviors that he or she wishes to achieve. The ability to go into trance is based on trust and comfort. Unethical or untrustworthy behavior by a hypnotist would only bring about confusion, mistrust, anger, or non-cooperation by the subject.
The second major misconception is that anyone can easily enter a deep trance in no time at all, with just a few instructions. This may not be the case. Some people may need explanations, practice, and conditioning in order to comfortably reach that level of trance.
The stage hypnotist makes it look easy, but in truth, only about 20% of the adult population can get to this deep level of trance without practice. The stage hypnotist merely chooses ideal candidates.
Is it Safe to use Hypnosis in Guided Meditations?
Because I believe that nobody will ever accept any hypnotic suggestions that violate what you truly stand for I am sure that you can safely proceed with using guided meditations that include hypnotic content. The advantage of using pre-recorded audio is that you can review the audio content to ensure that nothing is being suggested that is against your wishes prior to allowing yourself to fall into trance while listening to the recording.
You may also want to check out the opinion of the Better Health Channel, a Victorian State Government organization, on the subject.
I’d love it if you share your thoughts in the comments below!
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