Thursday 26 November 2009


There is one very important aspect of hypnosis that cannot be overlooked. It is hypnotherapy. There are many things that can happen to us that are best shunted into the depths of our subconscious mind but even while in there, they can haunt us. I will give you an example of this.

A young seaman came to me in 1954 complaining that he hated his mother but didn't know why. He said that he couldn't think of anything she did or said that would prompt his hatred for her. He knew I had been experimenting with regression, that is, making my subjects remember childhood experiences, so he asked me to have him regress back into his childhood to find the event that triggered his hatred for his mother.

Let me say that that was no easy task. Trying to find a paragraph in a book in a library in which every book is randomly placed in packing cases is extremely difficult. In this young man's case, I couldn't even find the library.

For several weeks of careful probing (an hour each day after supper) I still couldn't find anything. Then an idea came to me. I had read a book in which the experimenter had actually had his subjects regress to a time before their births---(and I am not talking about reincarnation)

Sure enough, as I had this seaman regress backwards from his first birthday, together, we reached the event of his birth (in which his memory of it is an amazing story in itself)

I regressed him further until we reached the beginning of the last trimester, that is---three months before his birth. He could hear noises and his mother's voice. It was then that I discovered the source of his problem. His mother had attempted an abortion and screamed out that she didn't want her baby. She changed her mind but the memory of the event was fixed into his developing fetal brain and remained there all through his childhood and young adult years.

I had him relive this experience and then, while he was in that regressed state, I put him into a state of amnesia. While he was in that state, I replaced the offending event with a more pleasurable one, such as the mother saying how much she wanted her baby. Then I brought him out of the trance. He remembered nothing of what I had put him through, but back in the deep recesses of his brain, was a memory (actually a fantasy) of a loving mother saying how much she wanted her baby.

I spoke to him several months later and he told me that his mother and he got along just fine. He said that he could never understand why he hated her so much in the past and naturally, I never disclosed her secret or for that matter, his own subconscious secret to him.

Victims of crimes who suffer from traumatic experiences should be encouraged to forget the experiences, or short of that, at least have the memories of them obscured in a sense so that little of the memories of what occurred to them won't come back to haunt them later. There is truth in the saying that 'time heals all' and the reason why that is so is true is because the memory of a bad experience is shunted further and further into the recesses of the mind as more current memories are piled onto the traumatic memory. It is for this reason that victims of crimes are encouraged to get out and do things to get their minds away from the tragedies and traumas in their lives. The more they do this, the more new memories are created that will push the memories of the traumatic experience further from the conscious mind.

Sometimes however, no amount of attempts at suppressing bad memories will stop the event from returning to the victim's conscious mind like a bad dream. That is when a psychiatrist or a hypnotherapist is called upon to assist. And when the memory of a certain event is an old memory that will not go away, a hypnotherapist will attempt to at least alter the memory of his patient's bad experience with a fantasy while the memory of the traumatic event is deep in the recesses of his or her mind.

I would be remiss if I did not finish this article with the warning that the practicing of hypnosis by untrained individuals can be dangerous to those persons willing to be hypnotized.

I remember the first mistake I made and that mistake could have ruined a man's life. When a person is being hypnotized, he will generally be totally absorbed exclusively with what the hypnotist is telling him, but he can still perceive other stimuli around him such as traffic and people talking outside the room. Subsequently, when my subject (that’s what we call those we hypnotize) heard these noises while I was hypnotizing him, this young man thought he was still awake. To get around this, I told him that he would hear every noise, even when he was asleep.

That in itself may seem harmless but my mistake was that when I brought him out of the trance, I didn't remove the suggestion about hearing everything while he was asleep. For two months, he suffered from insomnia because every noise he heard at night, kept him awake. When he approached me about his insomnia, it suddenly dawned on me what I had done, so I re-hypnotized him and removed the offending suggestion and he slept like a baby after that.

No. I didn't tell him that he would 'sleep like a baby'. If I had, he would be bed wetting for the rest of his life.

Giving post-hypnotic suggestions is fraught with danger because a hypnotist may go too far. For example, an amateur who hypnotizes a subject who cannot swim, into having no fear of water, may later inadvertently bring about the subject's death if the subject goes boating without a life jacket. Remember, he has no fear of water but he also hasn't learned to swim yet.

An amateur may give a post hypnotic suggestion that will or will not be enacted years later. For example, if he tells his subject that when he meets a certain kind of woman, he will have an overpowering desire to have sex with her. If the subject takes that suggestion literally, he may not be sexually aroused until he meets that 'certain kind of woman' and he may never meet such a woman and hence, his sex life will be curtailed. On the other hand, he may be so overwhelmed, he may literally rape a woman who fits the category of being that 'certain woman'.

Amateur hypnotists who use hypnosis to probe into the psyche of unstable people may misinterpret what they are being told and therefore give wrong advice. A person in a hypnotic state may be propelled into a severe post-hypnotic state that can continue unchecked for many months. This is particularly true in borderline psychosis. In the hands of a qualified psychotherapist, the subject can be treated but in the hands of an amateur, the risk of creating problems beyond the grasp of the amateur's ability to cope with them is high.

Hypnosis is extremely useful in bringing old memories to the fore. It is those old memories that dictate our lives. If we can get access to those memories, we might find out what makes us tick. And for that purpose, as well as others, this science should be followed up more than it is. But remember this. If someone looks you in the face and says in a cooing voice, "Look into my eyes!" the chances are; he is an amateur hypnotist. An experienced hypnotist doesn't coo---he makes demands and you will be under his spell before you know it---if you don't fight it.


Mantox said...

Thanks I would like to hear more about hypnosis, I enjoyed every bit of the Hypnosis Stories

Mantox said...

Thanks I would like to hear more about hypnosis, I enjoyed every bit of the Hypnosis Stories

Mantox said...

Keep the Hypnosis stories coming