Most books about hypnotherapy talk about light, medium, and deep states of hypnosis. I don’t really think there are any clear indicators of what level of hypnosis a person is experiencing. How do we know if a light hypnotic state for one person isn’t deep hypnosis for another? And to be quite honest, when it comes to one-on-one hypnotherapy we don’t really need what some might call “deep hypnosis” to get results.
Although some people do experience really deep states of hypnosis, each person is unique. The great thing is that it doesn’t matter how deep your hypnosis is for therapeutic purposes.
Once a hypnotic state is achieved, hypnotherapists often perform what is called “deepeners”. This helps people get from their initial hypnosis induction into a deeper state, one that is natural for them. There are many different kinds of deepeners. I might use a simple count from ten to one and with each number the person relaxes deeper into hypnosis. A deepener is primarily a way of suggesting to a person that they’ve deepened the state that they had already reached, and this helps them relax and go further into hypnosis.
Rather than counting or suggesting that their muscles are relaxing, I might engage a person’s imagination instead. I could describe a skyscraper at night and have them picture each light going off one by one. With each light they feel more relaxed.
Another way is to ask people to go off into their own imagined place. That might be on the beach or in the countryside, whatever is most comfortable for them. As they become more engrossed in that imagined experience, that in itself deepens the relaxation and the state of hypnosis they’re experiencing.
The very deepest state of hypnosis that can be described is called a somnambulistic state. People who experience this deep of a state of hypnosis are rare, but they do exist. These are the people who might go so deep that they can’t be bothered with movement, or who might experience hypnotic amnesia and forget things they experienced or discussed while in hypnosis.
You don’t have to go that deep to get the benefits of hypnosis. Whether it’s in a one-on-one or in my hypnosis MP3s, how deep your hypnosis is doesn’t really matter. If you are willing to listen and relax as deeply as you can, you will experience the benefits.
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