When I went to training for my Life Coach Certification, which included hypnosis, I was open to learning hypnosis and I believed that it worked for some people, but like many others, I was a skeptic about what could be accomplished with hypnosis and specifically, whether I could be hypnotized. I also had some typical misconceptions about what hypnosis was and how it would feel to hypnotized. Therefore, it is no surprise to me that many other people and some of my potential clients have these views about hypnosis. I have expanded my views to become a big fan of what can be accomplished with this wonderful tool and an advocate for its many uses. As a practitioner, hypnosis allows me to help clients work through issues and make changes to get results in remarkably short time periods. I am able to help clients when everything else has failed and to do so in a way that avoids much of the pain and suffering that tends to be part of some other processes.
Getting back to the question, “Who Can Be Hypnotized? – with a few qualifications, almost everyone who is willing and open to being hypnotized can be hypnotized. Everyone does experience this wonderful state of enhanced or expanded awareness in a very natural way in their daily lives. Most people go into this natural, self-induced state of hypnosis frequently. It is a break, in a way, from all the distractions and demands on our attention. Yes, this is different than being led into a hypnotic state by a qualified hypnotist and allowing one’s self to experience hypnosis in this way is somewhat more difficult for some. We go into a natural state of hypnotic trance without even thinking about it when certain circumstances present themselves. To be hypnotized we must allow ourselves by agreement and trust to be led to this state by another. This is the part that can get tricky and thus, results in some people being more resistant to moving into a state of hypnotic trance than others. It is also the aspect of “thinking” that can confuse the process and cause some people to resist transitioning into a hypnotic state. When we go into hypnosis naturally, we do so without thinking and thinking can get in the way. Our mind is, contrary to common belief, a single process mechanism with regard to what it can handle. Therefore, when we are busy engaging our conscious mind with thinking, we have difficulty switching over to the subconscious mind and slipping into that state of hypnotic trance that is fairly automatic. It is like trying to put your car on auto-pilot and steer at the same time. It just doesn’t work or defeats the purpose. Some people are reluctant to allow this transition, as it feels like giving up control, rather than going to a higher level of focus, as it actually is. For some it feels like they are giving over control to someone else and although this is incorrect, it feels that way and is therefore, difficult. Finally, there are the people who actually do go into a state of hypnosis, but don’t believe that they have been hypnotized because it just feels too normal to them and they expect it to feel different than it actually does. There are many factors that have influenced people to believe that they will be in some sort of other-worldly state of trance where they are being controlled by others or in a zombie-like state of being where something happens that is beyond their control. This is just not what hypnosis is and how it feels.
What is needed then, if almost anyone can be hypnotized, for someone to be hypnotized? To be hypnotized these conditions must be present:
These are the only two conditions that must be present, but there are other requisites that are very helpful. These would include the hypnotist being good at their craft and able to use different techniques to help different clients move into the hypnotic trance and the client trusting the hypnotherapist and allowing themselves to relax into hypnosis as stated above.
It isn’t very complicated. Everyone can go into hypnosis if they want to. You have done it so many times naturally in your life already and professional or therapeutic hypnotherapy is simply using this heightened state of awareness as a resource in helping you to work through issues that you want to resolve while you are in your most resourceful state and have the ability to resolve things quickly with great clarity. Yes, even you, can probably be hypnotized if you decide you want to be hypnotized. Find a qualified hypnotherapist that you can trust, feel comfortable following their instructions and choose to allow yourself to move in this wonderful state of heightened awareness. And yes, you can accomplish amazing things in this state. If what you want to accomplish is realistic and you believe it is achievable you will find it surprisingly easy.
Most practitioners and even people who are casually exposed to NLP or Neurolinguistics Programming methods are often amazed by how impactful it is and how quickly change can be achieved. How does this happen and why? NLP is not just a single technique, but a whole set of techniques and tools that take into consideration how our brain and all of our senses work together to communicate and form our perception of both the world around us and the world within us. NLP was developed in the early 1970's by Dr. Richard Bandler and Dr. John Grinder. In the course of their studies they drew from the work of the best in a number of different disciplines taking into consideration what was most successful. They used the work of others and analyzed the results to come up with systems that do seem to work fairly reliably. In fact, neuroscience is now giving us the why's behind some of what has been working for a long time. NLP has been used, not just in psychology and counseling, but in many other fields where communication and relationships are important like sales, management, teaching and even entertainment. Tony Robbins uses it routinely in his work and speaking and many other motivational speakers, trainers, teachers, preachers and even politicians are quite expert in using it. It is usually used ethically with good intent, but can be used with less integrity too. Examples would be for the purpose or brain washing or propaganda. Unknowing subjects can be negatively impacted by those using it with no integrity. It is a powerful tool and used positively we can create change and influence in important areas of our lives. Let's talk about the good purposes and the seeming magic that can be achieved. It can be such a wonderful tool for healing and change.
NLP training is usually broken into two 7 or 8 full-day sessions just to give you the basics, so you might guess there are a lot of tools and techniques involved and we are only going to talk about a few here to give you an idea of how it works and has such a strong impact. Really mastering and applying the techniques is an art in itself and that is why a skilled practitioner can be so helpful in guiding you with NLP.
In this article, we are going to talk about anchoring, contextual reframing and mental rehearsal. These are all quite simple, but when practiced it will surprise you how fast and effective they can be. There are literally hundreds of techniques and some get more complex. They are also quite flexible and after learning NLP, you will easily be able to modify and customize these tools to fit the situation or if you are a practitioner, the client.
Let’s start with anchoring, sometimes called States and Anchors. It is a way to change your state (or how you are feeling emotionally) by experiencing the feelings from another time and place. Anchoring is used frequently in many different ways. Sometimes it is just to set a pleasant and positive state to return to or guide your client to whenever needed. You bring your client to a state of relaxation and then ask them to remember or imagine a pleasant enjoyable and relaxing place or situation from anytime in their past. Take them through remembering this time with all of their senses and when they are completely relaxed and immersed in this pleasant memory, gently tap on their shoulder, have them rub their fingers (thumb & forefinger) together, snap your fingers or any other indicator signal and suggest that whenever they want to return to this pleasant state they can simply rub their finger together (or whatever you used) and they will be brought back automatically to this pleasant memory and the associated feelings. With this tool someone can learn to go to this pleasant place whenever they are confronted with a negative or unpleasant trigger. The more times this is practiced the more automatic it becomes. You can also use something like an anchor stone that the client can hold in their hand during this process and whenever they hold the stone again, they can re-experience the same feelings and memories.
Contextual Reframing is another great technique. An example of this would be changing the way someone thinks about or perceives something without altering the actual circumstance. One day a client with feelings of low self-esteem was telling me about feeling out of place when she went to her networking group. She was much younger than most of the other members and saw them as having more professional and important businesses than she did. She said, “I’m just a lowly dog walker and they were all professionals.” I said, “Were there any other 23-year-old women who had their own successful business doing something they really loved at the meeting?” She looked surprised and then smiled slightly and I knew she got the point and was seeing things from a new and different perspective.
Finally, Mental Rehearsal is a great technique most of us have probably used to some extent, but that can be honed to produce excellent results amazingly quickly. The truth is, what we imagine internally produces the same neurological experience for us as when we do something in real-time. Therefore, if we can imagine doing something in just the way we would like to perform when we actually do it, it is a form of training and results in performance improvements very close to actual practice. As they say, “practice makes perfect”, so the more we rehearse or practice mentally, the more improvement we will see in our physical or real-time performance. I don’t always remember this, but I have done this and found it to work well, even before I knew it was an NLP technique. I had a guest on my radio show who used this NLP technique to become a pro-golfer very quickly. She then wrote a book about how you can do this too, using NLP. This can be applied to almost any area of performance or learning. Pro-Athletes and Olympians use it all the time.
Hopefully, these 3 simple techniques give you an idea of how NLP can help people to make changes and achieve goals very quickly. To a great extent it is a matter of having the knowledge and being aware of how to use it to your best advantage. With that knowledge and awareness there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Give these simple techniques a try and I am betting you will want to come back and learn more techniques and how NLP can help you up level your performance and achieve your life goals.
NLP or Neuro-linguistics Programming is really an immense toolbox of techniques and resources that use the way our brain and senses work and interact to help in achieving a desired outcome. It is based on the research and studies of its founders Dr. Richard Bandler and Dr. John Grinder. NLP has been around since the 1970"s and has grown to be used by many successful people, companies and, not surprisingly, in the field of education. It has recently been backed up by research and studies in the field of Neuroscience, which have supported some of its basic hypotheses and premises. Some of the NLP techniques practitioners of NLP and Hypnosis have been using for decades intersect with other popular modalities, such as, Mindfulness, Law of Attraction, Emotional Freedom Technique, Timeline Therapy and more. Some would surmise that NLP and all of these modalities have their roots in prior schools of thought and I would not argue with that. Learning and all progress is without question an evolving process. NLP techniques are being used to help children learn more, faster and with better comprehension and retention. Long ago, Buddha said:
“all that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is
everything. What we think we become.” --The Buddha
If we believe this is true, it is apparent how intentionally shaping our thoughts through the use of NLP can be a remarkable tool for teaching and education. In general, kids are the perfect target audience for learning with NLP. They are motivated, open and active learners. They take in the world around them and what is going on in it, quite naturally. They absorb information like a sponge absorbs water. How can NLP contribute to and enhance this natural state that kids enjoy? How can it fit into our educational systems to make processes easier or even be used by parents to help in teaching their children?
NLP is a wonderful tool for teaching children because it teaches them to use their brain to be able to express themselves well and understand others with language skills and it gives them a strong foundation for life-long learning. NLP gives your child tools for learning that help to maintain strong confidence and self-esteem. NLP uses children’s natural perceptual senses. It uses and expands children’s imagination and creativity. NLP can be used to calm children, motivate them, build confidence or establish trust. All of these are optimal conditions for education and learning. Techniques sometimes need to be modified for children, but most of the techniques used with adults are also effective with kids.
Some effective NLP techniques to use with children are:
1. Anchoring – It is setting a positive association that can be used when you want to replace a negative or traumatic feeling with a more positive or resourceful state.
2. Framing – setting a scenario and criteria that allow practice and achievement.
3. Metaphor and Story-Telling – this is so fun and appeals to children’s imagination and is also very effective for learning important lessons.
4. Visualization – If you can see it, you can do it. This is true for children, as well as, adults and if your child is visual it will work well.
5. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Rewards – finding those rewards that are important to
your child will make a big difference in their motivation and willingness to learn well as, the speed and retention of learning.
6. Modeling – this is an excellent technique for behavior change and can be used so imaginatively to make a strong impression.
These are just a few NLP techniques out of hundreds that can be used to help children learn better and faster. With a little effort most NLP techniques can be used effectively with kids and the results have been amazing. Kate Benson, in an accomplished and licensed Trainer’s Trainer for the NLP Society and also that Director of Education for that organization founded by NLP co-founder, Dr. Richard Bandler. Benson said this, “Why aren’t we using NLP in education?” Dr. Bandler and Kate Benson recently released the co-authored a book: Teaching Excellence. Dr. Bandler said this of Kate Benson:
“Kate Benson is an expert in applying NLP in the education sector.
She is thoroughly organized, highly skilled and the love for what she
teaches comes across in her presentations. I guarantee you will
thoroughly enjoyable the experience”. – Dr. Richard Bandler
In addition to her position with the NLP Society, Kate Benson is the founder of NLPkids.com and is one of the foremost leaders in using NLP in education for teaching kids. Kate says this regarding Teaching Excellence:
"Just Imagine You could radically transform how quickly and easily you and your students could learn
Just imagine You were equipped with the tools to entertain and captivate the attention of your audience
Just imagine You had the secrets of Teaching Excellence!!”
I am sure you can imagine how powerful that would be and that is how powerful NLP is in the area of learning and using it with kids offers an amazing opportunity to lift them to an attitude & mindset of unlimited life-long learning and opportunity.
Blog By Kate Olson
Kate is a Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner & Trainer, Reiki Master, Energy Healer, Life Coach and more. To find out more about her or her work, click the links below:
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About the Blog
After 4 years of featuring at least 1 guest Author a month this blog changed in 2020. I loved featuring the posts of other great people who also believe in mind, body, spirit wellness. I will continue to feature articles submitted to me on this topic that align with my own mission. However, finding & reaching out to others is time consuming and I do it for my radio show, Soul Talks and other groups and projects and so for this blog i will be ramping up my own posts and perspective. posting mostly my own blogs. I will be happy & excited to post articles from those who submit them to me.