A student recently sent me a simple diagram that describes how hypnosis works. It visually shows how hypnotists often explain hypnosis. The words often recited are:
“Hypnosis is the bypassing of the critical factor of the conscious mind and the establishment of acceptable selective thinking.”
For the layman, the “critical factor” is the part of the mind that analyzes new information and decides to accept or reject it. A person who has been judged and criticized all their life may want to hear they are a good and worthy person but would not accept it if told so. If they are given a compliment they may not believe it because it goes against all their previous experience. Their “critical factor” is telling them not to accept this complimentary information no matter how true it may be. Another example of the critical factor getting in the way is when telling a long term tobacco user that quitting tobacco it easy. Their critical factor will remind them of the discomfort and difficulty they’ve had every time they’ve tried to quit.
Bypassing the Critical Factor
Hypnosis is not the only way to bypass the critical factor to accept new information. Strong emotional events can have the same impact. A person who has suffered from poor self esteem can get into a positive relationship that will validate and affirm a greater sense of self-worth. A smoking can witness and loved one die of smoking related illness and quit smoking on the spot completely free from cravings or withdrawal.
How Hypnosis Works
Hypnosis bypasses the so called “critical factor” in a step-by-step process by directing the hypnosis subjects attention. The first step is to narrow the attention. Narrowing the attention can be done by a relaxation process or by instructions on where to focus one’s attention. The focus is then made more pleasant and intensified. Ultimately, the subject is directed to focus on a new, better, alternative belief or understanding. This new and better belief is then made more enjoyable and pleasant. In so doing it’s also made more real in the subjects mind. The critical factor has been bypassed, the new and better information has been put in place.
This short article explains how hypnosis works but leaves out all the steps of the process. If you’re interested in understanding the step-by-step process of hypnosis the very best hypnosis course that I recommend is Jeffrey Stephens compete 3 Day Hypnosis Seminar. Jeff was my mentor and before his death in 2014 he taught hypnosis to thousands of people around the world. His unique method breaks the hypnosis process down and to ten easy to understand step. I can recommend it enough.