Sunday, May 26, 2013

When to use hypnosis

I tend to come off as "a hypnosis guy" - and I focus on it a lot. Yet other times, I "just talk" to people and it looks like I almost shit talk "hypnosis". So what is hypnosis good for?

Hypnosis is good for conditioning responses in people. If the goal is to make someone enjoy the taste of liver, then hypnosis is the right approach.
Hypnosis is also really good for shutting down objections. This can be good and this can be bad - depending on the structure of the problem.
For example, if you get someone that says "can you hypnotize me to forget X happened?", that is definitely not the right way to help them. You don't just hand people tools to modify their own source code and expect it to go over well. There's something hiding in X that isn't pleasant for them to deal with, but it has a message and it isn't just going away on its own for a reason. They're asking you to just bury it deeper - to wage war against that part of them, and that's not what they'd want if they knew more, thought faster, etc. In that case, it is best to go into why they want it gone, pull that message out, and watch how it stops popping up and presenting a problem - while the memory is still accessible if they wish.
The basic rule is that you want to integrate parts, not banish parts. Whether or not you use hypnosis, you gotta integrate the parts that aren't being integrated - or the decisions will be made on bad information and internal conflicts will remain. You gotta do that whether you use hypnosis or not.
So when does hypnosis help with objections? Well, people have a lot of bad objections. I don't mean "objections I disapprove of!", and I don't just mean stuff where there's valid information that doesn't end up changing the decision - that's fine (how are you supposed to know beforehand?). But sometimes there's all this "I can't" or "I don't know how" shit. Or the false objections. Or the not listening to you. Or the other real objections that just won't seem so damn important after they see it your way. That is when hypnosis is magic. Instead of untangling layer after layer of irrelevant shit and defenses to get at the crux of things, you can just go Alexander the Great on that shit.
And if that's the case, then you can just watch all the other objections disappear. "I can't do it" doesn't make much sense when you are, in fact, doing it.
But if all the objections you're dealing with need to be dealt with anyway, there's just nothing for hypnosis to do. If you're not careful, you might even bury some good objections, and then your solution will fall apart on you when it comes up. And it takes some work to hypnotize people. If you have a shit subject that has a whole mess of reasons why they don't want to go into hypnosis, then it might be quicker and easier to just talk through their silly objections the slow way.
If you are dealing with a good subject, then another good time to use hypnosis is when you're lazy and feel like cheating. If using hypnosis can get you a cheap hack of a solution, that may sometimes be better than the more ecologically beautiful full solution - given opportunity costs or whatever. Perhaps you need to give an important speech tomorrow and you don't have time to work out all the bits of why you're not confident in the first place. Hypnosis can give you that confidence by helping you ignore reasons to not be confident, and if that's all that matters, then go for it.
To sum it up: If the success criteria is an analog feeling intensity, then you want the intensity of focus and uninhibited mind to condition strong responses, and hypnosis helps get you a stronger response. If the problem is solvable from the inside out - if the rest of the defenses just crumble after fixing the end goal of the stimulus response - then hypnosis can save you time. If there's just nothing left to do after finding the structure of the problem and solution... then there's just nothing left for hypnosis to do - just work through it.


  1. I think inducing an actual trance can do more than just offer cheap hack fixes. Not only does it give you access to memories that might be inaccessible consciously (either because they don't -want- to know or because of weak associations) but it also gives you access to the admin utilities, so to speak. You don't have to explicitly tell them how to fix everything because they've got built-in tools for that which are pretty easy to access once you've got a solid trance. I think the trance state itself mainly provides a layer of safety because of the dissociation, but there may be other advantages to the extreme focus and introspection.

  2. I don't disagree - hypnotic trance is good for more than cheap hacks. Stuff like not having conscious access to memories is something I count under "bad objections".

    "Oh, I conveniently can't remember!" just means "I'm choosing not to turn my attention inward and *really look* because the answer scares me/looking and not having an answer scares me" - which is the sort of thing that just isn't a problem once you've solved the issue they're guarding - hence "bad objection"