Many hypnologists work without knowing the cause of the symptomatology. Such work may be effective, but tell me, would you go to a doctor who will try to cure you without finding out the cause of your illness?
As you know, any successful correction should start with a diagnosis. The correction by the method of hypnosis is not an exception. There is a number of developed diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that are appropriate to be included in our repertoire of studying. As a rule, all the hypnoanalytical techniques are reduced to one – an appeal to the unconscious with a request to show the causes of the symptoms and problems. All the rest is just a model that helps in solving the problem. You can object: “After all, isn’t what the unconscious can give subjective?” Subjectively, there is no doubts. But is the disease itself and the result of its healing not subjective? Without unnecessary philosophical debates: Is there anything more important than the result of healing? Will a man go into a philosophical dispute whether his healing was subjective or not?
For approaching the hypnoanalysis, a hypnologist needs to determine the extent of the client’s anxiety about his symptom. For this, the Visual Analogue Scale is used – a psychological tool for translating qualitative indicators into quantitative.
Biological feedback and hypnosis
In the framework of studies of psychoemotional states, we use a psychophysiological device, the indices of which record the extent of the efferent response of the autonomic nervous system to an external stimulus. This technique is used to diagnose the functional-psychoemotional state of the client for recording the degree of tension of the nervous system and to determine the degree of emotional arousal. This method of diagnosis is one of the most effective ways to determine the presence (or absence) of emotional excitement of a client – for example, such conditions as insult, groundless anxiety, guilt, etc.
This hardware diagnostic technique determines the elementary functions of the psyche – a sense of balance or a psychoemotional response – and the properties of the nervous system. Diagnostic parameters are literally read from the instrument panel of the special apparatus, and a set of such indicators is transformed into visual graphical-dynamic indicators that show the dynamics of changes. Based on these changes, the hypnotherapist sees the presence or absence of positive results and can judge the effectiveness of the used method.
Further, a graph of the parameters of the first five sessions of one patient is shown. In this composite chart, you see how from the session to the session the patient’s index of the degree of efferent reaction grows – relaxation of the muscular part of the body and lowering of the degree of reactivity of the autonomic nervous system to an external stimulus. That is, with each session the patient begins to react less and less to the external stimulus, he becomes more and more calm. With each session, the percentage of relaxation increases. That is, we can say that the degree of consciousness activity falls. For example, 70% of relaxation leaves only 30% of consciousness activity. Consciousness is only 30% active. The patient is still experiencing some attempts to analyze verbal information coming from the hypnotherapist. This analysis is not at such an active level as in the waking state, but it is as before falling asleep. It means that 70% of the verbal information falls into the subconscious structures, which increases the degree of efficiency of the hypnoprocess. As you can see from the graph, the patient was relaxed on the 27th minute (horizontal axis) with the following indicators: session 1 – 14%, session 2 – 35%, session 3 – 50%, session 4 – 65% and session 5 – 78%. Progress is evident. The hypnotherapist, watching the needle of the device in real time from the 23rd to the 30th minute, applies from the 5th session and in the next ones the most patent verbal information, necessary for reaching the patient’s goals. For example, increasing the level of self-confidence, lowering anxiety, increasing the ability to concentrate, improving memory, working on psychosomatics, etc.
The following photographs show how the degree of efferent response of another patient to the external stimulus of the sympathetic nervous system decreases, that is, the global relaxation of the body increases, and accordingly, the activity of consciousness falls:
PATIENT S. (experience of hypnosis)
|5 m of session||8 m of session||22 m of session||25 m of session|
At the beginning of the session at the point of 5 minutes the device showed 23%. Mainly, this is 23% of global psycho-emotional relaxation. This means that consciousness supports 77% of activity. The internal dialogue and the general flow of the patient’s thoughts are still enough active to speak about some kind of suggestive suggestion.
At the fourth measurement stage (25 minutes of the session), the device showed 53% of global psycho-emotional relaxation. This means that consciousness supports 47% of activity. The internal dialogue is no longer so “loud”, but it can still be present. Thoughts start to get confused and do not support a logical sequence. Suggestive effect can take place, although not perfect.
This patient began to fall asleep at 77%. There were patients who fell asleep at 90% or more. As we understand, when the device shows 100% – it means that consciousness stops to be active, and the patient gets into the fast phase of sleep – that is, falls asleep. At this moment it is important for hypnotherapist to continue talking, in order to keep in touch with the patient’s rapport zone in his subcortical part of the brain, otherwise he will just fall asleep, and the suggestion won’t be effective any longer. After the session, patients, describing their feelings, say that they “seemed to have heard something, but cannot remember anything …” This means that they hear, but do not listen – there is no analysis, the meaning of the words is not caught. This is the perfect trance state.
Using this device as a biological feedback device, the hypnotherapist knows when to speak, and when to pause. That is, if the patient begins to snore, then hearing his snoring, he wakes up, his consciousness is activated and the indicator on the device falls. The hypnotherapist, noticing this, should pause and wait until the indicator rises again to begin to speak. Thus, our hypnotherapists achieve maximum effect.
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Doctor of medical psychotherapy, professor, hypnotherapist.