Therapy is the reason for doing self hypnosis. Self-hypnosis techniques are learned in order to create positive change, and it is after the hypnotic induction and deepening that the practitioner of self hypnosis can work towards the goals set.
After creating your hypnotic trance (induction followed by deepening) you will want to start to work towards achieving the goals you have set for yourself. I suggest you try the self-hypnosis process a few times first before you try therapy. This is just to get you used to the process so that you will be better at doing self hypnosis so that you will achieve better results when you do start to use your suggestions and visualisations.
Before you start to work on your goals, there are a few things I would like to reinforce:
1. Make sure that you are clear about what you want to achieve – make sure exactly how you want to think, feel, and behave.
2. Make your goal (or objective, if you prefer) the last thing you are trying to achieve – not something you need to do in order to achieve your real goal. (For example, if I leave a meeting in order to drive home, my objective is not: get in the car, drive onto the road, then get onto the motorway, then drive to the junction near my home, then drive to the road in which I live. They are all things I need to do, but they are my method, not my objective.
My objective would be: to arrive safely home by 10.00 pm – it’s the very end point of the process.) Of course, if your goal involves a significant change in your behaviour, then it is quite acceptable to set intermediate targets (going back to my previous example if I have to drive from Plymouth to Aberdeen, while I might set my objective as to arrive safely in Aberdeen by 10.00 pm. But I might reasonably set an intermediate target: to safely reach Birmingham for lunch by 12.00) in order to make the overall goal more manageable and more believable.
3. Make sure your suggestions are short and simple, in the present tense, positive, and believable. Use words for your suggestions, and symbols and images for your visualisations that are specific to you, that are meaningful for you.
Doing the therapy
After the induction and deepening phase of self hypnosis, you will be at the point where you can do your ‘therapy’ – can work towards the goals you have set yourself b y using the suggestions and visualisations you have already created.
After deepening, allow your mind to drift until you feel ready to repeat your suggestion. Allow your unconscious mind to guide you – you will simply ‘know’ when the time is right to do therapy.
Say your suggestion to yourself in your mind slowly at least 5 times. Why 5 times? Unfortunately, I don’t have lots of scientific evidence to support my recommendation – it’s just something I’ve found over the 15 years I’ve been personally practising self hypnosis! Any fewer repetitions than 5 will not be enough for the unconscious mind to accept the suggestion as normality. It's also important not to repeat the suggestion for too long! Personally, I try to focus on an issue with positive suggestions and visualisations for at least one minute at any time. Any more than this and the focus is lost. It’s a bit like doing repetitions of an exercise in a gym – too few will have no effect, while too many create exhaustion and can cause damage!
So, say your suggestion at least 5 times. But it is important to be repetitive while retaining focus and being ‘present’. Don’t just rush through your suggestion in your mind – allow it to be ‘spoken’ each time as if it is the first time you have said it. By this I mean don't just automatically repeat the suggestion in your mind while you are actually thinking about something else - repeat the suggestion deliberately and thoughtfully. This will make the therapy more effective.
After repeating your suggestion you then reinforce its message by use of your visualisation. As recommended previously – make it relevant and personal to you. Focus on the end result, not the method of achieving it. Add impact to your visualisation by allowing yourself to feel how good it will be to achieve your goals.
After repeating your suggestion and carrying out your visualisation you can allow your mind to drift back into deep relaxation for a while to allow the therapy to begin to take its effect in the unconscious mind and to allow the self hypnosis to create deep peace of mind within you.
So you’ve now completed the reason for learning how to do self hypnosis. You’ve created your own trance by using one of the induction techniques; you’ve deepened your trance by using one or more of the deepening techniques, and you’ve started the process of beneficial change by giving yourself your suggestions and doing your visualisation. Now it’s time to bring yourself back to reality. So follow this link to find out how to bring yourself out of self hypnosis.