Any hypnosis fades

"Words were originally magic"

Steve de Shazer, one of the founding fathers of solution-oriented short-term therapy, which was clearly influenced by Milton Erickson and his hypnotherapeutic work, titled one of his most outstanding books with these very words.

Is that possible, magic with words? There is a great deal of curiosity, and it is noticeable in the lessons of the nursing school when the lecturer in the field of psychiatry mentions his interest in medical hypnosis. There is always a desire to incorporate this subject area into the classroom and there are always numerous volunteers who would like to be hypnotized, surprisingly in front of all their colleagues. (In front of an audience this is a grateful thing, because if someone wishes to go into a trance from the outset, then it is only necessary to invite him to do so now, when he sits in the front of the armchair next to the speaker) .

The following brief overview is aimed at colleagues from nursing, psychology and other medical fields who are interested in hypnosis and should encourage this interest to grow, to be curious and, as a result, to deal with this matter in more detail.

History of hypnosis:
Hypnosis in the sense of rites and healing ceremonies is probably as old as humanity itself and is still effective today in many forms without being clearly labeled as hypnosis in shamanic healing rituals and ideas as well as in the various methods of meditation as self-hypnosis. Whether in Zen, in Vajrayana (the “inner yoga”), the Sufir rituals or with the dancing dervish, but also simply with children who indulge in even more “trance” than we adults and in their “play trance” still have the full possibilities draw from the unconscious.

In all these rituals, magic and ceremonies one can also recognize the first psychotherapeutic, actually holistic strategy of healing. Examples include hypnosis practices in the Gilgamesh epic of the Sumerians (18th century BC), the "Ebers" papyrus (16th century BC, which also includes spells to accompany the attempt at healing), as well as incubation ("temple sleep") ) of ancient Greece, in which the sick attempted to heal or to receive indications of an effective treatment through a "dream sleep" (often linked to rituals) in a temple.

For the first time scientifically, Franz Anton Mesmer tried to explain hypnosis with a "scientific" theory that may seem bizarre these days; with his idea of ​​an "animal magnetism", whereby the therapist transferred this magnetic fluid to the patient, quasi as a mediator (not entirely dissimilar to the exorcism theory of Father Gassner; see Revenstorf - 2001 Hypnosis in Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Medicine - a manual for the Practice).

Mesmer were denied academic honors. Despite his numerous treatment successes, he was repeatedly denounced, certainly also because a scientifically clear chain of evidence was difficult to prove.

We owe the term “hypnosis” (Hypnos; the Greek god of sleep, son of night and darkness) to the English ophthalmologist James Braid (1795-1860), who, after having attended a demonstration by a “magnetizer”, was fascinated by himself began to research this method. Although he soon rejected the idea of ​​magnetism and suspected changes in the physiology of the brain, he worked on trance induction by fixing an object and refined this technique. Above all, he was able to use hypnosis inducible anesthesia as a trance phenomenon for his eye surgery treatments.

Modern hypnosis is shaped by Virginia Satir, Fitz Pearls, Bandler and Grinder (the founders of NLP) and above all by Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980).

Erickson can be seen as the real founding father of hypnotherapy. As a psychiatrist, he developed his own understanding of disorders and incorrect reactions by using a holistic approach to recognize them as "attempts to solve" the unconscious (for, among other things, conflicts). Whereby it was not primarily about the resolution of symptoms but, according to the client's existing possibilities, about changes and utilization. Some of the specific techniques are utilization (using what is available as a given), the yes attitude ("affirmation" - that is, expressing things that the other person can unreservedly affirm, which induces a positive attitude) and above all the Reframing (by reinterpreting a conflicting or problematic situation and placing it in a new frame of reference, which creates new opportunities for understanding and processing).

Hypnosis means today: Guided change in the state of consciousness in the sense of a shift in "unconscious" perception and experience, especially through the method of changing the focus on subliminal perceptions that are unconscious - a redirection of the "external perception to the internal perception". The client goes into a trance state, in which external stimuli are partially perceived in a reduced manner, while the consciousness turns mainly to the inner world. Of course, trance can occur on its own in everyday life if it seems comfortable, and as mentioned before, children are actually in a trance all the time.

Who does not know them in Vienna, the “U-Bahn or Zugtrance”? Triggered by the monotonous noise of the train when it drives over the tracks and the sometimes rhythmic movements of the train that are transmitted to the body via the seat, maybe a little vibration. Maybe you are a little tired. This then leads to the fact that you can immerse yourself in an inner world of experience and images and memories can arise. The conscious perception at which station one is stopping fades increasingly until the moment when one suddenly and in time, as if awakened, clearly perceives that the doors are opening at the "right" station. The unconscious is mostly benevolent. (Maybe you are too tired and you “wake up” when the doors at the “right” station close again and maybe there are other reasons ... The depth of a trance can vary, whether a hypnosis is good or not because of it is well done, is independent of it)

In any case, a hypnosis, to put it briefly, is an induced, but better yet guided tranceClients by a hypnotist, who can also go into a trance-like state.

It is a very complex, multi-layered relationship, whereby the trance induction can be brought about using a wide variety of methods. With music, rhythms, verbal, individually tailored suggestions. Visually, in that the client fixes an object (the well-known pendulum, or a finger). By turning or moving the body, by overloading it with stimuli or a combination of several of these possibilities. Of course, it takes the client's trust and the desire to go into a trance. In this complex interpersonal relationship, what circumstances could facilitate a trance induction, a change in the state of consciousness, if both of you would like this to happen anyway? The magic word is report and will be discussed later in the explanation of the course of hypnosis.

The use of suggestions (Latin for inspiration) is also important. By means of concepts, words, metaphors and also gestures, inner reactions and images are evoked in the client, which can themselves lead to reactions of mind and body. Especially in a medical / nursing context, words have a great suggestive power, if only because of the specific setting. This can have a healing effect, but it can also be harmful.

Since, hypothetically, the unconscious does not know the word “not”, it seems particularly advisable to avoid negations and instead formulate it positively and constructively. Anyone who has ever tried to communicate exclusively in positive and constructive formulations will initially be surprised how difficult it is. How much negative formulations are in everyday language usage. If words that have more meta-levels than their suggestive power and the way in which they are emphasized, which by far exceed the superficially recognizable word content, then it is worthwhile to choose your formulations very carefully when dealing with patients in general. Example: Do not think of a pink elephant - that leads to thinking primarily of the same - and not "not". To illustrate this further, brief examples: Calling out to a child " case Not down! "When it runs quickly through rough terrain, a suggestion is actually to be dropped - with the unconscious, subliminally," Fall ... down" at.

To shift this to the medical field: What suggestions work on a patient with a threatened premature birth who is therefore transferred to a special center and hears the following words from the emergency doctor and experiences them suggestively “None Anxiety, they don't need each other to fear. Have been with me several times Children were born in the ambulance. This is not problem". Yes, you can put it differently - but it's unusual in spacecommonen language use (e.g. formulated in a very banal positive and constructive manner, formally almost identical in terms of content, "You can now rest assured and you can trust us, because we will take you safely to the nearest hospital").

Hypnosis in process

  • rapport (French: connection), which describes a trusting relationship based on mutual empathic attention and unconditional appreciation, i.e. the optimal relationship between hypnotist and hypnotized person. The basics that hypnosis can work at all.

This applies to both the verbal and the non-verbal level of communication. Whereby the hypnotist tries to perceive both levels and as a sign of this perception to communicate this to him below his threshold of consciousness. Verbally, by adopting terminology or word images from his counterpart, its pitch, and perhaps also the rhythm of speech. And particularly effective, adapting your own speech rhythm to the breathing rhythm of the other person; by always speaking when the increasingly trance client breathes out and pausing when he breathes in. That alone can lead to a surprisingly easy transition to another state of consciousness. Like a kind of bioresonance device, which amplifies the trance through feedback mechanisms.

This can be achieved non-verbally by “mirroring” the psychomotor system of the other person (see mirror neuron theory), in posture, a blink of the left or right eye perhaps, moving a finger in the frequency of breathing, and overall an adjustment in facial expressions and gestures.

  • anamnese (Symptoms, possibly previous experience), explanation, as well as target definition

First suggestions can already be made here - in preparation for the trance, which often begins to set itself through the rapport alone. Whereby this, similar to the systemic therapy methods, is goal and solution-oriented (and also the explanation of the possibilities and impossibilities of hypnosis should be an essential part of the education).

  • induction a trance, with gradual deepening. Verbally suggestive, and by orienting or directing attention, focus, to subliminal, unconscious, and also inner perception, fixation of an object, etc. (as already described there are numerous technical possibilities).
  • “Therapeutic part“- Fairy tale metaphors, utilization etc ..., there are also various possibilities here - whether one works with all 5 senses in the trance, or by the hypnotist simply telling a“ story ”and these ostensibly have nothing to do with the client must - there are numerous examples in Milton Erickson's teaching stories that are particularly artistic and creative.
  • Reorientation with dehypnosis This can be achieved step by step by the hypnotist slowly orienting the client's senses outwards again, directing them to external stimuli and suggesting to them to be fresh and wide awake again at a pace that suits them, in 10 or 15 breaths. A follow-up suggestion can then be woven into it, possibly not consciously remembering anything because you were here in this room. (American psychiatrists are particularly careful to dehypnotize sufficiently so that they cannot be prosecuted under any circumstances, because they are concerned that they have to answer for the increased suggestibility, even posthypnotically.) any hypnosis, even as a residual phenomenon, ended after the first night's sleep, the client should have withdrawn from dehypnosis.
  • Follow-up discussion run completely open.

Indications for hypnosis in the medical / nursing / medical field of activity:
Psychiatric area: as psychotherapy in the form of hypnotherapy per se, in particular anxiety disorders / phobias, dissociative and functional disorders, dependence / substance abuse (especially alcohol and nicotine), sleep disorders, sexual disorders, as a relaxation method, for behavioral disorders, ADHD, nocturia without an organically identifiable cause , Depression, possibly limited in personality disorders as well as the emotionally unstable personality disorder.

All “psychosomatic” classically related diseases such as bronchial asthma or hypertension (although the author does not believe in “psychosomatics” as a dichotomy because there is no physical or psychological, but only the two inextricably linked). Pain of almost any quality, acute to chronic, including phantom pain. Also accompanying or before every invasive medical intervention, both through the analgesic and anxiolytic effect. Such as B. at the dentist, in dermatology when changing dressings, during surgical interventions and of course during obstetrics. Diseases which are hypothetically based on the principle of visceral hypersensitivity can be explained, such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. Anxiety-relieving during a pediatrician examination, as well as here with necessary interventions as an accompanying measure.

Productively psychotic or prepsychotic delusional conditions are generally seen as absolute contraindications. The assessment of the question of the indication always depends, of course, on the respective experience and the context.

In any case, it requires the desire to motivate a client to go into a trance. Without this, even if it is only minor, hypnosis can only fail. The great concern “of being hypnotized against one's will, of doing things that one would otherwise never have done, is unfounded, especially with regard to antisocial behavior. A certain willingness and willingness would then certainly also be present in the client in the “waking state of consciousness”.

To be on the safe side, you should finally ask yourself how much money is in your wallet today, because that means that everyone is sure to be sufficiently awake. Above all, consider the suggestive power of the words and formulate them carefully, positively and constructively in order to reinforce the "depth" of your words.

Even if there have been and still are absurd efforts at the political level in recent times to formulate them in such a way that no unpleasant images can arise in the minds and hearts of people (with which politicians do not want to be associated). This even applies to numerous political persons of different stripes who are practically engaging in a competition of absurdity. And that goes far beyond the "bullshit" talk, but technically so bad and obvious that one can no longer assume any subliminally effective suggestion. It's just too transparent. Still, it is unbelievable what nonsense you can do with language.

Or would you have ever suspected that a fence can also be described "positively" as a "door with side panels" ...

Author: Dr. Manfred Greslechner
Title: "Words were originally magic"
Output: Care professional 02/2015
Link:To the complete edition