“Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness disregarded.” – William James – the Father of American Psychology
Anyone who can daydream can be hypnotised. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, as is sleep, daydreaming and meditation. Hypnosis is a natural state of selective, focused attention. Our ability to enter this unique state of consciousness opens the door to countless possibilities for healing, self-exploration and change. Hypnosis, called by different names in different cultures and times, has been recognised for thousands of years and used for many purposes.
When we enter into the absorbed state of hypnosis, we can use our thoughts, talents and experiences in ways not usually available to us. With the help of a trained professional, we can develop innate, individual abilities that enable making desired changes to our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, possible. For reasons that are presently unclear, the focused state of hypnosis allows changes to intentionally be made “automatically”, changes that we could not consciously make.
Hypnosis has been used in the treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, stress, habit disorders, and many other psychological and medical problems. However, it may not be useful for all psychological problems or for every person. The decision to use hypnosis as a component of treatment can only be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider who has been trained in the use and limitations of medical hypnosis.
In addition to its use in therapeutic settings, hypnosis is used in research with the goal of learning more about the nature of hypnosis itself, as well as its impact on sensation, perception, learning, memory, and physiology. Researchers also study the value of hypnosis in the treatment of physical and psychological problems.