What is Hypnotherapy? – The Hypnotic Trance

The actual meaning of the word hypnosis does not accurately reflect the nature
of ‘hypnosis’. The word comes from the Greek Hypnos meaning sleep. Let us
digress for a moment and consider this inactivity we take so for granted: Sleep
is a state of unconsciousness in which we rest our bodies and our minds. We
also dream in ways that make sense in the dream but if those events were
happening in a waking state we might think we’ve gone mad. Yet in an average
lifetime we spend a total of six years dreaming….. Is this a purposeless activity,
simply a side effect of rest or as has been suggested our unconscious sorting
and filing experiences that we didn’t have time for during our waking state?

Yet the hypnotic trance is very unlike sleep in at least one very important
respect. In hypnosis whether it is a light or deep hypnotic state we are actually
more aware, not less. In sleep our attention seems to have a mind of it’s own
but in trance it’s as though we choose what we experience. And as well as choice
we can also focus our attention in a way that is detached from our daily
concerns. This is extremely helpful, because then we are able to take a
perspective on problems in a more resourceful state and secondly consider what
life would actually be like without the problem.

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