Continuing my theme of discussing ‘What is Hypnotherapy?’ I thought it would be relevant to talk about the role of the mind in hypnosis.
The human mind is like an ocean and the very surface of this ocean is what we are conscious off. This is the ‘thinking’ or ‘working memory’ part of our mind which helps with our daily decision-making processes. It is realistic, logical and proactive, especially in new situations where we have to apply rational thought processes to work out what to do and how to do it. However, it can only deal with between five and nine things at any one time and is easily overloaded.
What we think about a situation is largely dependent on the information that is stored in the subconscious part of our minds, i.e. our past experiences or memories and how we responded to the events at the time.
The subconscious or main hidden layer of this ocean works on ‘auto pilot’, in that it moves in a direction away from pain (emotional, mental physical) and toward reward and survival. It is the seat of all our emotions, imagination, and instincts and stores all our memories, both remembered and forgotten. It governs our autonomic nervous system, which controls our internal organs automatically. These main functions are very closely interlinked – in other words the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. It is powerful and very clever at dealing with many complex instructions at any one time but is not able to make decisions.
More about the relevance of this next blog.