Hypnotherapy is a potent tool that can be seamlessly integrated into psychotherapy or used independently, particularly when addressing deep-seated habits or behaviours.
It’s akin to navigating the profound, algorithmic depths of the mind, bypassing unconscious processes and defensive ‘firewalls’ to adjust the mental ‘code’ or symbolic framework of our psyche. This is achieved without the usual interference from our defence mechanisms, a common hurdle in traditional talk therapy, even when a strong, supportive therapeutic alliance has been established between therapist and client/patient.
As a multifaceted tool, hypnotherapy excels in managing mental health concerns such as anxiety, stress, phobias, panic disorders, PTSD, depression, and other mood disorders. It’s also beneficial for habit modification, including weight loss and smoking cessation, and for managing physical health issues like chronic pain, migraines, and IBS. Hypnotherapy techniques are even incorporated into meditation apps like Calm and Headspace to address sleep disorders. Beyond these, hypnotherapy can enhance performance in areas like sports and public speaking, bolster self-esteem, combat procrastination, and improve focus.
In recent decades, new psychotherapeutic applications of hypnotherapy have surfaced, enabling the exploration and resolution of even deeply entrenched traumas. Techniques such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Hypnotherapy, and Hypnoanalysis are all forms of hypnosis used in trauma work.
These modalities have been instrumental in improving interpersonal relationships and fostering personal growth and self-discovery. Hypnotherapy serves as an excellent tool for self-guided exploration, healing, and development, and can be seamlessly integrated into any psychotherapeutic work we are currently engaged in, or wanting to undertake together.
AM I HYPNOTIZABLE?
Not everyone is equally susceptible to hypnosis.
Intriguingly, those who are highly susceptible exhibit a distinct quality that many of us might covet: mental flexibility. The reason for this correlation is that hypnotisability is intrinsically linked to an individual’s personality traits.
David Spiegel, a renowned psychiatrist and hypnotherapist at Stanford, University underscores the importance of mental flexibility, a sentiment echoed by countless other psychologists, therapists, psychoanalysts, and mental health practitioners worldwide. Mental flexibility is not only a crucial personality trait, but it also serves as a linchpin for our continual development and survival, both at an individual level and as a species.
This trait allows some of us to adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, whilst others (myself included) find themselves on a sliding scale of resistance to change. As a result, mental flexibility significantly influences not only our level of hypnotisability, but also the nature of our conscious experiences. This, in turn, has a profound impact on our overall sense of happiness, fulfilment, and well-being, as well as our capacity to navigate life’s ups and downs with resilience.
Considering this, you may find it beneficial to assess your own level of hypnotizability alongside any understanding you have gained of your own personality style thus far. Not only will this offer you some interesting self-insights, but it will also guide you in determining which strategies would be most effective for you when collaborating with a psychotherapist or hypnotherapist.
Below, you’ll find a very user-friendly and safe audio assessment for hypnotizability that will take only about ten minutes to complete. This is known as the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP), a tool I frequently use to assess the potential effectiveness of hypnotherapy or mindfulness strategies for new patients or clients.
In addition, this assessment can help elucidate the relationship between your unique personality traits and your ability to enter a trance-like state as is done not only in hypnotherapy or meditation but also in everyday activities such as reading or listening to a captivating book, getting lost in a piece of music, or even whilst performing routine tasks like driving or washing dishes. These are all instances where we naturally enter a trance-like state, often without even realizing it.
Understanding your hypnotisability can also therefore provide insights into your daily life and how you interact with the world around you.
Before you proceed with the Audio Self-Assessment, you may find it helpful to observe what the process looks like when administered to another person, as it would be if we were conducting this together in a therapy session.
After watching this, you might be intrigued to try out the HIP Assessment on yourself – I hope so. If you’re ready to take that step, here are some instructions on how to proceed.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE HIP AUDIO SELF-ASSESSMENT
To begin your self-assessment, please click on the Hypnotic Induction Profile (HIP) Audio Assessment below.
This assessment is based on methods developed by David and Herbert Spiegel over the last seven decades.
Once you’ve completed the self-assessment, I encourage you to further your exploration by taking this quick, specially designed quiz. The quiz consists of 12 simple multiple-choice questions, and is intended to supplement the self-assessment so as to provide you with additional avenues for reflection and understanding.
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to pinpoint your own hypnotic style, and also see whether this conforms to Dionysian, Apollonian, or Odyssean personality pattern. This will also help you to corroborate any experiential insights you’ve gathered about your own hypnotizability from the assessment.
If you’re intrigued about how all of this ties into your wider personality style, character traits, and potential predispositions towards certain mental health issues, I encourage you to delve into the following articles on my website: