Hypnosis and HypnoAnesthesia Suggestibility and Sabotage – Part Two
Ron Eslinger, RN, CRNA, APN, MA, BCH, CMI, OB, FNGH
In my previous article, I discussed Emilé Coué and why I use his book, My Method, as a hand out to my clients to help them understand the power of suggestion in hypnosis or simply by one’s own self-talk and self-thought. Many of my clients experienced amazing positive responses in using hypnosis to maintain comfort, quit smoking, weight reduction, and several other issues. It appears that the ones that respond the fastest are the highly hypnotizables, which is a good thing. However, I have also noticed that the highly hypnotizables can sabotage themselves with negative self-talk.
A couple of examples:
1. Family sabotage – A lady with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) worked with me daily for a week with amazing recovery. She returned to her home enthusiastic about being able to walk, do things with the kids, and have a normal life following six years of pain and suffering. She gets home and right away the family responded by saying. “So, it was in your head.” She was devastated. She was expecting them to be happy for her and feel the joy she was feeling. Her pain returned because of what was said. She phoned me and using phone hypnosis she regained control of her comfort. I said, “You are in control, to be comfortable is your decision not what others think.” To receive a copy of the case report email email@example.com, Put A618 in the subject line.
2. Husband sabotage – Early in my practice a client who wanted to lose between 60 and 70 pounds lost 30 pounds and then stopped losing weight. Why did she stop losing? Her husband started bringing candy home and taking her out to dinner. His lack of self-confidence and fear of losing his wife to another man created his sabotaging behavior. He wondered why she wanted to lose weight when he was happy with her the way she was. Since then I always ask a married man or woman who is seeing me for weight loss, how does your spouse feel about your decision to use hypnosis to lose weight?
There are less obvious self-talk and self-thought comments that result in sabotaging success. Here are a few: I hope this works. Hope used here is an expression of doubt. If only I can get rid of this pain. I feel great, I hope it last. I feel a headache coming on. A cigarette would taste good right now.
At the start of the session, I have the client write down 3-things they want me to say to them. Here are some examples with my responses.
1. Tell me I don’t hurt anymore – I changed to, every day you are more comfortable…
2. No morning negative self-talk – I changed to Every morning you choose to see things with a positive, happy and healthy attitude
3. Pain in feet will not return – I changed to – Isn’t it amazing how comfortable you are because you practice your affirmation; I am relaxed, comfortable and in control.
I give the Emile Coue’ book to every client because the book is about positive self-talk. The book is specific in its explanation that suggestions only become permanent with repetition. Bruce Lipton, a research biologist, explains that to make self-talk effective two criteria are needed. 1) The person must be in a meditative or hypnotic state. 2) The talk should be in the form of pictures or images. A Chinese proverb states, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Consider that your client has been using negative self-talk, which reinforces how much pain they are having. Every Dr. visit reinforces pain by asking, on a scale of 1-10 how much “pain” are you having?
I also include in the cost of the session a CD player and batteries so there is no excuse for the client to not listen to the CD I make during their session. Suggestion become permanent with repetition.
The most significant change I made to my practice, was to start seeing my client twice the first week rather than once a week. I found that by reinforcing the first session with only one day between session one and two made a major difference in positive client outcomes. The key was not having a weekend between session one and two where family and friends could sabotage the suggestions from the hypnosis session.
With your next client, during the second session interview, ask what family and friends said to them about hypnosis and comments they may have made about the session. Here are some examples I recorded that family and friends asked or made comments to the client after the first session.
• Wife – How bad do you want a cigarette?
• Doctor – I can’t believe you would let someone have control of your mind.
• Husband – So it (pain) was all in your head.
• Husband to weight client – Honey lets go out for pizza tonight.
• Friend to weight client – Have a piece of cake, you deserve it.
• Wife to husband – Honey is your back still hurting?
• Self-talk – It feels good to be without pain (Better to say it feels good to be comfortable.)
How many such comments have you heard from your clients?
The 3rd session is usually within seven days. During the third session a date is set for the 4th session.
• A smoker who has not had a cigarette between the 2nd and 3rd session is followed up in 8-12 weeks. If continuing to smoke, I will schedule their next appointment in one week.
• A pain client who reports significant improvement during the 3rd session is scheduled 2-4 weeks out.
My documentation shows a significant difference in clients who listen to the CDs as prescribed from the session and read the Coue’ book. However, even more dramatic is the positive effect of daily practice of self-hypnosis.