Introduction – what is hypnoanalysis and how does the resolving form of hypnotherapy work?
The term hypnoanalysis was developed from the terms “hypnosis” and “psychoanalysis”. This already indicates how hypnoanalysis – an important form of hypnotherapy – functions:
With the aid of the therapist the patient has his soul travel in hypnoanalysis, as with the psychoanalysis according to Sigmund Freund. However, this happens in the state of trance (state of hypnosis), and the hypnoanalytical travel through the subconscious usually takes between two and ten sessions in my practice because of the improved access to the emotional memory (the limbic structures of the brain), and not more than 300 sessions as is customary in psychoanalysis.
Hypnoanalysis is a very rarely offered form of (resolving) hypnotherapy – in particular in Germany – that is only mastered by very few therapists, while in Great Britain this is part of the standard offer of many hypnotherapists. This is caused, among other things, by the fact that hypnoanalysis may only be practiced by therapists with permission to heal (such as doctors, psychotherapists and alternative practitioners).
Due to their precision on the one hand and at the same time the broad and deep effectiveness, the resolving hypnosis is the ideal instrument for many people with mental and/or psychosomatic disorders, who did not have any success with other treatment methods. It is moreover an ideal supplement for patients who already underwent psychoanalysis or that are still involved in psychoanalysis, but who have not been able so far to achieve any significant or at least the desired changes on an emotional level.
What happens in the hypnoanalysis sessions from the hypnotherapeutic view?
Hypnoanalysis is a form of hypnosis, in which the hypnotist talks to the hypnotic subject when in trance (which is the relaxed condition in which hypnotherapy is possible), so that the patient is given the opportunity to process and work off emotional conflicts under the guidance of the therapist. In the resolving form of hypnotherapy the conscious state remains active, but it does no longer control and repress feelings. In this manner the patient gets better access to accumulated emotional injuries by bypassing reason and thus reaching an improved access to the emotional memory, in particular to the limbic areas of the brain. The patient can then work off these injuries step by step in the hypnotherapeutic session, until they are completely resolved.
Source of the graph: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/10/Gaussian_wave_packet.svg/2000px-Gaussian_wave_packet.svg.png
In order to explain an essential basic principle of hypnoanalysis (resolving hypnosis) – i.e. the “working off” (desensitisation of nerve cells in the state of trance) – from a physical point of view, I would like to refer to the Gaussian wave function, which in principle plays an important role also in processing all sensory information and sensory impulses:
I thereby assume that feelings – which most of you will be able to confirm from your everyday experiences with feelings – go in waves. The ideal process is the following:
Optimal processing of feelings
- The feelings get greater (the nervous cells are charged even more and the feelings get even bigger).
- The feelings reach the peak of intensity (the nervous cells are most active, whereas the intensity of the subsequent charge diminishes, as the trigger for the feeling – evolutionarily for instance a predator attack or also a fall of an ape from a tree with the consequence of mortal fear / mortal danger and the trigger of muscular protection mechanisms – meanwhile ceased to exist, i.e. the danger is over).
- The feeling cools down because the nervous cells are discharged and no further charging is taking place.
- The feeling was completely worked off (just like a baby that was taken in the mother’s arms after a fall and is lulled until it stopped crying and the baby’s muscular tension loosened completely), and thus the trauma did not develop at all, because it was completely processed (resolved).
Suboptimal processing of feelings
A trauma only arises from a situation if the nervous cells cannot be discharged (the most important part of the abreaction is taking place at the peak of the Gaussian wave) and the feeling is not resolved again. Because of the unbearable maximum intensity of the feeling (mechanism of retention/oppression, e.g. because the parents have not been there or were not able to convey a feeling of security, later because of suppression) the patient got “emotionally stuck” in the situation and in the feeling. This is reflected in the nervous cells that are charged, but that have never been able to completely discharge (by way of discharge at the peak of the wave function).
In this way, this unprocessed feeling arises every time that the patient subjectively feels threatened (this feeling is triggered in said patient). In situations that are subjectively deemed as particularly threatening, ever more anxiety is accumulated in the fear memory (further charging of the nervous cells, until the very limits are reached) until the anxiety generalized and is omnipresent (generalized anxiety). Eventually, anxiety can be triggered by everything, also by events that are felt as positive by healthy people, such as the physical closeness of a beloved person.
How can the therapist support his patient?
The therapist’s task is thus to help the patient finding the peak of the feeling (cf. wave function), so that the nervous cells can discharge as much as possible (which is why this is referred to as resolving hypnosis). Usually this is only possible during hypnosis, because all of the defence mechanisms that are customary in everyday life (reason does only work if unbearable feelings are not spreading all of the time) are overridden – of course with the patient’s consent and will. If the patient arrived at the respective feeling, he can reinforce it further by way of autosuggestions. The therapist can also support the patient in intensifying the feeling by words (foreign suggestions). If the patient found his way to the peak of his feeling, it is possible to die down, as the nervous cells have discharged and the feeling was thus resolved by way of the hypnosis.
The basic principle of working off is thus quite simple, but it requires a lot of therapeutic sensitivity.
How do emotional “injuries” occur and why do feelings remain stored in the emotional memory “unprocessed”?
In most cases these emotional injuries occur in childhood, for instance out of the fear
- that there is nobody to confide in with one’s problem (feeling of permanent menace), whenever something frightening happened
- that one is of lesser value
- that one is only worth it only for certain actions (“fight for recognition through actions instead of unconditional love”)
- in case of rejection by the father and/or the mother (“no basic safety and lacking feeling of protection and sense of security”)
- that arises when children are subjected to strong foreign control – often exerted by very dominant fathers – and internally defy that; on these grounds anger can accumulate in the emotional memory, because the person or persons concerned is/are caught in a permanent “rebellion without abreaction”.
- that arises in cases of separation of the parents or the death of one parent.
However, emotional injuries may also occur much later, for instance after the death of a related person. As an important and efficient form of hypnotherapy, hypnoanalysis/resolving hypnosis is the best available means to process and resolve all of these old emotional injuries.
Why is hypnoanalysis regarded as GOLD STANDARD of all psychotherapeutic approaches by many hypnotherapists?
Hypnoanalysis is regarded as the pearl of hypnosis among many hypnotherapists. With the aid of hypnoanalysis it is possible to targeted resolve conscious and unconscious emotional conflicts. Hypnoanalysis is indeed similar to psychotherapy – however, the patient is in a state of trance and experiences an intensified emotional perception and remembrance. How hypnoanalysis is applied and what is discussed during the sessions depends on the hypnotic subject, the underlying issue and the working style of the hypnotherapist.
In the normal case, the hypnotic subject will remember everything that he said or experienced during hypnoanalysis. Abreactions that are taking place almost always with respect to a resolving hypnosis – for instance physically a sudden loosening of tension in the shoulder-neck region, a short trembling of the legs or a deep breath in and out – can often be remembered by the patient, but not always. As a rule, the hypnotherapist reiterates these abreactions with the hypnotic therapists thereafter.
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