Techniques of Non-Visual Hypnosis
What techniques of hypnosis do you offer a client who can’t imagine? You can gain confidence and expand your practice by learning the hypnosis techniques in this article that can change lives.
Hypnosis is generally thought of as entering a trance state using guided imagery. A person may use self hypnosis to envision himself or herself winning a race or passing a test with a high score. A common technique of hypnosis is to visually remember an event in the past and try to learn useful lessons from it by “seeing'” the event from a safe distance.
Over the years, I have found that there are many people who are unable to see anything when they are hypnotized. They consistently describe a “blank screen” or “just grey” when trying to remember an event or a person. These are “non-visualizers,” for they cannot conjure pictures of things in their minds when suggested to do so by others. Many counselors can become frustrated or impatient when confronted by such people. You can rest assured, however, that the non-visualizer is a valid client. As you become comfortable learning to work with them, they can become a valuable group for your practice.
Here are some things to remember that will help you:
- Remember that no hypnotized client is “seeing” anything in a guided meditation—the client’s eyes are closed! The image is being built within the brain, from other stimuli, such as the sound of the counselor’s voice.
- Your client’s brain has difficulty building images in a visual way. Do not confuse this with “resistance to” or “rejection of” the counseling itself. A good counselor remembers that the client is always right. The counselor remembers that the mind is a vast storehouse of talent and possibility. He or She simply switches gears.
- “Seeing” is only one of the senses. These other senses are equally available to the counselor: smell (Olfactory), touch (Tactile), sound (Auditory), and taste (Oral). For a person who does not visualize, memories are stored through these senses just as clearly and strongly as they are stored visually for someone who can bring up images on command.
- For both types, feelings (Emotions) are remembered and are available for review. Being aware of what the internal body is experiencing (Internal Body Image) is also available. All of these senses are in memory banks, and are available as resources for growth and change.
The following techniques are very useful for the client and the counselor, when working with memory and emotional issues:
Lifeline: To “throw a Lifeline” is to recreate the entirety of a life, containing the client’s past, present, and future. The “timeline” is an imaginary line on the ground. The client walks it slowly, allowing the feelings of events in the past to arise. The purpose of the Lifeline is to allow the client to re-experience events and/or feelings surrounding their past, without having to rely on visual memory.
Planes of Existence: I start with client standing in the room. With no preparation I ask him to answer, as quickly as possible, the following questions in this order:
Where is your Past? Where is your Future? Where is Right Now?
The answers can be astonishing, and the counselor can explore their implications. Many of my clients have their future behind or to the side of themselves.
Your Body Has Feelings, Too: I start by asking my client to remember a certain event that had made him very sad (Emotional Feelings). Giving him some time to pick an event and to get in touch with the sadness, I then ask him where in his body he feels this sadness (Internal Body Image). We then work with how to lighten this emotional load. I have had clients carry strong feelings in the oddest places in their body. Their feelings are real, nonetheless, regardless of where they are held.
Props: One can also bring in props, allowing the client the physicality of an object to help them shift their mind-set.
By staying open and flexible, the counselor has the opportunity to help many people use their pasts in creative and productive ways. By being able to reach those who cannot visualize, the counselor can expand their practice beyond the predictable.What techniques of hypnosis do you offer a client who can’t imagine? You can gain confidence and expand your practice by learning the hypnosis techniques in this article that can change lives.