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Ñ�ÿÿJCopyright (C) Claude Brodeur, 1983ÄK3Äpsychology: hypnosis.psy„Ã�**ÃÄKDÄ9-29-83„ÄKKÄÿÑÑ�ÿÿJPsychological Modeling: Developing Human ConsciousnessModels of Hypnotic ActivityÿÑÏÏÃ�("ÝPSYCHOLOGICAL MODELING:ƒÃ�(ܝDEVELOPING HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESSƒÃ�(ÃMODELS OF HYPNOTIC ACTIVITYœƒ Ã�((à Claude Brodeur, Ph.D. œ Most people have strong opinions about hypnosis. To some

it seems mysterious, unnatural and possibly very dangerous.

Very few people, if you ask them about it, have made a careful,

objective study of hypnosis. For most, hypnosis seems to be just

a word.  I've noticed people tend to react emotionally when they

hear the word hypnosis, but most are not clear about what they

are reacting to.  This ignorance among the educated seems to me

most regret¬able. Even people who have read much about hypnosis, and have

positive opinions about it, may have had no personal hypnotic

experiences. They may have watched others in hypnosis. But that's

about the extent of their acquaintance with it. Others have

experienced hypnotically induced trances without having systemat­ically experienced a wide range of hypnotic phen¬omena. I suspect that a careful study of people's ideas about hypnosis

would reveal that even profes¬sional psychol¬ogists, medical

doctors, and others who practice hypnosis, don't always agree

what they mean when they use the word. Some say all commu­n¬ication is hypnosis (1,p.1). Others say there's no such phenom­enon as hypnosis (1,p.1). If hypnosis is altering someone's consciousness, then, as has

been suggested, poets, salesmen, politicians, teachers, parents

are all hypnotists (1,p.1).  Personally, I like to think that

hypnosis is merely a special way in which we use our minds.

It is something we can do by ourselves or with the help

of someone else. Mostly, people seem to think of hypnosis as

something which is done to them. This is not so. Hypnosis

seems to be something we do ourselves, a special way of using

our own minds. Sometimes we use our minds in this special way without any

assistance for anyone else, and sometimes with the help of

someone else, sometimes a person who is a specialist and a

professional qualified to work with us in this way.  In either

case we same to be following someone's instructions, whether our

own or someone else's, under special condi¬tions of attention. Ün�܌ If this is so, then consider what someone is doing when giving

young children or adolescents whom they are teaching, a "negative

command?" Consider the following commands coming from a teacher

in the light of what I have just said, commands like, "Now

remember , don't drop those weights on your foot," or, "Don't

spill any milk on your desks," or, "I don't want you to worry

about grades." To acknowledge these instructions, students have to imagine

the unwanted instruction. They have to picture what it's like to

have weights falling on their feet, or what its like spilling

milk on a desk, or what there is to worry about in terms of

getting grads.  This is more likely to make happen what we don't

want to happen (1, p.2). I agree with those who suggest that hypnosis is a mental

process, that hypnosis is not doing anything apart from what

we already are doing. Some claim that hypnosis can only help

us do better what we are already doing, and perhaps do it with

greater impact, and with greater power (1, p.7).  Not so good if

what is happening is inappropriately negative, and good if what

is happening is appropriately positive.  Hypnosis, in other

words, is a way of getting us to pay attention to what's happen­ing to us inside our heads and in our bodies.  There's a lot happening to us that we usually don't notice.

Hypnosis is a way of getting us to notice what's happening with

special awareness. It's a way of getting things to happen in

our heads and in our bodies that perhaps we believed we could

not make happen, things that we thought happened only spontane­ously and involuntarily, without our doing anything about it,

like lowering blood pressure, or recalling long buried and for­gotten memories. In other words, hypnosis expands our consciousness, gives

us more information about what's happening to us, and gives

us more control over what we can make happen for ourselves.

It's a special way of establishing connections between the

cerebral brain and the limbic brain and the r-complex (or

primitive) brain.  This means knowledge of the process of

hypnosis gives us greater choice over what happens to us. My reasoning goes like this. Choice is a function of consci­ousness. Consc¬iousness is a func¬tion of information. The fact

that we don't have the choices we want is a function of limited

consciousness (1, p.30).  If I were living in an authoritarian community, I would

would not want too many people to know about the existence of

hypnosis, least of all to have them practised in its use. InÜf��Ü
fact, I would do everything in my power to make it against the

law of the state to teach and practise it, except for a few

whom I would license to teach and practise it. I would also keep pointing out its dangers. I would want

to frighten people so badly that only in exceptional cases would

it ever be used.  And even then, people would have great diffi­cul¬ty entering into the hypnotic experience, because they would

have not only their fears to overcome, but their ignorance and

prej¬udice.  Of course, practitioners of the science and art

of teaching people how to use their minds in this extra¬ordinary

way could then command great fees. Ê

Ê This indeed seems to have happened in our own society. Certain

professional associations and governmental agencies are trying to

regulate by law who can teach and practice hypnos¬is. Many people

are agreed that some legislation to control the prac¬tise of

hypnosis is desireable. The problem for the legal experts is getting everyone to

agree upon a defini¬tion of hypnosis. How can you make laws

governing the use of hypnosis when no one can say precisely

what it is? The first point to make clear is that hypnosis

is not a something; it's a way of doing something. It's a set

of procedures used to alter someone's consciousness (1, p.27). 

It can be a way to expedite personal changes in how we behave

and feel and think, if we want to so change (1, p.31).  Several questions seem important to me.  I'll start with

the one I consider the least interesting and least important

one. What can we do with hypnosis, supposing that we can do

something called hypno¬tizing? How can we use hypnosis to do

whatever we want to do with it?  Finally, how can we move some­one in consciousness to do whatever wants to be done with their

consci¬ousness. Ã�("ÃBIBLIOGRAPHYƒœ1.ÌÌGrinder, John and Richard Bandler.  TRANCE-FORMATIONS. 

NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING AND THE STRUCTURE OF HYPNO­SIS.  Moab, Utah: Real People Press, 1981.