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Understanding Hypnosis And Hypnotic Trance


You go in and out of hypnosis all day long. Everybody does.

Maybe you have had the experience of driving and suddenly you are at your destination and you don’t even remember making all the turns to get there. You had gone into a state of hypnosis or ‘trance’. Or maybe you use public transport and have experience arriving at your destination rather quickly. In the above two examples a ‘trance’ state is experienced as time flowing very quickly. Another great example of a hypnotic trance state is how fast time seems to go when you are hanging out with friends and having a good time.

You can also experience a trance state where time moves awfully slowly. Like standing in a line when each minute seems like an hour. In other words your current state of mind is your ‘trance’. You can’t keep everything you know on your mind all the time. You automatically will focus on a few thoughts or one thought or none. Whatever thoughts you focus on represent the structure of your current hypnosis ‘trance’.

Going in and out of ‘hypnosis’ all day long is a normal part of everyday reality.

I particularly like how Stephen Wolinsky describes hypnosis trance states in his book ‘Trances People Live: Healing approaches in Quantum Psychology’, “Trances are often a necessary means of surviving and negotiating the physical universe. They are like tunnels walked through in order to maneuver and focus in the world. Some trances are functional and pleasing. Others are dysfunctional and pathological. Some trances will be in alignment with ones goal, while others will be impediments.”

In other words, hypnotic trance is normal although it can be good for you or bad for you depending on your focus.

For example; an anxiety attack is a ‘bad’ trance. The focus of attention becomes very narrow and centered on negative thoughts and images. An example of a ‘good’ trance is watching a comedy video. You are in a happy, laughing trance. All movies and other activities put you in different types of trances.

Stephen Wolinsky describes problems as states where a person’s attention has shrunk, excluding positive perceptions and focusing on negative ones. In therapeutic trance (commonly called hypnosis) this attention is shrunk even further into an ‘unbroken flow of concentration’ (similar to dhayana meditation in Yoga). The therapist can then guide their clients into better perceptual models to view their problems and overcome them.

By Abbas Abedi-To learn more visit my blog Hypnosis