"A frame I"m proposing is that hypnosis is a natural way the brain creates your world.
Think of foraging for a moment. Our ancestors became adept at finding and collecting resources. They also became adept at protecting themselves from danger. The proof is your very existence.
In order to do this, it became beneficial to change states, to change your point of view. A time to rest and a time to run. A time to be big, and a time to be small. We compare our memories to our senses continually, cyclically, and so fast we"re usually not aware we"re doing it. The patterns that develop become habits. So when it"s time to change a habit, we can use the same ideas that built the outdated habit to create new patterns.
That"s it. the rest is technique, and that is what clinical hypnosis is. The technique of how to change, based on how we"ve always and already done it since we learned to collect resources for survival.
Breaking it down, here are the principles I think support good clinical hypnosis:
State Change. Helping someone to deeply relax, by slowing down their breathing and heart rate is the usual step one that most people associate with hypnosis. But it can also be an up tempo thing. How many times have you seen someone do something they wouldn"t ordinarily do simply because they were excited? Changing state is the key to changing neurology.
Interoception. What does it feel like, in your body, to be you? Do you feel different when you"re hungry from when you have to use the bathroom? Of course. How do you feel when you"re reminiscing versus visiting a new place? Where is your body when you close your eyes? Can you feel your breathing and heart beat? Some of your nerves are short and fast, and some are long and slow. That"s interoception.
Predictive Processing. Is it better for your brain, in this moment, to call up new sensory info, or to rely on an old memory? If you are punching in a pass code you"ve used 1000 times before, you"ll probably rely on memory. If the key pad has been hit with spray paint since you last saw it, your senses will dominate at first, then you"ll call up your memory of the pass code. The truth is we continually cycle through both. The brain builds efficiencies by predicting what you"ll do next in any given situation. If you"ve ever zoned out, thank your ability to predictively process.
Sensory pathways. Not only do you have senses, you also have a wealth of stored information from your senses. Which is why it can be thrilling to do something new. Your memories of your senses interact with your expectations and your experience to create something that feels like your world- and indeed yourself.
Working with these principles in combination makes it easy to help people change habituated patterns without relying on years of story. Unlike psychotherapy, hypnosis is not relationship-focused - it is guide focused. In other words, in psychotherapy your relationship with the therapist is the nexus for change. In hypnosis, the hypnotist is a guide, taking you through states and the principles mentioned above to affect change. There is a craft to being a good hypnotist, so be sure to check out anyone you might want to work with. It"s ok to believe in yourself by making sure your needs get met. In the end, would you rather cope with a situation or have choices? Having choices is a way to return yourself to yourself, a gift that puts you back in your fullness."