Hypnotherapy Blog

Perhaps the door is ajar...

Inception and hypnotherapy

Steve Park

Have you seen the 2010 film Inception ?
And what does it have to do with hypnotherapy?

From Wikipedia, we can harvest the following crop of reviews: "Inception... succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually..."; "set in the labyrinth of the unconscious mind... [it] challenges viewers to sift through multiple layers of (un)reality... "; "[It is] about fighting our way through enveloping sheets of reality and dream..."; "It's... hypnotizing..."

When you talk about the film, perhaps you too use this kind of language – multiple layers, levels, the unconscious mind, dreams, deeper understanding, real and unreal...

To remind you, the core of the plot is that a team use secret technology to "hack into" peoples' subconscious. Once there, they seek to implant an idea which the "victim" will act upon without realising it has been planted. This planting of the idea is called (in the film) "inception".

If the team just tapped into the most accessible level of a person’s subconscious, knowledge of the incursion would leak through to that person’s conscious mind and they would realise that they were being manipulated. The team therefore seek to implant the idea in a much deeper level of the subconscious. To get there, they must work down through several layers of awareness; and after "inception" they hope to find their way back up through the layers again...

What is a hypnotic trance?

Steve Park

The old view...

In the old view of hypnosis, a lot of focus was placed on the “depth of trance”. It was taught that the hypnotist’s role was to guide the hypnotic ‘subject’ down through a number of layers of trance state, starting with a ‘light trance’ and moving down towards an ‘Esdaile state’, which is almost comatose. It was believed that certain outcomes required a certain depth of trance. The Esdaile state, for example, is named for James Esdaile, a 19th century Scottish doctor operating as a surgeon in India. He used hypnosis for surgical anaesthesia in hundreds of major operations – and he sought a level of trance close to complete unconsciousness.

There are parallels here with the application of chemical anaesthesia – the anaesthetist can apply either a local or general anaesthetic, and will administer only what is required for the patient to reach the required level of ‘unconsciousness’. Until the middle of the 20th century, hypnotists were all medical doctors, so it makes sense that they would develop a model of hypnosis paralleling what they already knew from other branches of medicine.

That is the old view of hypnosis and hypnotic trance. Now consider this:

What if everything you thought about hypnotherapy was wrong?

Steve Park

Myth 1: It only works on weak-minded people, right?

Well… Have you ever daydreamed? Have you ever found yourself driving ‘on autopilot’? Or got ‘lost’ in a book or a film? Have you ever used your imagination? These are the same kinds of state of mind as being in hypnosis.

All kinds of people, with all kinds of ‘normal’ states of mind can engage with the process of turning their attention inward – and that’s all we’re doing in hypnotherapy. ‘Hypnosis’ is a spectrum of perfectly normal, natural states of mind which you put yourself into dozens of times every day. In these states, we can access the vast and beautiful treasure house of our own subconscious… If your mind is closed tightly against its own subconscious elements, does that really make you strong-minded?

Aspects of my philosophy

Steve Park

There is but one light and none other.

This idea is so profound... It indicates that the whole universe is a unity. If you are suffering, I am suffering. There can be no judgement at all in this philosophy: everything is a mirror for everything else. Everything you experience is a reflection of you. There are no problems without resolution. There is no future unless there is a past – or you’ve only got a future if you’ve got (psychological) baggage! Without the baggage, you’re present, which is the real state of being hidden in all dualities. Running away from something (bad) and running towards something (good) are aspects of the same thing – so if a client (like you!) presents with only one side of that (or any other) equation, it can be helpful to look for the other side to complete the picture. Returning to unity, we find perfect understanding and forgiveness/ acceptance – and true contentment.

Steve Park Hypnotherapy

07796 698 718