For most hypnotherapy, the ideal hypnotic state in which you want your clients is called somnambulism. The use of the term is misleading if you have medical or psychological training, because you know that the term refers to sleep walking. So, really it should be called "hypnotic somnambulism," to avoid any confusion with professionals who have medical or psychological background.
Bonus Tip: These kinds of misnomers (inaccurate names) are prevalent throughout the terminology associated with hypnotherapy, because it was once thought that hypnosis was a type of sleep. Now, most professionals agree that hypnosis is not a type of sleep. So, unless you explain this to a client, don't use the words "sleep" or "awaken" or similar terms that indicate that your client should have been asleep during the hypnosis session. If you use the word "sleep", explain that it means you want them to go deeply relaxed with their eyes closed, as if they were asleep. And replace the terms "awaken", "wake up," etc. with statements like "emerge from hypnosis."
Depending on where you were trained and which depth scale you use, there are different definitions for somnambulism. At the very least, this state of hypnosis will enable a subject/client to experience amnesia by suggestion. Others require a higher level of suggestibility before the label of somnambulism can be used. For those scales, somnambulism is defined as having the client/subject be able to respond to suggestions enabling her to experience positive and negative hallucinations while they are in hypnosis and post-hypnotically. Positive hallucinations occur when an individual is able to perceive something that does not really exist. For example, a person in hypnosis may be able to "see" a clock on the wall merely because one was suggested by the hypnotist, even if one does not really exist. Negative hallucinations are said to occur when an individual is unable to perceive something that does exist, merely because the suggestion has been accepted that she will not be able to see it.
It seems that some clients are natural somnambulists. They easily enter this wonderful hypnotic state. But almost anyone can enter into it if they are correctly prepared and educated (removal of fears and misconceptions). In my experience, with practice, the client who was unable to reach somnambulism on the first session can do so on a subsequent session if they are so motivated and prepared.
The original Dave Elman induction (and many of its modified versions) is designed to induce somnambulism. Usually there will be some part of the induction that guides the client into a kind of mental relaxation and a suggestion for amnesia is given and accepted. Typically, this is done by having the client count forward or backward, while relaxing themselves mentally until the numbers are gone. Once the numbers are gone, they have reached some level of somnambulism, which is then deepened. The numbers are "gone," that is forgotten, because of suggestion. So, amnesia has been accomplished by hypnotic suggestion, a definition of somnambulism.
I have included a modified version of the Dave Elman induction in the appendix. I believe that the Dave Elman hypnotic induction and its derivatives are the best all-round inductions that you can learn and use to consistently induce a state of somnambulism.
Most experienced hypnotherapists would agree that a minimum level of somnambulism is required for the client to re-experience an earlier event in her life while in hypnosis (hypnotic age regression). This reliving is called revivification. This kind of experience is more than just remembering past events.
In hypnosis, there is an increase in the ability of clients to remember past events. This increased memory is called hypermnesia. When a client is experiencing hypermnesia, he or she will speak in past tense and use statements such as "Now I remember."
However, in "true age regression" or revivification, the client will re-experience the event. From the client's point of view, the whole thing is happening over again. This is what is required for
true Age Regression Therapy, which is covered in detail in Part III of this book.
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