Please allow your eyes to roll up and your eyelids to flutter down and close. Let yourself go deep at the count of three—one, two, three. If at any time you want to stop or talk with me about something, raise your right index finger.
And now, deeper still at the count of four . . . (deepening by count until eight, and then) . . . as deep as you've ever been at the count of nine, and now deeper still at ten. That's right. Nod if you're ready. [Patient nods.]
OK. You all are in a beautiful clearing in the woods, a place of complete privacy and safety. All stand in a circle, take one another's hands, and now move toward the center of the circle. You'll find you have to let your arms slide gently around one another as the circle grows smaller. And as you get closer, already you can feel a pleasant warmth from the closeness, a sense of warmth and closeness that feels good to you all, even those who have no plans to join with one another today.
Above the center of the circle, a point of light is seen, which rapidly becomes brighter and more radiant, a warming, comforting, and healing form of light that rapidly becomes so beautiful, bright, and radiant that, although it does not hurt your eyes at all, is so luminous that each of you, no matter where you look, all you see is a beautiful field of light that engulfs you all. No matter where you look, there is no evidence of detail or separateness. And now the light seems to enter you as a warming current, and flows back and forth, forth and back, sharing with you all the experience of peace and well-being.
And now the current flows to Joan and Anne alone, back and forth between you. Back and forth, forth and back, and soon it takes with it all the memories, feelings, and qualities of Joan into Anne, and of Anne into Joan [this is elaborated]. Nothing is withheld, nothing is omitted [elaborate back and forth motif]. And now that all from each has flowed into the other, and all from the other has flowed into each, it seems so pointless to be separate. At three, the barriers between Joan and Anne gently crumble, and peacefully are washed away. All that was Anne flows into Joan, and all that was Joan into Anne. . . . And it's so easy and gentle because you already have become the same. Everything blending, joining, and mixing [elaborate]. And now everything settles gently and peacefully, joined now and forever at the count of two . . . that feels so natural, so right. . . .
And now the light recedes. All of you look around. Everyone feeling better, stronger, safer. Where there were Joan and Anne, there is a single individual, stronger, more peaceful, more resilient, and unified now and forever at the count of one. How do you feel? [The patient opens her eyes and says it went well.] OK. Close your eyes and rapidly go as deep as you were. You had said that the unified person would be called Joan. Joan, nod if you are there and OK. [Nods.] Anne, nod if you remain separate. [No nod.] Everyone else, raise the right index finger if anyone senses or knows Anne remains separate or notices anything amiss. [No signal.] OK, let this fusion be sealed and solid, now and forever, at the count of three . . . one, two, three. [The patient opened her eyes, and volunteered that she felt good.]
[This verbalization is only an example of what was congenial to one patient at one point in her treatment. It is offered as food for thought, but not as a tool for use with any other patient.]
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Hypnosis is a capital instrument for relaxation and alleviating stress. It helps calm down both the brain and body, giving a useful rest. All the same it can be rather costly to hire a clinical hypnotherapist, and we might not always want one around when we would like to destress.