As an alternative or supplement to your routine self-hypnosis exercise.
Imagining along with tapes, at least to begin.
There are two stages to this approach, the second of which is entirely optional, an alternative form of self-hypnosis practice.
1. Making up your tape. As discussed in this chapter, you will make up your own session tape. First think out what you want to accomplish or work toward with this session and write out your script, either word for word or in outline or note form. Begin the session with an induction and then develop your themes in the body of the session, being sure to end your tape with counting up and feeling wide awake and wonderful (always include such suggestions in your scripts).
Alternative inductions can include progressive relaxation, going directly to a goal-directed fantasy for deep relaxation, or imagining time slowing down. This last is a favorite of Barber's. An example would be something like this: "Time is slowing down for me now . . . there is more and more time between every beat of my heart . . . more and more time between every new second |you can help yourself by saying this as if time were slowing down —drawing out words and pauses more and more as you read on] ... time is slowing down to a crawl . . . and there's more and more time ... all the time I can possibly imagine . . . more and more . .. time ... between ... every . .. beat . . . of . . . my . . . heart . . . each new breath comes slower and slower . . . more and more time . . .all the time I need . . . there's more and more time in every moment . . . time is slowing down more and more "
Then you might prefer to add a period of saying "zero" as in your self-hypnosis. When you wish, begin the body of your session, using lots of visualizations full of sensory details, adding commentary as appropriate, and taking advantage of such tricks as the verbal formulas "more and more" or "as if." Review your session scripts in this volume for examples. When ready, tell yourself how great you will feel and then end the session.
Now listen to your tape, giving yourself a session in this fashion. It can replace one of your routine self-hypnosis sessions. If you will be using your own tapes primarily as sessions to give yourself, this is all you need to do.
Suggestion: It rarely pays to work with a formal session more than once every other day. Continue to rely upon self-hypnosis for your routine practice.
2. Informal self-hypnosis. However, you can now proceed to use your tapes as the first step in mastering Barber's informal self-hypnosis technique. To begin, listen to your own tape as many more times as necessary until you are thoroughly familiar with it. Of course, you can at any time choose to modify the session to make it work better for you. Your first goal, in any case, is to become so familiar with your preferred tape that you can almost do it in your sleep. Remember to keep up your basic self-hypnosis during this period, perhaps with a new formula consistent with what you're doing in this session.
Once you are thoroughly familiar with your session, you can begin to replace at least some routine self-hypnosis sessions with Barber's technique. What you do is to sit yourself down and go through everything in your tape, but working from memory. Don't play the tape recorder, but simply imagine hearing the entire tope from start to stop in your head. Of course, imagine and respond to the script just as if you were hearing an actual tape. The first few times, you might be more comfortable if you had your script or notes before you to refresh your memory (although that will probably not be necessary).
You will probably already notice that you are "listening" to the entire tape in less time than it would have taken to actually play it. What you are doing is slowing down your subjective sense of time (which is why it can be advantageous to include a slowing-down-time imagination in the induction). Now begin just zipping through the imagined tape in superfast time. With practice, you can seem to "replay" the entire tape in a minute or so. This can then become your routine self-hypnosis. However, you are well advised to practice some form of deep relaxation daily or at least several times a week. I'd suggest keeping up your skill at using your basic routine by employing it for that purpose.
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