Whenever you want the benefits of a hypnotic frame of mind while remaining wide awake, with your eyes open.
Waking self-hypnosis routine.
Parts 1, 2. 3, and 4 of your basic self-hypnosis routine are the same. However, you do not repeat "zero" over and over after saying it the first time. Rather, after you say "zero" as you exhale, do the following:
Purl 5. Set your mind- tell yourself what you are going to do in your waking self-hypnosis and exactly how you want this to be done. Then briefly visualize doing it in that way.
Part 6 . Open your eyes and set to work. Part 7. When you are done, it is strongly advisable to close your eyes, review what you have accomplished, tell yourself a suggestion (either your formula or a special suggestion concerning whatever you are working on in waking hypnosis), and count yourself up just as in your basic routine. Make a point of always formally ending every session of self-hypnosis, waking or not. and you can't go wrong.
Another advanced technique is making your own tapes. You have been doing this throughout this book, only now you will work with your own scripts. You already know how to record tapes for yourself, so we primarily need to cover how to organize your scripts and effectively work with the tapes.
When making up your own tapes, you will normally begin with some kind of induction procedure. You could simply use parts 1 to 5 of your basic self-hypnosis routine, or take the induction portion from any of the session scripts you have worked with. You can. of course, also make up your own. A minimal induction would consist of some suggestions for relaxation, perhaps a visualization for relaxing and letting go. and would also include some suggestions to provide positive expectations for yourself, such as how well it will go-
Many hypnosis practitioners like to provide from one to ten minutes of silence immediately after the induction procedures. to allow you to settle into a hypnotic frame of mind. 1 normally employ a brief silent period, as in your scripts, during which 1 often would have you do something like say "zero" or squeeze and relax your eyes. Experiment with this tactic of silence on your own—to start, I'd suggest you try two to five minutes. You can, by the way, play soothing, dreamy, or "hypnotic" music or sounds—softly—in the background during this time. I've had good success with sound effects like the ocean or the sounds of a mother's womb.
After the silent period, begin the body of your session. Follow the rules you have learned concerning the strategic approach. Rely primarily on visualizations. However, when using a tape, you can do a lot more with verbal suggestions than when giving yourself the basic self-hypnosis session. Use symbols, indirect tactics, and. especially, extensive narration to prompt your imaginings.
One tactic you can use to great benefit on your tapes but not in other self-hypnosis is commenting to yourself. Here you can really put to work the defining function of verbal suggestions. What you do is to intersperse comments defining the situation within the flow of your narrative. This requires you to step outside of the imaginary experience to remark upon it—which is why you don't often employ such a tactic in routine self-hypnosis. You can see this tactic of comment ing used in all the session scripts supplied in this book; for example, when you find the comment "It feels so good to be free" in the middle of suggestions prompting you to visualize yourself doing something.
Whether you should use the first person (Í and me) to address yourself, or the second person (you), is entirely a matter of what you feel most comfortable with. You have worked with both in your session tapes. It is normally easier to record a tape when using the second person, since we naturally speak to another this way, but some people will prefer to use I and me. Experiment with both, or look back in your journal and see if one or the other worked better for you.
How long should your tapes be? I'd suggest that you use one side of a sixty-minute cassette, making your session between twenty and thirty minutes long. This is about the length of the sessions in this volume. Many practitioners like sessions fifteen to twenty minutes in length, although in my own practice, 1 used mostly forty-five-minute sessions. It has been my experience that most people do best at home with sessions of the length I have suggested, although you can use even shorter sessions as you deem appropriate.
You can use your tapes to supplement your self-hypnosis routine. They can be particularly valuable as a reinforcement, or when you bog down in your self management or other work. Tapes offer an excellent way to start working toward new objectives or with new techniques. They also allow you to get more deeply involved than you would in your regular self-hypnosis. Tapes can also be of great value when you are working to deal with specific problems, performances, or other objectives in the near future.
T. X. Barber suggests an entirely different and more radical way of using your own tapes. You might like to explore a version of his approach adapted for use with this volume. An alternative form of self-hypnosis practice, this exploits the interesting fact that you can drastically alter your subjective sense of time's passage in hypnosis so that you can experience a half hour's session in a minute or two by using hypnotic imagining. In Exercise Three, for example, you imagined an episode lasting hours and hours in less than thirty minutes of real time.
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