How We Engage Your Conscious Mind in A Hypnosis Session
You have two minds, not one
Maybe we should start by explaining exactly WHAT YOUR CONSCIOUS MIND IS:
You have both a conscious mind and an unconscious (subconscious) mind…
Your conscious mind is the part of you that’s self-aware. It’s the part that seems to disappear at night and reappear when you wake up in the morning.
It’s the home of your sense of identity and the seat of reason and logic.
It’s everything that you’re aware of RIGHT NOW.
Which means that everything you’re not aware of right now is in your unconscious mind. Your unconscious contains all your feelings, desires, memories… in fact, everything that you’re not doing right now is happening in your unconscious mind.
Your two minds overlap
There’s an overlap between what’s conscious and what’s unconscious, of course.
You probably know your phone number… but it’s not in your mind until you need it. However as soon as you need it, it pops into your head.
It comes from the unconscious into the conscious mind.
Equally, there is a rational voice you hear in your head. It’s a voice that seems like it’s always there. It helps you make endless decisions and navigate the world.
It’s the voice of your conscious mind.
You can use that voice to justify your beliefs, analyse your desires and make yourself feel good (or bad).
Your conscious mind voice can modify and rearrange your unconscious.
Your 2 minds communicate with each other ALL THE TIME.
Now, to be honest, your conscious mind is probably WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE.
However, it’s NOT who you are.
Let me explain…
We’re not that rational
Most of us like to think that we’re creatures of reason. We like to think that we make rational decisions based on evidence.
AND… sometimes we do.
However, most decisions are completely unconscious. Most decisions happen completely automatically.
In fact, it is only the larger decisions we make that are conscious.
For example, you (generally) don’t consciously decide how fast to chew your cornflakes. You do consciously decide where to go on holiday or what to name your child.
Truly conscious decisions are rarely a problem, but unconscious decisions can tie us up in knots!
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So, is it conscious or unconscious?
With most things, it’s fairly easy to know what is a conscious or unconscious decision, but there is a THIRD KIND OF DECISION.
Let me ask you this:
Do you consciously decide when to stop eating if you’re struggling to lose weight? Or how you should feel about being on an aeroplane if you have a fear of flying?
These are important decisions… but are they conscious?
For most people, the answer is probably “No”.
The art of hypnotherapy (at least the way we practice it at Unchain Your Mind) is taking these important unconscious decisions and making them conscious.
Which doesn’t mean making you AWARE OF THE DECISION!
That’s only one aspect of being conscious.
It means giving you CONTROL OVER THE DECISION, which we do by engaging your conscious mind in the sessions.
It’s what distinguishes modern hypnotherapy from 20th Century hypnosis (or seminar hypnosis for that matter).
The old way of doing hypnotherapy
Not so long ago, the main technique of hypnosis was this:
Attempt to dissolve, bypass or in some way de-potentiate the conscious mind.
In fact, there’s plenty of hypnotherapists out there who still work in this way (as well as those stage hypnotists of course).
The idea was that your conscious mind is part of the problem and needs to be dismissed so that the hypnotist can instruct your unconscious mind.
It’s an approach that was certainly effective however the changes were often short-lived because the conscious mind would object.
The new way of doing hypnotherapy
Modern hypnotherapy has a lot more respect for your conscious mind and seeks to include it in the process by using interactive techniques.
Interactive techniques are simple where you talk to your therapist whilst in the state of hypnosis. As a result, the changes include feedback from your conscious mind (just like in every other area of your life).
It means that your conscious mind won’t reject the changes proposed by your therapist.
Hopefully, this has cleared up come of the confusion around hypnosis for you!