Innovative Hypnotic Techniques for Building Self-Esteem
In this chapter we discuss the role of hypnosis as a technique for building self-esteem. We need to clarify the hypnotherapy concept before we can truly understand the role of hypnosis in building self-esteem. Hypnosis, a term derived from the work of James Braid, 1848, comes from the Greek, meaning the state of sleep. This itself is a misnomer because even though hypnosis, a trance state, is referred to as somnambulism, or sleep-walking, and resembles deep sleep, hypnosis is actually a state of heightened awareness. Hypnosis is not anything new; it dates back to the Egyptians and Greeks, and probably the process itself was understood and used by many primitive tribes. The war dance of the American Indian was, in reality, a type of hypnosis that brought the braves into a state of frenzy. The beat of the tom-tom also had a hypnotic effect.
Hypnosis is not a therapy but rather a process. It is a process that can be used within the framework of any therapeutic modality, even hypnoanalysis within the Freudian paradigm. The state of hypnosis or the condition is a common-place occurrence and, in reality, when we use hypnosis therapeutically, we are often performing de-hypnosis rather than hypnosis, in other words, we try to undo much that has been inadvertently and detrimentally programmed into the client through mass media communication. We deprogram in very much the same way as deprogrammers work to undo the programming of cult members.
While there are various theories of hypnosis, we subscribe basically to the theory that likens hypnosis to a special state of relaxation wherein the unconscious is capable of being programmed. Since we do not uti-