Imagination and Hypnosis
Fantasy is often alleged, as undesirable and something to avoid. It is claimed that rational people should stick to facts and not meaningless imaginings.
Such claims are without foundation. Fantasy is important and vital in our mental and emotional process. Whether it is the fantasy of sleep called dreams, or the imagery of the waking or hypnotized state, it is both normal and useful.
Under hypnosis imagination is much more powerful. By using fantasy in hypnosis a person can sometimes produce impressive results. Perhaps the most astonishing is the control of pain. Many people have had dental work and given birth without pain. Developing new intervening images and self-suggestions can change certain behaviors, such as studying and concentration, help control anger and sadness, build self-esteem, reduce bad habits, and so on. An example would be one paraplegic who sees only misery while another plans on going to graduate school.
Almost all of us daydream. Our daydreams tend to be helpful re-living the past or rehearsing for the future. Most of the time they involve some emotion, an important event, a threat, a frustration or a hope. In most cases a good fantasy life should be of great value and nothing to be ashamed off.
Most of us know how to daydream it comes naturally. Through hypnosis we can encourage constructive daydreams and guide fantasies into a more constructive, fruitful and creative area. Guided fantasies can be used for insight.
By using fantasy in hypnosis a goal, vision or hope can lead to bringing that goal to be. For instance, fantasizing throwing the basketball in the basket can improve the rate of success at hitting.
When a client is faced with a similar situation to what has been fantasized they bring up the mental video and execute it. It is probably impossible to distinguish perfect fact from fantasy in our waking life. When hypnosis is used, the material evoked is more factual than when we are in our normal waking consciousness. Stories and fantasies can be used to give children suggestions.
Unpleasant fantasies can be used to reduce unwanted feelings and behaviors. Like asking a smoker to imagine the consequences of continuing his behavior. It will however not be a good idea to ask someone to imagine that chocolate taste awful if he is a chocolate addict because he won’t believe it. Hypnotic fantasies and suggestions must be believable.
The basic idea of fantasy is the client imagining himself doing something. It is also sometimes called goal rehearsal. It has been quoted many times before “One picture is worth a thousand words.”
Example 1- Playing golf
Imagine yourself walking down a flight of 10 steps. Take your time. As you descend the steps, imagine yourself walking through a foggy mist. You and the steps seem to disappear in the fog. Once you get down to the tenth step, you emerge from this mist – right onto the golf course.
The day is perfect without a cloud in the sky. There’s a blazing yellow sun that warms your arms and hands. The air is crisp. Now feel your hands grip your club – firmly yet gently. With your body calm and knees bent, sense your position in direct alignment with your target. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. See yourself swing. Feel your hands, arms and hips rotate smoothly. Nice easy rhythm. Hear the swish of the acceleration as your clubface strikes the ball. Feel your perfect follow through. See your ball take off and soar in the air. See the whiteness of the ball silhouetted against the brilliant blue sky.
Example 2 – Weight loss
Take a few deep, easy breaths and imagine yourself in the most peaceful, beautiful serene beach you can conjure up. Be relaxed and peaceful. Focus on the sights, smells and physical sensations associated with it.
Now imagine yourself walking on the beach. You are slim and beautiful. You are wearing a body-hugging outfit and feel comfortable and relaxed. You see people watching you walk and they notice how lovely you are. You feel the warm sand under your feet as you walk barefoot. The salty ocean air fills your nostrils. You breathy deeply and love the feeling of health and vigor. The waves roll in and their majestic sound envelops you. You hear children playing and screaming with delight at finding shells or building castles. You are so happy to be alive in this moment and grateful for the new slim and healthy body you have. You feel confident, healthy, vital, relaxed and serene. You are at peace with your body and yourself.