What is Pain? Pain is your awareness of signals reaching your brain from locations in the body which have suffered trauma or injury. It is important to realize that pain is your awareness of the signal because you can begin to alter your awareness, sensitivity, and response to any nerve signal. While you can’t stop the nerve signals to the brain, you can and do continually change the way you notice the signals this is what happens in pain reduction.
What is Self-Hypnosis? Self-Hypnosis is one of the mind’s natural problem solving tools. You may not have realized it before, but each time you have directed concentration; blocked out interfering sights and sounds to recall a song; deeply concentrated to remember a phone number, or something you had been intending to say or do you were making use of the problem solving methods of hypnosis. You probably use self-hypnosis everyday without calling it that. It may look to others that you have simply sat quietly, relaxed, and turned your attention inward, or that you are doing nothing. However, self-hypnosis is the very active and deliberate use of some specific mental problem-solving tools. It can be characterized by the use of memory, association, dissociation, your sense of time, etc. While you don’t need to understand the complicated terms, you can easily learn to direct the use of these tools in 4-6 sessions in most cases.
How does Self-Hypnosis work? Self-Hypnosis allows you to decide when and how often you will use your mind own natural processes to alter your brains interpretation of nerve signals from your body. In other words, while the body may send a nerve signal from an injury in your back, your brain may choose to ignore it with the aid of dissociation, memory, association, changes in time sense, etc.
How the program works. Self-Hypnosis can be taught quickly and safely to most anyone since it is a natural process which , to varying degrees, we already use daily. You will actually use the sessions to do self-hypnosis as you learn it in the course of 4-6 sessions. Usually, clients will begin to experience reduced pain during the first two trance sessions. The following two sessions provide ample time to fine tune the use of self-hypnosis for your individual situation. Homework practice of the techniques is strongly encouraged at any time convenient to you or when you wish to reduce or eliminate pain.
What you do in the 4-6 session program. Following a thorough initial assessment (1-2 sessions), the following two sessions are aimed at learning to develop trance and learn how to reduce the learned awareness of pain. Most people succeed at this in 1-2 sessions. After learning that the next two sessions rehearse what you have learned, improve upon your skill and teach two methods you can use to easily and safely practice self-hypnosis several times per week. With repeated practice at home you will strengthen your new learning’s.
What you do in the 12-16 session program. An additional 8-12 session program is available for individuals who circumstances are more complex. These additional sessions usually come prior to the 4-6 sessions described above. In this way the therapist will have time to better understand your unique and special situation. The additional sessions provide an opportunity to better learn how to utilize hypnosis. As a result, there is a better chance that the self-hypnosis training can be shaped and molded to your unique individual and family needs.
Acknowledgment. This program was developed by Stephen Lankton, MSW (Copyright 1993) recognized nationally and internationally as a leading teacher of clinical hypnosis. After extensive training with Mr. Lankton, and with his blessings and encouragement, I am happy to make this resource available to my clients. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Lankton for teaching me these very worthwhile approaches.