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Behavior Modification & Hypnosis

What is Behavior Modification?

Behavior modification is the use of techniques such a self-hypnosis, meditation, NLP, guided meditation, prayer, etc, to improve or change behavior.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness where the conscious and subconscious mind are focused on a certain topic or function. It is NOT a funny little man with a gold watch who can make you obey his every command. When combined with guided meditation and visualization, theta healing, and prayer, the results are enhanced.

Milton H. Erickson, one of the most influential hypnotists of the 20th Behavior Modificationcentury,developed an approach to hypnotism, in which a more informal conversational approach and complex language patterns, and therapeutic strategies were used. This method was called "Ericksonian Hypnotherapy." Ericksonian Hypnotherapy is often used to modify a client’s behavior and emotional outlook, as well as stress and pain management, and personal development such as weight loss, self-esteem, and empowerment. Erickson's work continues to be one of the most influential forces in hypnotherapy today.

Hypnosis accesses the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind. The conscious mind houses our physical wakefulness—climate, peers, nervous system,and consciousness.

The subconscious mind is our auto-pilot and programming of all we have learned since before and after the womb. It houses our belief system. Some information stored in the subconscious mind may be false or outdated because it was based upon the emotions at the time the event occurred, such as a six year old being told 'no' and responding to it in a child-like way. As this event and emotions are stored, this person may react as a six year old each time they are told 'no'.

The unconscious mind can be viewed as that part of the mind that is still connected to God or the cosmos. It is the part of the mind, which exists and is awakened when intuition is used. It is a knowing of something bigger than we are which is guiding us through our days on earth. It is the theta, delta, and gamma state of our mind.

The gatekeeper is the fine line between the conscious and subconscious mind, which protects that belief system that we have developed through our childhood - and beyond.

Hypnosis or hypnotherapy may be helpful when one keeps repeating old behavior or patterns and/or becomes blocked and can’t seem to move forward to complete goals. Most people seek hypnosis when they have exhausted all other avenues of change.

During the hypnosis process the conscious mind and body are relaxed. Each person will have a different experience while in trance. Some people will experience a total state of relaxation and others will feel very alert and in control. The success of hypnosis is dependent upon the ability to understand the process and the cooperation of the client.

As the conscious mind relaxes so does the gatekeeper or the protector of the information in the subconscious mind. As access to the subconscious mind becomes apparent, a conversational approach is used to pull old outdate beliefs and new more appropriate ones are downloaded.

There are different states of hypnosis. The waking state is the state of hypnosis in which we function daily. This is the state you may use as you drive your car and can’t remember the drive or it may be when you are in class and the time flies by quickly. The state of hypnosis distorts time.

The next state is a more focused relaxed state of hypnosis where your eyes are closed and you are relaxed and conversational. Again, different states and levels of relaxation may occur. The more you do it, the more comfortable your become with it, the better the results.

The coma state or deepest state of hypnosis, known as Esdale, is when an anesthesia-like state is automatically achieved without suggestion. The subject is very deeply relaxed and unwilling to respond to conversation or move the body. This state of hypnosis is used in surgery and childbirth.

Hypnosis is not scary or dangerous and is implemented to improve your well-being and take control of your life.

Myth: Someone will control my mind and make me do weird stuff.

Fact: No one can make you do something unless you agree to it. Hypnosis can make your belief system stronger so those around you can no longer control your emotions and well-being.

Myth: What if I never wake up.

Fact: I promise, you will wake up when you have to go to the bathroom. The state of hypnosis is a state of physical relaxation where the mind is in a heightened state of being. If you fall asleep, it is because your body is tired and needs to rest. You will wake up on your own, according to your needs. I once had a client who would come to me for an hour and just sleep through it. I would give him positive suggestions throughout the hour about his well-being and in an hour he would wake up totally rested, pay me, go home and come back the next week. He said my chair was the only place he ever felt as though he could fully relax.

Myth: I won’t remember anything. How will I know what I did?

Fact: You are always fully alert to voice and movement. You are always aware of what is being said and done. If you do not remember afterwards, you did at the time. If you memory wanes, it is because you have trusted yourself enough to allow the old to filter out and the new change to occur. You feel safe. However, the important stuff you will remember, the rest--not so much. But why should you remember the old stuff, it is what you wished to let go of anyway!!

Myth: Hypnosis can make me super smart or strong.

Fact: Hypnosis can’t make you super smart or super strong, but hypnosis may help to remove the blocks in your subconscious mind that limit your abilities to move forward or learn more. These blocks are negative programming imbedded by perhaps parents, teachers, siblings, etc.

Hypnosis helps to remove the negative programming and replace it with new positive goals. Hypnosis has been very successful in achieving your highest potential.

Call Mary today about those nagging little habits that wish to vanish and imbedded new behavior that will help you achieve your hopes and dreams.

Mary Shurtleff is a certified hypnotherapist and uses Milton Ericksonian’s approach to changing behavior. She certified in 1991 as a Clinical Hypnotherapist under the tutelage of Virgil Hayes and Betty Finnas of the Hypnotism Training Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mary has taken studies with and admires the work of the late Ormand McGill and his work with the mystic. Mary has been a member of the ACHE for 18 years and is a member of the NGH for 2 years. Mary has been featured as a speaker at the National Hypnosis Convention on the topic of Reconnecting Your Spirit: Seeing the Possibilities. Mary is also a Certified Six Sensory Practitioner under the umbrella of Sonia Choquette, world-renowned spiritual teacher and psychic of Chicago, Illinois.

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