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Problems When Teaching Self-Hypnosis

The writer has found (visualization) of the greatest value in the re-education of the patient, which is an essential part of hypnotherapy. In this method, after the cause of the trouble has been discovered and as a part of his re-education, the patient is instructed while under only light hypnosis to 'form a picture' in his mind. He is asked to imagine a movie screen and to see himself 'just like an actor' on this screen playing a part. He is told that the picture looks 'very real'--'3-D' in fact--and that he can see himself acting and looking the way he really wants to look and act. Various scenes are suggested such as ... the patient will have to face in real life. In each he is instructed to see himself--'as in real life'--always succeeding. For instance, the stammerer might be asked to picture himself speaking easily to people, and feeling perfectly at ease. The patient is also instructed how to form these 'success pictures' for himself, and it is stressed that he will only be able to see himself as he wants to be... successful. Since the pictures give rise to the appropriate feelings, it is not long before the patient begins to show the benefit of his private '3-D' film shows.

After explaining this technique to students, many have inquired, "Is that all there is to it? It seems so simple." Of course, there is more to it in that the individual must follow through with the instruction. This is one of the difficult aspects of this type of program. Let me enumerate some of the problems I have encountered in teaching self-hypnosis.

As mentioned, one of the difficulties is that the technique seems too simple. Students become skeptical. They feel it should be more complicated and involved in order to get results. I suppose people better appreciate something that comes only after a hard struggle. This procedure is devoid of this. Of course, I am not saying that once a person begins to use this technique his problems will automatically vanish and his life will be cheery forever after. We have been conditioned to think that success in anything can only come after a long, hard struggle. This is the basic theme of the American way of life. We have been accustomed to believe that conflict and struggle are part of life and large doses of it are necessary before we achieve success in any field. I can only reiterate that the information contained in this book is all you need to get results. It is necessary that you follow through and not give up after you have tried the program for a short while and have obtained no appreciable  results.

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