People sometimes ask me for a self-hypnosis technique consequently this article hopes to address that.  One of my favorite self-hypnosis techniques stems from Betty Erickson.  Betty was the wife of the famous psychiatrist and hypnotist Milton Erickson.  While Milton reshaped and redefined the field of hypnosis, Betty was no slouch in helping people to learn self-hypnosis.  It is reported that she often primed clients for Milton Erickson.  One of the reasons I like this technique from Betty is that it is relatively simple to remember.  Its sometimes referred to as the 3,2,1 self-hypnosis technique.

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness which is amenable to helping people change.  Hypnosis uses suggestion to help the unconscious maneuver life in more favorable conditions.  Most people are familiar with stage hypnosis.  However, stage hypnosis is a theatrical performance where people are chosen on how suggestible they are.  The aim is to produce something entertaining while people are on stage.

Therapeutic hypnosis can be thought of as a type of heightened awareness where helpful suggestions can take hold and thus help improve life.  While in a hypnotic trance people are in full control of themselves.  If you have ever watched a movie and become so immersed in it, then hypnosis is very similar to that experience.  The difference being that in general the immersion goes into the inner world of ourselves.

It is important to recognize that hypnosis or self-hypnosis is not a quick fix.  Milton Erickson often worked with clients for years both in and out of hypnosis.  His therapeutic work was often very nuanced and complicated.  Typically, a single session of hypnosis does not produce lasting results. It is more useful to think of it as a tool that often involves a series of hypnotic procedures.  These procedures help to reinforce helpful suggestions.

Self-hypnosis is an excellent tool to aid a person through many different facets of life.

Three Quick Tips on Self Hypnosis

  1. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed. If you need to keep track of time set an alarm.
  2. Set a regular day and time to practice self-hypnosis. By doing the self-hypnosis at a regular time and day, it helps to prime ourselves for the session.
  3. Spend a few minutes before you attempt to hypnotize yourself to set your intention for the hypnotic session.

Priming Ourselves

This is an effective way to get ourselves primed and ready for a self-hypnosis session.  It is generally more useful to

Think of a time and place where you felt most relaxed.  Notice what sounds, physical sensations and sights were available in that environment.   The quality of attention is important so take the time to recall in as much vivid detail as possible.

Think of a room in your place of residence where you feel most relaxed.  Notice how your body feels when you think of this room.

Think of an activity which relaxes you.  It can be meditation or exercise or perhaps something creative.  Take a bit of time to immerse yourself.

When you feel more relaxed move onto the self-hypnosis section which follows:

The Betty Erickson 3, 2, 1 Self Hypnosis Method

  1. Keep your eyes open and begin to pay attention to three things you see in your immediate environment. It can be colors, pictures on walls, things outside the windows etc.
  2. Then focus on 3 things which you can hear. For example, someone walking around the house, a car passing by, the sound of your own breathing.
  3. Next focus on three things which you can feel. For example, how you clothes feel on your skin.  What you are sitting or standing on.  How the room your in feels, hot or cold or something in between?
  4. The next part is to repeat the same cycle, except this time you pay attention to two things you see, hear and feel. It is ok for them to be the same things.
  5. The last cycle in this chain involves noticing one thing you see, hear and feel.
  6. The next part requires you to go inward in an eyes closed process. Notice three things you can see in your mind.  Then notice three things you can hear and then three things you can feel.
  7. Notice two things you can see in your mind, then two things you can hear and feel.
  8. Finally notice one thing you can see in your mind and then one thing you can hear and feel.

If your still not in a reasonable trance state, repeat steps 6-8 until you are.   The next phase would be to give yourself some beneficial suggestions.  For instance, you might suggest to yourself that you are more easily able to relax when talking to someone.  It is a good idea to search on Google for ideas to suggest to yourself while in a hypnotic trance.  As noted earlier a single session of hypnosis is unlikely to produce lasting change, but repeated sessions with similar themes do tend to work well.