What comes to mind when you hear the word hypnosis? Do you think of Kaa, the snake in the Jungle Book who tries to mesmerize Mowgli with her twirling eyes? Or do you think of a stage show where the hypnotist makes people cluck like chicken? Are you scared of hypnosis or do you think it is only bogus play acting? I encourage you to forget all the preconceived cliché ideas. Stage hypnosis is but a small section of hypnosis and nobody can be manipulated beyond his own willingness to participate in the act. If they cluck like chicken it is because they don’t mind clucking like chicken.
Hypnotherapy is the most interesting, gentle, powerful and healing form of therapy I have ever come across. And this course in hypnotherapy was the biggest cherry on top of all the wonderful things I have learned and experienced on my pilgrimage.
Let me just tell you about one technique that can be a stepping stone to a completely new perspective on life. It is called Re-framing. Two examples: It can be a heavy burden on a child’s shoulders if his/her mother almost died while giving birth to him/her. But if this child is told that the mother fought death and won against the odds to give the gift of life, that she was stronger than death itself, then the child can feel proud and can face the world with his/her head held high.
The other example is an anecdote from the life of Milton Erickson, the founder of modern hypnotherapy. He was called to the psychiatric ward by colleagues who where at their wits end with a man who claimed to be Jesus Christ. They tried to get him to think about something else at least once a day but to no avail. Erickson came into the room and introduced himself to the man and said: “Oh wow, I am so pleased to meet you, Jesus. You are a carpenter too, right? Don’t you want to help us? We are desperately in need of strong hands in our workshops.” Without trying to convince the man that he was not Jesus, he re-framed his reality with a simple statement.
You can practice this technique yourself. You don’t even have to go into a deep trance for it to be effective. The next time something pulls your mood down – which in itself is a ‘natural’ problem-trance state – , just try to twist your angle of view, find one positive aspect, re-frame the picture in your mind and you will have a much better perspective on the situation and it becomes a solution state.
Your conscious thinking mind occupies only about ten percent of your brain activity. Your subconscious is the real intelligent part and has wisdom and true insight into what you and your body need. Hypnotherapy is the wonderful art of getting the thinking mind to stop its babbling and noise and to give space for the subconscious to communicate with the mind.
We don’t realise how often we actually are in a natural trance state each day, be it while daydreaming, or the other extreme, while driving. How often have you not wondered how you reached your destination? You know you must have turned left at the corner but have no collection whatsoever of actually doing it. That is just a simple example of how powerful the subconscious is. If it was only up to the conscious mind, you would have crashed the car.
So there is definitely no reason to be afraid of trance states. In fact, without them we would not survive. Hypnotherapy is just a way of getting more in contact with this wonderful inner intelligence that is within ourselves.
We were a small group, which made the course even more intense and personal. It became a safe space where we not only learned the techniques but by practising on each other and having the time for detailed demonstrations by the teacher, we all gained tremendously on a personal level, and the week became a compact turbo charged therapy for all of us as well. With the help of the group and especially Kathrin (lady on the right in the picture), our brilliant teacher, I managed to free myself from a childhood trauma that has haunted me for more than 40 years. (I trust that you will understand that I will not go into detail about the trauma here. This is not the correct platform for that.) This newfound freedom filled me with tremendous energy and put everything I experienced into place to make perfect sense.
I am so intensely grateful for the time I spent in Munich, as even after hours I was blessed to experience a new adventure of being mesmerized by and getting to know another beautiful human being. (She must have learned from Kaa) Oooh no! No details here either. In German we have a saying, “Ein Gentleman genießt und schweigt.” (“A gentleman enjoys in silence and does not boast.”) Suffice to say that I actually postponed my return flight to spend a bit more time with her 😉
At the end of my stay in Munich, I came to realise that the time for farewells had started. It was farewell to the lovely city which I adore, it was farewell to the new friends I have made during the course, who have definitely changed my life, and it was farewell to a very special person until I see her again. My trip is nearing its end and therefore it was also farewell to the seminars, this was my last one. It will soon be farewell to my walking route and to Germany and my adventure.
With this melancholy mood I got on to a train that took me from Munich to Cologne. On my arrival there it was only a short walk to the well-known Cologne Cathedral. In this sacred space I sat for over an hour, letting the experiences of the last ten days sink in to my soul and offering them to God above.