Trance is a state of mind that occurs naturally throughout our lives in our day to day living. Trance is a powerful focus on a particular event to the exclusion of everything else. The event might, for example, be imagining a future or past occurrence, or performing a skill to a high level of proficiency: day dreaming is another form of trance.
Trance may also be induced by a hypnotherapist who deliberately focuses the attention of a client on to one particular item to the extent that the surrounding environment is ‘forgotten’.A skilled and experienced hypnotherapist is able to put anyone into a trance state (including anyone who resists going into trance, by means of focussing on their resistance).
People vary in the degree and depth of trance which they experience. A small number go into a very deep trance and recall nothing in their conscious mind when they come out of trance. At the other end of the spectrum there are people who experience only a light trance and who hear consciously and remember everything the hypnotist said: the majority lie somewhere in between. The important aspect of trance, whether it be deep or light is that the hypnotist has been able to communicate with the client's unconscious, and this is the case whether the trance is deep or light.
The trance state has two features which the therapist uses to help clients.
The first is suggestibility. There is little doubt that clients are significantly more suggestible while in trance than in the normal waking state. The majority of clients will accept suggestions without question and consider them in future as a normal part of their life experience - subject to the suggestion being reasonable and wanted by the client.
This increased suggestibility is sometimes used with an anchor where the feeling/emotion the client experiences when, for example contemplating smoking, is replaced by an anchor to an alternative more powerful emotion which the client has formerly experienced. This alternative emotion takes over, replacing the thought of smoking, and as a result, the client quits smoking.
The second feature is the identification of causes of problems and negative symptoms. Where these are not known trance often facilitates the identification of the cause. When the cause is known, hypnotherapy can alter or sever the link between the cause and the undesired symptom. It is important not only to identify the cause but also to sever the link to eliminate the symptom long term. Where the cause is known, but the link not altered, the symptom or problem often continues. Where the cause is not known, trance facilitates both the identification of causes and alteration of the link, so eliminating the symptom.
If you are interested in counselling and hypnotherapy and would like to learn more, this Uncommon Knowledge Training blog may be useful.