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Hypnosis Glossary

Age regression - Technique used in hypnosis to guide a person back to an earlier point in life, often to recall forgotten memories or emotions.

Alpha state - Light state of meditation or relaxation characterized by relaxed brain waves. One of the levels of trance hypnosis aims to achieve.

 

Amnesia - Loss of memory. Hypnotic amnesia can be created through suggestion to forget events that happened under hypnosis.

 

Amnesia barrier - Suggestion given to prevent memories of hypnosis session after emerging from trance state.

 

Anchoring - Process of associating a particular sensation or touch with a desired emotional state. Anchors can then be used to quickly re-access that resourceful state.

 

Auditory suggestion - Hypnotic suggestion delivered through spoken words. One of the main channels used for hypnotic communication.

 

Auto-suggestion - Process of giving oneself suggestions for change or improvement. A method of self-hypnosis.

 

Catalepsy - Bodily immobility or fixed position created through hypnosis. Often seen in stage hypnosis.

 

Cataleptic bridge - Induction method using catalepsy, such as arm levitation, to deepen hypnotic trance.

 

Challenge test - Suggestion or test given to demonstrate the level of trance response, such as inability to open eyes or move limbs.

 

Chunking - Method of grouping concepts or steps together into one unit or thought in hypnosis. Used to simplify instructions.

 

Circular questions - Type of ambiguous or metaphorical question used to encourage inner search for solutions. Tool of indirect hypnosis.

 

Cold induction - Rapid hypnotic induction done without relaxation or progressive steps.

 

Conditioning - Process of learning new associations and responses. Hypnosis can use conditioning techniques to create new habits or beliefs.

 

Confusion technique - Indirect hypnosis method using confusion to bypass conscious resistance and absorb therapeutic instructions.

 

Deep trance identification - Hypnotic phenomenon where person takes on identity or abilities of a suggested person or archetype.

 

Dissociation - Mental separation from physical senses or environment. Hypnotic trance involves dissociation from external stimuli.

 

Double bind - Verbal pattern setting up two options, both leading to same outcome. Used in indirect hypnosis.

 

Ego state - Concept in NLP of consistent state of mind and personal outlook based on past history. Useful for regression in hypnosis.

 

Ego strengthening - Suggestions to boost self-confidence, self-esteem and mental fortitude. Common goal of hypnosis.

 

Erickson Milton Model - Language patterns and therapeutic techniques originated by Milton Erickson. Hallmarks of indirect hypnosis.

 

Eye fixation - Common induction method using visual focus on object to develop trance state by fixation of attention.

 

Eye flutter - Rapid blinking or fluttering of eyelids, often in response to hypnotic suggestions signaling trance state.

 

Fractionation - Induction approach using repeated, brief hypnotic episodes to deepen trance response over time.

 

Fractionation technique - Method of interspersing trance with conversation or activity to build hypnotic response.

 

Fusion - Hypnotic phenomenon of senses blending together, such as hearing colors or seeing sounds. Sign of trance depth.

 

Future pacing - Visualization process to mentally rehearse goals and outcomes as already achieved. Reinforces change.

 

Gustatory suggestion - Hypnotic suggestion using the sense of taste. May improve food enjoyment or assist with imaginal feast.

 

Guided imagery - Hypnosis technique using calm visual and sensory guidance to imagine desired outcomes. Aids relaxation and change.

 

Habit change - Common goal of hypnosis, using suggestion and visualization to replace undesired behaviors with preferred ones.

 

Hand levitation - Common hypnotic induction using imagined or suggested sensations of hand rising. Sign of ideomotor response.

 

Hand signal - Method of nonverbal communication with hypnotist through finger signals in trance state.

 

Hypnagogic state - Natural state of melancholy between wakefulness and sleep. Similar mental patterns to hypnosis.

 

Hypnotic induction - Process of inducing trance state through focus, relaxation or other hypnotic techniques.

 

Ideodynamic signal - Involuntary muscle movements in response to hypnotic ideas. Hand levitation as sign of trance.

 

Ideomotor response - Subconscious physical reactions to hypnotic ideas, seen as automatic movements.

 

Ideoplasty - Hypnosis technique using visualization and imagined sensations to improve body functions.

 

Ideovisual suggestion - Hypnotic instructions using mental imagery. Combination of visualization and suggestion.

 

Imagery - See guided imagery.

 

Imagery rehersal - Process of mentally picturing successful performance to program improved responses.

 

Indirect suggestion - Metaphor, story or riddle used to bypass resistance and convey therapeutic message.

 

Inhibition - Diminished emotional response, voluntary action or thought process during hypnosis. Sign of trance state.

 

Kinesthetic anchoring - Anchor created by touch or physical pressure to access resources.

 

Kinesthetic suggestion - Suggestions using sense of touch, pressure or body awareness as hypnotic channel.

 

Meta-program - Neuro-Linguistic Programming term for habitual thinking pattern that shapes behavior and personality.

 

Metaphor - Symbolic story, analogy or imagery used to convey indirect hypnotic meaning.

 

Mindfulness - Focusing awareness on present moment experience. Hypnotic practice to manage thoughts.

 

Motivation - Increased drive and determination. Common goal of hypnosis reinforced through suggestion.

 

Negative suggestion - Suggestion for removal of unwanted thought patterns, habits or behaviors.

 

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) - Influential model of psychology and communication emphasizing mind-body connection. Overlaps with hypnotherapy.

 

Non-verbal communication - Cues like body language, voice tone, pacing and rhythm conveying hypnotic messages alongside words.

 

Olfactory suggestion - Use of imagined or real smells to enhance hypnotic experience. Linked to memories.

 

Open loop - Incomplete thought or story leaving mind searching for resolution. Tool of indirect hypnosis to absorb suggestions.

 

Pacing - Matching and mirroring speech and behavior to build rapport. Hypnotic technique to lead subjects.

 

Pain management - Use of hypnosis to reduce or manage chronic or acute pain through distraction, imagery or dissociation.

 

Past life regression - Hypnosis technique guiding subjects to imagine themselves in a previous life to uncover buried lessons or traumas.

 

Performance enhancement - Use of hypnosis to improve performance through boosted confidence, motivation and mental rehearsal.

 

Phobia - Irrational fear response. Hypnosis can reframe phobic response and dissociate stimulus from fear reaction.

 

Post-hypnotic suggestion - Suggestion given during trance state to be carried out after emerging from hypnosis.

 

Power pose - Adopting assertive, confident physical posture and mental attitude to build motivation.

 

Psycho-somatic - Mind-body effect. Psychosomatic illness influenced by mental factors. Hypnosis can help change stress responses.

 

Rapport - Feelings of trust and harmony facilitating communication. Essential between hypnotist and subject for success.

 

Rapport loop - Sequence of pacing behaviors in a loop to build hypnotic rapport.

 

Reframing - Changing perspective or meaning attached to circumstance. Hypnotic technique to resolve issues.

 

Regression - Hypnosis technique to return to and relive an earlier life event to uncover repressed memories or insights.

 

Relaxation - Feeling of physical and mental calm. Hypnosis typically begins by relaxation methods.

 

Relaxation bridge - Deepener linking relaxation to hypnotic response through progressive steps.

 

Resistance - Conscious or unconscious blocking of hypnotic process due to disbelief, fear or control issues.

 

Resistance indicator - Signs such as laughter, talking, fidgeting showing hypnotic resistance.

 

Safety signal - Gesture, touch or phrase ensuring hypnosis subject can return from trance at any time.

 

Script - Written text with sequence of hypnotic language patterns and instructions for inductions, deepeners and therapy.

 

Self-esteem - Confidence in one's worth and abilities. Hypnosis can build self-esteem through positive suggestion.

 

Self-hypnosis - Process of guiding oneself into trance state through auto-suggestion and hypnotic techniques.

 

Sleep improvement - Use of hypnosis to overcome insomnia through imagery, relaxation and lifestyle changes.

 

Smoking cessation - Hypnosis to reduce nicotine cravings and promote healthy choices through new associations and identity.

 

Somnambulism - Deep hypnotic state where subject appears asleep but can interact with hypnotist.

 

Stacking anchors - Process of linking several touch or sensory anchors together to create a new gestalt anchor.

 

Subliminal suggestion - Hypnotic instructions delivered below threshold of conscious awareness. Controversial technique.

 

Suggestibility test - Preliminary test to measure responsiveness to hypnotic suggestions. Assesses proneness to hypnosis.

 

Suggestion - Verbal or nonverbal instruction for desired thoughts, images, feelings or behaviors to influence subconscious mind.

 

Submodalities - NLP term for sensory qualities of mental representations: visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc.

 

Superconscious mind - In hypnotherapy, part of mind housing intuition, inspiration and spiritual awareness.

 

Swing - Smooth rhythmic motion or rocking used to induce hypnotic trance in subjects.

 

Time distortion - Altered perception of time under hypnosis. Used for amnesia or age regression.

 

Trance logic - Acceptance of logic unique to hypnotic state. Basis for response to unlikely suggestions.

 

Trance logic violation - Test deliberately violating trance logic to assess depth of hypnotic response.

 

Trigger - Stimulus that automatically elicits response due to past conditioning. Used in hypnotherapy.

 

Unconscious mind - Level of mind containing memories, learned behaviors and autonomic functions. Active in hypnosis.

 

Uptime - In NLP, fully alert and functional state accessing thinking skills and capabilities. Contrasts with trance.

 

Utilization - Making use of client's behaviors and feedback to positively direct hypnotic experience.

 

Visualization - Mental imagery used in hypnosis to rehearse goals and program positive outcomes.

 

Visualization script - Written sequence of sensory instructions guiding subject through process of creative visualization.

 

Waking hypnosis - Induction performed superficially without obvious trance state for covert change. Also known as alert trance.

 

Waking suggestion - Post-hypnotic suggestion given as client is emerging from trance state for activation later.

 

Weight loss - Hypnosis techniques to reshape attitude toward food, increase motivation and commitment for weight reduction.

 

Yes set - Sequence of simple requests prompting positive responses to build compliance. Induction tool.

 

Zone of proximal development - Level just beyond current skill requiring support to achieve. Analog of hypnotic trance.

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