in Theory of Mind

What is the difference between being hypnotized by another person as opposed to practising self hypnosis?

(This was originally posted on a chat forum).

Some of the advantages that come to mind of having another person hypnotize you are:

  • ability to use a variety of inductions, if you aren’t a regular hypnotee or deal with anxiety or are tired and worried about falling asleep or any one of a number of things the ability to use something other than the same boring progressive relaxation induction is nice
  • Greater disassociation – it’s hard to fully separate the conscious part guiding the session from the idea of ‘you’ when performing self hypnosis. It becomes easier with time but you can’t just disassociate or out the mind in a loop while suggestions are being given
  • If another person is hypnotizing you it is far more likely that you will get feedback based on what’s happening (notice how as your hand slowly slides of the arm of the chair you relax even more etc.
  • it gives another perspective – even though we often have people work inside their own head with questions, talking to the wise self etc. when doing things like parts therapy it can be beneficial to have someone else asking questions and guiding the conversation. We are inherently biased and when dealing with our own brain may have preconceived notions that stop us from following a path that a part may indicate
  • Ability to test depth of trance – if you were to put yourself in a somnubalistic state you may be able to identify it by feel if you’ve been there before but even then you may be unsure. A hypnotist can easily make you forget a number or stab you with a sharp object to test 🙂
  • ability to play with amnesia – I imagine with self hypnosis if you tell yourself to forget something you’d then forget to tell yourself the thing you don’t remember
  • Ability to use touch more effectively both during induction and for anchoring
  • if you are taking on a persona to explore areas of identity or fun to fully immerse oneself you can’t be guiding your own session so again have a hypnotist makes a difference

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