Interview review

What hypnosis can do for you?

This week I watched Marisa Peer’s interview. I had never heard of her before and I felt out of my chair when she said the following:

“Hypnosis is actually the grandfather of even psychotherapy. People think hypnosis is the poor relative and it’s kind of “come along”. And it is actually in front of everything.”

Excerpt from the interview (video below)

Paused the video. Wait a second. I thought. Googled “history of hypnotherapy” and “history of psychotherapy”.

“Early treatment of mental illness was based on either a religio-magical or a naturalistic view of disease. The former, originating before recorded history, saw certain forms of personal suffering or of alienation from one’s fellows as caused by an evil spirit that had gained entrance into the sufferer. Treatment was based on participation in suitable rites under the guidance of a priest-physician, medicine man, or shaman (see shamanism). By contrast, the naturalistic tradition viewed mental illness as a phenomenon that could be scientifically studied and treated. Treatment consisted of measures to promote bodily well-being and mental tranquillity. Psychotherapy of nonhospitalized patients in the naturalistic tradition was not distinguishable from ordinary medical practice until the latter half of the 19th century. In the late 18th century, however, a dramatic demonstration by Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer showed that many symptoms could be made to disappear by putting a patient into a trance. Mesmerism was the precursor of hypnotism, a widely used psychotherapeutic method (see hypnosis) that arose from the research of Jean-Martin Charcot. (See also Pierre Janet.) Using hypnotism, Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud together made the epochal observations on the relationship to later mental illness of emotionally charged, damaging experiences in childhood. From these discoveries grew the theory and practice of the first modern “talking cure,” psychoanalysis, which, with its many modifications, influenced the subsequent development of psychotherapy.”

OMG. All these years of prejudice against hypnosis and there you go… Hmmm… Ok. I’m really listening now.

Marisa continued:

“A lot of hypnotherapists don’t understand what hypnotherapy really means and what it means is: you can shut down the critical part of your mind […] and while it shut down you can excite the imagination.”

Excerpt from the interview (video above)

Two interesting things here: “shut down the critical part of your mind” and “excite the imagination”.

1) Shut down the critical part of your mind

This I know from my meditation work. Stress super stimulates our critical brain, that, once it takes over, there is no space for the new. It is an instrument of survival. You don’t want to consider possibilities in a life-or-death situation. You will narrow your focus if a predator comes your way. It’s a clever thing of our nature.

Other animals, like a gazelle that ran away from a lion, ss soon as they are safe and there is no longer a threat, they’ll return to their normal state.

Not humans. Humans can stress themselves just by thought alone. You think about the stressful situation, and your body won’t know the difference.

“The analytical mind (or the critical mind) is that part of the mind you consciously use and are aware of. It’s a function of the thinking neocortex—the part of the brain that’s the seat of your conscious awareness; that thinks, observes, and remembers things; and that resolves problems. […]
There’s nothing wrong with the analytical mind, of course. It has served us well for our entire waking, conscious lives. It’s what makes us human. Its job is to create meaning and coherence between our outer worlds (the combined experiences of people and things at different times and places) and our inner worlds (our thoughts and feelings).
[…] when our egos are out of balance due to a barrage of stress hormones, our analytical minds go into high gear and become overstimulated.
As your analytical mind is heightened, your suggestibility to new outcomes decreases. Why? Because an impending emergency isn’t the time to be open-minded: entertaining new possibilities and accepting new potentials.”

Excerpt From: Dispenza, Dr. Joe. “You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter.”

To change is to consider new things. If there is no space for novelty, there is no space for change. That’s why you have to turn the analytical mind off.

How about distracting the critical mind?
Illustration co-created with @andresidarta

2) Excite the imagination

I loved her comment on that. She was saying that our mind will memorize and connect to exciting things. So you must use the correct mindset and wording to “install” a new belief.

“If you understand the mind, it does what you tell it. That is its job. And if you tell it better stuff you will have an amazing life. If you tell it mediocre stuff , you will have a mediocre life […] whatever you focus on, you’ll get more.”

Excerpt from the interview (video above)

For instance:

Today you are going to find it easier not to eat cake.


You love saying no to cake, it thrills you to pick an apple! It elates you to see the scales going down and see that six-pack emerging.

Well, that makes a lot of sense. The more vivid, joyful, and exciting the picture you paint for yourself, the more powerful the response will be. Otherwise, it is just like you are still on the avoid-the-problem area and the more you pay attention to the things you don’t want… well, you know the drill.

Final considerations

So… tell me: would you try it? I confess I’m a bit skeptical about surrendering and letting someone else in charge of my mind… but hey, you can make yourself more susceptible to suggestions yourself.

In my meditation practice, I’ve learned about the kaleidoscope technique. Here is a free resource for you to use:

You can record your own voice with new beliefs or make a movie (or a board) with inspiring images for you to appreciate after a little time watching the kaleidoscope. What do you think? Let’s do it?

Update on Dec 23rd: I’ve taken an RTT session with Elynn and loved it. Still waiting for the end of 28 days of listening to the audio to talk about result, but listening to my custom audio do make me feel really good.

Author : Fernanda Sarmento

Fernanda Sarmento is the owner of @mindingwithin, a self-development addicted, writer and digital marketer. With a bachelor in Social Communication and Media Studies and a master in Production Engineering she regards herself as both a meditation and ice cream junkie.

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