Are we all hypnotizable?

Spectacular or medical, captive hypnosis. More and more caregivers are integrating it into their practice, with patients attempting the experiment. The point on a mysterious therapy.

"A hypnotizable individual is often a hysteric, either current or in power, and always a neuropath." Georges Gilles de La Tourette and Paul Richer did not go to death in 1887, in their Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Medical Sciences. Crowds flocked to the Salpêtrière hospital in Paris to enjoy the spectacle of great hysterics writhing under the influence of Professor Charcot. A century later, this practice, which plunges into a half-sleep through various forms of suggestion, continues to captivate. But the look on her has changed. Show and therapeutic approach are now split.

A natural state

Anyone can dive into the "imaginative forces that dig the depths of being" ( The Water and Dreams by Gaston Bachelard ed. Pocket, 2007), to use the expression of the scientist and poet Gaston Bachelard? Yes, says Nicole Prieur, who uses this method more and more in her clinical practice. According to the philosopher and therapist, "Hypnosis is an old story of humanity, it corresponds to an episode of dissociation of consciousness that we all go through at a certain time of the day: when you are stopped at a fire red and you think of your meeting the day before or after, you live a state of hypnosis. This is what Hegel, taking up the term invented in the eighteenth century by Franz Anton Mesmer, a German physician, calls the "animal magnetism". The philosopher defines it as a movement of "the soul engaged in the dreaming and the presentiment of its individual world" (Animal Magnetism, birth of the hypnosis of Hegel ed PUF, 2014).

All human beings, he develops, are endowed with two forms of mind: the "healthy conscience" on the one hand, the "deaf, subjective and presentimental awareness" on the other. Do you always remember how you traveled by public transport, what you did, thought, your forehead pressed against the misted window? We sometimes put our "healthy" consciousness on standby to give way to this "magical" awareness that can arise "in a particular way," he says. So we go through a hypnotic state several times a day, without realizing it, but we are not necessarily able to exploit it to get better, or to settle the issues that inhabit us or undermine us.Therapeutic use requires the use of a practitioner to whom we will have to agree to abolish his will and open the doors of his unconscious. "For hypnosis to work and be followed by results, it requires a tuning, says Jean-Marc Benhaïem, a hypnotherapist and a doctor: first of all, the practitioner must be able to detect the sensitivity of the patient because, if everyone is hypnotizable, everyone is hypnotized: some are more receptive to the visual canal , others with the voice or the touch Then everything is a matter of relationship Sometimes the patient's request is not understood Or the link is not established It is a little like when you go to do If you do not like it, the walk may be unpleasant. "

At the age of 30, Louise decided to stop smoking. She went to see a very famous hypnotherapist, whom she had heard a lot of good. She keeps an atrocious memory of the session: "This man hypnotized the chain, I found myself in a dark office with a dim light, he told me to lie in a relaxation chair, did not ask me no question, did not explain anything to me He ordered me to relax Inwardly, I said to myself: "You are very nice, sir, but it does not work like that with me!" asked what state I was in, what I understood from what he was doing, I found him very arrogant, then I had the impression that he was trying to hypnotize me, to enter me I experienced this as a lot of violence and I did not let myself go in. I did not succeed in following him in. At the end, I told him that I did not think it was right. walked around with me, he looked surprised and said, "Yes, it worked and I was going to stop smoking. To calm her anger and celebrate the end of the ordeal, Louise lit a cigarette right out.

A confident patient

Without confidence, no trance. Practitioners insist on this necessary and often sufficient condition. Because the transition to the hypnotic state provoked by the therapist automatically arouses anxiety in the patient. "When the change in dissociation is not unconsciously initiated by the patient, it is inevitably source of apprehension, says Nicole Prieur We offer him to open doors, to free himself from his preconceived ideas, his patterns of functioning, his symptoms, the walls he had erected, and in the face of this profusion of new perspectives, he finds himself delivered to him. even to his own life, and it can be very distressing.The therapist must be able to calm, reassure by playing the role of pillar, to overcome fear, because he knows that beyond the walk will become magical for the patient.But he must also accept the fact that he may not be able to assume his freedom, that he will stop at the door. Anyway, even if the trance is not very deep, we can use it in a therapeutic way. "

Daniel Goldschmidt, psychologist, hypnotherapist and sophrologist, is one of the rare French to practice the two great forms of hypnosis: deep hypnosis and Ericksonian hypnosis, which he describes as a "surface" process.In the first, the patient leaves the therapist his hand and gives him the keys to his unconscious; begins a dreamlike, metaphorical journey in his imagination with him.The two methods, different, require one and the other the lifting of the fears of the patient, according to Daniel Goldschmidt: "It is impossible to force someone out of hand. He must intuitively accept to set in motion a mechanism that all human beings have in them. And for that, the therapist must break an instinctive resistance that is always put in place. The best of techniques is to please the patient, to take an interest in him, his motivations, then to move on to an important sequence for us: acceptance. She's the one who triggers things. It consists of explaining to him what is happening, what gestures we are doing and what reactions are arousing in him: "You see, your hands start to tremble" or "You have an eyelid that blinks". the patient continues the movements he has engaged, embarking voluntarily in a spiral form.

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