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Question
Posted by: Maria | 2008/08/08

Self Hypnosis

Hi CS

A colleague of mine has gone through a very bad patch with depression lately, tried to commit suicide at least twice. Then he found a psychiatrist who is helping him, using among other things self hypnosis. Now I know you' re very anti hypnosis, but is self hypnosis the same thing? And how is it different from meditation? He showed me a sheet of instructions how to do it and I don' t know if I would ever get it right, I' m just too aware of my surroundings all the time.

ps. Regards and a rub to Smoky. Our one cat has us so well trained now that hubby and I will get out of the same side of the bed, so that we don' t disturb him. :)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

No it isn't and I dont have the same objections, and for good reasons. "Self-hypnosis" is a form of self-relaxation and self-control, with far less risks that hypnosis done by others. It is similar in some ways to meditation or even more closely to what used to be called "autogenous relaxation" , and to breathing and other methods used.
You've noticed a potential limitation in that if someone thinks its silly or is too self-aware or easily distrated, it can be more difficult to get started, but still possible. When stray thoughts start to distract, swat them away like flies, and continue to focus on relaxing your muscles, body and min. You surely can get it right. Sometimes it's easier to start with some sessions of doing it under the guidance of the psychiatrist, till you get the hang of it and can do it yourself.
I love your example of cat training --- it is such a real phenomenon, though I think it's also the mark of extremely nice people !

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Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2008/08/09

Maria, I also think that repeating positive affirmations to oneself is a form of self hypnosis, but depending on the meditation, do not think it is, if you are repeating a mantra of sorts all the time, perhaps it could be, in that you are focussing on something in order to keep other thoughts out....but meditation where you quieten the mind, whether its focussed on guided thoughts by yourself or listening to a cd can be extremely relaxing. When a person has hundreds of thoughts racing around all the time, it is it difficult to relax, hence the guided meditation is best as you listen to music perhaps music and placing yourself wherever you are guided to go, to that place you can visualise where you feel most at peace and rest.

I enjoy the guided meditation, used to have one after every yoga class. I miss them.

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