The end of a hypnosis session is the beginning of a new way of thinking and acting. One important step in the whole hypnosis process is that ending, known to hypnotherapists as “trance termination.” How it is brought about and what you do next can make all the difference in the effectiveness of your hypnotherapy.
During hypnosis you are put into a trance-like state. This allows you to put away the conscious, often over analytical mind for a short time and allow a spoken message or script to take center stage in your thought processes. It is here that hypnosis is turned into hypnotherapy; where suggestions are made that can bring about changes in your life. In order to move from the dreamy state of the trance to real life the trance is specifically terminated. It goes beyond just being commanded to wake up. In fact, you are often instructed that now you can go to sleep. You are so completely relaxed with hypnosis that self-hypnosis used at night before bed usually ends with sleep. In an office or clinical setting, you are instructed to become more fully alert.
There are 5 basic steps that lead up to trance termination:
1. A review of what was learned during the session. This also includes instructions on what to do with this new information. The summary helps reinforce the desired changes.
2. The second step further reinforces changes but by giving instructions to also forget to over-analyze the new information. It is sometimes part of the amnesia step of the total hypnosis process.
3. Awakening. This step is meant to gradually re-orientate the individual into a state of awareness.
4. Distraction is used next. It is done by mentioning something that either has nothing to do with the hypnosis session or bringing up a topic that may have been discussed before starting the trance. It is similar to amnesia in that it keeps the person from dwelling too much with the conscious mind on the information from the session.
5. Finally, the hypnotherapist can ask questions to the person hypnotized to see what they experienced. It further fills the gap between consciousness and the subconscious experience of hypnosis. Sometimes a person undergoing hypnosis is not ready or willing to discuss the session at this point, and that is okay. The hypnotherapist does not push the issue. It is just another way to bring them to full consciousness.
Whether your trance is terminated with verbal instructions to wake up or go to sleep doesn’t matter. The important part is that you are mentally moving from the hypnotherapy to a natural state, either full consciousness or sleep. So what is next?
1. Understand that this process is designed to help you not focus on the messages so you won’t over-analyze. Accept this and know that the therapy is still working.
2. Don’t work too hard at remembering because it will be stressful and counterproductive.
3. Finally, look at the big picture. Is your willpower stronger? Are you starting to achieve the goals you set for yourself with hypnotherapy? These are the real results that you can see and measure over a relatively short period of time.
Trance termination is the final step to the hypnosis process. It is as important to the effectiveness of hypnotherapy as the script itself. It is used in self-hypnosis and personal hypnotherapy alike, and it works to bring about desired changes.