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Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

      • Coach, Psycho-practitioner, Systemician

      In this article, Erzana Szwertak reveals the transformative power of hypnosis in therapy. From ancient Egypt to Milton Erickson, this paper explores the evolution of hypnosis, its role in mental well-being and its ability to reshape life stories, providing renewed autonomy to the patient.

      Hypnosis trance

      Where does hypnosis come from? 

      Hypnosis, an ancestral practice, has evolved over time to find its place, particularly in the field of health. Since the earliest days of humanity, man has sought altered states of consciousness through various means such as dance, music, singing, and rituals (Virot, Bernard, 2010). This exploration of states of consciousness, also called "trance", has been cultivated by all cultures throughout the ages. Today, hypnosis is used in clinical practices, including surgical procedures under hypnosis. This centuries-old practice fascinates and arouses both curiosity and fear.

      The American Psychological Association (APA) defines the hypnotic state as an “absorption of attention, which decreases awareness and increases suggestibility” (Green, Barabasz, Barret, Montgomery, 2003). However, hypnosis goes beyond this definition, delving into deeper psychic dimensions.

      Hypnosis as relational self-hypnosis

      Hypnotic trance, first described on an Egyptian stele dating from the time of Ramses II, reveals that hypnosis was used to motivate troops before war. According to Betbèze and Ostermann (2021), hypnosis encompasses a modified state of consciousness, a therapeutic technique, and a particular connection with the environment. In the therapeutic context, hypnosis offers the possibility of imagining an alternative existence, of transforming a painful reality using techniques of dissociation, confusion, and double bind. The relationship plays a crucial role, providing the person with security in connection with themselves, with others, and with the world. Hypnosis thus becomes a dynamic relational process promoting action, movement, and escape from the immobility imposed by symptoms.

      Self Hypnosis

      Dissociation - An Attempt at a Solution

      According to Pierre Janet (1889), any unsuccessful action leads to dissociative consequences. Re-association requires the finalization of an action in an emotional sharing. In the absence of a relationship, repetitive attempts at solutions emerge, fueled by chaotic emotions, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, sadness, and fear.

      Milton Erickson identifies dissociation as a resource, a relational experience where the subject feels safe, active, and anchored in their body. Hypnosis sessions become a means of reconnecting with skills, resources, and learning, promoting relational autonomy.

      To be or not to be: The Construction of the Bond of Attachment

      René Descartes proclaimed in 1637 “I think therefore I am,” but according to Daniel Stern (1985), being in relationship is essential to existence. Betbèze (2020) emphasizes that learning about existence involves being with others in order to be with oneself, thus building the bond of attachment that protects against the anxieties of emptiness.

      Disassociation and Reassociation

      Contemporary hypnosis is seen as a relational and co-creative self-hypnosis, engaging the therapist and the subject in a relationship of trust. This approach blocks dysfunctional solution attempts and guides towards creativity. A secure relational experience allows re-association, transforming a contradictory relationship into a functional relationship, synonymous with relational autonomy.

      Self-hypnosis

      To strengthen the client's autonomy, teaching self-hypnosis is essential. Self-hypnosis, experienced first with a therapist, allows the client to sense their own abilities to change and induce trance. Techniques such as focusing, abdominal breathing, or levitation are taught, giving the client the ability to create anchors to manage their sensations and come out of trance.

      Narrative hypnosis

      Narrative Therapy

      Narrative therapy, influenced by 20th century philosophers, guides the patient toward externalizing their problems to construct an alternative story. The patient becomes the protagonist of his life, activating his own resources.

      Conclusion

      In conclusion, hypnosis, as an exploration of the depths of consciousness, offers fascinating insights into relating, dissociation, and reassociation. Its evolution towards self-hypnosis strengthens the client's autonomy, allowing the construction of new life stories. The combination of hypnosis and narrative therapy opens doors to innovative therapeutic approaches, inviting everyone to be the author of their own reality.

      Where to train in the systemic and strategic approach & hypnosis training

      Reference

      • Gibson, P (2022). Escape the anxiety trap. Strategic Science Books.

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      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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