Article: The Use of Altered States in Depth Hypnosis to Break Down Blocks and Resistance
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Summary: Accessing our unconscious motivations through altered states can help us move past resistance to healing change.
One of the most difficult issues people encounter when trying to understand themselves at a deeper level is the issue of resistance. Uncovering unconscious blocks to understanding is often surprising and puzzling. On the one hand, we know what is happening in our lives internally or externally is generating pain and would like very much to be relieved of it. On the other hand, we often run into resistance to change even though we suspect that change will relieve of us our suffering.
If we are using a paradigm which draws upon solutions to blocks and resistance from within the conscious mind, we can find our ourselves running circles around ourselves with our rational arguments in order to block change. Or we may find we have to use our will to “power through” a particular pattern. This is can be helpful in the short term, but powering through a pattern sets up a conflict within a person’s psyche which will ultimately erupt in a pattern which includes a binge/contraction cycle or which will ultimately result in collapse and depression. Many practitioners of traditional talk therapy are content to describe and “diagnose” the results of such solutions (i.e., bulimia, bipolar disorder)*, but do not have the tools to help a person break out of the pattern.
By creating an environment where a person can have the opportunity to break out of the traps, blocks, and defenses created by the rational mind, Depth Hypnosis provides a path out of the hopelessness which results from the rational mind’s attempts to keep a person “safe” from change.
Establishing a way for a person to enter safely into an altered state is the first step. Meditation, dream work, the shamanic journey, and trance work are all methods for bridging the gap between the conscious mind and the more unknown territory of the unconscious mind. Depth Hypnosis draws upon all four methods and applies them in response to where a person is on their path.
Breath-centered meditation helps a person take their focus off the chatter of the rational mind, and clears a path for the person to traverse into the broader self, which includes what we call the unconscious. By tapping into the way the body stores memory through the trance work of Depth Hypnosis, information that underlies the hamster wheels of the rational mind’s circular thinking can be drawn forth. Memory that has been purposefully forgotten or hidden by the conscious mind emerges in its own way through trance work. Dreams provide a tremendous reservoir of information which is actually very accessible once a person is taught how to listen to the language of dreams. The shamanic journey provides a direct path to the layers of guidance which are held within the deeper self. People who commit to understanding themselves through the vehicle of the shamanic journey can enter into a path of profound inner initiation which takes a person far beyond the trap of presenting imbalance. Trance work, which includes age, prenatal, and past life regressions, provides information that helps break down the blocks to change almost effortlessly by approaching them from a different point of view than that held by the rational mind.
By working with the altered state, Depth Hypnosis provides a pathway to the understanding and resolution of issues which the rational mind seeks to seal off in an effort to maintain equilibrium. These efforts by the rational mind, however well-intentioned, are always doomed, because the larger psyche cannot tolerate separation. Whatever we are trying to separate from within ourselves will run our unconscious motivation in its attempt to recreate the emotions or situation where our conscious mind tried to banish it. We often wind up in repeating patterns of pain and come to the conclusion that God, the universe, or the world is against us. When we can see that our motivation is knowable from the unconscious level, we can begin to listen to the repeating patterns. By using the methods provided by Depth Hypnosis, we can get beyond the defenses our rational mind sets up and retrieve that part of ourselves we were trying to hide. This allows us to begin to create our lives from a more integrated source so that we can continue on our path to wholeness.
*When viewed on an energetic level, these “diagnoses” have the same pattern: the person is constantly swinging between too much expansion and too much contraction.