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Hypnotherapy Basics

Updated on April 11, 2014

Associations and the Critical Mind

Associations and the Unconscious

Have you ever wondered why young children learn new languages so quickly and just about everything else? It’s their critical minds being open to new association formation that’s responsible. A child’s critical mind is not fully formed until about the age of eight and they remain highly suggestible to association formation until it does. Our critical minds do not fully mature until well into our 20's. As we get older our critical minds become denser filters and fix our personalities into place. The type of hypnosis used in hypnotherapy gently opens up the pores in those critical mind filters to allow changes to be made to those early associations. The human mind is truly a marvelous thing and contains safeguards against changes being made to associations that are contrary to the conscious desires or deeply held values of the client. These safeguards are so strong that not even the most skilled hypnotist can overcome them. Fortunately however, when there is a good partnership between the client and therapist and those critical mind portals are open during hypnosis then amazing things can happen to make a person’s life better. Chronic pain can be reduced, fears and phobias lessened, sport performance enhanced and anxiety and depression improved considerably.

Associations happen with our minds all of the time. There are times when the critical mind of even a fully mature adult is very open to forming new associations without being completely aware of it. When we stare at things such as a TV set, movie screen or the dancing flames of a fire we open up the critical mind a little because these states mimic a very light state of hypnosis. Certain sounds such as drumming can also do this. When you read the word "Lexus" or "Mercedes Benz" what comes to mind? The science of marketing and branding is all about prying open a few of our critical mind portals and slipping in a new association that the advertiser would like us to have. Of course if you encounter a favorable or unfavorable situation like a new food you are conscious of this new association immediately. Unconscious associations that slip in under our radar can be troublesome and can create attitudes and preferences without an actual experience that you can remember. These unconscious associations slip into our mind in the little gap between conscious desire and deeply held beliefs. For instance, if you have had a very bad experience with a particular product no amount of advertising, however skilful, will persuade you to buy it. Being aware of this characteristic of the human mind is the first step in protecting one’s self from other’s attempts to form the new associations that they, rather than you, desire. Hypnotherapy’s focus is on regaining complete conscious control of your unconscious associations.


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