A useful framework would be to relate Consciousness to these 3 states of mind - conscious, subconscious and superconscious - states of mind being something we can experience.
The human consciousness consists of the conscious and subconscious mind. The superconscious mind transcends human consciousness (of the conscious and subconscious mind).
Our conscious mind is in control in our waking state. We access our subconscious mind when we dream in our sleep, but we may or may not remember the contents of our dreams, and we are unable to direct the flow of our dreams. We can also access our subconscious, and possibly our superconscious mind, when we are in the meditative or hypnotic state. (Please see Literature Review for further explanation on Consciousness & Spirituality.)
What is the hypnotic state?
The hypnotic state is a natural altered state of consciousness, induced primarily by mental and physical relaxation, in which the conscious mind recedes and the subconscious mind advances.
The conscious mind recedes into the background but remains a witness to all that occurs, enabling one to interact with the therapist and communicate at will. The subconscious mind, and possibly the superconscious mind, advances so that we may access it.
Why do we wish to access the subconscious and superconscious mind?
We wish to do so because emotional and mental residues from past events are embedded in the subconscious mind creating emotional sufferings and limiting beliefs in the present.
The conscious mind is aware of the sufferings and beliefs, but is often unaware of the residues causing them.
Using interactive hypnotherapy techniques, it is possible to actively and meaningfully access the subconscious mind to retrieve long term memory, unearth causative past events, reveal hidden emotional and mental residues, and utilize one’s own subconscious wisdom to resolve present pain and issues.
At a deeper level, one may be able to advance onto the superconscious mind that is aware of spiritual existence beyond the present life body to resolve more complex past issues so as to be more present in the now.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is the process in which a trained professional utilizes hypnotic techniques to achieve therapeutic outcomes and beneficial changes.
The therapist-client relationship is a partnership in which the therapist facilitates and guides the process for the client to heal himself or herself, and is not the therapist healing the client.
This is because, unlike conventional medicine, one’s needed resources to heal inner wounds are not from the outside. With appropriate guidance, it is possible to reach inwards and access these resources to resolve present sufferings and issues.
What are the indications for hypnotherapy?
The indications for hypnotherapy are therefore wide and varied, and includes many emotional, mental, behavioral, habitual and spiritual issues, such as emotional pains of anger, sadness, guilt and regret arising from challenging life situations, relationships issues with family, partner, friends and colleagues, confidence and self-esteem issues, fears, phobias and anxiety, and the need to understand one's life purpose and seek higher meaning.
If one has made as much conscious progress as one can in resolving these issues, then what remains unresolved belongs truly to the realm of the subconscious (and superconscious) mind that hypnotherapy is targeted specifically to work with. (A note that some of the emotional, mental, behavioral and habitual issues may at times be needed to be resolved at the conscious level with the help of a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, nutritionist or other healthcare professionals, and in such cases, it is advisable to do so before the consideration of hypnotherapy.)
Is hypnotherapy safe? Are there any contraindications?
Even though the conscious mind recedes in the hypnotic state, it is always present in the background to enable one to participate and benefit from the process. We retain a self-protecting moral critical barrier in subconscious mind, hence we can never be made to do anything against our will in the hypnotic state.
Hypnotherapy is therefore a safe and non-invasive modality. However, contraindications do exist, and these include active psychiatric conditions or patients on medications in which the hypnotic state may add to confusion or create paranoid tendencies, as well as certain clinically diagnosed conditions such as epilepsy. If necessary, we advise you to check with your healthcare professional if hypnotherapy is a suitable modality for you before engaging in this process.