For a clinical hypnotist, motivation is one of the most important factors.
This is as true of clients as it is true of the clinician. Without proper motivation very little is possible. So if you're considering using hypnosis to help you solve some problems be aware that your own motivation is a key to your success.
I have heard that sometimes people are expecting a magic wand to be waved, and the problem will disappear. Some people expect hypnosis to be such a magic wand. It is another common belief that somehow a person can be hypnotized without being a part of the process. Both these views alas, ensure disengagement. They are not aligned with reality and only lead to disappointment.
Hypnosis requires rapport between the clinician and the client. Standing back from the process as an observer ensures a lack of engagement and lack of rapport. And this is as true for a clinician as it is for a client.
So an honest willingness to enter a process fully is key to success with the process and a genuine motivation to solve a problem is too.
Sometimes we have setbacks. But:
and Goethe also wrote that “by seeking and blundering we learn.” So we should never underestimate the value of our setbacks. They are not invalidations of the solution process but feedback on the nature of the challenge or problem. They can help refine the solution process. And they can also help you to learn things you didn't think you needed, but you really do in order to go forward. The more interested in discovering how everything works the more forward motion you achieve.
Thus, curiosity about a problem and how to solve it (or dissolve it) is also another key to successfully making hypnosis a tool for therapeutic progress. The more intense the curiosity the more effective any treatment is likely to be.
Lack of curiosity is sure to keep a person trapped in whatever issues they have.
All of this implies courage. You don't know what's going to happen. You don't know if you will succeed. So to be willing to put yourself into it, not knowing, is a courageous act. Being fully willing to discover is courageous act. Being curious about your own challenges is a courageous act.
With courage, or even better, fearlessness there can be honesty. Being curious is an excellent way to let fears go. It provides the same sense of humour and motivation in the face of failure that makes a child get up and walk when they have never yet succeeded. If you want to have unlimited motivation, learn to be as intensely curious as possible.
This brings me to the culmination of how to make hypnotic engagement work for you. I come back to Goethe. It's one of my favourite references to his work all the more because he never really wrote these words. It is not actually a strict translation but more of a poetic precis of some lines from Goethe's Faust by the Irish poet and translator John Anster.
William Hutchison Murray of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition used it to talk about the value of commitment when he wrote:
“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. At the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
“I have learnt a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can – begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
The rest of Anster's translation goes:
“Only engage – and then the mind grows heated; Begin! – and then the work will be completed.”
So if there is magic in hypnosis it occurs at the moment of commitment. When a person is “all in” with the process. The surest way to achieve that commitment is by becoming intensely curious. Especially intensely curious about the challenge you're facing. Your own curiosity is your greatest ally in overcoming any difficulty. Use it wisely.
Or as another of my favourite poets says: