Prof. Jacob Raju – India
USE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES IN HYPNOTHERAPY
Yes. For me a therapy session consists of two major objectives: first is to overcome the subconscious resistance of the clients by removing their limiting beliefs; and the second is to install the outcome they want.
In my country, most people believe in horoscopes that predict the personalities and destinies of each individual based on the astrological positions at the time and place of their birth. It is the belief that everything about a person is decided at the moment of birth and no intervention whatsoever would help to change it. Then there is the belief in superstitions and black magic. All these together erect a formidable barrier against any kind of change work. A therapist’s first endeavour is to break this barrier. This is what I call the subconscious resistance. I have to shatter this resistance first before I guide them to the outcome through the therapy session.
How do you manage that?
An interesting thing is that many of these superstitious people are well educated. They also believe in scientific truths and processes alongside their superstitions. It is a question of how to convince their mind. The resistance is not conscious; it comes from the subconscious mind of the client as high negativity, low suggestibility or superstitious beliefs. To tackle this I turn to science and technology. Human technology is created by the mind, and the subconscious mind understands it better than anything else. If we apply this technology back to the mind, it will accept and use it to initiate and sustain the change we want.
I ask them what technology or skills they are familiar with, that they use in their profession. As their mind is convinced of the results they get using those skills and technology, I tell them to apply the same to their own mind to get the outcome they want. Very often it works because the mind is easily convinced of the efficacy of it.
People who use Adobe Photoshop, for example, are convinced that it can also work in editing mental images. Sometimes this mental software may vary depending on their profession. An architect may use ‘3DSMAX’ to edit these mental images; it may be ‘Sketch Up’ for a landscape artist, or ‘Movie Maker’, Coral Draw’, or ‘Paint’ for others.
I have helped some clients who are auditory to create in their imagination a ‘Dolby Sound Filter’ to remove the unwanted sounds and self-talk. Other scientific concepts I have used in therapy are the atomisation of elements, the effect of centrifugal and centripetal spin, psychedelic lights, frequencies of sounds, the secretion of endorphins in the brain, and so on.
Can you elaborate on how you apply these principles in therapy?
It is actually very simple. First I explain what the concept means. For example, to people who hear voices in their head, I explain how we cannot hear any sound below or beyond certain frequencies. It is a scientific concept they believe in. I remember a client who kept hearing in his mind a voice telling him: ‘life is not worth living, life is not worth living’. He tried to commit suicide three times before he came to me. After explaining the sound frequency concept, I told him to close his eyes and repeat the words ‘life is not worth living, life is not worth living’ faster and faster, louder and louder in his mind. After sometime he opened his eyes. When I asked him why he stopped, he answered: ‘I told myself to shut up.’ And the mind did shut itself to those voices!
How did you come across this idea?
A few years ago a man called Ibrahim (name changed), visited me regarding hypnotherapy. He was originally from Pakistan and was working in London. He was an employee in a sensitive government department dealing with national security risks. After a terrorist attack in London, he was dismissed from his job for security reasons. He had many friends in India. So, while returning to Pakistan, he decided to go via India and visit some of his Indian friends. When he was in Bangalore he found my website and came to me.
I tried several techniques with him to delete his negative memories but he would retrieve them immediately. Finally I asked him how he would permanently delete files from his computer. He smiled and told me that we cannot permanently delete any files from the computer; we only cut their links to the monitor; the information still remains in the hard disc. His job was to collect and extract information from discarded hard discs to see whether there was any incriminating evidence. I understood why he kept on retrieving the deleted memories. Then I asked him how their department would permanently destroy the files that they do not want to keep. According to him there is powerful software available with which they can overwrite the information several times so that it will be permanently deleted. Now I knew what might work for him. I asked him to overwrite the mental files that he wanted to destroy. He was surprised to see that he could thus delete all the unwanted memories from his mind.
I had another similar client who also overwrote his memories. I was curious to know how he overwrote his memories. According to him he put all his problems on a hard disc and as he was overwriting it he could see the disc slowly being ground into a paste until the bad memories disappeared permanently.
You said you were a professor in a college in Bangalore. What made you land in hypnosis?
Yes, I taught French there for 27 years. During my early years of teaching I knew I had to change myself a lot, because I was not happy with the way I was managing myself. I did not know how to initiate that change. I began to attend several personality development programmes that were available at that time. But they did not answer my needs.
When I heard about NLP, I said to myself: “This is what I was looking for.” I was told that NLP is mostly the suggestion part of Ericksonian Hypnosis. That is how I went all the way into Hypnosis and even got a Hypnosis Trainer Certification.
What is your background in NLP and Hypnosis?
I joined a 21-Day NLP Master Practitioner Training Programme by Dr. Richard McHugh. I did other parallel courses also with him like Meta Programme I & II, NLP and Health, Tools of the Spirit, Gestalt Therapy, etc. In Hypnosis, I have been trained by the California Hypnosis Institute in Basic, Advanced and Clinical Hypnotherapy. In 2004 I got my Hypnosis Trainer Certification from the same Institute. I read, discuss, practise NLP and Hypnosis, and help others to change. I continue to update myself with other International Masters as well.
How popular is hypnosis in India?
Hypnotherapy is not very popular in India because there are many misconceptions, mysteries and fears of misuse built around hypnosis in the mind of the public. But, in reality, if the therapists say anything that is against the beliefs and values system of the clients, their subconscious mind will resist and they will quickly come out of the hypnotic state. Whenever I use or talk about hypnosis my first priority is to remove or reduce these misconceptions.
According to you what is hypnosis?
First of all, hypnosis is a state of mind. It is a physically relaxed, mentally alert, extremely aware and intensely focused state of mind where the subject is completely in control. It is neither a sleepy nor an unconscious state. Hypnotherapists do not have any access to the subconscious mind of their clients. They know only what is revealed to them by the subject. They are not like medical surgeons who can ‘cut open’ the subconscious mind, make some necessary changes, close it up, and tell the clients that everything is taken care of. Hypnotherapists guide their clients to access their own subconscious mind and make the necessary changes. Every hypnotic session is training in self hypnosis. That means the therapists do not hypnotise the clients. The clients hypnotise themselves under the guidance of the therapist to access their own subconscious mind and initiate and sustain the change they want.
What is the most essential element of Hypnotherapy?
The most important part of hypnotherapy is the hypnotic suggestion. It is not merely a verbal affirmation. It is the art of installing a complete thought with mental images, inner dialogues and accompanying feelings in the subconscious mind of the clients. A hypnotic suggestion will initiate a change. If you want to sustain the change, the suggestion has to be repeated.
How does one become a Hypnotherapist?
First of all, one needs to be trained under an able Master. Hypnosis is only one of the available tools. To be successful a therapist may need many other tools. Psychotherapy, NLP, meditation, yoga, etc., also may be useful. Personal skills like awareness of the present moment, listening and observation, rapport building, etc., are also very important.
Can Hypnotherapy backfire?
Hypnotherapy practised by an expert cannot backfire. It will have no side effects. It is a drugless form of therapy and the therapists use only words that can either be accepted or thrown out by the client.
Do you have a handy advice for others?
The secret is how to think. Happiness and success in life come to you only if you think about them. If you think only of negativity, mediocrity and failure in life your mind will achieve only that for you. So think about what you want and avoid thinking about what you do not want. That is how you will start getting what you want.