Introduction from Rachel on this Short Course
It has been a real pleasure putting together this short course, knowing that it will be available to anyone who has an interest in learning about hypnosis and how to hypnotise others. We aim for this to be a practical experience for you.
This particular study outline was originally taught in-person by David over a series of evening classes, and this is largely his work. When David termed this ‘Hypnosis for the Seriously Curious’, he meant what he said: he aimed to teach people who were perhaps not necessarily seeking to be professional hypnotherapists, but rather those who had an interest in learning how to support others using hypnosis. These classes were made up of parents who wanted to work with their children, people who wanted to provide help to a sick relative, carers, practitioners of other modalities, and individuals who were simply ‘seriously curious’ about hypnosis.
Although the theory of hypnosis is widely known, and readily available in many forms, David had his own take on how it should be practised and taught. This course is, I hope, still in the spirit of his teaching - I have edited it a little, updated some of the references, and added a few sections that would have been taught in the classes themselves.
In his work, David actively encouraged people to learn self-hypnosis, and often taught his clients processes they could use with their family and other loved ones to help them in times of difficulty or distress. As I am his daughter, and was of an age old enough to sit still when he was himself learning (!), David first practised these techniques on me, and then further down the track I benefitted from his help during my own times of need. I can still hear in my mind the words he used when I was preparing for my exams in high school and university, and another time when I was preparing for some surgery. It is hoped that by completing this short course of study - and of course practising - you’ll be able to offer similar help and support to the people around you.
There are a few important points to consider:
To begin with, in this course we use a few words interchangeably:
- ‘subject’ and ‘client’ - which refer to the person you are hypnotising;
- ‘hypnosis’ and ‘trance’ - which refer to the state achieved after an effective induction;
- 'unconscious' and 'subconscious' are both used to reference the same part of mind, as opposed to the conscious mind.
- ‘hypnotist’ and ‘hypnotherapist’ are also used interchangeably for our purposes here.
Secondly, do seek other resources but remember that all the study in the world will not take the place of practise. This is a skill you are learning, so you need to practise. Even if you start out by just reading verbatim some of the scripts included, do what David always referred to as ‘breaking the sound barrier’ - use your voice! Don’t just read to yourself, for it is not enough to passively consume this knowledge if you intend on using it to help yourself or others. Make this learning functional learning by doing the doing of it.
As a final word, please be aware that this course is in no way meant to be a substitute for professional training in Clinical Hypnosis. Completion of this course will not enable you to compare your skills to those of a professional hypnotherapist, who will have techniques and knowledge available to them that is not covered here. When working with people, always, and in all circumstances, err on the side of caution and work within your skill set.
I wish you great success, and will be genuinely interested in hearing any feedback from you, of your experiences, or any thoughts you might have on what you are learning. I can be contacted on [email protected].
PS. An unsung heroine of all of this work here is Dianne Kennedy, my lovely mum and David’s wife. Dianne contributed many thousands of hours of work to David’s therapy practices, as well as his training school - often without any of the glory and recognition she deserved. If David is the ‘talent’, Dianne is the ‘director’ - she made it all happen, and was the originator of much of the content itself. Without her, we would be nowhere.