Question: Can you address academic improvement with hypnosis?Judy, Loves Park
Answer: As a hypnotherapist, I see students who are not performing to the level of their natural abilities. These students are not disabled or mentally or physically impaired. They, more commonly than not, have simply never been shown the techniques required to learn effectively.
Learning is a skill, much like mastering mathematical manipulations or playing a musical instrument. The human mind is a most complex and marvelous instrument. Even the most motivated student may find himself handicapped by a mental block that prevents him or her from easily recalling information during a test.
The blockage could be from poor self-esteem, which reaps its rewards in failure. There may be a resistance to learning caused by peer pressures. The student may identify with a group that finds reward in academic failure. Once identified in an academically-challenged peer group, it becomes harder to overcome the learning motivation not to succeed.
Improved self-image and confidence will go a long way to bring up a students performance. This process, however, assumes a motivated student who accepts hypnosis and desires change.
Hypnosis allows the therapist to bypass the critical mind and inspire the imagination. In hypnotherapy, the student sees himself having success in his schoolwork. He feels the emotion of pride in his earned accomplishment.
Imagination is a component of the subconscious mind. In hypnosis, it is possible to speak to the subconscious mind in such a way that the student finds insight and new motivation for positive change. He or she carries away new personal insights and strategies about how to make the most of his or her learning experience (learning skills). Imagination is much more powerful than reason in making lifestyle changes.
High school and college students are in a constant stressful state. The stress of studies, time pressure of learning demands, and the uncertainty of success are just a few of the demands on the young student mind. Self-hypnosis is an effective means of relieving some of this stress. Remember, stress can be a good thing or a bad thing. Without stress, we would lose all motivation. Some academic failure is because of a lack of fear of failure (no stress).
Use of forward visualization of present accomplishments can kindle a desire to complete homework assignments in a more timely fashion. Again, we are motivating and inspiring the mind to perform in ways that will bring lasting reward and happiness.
Habitual behavior is learned behavior. Scholastic habits of tenacity and accomplishment form the first steps of lifelong accomplishment. A high jumper imagines himself arching over the bar, clearing it without touching. The student needs to imagine himself succeeding, to know he can succeed and feel the emotional reward of his success. Positive expectation is inspiration. Imagine that.
Robert Sieveking is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He is the owner of Hypnotherapy Resolutions, 4249 E. State St., Rockford. Call him at 226-3800 or visit his Web site, http://www.hypnotherapyresolutions.com/.
Please send your questions and comments to the editor of The Rock River Times, 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101.
From the Oct. 18-24, 2006, issue