How, Or Why, Does Hypnosis Work?

Think of it this way. Our mind is made up of two parts: a conscious mind and a subconscious (or unconscious) mind. Milton Erickson, a psychiatrist who became famous for his work with hypnosis, described the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious as a horse and rider. The rider thinks that he’s in control because he’s sitting in the saddle and holding the reins. And that’s true—as long as the horse follows his directions. But what happens when the horse becomes startled and bolts off in a different direction?

At that point, it’s the rider who’s going along for the ride. If your thoughts, feelings or habits are out of control, it’s because your subconscious mind is “bolting off” in a direction that is different from where you consciously want to go. The way to “tame” your subconscious mind is through hypnosis.

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