Psychological Self-Help

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to be around (Klinger, 1987). Of course, obsessions with harming
others, using drugs or eating, past or possible future catastrophes and
so on are a serious problem. In most cases, however, a good fantasy
life should be of great value, nothing to be ashamed of. 
Most of us know how to daydream, it comes naturally. Perhaps you
can encourage more daydreams and guide your fantasies into more
constructive, fruitful, creative areas, rather than leaving it entirely up
to the "whim of the moment." You might refer to chapter 15 where
guided fantasies are used for insight. Perhaps your re-occurring
daydreams reveal some frustrated needs that deserve more conscious
attention. Otherwise, I'm going to assume you know all you need to
know about daydreams and go on to hypnosis. 
Most hypnotists start by giving the subject some introductory
experience, often a demonstration of "suggestion effects" or an
illustration of how ideas influence behavior, called ideomotor action.
For example, they will ask you to clasp your hands together and
imagine that your palms are tightly stuck--glued--together. Then they
ask you to try to take your hands apart. Many people find it is
somewhat difficult to separate their hands after the suggestion is
given. Other hypnotists will have you stand with your eyes closed,
heels together, and imagine swaying backwards. Most people actually
sway backwards (the hypnotist must be prepared to catch the
subject). In other words, thinking of some action tends to produce that
action if your imagination is vivid enough. 
You can have similar experiences by yourself (Soskis, 1986). For
example, make yourself a pendulum out of a small, round object that
has some weight to it. A spherical button or glass ornament is ideal,
but a medallion or set of keys or heavy ring will do. Make the string
about 10" long. Then draw a circle on a piece of typing paper and draw
two lines intersecting in the middle of the circle. Put the paper on a
table in front of you. Put your elbow comfortably on the table and
grasp the string at the point where the pendulum is just resting on the
center of the circle where the lines cross. Now, lift the object off the
paper slightly (1/8 inch) and think of the object moving back and forth
along one of the lines. Don't consciously move your hand or fingers,
just think of movement back and forth in a certain direction. Guess
what? The pendulum will start to move (an inch or so) in the directions
you are thinking about. Wow! Then think of the object moving in the
other directions, then in a circle, and so on. Play with it for a while. Of
course, your thoughts aren't moving the object, very tiny
imperceptible movements in your hand are. Most people are
Another hypnotic experience is extending your arms in front of you
and carefully noting that the palms are facing each other at the same
height and about two inches apart. Then close your eyes and imagine
your right arm is getting heavy while your left arm is getting lighter
and lighter. Tell yourself over and over that the left arm is feeling very
light...the right arm and hand is getting heavier and heavier all the
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