Psychological Self-Help

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1473
Do not use self-hypnosis with (a) serious, long-term mental illness,
(b) problems involving a troubled relationship with someone else or if
you are a loner with "spacey" or peculiar ideas, (c) problems that have
not responded to professional help in the past, or (d) problems which
you are not willing to devote 15 minutes each day for a month or so.
Also, do not try to uncover suspected traumatic early childhood
experiences, e.g. abuse or incest, or to explore past lives. In fact,
don't try to use hypnosis to "discover the truth" about anything
because many of the vivid "memories" one might have under hypnosis
may be radically different from reality. Yet, mental imagery is used
(with caution) to gain insight and new awareness (see chapter 15). 
STEP TWO: Prepare a specific method for inducing self-hypnosis.
You may want to be hypnotized by a trained person first, he/she
can then teach you how to do self-hypnosis (Soskis, 1986). Or, you
can memorize the general induction process and give self-instructions.
Or, you can put the entire induction procedure on an audiotape. I'll
show you how to do the latter two: 
Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable chair. 
Close your eyes and relax your whole body. Use something like
one of the relaxation methods given in chapter 12. Repeatedly
tell yourself throughout the relaxation procedure to become
more and more deeply relaxed. At the same time, tell yourself
you will remain totally awake and alert, carefully attending to
your own self-instructions. When deeply relaxed all over, tell
yourself that you are ready for a pleasant, effective hypnotic
state which will help you help yourself. 
When very relaxed, say to yourself or listen to the self-hypnosis
instructions you have prepared. Usually, relaxation instructions
are all that are needed. 
When hypnotized and feeling very comfortable and relaxed,
imagine being in a very safe, peaceful, and comfortable place.
Enjoy that as long as you like. 
Give yourself instructions for improving (written in the next
step). 
Wake yourself up by counting from 5 to 1, become more awake
at each step. 
If you wanted to simply record the whole thing, you might use a
script like this: (read in a clear but slow drraaawwnn-out voice, a
hypnotic voice) 
"You should be relaxing in a comfortable chair with the phone
and other distractions turned off. If you are interrupted, you
will at any time be able to open your eyes and take care of
whatever needs to be done. 
Close your eyes and concentrate on relaxing all over. Take a
deep breath and slowly exhale...notice the calming effect of
deep breathing. Take some more deep breaths.... Feel the
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