Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. Tim Brunson, PhD

The Role of Musical Enhancement in Change Work

What does music have to do with hypnotherapy and change work? The answer has to do with how powerful music can be – whether guiding a listener in a certain direction or enhancing his or her emotions.

NLP and hypnotherapy have for years worked in a wonderfully symbiotic relationship. In many NLP techniques, imbuing exercises with strong emotion strengthens their ability to effect change in the subject. A practitioner who has gleaned enough material during the intake portion of the session can skillfully weave NLP techniques into an effective hypnosis experience – leveraging emotion to create a lasting change. For a thought without emotion has no energy behind it. And while your words as a therapist are extremely important in evoking the right kinds of emotions for change, music can be an able assistant in your therapy work.

Music in a hypnosis session can serve you in different ways. The first is obvious – the right kind of music can be relaxing to the client. It can soothe someone who is maybe a little nervous about the experience. Relaxing music also has an anchoring effect. It is highly likely that the client has at some time during his or her life sat down and relaxed while listening to music. When you start the session with pleasing sounds, some part of the brain may automatically relax and get ready for the experience.

Secondly, music can help you create rapport in order to lead the subject into hypnosis. A good therapist is taught to match the breathing patterns of his client, to subtly mimic body language and then gently lead the client in the direction of the therapists choosing. The beat of the music can also help lead the client into a more relaxed state of being – especially if the music gradually slows in tempo down to about 60 beats per minute. The mind naturally stills itself as it entrains to the slowing beats. Hypnotherapy music should be interesting enough to gently attract attention, but never intrusive or in competition with the spoken word.

There are many pieces of music suitable for hypnotherapy – finding something that works for you is a matter of personal choice. I would suggest having a variety of music for your clients and note which pieces are more effective. If you plan on using music as a background to hypnosis sessions on CDs or MP3s you will need to obtain a Royalty Free license. Once you have bought the license, you do not ever have to pay the publisher and composer additional fees, even if you sell a million copies!

Annie Brunson is a composer who specializes in writing for hypnotherapy and for short films. Samples of her therapy music can be found at www.MusicForHypnotherapy.com. She is also a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Program and an experienced Reiki Master.

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