Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hyper-Suggestible State: Voodoo

(This blog was originally posted on December 7, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

People in hyper-suggestible states tend to want to “retreat” into a trance or disassociate themselves from themselves/the situation if they feel overwhelmed by the stimuli around them. The more suggestible the individual is the more easily he or she will drift into a trance state (hypnosis). This is particularly true of third-stage somnambulists, said hypnotherapist Dr. John Kappas.
In one of his most interesting video seminars, the Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder worked with a client to remove the man’s frozen smile and nervous twitch. The client explained that these symptoms developed while he lived in Trinidad, where he had lived for many years. During the course of their discussion, the Dr. Kappas discovered that the client had participated in a voodoo ritual around this time. The hypnotherapist deduced that his client’s natural somnambulistic tendencies kept him in the hyper-suggestible state he experienced during that experience.
In addition to chants/spells, voodoo rituals often include smoking or ingesting hallucinogenic drugs to overwhelm the participant and induce a trance to change the participant’s behavior, Dr. Kappas said. The more suggestible the person is, the more likely he is to go into that trance. Voodoo rituals are unfamiliar and especially frightening to Westerners, who have little first-hand knowledge or experience with its traditions and beliefs, he explained. “If the person believes voodoo spells (curses) work and is already highly suggestible, he may be particularly vulnerable to going along with any behaviors or beliefs the priest presiding over the ritual suggests.”
The small (pin-point) size of the client’s pupils indicated that he was already in a trance state. Therefore, before Dr. Kappas started to work on changing the unwanted behavior (twitch and frozen smile), the hypnotherapist had to de-hypnotize him and get the man out of the original hyper-suggestible state. “You have to recognize that the client is already in-state [and then] re-direct him. Take him in to get him out,” the HMI founder said. Next, Dr. Kappas desensitized the man to the previous suggestions and drew on aspects of hypnotic modality to assume an authoritative role during the hypnotic induction. These steps were imperative to make the client more amenable to following the hypnotherapeutic suggestions to remove the client’s suggestibility to the voodoo and change the unwanted physical behaviors, the hypnotherapist explained.
“You have to recognize the client is already in state, [and then] redirect him. Take him in to get him out,” Dr. Kappas said.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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