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How Do We Hypnotise Our Children?

April 11, 2019

How Do We Hypnotise Our Children?

Aired Thursday, 11 April 2019, 4:00 PM EST / 1:00 PM PST

People find hypnosis and suggestion fascinating. They seem to be slightly mystical and unreal yet are well accepted by the scientific world. Most people have witnessed these techniques, perhaps as part of a stage show, for getting help to cure a habit, or for relaxation.

The key elements of hypnosis are very familiar to us, the hypnotist uses some device to distract the mind (like watch the watch), the commanding tone (‘you will feel nothing’), and the rhythmic, repetitious tone of speech. We also know about post-hypnotic suggestion, the ability to implant a command, which the unsuspecting person later carries out, often to his or her dismay, at a given signal. It all makes for good theatre, but also can be used as therapy in the hands of a qualified practitioner.

What most people don’t realise, however, is that hypnosis is an everyday event. Whenever we use certain patterns of speech, we reach into the unconscious minds of our children and program them, even though we have no such intention.

Hypnosis does not require an altered state of mind, or trance, these concepts are rather old hat. The rather frightening truth is that the human mind can be programmed in normal waking life beneath the awareness of the person involved. Already in the UK, many sales and advertising people are being trained in the use of hypnotic methods embedded in normal business conversation, a chilling concept.

Fortunately for the general public hypnosis requires great skill to use in a manipulative way and can be countered if the subject becomes aware of the process. Accidental hypnosis, though, is so much part of everyday life that parents without realising it implant messages in their child’s mind, and these messages, unless strongly contradicted, will echo on for a lifetime.

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