Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two Cautions

Let's pull this topic out from the comments and confront it front and center:

Play carefully.

If you're going to put your favorite submissive into a trance and call forth her subconscious, there are a couple of things you need to be cautious about.

The first you might call "the two girlfriend problem." If you're particularly successful at bringing out her subconscious, and empowering that subconscious to help you control her conscious mind, several things can happen. You will probably like her subconscious a lot. She will like you a lot. You will find yourself having to choose which side of her mind you want to talk with tonight, or play with. Her subconscious, who is fully aware of both sides of the mind, may ask you which one you prefer. Her conscious, who may or may not realize what her subconscious is like, is likely to become jealous of the time she spends in the dark, not too sure what you're doing with the "other woman." In an extreme case, the subconscious really will lobby to be left in charge for long stretches of time. (Megan hasn't, but other subconsciouses have.) Danger there.

c has commented several times about what this feels like from the subject's point of view. My own advice is to side with the conscious side every time. You're already messing with her head more than enough. Anyway, I find that over time a strong, caring subconscious and an adventurous conscious will find ways to communicate with each other, if not even blend a bit. In the mean time, take steps to reduce the shock of going in and out of trance. Nothing rattles a person more than to wake up in a different location, wearing different clothes, with signs of unusual activity in her nether regions.

The second challenge is an ethical one: What to do when the subconscious shares a deep secret that she is keeping from the conscious mind? Should you tell? You are surprisingly likely to encounter this: Of the subconsciouses I've spoken with at length, about half of them had helped the conscious mind years ago by grabbing hold of a particularly painful memory and locking it away. It's often rape or some other sort of sexual aggression, but sometimes it's another physically or emotionally painful event. The most severe case I've encountered: A woman in her mid-20s with no memories from before she left home at age 17, thanks to a very protective subconscious. The act of locking up these memories seems to spawn leftover obsessions that, to the conscious mind, arise out of nowhere. Again, my advice: Respect her mind for how it's coped with the agony, keep the secret, and don't meddle in something we don't understand.

Those are the biggest hurdles I have encountered. But if you're aware of them in advance, you ought to be able to get over them.


Mirehn said...

A good post, but I would like to ask something that has been bothering me for a while. By treating the subconscious as a different person, do you not fear that you are merely creating a multiple-personality disorder, rather than bringing up a guenuine subconscious? The fact that the 'subconscious' knows things the conscious does not does not prove it is actually the subconscious, it may be a manifestation that has access to different memories, which is possible.

I don't wish to be alarmist, but hypnosis is a very powerful tool, and you may accidentally be doing more than you mean to.

HypnoMaster D said...

Hi Mirehn, excellent question.

I don't claim to know the answer. But I don't *think* I'm conjuring up a new personality. Surely it can't be that easy to create one.

What I'm doing is putting my subject into an ordinary trance -- whatever that means. It's just a standard relaxation induction.

Then, when I say hello, the voice that responds, I'm calling "the subconscious." That's it.

The rather consistent traits of all these subconsciouses (they are passive, watchful versions of the conscious personality) makes me think this is a normal aspect of the mind.

And a hypnotherapist who's read this blog says they don't sound anything like multiple personalities, who typically are very different from the main personality, in unpredictable ways.

Still, the bottom line to me is: Nobody really has a clue.

Marc said...

WOW thats a really insightful entry and incredible valuable to us new to bdsm and hypnosis. Thanks as always for the insight

Horus said...

As I'm preparing myself to induce a first trance with my sub friend, it has occurred to me, based on what I've seen in her behavior in the past, that she is likely to have secrets that might be manifesting as 'body memories'.

While my first efforts will be focused on just induction, re-induction as well as inserting the 'proof' suggestion, I had given serious thought of recording the sessions, in the event that her therapist might have something to work with, IF that is something she wanted to do.

I don't have any intention of doing any 'triage', however, she can be talkative. :) I'd imagine her subconcious is even more so. (chuckle). I'll certainly discuss it with her tonight. The question will be, for her, if I find out something, should I allow her the secret she hid from herself on request, or keep the genie in the bottle for her therapist to manage?
Should I even broach the topic?

HypnoMaster D said...

Her subconscious may be surprised to meet you, unfamiliar with speaking out loud, not sure she can perform these tricks, and generally unsure of your motives at first. So I would definitely leave the therapy angle until a later induction.

I also would hold off on asking your sub friend if she wants to know any secrets. Wait until you know if there are any secrets, and whether they're mild enough to tell your friend without risking harm. Then ask her.

Mirehn said...

As a hypnotherapist-in-training, I would advise not attempting to find out secrets, or anything like that. You have the potential to trigger an abreaction, which is a suppressed bubble of emotions that you MUST be able to deal with if it comes up. Unless you have been trained to deal with it, it is unlikely you will handle it well. (This is no insult, I do not feel that I could do it with the training I have had so far, hence I stay clear of anything that might trigger one.)

Although personally I feel "hypno-play" is harmless as long as care is taken, I would stay clear of trying to explore things that the conscious might not be aware of. Things are usually repressed because they are too traumatic to deal with; bringing them to the surface without knowing how to handle it will have disastrous results.

Shahar said...

I get the feeling that your experiences with the "subconscious" really might not be exactly what you expect them to be. one specific thing you have to worry about with hypnosis is generating false memories, I know that from my own experiences in it, these can be indistinguishable from true memories, so really your "long lost secret" might just be a conjured idea imagined by the person you are putting under.

I do have one suggestion, if you are willing. a way to test this is to create a "split" personality . I've seen this done in hypno play and it is not quite as harmful as it sound (or as permanent) or even to try and merge the subconscious and the conscious persona in some way .
this would test just how easy it is to get a person to "split" their mind frame in two or three or whatever.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the mind is much more complex than simply two agents conscious and subconscious acting on your personality.

but as you said, the bottom line is that no one knows :)

ask yourself this question though, what would be the difference between talking to the subconscious and talking to a person's mind (in trance) acting as if it were a subconscious. we already have separate modes of behavior with various situations, how is this any different?

HypnoMaster D said...

Hi Shahar, Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

I really don't think I'm asking the subconsciouses the sort of leading questions that would lead so many of them to report hidden painful memories. I certainly hope I'm not planting them.

As for the nature of the mind: It's obviously more complex than we can know. I stick with my "model" of a two-part mind because it works to the extent I need it to. Whenever I put someone into a trance, there's a whispery voice waiting there, happy to be called the subconscious and demonstrate her amazing powers. Is that just the conscious mind in trance? Sure, OK, that model is just as valid a description of what's happening.

But there's something happening here that I don't think most hypnotherapists or stage hypnotists achieve, possibly because they don't address the tranced subject as though she were "separate," and miss the opportunity.

The main evidence for me that this is something novel: The impressive consistency from person to person, and the really stunning effects I'm able to induce by enlisting the subconscious to affect the conscious mind.


L.E. said...

Just checking in to tell you i've read the postings from May to November tonight...I had assumed in April when E got sick that the blog was going to be quasi-shut down.
Can't say I wouldn't try it but fascinating as hypnodomming is I am inclined to be cautious about just about any aspect of it!

Mirehn said...

Well certainly few people do talk to the subconscious as a different person. However I would say that it is unlikely that none do, especially among stage hypnotists. It is playing to the powerful myth(?) that when you are under hypnosis, you are not conscious. This usually makes people go under hypnosis less easily, as they still FEEL conscious. However if you convince them that what currently feels conscious is the subconscious, and that it has the power to make huge changes, then they are likely to respond even if it isn't the subconscious you are talking to.

Now on the other hand, this doesn't disprove that it IS the subconscious that you are talking to. I have heard reports from a number of sources that they have either done something similar to this, or have managed to talk to their own subconscious; with very positive results. I would say that to be honest it probably doesn't matter, you will achieve the same effect whether it is a perceived subconscious you are talking to, or a real subconscious.

The only thing that sounds a little worrying is the concept that they can still communicate with this other mind while they are awake, this is slightly worrying because it would be diagnosed by a psychologist as schizophrenia, possibly bordering on multiple personality disorder. That doesn't mean that they could not be wrong, as this is an area out of their experience, however the possibility that they COULD be right would worry me.

But really it is up to you. I am not preaching IS happening or what you should do about it, just offering a possibility.

Hypnoslave c said...

Hi all,
Wow D really has opened up a debate with this one. It's great that this kind of rapport is happening, it will help everyone who is trying this new type of play. I have noticed in these comments that you are all coming from the hypnotist point of view to thought it only right that my point of view was put forward.

I must admit that all this talk of multiple personalities and schizophrenia has frightened me. I have no recollection of the conversations K and D have with Megan and i liken the relaxation induction as falling asleep and awake feeling refreshed. Sometimes i've been places such as an igloo or a rollercoaster and its like dreaming im there while they converse with Megan.

Not sure if this is of any help or if you have any questions. You can always email me if you need to ask anything of me.

Horus said...

You know, there is SO much to comment on here.... and I've written several drafts and tossed 'em. So, I'll just keep it simple and risk sounding ignorant and stupid. lol I'm not trained and educated, but common sense has been an excellent guide for me.

MPD and schizophrenia?

Simply coping mechanisms for underlying issues. You can create simulations of disorders, but you can't create them in actuality. c has nothing to worry about. If something happens or develops, it was already there and it was just a matter of time or trigger.

I'm not too concerned about handling 'land mines'. I've done it all my life without training with friends and family. The key to managing them is being a firm anchor in reality so they can reel themselves in and find self control again. That's all they need from anyone, really, until they're ready to address them directly. THAT is when a therapist is needed, and never before. The problem is, not many are willing to be an anchor. It's an emotionally draining experience.

Personally, I think hypnosis would have been of great help for me in the past for those that needed an 'anchor'. It would have given me a very powerful tool to help people provide their own anchors to save on the wear and tear on me. :)

For anxieties that are out of control? Provide a gesture, like tugging their own ear, or an object to rub, like a special penny, and they'll calm down the anxiety to a manageable level. (NEVER block anxieties!) Just have the effect last say.... thirty minutes? I would think it would give them a chance to process, or to leave the environment if needed. Some times a coping mechanism can do wonders. :)

If I could do that for some one, I think my days in high school would have been less stressful. :)

Now, this is just MY idea, folks. Don't go running off and trying it, thinking you're helping some one. Ideas need to be fleshed out considerably and carefully. If you don't, you could cause a hell of a lot of damage, and create an enemy for life. ;)

I'm sure D will agree with me. Think of all the reasons for NOT using an idea before you think of reasons FOR using it. If you can't? Ask some one that doesn't respect you. :) Always useful. :)

shadow said...

I know I'm somewhat late to add my two cents worth, but in case someone's eyes happen to wander by..abreaction is fairly easy to handle as long as you stay calm. Typically the easiest way to deal with abreaction is simply to pace it, to acknowledge it, and then you can use it to deepen the trance. For example, "And as you cry and tears are rolling down your cheeks and you feel that strong emotion (pace), you can begin to feel more and more relaxed (lead)". Personally I wouldn't suggest doing therapy with them unless you have some idea of exactly what it is you are doing.

Moni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moni said...

Sounds like something from an instructional manual - very helpful and informative. Yet unlike an instruction manual, it's worth reading. :P
That post makes sense, but I had a question about the second part:
So if your subconcious were to block out a lot of your life, it's best to keep it that way? What if it bugs you to high hell, and you're wondering about what happened almost every day? Should you try to find out, or leave it be, and understand things happen for a reason?

*deleted then reposted to receive an e-mail about follow-up comments*