This is not a joke.
I realize that the above headline looks like super dumb clickbait but be patient with me- this really happened and it changed the direction of my life when I really, in hindsight, needed it. But that was not what I set out to do when I found myself spending a series of afternoons with a hypnotherapist.
Hypnotism has dual histories. There is the entertainment hypnotist who makes people do funny things against their will and the therapeutic hypnotist who uses hypnotism to help people delve into their subconscious to deal with buried emotions and improve their lives. I was dealing with the latter though I did not know he was a hypnotist when I contacted him. I was pursuing a different goal.
NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming aka ‘fast therapy’
First a little history of a movement that was created to explore radical forms of psychotherapy known as NLP. NLP was created by two men named Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the nineteen seventies. They developed theories about how we process information on a subconscious level through what they call representational systems or modalities. These modalities were categorized as primarily visual (we think in pictures), audio (we think in sounds including text), kinesthetic (thinking in terms of physical sensation), and olfactory (smells,which are strongly associated with memory). According to NLP, about 50% of us are primarily visual (everyone uses all of these but typically there is a strong bias towards one), 25% are auditory, and the rest are some combination.
They theorized that if you could identify the representational system of a patient, you could establish much stronger rapport by communicating in their preferred modality. Perhaps the best ‘proof’ of this was reflected in the language people used to describe things. A visual person might describe someone as ‘bright’. An kinesthetic person might use an adjective like ‘sharp’ to describe the same person. While this is a simplistic description of their theory, it captures the gist of it. They took this idea, built a communications framework, then went out into the field and started experimenting.