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Hypnosis and Creativity (Creative Review)

I started working with artists and other creative professionals when I began practising as a hypnotherapist 10 years ago. Here’s an article I wrote a while ago about [tag]Hypnosis [/tag]and Creativity for Creative Review.

EDIT: Brian Clark over at Copyblogger has written a post on hypnotic copywriting that’s almost a mirror-image of the process I describe in my article: I wrote about the trancelike state we enter when absorbed in producing creative work; Brian has written about the trance we enter when absorbed in the product of that creative work, whether a novel, film, conversation or advert.

Comments

  1. Great article Mark.

    I’ve just been reading a bit about NLP and it’s striking how similar some of the techniques are to what you’re describing – especially the idea of identifying states which are useful and training oneself in how to achieve those states easily and quickly whenever necessary.

    What I’m also interested to know is whether you feel that there are other exernal factors involved in making it either easier or more difficult to achieve those states. For example can feelings of stress, hunger or happiness make a difference? The idea of a tortured artist is a prevalent one but I find myself much more creative when I’m feeling positive rather than when I’m not. Then again I’m not Leonard Cohen!

  2. Thanks Antonio. Yes I’m trained in NLP so that was a big influence on the article, NLP was partly modelled on the hypnotherapist Milton Erickson.

    Yes there are definitely external factors involved. I remember working in one company where I set the group the task of finding the ‘second right answer’ to a problem (an idea I got from Roger von Oech) and they said it was very difficult and uncomfortable for them to do because they were always under pressure to find ‘the right answer’. Not a very creative environment! So organisational values have a big influence.

    And the influence of management is crucial. A manager with great leadership and coaching skills can inspire and support people to go beyond their previous limits. And a poor people manager can kill whatever creativity an individual or team once had. These days I tend to focus on creativity in terms of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of ‘flow’ rather than ‘trance’ – I’ll pe posting soon on how coaching creates creative flow.

    As for tortured artists – I find most artists are tortured when they are NOT creating. But I wouldn’t want Leonard any other way!

  3. Hi Mark
    I recently started to listen to a hypnosis CD that includes Lucid Dreams, designed to guide you to find solutions to any problems through your dreams.
    Although I cannot yet say I am solving problems through dreams, I can say I am having more vivid dreams.
    You are writing about “being absorbed and creative work”.
    Can the two methods work together or am I jumping to conclusions?

  4. Hi Rodger,

    Do you mean can hypnosis and lucid dreaming work together? I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘working’ 🙂

    I’ve tried both and found them both interesting. Hypnosis was helpful for all sorts of things, although I don’t use it so much these days. I don’t think lucid dreaming helped me solve any problems, but I wasn’t really trying it for that, I just wanted to see what it was like.

    Does that answer your question?

  5. I too like the concept of flow. The poor thing is that when you are in the flow and notice it, your suddenly not there anymore.

  6. Andrew – yes, just like happiness…

  7. Hi Mark – I like using hypnotic age regression and age progression to improve creativity. I use age regression to release blockages and age progression to create an expectation of being more creative.

    Great blog!
    Cal Banyan

  8. Thanks Cal, all the best on your hypnotic journeys.

  9. Perri Jackson says:

    Thanks Mark, for bringing this tool to the attention of so many!
    I originally sought out hypnosis for pain management and instead found a wealth of technique for bolstering creativity.
    There is a reason the special focus state we experience is referred to as ‘creative fugue.’ Training in hypnosis can induce that state, prolong it, and allow us to re-enter after an ‘interruption.’
    Think of what occurs when you are engrossed in a favorite novel – you can immerse yourself right back into the characters and story line after you work eight hours and then let the dog out to go potty….Yeah, it can be just like that – no matter what the interruption!

  10. IT seems to be not there any more
    so bad luck i think it would be great if you post it again
    thanks mark

  11. Hi Mark,

    I’ve also been using hypnosis to help writers improve their creativity or in other words unlock the creativity they already had. Beside the use of age regression I also teach my clients self hypnosis techniques to help them clear any mental blocks they may have.

    Great Blog Mark
    Josh

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