The secret to understanding the ability of hypnosis to improve memory is found in how our memory works in the first place. Memory is actually a complex system where you will find very short term memories (like recalling a phone number) which last a few seconds. The long term memory works in a two stage process. First, you store the experience somewhere in your mind and secondly, we have to recall that memory. Problems may occur in either system: the storage or retrieval. Hypnosis is a relaxed state that focuses attention on a limited area, can slow down thinking, heighten the imagination, and prevent distractions. Therefore, it can help focus attention on either part of the memory system, how the information was stored or how to recall it. It enables the individual to tap the great resources of the subconscious mind. There are a number of ways hypnosis can help improve one’s learning abilities:
- Increase your ability to concentrate
- Improve the ability to retain and remember
- To control emotions and stress
- Enhance motivation and enthusiasm for learning
- Increase energy and endurance
- Increase self-esteem, confidence, and self-efficiency
- Resolve subconscious blocks or conflicts
- To help you remain calm and relaxed while taking examinations.
One of the areas which may be a block to learning is some negative past experience. For example, a child makes a mistake and is called “stupid.” The subconscious mind may accept that as true for the child and take the words literally. The person may have meant: clumsy, awkward, not paying attention, but used the word, “stupid.” If the child’s subconsciously accepts this statement as true, he will continue to do stupid things. The child may have a high IQ, but do poorly in school, because “a stupid person does not do well at school”.
Sometimes a teacher will say, “You do good in spelling, but you will never make it in Maths.” The child then may develop a problem with Maths. “Your sister was good in spelling, but you can’t spell.” The child may develop a spelling problem.
These are some problems that may call for more in depth counselling and hypnotherapy, but most people can improve by proper use of suggestion, imagery, and healing stories
The methods I use for improving learning and memory is a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuro-linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy techniques that will support the client to make the most of his or her brain.
It is highly advisable to start the programme as early as possible in the revision or exam period to acquire the habit for effective learning and internalise the techniques of memory enhancement before the peak of exam period. The programme consists of six sessions with reinforcements or top ups as necessary.