For several years I listened to a lot of recordings of hypnosis inductions. I wasn’t trying to be hypnotized, and I rarely followed the instructions–I just found them relaxing. But as I listened, I learned a bit about what hypnosis was for and how it worked.
A few years after I started listening to those, I got involved in learning and practicing a couple of prayer ministries: Theophostic first and then Immanuel. These were facilitated conversational prayer methods that helped people find emotional healing.
At some point I noticed that these prayer ministries looked a lot like the hypnosis sessions I was listening to. They seemed to overlap on some central features, such as a state of deep concentration. I felt vindicated in this observation when after one Immanuel session she facilitated, our trainer noted that the recipient’s dazed demeanor was because Immanuel prayer is an altered state of consciousness.
So I decided to read a hypnosis textbook based on academic research and find out the real scoop on what hypnosis is, what it does, and how it’s done. I had two purposes. One was to examine the overlap between hypnosis and mindfulness meditation so I could learn how to concentrate better. And the other was to compare hypnosis to Immanuel prayer to see what Immanuel practitioners might learn from it. Immanuel prayer is a work in progress, and if it shares important features with a field as extensively researched as hypnosis, that sounds to me like an opportunity to develop the ministry further.
I’ve posted the results of my analysis on the wiki here: Hypnosis and Immanuel Prayer. It’s sort of a rough draft. I skipped over some issues that deserve attention, I hardly cite any Immanuel references, and it could use some editing. But other projects are calling for me, and hopefully the article will be enough to get someone in the Immanuel world interested in looking into the issue.