In 1970, Charles Tebbetts enrolled in Gil Boyne's self-hypnosis course in California, and entered into a deep love affair with hypnosis and a passion for the rapid-change techniques Boyne taught. Tebbetts went on to be a creative, compassionate hypnotist and teacher in his own right, opening one of the most respected hypnosis schools in the State of Washington. Self-Hypnosis and Other Mind Expanding Techniques describes the successful methods of self hypnosis he used and taught.
Tebbetts gives wonderfully direct and simple descriptions of the roles of the conscious and subconscious minds that dispel many misconceptions about hypnosis (e.g., I won't wake up, I'll be unconscious, I'll be giving up control of my mind to another). He also firmly advises readers to avoid skeptical, doubtful, or analytical attitudes, which can complicate (or completely derail) a person's ability to enter hypnosis.
Tebbetts describes six inductions and four deepeners (including two personal favorites, the Elevator and Glued Fingers), all simple and easy to perform.
There's also a really wonderful chapter about how to construct and deliver effective suggestions to yourself. Crafting suggestions in a way they'll be accepted by the subconscous mind is very important. Hypnosis cannot make anyone do anything against their will, and the subconscious will reject suggestions if it doesn't like them. How do you create suggestions the subconscious will accept? Tebbetts lists nine qualities that every suggestions should possess, and they are so simple, elegant, and beautifully described, I'd like to have them tattooed on my wrist.
Scripts that can be recorded verbatim are provided for clearing out unresourceful emotions such as anger, self-pity, exaggerated pity for others, guilt, and anxiety (self-limiting fears). Those of you who are reading this blog for reflections on Nonviolent Communication may wonder where I get off calling any emotion "unresourceful." Good question. I'll take it up another time, because that probably deserves a post of its own.
Tebbetts also includes scripts for pain relief (headache, constipation, arthritis, bursitis, asthma), rapid recovery from disease, memory improvement, and other issues. I can understand why this book was so popular; it's absolutely jammed with information, while emphasizing the essentials in a simple and straightforward manner.
While slightly more than half the book is devoted to self-hypnosis, the remainder looks at meditation, biofeedback, faith healing, and ESP. In the secion on meditation, Tebbetts suggests some things to try if you don't get good results with the mantra you've been using: change your mantra, change your rhythm, and seek advice from someone more experienced. All of these are also excellent suggestions for those who may be having difficulty with self-hypnosis. (Substitute the word "induction" for "mantra.")