Bypassing the Critical Factor in Hypnosis


In future articles, I will be delving deeper into teaching you about hypnosis language patterns. However, before I do that, I thought it would be very useful for you to understand why you would want to use them in the first place. This article will also help you understand a lot of other techniques hypnotists use.

For now I want to talk about what we hypnotists call bypassing the critical factor (also called faculty). In order to do so, I would like to share with you Dave Elman’s definition of hypnosis, as it is extremely relevant: «Hypnosis is a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human is bypassed, and selective thinking established.»

What Is the Critical Faculty?

To put it simply, the critical faculty is the part of the human mind that accepts or rejects incoming information and decides whether that information should be allowed entrance into the subconscious mind. It also checks to see whether that information is compatible with the beliefs, values, and ways of thinking previously stored within the subconscious mind. If the new information is compatible, it accepts it and allows it in. If the new information is not compatible, it rejects it and does not allow that information access to the subconscious mind. In short, your critical factor distinguishes between what you already feel to be «true» about yourself, others, and the world, and labels most other information that conflicts with your previously held beliefs as «not true.»

The Good and the Bad About the Critical Factor

Let us look at the good parts about the critical factor first. Really, you should be thankful that you have a critical factor because it protects you from harmful influences affecting your subconscious mind. Think about it. If you did not have a critical factor, anyone could influence the way you think, feel, believe, and behave. You would not have the ability to choose what information you wanted to accept and what information you did not want to accept. You also would not be able to distinguish between what you think is true and what you do not think is true. You could easily end up entangled in some fanatical cult before the day was out! It is good to have a critical factor, is it not?

Now that we have looked at the good things about the critical faculty, let us now shine some light on the negative parts. The fact is, not all of the previously stored information contained within our subconscious minds that affects the way we think, feel, and believe is always helpful to us, or even useful for that matter. Oftentimes we would actually like to change the ways that we think, feel, believe, and behave. More often than not, we find it to be extremely difficult to do so.

The reason for this is that the critical faculty can be very resistant to change. It has good intentions. It wants to protect you and keep everything in homeostasis (keep everything comfortable and the same as it always has been). It does this for your survival. It figures that what you have been doing, thinking, feeling, and believing has worked for you up until now. It may not work well, but it still works. So the critical factor will not let much of anything «rock the boat» if it can help it.

This can be problematic when you really want to make some changes you know would be good for you. Now perhaps you can see why it would be necessary to bypass the critical factor. You have to do so in order to reprogram the subconscious mind so that you can make real and lasting changes from the inside out.

Hypnotic Language Patterns Can Help!

So, as hypnotists we know about the critical factor and how it naturally rejects new information that does not agree with the previous programming in the subconscious mind. We also know that in order to help people make the changes they desire, we must find ways to bypass the critical factor. In reality, there are many ways to do this, and we will cover them a little later. For now, we will take a look at one of those ways: hypnotic language patterns.

Truthfully, you probably use a lot of these language patterns in your day-to-day speech without being aware of it. This is especially true when you are really trying to convince someone to come to your way of thinking or persuade them to do something you want.

Hypnotic language patterns are effective tools for bypassing the critical factor because they are ways of communicating that make it a lot more likely that the suggestions you give will be accepted. They sort of fly in «under the radar» of the critical faculty. They sound very normal, natural, and conversational when delivered skillfully. That is why they are so effective! They are delivered in such a way that they do not alert the critical factor. That way they can go directly into the subconscious mind without any interference from the critical factor.

Even so, you cannot just throw out some of these patterns and expect them to work like magic. It takes a lot a practice and skill to deliver these types of suggestions successfully. In order to help you get familiar with these language patterns and start to master them, I will be devoting the next series of articles to this topic. Stay tuned because you do not want to miss them!

Horatio Kaine