If you are looking for an easy way to learn a language, hypnosis may be able to help. Whilst you cannot become magically fluent overnight, you can reduce the stress and anxiety around learning. This article will distinguish fact from fiction, from the view point of a multilingual hypnotist.
Hello to Hypnosis.
The word hypnosis is one that divides people. Amongst many it conjures up images of Svengali-like performers and mind control. For others, they may imagine being asleep or very relaxed.
Behind the mystery and wonder essentially lies a very simple, but powerful tool which has a growing body of scientific evidence to support it in the treatment of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, stress, anxiety and even warts.
Hypnosis is also a wonderful tool to help people learn in better ways, without the usual mental chatter, self-doubt, anxiety that plagues many language learners.
Is there really an easy way to learn a language?
Language learning can be tough, especially if it your first time. In many countries language learning in schools is insufficient and people leave school feeling simply as if it's not for them.
Many people start learning a language seriously in their teens, adulthood and even into retirement. Maybe you want to boost your career prospects, maybe you're an expat or need it for business purposes. Yet, progress can be slow, practice is intimidating and people become quickly discouraged.
It's easy to understand why. You have a rich vocabulary in your native language, and now all of a sudden you know less words than a 5 year old.
Regular practice and immersion is key, but how can you achieve that if you feel nervous, shy or anxious about practicing? Here's where hypnosis can help.
How hypnosis can help you learn a language
A misconception of hypnosis is that it is a form of mind control. That's a scary word, in reality it's about teaching your brain to imagine stuff differently in a way that actually affects your day to day life. Here's some ways it can help you learn a language.
- Take the fear out of speaking and practicing in real or classroom environments
- Reduce the feeling of overwhelm
- Boost your confidence to practice and speak
- More focus and better concentration whilst studying
- Reduce procrastination and poor study habits
- Improve your sleep which helps memorisation
- Practice complicated vocabulary and grammar concepts
- Manage exam, job interview, or public speaking anxiety
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What is hypnosis?
The American Psychological Association states hypnosis as the following: "Hypnosis is a therapeutic technique in which clinicians make suggestions to individuals who have undergone a procedure designed to relax them and focus their minds"
In my own professional experience, hypnosis is really about the creative and strategic use of imagination to lay the path for new patterns of behaviour which seem out of control.
Hypnosis is safe for most people when provided by a trained practitioner.
The experience is very subjective. Often many people feel very relaxed, calm and free of any worries. Relaxation however is not required for hypnosis to occur.
There are some similarities with mindfulness and meditation.
What happens during a session?
Many articles online refer hypnosis as a relaxed trance state where people seem asleep. In reality this is deeply inaccurate and outdated. Hypnosis is an active process, not a passive one.
In my private hypnosis sessions for language learning, we will work for around typically 4 sessions lasting 60-90 mins each spread out over a month. These are available online or in Brussels. Here's what you can expect:
- An initial discussion to find out your goals and specific difficulties you'd like to overcome
- Thought experiments and games to keep things fun and create change easily
- Guided imagery and relaxation when useful
- Eyes can remain open or closed
- Practicing self-hypnosis so you can use the skills you learn any time, any place.
Is it suitable for everyone?
I believe self-hypnosis and hypnosis can be hugely beneficial to all that practice it especially if you are learning a language.
Learning a language is a process and so is the change process. You will still need to study and practice your language skills.
If learning a language is not really that important for you and you do not have any proper goals linked to learning a language, then I would not recommend it.
The majority of people will find the process deeply beneficial and notice great results when they fully apply what is taught.
Which foreign languages can hypnosis help with?
Any. Whether you want to learn French, English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic or any language, the tools of hypnosis and self-hypnosis can help. My private practice has a number of online and in-person options for you.