Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, used methods such as dream analysis (looking for unconscious material in symbolic form), free association (clients say whatever comes into their minds) and transference (unconscious projection of feelings, desires and fantasies onto another person, especially the therapist) to loosen defenses and gain clues to seemingly unsavoury desires.
Basically hypnoanalysis uses the notion of the unconscious mind and the understanding that bringing repressed material from the unconscious to the conscious mind can be helpful in therapy.
The following methods are used in hypnoanalysis:
- Ideomotor Signalling: Suggestions evoke ostensibly automatic or involuntary movements. A method of using ideomotor finger-signalling could be to instruct the patients that some of their fingers of one (or two) hands will be assigned one of several possible responses: „yes“, „no“, „I don’t know“ and „I don’t want to say“
- Age regression: To relive or revivicate in imagination memories from an earlier period of the client’s life, age regression may be used
- Age progression: Clients can be asked to imagine themselves at a certain point in the future by specifying the time or by defining a specific goal they want to achieve. This procedure may be used for future rehearsal (e.g. overcoming anxieties and phobias).
- Resolving difficult memories
- Automatic writing and drawing: For this technique a pencil is placed in the client’s hand during hypnosis and it may be suggested that the hand will write or draw automatically without any conscious effort