Poetry and Hypnosis

n early March, 1999, I met with Paul for further work with hypnosis.  He complained that he was not feeling well, because during the previous several weeks he had had inexplicable vomiting.  He had been evaluated by a gastroenterologist, who could identify no physiologic problem.  When I suggested to Paul that perhaps he could learn to control this problem with hypnosis, he became upset. 


He said that he was tired of my telling him that his medical problems might be due to his expectations. 


“I didn’t mean to upset you.  I just thought that you are so good in hypnosis that you might be able to help yourself even with this problem.”


Paul replied that he had tried to use hypnosis but that it did not work for his vomiting.  He was not interested in any further attempts to use hypnosis for this problem.  But he wanted to continue our work with his subconscious.  He said he wanted to be introduced to a new hypnosis technique I had developed that involved typing. 


“Why don’t you imagine that you are on your lake.  Let me know when you’re there,” I suggested.


Paul closed his eyes, and a few moments later nodded slowly.


“Can you make it to shore?”


He nodded.


“OK.  On the shore do you see a tunnel in the ground?”


He nodded.


“Good.  I will now count down from 10.  With each count you can take a step into the tunnel.  Once I reach 1 you will be at the bottom of the tunnel.  There you will find your subconscious.” I then counted slowly from 10 to 1.  “Can you feel your subconscious?”


He nodded.


“Good.  Now, in a moment you will be able to open your eyes, but remain in hypnosis.  We will then walk over to the computer, and you will be able to type while remaining in hypnosis.  Do you understand?”


He nodded.


As I instructed, Paul opened his eyes and walked over to the computer.  We sat down side by side as Paul’s gaze seemed to fall somewhere above the computer screen.  I posed questions by typing them.  As I typed Paul sat quietly with his hands in his lap.  When I finished typing a question, Paul slowly raised his hands to the keyboard and then typed quickly.  When he finished, his hands slowly drifted down to his lap.  For more than an hour, the only sounds heard in my office were the clicks of the keyboard and an occasional sigh.


As the session progressed, Paul again decided to use poetry to express his feelings:


People see you in the streets

pretend to be friendly

but I know any type of success breeds envy

I know in the back of your mind your conjuring ways to get to leave my friends in the circle pouring out henny

but Jesus, I’m heavenbound

so how I’m gonna receive anything ya’ll pour to the ground

next time throw it up.

Don’t grieve for me, cause



now my words is immortal told through the portal

I don’t plan to leave without a fight

plant a seed I give life

but I can’t see past the girls greed to call a wife.

And next time you thinkin’ heist

better be precise

‘cause I’m fully prepared

cause one of us is going leave here.

I have no regrets even though I won’t see grow

my Godson boogie, sonnie and remo.


I was concerned by the apparent dark content of the poem.  I asked Paul whether he was concerned that he would die soon. 


His subconscious told me, “No.  Paul is just worried about all that is wrong with the world.  He will probably live to be 100-years-old.”


At the conclusion of the typed hypnosis session, Paul denied remembering anything that was typed about.  He did not want to read what he wrote, but I asked him to sign the transcript of what we had typed together, because he was a co-author of the session.

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