More about Creativity and Hypnosis – The Red Dress

by Leslie Zeigler

This is the second installment of my interview with my good friend Ruth Washton, who is both a psychotherapist and someone who practices hypnosis as well.

Ruth told me that there are many ways to induce a trance state, through the use language and metaphor, imagery, muscle relaxation. She likes to use a combination of mindful breathing and suggestions for release of muscle tension. She added that she instructs her clients in the method of deep abdominal breathing and asks them to absorb themselves in the feeling of their body breathing. Breathing evenly and deeply, the thinking mind becomes still as you focus your attention on your body breathing.
red dress
This fosters a very receptive state for internal reflection, exploration, and insight. So How is hypnosis used to facilitate creativity? In a mild trance state, a door opens into the subconscious mind, imagination supercedes the thinking, logical mind, the latter receding into the background. From this place, one can project dreams and aspirations in the form of a future self.

Ruth offered a fascinating example. A client of hers performed as a singer in a choral group, and sometimes as a soloist. Her great love in music was jazz and she had performed as a jazz vocalist in the past. The years went by, she married, had a family, and began a career. But she longed to be singing jazz.

Ruth said, “I facilitated a mild trance state and suggested to her that she imagine herself in a jazz club, on stage, and performing, backed by a group of jazz musicians. I asked her to see herself in great detail, to notice the expression of her body, her face and her voice. When she came out of the trance, she said she had pictured everything quite clearly and in detail, particularly a red dress that she was wearing. The following week,she called her piano teacher who put her in touch with a jazz pianist who invited her to sing with his group. She went shopping and found the red dress.”

This is the second installment of a series of interviews with Ruth Washton and her thoughts about creativity and hypnosis.

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