Escape Your Realities!
Escapism is something we all do every single day of our lives to one degree or another. It occurred to me that the use of visualizations and metaphor through hypnosis could be seen as a form of escapism so being the saddo that I am I looked up the definitions and was rather surprised by the negative connotations associated with the word. Especially as a hypnotherapist could be seen to be using it to foster positive therapeutic change using hypnosis as the tool to facilitate this change! Possibly the most negative definition I found was: An inclination or habit of retreating from unpleasant or unacceptable reality, as through diversion or fantasy. Now I would be the first to say that someone who is constantly living in their own dream world is behaving in a negative way. But, this definition treats something we all do on a daily basis at the extreme negative end of the spectrum! For example the moment we watch something on the TV, we are escaping our own reality. I happen to be something of a movie buff, having a huge collection of films on DVD and I love nothing better than going to see a good film at the cinema. But, I view myself as a rather positive person, especially in view of my profession. There is nothing I like better than a good movie! Yet, if you were to view my behavior in line with the above definition, you might be forgiven for thinking that I am in need of my own therapy. I don’t know, perhaps the compilers of the dictionaries I looked at were rather negative themselves.
As with just about everything and as I’ve mentioned before in the pages of this blog, it’s all about balance really. Of course, if someone were to make a habit of escapism (to be an escapist) then this could be viewed as a negative behavior that needs addressing. I’d imagine it would be infuriating to live or work with someone of this nature as you would constantly feel that you’re not being listened too. But, in reality, we all escape from reality from time to time. When was the last time you caught yourself daydreaming? Another form of escapism. I might even go as far as to say that some level of escapism is a healthy thing in this fast paced, highly connected and busy world in which we live. The popular media is forever feeding us the constant negative drip of news from around the World. The moment something bad happens anywhere in the World, we potentially know about it seconds later especially with the advent of the smart phone. So I think it is important to balance this with a modicum of escapism. The ability to disconnect ourselves from all that is going on at an appropriate time and bring ourselves back could be seen as a good thing. After all some of the best inventors, scientist and thinkers in history were considered as dreamers or heretics.
As I alluded to above, hypnosis can be used to facilitate positive therapeutic change, yet could also be seen to fit what escapism is. I would argue that escapism, as with many things, when used appropriately is a good thing and not something to be afraid of. So come along with me, dear reader, close your eyes, and we’ll see just how deep the rabbit hole goes!