By Chaplin Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D.


Chaplain Paul Durbin

Chaplain Paul Durbin

Hypnosis and reinforcement by self hypnosis in improving memory and concentration is especially helpful and easy to learn and practice. Hypnosis cannot take the place of studying; reading, listening, but it can enhance the individual learning abilities and recall. Hypnosis enables the individual to tap the great resources of the subconscious mind.

There are at lease eight ways hypnosis can help improve one’s scholastic abilities:

(1) Increase One’s ability to concentrate. (2) Improve the ability to retain, recall, and remember. (3) To control emotions and stress. (4) Enhance motivation and enthusiasm for learning. (5) Increase energy and endurance. (6) Increase self?esteem, confidence, and self efficiency. (7) Resolve subconscious blocks or conflicts. (8) To help one remain calm and relaxed while taking examinations. One of the areas which may be a block to learning is some long ago past experience. For example, a child knocks over a glass of milk and is called “stupid.” The subconscious mind may accept that as true for the child may take the words literally. The parent may have meant: clumsy, awkward, not paying attention, but used the word, “stupid.” If his subconsciously accepts this statement as true, the person will continue to do stupid things. They may have a high IQ, but do poorly in school, because a stupid person cannot make good grades.

Sometimes a teacher will say, “You do good in spelling, but you will never make it in Math.” The person may develop a problem with Math. “Your sister was good in spelling, but you can’t spell.” The person may develop a spelling problem. These are some problems that may call for more in depth counseling and hypnotherapy, but most people can improve by proper use of suggestion, imagery, and healing stories.

Randall’s Case History

Randall had to have a two point grade average in order to play on his high school basketball team. He said, “The main reason that I go to school is to play basketball. I am the school’s leading scorer, so if I fail to make my grades I will also be letting the team down. I can’t keep my mind on my studies. I just want to play basketball and go fishing with my buddies.” Randall is close to his mother, but not to his father. His father has a heart attack about two years ago and as a result became distant from his son.

In hypnosis, I had Randall imagine the basketball gym door was locked. Whenever he came to play or practice, the door was locked. There was only one key to the gym and that was good grades. Being motivated to study and make good grades is your key to the gym. Your interest in studying is increasing for you want to always have your key to the gym ready to use.

Enjoy School Work: You are ready to enjoy some very pleasant changes in the way you study. Many people have found that if something is boring, tiring, monotonous, or tedious that just a slight change can make that same thing surprisingly pleasant, enjoyable and interesting…School work, when completed can give you a sense of accomplishment and doing well, It is your key to the gym door.

When you are just beginning your school work, the feeling is that is going to be done, is being done, and has been done. You have a feeling of expectation that enables you to concentrate better, learn more rapidly and really enjoy studying. Think it over…Don’t agree yet…Think it over before you agree…You can actually enjoy doing your assignments and you can feel really proud in knowing that you have completed your school work…

There are times when you enjoy being you…Being the person in your body…Feeling relaxed…Feeling comfortable…While in your mind you can explore thoughts and ideas that really give you pleasure…Now feel a sense of accomplishment, ..Enabling you to go to bed, sleep peacefully and calmly knowing your school work is done for the day and your key to the gym door is safely in your possession…

The image of you completing your school work is a good thing to accomplish…And it keeps becoming easier and more enjoyable for you to make good grades…The nice feelings come as you are doing it…causing it be really worthwhile. Is that alight? I expect your mind to translate everything I’m saying into your own words…Your phrases…and your own actions…so the changes you are accomplishing in your own way…not mine…You find pleasure in getting your assignments done and in making good grades…

Notice that you are already beginning to feel enthusiastic about school…You are already sensing that good grades are your key to the gym door. You experience feelings of satisfaction knowing that you are making good grades. You are already organizing the words I have told you into your own actions, and you are pleased to find this continuing after you come out of this hypnotic state. (3) Improving Memory And Study Habits: You can concentrate on what you are studying. Visualize yourself studying, remembering and recalling what you study. You can make concentration a habit. Your mind is like a computer. You feed data into it by reading and listening. You hear something and record it. You experience something and record it. You can picture the things you read. You can hear the things you see. You can feel the things you hear, you can experience the things you study. Everything fed into your computer is permanently retained and available to you at all times.

You have a good memory and day by day your memory is getting better and better. It is easy for you to learn and remember. Concentration strengthens your mind and memory. Whenever you use your memory, it becomes stronger every time you use it. Every time you study, your concentration and memory enhance your capacity for a successful, creative and productive life.

Whenever you take an exam or when you desire to remember specific information, you are relaxed and calm. Memory comes to the conscious mind much easier when you are relaxed. Therefore, whenever you desire to relax, just close your eyes and take a deep breath. You breathe in relaxation and exhale tension. This relaxes you and enables you to recall the things you have learned. During an exam, if you come to a question, but do not recall it, just take a deep breath and think, “I know the answer to the question and I am able to recall it in a minute or two.” Move on to the next question, and as you work on other questions, the answer comes to the question you had difficulty answering. If you need to go back to a question, you can say, “My mind is like a computer. What I have studied is in the computer. I visualize a computer keyboard and punch the recall button. As I do the answer comes on the screen of my memory.” At the count of three, you come out of the hypnotic state. One: Study, remember, recall, Two: Study, remember, recall.

Chaplain Paul G. Durbin is a United Methodist Minister. Chaplin (Brigadier General) United States Army: Retired 1989 Director of Pastoral Care & Clinical Hypnotherapy: Methodist Hospital, New Orleans, LA: Retired 2001 Director of Pastoral Care & Clinical Hypnotherapy: MHSF, Affiliated with Methodist Hospital: Retired June 30, 2005.

Chaplin Durbin has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Centenary College of Louisiana; a Master of Divinity from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; PhD from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy, Irvine, California, now American Pacific University in Hawaii, and has completed four quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed A.M.C., Washington, D.C.