After running across the term “hyperempiria” in several sources recently, I noticed the similarity of certain terms used in this approach and those used in Humanist Hypnosis (most notably, in their references to “consciousness” and “expanded awareness”). To avoid any confusion between the two approaches, I thought it would be interesting to write a post comparing them. As you will see below, hyperempiria and Humanist Hypnosis really are quite different.
My thanks to Olivier Lockert, author, teacher and co-developer of Humanist Hypnosis for his explanations, which I have translated from French into English
Hyperimperia is a term that was invented in the 1970s by Don E. Gibbons, an American psychologist, to describe his approach towards hypnosis. He leads people into a « higher consciousness states » in the sense we used to hear about in the past (i.e., 1970s style ) and even sometimes today : « out-of-body » types of experiences, « into the cosmos », or « interstellar travels » with spiritual connotations. People meet with angels, energy forces, etc., as Gibbons explains himself on his site.
I am not sure that this is very well-known. In any case, in France it is only recently that we have started to hear about this approach. Here, we have Patrick Drouot who has been doing this sort of thing for years.
As they would say in Quebec : «c’est flyé » (« it’s out there »). And, as in the New Hypnosis book by Melissa Tiers (Integrative Hypnosis), when she talks about « expanded awareness », it is still a matter of a dissociative state, since people leave their body, see it from up above, etc. Gibbons says it himself on his site, « Hyperempiria consists of experiencing higher states of consciousness while the body remains asleep. »
This is explicitly a dissociated state—with all the disadvantages that we know to be the case : no transfer of learnings into the daily experience, the person has some lovely adventures that remain without any long lasting effect on their life, not to mention the risk of decompensating in persons with a fragile mental state, and that to cite only the major disadvantages.
And you still must accept a complete « letting go », possibly forgetting what you have learned or experienced, and especially putting yourself into the hands of a therapist that you don’t know very well. Not the type of experience you’d would to do with just anyone, and even less in the domain of coaching or the business environment.
In addition, hyperempiria offers no particular vision of life or philosophical support / system as does Humanist Hypnosis – which is absolutely essential in our practice ! For example, Gibbons never speaks of Consciousness (with a capital C) as a field of information. While Humanist Hypnosis works only within the concept of the framework of « Consciousness », as supported by [quantum] physics.
There is no psychological approach as we find in TSA (Advanced Symbolic Therapy)…no explanation of the symbols, fundamental wounds of the psyché, our psychological reactions to them, Jungian archetypes, dreams, their effect on couples’ relationships etc. It really is a a type of traditional hypnosis (in his scripts, Gibbons gives people directives such as « I am going to count to 10 and..) except oriented towards the « cosmos » . Apparently, according to the author, he does that because « people like it ». It corresponds to a certain demand. At the time, it was «New Age » … Gibbons seems to sense that he could go further because at times he does evoke phenomena in quantum physics, but he merely references them without doing anything in particular with them or understanding them completely. We are far from the explanations and scientific references we find in Humanist Hypnosis.
Finally, hyperempiria does not offer the highly specialized techniques as you find in Simple or Advanced Symbolic Therapy, Higher Self work (working on at the level of the «Matrix », on Information, etc…), Reconnection, Transgenerational techniques, healing the Inner Masculine/Feminine archetypes, dreams, couples’ therapy, etc.
It’s really just one of many approaches to traditional hypnosis. It distinguishes itself with a system of principles bearing the acronym « B.E.S.T. M.E., (with one principle per letter) in order to provide sessions that have some kind of structure.
The author explains well on his site (in English the nuances are more clear) “hyperempiria is a focused trance modality similar in many respects to traditional hypnosis with hyper acuity or heightened sensory exprience” (his mistake—I just copied and pasted his sentence here).
In French you would say approximately : “hyperempiria est une “transe par focalisation” similaire sur bien des aspects à l’hypnose traditionnelle, avec l’hyperacuité et une augmentation de l’expérience sensorielle ».
And there you have it. So, the parallel to Humanist Hypnosis is really distant. In Humanist Hypnosis, there is not necessarily any kind of cosmic voyage ; the accompaniment is adapted to each person can be quite concrete and down-to-earth, as are the issues that are addressed. And the approach of hyperempiria is a lot less complete and developed that our Humanist Hypnosis. There no comparison there! As I was telling you, I don’t know if this is really all that well known. A lot of people do techniques with a certain « spiritual » orientation. The differences that I cite in my message could also be useful in comparison with other similar approaches, more in the domain of « New Age » or « higher consciousness states » as in the old-fashioned sense.
The site on Humanist Hypnosis : http://hypnose-humaniste.com
The site of Don E. Gibbons on hyperempiria : http://hyperempiria.blogspot.fr
A video which explains in greater detail the differences between the 2 approaches (including a comparison with Humanist Hypnosis which you know better by now): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UkDs5h5HK4