Humanist Hypnosis and Hyperempiria

Is there a relationship between these two approaches?

“Hyperempiria” is the name given in the 1970s by Don E. Gibbons, an American psychologist, to the hypnosis approach he developed with his patients. It is a way of driving people into an “expansion of consciousness”, as we once understood it (sometimes even today): a kind of “journey outside the body”, “into the cosmos” or “into the stars”, with spiritual connotations. People encounter “angels”, “energy”, etc., as Gibbons himself explains on his website.

Such an approach is not well known in France, but it has been discussed on the Internet in recent years… In the 1980s, Patrick Drouot practiced similar techniques in France.

With “Hyperempiria” as in Melissa Tiers’ book of New Hypnosis (“Integrative Hypnosis”) where she refers to “expanded awareness”, we are still concerned with “dissociated” states, for both the authors themselves explain that people in such practices “leave their bodies”, that they see “from above”, and so on. Gibbons himself states on his website: “Hyperempiria consists in experiencing a higher state of consciousness while the body remains asleep“…

It has absolutely nothing to do with the state of Heightened Consciousness of Humanist Hypnosis. The experience is explicitly “dissociated” in this case – with the drawbacks we are familiar with: no transfer of learning in everyday life, the person can certainly experience beautiful things but which will often remain without any follow-up (because they are not connected to the body and the real world)… Not to mention the possibility of decompensation among fragile people ( escaping reality), to name only the biggest ones.

As is customary in these dissociating practices: you have to accept to let go, let yourself go, possibly no longer remember what you have experienced, trust a therapist you may not necessarily know, etc. This is not the sort of experience that can be practiced with everyone: people seeking this kind of experience often already suffer from dissociation, which should not be made worse…

And of course, there is no place in coaching or in the corporate world for such a practice… unlike Humanist Hypnosis, which is widely used in this field, in France and abroad.

In addition, Hyperempiria does not offer any particular vision of life, no philosophical system as with Humanist Hypnosis – a fundamental feature of our practice! Gibbons, for example, never mentions Consciousness as an information field. Whereas Humanist Hypnosis only works with this capital Consciousness, supported by the proven foundations of physics.
As you will learn from books on Humanist Hypnosis and during training, our approach is largely based on so-called ” hard-core ” sciences (maths, physics, etc.), as much as on traditional psychology – although it is subsequently applied for personal use.

There is also no in-depth psychotherapy in Hyperempiria, using archetypes, as is done with AST, in Humanist Hypnosis: in other words, no explanations about symbols, wounds, and psychological responses, archetypes, dreams, relationships (couple), etc., can be given.
This is classic hypnosis (we can read that Gibbons tells people in his scripts: “I’ll count to 10”) but is geared towards “the cosmos”.

Gibbons himself explains on his website “Doing that just because people like it”… It fulfills a request. Back then, it was called “new-age”. He has therefore no particular vision of Life, nor even a specific knowledge of psychotherapy.

Gibbons apparently feels that he could do better, as he sometimes evokes quantum physics phenomena, although without really providing a solid explanation or even understanding them completely, for that matter… We are far from the detailed and referenced explanations of Humanist Hypnosis.

Hyperempiria also does not propose any specialized techniques as exist in Humanist Hypnosis: the Conception Circle, the Shoulder Thrust, Simple or Advanced Symbolic Therapy, the Ideal Self (work on the Matrix, information, etc.), Reconnection, Transgenerational work, care and harmonization of the Feminine/Masculine, archetypes work, dreams, couple’s therapy, etc.

Hyperempiria is just a way to guide in hypnosis. Gibbons only provides an acronym system (” B.E.S.T. M.E. “), with one principle per letter, for performing hypnosis sessions, however unstructured they may be.

The author clearly explains on his website (the subtleties are more explicit in English): “hyperempiria is a focused trance modality similar in many respects to traditional hypnosis with hyperacuity or a heightened sensory experience” (the blame is on him).

There you go. There is, therefore, no possible parallel with Humanist Hypnosis. In our approach, we do not travel “into the cosmos” (in the dissociated meaning of forgetting our bodies “elsewhere”), as the guidance adapted to each person is very down to earth and specific to their personality, just like any of the other issues that we deal with.
Finally, Hyperempiria is not a complete approach nor is it as rich and developed as Humanist Hypnosis.

On a final note, many “spiritual” practices such as “Hyperempiria” have been in use since the 1970s… As such, all the observed differences mentioned in this article also apply to these other “new-age” or so-called ” consciousness expansion” oriented approaches. They may appeal to a certain audience, but in most cases, these are not psychotherapy practices and have nothing to do with Humanist Hypnosis.

Olivier Lockert (2012)