Trust the unknown and enter into a dynamic of change
Initially, Bertrand was looking for a solution to the problem of lack of sleep during his balloon expeditions. That’s how he became interested in hypnosis. He discovered much more than a way to manage stress, fatigue and the time it takes to fall asleep. He also found a new therapeutic approach, focused on the use of internal forces, that was effective in treating anxious, phobic, traumatized or depressed patients. His interest in unconventional methods prompted him to explore this approach, with which academic medicine does not yet concern itself.
In the early 1990s, Bertrand trained in Ericksonian hypnosis, first in Europe, then in the United States, and fully integrated this into his practice as a psychiatrist. After becoming a teacher and supervisor at the Swiss Society for Clinical Hypnosis, he organized training seminars for doctors and psychologists several years running. In granting him the title Member of Honour, the Swiss Society of Clinical Hypnosis underlined the original way in which Bertrand had used hypnosis during his aerial voyages and the way in which he demystified it in the eyes of the medical profession and the general public.
Hypnosis introduced Bertrand to the immense power of inner resources in transforming human lives. For him, « hypnosis is less a technique, more of a return to your inner self that mobilizes your life forces and allows you to go through processes of change in a confident state of mind. It becomes a pathway to development, whether practiced in the form of meditation or self-hypnosis - the term used does not matter. Connecting with yourself is a way out of dependence on the outside world and your own outdated thought patterns, a way of creating a space in which we can move in the way we want to. Then, when facing life, we can mobilize a lot more confidence, be less fearful. We can capture this inner confidence to continue developing ourselves psychologically and spiritually ».
When we are close to our unconscious, we are close to our inner resources. We develop the confidence needed to bring about the necessary changes.
Self-hypnosis for regeneration
The practice of self-hypnosis has helped Bertrand during each of his adventures, as well in everyday life. He applied these techniques in flight to help him fall asleep quickly for twenty-minute phases, or to stay awake when exhausted. “I seek out those moments of inner silence. They have helped me a lot ever since I realized that our attention and focus are mostly on the external world. We see, we listen, we feel. But if we turn our gaze inward, we start to feel ourselves existing in our own body. It is an experience of self-awareness, and it greatly increases our energy."
Around-the-world flights: guaranteeing the pilot’s endurance
An around-the-world trip in a solar airplane involves long flight-stages during which the pilot, alone at the controls, has to have the same endurance as the aircraft. But how can you stay alert enough to fly a plane for 5 days and 5 nights? Bertrand Piccard practices self-hypnosis. By plunging into a state of trance, the pilot manages to dissociate his mind from his body and can thus remain focused on the onboard instruments even when he is resting!
Hypnosis as a process leading to change
Hypnosis is not some kind of complementary medicine. it’s been a familiar experience for mankind since the dawn of time. When I asked who had ever experienced a hypnotic state, only ten people in this room raised their hands.
Sentences and Ideas
In my practice as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, I have often been struck by the following observation - in some courses of therapy, a single sentence is enough to cure a patient. You can sometimes find this sentence in the first session, whilst in other cases, it might take years!
Doubt, hypnosis and spirituality
I think it must have been at about 2 o’clock in the morning, almost exactly 26 years ago. I can’t remember any longer whether it was raining or whether the moon was visible. What I do know is that I was a medical student, on night-shift duty at accidents and emergencies as part of my stint as an intern.
Hypnosis with or against the winds of life
Countless highly specialized research papers treat hypnosis in all its various forms, but could the process of hypnosis not also be understood more simply as a state of mind in which we suddenly stop fighting against the winds of life...