“Under hypnosis, learn foreign languages easily and quickly”. The TV on in the background, an advertisement tickles our ears and tickles our curiosity. Hypnoledge, a Bordeaux start-up launched in 2018 by three specialists in therapeutic hypnosis, promises better language learning through hypnosis. English, Spanish or even Mandarin would be easier to learn thanks to a modified state of consciousness, compared to traditional language courses.
Does this method really work? By what mechanisms? And could hypnosis promote the learning of other disciplines?
Achieve hyperconcentration and optimize memorization
Learning is a bit our job during childhood. From birth, we must learn everything: to walk, eat, speak. Then to school, to read, write, count, speak English. This is still what we do during our studies, to acquire the knowledge necessary for a profession. In adulthood, we continue to learn every day, but to a lesser extent. So after a certain age, putting your nose back in books, learning a foreign language and digging into your lessons, it’s immediately more complicated.
This is where hypnosis can be a game changer. “We are not aware of it, but all day, we are all under hypnosis: our brain is like a computer, a super calculator which performs the majority of calculations unconsciously, explains Gershon Pinon, psychologist, hypnosis practitioner and founder ofHypnoledge. When our conscious system captures about seven to ten pieces of information per second, at the same time, unconsciously, we process millions of pieces of information: we breathe, we walk, manage our balance, operations that are carried out outside our field of consciousness. “.
These unconscious mechanisms, the practitioner wanted to use them for language learning, “by starting each lesson with a few minutes of hypnosis, to bring the subscriber into a modified state of consciousness which allows him to reach a level of hyperconcentration, of memorization capacity, therefore of consolidation of knowledge, much stronger, describes Gershon Pinon. The person is not bewitched or oblivious, just more receptive. There, they provide her with information – vocabulary, grammar, images – adapted to her knowledge, and she absorbs it unconsciously”. In practice, “it’s quite impressive, confides Florent, a 33-year-old sports coach, who undertook an upgrade of his English in January. At first, I believed in Messmer-style hypnosis, when no, we are in full consciousness during the course: the hypnosis sequence allows us to concentrate more deeply on the words, we ignore this going on around, it’s even quite disconcerting at first”.
“Remove the psychological barriers to learning”
But hypnosis isn’t just for helping adults with a slightly distracted mind focus. “There is also a lot of work, fundamental, on the psychological and emotional dimension of learning, underlines Gershon Pinon. Many are afraid to learn, lack confidence, lack motivation, and don’t dare to talk while traveling for fear of being laughed at. So many brakes that inhibit the learning of a language and its practice”. But “with hypnosis, we reach this modified state of consciousness where we are not hindered by these conscious self-blockings”, abounds Valérie Roumanoff*, hypnotherapist and author of the play It’s not your fault “.
To “remove these psychological obstacles to learning, the application offers, beyond language lessons, a whole side of “soft skills” on personal development, with “hypnokeys”, hypnosis sessions as we could do it in the office, in order to deal with these problems related to fear, lack of confidence or speech, destabilization, adds Gershon Pinon. Hypnotherapy teaches the unconscious to associate a new emotion with what was scary at first.
A toolbox that helped Florent a lot. “I didn’t have the level to do coaching in English, when I was in demand. But I had no desire to take group lessons, nor the patience to devote an infinite amount of time to it. As I am very focused on psychology, I liked the possibility of unlocking hypnokeys in particular to free myself from the fear of speaking in public. It is a virtuous circle that is set in motion”.
“Sometimes the words come to me first in English”
And for Florent, the results are there: “Alone and under hypnosis, I learn much more easily, without shame, without anyone to make fun of it as was the case in class. I find myself repeating the words with a great accent! And to find vocabulary that dates from school even though it was not on the lesson’s program. How ? “This is one of the main principles of hypnosis: it allows us to access our sometimes forgotten personal resources, and much more important than we think”, deciphers Valérie Roumanoff.
“The method is to prevent the conscious from translating into French; we do not want our learners to intellectualize the foreign language – this is precisely what makes learning difficult in adulthood – but to absorb it like a baby learning its mother tongue, without conscious effort to understand , in a more intuitive and interactive way”.
With three twenty-minute lessons per week, Florent “quickly saw the difference. Before, I was hooked on subtitles when I watched a series in original version, and after barely a month, I could do without it. And today, I could do all my coaching in English, so much so that during the lessons, certain words come to me in English rather than in French, it’s quite crazy! With this method, it goes both much faster, and we feel that the knowledge acquired is lasting.
“The possibilities are endless”
Can we acquire knowledge under hypnosis in other disciplines? ” Yes ! For any learning that requires a lot of sensory information, and where the psychological dimension has a strong impact, answers Gershon Pinon. Eventually, I would like to develop music lessons: hypnosis would reinforce the sense of rhythm, education of the ear and letting go to dare to express oneself with an instrument”. In practice, “it promotes visualization, adds Valérie Roumanoff. It is useful both for practicing piano scales and in sport: high-level athletes practice self-hypnosis to improve certain very technical gestures. The possibilities are endless”.
Especially to manage stress. “Before a partial or a license exam, practicing self-hypnosis allows us to reach a state of relaxation and optimization of our potential, to not be destabilized by our emotions, adds Valérie Roumanoff. The benefit is concrete, especially since self-hypnosis is easy to learn”.
“Hypnotherapy is quite powerful and yet poorly understood,” she continues. Many patients test her for everything behavioral: quitting smoking, managing cravings or insomnia. Or to overcome a romantic breakup or bereavement, to tap into one’s resources and thus change one’s perception of the situation. You can even be operated on under hypnosis! »