Dissociation is used as a defense to protect a person from overwhelming pain and trauma. It is a natural ability of the brain. Hypnosis or hypnotic trance is a form of dissociation. There are a number of types of dissociation: amnesia, somnambulistic states, localized paralyses, anesthesias, and hallucinations. Hypnosis can reproduce all of these dissociative states. The mind naturally hypnotizes itself under various conditions. Perhaps the reader has been driving along a familiar road and the next thing you knew you were arriving home, having driven in a trance. Now let’s suppose you are driving to a movie and you are discussing next week’s plans with your wife. The complex thinking required to drive just happens. You are awake talking to your wife, and yet on another level you were in trance driving the car. You as a subject were both in hypnotic trance (driving) and awake (talking about plans).
There are 5 levels to the subconscious that the mind will naturally dissociate to. The other deeper levels require help to access. People naturally can think on two levels. Because people’s minds function on multilevels and there is a continua on a spectrum that runs from conscious to unconscious, it is often difficult to pinpoint just exactly what state of mind the brain is in at a certain point, because there is no single answer. A light trance is where a person is daydreaming about his girlfriend. A moderate trance is where he imagines he is in bed. A deep trance is where he physically feels he is in bed with his girlfriend. Sleep is where one dreams of being in bed. Behavior modification is carried out in the light to deep trances. The deep trance is a very creative level.