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  • Jason Krause

What is Depotentiation?

People tend to seek out help when they notice something is not feeling quite right in their life. Whether or not they have an idea of just what that something is or not, is another matter. But when someone walks into the office of a hypnotherapist, there is an understanding something is wrong and a hope they are coming to the right place.

Getting help for a problem is not a sign of weakness, or even a sign that nothing has yet been attempted to fix the perceived problem. It is an admission that the status quo is not sustainable and reaching out for professional help may bare more fruit than going it alone.


When dealing with problems in physical health, the solution is identifying the offending virus or bacteria and selecting the most appropriate treatment to eradicate it. When dealing with problems in emotional or mental health, the solution is not always as straightforward as taking a blood sample.

But if that person is getting comfortable on a hypnotherapist’s couch, the likelihood is they have already attempted to work out a solution with limited, or no, success. Another likelihood is that the person’s conscious mind has been seated firmly at the controls of the “let’s get better” train and is also intent on not relinquishing control to allow for backup. This is where depotentiation comes into play.

The conscious mind feels it knows best. It has already selected a remedy for the problem, and in doing so has narrowed its focus with a death-grip onto one solution. It becomes fixated on this one solution, this one potential way of coping with the problem, regardless of how ineffective it proves. The conscious mind is also not at all interested in what the unconscious mind might bring to the table, even if the current path the conscious mind is fixated on yields no positive results.

Depotentiation occurs when breaking through this fixation, essentially opening the mind to a far broader array of potentials, which the mind can then utilize for a more creative solution to the current problem. Depotentiating means disrupting narrow-minded fixations and opening the mind to overcome perceived personal limitations and automatic ways of thinking. During

hypnotherapy, this allows for inclusion of the unconscious mind in the process of problem solving. It also opens the door for the hypnotherapist to plant a post-hypnotic suggestion. This is the mental equivalent of spreading seeds of future possibilities on the now fertile and depotentiated soil of the mind which the client can then return to and reflect upon frequently between therapy sessions. The hope is the seeding of these possibilities of what healthy living beyond the current problem could look like, will germinate and come to fruition over time.

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