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Kappasinian Hypnosis

The mind is divided into four areas*; all of which must be affected to enter the state of hypnosis.

That is the Kappasinian "Theory of Mind".

The Primitive Area

Part of the subconscious and established from birth. It contains the fight/flight response and the inborn startle reflexes of falling and loud noises.

The Modern Memory

Also a part of the subconscious and contains all of a person’s memories and experiences (knowns).

The Conscious Area

Formed around the age of 8 or 9, and is the logical, reasoning, decision-making part of the mind.

The Critical Area

Also formed around the age of 8 or 9, filters message units and accepts or rejects them from entering into the Modern Memory.

Once the Critical Area is overwhelmed, it breaks down, activating fight/flight, causing a hyper-suggestible state, known as hypnosis.

* Dr. Kappas used the term "areas", but was not referring to physical locations in the brain. The word "components" may be more accurate.

Kappasinian Theory of Mind

Dr. John Kappas, Ph.D. evolved this “Theory of Mind” over the course of many years of observation and practice. In it, he attempts to explain how our minds work, why hypnosis is possible, and why it works so well with things like weight loss, smoking cessation, chronic pain, and many other issues, when used in a hypnotherapy session.

Dr. John Kappas
Baby sleeping under models of planets and stars

At birth, our minds are like sponges. We soak in everything that happens to us and store it away as experiences. We’ve got a bunch of needs programmed in as well as some fears. Starting as a child, we grow, we have experiences, both good and bad and these are stored away. These experiences and social interactions become who we are. Interestingly enough, we prefer things we know, to things that are unknown. As a result, if we have an experience and we store that away in our memories, even if the experience is something you might consider negative, we will choose that path again over a path we don’t know, even if that path is based on false beliefs.

Somewhere around the age of eight or nine, earlier in some, later in others, we start to develop into who we are going to be later in life. The part we think of as “us” begins to form and we begin to be more and more critical of the things that happen to us, refusing to let them enter into our long-term storage unless they line up with the things that are already there and don’t conflict with them. During this stage of mind development, we begin to be skeptical of what we see and hear. An experience doesn’t necessarily bypass the critical faculty and become a belief anymore.

Mother and son reading books
Drawing of computer hooked by wires to the brain of a head

Dr. Kappas estimated that this conscious part of the mind that we develop is about 12% of our mind, who we are as a person. The other 88%, consists of those stored experiences, as well as the “primitive” area that came preprogrammed into us.

So there you are, going through life with about 12% of your mind making up the part you think of as “you” and 88% under the surface, like an iceberg, impacting how you react to things at every turn. Some things that you experience make it through your filters and become logged away as experiences in the 88%. Other things are rejected and never become embedded in who you are.

Polar bears standing on ice and looking across water at more ice
Man on a bathroom scale that says "Time to diet" on it

Now imagine you want to change something about yourself. Maybe your doctor said it was time to lose some weight. In the 12%, you know that is a good idea. You will be healthier, feel better, look better and maybe even live longer. Yet at every step of the way, things seem to go wrong. You just can’t seem to make it to the gym and you keep finding yourself with a cookie in your hand, cheating on your diet, even though you know better. You may even be aware of the fact that something is conflicting with what you “want”, but not know what it is or where is came from, even if it’s based upon false beliefs.

It’s not enough for the 12% (your conscious mind) to want to change. The 88% will win every time. Remember how the sub/unconscious, the 88%, likes “knowns”, even if they are negative? To it, the gym is scary. It’s an unknown. It would rather stick with the status quo than take a risk with that unknown. As for the diet, those cookies have definite positive associations in the subconscious. It’s going to want more… The belief that cookies are good in the 88% far outweighs the conscious desire to look and feel better by doing something like going to the gym.

Children in a park playing "tug of war" with a rope
A man holding his head, while sitting in a chair perched on the back of a tortoise

Under these conditions and by default, the subconscious is slow to change. If you can keep a sustained effort going, it is possible, but that is sheer willpower at work. Daily affirmations might help, as will creating new habits and new, positive associations with them. But, most people will fail. Beliefs embedded in the modern memory will keep sabotaging the desire of the conscious area. 

But what if you could get past the critical “firewall” of your mind and insert a few positive associations in place of the negatives and unknowns you have about losing weight and going to the gym? In the same way that the 12% will always lose in a “tug-of-war” with the 88%, it can’t lose when both parts are united.

Well, you can! The 88% can be reprogrammed. You learned a behavior, you can unlearn it. Or replace it. Or modify it. And, you can do it much faster and in a more targeted way than how the orginal, potentially limiting belief was created.

Graphic of a phone with a lock on the screen inside a ring of spotlights
A purple geometric design with dots and spirals

In a nutshell, THAT is hypnosis.

Hypnosis is a way to bypass the critical faculty and to change what is stored in the sub/unconscious. For example, you may never learn to love flying. But once you break the reward cycle that 88% of your mind has created to “keep you safe”, you won’t avoid taking that much deserved vacation any longer.

When Kappasinian Theory of Mind is combined with Kappasinian Suggestibility and Kappasinian Sexuality, it forms the foundation of the Kappasinian approach to hypnotherapy, a model shown to be extremely effective in getting to the bottom of issues and resolving them quickly.

The word "Start" painted on a road leading off into the horizon

If you’d like to know more, here’s John Melton C.Ht., one of my instructors while I was in school, giving a thirty-minute lecture on the Theory of Mind as developed by Dr. John G. Kappas, Ph.D., founder of the college of hypnotherapy I graduated from.

If you have a question or would like to discuss the Kappasinian Theory of Mind further, please reach out of me using my Contact page.

Want to see Kappasinian theory in action?

The theories of Dr. Kappas have come to define what is known as the “Kappasinian Method”. While there are many aspects to that methodology, including the “Mental Bank”, perhaps the most popular are his theories on Suggestibility and Sexuality. You can explore those further and take the assessments that Dr. Kappas designed in the “Resources” section of Hypnotechs.com.

Cartoon of a stubby man in a beret yelling "Action" into a megaphone