Last updated: 17 December 2015
It can be intimidating hypnotizing your first subject! It seems as if everyone has their unique spin on which induction to use.
From a standard relaxation induction to an instant induction, the choices can be overwhelming.
If you’re unsure about which induction to use, you can boil down all the induction methods into a simple 4-step process.
The induction you use certainly depends on the subject, but you can’t go wrong using these simple steps.
The 4 Steps Of Every Hypnotic Process
- Trance induction
- Trance deepening
- Stimulating the unconscious mind and making hypnotic suggestions
- Coming out of trance
Choosing an induction method does not have to be complicated and it can be as easy as the steps shown above.
Technically speaking, you can induce someone in ten to fifteen seconds, or even less. Begin by simply asking someone to close their eyes and go into a trance.
When they close their eyes, you can associate something that you do, like a shoulder touch for example, to deepen the trance.
The step may look something like this: “Every time I touch your shoulder, you’ll go deeper and deeper into hypnotic trance.”
You can also touch someone’s arm or the top of their head.
Make sure and always ask the subject for permission to touch them before getting started. Most people won’t mind a simple touch as long as they know before hand what to expect.
Don’t ever surprise your subject by touching them without permission.
The next step involves stimulating the unconscious mind. This might involve talking directly to the unconscious mind.
Always make a point to keep the suggestions positive.
This step may look something like this: “You can allow yourself to really enjoy this level of trance. Give yourself permission to continue deepening your trance and your level of relaxation. Know that you are becoming a healthier more positive person as a result of this session.”
Making a point to use some very simple, yet direct positive suggestions is key here.
Taking the time to work with your subject’s beforehand in the development of these suggestions is the key to a successful session.
The final part of the 4-step process involves ending the session and bringing them out of the trance.
This step involves giving your subject the proper process in which to do this.
For example, you might say something like: “In a moment, I am going to count from one to three. At the count of 3, you may open your eyes feeling refreshed, relaxed and invigorated as a result of this hypnotic session.”
This is really the entire hypnotic process.
There are of course many variations to this process. The best way to set yourself up for success when hypnotizing subjects is to do something called the pre-frame.
When you use a pre-frame, you have a much better chance of succeeding.
A great way to use the pre-frame technique is to simply ask someone or tell them to pretend they are going into hypnosis. Tell them to make believe they are going into a nice light level of trance.
Explain to them as part of this process they will breathe, think and act just like a hypnotized person would act.
They will stand just like a hypnotized person would stand and show characteristics just like someone who is hypnotized.
This kind of pre-frame allows your subject to get carried away in the hypnotic process, setting them up for success.
Let’s look at each step in a little more detail now.
Step 1: Close Your Eyes
This step is actually a very simple one. The point of this step is to show your subject’s how simple it is to go into a nice light level of trance.
It may sound silly, but it’s an important part of the process nonetheless. Simply tell your subject to gently close their eyes. Tell them that by closing their eyes, they allow themselves to enjoy a nice level of trance.
This reiterates the fact that you are the expert. Note that you are not asking your subjects to close their eyes as much as you are telling them to do so.
It’s important that you tie together the fact that someone is closing their eyes to the fact that they are also allowing themselves to go into hypnosis as part of the process.
You can also say something simple like “Close your eyes and go into hypnosis.”
Step 2: Deepen The Level Of Trance
The main objective in step two is to deepen the level of trance.
Saying something simple here like, “Every time I touch your arm, you’ll go deeper and deeper into hypnotic trance,” is the key.
You can choose any activity your subject can experience with their eyes closed like the touch of your hand on their shoulder, for example.
You can also pick up their hand and allow it to drop, telling them they will go deeper into trance every time their hand drops.
It is important to continually repeat the phrase “deeper and deeper” as this helps to deepen the level of trance.
Step 3: Simulate The Unconscious
This is generally the part of the process where you’ll give your subject hypnotic suggestions. You can also get your subject to visualize their ideal relaxation environment as part of this phase.
Always check with your subjects ahead of time to determine what their ideal relaxation environment is. Describing some kind of scene from nature works well.
As part of the pre-work of this phase, you’ll also want to work with your subject beforehand to determine the goal for the session (i.e. what problem they came to work through).Working with your subject to create hypnotic suggestions is a wonderful way to set yourself up for success.
This step of the process is where you will use your vivid imagination.
Stimulating your subject’s imagination is as easy as describing the environment you’ve chosen together.
You’ll want to be vague about the environment, supplying only general detail that would be there and letting your subject fill in the landscape for themselves.
You’ll then repeat your hypnotic suggestions over and over because repetition is necessary to associate the change.
You might say something like this:
“Now close your eyes and go into hypnosis. You will feel my touch on your shoulder and that is your cue to go deeper and deeper into trance. Allow yourself to relax more and more with each breath.
And as you go deeper and deeper now, into a nice comfortable trance, you’ll become more and more relaxed.
It’s easy to be so relaxed and it feels good to go deeper and deeper.
Now I would like you to imagine an enjoyable day at the beach.
There may be a breeze against your skin and perhaps you can notice the colors of the water.
As you relax even more deeply, you might even find a nice comfortable stop to sit at and enjoy the view.
Smell the air as you relax even more deeply.
It feels so good to relax and let it all go. As you relax at your beautiful serene spot, you realize how positive and hopeful you feel.”
Continue with hypnotic suggestions fine-tuned to your subject’s needs.
Step 4: Ending The Session
The final part of the process is bringing your subject out of trance, back to their normal waking state.
Tell your subject to simply bring themselves back out of trance as you count from one to three. Tell them at the count of 3 that they’ll open their eyes feeling refreshed, relaxed and simply fantastic.
Before you bring them out of trance, make sure to cancel out any hypnotic suggestions you don’t want to stay active in their life.
Tell them it’s okay to open their eyes or move their arm, for example, upon awakening.
If your subject is having trouble waking up, simply tell them it’s okay to awaken, and that every part of their body feels normal once again.
Tell them it’s okay to come back to conscious awareness and to open their eyes.
These simple steps form the basis of the hypnotic process.
There are of course many ways to elaborate on this process. While you can add things as needed, these 4 steps are really all you need to successfully hypnotize any subject.
The best way to become more comfortable with the hypnotic induction is to practice, practice, practice!
You can even record your own voice and practice on yourself. This is a great way to determine what you are doing right or wrong.
One common mistake when starting out is rushing through the induction. Listening to your own voice will allow you to make any adjustments along the way.
Use your good judgment and your personality to make your sessions uniquely yours.