Welcome to the ultimate guide on hypnosis training.
In this 3-part guide, you’ll be taken on a journey.
One that will reveal what type of hypnosis training you should do in order to go from being a novice to hypnosis master.
While accomplishing the latter will take longer than the time it will take to read this guide (sorry, this isn’t a quick fix to mastery) you’ll get a very clear idea of how you can hone, improve and advance your skills as a hypnotist.
In essence, consider it as your complete guide to hypnosis training. A roadmap that’ll arm you with insider tips, resources and training programs to transform you into a confident and proficient hypnotist.
But first, you might be wondering…
“What Type Of Hypnosis Training Should I Do?”
To answer this question, you first need to identify why you want to use hypnosis.
If you want to become a professional hypnotherapist to help people overcome problems such as fears, phobias and mental illnesses, it’s recommended that you use a variety of training methods, such as: online hypnosis training programs, attend live training seminars, get your hypnotherapy certification, and if you want to really master hypnosis, that you get your hypnotherapy diploma.
But if you just want to learn hypnosis to improve the way you communicate, or to become more influential in your everyday life, there are a host of online training programs that will certainly help you reach your goal (some of which are listed in this article). You can also join local hypnosis Meetup groups, or attend a live hypnosis training seminar to further help hone your skills.
Now let’s take a look at each of these training methods below…
So you’re new to the whole hypnosis game?
Let us be the first to congratulate you on embarking on this meaningful and worthwhile journey.
As you’re probably already aware, hypnosis is a powerful change work tool that can be used to not only positively transform your own life – but the lives of your family, friends, community and, well, the world.
Yes, really – the world. We’re not exaggerating here – we believe it to be true.
And if you too have even an inkling that this is possible – and you share this positive intention – then we’ve got good news for you.
Because you’re about to learn how you can become the kind of hypnotist who’s able to spark powerful and lasting transformations in others.
And because you’re about to get your feet wet, we thought it would be a good opportunity to briefly share the backstory of the founder of the Hypnosis Training Academy, Igor Ledochowski.
You see, Igor wasn’t always a master hypnotist. In fact, he used to be a lawyer.
So his road to mastery hasn’t always been plain sailing. He’s come across many obstacles in his path to mastery.
But the best part about this?
Since starting the Hypnosis Training Academy, Igor’s mission has been to openly share what’s worked for him (and what hasn’t).
So whether you want to learn ethical conversational hypnosis, hypnotherapy, or self-hypnosis… or you just want to learn some basic hypnosis techniques and have fun – we’ve got your back.
But before we share Igor’s advice, master hypnotist and one of the Hypnosis Training Academy’s trainers, Karsten Küstner, wants to share some of his hypnosis training tips for beginners in the video below:
Karsten Küstner’s Winning Hypnosis Training Tips For Beginners
NOTE: Even if you consider yourself to be an old hand when it comes to hypnosis, the insights shared in this guide by master hypnotists Igor Ledochowski and Karsten Küstner may launch new rockets of inspiration.
What’s better than the advice of one master hypnotist? The advice of two master hypnotists, of course.
So next up, we have Igor’s 7 best hypnosis training tips for hypnotists just starting out.
And given that Igor is the founder of the Hypnosis Training Academy, and the creator of over 70 hypnosis and NLP training products… he probably knows a thing or two when it comes to hypnosis mastery…
Igor Ledochowski’s Advice For Hypnotists Just Starting Out
#1 Take It Easy
People take it too seriously, and they get scared. So have fun while learning hypnosis and whatever you do – don’t take it too seriously.
Igor learned this valuable lesson after going to one of his first trainings.
The story goes a little like this… the instructors were so paranoid about the students causing abreactions or making mistakes, they were walking on eggshells.
You could sense the tension in the air.
And guess what? They made everyone so nervous they created the very problem they tried to avoid.
The other issue we get a lot is people emailing us saying, “I tried an instant induction. It didn’t work. What’s wrong?”
They’re often determined that they must succeed right off the bat. Again, that mindset is not very conducive to learning.
If you’re fascinated…if you’re having fun…and you’re okay with the results that you’re getting – rather than needing the results to be some strange magical thing where the heavens part – then you have a good foundation.
The rest is just a recipe for frustration.
When you have an insecure and nervous hypnotist, one of two things happens.
Either what you’re trying won’t work. Why? Because your lack of confidence comes across – and becomes a suggestion for it not to work.
This suggestion forms a seed of doubt inside the person you’re trying to hypnotize.
The other thing that can happen is just as troublesome.
It can make the person you’re trying to hypnotize think:
“Maybe there’s something to be terrified of because he’s the professional here.”
You know the drill. Your subject starts to fill with a bit of fear and doubt. Before you know it, the snowball is heading down the mountain side getting bigger.
“If he’s terrified, I need to be terrified!”
At this point, it’s all downhill from here.
You need to keep in mind that hypnotists still have a bit of a reputation.
What kind of reputation you ask? One of some strange mystical force.
And how do you think the whole situation will be perceived if on top of that you’re scared?
It’s not only going to ramp up your subjects fear, it’s going to ramp up your fear as well. It’s a kind of feedback system.
You’re showing some fear. Your subject picks up on it. When you try to get a hypnotic effect working with them, their fear gets in the way. Then you’ll see this as failure on your part.
You’re now back at square one. Only your fear has been escalated.
Long story short? Just take it easy. Enjoy the process.
We’ll give you an example from when Igor first hypnotized someone….
When you’re just starting off – failure is something that’s pretty high up on the list.
We’re gonna warn you against portraying yourself as a world-class hypnotist who hits the nail on the head every single time. You’re only setting yourself up for failure.
Because you’re creating a situation where only one of two things can happen.
You can either succeed or fail.
You’re creating a frame of success vs failure.
Why limit yourself with a frame where there is only two choices? Success or failure.
The alternative? You could step up the game and present what you’re going to do as research.
Then you can take them through a whole series of suggestion effects that build upon each other.
“What happens if one of the suggestion effects doesn’t work?
When someone responds or doesn’t respond, it’s irrelevant.
The entire situation has been framed within the context of doing research. You haven’t setup any conditions that would put anyone on guard.
And by the way, 99% of the time you’ll be getting some very positive effects straight off the bat.
Interested in finding how you hypnotize virtually anyone without fear?
If fear is the only thing holding you back from hypnotizing people (it usually always is) – why not check out Igor’s How to Practice Hypnosis Without Fear online hypnosis training program.
This popular course will give you the confidence to approach anyone and get them into a hypnotic trance.
#2 Start Slow And Build Up
Time and time again we’ve seen novices who come across as over-ambitious. Think of the beginning of your hypnosis journey as a marathon.
Don’t try sprinting straight out of the gate. You’ll need to conserve your energy.
If you’re jogging at a nice even keel you’ll make more progress in the long run. This will also help to maintain your passion and motivation for mastering hypnosis.
A lot of people who are over jazzed fail right off the bat because they’ve stretched too high.
They get disappointed.
Hell, they might even start to think that hypnosis doesn’t work.
In reality, what’s happened is they tried to ride a motorcycle before they even knew how to ride a bicycle and they crashed.
They didn’t know how to handle the equipment.
Another benefit of starting off slow and building your skills over time is you won’t get tripped up as much by fear.
When you’re rushing to get to the finish line you’re asking for trouble.
In other words, don’t create a situation of fear.
Secondly, take things gradually. Take things one step at a time. Right foot. Left foot. Doesn’t get more simple than that.
That said, let’s back up a second.
You don’t want to take things one step at a time. You want to take measured steps.
Follow the Law Of Success Approximation, Daniel Son.
Aka: working from success to success, not from failure to failure. No matter how small that success is.
“How do I move from success to success if I don’t even know where to begin?”
Well, to begin with, you can start off with the Secrets Of Hypnosis Revealed online training program.
It’s a home study course that’ll give you a basic primer in hypnosis.
It’ll give you all the foundations and some cool experiments that you can try right away with friends and family – and even at a practice group.
And once you’ve got a few successful inductions under your belt, you’ll feel more confident about advancing to the next level and trying out some of the more complex techniques that may have overwhelmed you to begin with – mark our words!
#3 Get Down To Business
And jump into some basic hands-on training.
You want to get good at hypnosis without actually physically doing hypnosis? Ain’t gonna happen, our friend.
Remember this – hypnosis is not a spectator sport.
You’ve gotta jump in and get your hands dirty.
A lot of hypnotists tried teaching themselves from books and DVDS… and it’s frustrating to start off that way.
The best way to get started is at the hands of someone who can guide you… and let you practice with them.
Now, a lot of people will read quite a lot before they’ll jump into their first hypnosis course.
Igor was one of them. It’s great to do lots of reading.
Some folks out there are self-starters. They’re willing to experiment from books, DVDs and CDs.
Even so, most people do best by getting hands-on guidance from someone.
This way you can get your first inductions out of the way. You get a sense of what you’re looking for and get some successes under your belt – and not to mention all within a safe environment.
“Does it have to be a formal hypnosis course?”
Not at all.
It could be a friend of yours who’s a hypnotist already. As long as they’re willing to show you the ropes.
Or even do a few things with you so you can get the basics down. Just having the groundwork laid out is very helpful.
Next up folks we’ve got…
#4 Get Crystal Clear On Why You Want To Learn Hypnosis
Get clear on your reasons for wanting to learn hypnosis.
A lot of folks get drawn to hypnosis by the illusion of control. They get attracted to hypnosis because of the power angle. They feel they’ll get more control of others.
There’s a pattern we’ve seen over the years.
Which is: the type of person who’s attracted by the idea of exercising control over other people usually feels powerless themselves.
If you only remember one thing from this article – let it be this:
As your ability to influence increases, your need to influence decreases.
This is because when people are seeking power over others what they don’t realize is they themselves feel out of control.
As you develop more self-assurance and a sense of self-control over yourself, then your need to try and be powerful over others starts to vanish.
You’ll let go of something that’s been holding you back. This is because people who feel powerless… it’s as if they’ve got a monkey on their back.
The reason they’re fixated on power is because they have a monkey on their back inhibiting them and wrongly believe more power over others will somehow resolve that.
It never will.
No amount of power over others will ever relieve the sense of powerlessness someone has.
It may make someone more arrogant, for sure. It’ll feed narcissism, no doubt. It will possibly make life a little bit more tolerable than it was before. But it’s the fake solution. It’s not a true solution.
The solution they’re really looking for – and it takes some people a while to figure this out – is they need to get rid of their neediness.
They need to let go of wanting this power over others. This is because:
They’re not passionate about trying to dominate others and be powerful over others – they’re passionate about serving and helping others.
And that passion comes across.
Once this happens – quality work will emerge from the ashes. This is where great hypnotists are born.
Before you get to that point, you’ll need to first discover what to look out for when doing hypnosis.
#5 Join A Hypnosis Practice Group
Remember how we said hypnosis isn’t a spectator sport?
It’s true. There’s only one surefire way to get good at it hypnosis. It’s by doing it.
When Igor started to get knee deep into hypnosis, he wasn’t lucky enough to have the modern phenomenon of meetup groups.
There are NLP and hypnosis meetup groups all over the world now, and they are very worthwhile.
If you’re going to do some hypnosis, go to places where you can do it. Join groups.
But a word of warning: Join hypnosis practice groups where you actually practice hypnosis! Beware of the groups where people just sit around talking about hypnosis.
It’s like karate.
Think you could chat your way to a black belt in karate?
If the practice groups you go to won’t practice hypnosis, then the next bit of advice is start your own.
Igor did this same exact thing.
He’d been to a seminar and was all fired up. He was so excited and enthusiastic that it brought to life a lot of things he learned from books. Things that he always wanted to try but never had the confidence to.
He got a practice group going and wrote a bunch of hypnotic exercises they could all use to get really good at hypnosis.
This included different inductions, deepeners, and so on.
This brings up a very important point:
When you go to a practice group, bring material you want to practice. This can be anything from inductions you’ve found on YouTube, books, and so forth.
We’ve got also something that many have called “the gold standard” in terms of mastering hypnotic inductions.
The Hypnotic Inductions Revealed will give you a rock solid foundation for mastering hypnotic inductions and is the perfect material to bring to hypnosis practice groups for you to try out and perfect. Plus, everyone else will be blown away by your knowledge and excited to practice and learn from you. Find out more about this home study program here.
#6 Forget About Deep Trance
The depth of trance is not important. And before you disagree, hear us out.
Because when it comes to clinical work hypnosis, street hypnosis, stage hypnosis or any hypnosis with practical applications – the idea of trance depth is completely irrelevant.
What matters more is if the person is absorbed in the experience. Just ask yourself: “Are they absorbed in what they’re doing?”
You can see depth of trance as how absorbed someone is.
If they are, you’ve got hypnosis.
If the answer is no, it’s irrelevant how deep their trance is. You’re not going to get any effects.
The key thing to remember is: trance is very natural. Hypnosis is very natural.
Most people who go into hypnosis will feel that it’s so familiar to them that nothing unusual has happened, so they don’t think they’re being hypnotized.
It’s a familiar playground.
We’ve all been in a trance of one sort or another at some point in our lives. By recognizing when someone’s there, that’s going to be a key element.
Before you start doing hypnosis – you need to brush up on what hypnotized people look like.
Interested in discovering some telltale signs that someone’s in a trance? Why not get instant access to our FREE report – 14 Signs Your Hypnosis Subject Is In A Trance:
#7 Get A Taste Of Trance
We almost forgot one last VITAL tip.
Come closer and listen: It’s not a matter of just knowing this tip. You need to completely embody it.
What’s this that we’re talking about? You need to experience hypnosis and trance as much as you can and get hypnosis into your bones.
Why? When you’re hypnotizing someone, they’re letting you into their inner landscape. You’ll need to understand “trance logic” to help guide them.
You can hightail it to your hypnosis practice group for some good old fashion trance.
But another way is through self-hypnosis.
As you master self-hypnosis, you’ll notice your skills improving leaps and bounds – not to mention you’ll also get a better grip on your emotional well-being.
In fact, Igor’s credited self-hypnosis with much of his success to this day.
Interested to discover why? If you’re yet to tap into the raw healing power of self-hypnosis and master the art of putting yourself in a trance, you might be interested in: The Power Of Self-Hypnosis For Guaranteed Results online training program here.
Welcome to Part 2 of our ultimate guide on hypnosis training where we reveal our best tips and tricks for hypnotists at an intermediate level looking to improve their skills.
You’ll find this section especially useful if you’re thinking about going professional, or even if you just want to use hypnosis as a positive force for good when interacting with others.
Keep reading to discover Igor’s top advice, and to also hear from Karsten again (quite literally) – as he’s put together a short video where he shares what helped him when he was at an intermediate level.
We’ll also suggest some of our best hypnosis training programs for intermediates to ensure you’re headed in the right direction and geared for serious results.
So first up, let’s take a look at the advice Karsten has for hypnotists at an intermediate level.
Karsten Küstner’s Top Hypnosis Training Tips For Intermediates
And now over to Igor…
Igor Ledochowski’s Advice For Hypnotists At An Intermediate Level
1. Choose Your Hypnosis School
You need to make a decision.
What kind of decision you ask? You need to choose what style of hypnosis you want to master.
Whether it’s the Ericksonian school, the Elmanian school, or some other style of hypnosis.
The main thing is: the teachings should resonate with you and the direction you want to head in… at least to begin with.
While you might find yourself diversifying as your studies and skills progress – many do – it’s important to first build a basic (and proven) foundation under you.
Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, you can expand your skills and branch out.
2. Practice Street Hypnosis
After you’ve got some successes under your belt… it’s time to get out of the house and start doing street hypnosis.
This is because….
Just to be clear: we’re not saying you should specialize in street hypnosis (unless you want to, that is).
But what we are saying is that hands down it’s one of the best ways to build up your confidence and skills as a hypnotist.
Street hypnosis will allow you to…
- Practice your techniques and fine-tune the ones you’re experiencing issues with. Having trouble getting compliancy? Getting snagged up on the Elman Induction? Here’s your chance to hone your skills and iron out any kinks.
- Get hundreds (if not thousands) of inductions under your belt – head out into a busy mall or street and put your skills to the test. Yes, it can be nerve-wracking, but you’re probably never going see these people again. And remember what we said in Part 1 about practicing with people under the guise of research? This will be sure to take the pressure off and allow you to have more fun.
- Develop rock solid confidence by doing hypnosis inductions – if you can do hypnosis in a busy environment with all eyes on you – you’ll be well equipped to do hypnosis is almost any environment. Consider it this way: street hypnosis is a little like learning how to swim – you’re not really swimming until you jump into the deep end and put your skills to the test.
- Get great at spotting when a person is in a trance – street hypnosis can be a fast-paced environment. So being able to spot signs of trance on the fly will build up your skills to do the same when working with clients.
- Treat street hypnosis like a game – remember to keep things lively and fun. And for goodness sake, loosen up a little!
And lastly, don’t forget to remember that attitude is everything when it comes to street hypnosis.
Ultimately it all boils down to this – you’re going to get a world-class education on how to adapt your approach with subjects and future clients (if you’re planning to go pro).
Especially if you practice street hypnosis in busy environments, like a shopping mall, where people’s attention is already being pulled in different directions by shops, advertising and consumerism.
But trust us when we say: if you can overcome this, you’ll be streets ahead (excuse the pun)..
“What should I do if I get nervous doing street hypnosis?”
Don’t worry, everyone does – especially in the beginning.
But there’s an easy solution.
If you get nervous, take some comfort from the fact that most people don’t really know what hypnosis is.
Think about it. The Average Joe doesn’t know how a hypnotic induction should look.
Since they don’t know what to look out for, they probably can’t tell if you’re winging it – or if you make a “mistake.”
And if things don’t go as planned, just pretend like they did.
No need to draw attention to what went wrong. Instead, incorporate it into your induction, or whatever you’re doing with your subject.
And remember to always set-up and control the frames around your interaction from the get-go, instead of letting chance dictate how your session winds up.
How to control hypnotic frames during street hypnosis:
- “Wanna take part in some fun research?” As we mentioned before, frame any street hypnosis you do as “”research.” This way you’re taking pressure off yourself – and the pressure off your subject. If something works, it works. And if it doesn’t? Who cares. It’s just research.
- “Wanna play an imagination game.” Who doesn’t like a good game? When hypnosis is setup as a game, it’s that much more inviting and intriguing. Try this approach and see!
3. Kick The “Quick Fix” Mentality To The Curb
"I can fix anything in a session. In one hour I can fix whatever you want."
That is a very unhealthy attitude – for you and for your clients.
Here’s why: you’re working at your pace – not theirs.
Of course if you can fix something in an hour, by all means, do it in an hour. But whatever you do, don’t set your session by the clock.
Here’s a story where Igor learned this lesson the hard way:
Early on in his career, a very shy woman came to him for some hypnosis. We’re not talking about run of the mill shyness. This woman was at the extreme end of the spectrum.
She looked like she had shriveled in on herself. She took up a tiny amount of space.
If you tried to get her to engage and talk with you? Good luck. She wouldn’t speak above a whisper.
Clearly, there was lots of stuff going on. In retrospect, Igor realized he shouldn’t have taken her on as a client. He was still in the rookie stages of being a hypnotist.
At the time, he was on his 20-minute session kick.
He’d toss in a handful of Mind Bending Language… and was convinced he could fix most things in less than 30 minutes.
And guess what? He could fix a lot of stuff in less than 30 minutes.
But here’s where things started to go pear shaped.
As soon as this lady sat down in the chair… Igor launched full force into his “hypnotic attack.”
He didn’t want to break his winning record of lighting fast sessions… so he kept prodding and prodding this young woman. He was pushing her to make changes way too fast.
She left and never came back.
That’s when it hit him. He was obsessed with this idea of doing everything fast, in an instant.
It took this failed session for Igor to realize that letting things unfold in their own time is the easiest way to speed things up.
If you take your time, you’ll always find the right path to help the person in front of you.
Sometimes you’ll find shortcuts you never would have thought of when you were rushing. The other thing about rushing is that you’re more likely to muck things up.
Don’t be in a rush. Don’t make time a factor in what you do. Just do what you need to do. If the job takes two hours, take two hours. If it takes a month of sessions, take a month. If it takes a year, take a year.
Let it unfold the way it needs to unfold.
As an intermediate hypnotist, you’re in a unique position.
You’ve got just enough skills to start helping people. At the same time you’re expected to perform miracles. (Let’s face facts – most folks see hypnosis as some kind of mythical force that can solve all of their problems.)
The fact of the matter is you need to slow down to speed up. Here’s what we mean:
When you take the time to slow down in your approach (and really become present with your subject) amazing things will start to unfold.
This is where Milton Erickson was unique and really shined. He had hawk-like observation skills.
When you do too, you’ll pick up on your subject’s unconscious signals and cues.
At the same time, you’ll also be fully present and in the moment.
When you’re fully present and aware of your subject in front of you, things just naturally start to speed up.
4. Train With Multiple Hypnosis Trainers, But Chose Them Wisely
As a hypnotist, you don’t want to go stale in your approach or style, or to have anything holding you back.
This includes hypnosis trainers – which is why we highly recommend training with different trainers.
Why? Every trainer on the planet has their own training style – so it pays to be exposed to a wide range of perspectives.
On the other hand, if you’re already in the advanced stages of hypnosis mastery, you’ll want to tighten up who you train with. You’ll want to narrow your scope.
When you’re in the most advanced stages of hypnosis mastery, it’s all about jumping full force into a particular methodology.
But when it comes to choosing a trainer – first and foremost – go with hypnosis trainers who resonate with you.
Choose a mentor you feel drawn to – and most importantly – someone who inspires you.
Your unconscious mind is incredible at picking up on warning signals. So trust your gut.
5. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Start off small.
Don’t go after the biggest issues people bring to the table. For example, severe emotional trauma or mental illness.
Start off easy to build up your confidence – and to deliver the best results.
Smoking is an easy issue to deal with, for example. Most insomnias and stresses are easy things to resolve when starting out.
By first focusing on clients with these kinds of issues, you’ll become more skilled, knowledgeable and capable – so that moving onto the more complex issues will become a natural progression.
Rather than your ego’s suggestion…
6. Take On Pro Bono Clients (And Lots of Them!)
When you feel ready to start taking on clients, begin by offering pro bono sessions.
In fact, Igor recommends that you do at least 100 sessions pro bono before you even begin thinking about charging for “true” professional work.
This might seem like a lot – but ethically and professionally speaking, until you get this experience under your belt – it’s not right that you charge for “professional” hypnosis work.
The beauty with this is that there’s less pressure on you because they haven’t paid. Plus, if things don’t work out by the second or third bite of the apple, you’ll both be more inclined to try again.
The other thing Igor recommends is that you should avoid doing pro bono work with family or friends, or anyone you have a deep personal relationship with.
This is why joining a hypnosis Meetup group (or creating your own) is so useful, because you get to work with willing subjects who are relative strangers – which is exactly what it will be like when you start taking on professional clients.
7. Attend A Live Hypnosis Training Event And Get Your Hypnotherapy Certification
Once you’ve gone through a few hypnosis home study courses, practiced some street hypnosis, worked with different clients and followed some of the other advice we’ve suggested so far – we recommend getting yourself to a live hypnosis training seminar.
Nothing quite beats a live seminar when it comes to upping your skills.
You’ll be guided, trained and will receive insider advice from master hypnotists, in addition to having hours upon hours of time to practice inductions and other techniques with willing subjects.
And what’s more: you’ll be training along side other hypnotists like you. People interested in networking, sharing tips and supporting you in your hypnosis journey.
These kind of events take place all around the world and cover a variety of different hypnosis streams.
Welcome to Part 3 of our ultimate guide on hypnosis training.
In this section, Igor will reveal his top advice for anyone looking to embark on a journey to advanced hypnosis mastery.
Karsten also joins us again to share what’s worked best for him, and as an added bonus, he’s also recorded a short video where he reveals the hypnosis books and mentors that have inspired him the most (thanks Karsten!).
But before we sink our teeth into their advice, we want to briefly discuss a limiting belief that might be stunting your growth as a hypnotist. Especially as an advanced one.
(Don’t worry, one of the 4 tips we share below will help to transform this limiting belief into a resource.)
The #1 Limiting Belief Advanced Hypnotists Need To Be Wary Of Is…
“I know it all.”
As soon as you get caught up in this mindset – your growth as a hypnotist is cut off at the knees.
It can be a little like the psychological principle of learned helplessness (but we’ll get to this in a moment).
The reason we’re mentioning it for advanced people is because if you’ve learned a particular approach… whether it’s Ericksonian or Elmanian… you might get to the stage where you feel like there’s nothing else to learn. That indeed, you know it all.
So here’s a fresh way of looking at things:
Certainty is for beginners.
The closer to mastery you want to get, the more you need to explore uncertainty.
The only place mastery can exist is in uncertainty. Why is this? Because there’s no room to grow in certainty.
When you’re certain about something, it’s like you know everything.
So certainty is only useful for beginners, because they need some level of certainty to be okay with what they’re doing. Certainty helps them to get a sense that they’re making progress.
You on the other hand, are moving into the realm of advanced mastery.
So when it comes to some of the hard and fast rules you’ve learned along your hypnosis journey – now is the time to start questioning them.
Question everything. Doubt everything, and you’ll find new ways to progress.
Now don’t take this as advice to become a nervous wreck that’s uncertain about everything. That’s not where we’re going with this.
In your path to advanced mastery, there will still be certain levels of certainty. You’ve already reached a level where you’ve got a certain amount of certainty and confidence.
Learn how to channel this certainty and confidence into the “unknown.”
Embrace uncertainty. Question the things you learned as a beginner that got you to where you are now.
Question everything the instructor said, and experiment. Test it out.
Try and break your techniques apart and see what happens. Try and push the envelope. Do the impossible, and see what happens. You only learn by going to the places you haven’t been.
How can you tell you’re diving into unfamiliar territory? Easy. You’ll be visiting places you used to think were impossible.
Take a baby elephant that’s cruelly chained to a tree. This baby elephant is too little to snap that metal chain… no matter how hard it tugs and pulls at it.
It’s as if it learns: “Okay, this is just the way it is.” As this elephant grows up, you could tie him to weak tree stump that could be easily uprooted.
And guess what’ll happen?
Nothing. The elephant won’t be able to budge it at all. Is it because it’s not powerful?
Nope. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Here’s the deal… the elephant won’t even bother trying to move past its boundaries.
Why? It’s simple. Remember when we mentioned learned helplessness earlier?
Here’s what happened:
The elephant learned early on that only so much was possible. It’s growth was stunted as a result.
How does this relate to you?
If you don’t adopt a mindset of growth (“I’m always learning”) vs. a closed mindset (“I know everything”)… you may end up like that poor elephant.
That’s the fine line between certainty and uncertainty… and you’ve gotta learn how to dance this fine line.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s hear what Karsten has to say about venturing down the path of hypnosis mastery.
Igor Ledochowski’s Advice For Advanced Hypnotists
1. Appreciate The Subtleties
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the technical aspects of hypnosis, but don’t forget to look out for the subtle signals, too. By observing these signals, you’ll be able to gauge how both you and your client are doing during a hypnosis session…
- Context. What context are you finding yourself in? Doing hypnosis in a hospital is very different from street hypnosis. It’s also completely different from stage hypnosis.
Every context is different. Pay attention to what role you’re playing vs. what role your subject is playing. Also what role are they expecting you to play?
The question to ask yourself is: “Is this role(s) conducive for hypnosis to happen?”
- Language. The language we use reveals a lot more information about ourselves than we’re lead to believe. Sometimes your subjects will tell you outright what’s going on with them.
But more often than not:
Your subjects might not be able to clearly articulate their emotional state.
Sometimes because they’re not aware of what’s actually going on, or because they may not want to – or be ready – to admit what they’re thinking or experiencing out of shame or embarrassment.
If it’s the latter, and they struggle being honest with themselves, they’ll definitely have a hard time opening up to you.
So when working with a client, ask yourself:
- “What is the hidden message behind what they’re saying?”
- “What is actually going on here… what isn’t being said… what can I read between the lines here?”
- Become aware of unconscious hints and signals. This is a powerful skillset in and of itself. This is something you’ll learn at any good training.
An easy way to begin mastering this skill is by exercising your peripheral vision. Your peripheral vision is able to detect more motion than your foveal vision.
Next time you’re talking to someone, allow your vision to kind of spread out a bit. It’s as if you’re using a soft gaze and becoming aware of your entire environment.
The more you exercise your peripheral vision, the better you’ll get at detecting unconscious signals coming off people.
2. Find Your Own Way
While learning from an accomplished hypnotist in the early days is really important – you don’t want to always follow their style by the book. You need to find what works best for you – and adopt your own unique style.
A good example of Igor carving his own path was through his development of Mind Bending Language.
But it was a long journey to get to this point. When he first watched his mentor’s work (John Overdurf), Igor found himself feeling intimidated by Overdurf’s unique style of hypnotic language.
Igor thought to himself: “I can’t do what he’s doing…I’ll never do it like him…I’ll never be as good as him”.
And in a way, he was right. John Overdurf had his own style. As everyone does.
When you get really advanced, no-one should be able to perfectly replicate what you do because it’s unique to you.
Sure, they’ll be able to get the same results you get using a similar process or technique. But it’s important to be original: because good hypnosis is original. You need to tailor it to each client, and to also what works best for you.
Beginners need the training wheels. They need a very rigid system to kind of get a sense of how it works.
At the intermediate stage, you start loosening up a little bit and dealing with more challenging cases. But you’re still in training.
This is why we suggest that intermediate hypnotists start off by taking on simple clients – such as those looking to overcome smoking, stress and insomnia.
Also at this stage, you should have enough confidence and skills behind you to let go of the obsession with scripts and techniques. This is when you get rid of the crutches and start to develop a more freestyle approach.
Because by the time you arrive at the advanced stage, you’ve got to find your own way with things. It’s okay to learn someone else’s technique. But only because you want to understand how it works, so you can adapt it to make it work for you in your own way.
But when you have your own style, you’ll feel more equipped to start working with clients who are experiencing more complex issues.
Caution: This is also where it becomes more difficult to figure out what’s going on with them.
At this stage, you also want to constantly be pushing boundaries and trying new techniques to the point of failure so you can see what happens when they fall apart.
Once you’ve found a technique’s breaking point, you can begin to discover how things work outside of this boundary.
Here are two tips to help you do this:
- Push techniques to the point of failure. Techniques aren’t a one size fits all. They’re like an elastic band. Play around with them like you’re a kid in a playground. Stretch your imagination to the limits.
- Ask yourself this question.
“If there was a question that was always in the back of my mind in the context of pushing techniques to the point of failure to improve them (or develop new techniques)…what would this question be?”
It might be helpful to ask yourself this question in self-hypnosis. Whatever answer you get – start to embrace this question. Ask yourself this question anytime you’re practicing a technique, working with a client or when you start to feel stuck in your development.
3. Changing Thought Patterns & Asking Solution-Oriented Questions
Mind hack #1 – Formulate New Thought Patterns
After working with a client, it’s important to review the session and ask yourself questions that’ll create empowering thought patterns and transform the way you do hypnosis:
Try the following questions:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go over so well?
- Why didn’t it go so well?
- How could I fix it next time around?
- If I had the same type of difficult client I had today…come in tomorrow…how would I do things differently?
- What did I add to the session that made it so problematic?
- What did I leave out of the session that would have made a big difference?
Mind hack #2 – Discover Solution-Oriented Questions
“What are solution-oriented questions?”
Solution-oriented questions presuppose that a solution exists for a particular problem.
Take someone who is depressed. Do you think they’ve got thought patterns like: “Why am I so confident?” or “Why am I so successful?”
Of course not! They’re asking themselves questions that keep themselves stuck in a negative state.
If they were to ask: “Why am I such a failure” – their unconscious would probably respond with: “Hmm… you want a laundry list of reasons.”
They’d then become overwhelmed at the amount of reasons they were a failure.
While solution-oriented questions tend to reveal positive solutions and choices, a negative question tends to limit solutions and choices.
So get in the habit of asking solution-oriented questions to empower yourself.
Try these questions on for size:
“Why am I such a good hypnotist?”
“How can I become even more confident?”
“How can I be a better person?”
Questions like this tend to chip away at negative beliefs. These can be negative beliefs about yourself and your abilities. More importantly, as a hypnotist, they chip away at your negative beliefs about your subject’s ability to change.
Here are some additional questions that’ll enhance your game:
“How can I get more clients?”
“How can I improve my results with smokers?”
“How can I improve my hypnotic language patterns?”
“What do I need to do to improve my hypnosis inductions?”
“What do I need to do to get more clients?”
“How can I improve my rapport skills?”
“How can I improve my technique here?”
“What could I have done better with this client?”
4. Seek Out Advanced Trainings
There comes a point in every hypnosis journey where you’ll have to ask yourself whether you’re ready to commit to true hypnosis mastery and become an elite-level hypnotist by seeking advanced training.
How will you know if it’s right for you?
Begin by picturing yourself two years from now. If you have a clear vision of your future and it involves helping people through hypnosis, then it’s safe to say you’re ready to take the next step and become an elite-level master hypnotist.
Next, consider the benefits you’ll gain from advanced training and how it lines up with your mission.
Advanced training can allow you to…
- Earn a professional diploma or certification to boost your hypnosis credentials
- Build a well-rounded skill-set so you feel confident in several key areas of hypnosis
- Hone your skills through daily practice groups
- Develop professional contacts, relationships and surround yourself with a community of like-minded, motivated and positive people – this is what will keep you going on even during the toughest of days!
- Have personal mentors, coaches and role models to give you feedback and point out your strengths and weaknesses in a way no-one else can to help you progress much more quickly
- Get step-by-step practical guidance on how to set up your own practice
Making the decision to commit is the tough part, but once you’ve realized hypnosis mastery will positively transform your life and the lives of those around you, then you’ll know the next step is to find the right advanced training program.
As you begin your research, make sure you know what you want to get out of it and see how the program matches up. Ask yourself if it’s the kind of place that will encourage you and support you to grow as a hypnotist. Study their conditions, feedback from past students, and make sure their philosophy matches up with your own.
Once you’ve found the right fit, follow your passion to become a powerful force for good in the world.