Now that you know about the structure behind hypnosis, it’s time to look at creating quality.
How do you create a complete hypnotic experience?
Like any good story, trances – first-rate trances, that is – come in three parts.
Beginning, middle and… end, right? Wrong.
There are three stages each and every effective trance experience goes through. Here we go.
First comes the Induction and Deepener. Wait – isn’t that two stages? Not really. A definition might help:
An Induction is: The process of taking someone from a “normal waking state” to a “trance state”.
A Deepener is exactly what it sounds like – it just amps up the trance, so these two are really part of the same stage.
More importantly, what is a “normal waking state” and what is a “trance state?” There is a lot of debate about these definitions, which is part of the mystification and general flim-flam behind hypnosis.
The truth is, your normal waking state can vary – happy, sad, focused, distracted, energetic, relaxed – I’m sure you get the idea. What hypnotists tend to mean when using this term is that a person’s attention flits around and is largely focused on the outside and in the here-and-now.
By contrast, a trance state is used to describe an experience where a person’s attention is more singular and is largely focused on the inside and on some other time and place. Beyond that, the trance state can vary greatly in its energy, focus and emotional content – just like the so-called waking state.
An induction is anything which joins the dots between these two experiences, focusing a person on the inside and out of the here-and-now. It’s not complicated, but it requires some skill. Hypnotists tend to use suggestions and stories to achieve this.
Hypnotic Conversations involve attention to 5 key markers that allow you to easily tailor your induction. The process is much simpler that you might imagine, when you know how.
The next stage of hypnosis is called the Main Intervention. It’s the process of enacting your hypnotic purpose while the subject is in a “trance” state. In short, it’s the part where the main business of the hypnosis takes place.
Of course, what actually happens here can vary immensely depending on the purpose of your trance.
For example, if the purpose of your trance is to teach, this is where the learning takes place. Or if your purpose is to persuade, this is where you will reframe perceptions and create bias towards desired outcomes. In hypnotherapy, this is the point in the process where the therapeutic change happens.
All these purposes are easier to enact in trance – focused on the inside, in a time and place of your choosing. The structure in this phase can be simple or it may be complex. Suggestions and stories are effective tools here too. (The next video covers a way of making effective suggestions, while video 8 introduces hypnotic storytelling).
More advanced hypnotic structures may be put to work in the main intervention too.
Finally, you must Test & Re-Orient the hypnotic subject. I covered this to some extent in the previous video (Hypnosis in a nutshell), but it’s useful to recap here. In this stage, you check the change has worked correctly and return the subject back into a “normal state of awareness.”
How do you know the intervention has been successful? Just test the result to make sure it’s in line with the purpose of the trance. That’s all. Not too much of the desired result or too little. No side effects either – that’s just carelessness which requires correction. Check your work, if you want to get really good at hypnosis.
Then bring them back to the here-and-now. As I said before, the route you take and the speed at which you do this will matter. The results can vary, creating differing effects including ‘trance amnesia’. The way you re-orient the subject can also affect whether results are seen in the real world or merely during the trance itself.
Naturally, this is just an outline of the process, though it will guide you effectively. When you practice the specifics of each piece, you can be hypnotic whenever you want.
I walk you through the process in detail, with plenty of examples and practical exercises in my book Hypnotic Conversations: The Secret Structure Behind Everyday Hypnosis.
Or if you want to know even more first, then watch my next video – Smart pacing – an easy alternative to boring your hypnotic subject into trance.