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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

       The Perridwyn School of Hypnosis presents ...

     -HYPNOSIS 101-

               Hypnosis is a state offocused awareness.  It issomething everyone
     has experienced  countless times;  among  instances of it are  waking up or
     getting absorbed in a  good book.   The characteristics  of the state vary;
     it  cannot be  pinpointed on  an EEG  and the  experience is  different for
     everyone though  there are common elements.  A person can be hypnotized and
     while  that state be  having a  great time  at a party;  no zombie  eyes no
     intonations  of Yeesss Massterr no wandering about with arms outstretched. 
     Hypnosis  does not have a  unique and unmistakable  insignia indicating its

                 This  is generally not the  case with the  PROCESS of hypnosis.
     Patterns of  hypnosis have been written up and used  for decades.   You can
     find books depicting the  process in bookstores and libraries.  The process
     is intended to create that state of focused awareness.  It is this process 
     I wish to discuss in the remainder of this post. [Hypnosis and being
     hypnotized will refer to the process should there be any confusion.]

     General Considerations

        Hypnosis can be thought of as a game that is binding.  The rules are
     initially defined by the expectations of the subject which encompasses all
     their experiences with it everything they've seen on TV and old movies and
     what the subject has been told about hypnosis.   These rules dictate what
     will and  will not be effective;  which inductions will and  will not work;
     and the  conduct of the subject while in the  state of hypnosis.  The rules
     are mutable.  Debunking misconceptions demonstrations and providing more
     information -- accurate or not -- will affect the rules of the game.
          A professor at Stanford illustrated how greatly expectations dictate
     results.  The  gentleman told  one of his  introductory psychology  classes
     that an unfailing indication  of a hypnotized subject was that  their right
     arm would float upwards.   The professor told another class the  same thing
     only in this case he specified it was the  left hand that would rise.  When
     he hypnotized members of both classes he discovered that students responded
     in accord  with their expectations.   The right  arm of the members  of the
     first class did indeed rise while with members of the second class only the
     left hand rose. 
               Inhypnosis the subject callsthe shots. Their expectations outline
     the manner in  which the game is  to be played.    The hypnotist wields  no
     mystical power;  she and the subject have an  agreement that the process of
     hypnosis is  conducted in a  certain manner  and each player  behaves in  a
     particular way.  The  level at which the game  is played is defined  by the
     rules  and the  degree of trust  the subject feels  for the hypnotist.    A
     mistrustful subject will be paying far more attention to what you are doing
     and what you might be scheming than to what you are saying. 


          Hypnosis is useful as a catalyst.  As seen above the state itself is
     not too  exhilarating in and of  itself.  The process  and the applications
     are what make it fun and useful.   You can call on your mind's abilities to
     control pain [useful]; you  can play the  most intense imagination game  of
     D&D of your life [fun]. 
               The functionof the hypnotist is to provide a focal point and talk
     their partner through  evoking the  intended result.   The process  usually
     begins with a discussion of hypnosis.  This is to determine  the purpose of
     a session debunk misconceptions  get a sense of the  subject's expectations
     generally make things go easier later.   The induction consists of bringing
     the  subject's  awareness to  something  and  keeping  it  focused.     The
     hypnotist gives suggestions to bring about the determined purpose including
     any  post-hypnotic suggestions.    Then she  guides the  subject back  to a
     normal state of awareness. 


     - It is not sleep.  The participant is thoroughly aware of their
     surroundings.  They may choose to ignore them.  The hypnotist may ask the
     subject to ignore things or to focus all attention on one idea.

     - You can not  get stuck in hypnosis.   Either you  will awaken on your own
     or the  state  will become  one  of natural  sleep.   Sometimes  a  subject
     requires a  few more moments to  return.  Sometimes the  subject refuses to
     return.   This is particularly true  of stage hypnosis; if  a subject feels
     pissed off at the hypnotist  it can be mightily gratifying to  unnerve said
     offending hypnotist  by not  responding.   Even  if this  is  the case  the
     subject will still either return on their own or fall asleep. 

     - A hypnotized person will not knowingly violate their code of ethics.
     Milton  Erickson  messed  around  with  this  a bit  and  found  it  to  be
     particularly true  if he made it clear that the subject was responsible for
     the consequences of their actions.   There are three twists here;
         1. A person may do somethingseemingly unethical if it is o.k. according
     to their moral standards especially if they believe being hypnotized at the
     time is sufficient excuse.
       2.  Stage hypnotists evoke some silly behavior which might ordinarily be
     contrary to the subject's code of conduct.   This is a result of group
     pressure of the forgivability of stage hypnosis and of the
     streak of hamming it up in each of us.
       3. A person can be tricked.  If I am told I am in a blazing hot 
     desert  sweating buckets and the only  way to get cool is  to take my shirt
     off I might do that.  I will not do that because I am an exhibitionist.  If
     I am directly told to take off my  shirt first I will snap back to the here
     now and next I will drop-kick the lech out of my house.    Furthermore once
     such a maneuver is recognized the hypnotist has utterly destroyed the
     subject's trust and will have no further success with them.



         First some things concerning speaking.  The hypnotist oughtnot speak in
     a  monotone; not only  is it unnecessary  it is  an annoyance.   Rather she
     make her voice congruent with what she's saying.  If she is describing a
     soothing  walk on  the beach  under a  restful sunset  she ought  not sound
     It  is useful to  use a particular  tone of voice  when hypnotizing people.
     This is helpful because soon there will be an association between The Voice
     and the state.  In addition it means you will not inadvertently trip an
     association   if you use your  normal speaking voice with  someone whom you
     see primarily  for hypnosis you  are apt  to zone them  out just by  saying
     Howzit goin   The Voice comes with practice and you can pick it out after a

         There are  definite reasons behind  word choices.     Sense  words make
     things more vivid;  describe the colors textures and sounds associated with
     that soothing  walk on  the beach.      Repeating words  and phrases  helps
     things sink in and adds rhythm to your patter.   You may opt to say  things
     in a permissive way  [in a moment you may picture yourself walking upon a
     soothing beach; perhaps there is a glorious sunset coloring the sky crimson
     and purple]  or in an authoritative way  [ You are walking on a beach.  The
     beach is soothing; it makes you more and more relaxed.  Notice the glorious
     sunset].   The choice of words is based on the situation the hypnotist's
     style and most of all upon the personality and rules of the subject.  Make
     them fit. 


       Synonyms for this word include credibility and rapport.  Leverage makes
     suggestions more effective.   Things that generate leverage are accurate
     descriptions of present experience and accurate descriptions of future
        An accurate description of your present experience may be that your eyes
     are  moving across  these  words and  you  feel the  keyboard beneath  your
     fingers and you feel the chair beneath you and you hear noises in the
     background that you have not been paying much attention to until now.
       An accurate description of future events can be that as you read these
     words you will become aware of your left earlobe.  Another is that when you
     take your next really deep breath your hand may feel somewhat lighter. 
     I base my estimation of your awareness of your earlobe on the fact that
     mentioning it almost inevitably makes you think about it.  The second
     assertion is much shakier in this context but stronger if you were being
     hypnotised.  Relax your hands on your lap for a moment and inhale deeply. 
     Notice how your shoulders rise a little and tug your arm up a little bit

        Things that are bad for credibility are ability tests and blatant
     contradictions of  present experience.    When you use an  ability test you
     run the risk of it not working.  They do work for many people and sometimes
     providing useful information but it is very difficult to recover
     gracefully from an unsuccessful ability test.   The participant may reach
     the conclusion that they can not be hypnotized or that you are incapable of
     hypnotizing them.  Blatant contradiction of present experience as you
     carefully scrutinize the upper left corner of your monitor you can become
     aware of the little picture of a pink-and-purple hippopotamus.  Riiight.


        Now to tie these together.  If you have been correct in the past few
     descriptions you increase the probability you will be in the next one. 
     As an example presume I am being hypnotized right now.  I am told about how
     I feel the keyboard under my hands as my fingers dance from key to key 
     (correct)I glance at my scribblings to help me clarify this thought
     (correct)and I hear muffled music in the background (also correct)and as
     I notice these things I can feel myself becoming more and more relaxed. 
     The last  assertion  is pure  speculation; there  is no  reason that  those
     should make me feel more relaxed and no real indication that I'm mellowing
     out noticing these things.  However the hypnotist has been right on three
     counts so far.  He has acquired a little credibility.  My response is going
     to be Sure he's been right so far why not now  
           This point is somewhat esoteric;if it makes sense fine.  Ifit doesn't
     or even if it does read Trance-Formations listed at the end of this post.
     The  authors go  over this  in  detail and  in a  very  skillful and  clear
     fashion. Let this stand  the more accurate you  are, so much the better;  a
     really incorrect statement or blatant failure is apt to be disruptive. 


       The purpose of an induction is to focus awareness on something and
     gradually move through  to evoking the intended  results.  The methods  are
     many and varied.
           Very often  the focal point  is relaxation.   Progressive  relaxation
     consists  of deliberately tensing  and relaxing   (sometimes just relaxing)
     each part of the body paying attention  to releasing every bit of tension. 
     Descriptions  of soothing  surroundings  or experiences  are  also used  to
     produce relaxation. 
        Trance-Formations describes an induction utilizing points mentioned
     above.  It consists of sets of six statements.  The first set contains five
     accurate   descriptions  of   present  experience   and  one   abstract  or
     unverifiable  statement  (... and these things  make you feel more and more
     relaxed ...and while you notice them you feel a sense of  security  ... and
     strangely enough  these remind you  of wrecking Aunt  Milllie's car).   The
     next set contains four present-experiences and two abstracts; then three
     present-experiences and three abstracts and so on until you're dealing with
     just the abstracts. 
           Confusion inductions consist of confusing the hell out of someone and
     then  providing them with an  understandable option.   This confusion often
     consists of ambiguous statements or  plays on words.  Take the  words right
     write  rite and  Wright.  As you right about the right brothers you realize
     you have violated the rights of those whose right  this is by righting with
     your right instead of your  left.  The intended  response is a huge HUH  at
     which point you offer an understandable option ... and that  makes you feel
     really silly!   The option is an escape route  from all that unpleasantness
     and ambiguity and therefore desirable.


         Inductions take time.  It is common for an induction to take ten or
     twenty minutes with a  participant who has not been hypnotized  much before
     or is unused to your style.   Signs of effectiveness the participant's
     responses match your description.  ... and that makes you feel really silly
     may be met with a smile; depictions of relaxation are matched with visible 
     decreases in tension.   Requests to picture scenes usually evoke rapid eye
     movement.   If you ask your partner to do a lot of talking you will notice
     changes in their manner of speaking; it becomes quieter slower perhaps a
     little less well enunciated.  Depending on what you ask them to say and
     how familiar you are with their normal speech patterns you may notice
     differences in word choices.   Subjectively you or the participant may feel
     more lethargic and may experience dissociation.  For me that means that I
     could do a lot of things like move my hand up a few inches but it would
     require  so much energy and I do not  think it important enough at the time
     to expend that energy.   Also I tend to start loosing track of where I left
     my  limbs (tee  hee); I  know they're  there somewhere  but don't  think it
     important enough to bother to relocate them. 

         It is  desirable  to make  series of  suggestions flow  as smoothly  as
     possible.   Choppy  sentences are more  apt to  create tension  than soothe
     them.  Flowing sentences   encourage relaxation have better  rhythm to them
     and can possess more leverage.
       Take these three phrases   You feel the chair beneath you.  You see the
     text on the screen.  You are becoming more relaxed than ever before. 
           The simplest way to connect them is with plain old conjunctions.  You
     feel the chair  beneath you AND you see the text  on the screen AND you are
     becoming more relaxed than ever before.
        Next step up simultaneous words.  AS you feel the chair beneath youyou 
     see the text  on the  screen AND  AT THE SAME  TIME you  are becoming  more
     relaxed than ever before.
           The most powerful way to hook up phrases is with causal words.  SINCE
     you feel the  chair beneath you AND BECAUSE you see  the text on the screen
     you are becoming more relaxed than ever before. 


        This is the portion of the process where you accomplish the stated
     purpose; the part of the  game that is binding.  Suggestion  styles include
     the following:

     - Direct suggestion.  This is where you flat-out say such and such is going
     to happen.   When you are going to bed tonight you will feel compelled to
     think of purple hippos.  As soon as your head touches the pillow purple
     hippos will occupy your every thought.


     - Indirect suggestion.  Comprised of visualization and storytelling.
             Visualization  is  just mentally  creating the  event.   It  is not
     restricted to  just pictures; whichever  senses make it  more real  are the
     ones you should appeal to.  If you know the person is oriented to one sense
     more than another, describe with them.  ( See  the purple hippos dancing on
     your quilt.   Hear them thundering  up the hallway.   Feel the  floor shake
     with  their every step. )  If in doubt it can't hurt to use all of them.  [
     Most  people favor  either  vision hearing  or  kinesthics so  you  needn't
     necessarily go into how  it tastes to chow down  on purple hippo.    If you
     were visualizing  walking in  a flower  garden  however it  makes sense  to
     include smell.  Use what is  appropriate.]  Picture yourself preparing  for
     bed.  Your  teeth are brushed; the  sounds of traffic  are hushed; and  the
     pillow feels delightfully  cool against your  cheek.   As you snuggle  down
     under the pillows your mind turns to thoughts of purple hippos.

           Storytelling  is   more  subtle  than  both   direct  suggestion  and
     visualization.   You relate an event  or anecdote which provides  a sort of
     framework for conduct. 
         When I was a child every night as I went to sleep I would conjure up a
     rainbow zoo dancing on my bed covers.  First there would be the lions as
     yellow  as lemons. Following them were orange alligators... [blah blah blah
     through blue ostriches..]  And last and best of all were the purple hippos.
     They were my favorite part  of the procession; I looked forward  to them as
     soon as my head  touched the pillow.  And the last thoughts on my mind were
     of those purple hippos cavorting on my quilt. 
         If it's something really strange like the above you probably wish to
     attribute it to a weird cousin or obscure newspaper clipping.   Lead into
     these gracefully; this example might start off with bedtime rituals in
     general and in the present then remembering back to bedtime rituals as a
     child then into your story.  ( How many people will think of purple hippos
     the night after they read this) 
          These should be related in an appropriately serious manner.  If it's
     silly sound a little silly but present it as if it's important as if you
     were sharing it with a friend.  If you make it sound important it will be
     received as such.  Go gently with them too; don't holler PURPLE HIPPOS
     CAVORTING ON THE QUILT.  Just weave it into its surroundings.  Storytelling
     is best for going sideways at something for attending to integral
     corollaries of the purpose.  Their power is in subtlety. 

     - Subliminals.  It is possible to mark out certain words as you say them. 
     You may make a certain unobtrusive gesture change pitch or loudness
     slightly glance off in a certain direction -- something small enough not to
     require the participant's full-blown attention but designed so they will
     be  able to  perceive it.   This is  the hardest  thing for  me to  give an
     example of because it's something I have not begun to master.  If you could
     possibly  string  the words  purple  hippo and  bedtime together  in  a few
     sentences  that make enough sense so  the listener doesn't get confused and
     go back to  review them then you'd  mark out those particular words  with a
     perceivable  and unique  action.    You'd  also probably  want to  throw in
     similar words -- lavender going to  sleep late-night thoughts -- to be sure
     the point gets across.    Trance-Formations goes over this too; if you read
     it  you may  find it interesting  to observe  your own  behavior during the
     subliminals chapters. 


        Phrase suggestions as positively as possible.  Don't think of purple
     hippos is an utterly futile idea.   Eating less is better put as being
     content with smaller portions.  Pain is a loaded word; use discomfort or
     the presence of comfort instead.  You get the idea.
        Participants tend to take suggestions literally.  One lady was told to
     picture herself leaving the office then turning out the lights.  When she
     acted on this she left work.  She then turned the lights off via the
     circuit  box.  Telling someone ..  and your husband is being  a big pain in
     the neck can translate into a nasty headache.  If you're doing hypnosis at
     night be careful with words about being wide awake when you're bringing
     your partner back.  Be as unambiguous as possible; be aware of literal
        This is a good place to mention trance logic and literal mindedness. 
     Trance logic appears when the participant is really into it.  Presume they
     believe they speak only French.  If you ask if they understand English the
     reply will be Non.  Do they know only French  Oui.    Literal mindedness
     is illustrated  by asking your partner  if they can raise  their right hand
     and getting a response of Yes.   Will they  Yes.  Now Yes.  
        Suggestions should be given at a pace that matches the participant's
     breathing.  It enhances rapport and is an acceptably leisurely pace.
        Appeal to preferred senses.
        If you're using hypnosis for habit modification when you're determining
     the purpose  of the session learn  what is motivating the  participant.  If
     the purpose were keeping up interest in exercise and the participant liked
     jogging because it created a feeling of independence don't sell the virtues
     of those neat suits and funky sneakers.   Unless of course s/he likes  them
        If you are confused by a response ask.  Doesn't hurt a bit. 
           If something unexpected happens stay calm.  If it's an unusual action
     like drumming fingers you  can ask about it.   You can also incorporate  it
     acknowledges and accepts that action.   And the drumming of your
     fingers makes you more and more relaxed.   If someone bursts into tears
       suddenly stay calm.  Ask why this is happening.  Ask if the participant
     wants to continue and respect their reply.   You can incorporate that too;
     ... and you feel those tears washing through you cleaning away your 
     anger leaving you calm and serene.   Unexpected interruptions and noises 
     are better incorporated than ignored  unless you discern from a  total lack
     of response that they were not important enough for the participant to pay
     attention to.  


        Bringing your partner back to the here-and-now is easy. 
        First undo any unusual suggestions that would make life unpleasant.  If
     you suggested numbness in a hand be sure feeling is restored.  If you're
     unsure do a general banishing.
        Next make it clear you are concluding.   And before you return to the 
     here and now allow yourself to bask in this feeling of relaxation.
     If you look down the hall you will see a door marked EXIT.
        Then conclude.    When you're ready you can return to the here and now
     feeling perfectly fine in every way.  1starting to return2feeling
     more alert3half way there4feeling fine in every way5awake!
     ( Snap if you feel really showy.)


        If your participant doesn't sit up and rub their eyes blearily within a
     reasonable amount of time  ( a couple minutes or as soon as you get to
     awake! ) determine if they fell asleep.  If they did it's a credit to
     your ability to help others feel relaxed.   Make certain they heard you and
     know what the deal is.   Restate it; if you do a count-up the best maneuver
     is to leave the ball in their court and let them come back when they're
     ready.  If that seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time give
     suggestions about feeling  more alert prepared to come back.   And as usual
     you're uncertain ask!
          A nice reinforcer is to gradually switch back from The Voice to your
     regular  voice as  you  conclude.   With  the 1-to-5  set up  you  might be
     very  quietly at  one and  graduate until  at five  your voice  is somewhat
     louder than usual. 
           Now is an excellent time to ask for feedback.  Feedback will tell you
     if you forgot to undo anything  [ bring them back in, negate it, ask if
     anything else needs undoing, bring  them back out].   It will tell you  how
     can make your style more effective in general or with just this person.  It
     also acknowledges their part in the proceedings.  If they're pissed off at
     you for some inconsideration it is a good time to clear the air and
     acknowledge the validity of their complaint. 


        If you both desire to create a word, gesture, mental image, whatever
     that will bring the participant back to a state of deep relaxation between
     the main set of purpose-suggestions and the return is the place to do it.
     Select an appropriate item; state that when this item is done AND the
     participant consciously desires to return to this state of deep relaxation
     that  it will happen.    Conscious intent  prevents accidentally triggering
     You do NOT want it to be inadvertently activated while the participant is
     driving.  It might not be in their rules that they can realize the deal and
     correct it;  it may take vital  moments for that realization  to arrive; it
     may  take time to brush away those  cobwebby feelings of deep relaxation --
     don't put it to the test. 


         Pre-induction  chats  not  only  let  you  become  more  aware  of  the
     participant's rules it prevents problems by letting you debunk.   You might
     not discover that this person believes they can reawaken only if you say
     Ah-La-Peanut-Butter-Sandwiches; telling them they'll just fall asleep is a
     nice margin to have. 
       Be trust-worthy and honorable.  A gentleman tried to induce me to swig a
     beer.  I would not.  He has been unable to hypnotise me since then; he has
     lost my trust utterly.  I will not risk a second chance.  Not many people

           This is  intended to be an  overview of general hypnosis.   There are
     really weird  variants that  I don't  know enough  about  to write  up.   [
     F'rinstance --
     inducing hypnosis like as in zoning people waaaaay out without formal
     inductions just talking with  them.  NEAT!]    I left out a bunch  of stuff
     you will find in most books on hypnosis -- history depth categories (not
     necessarily useful and specifics on applications.  Go to your bookstore.


     Supplement this.   
       These are my rules of the Game.  If you find them useful, keep them.


     Hypnosis A Journey Into The Mind  by Anita Anderson-Evangelista.  The most
     thorough beginning book on hypnosis the library possesses.  Good stuff!

     Trance-Formations   by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.  Kind of esoteric,
     but really neat techniques and approaches. 

     Frogs Into Princes, also by Bandler and Grinder.  Provides information on
     sense preferences, keywords, and rapport.  Does not deal with hypnosis per
     se but the information within applies.

     Tapes or live sessions are useful for helping you pick up the pattern of
     patter.  They can provide new approaches and effective ways to say things.


         Presuppositions also possess leverage.  A presupposition offers achoice
     on  the surface and at  the root of  it is a fundamental  Given.  Would you
     prefer to  go into a light  or deep trance -   the given is  that the state
     will manifest  and it is also  presumed that the participant  is capable of
     deeper degrees.  
       An induction related to the Confusion technique is overloading.  Direct
     the participant's awareness to as many things as possible.  The human mind
     can only attend to so many things; given too many it will start to withdraw
     or  cut down.  Offer  suggestions regarding relaxation  along with pointing
     out that they can perceive X while thinking of K.  Kind of the same
     principle as the confusion technique.
       Another way to reinduce a hypnotic state is to ask the participant to
     recall  one.  To answer  your questions especially  very specific questions
     your partner re-accesses that state goes into it a little bit.  Or a lot. 
     Depends  on the person and memory.   If you're working with the same person
     you can ask  them to  review the last  session.  If  your partner has  been
     hypnotised before you can ask  questions about what the hypnotist  said how
     they  were seated or lying down  did the hypnotist talk  in a slow drawling
     manner or in an intense steady one what did s/he say what did the
     participant find most effective -- anything pertaining to recreating the
     experience is fine.  Then you can gracefully start an induction.  Ok while
     you're  still recalling  how pleasant it  was to  be so  deeply relaxed why
     you just let your eyes close.



       When you're giving the main set of suggestions repetition of the main
     points is helpful.  Drives the ideas home.  You may wish to ask if the
     suggestions were well understood from time to time. 

         Whenyou're giving suggestions in generalwatch the participant carefully
     especially if you're describing something.  You want to be on the alert for
     a  negative  response   (handy word  comes fastest  to mind).     If you're
     describing something that's  really loaded, unpleasant, or  plain too weird
     you  can see it  by the participant's  responses.    Clenched hands tension
     around the jaw hunched shoulders tensing up  in general; these and anything
     you recognize  as a negative response are  things to look out  for.  If you
     are describing the participant as swimming in the ocean and they are phobic
     of water or if Jaws is on their mind  you will know it by these indicators.
     Your  choices are to gracefully offer alternatives    (... or if you prefer
     you can find yourself in a forest glade) or to inquire.


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