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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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