There are two fundamental
parts to practical hypnosis: the hypnotic induction and the post-hypnotic suggestions.
The first part is
the induction, and this can be done in exactly the same way no matter what the session is trying to achieve. The purpose of
this first section is to induce a passive trance state in which the person is susceptible to the influence of suggestion.
This is the hard part of the process, and the success or failure of a hypnotist depends largely on how good they are at inducing
this trance state. Of course some people can be hypnotized easily, and for others it seems to be impossible, but there are
a huge number of people in the middle who require a skilful practitioner to enter the necessary entranced state of consciousness.
of disbelief’, or ‘willed belief’ technique can be a powerful tool for overcoming the barriers to trance
that are present in many people and stop them from being susceptible to suggestion. It can be used on others, and it can also
be used for self-hypnosis.
One of the main problems
that you will have to overcome is questioning, and the tendency of a person’s inner dialogue to contradict what you
are saying. You may say, for example, “you are feeling more and more relaxed”; what you want is for the person
to simply accept that what you say is true automatically, because then they will notice things which confirm it more than
things which contradict it, and it will gradually become true simply because they believe it, in much the same way that a
placebo can influence a person’s health through the psycho-somatic connection. But if they ask themselves: ‘am
I feeling more relaxed’, t hen perhaps they will feel that they are not, and it will not work. Or even worse, if they
don’t really believe that you can hypnotize them then their thought process may be quite adversarial and they might
think to themselves ‘no I am not’ straight away, without giving it a chance to work. The trick is to make them
believe what you are suggesting to them.
One way to do this is
to simply ask them to try to believe what you say, to play along with things even if they think it is pointless, and to try
not to question what you tell them. This is what many practitioners do, but the problem is that many people may not be able
to do what you are asking of them effectively; so here is a technique designed to help:
At the beginning of the
session you should tell the person that in a few moments, when they have closed their eyes and you have begun the session,
you will ask them to try to open their eyes, but that when you say this what you actually want them to do is to pretend that
they are trying to open their eyes but can’t manage to do it. Ask them to try their hardest to really believe that they