Concerning the technique of the induction of hypnotic trances, this is a relatively simple matter requiring primarily time, patience, and careful attention to and consideration for the subjects, their personalities, and their emotional attitudes and reactions. Basically, there is no set form or pattern to follow. One needs the respect, confidence, and trust of a subject, and then one suggests fatigue, a desire for sleep and rest, an increasing feeling of sleep, and finally a deep sound restful sleep.

These suggestions are given repetitiously, with gradual progression from one to the next, always with careful reassurance of the subjects as they make response to them. The making of passes, the use of crystal balls, the staring into the subject’s eyes, and various other mystical procedures belong to vaudeville or ancient history. One simply, persuasively, and patiently suggests sleep of a restful character until the subject does sleep, and then the subject is instructed to remain asleep until all reasonable purposes are accomplished. There should be no forcing or rushing of subjects, and every effort should be made to enable the subjects to appreciate any physical feeling they have suggestive of sleep. This simple technique can be learned by anyone, and anybody who has been hypnotized can employ it to hypnotize others, given cooperation and the patience to make use of it.

As for awakening the subject, one can suggest an arousal directly, or give the subject suggestions to the effect that he is slowly and progressively awakening, repeating these suggestions until the subject is fully awake. Once the trance state has been induced, there will become manifest various general phenomena characteristic of hypnosis, though not all are necessarily manifested by each individual subject. Foremost is the condition termed rapport, in which the hypnotic subjects respond only to the hypnotist. In the deep trance they are seemingly incapable of hearing or seeing anything unless so instructed by the hypnotist. However, this rapport may be transferred to others by appropriate suggestions by the hypnotist.

A second phenomenon is catalepsy. As a result of the hypnosis, there develops in the subjects an increase in muscular tonus so that there seems to be the same condition as exists in the stuporous catatonic patient manifesting flexibilitas cerea. Thus, the subject’s hand, raised up in the air by the hypnotist, is held in that position apparently without fatigue until the hypnotist either puts it down or instructs the subject to lower it.

Amnesia constitutes another phenomenon of interest. Particularly after a deep trance the subject tends to have a profound amnesia for everything that occurred in the trance situation. This amnesia is subject to control, since the hypnotist can suggest the recovery of the memory of some or all items of the trance experience, or the subject may deliberately set himself the task of remembering everything. This phenomenon is most inconstant and uncertain, depends upon many individualistic and situational factors. In an experimental procedure the amnesia can be demonstrated to be as resistant to all nonhypnotic forces and as profound as amnesias developing pathologically.

Suggestibility is, of course, a primary feature of hypnosis, and is necessarily present. However, there is always a need, if serious and satisfactory purposes are to be achieved, to give suggestions in accord with the subject’s understandings and desires, although in the type of hypnosis practiced on the vaudeville stage, ridiculous and undignified suggestions can be given. In the experimental psychological laboratory any number of behavioral responses can be suggested and subjected to study, such as suggestions of amnesia, recovery of memories, hallucinations, delusions, anesthesias, deafness, blindness, identifications, disorientation, etc. In the medical situation suggestions relating to the problem in hand can be given, such as the suggestion to recall a forgotten troublesome traumatic life experience, or the suggestion to avoid or to meet adequately some difficult problem. However, regardless of the suggestibility of the subject, there is frequently a primary need to give suggestions indirectly rather than directly and dogmatically as if hypnotic suggestions were miraculous in effect.


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Milos Pesic is a professional hypnotist who runs a highly popular and comprehensive Hypnosis web site. Visit now for more articles and resources on hypnosis related topics, self hypnosis, weight loss hypnosis, stop smoking hypnosis, hypnosis scripts and much more.

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