When learning or being introduced to hypnosis either as a hypnotist or subject, in all likelihood you’ll be introduced to what I refer to as “traditional” inductions/techniques/suggestions. These are commonly used inductions and techniques which are the “go-to” for the majority of hypnotist and tend to include:
- Visualisation techniques (encouraging the subject to visualise specific items or situations, such as walking along a beach or allowing them to visualise a space of their own creation (though typically it’s the hypnotist who dictates the contents of the visualisation)).
- Countdowns (typically used to deepen or lighten a trance these can be incorporated into visualisation techniques – for instance suggesting the subject walk down a staircase – or can be used standalone – e.g. “I am going to count from 1 to 10 and with every number you hear me say you’ll find yourself going deeper into trance. Once I reach the number 10, you’ll find yourself deep in trance”. The reverse can be used to count someone out of trance.
- Suggesting the subject relax/try to not think of anything (this one seems pretty self explanatory).
The above list is obviously not intended to be an exhaustive list of traditional/typical hypnosis inductions,techniques and suggestions. Rather its intention is to give a flavour of some of the most commonly used.
Most hypnotists incorporate these techniques and suggestions into scripts which are relayed to the client. The “bottom of the barrel” hypnotists will literally sit and read off a pre-written script to their client. I would highly recommend avoiding any hypnotist that utilises this approach as it shows a complete lack of effort, understanding and engagement. There’s no room for flexibility or adaptation to the needs of the client.
Thankfully such hypnotists are rare and most professional hypnotists will have memorised scripts which include the above or similar techniques. The benefits of having a script memorised are that you can pay more attention to your client and how well they are responding to the inductions, techniques and suggestions that you are using.
There are still potential drawbacks to this approach, however. For instance what if the client does not respond to the techniques you’ve chosen to use? What’s your fallback? Another common technique? What if that also doesn’t work? By relying heavily on traditional hypnotic methods you’re not only limiting yourself as a hypnotist but also potentially your clients ability to successfully enjoy trance.
I’m not saying this with the intention of scaring anyone. In many cases traditional inductions work very well – which is why they keep being taught. The issue I am trying to highlight is that traditional hypnosis techniques do not work for everyone. So, what’s your plan when you have a client for whom traditional inductions aren’t effective? In an ideal world the hypnotist would know before hypnotising their subject that traditional inductions aren’t likely to be effective (discerning this is outside the scope of this particular post as the topic itself deserves a whole blog post of its own) but the information I’m going to share can also be applied if you’ve tried (or been on the receiving end of) a more traditional approach and it hasn’t been effective.
So – you’ve discovered (either as a hypnotist or subject) that traditional hypnosis techniques don’t work for you. What next? Is all hope lost? Is the subject incapable of achieving trance?
It’s okay! All hope is not lost and I can assure you that an inability to trance using traditional hypnotic techniques does not make the subject bad or incapable. How do I know? Many, many, many years of successful experience with hypnosis.
The first step is realising that you are not bound by traditional hypnotic techniques. They are not chains that you are incapable of breaking free from. They’re tools. Often very useful tools but any good artisan knows that your toolbox can (and should) be expanded as you learn and discover more. A hypnotist is on a journey just as much as their subject. With every interaction we learn, discover and should be experimenting. Failure is not a dirty word. Mistakes are going to happen. That’s inevitable. What matters is how you respond to them. You can choose to either:
- Blame the subject and say that the traditional techniques worked for other people so should have worked for them – the fact it didn’t means they’re obviously a bad subject (which, just to be clear, is utterly the wrong approach to take)
- Recognise that different people process and understand information in different ways and that there is not one single technique that will successfully work with 100% of people.
Let’s assume you choose the second option. Understanding that no single technique is going to work on everyone is a good start but how do you practically apply that to hypnosis?
The answer is actually pretty simple. Learn, understand and get curious and creative. Teach yourself the mechanisms of why traditional hypnosis techniques work. Understand why they are effective. Next get curious about why these techniques don’t work on certain people. What are the common denominators? Once you have a handle on what types of people traditional inductions work well for and what types would likely do better with other techniques, get curious about what has been holding back such people and how you can evolve new techniques to address that. If you have an understanding of the basic underlying principles of hypnosis and how it works (again, too big of an issue to address in this particular blog post) then you have the basic tools you need to get creative about discovering other options.
For instance through working extensively with analytical people I’ve learned that many traditional techniques simply aren’t effective. It doesn’t make analytical people bad hypnosis subjects (far from it). It simply meant that I had to figure out what didn’t work for them (e.g. being told to “relax and not think about anything” is akin to saying “try not to think of a pink elephant” to an analytical person. It achieves the opposite of the intended result and isn’t helpful. Ok – so, now I know that what do I do? I experiment and discover what does work. For instance utilising their analytical abilities instead of trying to suppress them. That’s good but it doesn’t end there. I know I want to use their analytical abilities but how? How do I do that? Figuring that out is the next step…and so on and so forth until you have workable solutions that you can utilise to effectively trance analytical people.
Learning and understanding at this level doesn’t come easily. It requires tenacity, a desire to learn and understand and a recognition that if things don’t work out the way you wanted it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Quite the opposite – you’re learning what doesn’t work, which is actually really valuable information. You’ve only failed if you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
Teaching yourself how hypnosis works, rather than simply relying on common techniques is incredibly liberating and definitely makes for a better hypnotist. It opens doors to more opportunities, greater flexibility and adaptability and ultimately more success. You’re no longer bound by specific scripts or techniques. Through learning and experimenting you’re ultimately increasing your odds of success with all types of clients. You’ll feel more confident and secure and less flustered if things don’t go to plan or the client doesn’t respond the way you expect because you’ve expanded your hypnotic toolbox to such a degree that if one technique doesn’t work you have plenty more to choose from.
You can and will develop your own unique style and as your confidence and ability grows, so will your success. The same applies to subjects. They will feel more comfortable with you and will enjoy much more success with engaging with trance.
When you are not bound or held back by set techniques and develop the confidence to adapt them to your own (and your clients) needs and even develop your own techniques you’ll discover a whole new world of opportunities and possibilities. Allow yourself to break free from traditional inductions – use them when they suit you (and your client) instead of being beholden or overly reliant on them. You owe that much to yourself and your client – to be the best you possibly can be.
Hypnotists should always be learning. We should always be exploring and adapting and challenging assumptions. There are always new insights to understand and techniques to be applied. The moment you decide as a hypnotist that you know it all, you’ve failed. You’ve failed yourself and your potential clients.
The same can apply when you become too comfortable with assumed norms. For example, one all too common assumption that I often come across is that analytical people make inherently bad subjects. As this is something that is often taught to new hypnotists (often without a solid basis, just something that is “commonly known” and/or because analytical people don’t typically respond well to common/traditional inductions) it has become more or less an accepted norm.
Oftentimes if we are accustomed to uncritically accepting information passed to us, especially if that information has come from a trusted source, or is considered to be “generally well known”, but in doing so we are selling ourselves short, and by extension our clients.
How could we ever hope to learn anything new if we don’t open our minds to different possibilities? I’m not suggesting we have to critically evaluate every single piece of information that comes our way – that would be ridiculous. Instead, I’m suggesting we should allow ourselves to be curious and open to challenging traditionally accepted ideas. The outcome of which doesn’t have to yield brand new results or information. But it will allow you to be secure in your views and to potentially learn new things.
If I had accepted the standard line that analytical people make bad hypnosis subjects then I never would have discovered how wrong this actually is. Nor would I have had the pleasure of successfully hypnotising hundreds of different analytical subjects and being able to professionally specialise in working with analytical subjects and those who have previously struggled to trance.
It can feel scary sometimes, especially as a new hypnotist, to step away from the well trod path of accepted assumptions. To even consider challenging what you have been taught. But it’s worth it. Absolute worst case scenario you’re able to confirm that what you have been taught or told is correct. Best case though – that’s much more exciting. Best case gives you the opportunity to learn new things, to become a better hypnotist and a better advocate and source of support and expertise for your subjects. Who wouldn’t want that?
I personally have learned so much by taking my own path and not being afraid to explore and experiment. Every day, each time I trance someone new (or even trance regular clients again) I am learning new things. I learn new techniques (and have become adept at creating and adapting my own techniques “on the fly” as it were), I gain new insights into my clients/subjects and their needs.
Learning that things don’t always go to plan and more importantly how to effectively respond to that is invaluable. If you never step out of your comfort zone, how are you ever going to realise your potential?
Disclaimer: This blog post is wading into a very complex and potentially controversial area so I want to start out by explaining that the views here are mine. I’m not suggesting that what I share is right or wrong – only that it is my opinion. If you have opinions on the matter you are more than welcome to share them in the comments section.
So – is it possible to have a D/s [Dominant/submissive] relationship separate to a primary/romantic relationship? In my opinion yes it is, but – as with many things in life – the answer is not black and white.
The requirement for the services of a professional Domme can come into play when one partner is unaware, unable or unwilling to meet the other partner’s submissive needs.
There is a lot to consider, but ultimately it comes down to personal ethics and considerations of what is/can be deemed acceptable. Those interpretations will vary depending on the individual. From a personal standpoint, as long as something is legal and consensual I make a point not to judge.
I see the D/s dynamic as a personal need – equivalent to friendship or romance. It can be intertwined with both (and more), but every need an individual has is not necessarily met by a single person (nor should it be). A D/s dynamic is unique, however, in that it can be either personal or professional and I think the distinction is important. By maintaining a professional D/s relationship you (should be) maintaining clear boundaries and expectations. You’re utilising a professional service to meet your needs.
An analogy would be that a romantic partner can offer a listening ear, but sometimes this isn’t enough and you require the services of a professional therapist. A Domme may not be a qualified therapist, but they are professionals (the good ones, anyway). In an ideal world the partner would be aware of the submissive’s needs and is okay with you using a professional to meet those needs. Often however, people aren’t comfortable sharing their submissive needs with their partners, and so the partners remain unaware. This can muddy the waters a little bit but again comes down to the individual’s ethics and what they consider to be acceptable behaviour.
I would be inclined to suggest that one of the benefits of using a professional Domme is just that – the fact that they are professionals. This ensures that boundaries are clear and maintained. I know I have had to gently suggest to certain clients that they perhaps take a break when they find themselves developing inappropriate feelings for me and risking the professional relationship we have developed.
The risk of certain clients failing to maintain and/or respect professional boundaries (even if not deliberately or intentionally) is a potential pitfall that must be considered and carefully navigated. Excellent communication, including in relation to expectations and boundaries is a necessitation from the outset and this must be mutually maintained (responsibility should not fall wholly on the professional or the client, in my opinion).
If clear boundaries and expectations can be communicated and maintained then there is definitely scope for a professional D/s dynamic to co-exist with a separate romantic relationship as the two are both accommodating very different needs. To reiterate what I mentioned earlier, friendships fulfill a different need to romantic relationships and although one would hope that you are also friends with your romantic partner, you can also be friends with others with zero romantic involvement.
I would caution you to give careful consideration to your options and potential outcomes. If you choose to pursue a D/s relationship separate to your primary romantic relationship there is a lot to consider. For example:
- Have you previously raised your D/s desires with your romantic partner?
- If you haven’t, consider why this is, and if you would be better placed communicating with your romantic partner in the first instance. If you are reluctant to, perhaps consider why. I’m not suggesting you have to discuss with your romantic partner but it may be a red flag in the communication area if you don’t feel this is something you can at least raise with them. Not suggesting it’s necessarily the case, but it’s something to consider.
- If you have raised the idea with your partner and they are not interested in adding a D/s dynamic to your relationship, have you discussed with them you seeking arrangements elsewhere? For some people, D/s has a sexual element whilst for others it is primarily a form of emotional release. If the former and you are in a monogamous relationship it’s worth considering your partners feelings about you seeking sexual satisfaction outside of your romantic relationship.
There is a lot to consider (I have only offered a selection of examples – the above is not intended to be comprehensive) and I am making zero judgements or setting expectations here. Merely offering potential things for you to mull over.
I want to reiterate that I have a lot of clients who are married/in relationships where the partner/spouse has no interest in D/s. Because of my emphasis on ethics and communication, I make a point of setting appropriate boundaries from the outset, reinforcing when necessary and as a result I am blessed with many wonderful clients who are able to navigate this situation with a good deal of clarity. As a result they are happier in their day to day life which often has positive knock-on effects on the rest of their relationships (romantic, work, friends, family, etc). So it is definitely possible to achieve a healthy dynamic.
I hope you’ve found this useful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.
From 1st July 2023 live session hypnosis prices with me will be updated to the following:
1 hour session: $199.99
1.5 hour session: $295
Discounts for block booking multiple sessions are available – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Trance is fun. A lot of fun. As it should be. Embracing trance opens doors to all sorts of amazing possibilities that would perhaps otherwise elude you. The sheer amount of opportunities hypnosis offers is awe inducing, yet many people fail to capitalise on this.
There could be any number of reasons for instance (and not intended to be an exhaustive list):
- The subject has struggled to achieve trance so their total focus is one achieving the one thing that has eluded them. They’re so focused on simply being able to achieve trance that they forget all the other amazing opportunities that exist.
- The hypnotist hasn’t explained the sheer scale of possibilities that are available. I’ve found oftentimes clients need some ideas if only to use as a springboard/fire up their imagination.
- The subject doesn’t believe that they’re capable of achieving what they want so are reluctant to ask for it.
All of the above issues can be overcome. As a subject you can help yourself by:
- Taking your time and researching different hypnotists. Check their experience, whether you like their style and seek out testimonials from other clients. Research is boring but it will pay dividends later.
- Having faith in yourself and what you’re capable of. Just because you may have previously struggled to trance, it does not in any way, shape or form mean that you are incapable or somehow a “bad” subject. I really cannot emphasize this enough. Take your time and find the right hypnotist for you. I promise you it will be like finding the right key to unlock your mind, and when that happens you’ll be amazed by what you’re capable of accomplishing!
- Asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. It’s often best to think these through/prepare them in advance so you’re not worrying about it in the moment, but also if you’re having a chat with a hypnotist, take notes and if something they say makes you think of other questions, don’t be afraid to ask those as well. The more you know, the more empowered you will be and the more comfortable you will feel. You’ll feel more at ease and have a much better insight into what’s possible.
- Added to note: It is important to make sure that you compensate the hypnotist for their time – we are professionals after all. Asking one or two simple questions over email shouldn’t be a problem, but anything more in depth ask them if they offer consultations (e.g. I offer a 15 min consultation for exactly this reason) or if there is another preferred way that you can compensate them for their time/expertise.
Yes, in an ideal world your hypnotist will engage you with a good, well thought out pre-talk that includes managing expectations of what the trance experience itself is like, as well as the possibilities trance offers however life is not always perfect, so it makes sense to take matters into your own hands (to a degree at least), and the best way to do this is research.
If you go into your first session with at least a basic understanding of what to expect in terms of what going into trance feels like, as well as an idea of what you can expect to achieve in or through trance then you will be gifting yourself a much more positive, productive experience.
You don’t have to have a hundred questions ready to go. No one is expecting you to know what you don’t know, but having a few well thought out questions to kick start your experience will be really useful and help you to make the most of your hypnotic experience.
Some potential suggestions for questions and things to consider are (please don’t take this to be a comprehensive list – it’s simply a springboard for you to fire up your mind and get you thinking):
- If you’ve previously struggled to trance previously, do you have any insight into why this may be?
- What does it actually feel like to go into trance and be in trance? If you’ve struggled/not yet achieved trance or are wondering if you have actually achieved trance but aren’t sure then it may be you have unknowing misconceptions or erroneous expectations regarding what to expect and how the experience should feel/what you’ll experience. Talking things through with an experienced hypnotist can be really useful in such situations.
- If you could achieve and/or experience anything with hypnosis, what would it be? Create a wish list. Don’t worry about whether it’s possible or not – allow your imagination to run wild and have fun with the list.
I hope you’ve found this blog post useful. If you have any questions, comments, etc please feel free to leave them below.
If you’re curious about enjoying a live hypnosis session with me over Skype, you can find everything you need to know on my “Live Sessions” page.