Day 11

Leveraging your analytical gifts to achieve successful hypnotic trance:

I am a firm believer that analytical people make some of the best hypnosis subjects. I completely dispute the frustratingly pervasive assumption peddled by far too many hypnotists that analytical people are “bad” or “difficult” subjects because in my (many years of) experience this simply isn’t true.

I have had the pleasure of hypnotizing countless people and nothing brings me more joy than working with an analytical subject because right from the get-go I know that they are going to be amazing to work with.

How do I know this? Because analytical people are blessed with an incredible, often untapped and underappreciated gift. Their gift is that which far too many hypnotists incorrectly malign – the ability to analyse.

I don’t know how, when or where the assumption arose that analysing one’s trance experience is a negative thing and not to be encouraged but I do know that it’s utter nonsense. Yes, many people respond well to being told to “relax and not think”. It gives them permission to switch their mind off and focus on what the hypnotist is saying.

But that technique isn’t a catch all. It doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re analytical, being told to “relax and not think” often leads to the opposite effects (am I relaxed enough? How do I not think? I’m thinking about not thinking! type thoughts). This in turn leads to distraction and frustration and the (totally wrong) assumption that trance is at best difficult and at worst impossible for analytical people.

But what would happen if the subject was given permission to analyse? To be told that it is okay to explore and think about their trance experience as they are experiencing it? What if the hypnotist could gently guide the subjects focus without imposing rigid rules around relaxation and not thinking? What if a more flexible approach was encouraged and more appropriate support offered to the subject by the hypnotist?

Well, I can tell you from my own experience (and I have chosen to specialise in working with analytical and a so-called “difficult” subjects so that should tell you something) that this is when the magic happens.

Giving the subject permission to leverage their analytical abilities and appreciate them for the gift they are rather than a problematic hindrance transforms the hypnotic trance experience from one of stress and worry (will I be able to trance? Is it working? Am I doing it right?) To one of confidence, positivity and self-assurance (Yes, I notice that. Yes, I feel how that sensation has evolved, etc).

By allowing a subject to utilise their innate analytical gifts, and appropriately supporting them in doing so, they (the subject) are able to engage more deeply with the hypnosis experience. The result is that they trance faster and deeper than the average person. Because they are able to self-verify more quickly than the average person how their trance is evolving, they progress at a faster pace and enjoy a more profound hypnotic trance experience.

Day 7

How your preconceptions of hypnosis are setting you up to fail 

There are innumerable myths and stories surrounding hypnosis. It’s perceived as somehow magical and mystical – a profound and yet somehow unknowable experience. Ideas like you can’t be tranced or will struggle with trance if you’re analytical (which is absolute nonsense); that hypnosis is like sleep (it’s not) or that you have to be lying down to achieve trance (you don’t) – just to give you some examples.

Most of these myths and preconceptions are harmless, but they can also affect you and your ability to trance, even if you don’t realise it or fully appreciate their impact.

If you go into the trance experience with the expectation that you are going to struggle or find it difficult then you’re suggesting to yourself that this is what you should and will experience. Your mind is incredibly powerful. It shapes your reality so if you prep it with negative ideas then these can very easily potentially translate into a negative reality.

Setting out with preconceived ideas of what trance is or how it should be/feel can also be counterproductive. Granted there is so much misinformation floating around (trance is sleep, etc) that it can be difficult not to pick up on common assertions/assumptions about hypnosis and how it works (1980s cartoons are also awash with “hypnosis” scenes) and assume that this is how hypnosis is supposed to play out. But if the reality doesn’t align with your expectations of what you feel trance “should” feel like then this can throw you off, make you doubt your experience and once again, sets you up for failure which is obviously not what we want!

Whilst it is important to learn about hypnosis so you can understand the experience and what to expect, it’s also important not to be led astray by the plethora of misleading information, assumptions and downright fiction that is floating around.

The problem is – if you know little to nothing about hypnosis (which isn’t a bad thing – everyone has to start somewhere) how do you separate the genuine information from the assumptions and misleading information that abounds? How do you ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible shot and not setting yourself up to fail by being misled by misconceptions?

You can take steps to ensure your success by making sure you critically evaluate the information you receive about hypnosis. What is the source? Is the source likely to be legitimate? Credible? (E.g. has the information come from an experienced hypnotist? How do you know they are experienced? A recommendation? Do you trust the person who made the recommendation?)

I know this seems like a lot of additional effort to go to – giving critical consideration to every piece of information – but doing so will pay dividends. You’ll be much better placed to understand what to expect which in turn will allow you to feel less nervous and more confident in your experience.

You can also try reaching out to experienced hypnotists with carefully thought out questions. Most experienced hypnotists will be happy to answer one or two simple questions but be mindful that you’re making use of their time/expertise so don’t be surprised if they request to be reimbursed – especially for more detailed questions/ more time taken up. Even if they don’t, it is polite to offer to show that you appreciate them sharing their knowledge with you. Especially as it is directly benefiting you.

At the end of the day, you can bolster your chances of success with trance by taking time to research and filter information. Knowledge is power after all. The more you know and understand, the less nervous and more comfortable and confident you will feel which in turn will allow for more success and opportunities with trancing.

Now – go forth, learn, and most importantly – have fun!