A common assertion I hear in relation to hypnosis is that “you can’t hypnotise everyone”. Well…yeah…I mean there are exceptions for pretty much everything in the world/every possibility and, even if you can do things it doesn’t always mean that you should.
This blog is focused on the people that can be reasonably hypnotised (e.g. no mental or physical health problems which would make trancing them ill-advised), Of this pool of potentially tranceable people, are some more susceptible than others?
I’ve had many clients come to me after being told they are “bad” subjects by previous hypnotists and it simultaneously angers me and breaks my heart as to my mind 99% of the time the issue lies with a poorly trained hypnotist who lacks experience and wrongly tries to place the blame on the subject.
If the subject is genuine in their desire to experience hypnotic trance (which in my experience most if not all are), then if the subject fails to achieve a trance state then it seems obvious to me that the issue lies with the hypnotist and their skill (or lack thereof), not the subject.
After all, everyone learns in different ways. Common hypnosis induction techniques like progressive relaxation may work well for the majority of people, and some may find it easier initially than others, but it doesn’t automatically follow that those who struggle to trance to common hypnosis inductions are somehow bad subjects. There will be a technique/techniques that are effective for you and allow you to enjoy trance and a good hypnotise will be able to hone in on and leverage those to give you the best possible experience.
Some hypnotists will try and claim that certain kinds of people – commonly analytical people – make poor hypnosis subjects. This is utterly and totally wrong. Analytical people make excellent hypnosis subjects and trance fast and deep once you know what techniques are effective and work with the subjects analytical abilities rather than suppressing them. After all, telling someone to “relax and not think” is like telling someone not to think about a pink elephant. What’s the first thing you think of? Then the subject gets distracted worrying about the fact they’re thinking when they’ve been told they shouldn’t have been thinking and this causes stress and tension. If, instead, you allow the subject to explore and analyse their experience as you guide them, you end up more often than not with a subject who is very quickly very deeply in trance.
You do get people who are naturally able to tap into their innate abilities more easily, but this applies to just about anything. Some people are naturals when it comes to learning to drive. For others it can take a little longer to feel comfortable and get the hang of things. It doesn’t mean such people are bad drivers. It’s simply a reflection of the fact that different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. Becoming upset because you’re not progressing as fast as you feel you “should” be detracts from being able to focus on what you are accomplishing. There is no generic optimum. There is simply what works for you. When you allow yourself to focus your attention on what you’re accomplishing then you are able to improve and build upon your progress rather than sabotage it by focusing on some idea of what you feel “should” be. Invest your energy where it can help you instead of allowing distraction and worry to hinder you.
If you’re unsure about anything then communicate – ask questions. Knowledge is power. A good hypnotist will be able to enlighten you and reassure you. Trance isn’t a race. It’s an exploration. A journey to be appreciated and enjoyed, not one to be rushed through. An opportunity to discover exactly what you are capable of. Embrace that.
Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Please share them below.
I absolutely love what I do (hypnosis) and wanted to share some highlights of fun/memorable sessions. This story is part of a series where I recount some fun/memorable hypnosis sessions I have enjoyed over the years. All client identities are kept 100% anonymous.
I had a client come to me a few years ago – very nervous. An older gentleman, he had been interested in hypnosis for almost 30 years and had been actively trying to experience trance for over 20 years with no success. I recall he was fidgeting and reluctant to make eye contact. Simultaneously excited at the prospect of enjoying trance and resigned to the fact that based on multiple previous experience with other hypnotists it wouldn’t work, he was nervous, conflicted and far from what many would deem a “good” candidate to work with. After all, what hypnotist wants to take on a client who has seen multiple hypnotists for many years and yet never been able to trance?
Well – me, as it turns out. I really wanted to work with him. I am a firm believer in the potential of trance. Of all the possibilities for pleasure that exist in this special experience and I guess I’ve also never been one to turn down a challenge. When people try and tell me that I can’t do something or that something can’t be done, oftentimes my response has been to say “okay” and then proceed to attempt it. I figure that often there’s a lesson to be learned, even if I don’t achieve the outcome I am expecting.
So, with that in mind I agreed to enjoy a Skype session with this new client who had never tranced before. I knew going in that none of the “typical” inductions would work. No doubt many hypnotists before me had already tried them (obviously without success) so I had to come up with something different. And I did.
I sketched out some potential ideas before the session, but I decided not to go into too much detail with any single idea as I wanted to be flexible – to be able to have the ability to explore, see what worked and adapt to the signals the client was offering me. I wanted to be able to be flexible and responsive rather than relying on following a “tried and tested” common induction.
Not going to lie – it was a challenge. The client was very nervous and consistently reiterated he wasn’t sure that this would work. It became obvious to me that launching straight into trance would only put him on edge due to the expectations based on previous experiences. As a result, I decided to take things slow and focus on putting him at ease. I’ve learned over the years that relaxation isn’t a requirement for enjoying trance, but being confident in the person hypnotising you is. I gave him time to get to know me. To ask questions. Gradually he became less tense and worried. We talked about all sorts of things ranging from how he became involved in hypnosis right the way through to his hobbies.
Soon enough the conversation began to flow more smoothly and he became much calmer. He was less directly focused on trance and instead simply enjoying our conversation. Over time his breathing naturally slowed and deepened a little. He relaxed more without direct prompting from me. I noticed other subtle hints and signs that suggested he was receptive (if not consciously aware of this fact) to exploring trance.
I took things gradually. There was no rush and initially I didn’t make direct suggestions or commands. I allowed him to explore how his experience was evolving without dictating its speed or direction. Instead I was his guide. I was there to support and reassure him. Remind him that he didn’t need to “try”.
Over time his confidence grew and by the end of our session he’d not only experienced deep trance for me, but I had been able to give him post-hypnotic triggers that could be used (solely by me for safety reasons) even when he was not in trance. They were simple – for example the command “trance” would send him instantly back to a trance state – but effective and the beaming smile on his face once he realised he had finally achieved this experience he had been dreaming of for so, so long was one of pure joy. He was like a child at Christmas – so happy and excited. For my part, I was also really happy that he had been able to experience and enjoy trance.
Since then I have built a solid reputation as someone who is able to successfully hypnotise people who have previously struggled to enjoy trance. I accomplish this by using a more relaxed, conversational style and tailoring my approach specifically to the individual I am working with rather than relying on some of the more typical/common inductions such as progressive relaxation and countdowns. I really do love what I do and feel incredibly lucky to be able to offer my clients the opportunity to enjoy such a special experience.
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If you are interested in enjoying a session yourself, then I recommend you take a look at my Skype page for more information.
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I think I sort of take it for granted sometimes that hypnosis is real, genuine and effective. Because I work with it every day and see the effects first hand to me it’s simply a given. I love what I do, but I’m also aware that complacency can be an easy trap to fall into so I was pleasantly surprised when I received the following review from one of my boys after a session. Before he came to me he had been trying to trance for 20+ years.
“Last night was special. I think that, after so many years of trying to trance, I had formed (without recognizing it) the belief that hypnosis is somehow unreal. Not that it is fake — but rather that it was some mixture of just quietly though consciously accepting most of what a hypnotist says. Maybe, according to this belief, it is more like listening to a really good story, and getting caught up in the reading, but not necessarily finding oneself swept away, or responding so powerfully (and without conscious inter-mediation) to suggestions, triggers, and commands. If the story is sexy, you might cum. If it calls for a little audience participation, you might play along. But it wouldn’t be the case that you could just be dropped into a deep and infinitely submissive trance by a word or three. Your kind willingness to answer all my questions about what is and isn’t possible is helping me, I think, to re-learn what hypnosis is. Experience here is leading belief: there are the ever present feelings of submission, and my absolute and immediate responsiveness to your commands; belief is starting, finally, to catch up with reality”.
It was interesting to me that his pattern of experiences had given him the opposite perspective to mine. He saw hypnosis as a fantasy – something that could be engaged with in a roleplay capacity but nothing more. It made me think about how our experiences shape our perspectives and expectations. This boy wasn’t simply sceptical about hypnosis – he literally believed it didn’t exist. That it was a fantasy. So imagine his shock when he discovered that it is, after all, real.
I think some people think me saying that I transform fantasies into reality is a marketing ploy, but I genuinely mean what I say and those who have enjoyed live sessions with me will be able to attest to the truth of my words. Trance is real. Hypnosis is real. It works. Not every hypnotist will be able to hypnotise you effectively but that doesn’t discredit the phenomenon itself. I specialise in working with “difficult” and/or analytical subjects (basically those who have previously struggled to trance and/or been erroneously told by other hypnotists that they are somehow “bad” subjects) and yet I have a near perfect success rate (which I am very proud of, I hasten to add).
You’re skeptical? So what? It doesn’t mean I can’t hypnotise you. Hypnosis isn’t some kind of magic (though it certainly can feel magical at times). You don’t need to believe in it for it to work. You don’t even need to be relaxed. Mind going a million miles a minute? Not a problem. The fact remains: hypnosis is real. Hypnosis works. Don’t believe me? Go and check out my testimonials page. Plenty of people have taken time to confirm that not only does hypnosis work – I excel at what I do and they reap the benefits of that.
Am I being arrogant? Perhaps. I personally see it as confidence underpinned by many years of experience. I know what I am doing. I am capable of delivering results and you are able to benefit from my experience. Tried before with other hypnotists and not been successful? It doesn’t mean hypnosis doesn’t work/trance doesn’t exist. It simply means you haven’t found a hypnotist whose style works for you, yet. Research, explore – invest time and you’ll enjoy the rewards of your efforts. The potential of hypnosis is limited only by your imagination.
If you’re curious about hypnosis and have questions you can always email me at email@example.com
I’m friendly and more than happy to answer any queries you have. I love hypnosis and am very passionate about what I do. You deserve to enjoy the pleasure of trance and I would love to be the one to guide you on that journey of discovery.
I’ve developed somewhat of a reputation as being a “go to” hypnotist for people who’ve previously struggled to trance. Some of the wonderful clients who I have had the pleasure of working with have been trying for many, many years (I think the record so far is 20) to enjoy trance and had all but given up before they came to me.
Either people have been told by an (inept) hypnotist that they’re difficult or “impossible” to trance (utter nonsense) or they themselves have come to the conclusion that they’re no good at it because they’ve struggled to enjoy trance. It can be a frustrating and depressing experience being led to believe that you are incapable of achieving something you really want to enjoy and I have the greatest admiration for those who don’t give up and continue to pursue what they want because in my opinion there is no such thing as people who are “hard” to hypnotise.
Trance is an inherent ability we all possess, but we all learn in different ways (which is perfectly natural) so commonly used hypnosis induction techniques (to help someone achieve trance) may or may not be effective depending on the subjects personal learning style.
A good hypnotist will be able to quickly establish at least a basic understanding of how an individual best learns by talking to them, asking relevant questions and fine-tuning their approach to improve their insight.
Personally, I prefer to use a relaxed, conversational induction as a base that I then tailor specifically to the individual I am working with. Allowing the interaction to be more friendly and relaxed puts less stress on the subject, which is especially important if you’re dealing with someone who has already had multiple attempts at trancing end in failure.
By allowing someone to relax and clearly explaining how the process works and what they can expect you can help them to map-out the experience, giving more confidence and reassurance. If I am working with someone who I know has struggled to trance in the past then I know the “traditional” inductions are unlikely to be successful and this gives me license to unleash my creativity. It’s also important to reiterate that trance is a fun, relaxed experience. Your subconscious knows what to do, so my job as a hypnotist is to show you how to tap into your own innate talent and capitalise on it for your benefit.
You can’t use the same approach that other previous hypnotists have and just hope for a different outcome. I “read” the person – both in terms of what they say and how they say it, and also monitoring non-verbal communication which can be as subtle as a change in pupil dilation, flushed cheeks, breathing or any manner of other things. My role as a hypnotist is to lead, guide and teach.
If someone is being tranced and are struggling to achieve their goal then you can be damn sure that the issue lies with the hypnotist and not the person being tranced. The hypnotist needs to be able to tailor their approach to the individual they’re working with but so many hypnotists get stuck in a rut – parroting scripts they’ve learned verbatim or even worse reading directly from scripts. A hypnotist needs to be able to get creative – to improvise. To be able to understand the mechanisms that drive the trance experience and tailor them specifically to the individual they’re working with in a way in which that person can understand, and in doing so successfully engage with the experience. The hypnotist has to be confident in what they are doing and if a particular approach doesn’t yield the expected results don’t frame this as a failure (or even worse blame the subject) because it’s not. It’s a learning experience. It helps you narrow down and pin-point what will work. And it will work.
Analytical people are a brilliant example of this. If you’ve read some of my other blog posts you’ll know that I absolutely love working with analytical people. I totally geek out over it (I am an unashamed hypno-geek) and get very happy and excited. Why? Because in my experience analytical people make the absolute best subjects (read my other blog posts to find out why I feel this way) but many hypnotists are reluctant to work with analytical subjects and brand them as “bad” or “difficult to hypnotise” when in reality nothing is further from the truth.
It’s true that analytical people don’t always respond well to many popular inductions. Progressive relaxation inductions can be boring and drawn out if you’re of an analytically minded persuasion and many hypnotists tend to focus on telling their subject to “relax”, which, if you’re analytical will send your brain firing off in different directions going “how relaxed is relaxed? Am I relaxed enough? How do I relax more?” etc which completely derails the whole experience. Another common direction is to tell the subject to focus on the hypnotists voice and not to think of anything else. Again, if you’re analytical this is like saying “don’t think of a pink elephant”. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Of course none of this makes analytical people bad subjects. There are methods which can be effectively employed which utilise their inherent gifts and in my experience this results in analytical people being able to trance faster and deeper than most. What is important, however, is recognising the strengths of the individual you’re dealing with and tailoring your approach to them. If I ever hear a hypnotist try and tell me that someone is “hard to hypnotise” my immediate desire is to respond by pointing out that the subject isn’t the problem – it’s the limitations of the hypnotists ability which are showing through and falsely shifting the problem/limitation to the subject is disingenuous and unhelpful.
So in summation there’s no such thing as someone who’s “hard to hypnotise”, and if a hypnotist ever tries to tell you or insinuate that you are, run a mile! A good hypnotist will be able to tailor their approach to optimise your chances of success. Take time, research, shortlist and never be afraid to ask questions. You want to find a hypnotist whose style you like and who you feel comfortable with. Trance is possible and magical things can happen once you’re able to achieve it. This is why I am able to say that I can make fantasies come true on my homepage. Because I can and I do 🙂
If you have any questions or would like more information please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.