Trance doesn’t have to be hard. Even if you’ve struggled to trance in the past it doesn’t mean that you are a “bad” or “difficult” subject (please run a mile from anyone who tries to tell you that you are!). We all learn in different ways which means that some techniques will work better on some people than on others. That doesn’t make some people better subjects than others – it simply highlights the fact that we all learn in different ways and that hypnotists should be aware of and respond to this fact (sadly many don’t and instead blame the subject. Such hypnotists are to be avoided at all costs!)
There are some simple things you can do to ensure that trancing becomes easier and ultimately more successful for you. I’ve shared some ideas below:
- Research I know this sounds boring but I promise you that it pays dividends. The more you understand about hypnosis and what to expect, the better your experience will be. Just ensure that you are getting your information from legitimate sources.
- Ask questions As above, the more you understand the more comfortable and confident you will feel. Asking questions doesn’t always mean asking the hypnotist, though. You can make a list of questions you have and research the answers yourself. Where you do reach out to a hypnotist for answers, if you are asking more than one or two basic questions then please consider paying the hypnotist for their time and expertise. After all, the information they are sharing ultimately benefits you!
- Communicate If you have worries/concerns about anything, have ideas of what you want to achieve or things aren’t happening the way you expect, speak up! I mean, obviously be polite and respectful but never be afraid to speak up and share. Open, honest communication is vitally important. It will help you feel more comfortable and will help the hypnotist better understand what you need for trance to be successful. Communication also cuts both ways so make sure that the hypnotist is answering any questions you have thoroughly (though as mentioned above be mindful of the time and energy that they are investing into your questions).
- Be gentle with yourself If things aren’t working the way you hope/expect it is easy to get frustrated. I get it. But I promise you that you are not a bad subject. You simply haven’t found the right induction technique to unlock your trance potential. Sometimes that takes time to achieve but I promise the persistence is worth it. In the meantime be gentle with yourself and celebrate even the small successes. It all counts.
- Give to consideration to your trance environment Is your space relatively quiet? Are you comfortable and able to comfortably maintain the position you’re in? The position itself matters less than whether or not you’re comfortable. Can you ensure that you have privacy and won’t be disturbed? Have you made sure that you’re not too tired/mentally distracted by other things? It’s also worth having a glass of water to hand as trancing can be thirsty work.
Hypnosis not being effective (for whatever reason) is a common worry/concern that I see regularly voiced by hypnotists and subjects alike. Sometimes it’s because a specific suggestion hasn’t worked. Other times the subject simply doesn’t trance at all.
With this in mind I wanted to offer some advice and reassurance to both hypnotists and subjects based on my years of experience. Most of the advice is aimed at hypnotists as it is hypnotists who need to take the responsibility for ensuring that hypnosis is successful. It still holds value for subjects, however, as it gives you an insight into hypnotists behavior and what is/isn’t appropriate when it comes to handling unexpected situations.
I hope you find it useful.
If you’re a subject:
The most important thing is not to panic. I can promise you that you’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve been hypnotising people for many years and I’ve yet to come across a “bad” subject so I can say with a fair amount of confidence that you’re a good subject. “But!” I can hear you cry “If I am a good subject, why can’t I be hypnotised?”. The answer is you can be, but just like learning any new skill, different people learn in different ways. The reasons for your past difficulties may simply be that the induction/hypnosis techniques that your hypnotist was using aren’t effective for you. It doesn’t make you a bad subject, nor does it mean that the techniques are bad – all it means is that they weren’t the right techniques for you. There is no one single technique that is effective on 100% of people. Think of techniques like keys – all we need to do is find the right key to unlock your potential to enjoy trance.
Do me a favor – if a hypnotist ever tells you (or even implies) that it’s somehow your fault and that you are a bad subject then ditch them immediately! They’re simply trying to cover up their own shortcomings by blaming you.
If things aren’t progressing as you expected then don’t be afraid to communicate this. A good hypnotist will be able to reassure you and utilise other induction/hypnosis techniques to achieve the desired results.
If you’re a hypnotist:
Again, my primary advice is do not panic. Things don’t always go to plan and that is okay. If you panic you’ll panic/unsettle your subject and you don’t want that. Instead, look at it as an opportunity for you to flex your hypnotic muscles and find a creative way to problem solve.
A friend of mine likened being a hypnotist to being a swan – on the surface you look graceful, smooth and composed but under the surface you can be paddling like a crazy thing. Good news for you is that people only see what’s above. Maintain your composure and even if you do make a mistake, odds are most people won’t notice/it will be overlooked. I’ve been hypnotising people for years and my mistakes are part of what has made me a great hypnotist because I learned from them. I also learned how to not let on that things hadn’t gone as planned and the vast majority of times nobody noticed because I was able to brush it off and divert effectively. Your confidence is just as effective at allowing people to trance as any technique you use.
If something doesn’t work then there will be a reason. Stay calm, remain composed and appreciate that this can be resolved but that it is your responsibility to do so. Don’t you dare try and blame your subject/client when things don’t go to plan. Instead, outwardly suggest to the client that the outcome was expected/intended whilst internally working out what didn’t go to plan, why and what you can do to remedy the matter or if it was minor brush over it and move on and/or go back to basics and explain/demonstrate in a different way.
Knowing the best way to respond to an unexpected situation comes with experience so don’t beat yourself up if with hindsight you feel you could have responded better – it’s a learning experience and longer term, as long as you take on board the lessons, will make you a better hypnotist. No one is perfect. No one. Doesn’t matter how experienced they are. Even the most experienced hypnotists have moments where things don’t go to plan. What you learn with time, however, is that how you respond is far more important than what initially happened.
Focus on what the client needs from you to help them experience trance. Guide them from their understanding and shape your approach to what they need rather than what you want. You can also set yourself up for success by utilising proper planning and preparation. Minimise opportunities for things to go awry by spending adequate time on the pre-talk, ensuring that the subject understands what to expect. Also use this as an opportunity to build genuine rapport and establish trust. This may well be a new experience for your subject and this may well be accompanied by some level of anxiety. Taking the time to answer questions and explain what to expect will make the subject more comfortable and reduce the opportunity for unplanned outcomes during the session.
Another thing to note – If you’re used to simply reading from scripts then you’re severely limiting yourself and likely also doing a disservice to your subject/client. Reading off a script won’t equip you with the skills or confidence to handle situations appropriately when things inevitably don’t quite go to plan.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Literally anything has the potential to be turned into an induction. If something you try doesn’t work then it’s not a failure – it’s a valuable lesson and learning experience. I know I touched on this earlier but it’s worth emphasizing again. Analyse what didn’t go to plan and why and how you can improve for next time.
Any thoughts, questions or comments? Please do share them below.
If you’re new to the wonderful world of hypnosis, or if you have previously struggled to enjoy trance then it is perfectly understandable to feel a little nervous or apprehensive. After all – if you’ve not experienced something before then it can be difficult to know what to expect. There are also many misconceptions floating around which doesn’t help matters. Debunking the many misconceptions that exist is very valuable, however there are other simple steps you can take to make trancing easier:
- Communication – communicate fears/concerns to your hypnotist. A good hypnotist will be able to respond to all your queries and put your mind at ease.
- Choose a time to trance when you will be free from distractions. Turn off your phone or at least put it in “do not disturb” mode. Ensure that you’re not expecting any visitors and that you won’t be disturbed.
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes. Nothing tight or restrictive. Ensure you won’t feel too hot or too cold.
- Drink water regularly in the hours leading up to the time you intend to trance. Ensure you’re hydrated and not hungry (but don’t binge on sugary or high carb foods – proteins are your friend here. They keep you full but won’t “weigh you down” the way a carb heavy meal will, or mess with your energy levels the way sugar does).
- It helps to be relaxed, but it’s not necessary. Your body will relax, in its own time, when it needs to.
- If you’re naturally analytical, tell your hypnotist or enquire if they are comfortable and experienced in dealing with analytical subjects. Being analytical doesn’t make you a bad subject (quite the opposite) but it does require a different approach to ensure you enjoy the best possible experience.
- Know what to expect. This goes back to communication. Get the hypnotist to explain what it will happen, how it will feel, etc. This will reassure you and help you enjoy the experience without worrying about whether you’re doing it right.
- If you’re listening to mp3s rather than enjoying a live session, I’d recommend also just allowing yourself to listen. Be curious about it but hold no expectations. Analyse what’s being said if you want to. You already have a natural, inherent ability to enjoy trance so you don’t have to do anything other than allow that to manifest. In the meantime, instead of worrying if you’re doing things “right”, get comfortable and allow the hypnotists words and voice to flow…doesn’t matter if you’re consciously aware of them or not – your subconscious understands.
I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any tips you’d like to share, or any comments or questions please write them below.