This blog post evolved into a direction that is mainly aimed at helping hypnotists understand why confusion inductions are not always necessary – or indeed appropriate – for trancing analytical subjects, but I hope hypnosis subjects also find the information useful/insightful. If, after reading, you have any questions or thoughts please leave comments below. Thank you!
Speak to your average hypnotist about analytical people and you tend to get one or a variety of the following comments: that they’re “bad” or “difficult” subjects and that the only way you can successfully trance them is with the use of confusion inductions.
Those comments? They’re all absolute rubbish. Those of you who know me know that I absolutely love working with analytical subjects and years of hypnosis experience has consistently shown me how amazing and capable analytical subjects can be. I have written plenty of blog posts on the subject to date.
In my many years (going on for a decade now) of being a hypnotist I also rarely use confusion inductions and yet have successfully hypnotised hundreds (I stopped counting years ago) of analytical subjects. How do I achieve that? Why do I go against the widely held/accepted belief that confusion inductions are the only reliable way to hypnotise analytical subjects?
Well, again, to be blunt – because it’s nonsense. Confusion inductions can be useful for trancing analytical people but so can many others. It’s most certainly not the only way to successfully trance analytical subjects. Far from it!
So – why don’t I tend to use confusion inductions if they are so popular? The main reason is that analytical people are usually also dealing with varying degrees of anxiety and confusion inductions can be overwhelming and/or uncomfortable in such situations. Of course some subjects will really enjoy confusion inductions but to me they often feel like beating the conscious mind into submission by overwhelming the mind of a subject who, if analytical is likely already prone to overthinking. Sending an overthinking brain into meltdown isn’t the most pleasurable way of inducing trance and as pleasure is a priority for me, I tend to turn to other ways of inducing trance.
This brings us to the million dollar question – how exactly do I trance analytical subjects? Unfortunately there is no clear cut simple answer as I tailor every induction to the individual subject but I can offer some general pointers. Firstly, and I cannot emphasize this enough the pre talk is important. I’m generalizing here but for the most part, analytical subjects like structure. They like to know what to expect. And even if it’s not “necessary” it’s good practice in general for all kinds of subjects to prepare them and let them know what will happen as well as dispelling some common myths (e.g. the myth that trance is like sleep to give one example). If the subject has an idea of what to expect then it helps to keep them focused and their mind is less likely to wander.
Secondly, never tell an analytical subject to “relax” and “not think about anything”. That is one of the worst things you can say to an analytical subject. It’s akin to telling someone not to think of a pink elephant. What’s the first thing you think about?
Finally, it’s okay if analytical people want to analyse their trance experience. Doing so won’t distract them or hinder the process in any way (assuming of course the hypnotist is competent and used to working with analytical subjects).
There are many different types of inductions you can use, and there’s no “one size fits all” approach. The induction is less important than the subject and what they need to enjoy a successful trance. If you go into a session determined to use a particular induction then you’re limiting your success rate (and potentially traumatizing the subject) whereas if you go in with an open mind, speak with your subject/client about what they need (they may not know how to articulate it, but again, a competent, experienced hypnotist will know what questions to ask to get the answers they need) then your success rate potentially skyrockets as you’re tailoring the induction to your client, and not trying to force your client to engage in a particular induction.
As I said before, some clients will respond well to confusion inductions and I am not dismissing such inductions out of hand. They remain a potentially fun and useful tools (I use confusion inductions with some of my regular clients for fun because I know how to do so in a more light-hearted way and I also know they trust me). What I am suggesting is that confusion inductions are not a blunt tool that can/should be applied to all analytical subjects. Get creative, have fun with inductions, experiment and learn to tailor your approach as a hypnotist to what your client actually needs, not what you assume they need.