Chapter Two – The Trance State

The simple truth about hypnosis

The funny thing that most people fail to realize is that it is misleading to believe that we would be able to hypnotize another individual. The fact is that you will not really be able to hypnotize someone else. Now I know that is somewhat contradictory to be coming out of the mouth of a professional hypnotist that has been practicing the trade for nearly 6 years, but allow me to elaborate here if I may: All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so when you are acting as the therapist or hypnotist then your job is to simply to help the person to hypnotize themselves. This, of course, can be done in a few different ways. The first example is the hypnotist or therapist acting as a guide, and walking the subject along with them to the Promised Land. Other hypnotists prefer to lead their subject by example. Thirdly are those hypnotists or therapists who are a bit more authoritative and commanding, simply ordering their subjects into a trance. Now, of course, each and every approach works, and in this study just so you can become familiar with all three approaches we will take you through the process of all three techniques. That way you can make a determination as to what approach works best for you and your personality.

Now that we have clarified that hypnosis is not rocket science let’s look quickly at the reason so many people believe that it is. The reason for that belief is quite simple really, so many people have the belief that hypnosis is difficult simply because so many hypnotists have said that it is! And we hypnotists are a pretty convincing crowd. For the longest time, however, the hypnotists was much like the magician, they learned the tricks of the trade and then carefully guarded them from the unknowing public. Most people who have ever been to a magic show usually leave impressed by the skills of the magician. As a matter of fact I had the recent pleasure of being in Las Vegas, Nevada and being invited to a David Copperfield show with some of my business associates. Well let me tell you Mr. Copperfield is an incredible magician and I would highly recommend seeing his show if you are ever afforded the opportunity, because it is truly incredible. Now the reason I say that of course is that I sat in utter amazement as he performed routine after routine, why? Because I had no idea how he was able to pull off such things, now if I had known the secrets of the show, I assume the whole thing would have been quite mundane and even boring.

Of course being in Las Vegas also afforded me the opportunity to have seen a few headline hypnotists practice their craft. There are two in particular that I would personally recommend if you were to be in Vegas and looking for an entertaining show to see. My personal first choice is a gentleman by the name of Kevin Lepine (who as of this writing is currently the headline entertainer at the Binion’s Casino down on Fremont Street (in old Las Vegas). I have seen Kevin’s show on numerous occasions and even been up on his stage once and although I don’t say this to brag, he made me the Star of the Show.  Although it is an adult show, so leave the kids at home. The second headline hypnotist that I would recommend is a gentleman by the name of Marc Savard who currently has his show at Planet Hollywood. But once again this is an adult show, so have a fun night out without the kids. Both of these shows are awesome.

Hypnotists unlike magicians are not bound by the secrets, and as such much more information is being made available to the general public these days, it was never kept secret but the subject is gaining popularity today thanks to the power of the Internet. More and more hypnotists are selling more and more programs online and by doing so revealing the techniques used to hypnotize as well as in many cases the actual scripts that are used. All of this makes the subject so much easier to learn about then it was when I first started studying it back in the 1970’s. Back then just like the secrets of the magicians, many of the hypnotists back in the day wanted the unsuspecting public to believe that it was in fact harder than it truly is. But that simply is not true.

Hypnosis is all based on effective communication between the person doing the hypnotizing and the person being hypnotized. The only real tools that a good hypnotist needs are a creative mind, and a soothing voice. Hypnotism can be performed just about in any setting, and just about anyone can with a little bit of practice learn how to do it, and do it successfully.

As we begin this short course on hypnosis I want you to know that we will be learning in small bite sized chunks. As we learn a particular concept it will be up to you as the student to practice what you learn, practice it until you feel completely comfortable with it, practice it until you remember it, and completely understand the steps and process outlined in the exercise. It is not my intention for you to memorize long therapeutic scripts, but more importantly the concepts that will allow you to eventually write your own scripts. It is truly at that point that your creative juices begin to flow and the fun really begins. You will be able simply by following along through the process be able to write script just like an old pro in no time.

Now of course it is essential to understand that you will not become a super star hypnotist simply by reading through this book just one time, that would of course be like sitting behind the wheel of a race car, having never driven before and taking it for a spin around the track at full throttle. It simply would not be reasonable to expect you to do that. But through practice and repetition, having some fun with friends at parties, or simply getting a few willing people that would like to share the experience to allow you to sharpen your skills would be a great way to start off, as a matter of fact that is the way most budding hypnotists do start off.

I have, however, throughout this short course included instructions that will enable you to create your own induction scripts as well as therapeutic ones. You are after all expected to put some effort into the process, remember you will not be ready to take your show on the road after the first read through.

It is through constant study and practice that you too will hone your skill, and master your craft. That of course can only be accomplished by engaging in the practice. There are a lot of hypnosis courses out there and they all have pluses and minuses to them, for example some of the authors of those courses can take a simple concept that could be stated in one short paragraph and drag it on and on and on. Why? Simply to beef up the book and their self-perceived value. We are of course not going to do that here, as it is my objective is to get you from the novice to the proficient hypnotist in the shortest time possible, so we will cover the nuts and bolts, and maybe even throw in a washer or two along the way. But by the time you get through you will have a firm foundation on which to build your hobby, or new found career on that is for sure.

So pay attention, and learn your lessons well, and at the end I will make you a special offer that will surely get you moving to success as a hypnotist. Yes you can become certified as a hypnotist by the American Self Help Institute.

The use of hypnosis is a valuable tool in many different areas of your life, and you can become quite proficient in that practice. But it is my desire for you and should be your desire for yourself to learn how to safely and ethically hypnotize others whether it is for fun or for therapeutic reasons.

It isn’t just about reading the book, it is about consuming the information, and as you do you too will be well on your way to becoming a proficient hypnotist.

Because it is essential to understand that all hypnosis whether it is hetero-hypnosis or self-induced is self-hypnosis. Of course the subject (the person being hypnotized has a critical role to play in the process. It must also be noted that some people are better subjects than others. Not everyone is that good at entering trance states. There are some people who are fantastic, and will need very little input from you before going into trance state, but, most people need at least a few instructions to help them along the way. Then on the other end of the spectrum there are of course a few people that simply don’t seem to be able to ‘get it’ at all. But, don’t be discouraged, you see the more you learn about hypnosis the more you able you will be to help others to enter the euphoric state known as hypnotic trance. As your skills develop along the way, you will develop certain strategies and techniques that will add to your repertoire of hypnotic resources and make you a more versatile hypnotist. Once you have done so then you will have greater success. Now if you only learn one induction technique, and that particular technique only works on  20% of the population, you will then of course only be successful 20% of the time.

Unfortunately this is in fact what happened to Sigmund Freud, his limited knowledge of induction techniques meant that his success in accomplishing the desired level of suggestibility was frustrating to him.  Being disgruntled, he soon began to make himself feel better by displacing his own personal short comings onto trance itself, even going so far as to state that it was simply not a reliable form of therapy. Some might say this was his biggest Freudian slip and what he actually meant to say was that he was simply not a flexible form of therapist. Because he was not happy with hypnosis he went on to develop psycho-analysis and other talking therapies that all seem to take forever to do very little. Of course I could not resist telling this joke at this point.

Question: How many psycho analysts (psychiatrists, psychologists, etc) does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: One, but it is extremely expensive, it takes a long time, and the lightbulb itself must desire to change.

Now I don’t say that to diminish the relevance or importance of such therapy, simply to poke fun and make light of the subject.

So learn as many different types of inductions that you can because there is no one size fits all when it comes to inductions. Flexibility is very important, and not to worry because we do have that covered in this book.

Unfortunately, what we can’t control is the quality of your volunteers. Now that being said of course if you are only able to practice on people that are poor subjects then you may begin to believe that you are a terrible hypnotist… I of course refuse to accept that! So with that in mind I strongly suggest that you practice on as many different and as varied people as you possibly can. Now you don’t need to worry about finding willing subjects because as soon as word gets out that you are a hypnotist you will have no shortage of eager volunteers.

Now in the perfect world it would of course be preferable to only hypnotize people that would be great subjects and go into trance almost instantaneously but this is a luxury that you can only really expect if you are on the stage. Because in that situation you get to pick from the entire audience viewing your show, you get to test them for suggestibility and throw back anyone you think might not be a suitable subject or cause a problem. However if it is your intention to pursue a therapeutic practice well then you simply don’t get any choice at all in that case. Someone calls you to book an appointment and desires to lose weight, or quit smoking or deal with any other issue that you have chosen to build your practice on, and simply said they expect you to be able to deal with their issue, and that’s that. Now of course even in your clientele there will be the ‘easy deep goers’ but don’t become reliant on them. Learn the various techniques that will expand you knowledge so that you can help just about everyone and watch your practice and you bank account grow. Of course if  you get a particularly tricky customer accept the challenge and recognize it as an opportunity to develop your skills.

It is my hope that you have enjoyed this post and found the information informative as well as educational.  Please feel free to leave any comments below, and I look forward to seeing you in the next chapter.

Chapter One
The Mystery Revealed

 

As I stated earlier on the practice of hypnosis has always been something that I found intriguing. As I dabbled in it as a teen, although I was not nearly as proficient back then as I am today, I still had a lot of fun with it.

 

But now as we begin to get into the content of the course I feel that it is necessary to make this statement one more time. There is really no mystique or mystery about hypnosis. Even though, so many people just starting out have difficulty inducing trance in another individual. That was my motivation in the writing of this book. I have written this book is to show you how, in a step by step manner, and help you to master the field of hypnosis and become a hypnotist in as short a period as possible. Whether it is your desire to pursue a lucrative career as a certified hypnotherapist (this certification, of course, is available through the American Self-Help Institute upon successfully passing the certification exam and submitting 3 scripts on specific areas that are dealt with by many hypnotists). Further information about that will be available later in the book.

 

Of course, as I said, Hypnosis has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager, I was always amused by the concept of making my friends jump around on one leg flapping their arms, and clucking like a chicken.

So in this, my first book on the subject I will bring forth the time tested principles that have been passed down to me throughout the years from the various sources from which I have studied the craft. This will be a beginners course however as we outline in a simple to understand step by step exactly what you will need to know to be the life of any party. And who knows you may even end up with a career as a hypnotist yourself. Of course in this short beginner’s course we will not cover the complex aspects, but the basics as it is simply meant to be a quick start introduction to wet the reader’s appetite so to speak. But in the study, the point is to train you to a certain level of proficiency in the subject.

 

But in the cut to the chase method of conveying the information I have eliminated the hype and the history for that can be learned on your own time as you feel it necessary, but instead concentrated more on the what you do, the how you do it, and how it works. This makes hypnosis plain and simple. As a matter of fact, the first textbook in a hypnosis course that I took was nearly 500 pages in length, and the one thing that I realized about that was that in my opinion the author just liked to hear himself talk as there was much information that surely was not necessary. It is my intention that you should be comfortable reading through the entire text in one to two sittings, and then as needed reread it to reinforce the concepts being taught.

You should also have handy a pen and paper because you never know when a hidden jewel might just jump out and bite you.

 

There will be exercises throughout the book, that in order to be successful on your journey that you will need to complete, and along with those exercises there will also be real life suggestions that will only help you to advance in your proficiency as a hypnotist.

 

Read through the book as many times as you need until you feel proficient, learn the scripts, and the tips and tricks to writing your very own scripts. And as you progress through the course you will become proficient at either hetero-hypnosis or self-hypnosis.

Of course, each and every one of us has at one time or another been hypnotized, even if we didn’t know it. Let me give you a couple examples of those trance states you may or may not have experienced.

 

There was a pretty remarkable experience that I had in my life involving trance state. I would like to share it with you here so you truly can grasp exactly what a trance state and being suggestible truly is and is not.

 

The first experience happened to me when I was 12 years old. I was an adolescent boy that like just about any other adolescent boy had a particular subject in school that I was not the least bit interested in. Earth Science! To say that I hated the class would, of course, be an understatement. But I did go to class every day not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Now I was determined that nothing that teacher would say or do would make me like the subject. I simply was not interested in it and didn’t really care to learn anything about it. As a matter of fact, I still to this day am not a big fan of science in general.

 

But, I had an incredible experience in that class that would forever alter the way I thought about learning or mastering any life skill.

 

Now I have to be completely honest here and say that I was the kid that sat in the last seat in the first row, and was content disturbing anyone who would pay attention to me, not because I was mean, but because I didn’t want to learn anything in that class therefore why would anyone else want to, so I was known for being just a little disruptive.  I would talk to the girl sitting in front of me or the guy sitting to my right, and to say that this did not make my teacher very happy would be well less than truthful.

 

So once the people around me started ignoring me I was bored silly in that class, so what I did do while I was completely ignoring the teacher’s lectures is that I would read the assignment for the next day, after all, I didn’t want to have to carry that five pound textbook home with me that night to do the reading for the next day.

Then came the “day of reckoning” the first test of the year, and as I read the first question on the test I felt as though I was surely doomed. But what I found out that day as I said was something that changed the way that I have learned anything in my life forever. You see as I read the first question, “Why does the earth spin?” Which by the way was not an unrealistic question to start off the first test in an Earth Science class, I heard myself ask myself the question in my mind, now, of course, that was something that happens whenever you read a question that you are tasked with answering, but I had never paid much attention to that in any other subject, because I honestly had never taken any other class that I disliked as much as that one. But as I asked myself the question a series of things began to happen, things that up until that time I had never give much thought to, but because I had never bothered to listen to the lectures, and had only read the book the magic that was my subconscious mind kicked in. Because every experience we have in our lives is stored in our subconscious mind, everything we have seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled, all stored in the memory banks of the subconscious mind. Now obviously at 12 years old, I didn’t have a real clear understanding as to even the difference between the conscious level of the mind or the subconscious level of the mind (that real understanding was not revealed to me until about four years later in my psychology class).  But as I asked myself the question “why does the earth spin” a subject that I had probably read something about along the way the most incredible thing happened. My subconscious did exactly what it is supposed to do, and provided me with an answer. There was, of course, one problem with the answer that I received, you see my subconscious didn’t have a very good sense of humor (which by the way in all of us it does not) and the answer it gave me was surely not one that I could have ever written on the test sheet. Now, why do I say that? Well, the answer I received was simply this, “I don’t know why the earth spins, nor do I give a flying expletive” Gee that sounded like my attitude about the whole subject. But as I said there was no way that I could have written that answer on the test, heck I would have gotten thrown out of school. So I asked myself the same question just in a different way, I reformatted the question if you will, and asked myself, cmon, man you can’t write that down, and you also can’t afford to fail this first test of the year, so give me something I can write down and at least be able to defend if the teacher didn’t like what I had to say. Well remember I said this was an incredible experience for me, and then all of a sudden three things popped into my mind.

 

The first thing was a picture of the blackboard in the front of the room. And there was lots of writing on the blackboard, but most of that writing was blurry and I could not read it, but was very clear, was the little bit of information that the teacher had written on the board as to why the earth spun. You see I had asked myself a very specific question and the subconscious’ job was to deliver to me the answer, and deliver it did.

 

Now that was the first thing that popped into my mind, and that was pretty cool in my opinion. The second thing that popped into my mind was a page in the textbook, remember I said I did actually do the reading while I sat bored silly in class in an attempt to not pay any attention to the teacher, who actually allowed me to read simply because when I was reading I wasn’t disrupting her class. Yet again the only writing on the page that I could read clearly was what had to do with why the earth spun. Again that was really incredible to me. How was that happening? Nothing like this had ever happened to me before.

The third thing that popped into my mind was like an audio clip, it was like that teacher was leaning over and whispering in my ear the very portion of the lecture that she had delivered about you guessed it I am sure, why the earth spun. Now I know that she surely wasn’t whispering sweet nothings in my ear because she was not fond of me and I wasn’t too crazy about her either. But how cool was that? You see I can honestly say that I did not pay any attention to anything that teacher had said up until that point, yet somehow it was there in my subconscious mind and coming forward as if I had attentively participated in that class. The information even though I was not listening and most likely daydreaming had entered into my subconscious, where it was stored and I was able to retrieve it simply by asking myself a simple question.

I, of course, was able to answer the question, I was able to pass that test, and subsequently, that class that year, all because I had figured out how to ask myself the right question.

 

This is the power of the mind and once you understand that power then you can use it to your advantage whether you are attempting to induce self-hypnosis or hetero-hypnosis.

 

So in the next chapter, we are going to discuss just a little more of what hypnosis really is before we get into the fun part.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this chapter and will continue to follow along throughout the rest of the course, and please feel free to leave any comments below as I love to hear from my readers. Thanks for visiting.

THE LAYMAN’S GUIDE TO HYPNOSIS – INTRODUCTION

 

As an author, I have from time to time published on my blogs snippets from a book I am working on. Usually covering a chapter a day. This latest project is called “The Laymen’s Guide to Hypnosis”  I am actually going to take that practice one step further in this blog and publish each and every chapter as I go. So you can read along and be enlightened day after day in the process. Of course, I would love to get your comments as we go along be they the good, the bad, or the ugly. Feel free to make any comments you might have about the days writing.

 

We all would like to believe that our actions and reactions are a result of the logical thought processes that goes on within our minds, but the fact is that external suggestions influence a great deal of our thinking, a great deal more than logic ever does. Whether consciously or unconsciously, our thoughts and our feelings about just about everything are to some extent molded by the ready-made opinions and attitudes that have been planted in our minds by other mass methods of communication. After all, we cannot buy a bottle of soda, a fast food hamburger, or just about any other product we might purchase without having been influenced and conditioned through the power of suggestion. That is a simple reality of life. Whether it is right or wrong, we place more confidence in what “they” say or have said over and over through the advertising campaigns of the mega corporations than we do in our own powers of reason. As a matter of fact, we often desire someone else to tell us what we think or feel. And even though we have that desire we have always been minimally aware that we can, in fact, influence our own destiny, simply by directing our thoughts and actions toward the constructive, that our mind does exert a powerful influence over our destiny the thoughts that we harbor in our minds can have either helpful or harmful effect on our physical and emotional health.

 

There has been a myriad of books dealing with the power of positive thinking written throughout the years, and their market success is proof positive that millions of people throughout the world are aware of the benefits of constructive thinking and the beneficial results that those thoughts can bring into our existence.

 

What most of them do not know however is that they themselves are capable of embedding those very thoughts into their own minds? This is accomplished through self-hypnosis. All hypnosis is, in fact, a form of self-hypnosis, and the hypnotist is simply a guide that walks you through the journey.

 

The rapid growth and worldwide acceptance of hypnosis in the last few years is just another example, that people have accepted the fact that they can modify behavior and experience radical life change through hypnosis, and there has been a shift from hetero-hypnosis toward self-hypnosis. The individual directing themselves to a better life.

 

Hypnosis better defined is a highly suggestible state of mind or consciousness wherein the individual or the therapist can direct suggestions to the subconscious level of the mind. The subconscious mind is like a child, it does not differentiate between good or bad when it comes to such suggestions it simply acts on those implanted suggestions.

 

Hypnosis can be also a very powerful tool in any therapeutic process. The scripts are carefully crafted to deliver the most effective messages to the subconscious while the subject is in that trance state.

Now the best way to describe the hypnotic trance is that it is the level of conscious between awake and asleep. In this state the guard of the subconscious mind (the conscious mind is often unaware or has been intentionally confused whereby it allows the suggestions to slide on by into the subconscious.

 

When that happens highly motivated subjects can accomplish tremendous results whether it be through hetero-hypnosis or through self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis can also be used as a calming agent allowing the subject to relax and it can even afford lasting results in many areas of the life that one wants to improve upon. Self-hypnosis can even alleviate distressing symptoms from phobias or fears, it can substitute strong responses in place of weak responses, it can even help the subject overcome bad habits like smoking or overeating, it can create good habits to replace the bad habits, and it can also help one’s power of concentration. It is not uncommon in some cases that the total personality of the subject is eventually changed to the point where they can function adequately in an increasingly difficult environment.

 

One of the biggest misconceptions about hypnosis had been that the subject would relinquish control of himself to the hypnotist or the therapist, and that is simply not true. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true; the subject under hypnosis is in control of his or her mind throughout the process. And can simply come out of it whenever they desire. The opposite thoughts have often been portrayed by Hollywood in relation to hypnosis.

 

The subject will not act out in a manner that is inconsistent with their morals or conscious beliefs. Now, of course, some might argue that fact using the actions of the persons that have taken part in a stage hypnosis show. But those people are willing participants in that show, they have accepted the fact that they may do some peculiar things while under hypnosis. But I assure you that they will not act outside of their core beliefs. I have seen this proven time and time again during different stage shows that I have attended throughout the years. I have actually been on stage myself during a recent trip to Las Vegas, where a group of friends and I attended a show at Binions (down on Fremont Street) by an incredible hypnotist by the name of Kevin Lepine. I had seen his show previously and on my next visit to town, one of my friends encouraged me to go up onstage. Having had my professional curiosity satisfied the last time I agreed. And I had a blast as was evidenced by the DVD that now resides in my office safe for safe keeping. And the crazy things that I did during the show included such things as talking on my sneaker (as though it were my cell phone, danced and sang, I even did a Britney Spears impression, now had I not been hypnotized I can assure you that never would have happened, but it was all in fun.

 

Now that we have clarified that aspect of the hypnotic experience let’s address some of the positives. Self-sufficiency and self-confidence are inevitable results in the process. Of course, we must always remember that even good things can be overdone, and in that respect, it is always necessary to exercise good judgment when we desire favorable results. With that understanding, it goes without saying that neither hypnosis nor self-hypnosis should ever be used arbitrarily. The effectiveness and the results that one will achieve through self-hypnosis depends upon many variables or factors. The keys to success are a strong motivation, intelligent application of suggestions and diligence are prerequisites to the desired results.

 

I am in no way suggesting that self-hypnosis can or should take the place of all other forms of psychotherapy. As a matter of fact the truly skilled and proficient hypnotist understands the need for, and even sometimes when they deem necessary will recommend it as an addition to professional help or therapy when indicated. Hypnosis should never be used as a replacement for qualified medical advice from your health care or mental health professional, but many more doctors these days are realizing that hypnosis can be a benefit in the treatment when used judiciously, it can, in fact, contribute a great deal to the individual’s physical and emotional well-being and happiness.

 

As a professional hypnotist for many years, it has been my pleasure to have seen astounding and apparently miraculous results by individuals using self-hypnosis. Dealing with so many of life’s issues while many of these cases seem unbelievable to those who are not familiar with the hypnotic phenomena. It should be remembered, though, that many individuals seek hypnosis only when all other forms of therapy have failed. As a last resort of sorts, It is not uncommon that hypnosis has come to be known as a last resort when the client feels that they have exhausted all other avenues, Yet, despite the seeming hopelessness of such cases, these is medical literature that lists thousands of remarkable cases.

 

There is honestly nothing hit or miss about hypnosis. When it is used intelligently, the results that are experienced are pretty much the same for all those who are properly motivated. These type results are not just accomplished by the modern hypnotists alone but has been pretty much consistent throughout the years, as a matter of fact, while reviewing the literature going back more than 100 years, the same gratifying results were obtained. There are many books that have been written on the subject, although many are out of print some can be found at the local library’s that cover the benefits of hypnosis, and as an inspiring hypnotist, you might want to ponder through some of those books also.

As detailed in this book’s title it is my intention to write this book so that it is understood by the layman, him or her with little or no formal experience or education of the subject. In doing so the step by step instructions afforded the reader should be a way of acquiring the skills necessary to train oneself. Throughout this series of posts, we will show you the way, and all you will need to do is follow along and practice the exercises following the instructions as outlined herein. In doing so it is my sincere hope for you that you will achieve the life that you truly desire through the use of self-hypnosis.

Move On To Chapter One

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions on any page or post throughout the site, after all, you are the reason that we exist here at the American Self-Help Institute and we value your feedback.

-Dr. Carl Welliver, Ph.D., CHT