You've never been hypnotised. Is that right?
Am I right in thinking you're fairly sceptical about hypnosis?
But you're happy to go along with a few things here, aren't you?
Okay, what I'd like you to do is simply take a deep breath, in and out. Again, take a deep breath... (wait for out-breath, or full in-take) and relax.
That's okay, isn't it?
And, you know, in reality hypnosis is little more than breathing and relaxing. So, you're half way there!
(Said jokingly, and subject smiles accordingly)
Well, it sometimes involves imagination as well, so let's start firing that-up.
Can you think of an occasion in the past when you're mind has been totally absorbed in one thing, or has even drifted off and been totally absorbed in absolutely nothing?
"Yeah, everyday at work!" (Laughs)
That's good. What does that feel like?
"It just feels incredibly boring. Like I want to bang my head against the wall."
Okay, so that's why your mind drifts off... to escape. And believe it or not, the experience of your mind entering that kind of day-dream state, is what we in hypnotic circles call "trance".
And we probably enter a trance state of some kind a number of times throughout the day. We can be sitting listening to a Seminar and our mind begins to drift off. Or, we can be watching a film and get so engrossed in the plot, that we're willing to suspend aspects of reality for a few minutes, as we enter the world of the film and lose ourselves in the story. You might have driven somewhere, on a route you know well, and after a while, you can find your conscioous mind drifitng off. You go into a daydream like state. You've had that, haven't you, when you get home, or you reach a certan landmark on the way and you think, "how did I get here?" And it's interesting, because it's as if your subconscious mind takes over, whilst your conscious mind floats off into it's own little world, and you go into trance.
Good. I'm not surprised here to hear that you have that experience. And I'm sure you'll have it again, aren't you? [Said whilst nodding.]
Yes, because as I said, it's a very common and completely natural experience to go into trance.
I bet that as you sit there listening to me go on and on about hypnosis here, you're probably getting ready to go off into a trance now, aren't you?! (Said jokingly. Subject laughs and says, "Yeah, nearly.")
In that case, what I'd like you to do take another deep breath, in and... (wait for out-breath) out. And just do that a few more times. In... and out. And as you keep doing that, what you'll find is that it's actually relaxing you more than last time you did it. And, you know, with every breath you take, you become more and more relaxed, for the simple reason that you are getting more oxygen to your brain.
Now, I wonder if you could pretend to be a good hypnotic subject, for me?
Good. I'd like you to pretend to be in a trance for me right now?
It could be when you're drifing off at work, when you're absorbed in a film, maybe gazing almost hypnotically into a log-fire, or looking out to sea, or entranced by fish...
So, what would your body posture be like if you're a good hypnotic subject, in hypnosis?
"I guess, relaxed? Kinda slumped."
Good. Okay, so just sit how you would sit if you were to... (wait for out-breath) go into trance... (wait for out-breath) right now.
[Subject shifts around a bit and slides down the chair a little.]
The interesting things... is that even pretending, you're becoming deeper and deeper relaxed, aren't you?
You've obviously got a great imagination. So, imagine that you were just sinking, drifting... (wait for out-breath) deeper into trance... That's it... (wait for out-breath) right now. What would your face look like? Imagine how you would feel and how relaxed that would look when you're deep in trance.
[Subject closes eyes and takes a long, deep sigh]
That's good. And you're eyes are already closed, because you're a good hypnotic subject, so that's how ready your mind is to slip into trance whilst you relax. And you might want to take another deep breath... and out. That's it. And you can do that a few more times, in and...out, becoming more... relax with each breath.
You can actually do one better than pretending you're in trance, you can actually experience what it would feel like if you were to really go into trance. Now. Good actors use a technique called "method acting" which means that they pretend to become a character from the inside out, they begin to think and feel and act as if they were that person. It's almost as if they are absorbed in that experience. So let's try a little method acting now. Can you just ... (wait for out-breath) slow your thoughts ... (wait for out-breath) right down, until they just drift and float by calmly and serenely?
Now, feel the comfort that that brings. Allow that just to ... (wait for out-breath) sink in, to the point where no one could tell that you're pretending... they wouldn't know you were using your imagination... they would simply see you feeling the deep relaxation and experiencing what it feels like to be in that place. Enjoy the experience of trance all the way deep inside yourself.
That's good. I wonder if you can experience imagining that you are experiencing an even deeper trance now... Deeper down with each breath... So relaxed... And as you continue to relax and enjoy that sensation, your mind can drift deeper and deeper into trance. And as you drift deeper and deeper into trance, you relax more and more as you sink down into the depths of calm, peace, serene tranquility.
And if we were really doing hypnosis here and you were... (wait for out-breath) reeaally going ... (wait for out-breath) go deep into trance, what you would do now is create in your mind a mental image of a grand staircase; a grand staircase that either curves to the left or curves to the right... It has a grand banister with ornate artwork.
This flight of stairs has ten steps. [Pause] You are at the top of the ten stairs. [Pause]
I would then say, In a minute, you are going to slowly move, in your mind’s eye, from the tenth stair, to
the ninth stair… From the ninth stair, to the eighth, all the way down, until eventually you get to the very
last step. When you get to the bottom of the staircase, you are going to step off into a giant restful feather bed; a place of complete tranquility and comfort and peace.
So, moving now from the tenth step, to the ninth stair, relaxing deeper
From the ninth step… to the eighth …
And from the eighth… to the seventh…
The sensation of relaxtion doubling with each step… Allowing your mind to drift… And your body to relax.
From seven to six…
Six to five…
Deeper… and deeper.
Five to four…
Doubling the relaxation… as you go further down.
And now, with the next step, you would step off of the stairs into a state of total relaxation, comfortably resting on a giant feather bed... Now.
Then, resting on that comfortable bed, you could begin to dream and take on-board the suggestions I would make, and effectively see your dreams become reality.
But I don't need to count for you, because this is just an experiment, to experience just how powerful your mind is. And you don't need me to count because with each breath you take, now, your imagination is able to hear me counting inside your head. So, your first breath in [wait for outbreath] and out would be number 1. Your next breath [wait for outbreath] would be number two, and so on. And with each breath you take [wait for outbreath] that's right, you go further down that staircase, towards that comfort at the bottom. With each breath you [wait for outbreath] head towards that place where you see your dreams becoming reality, as you unleash the power of your mind.
Down, deeper and deeper. Each breath, hear that voice in your head, each step, down, deeper and deeper. More relaxed. More at peace. Deeper into trance.