A Brief Introduction to Basic Hypnosis

A Brief Introduction to Basic Hypnosis

A Brief Introduction To Basic Hypnosis

By Dan Jones

These notes should be used in conjunction with my book Hypnosis for Beginners which can be downloaded from the Hypnosis Training page of www.askdrdavid.co.uk

Hypnosis is a trance state that produces the evocation and utilisation of unconscious learning.

Trance states involve a narrowing focus of attention. The focus may be:
Outwards as when faced with an emergency. Inwards as when daydreaming or worrying.

Trance state behaviours include:

  • A huge increase in suggestibility & responsiveness
  • Increased tolerance to pain
  • Sudden religious conversions
  • Hallucinations
  • Waxy immobility
  • Absence of blinking
  • Ability to change body temperature
  • Ability to build muscle using the imagination
  • Ability to alter blood pressure
  • Ability to change mood
  • Ability to rehearse new behaviours until they become instinctive
  • Altering immune system activity
  • Accelerated healing
  • AmnesiaSubtle changes will indicate that a patient has entered a trance state. These include:

    1] Flatting of facial expression 2] Staring
    3] Absence of blinking
    4] Almost complete immobility

    Erickson’s hypnotic inductions and indirect forms of suggestion can be broken down into five stages:

1] Fixation of attention
2] Depotentiation of habitual frameworks and belief systems 3] Unconscious search
4] Unconscious process
5] Hypnotic response


To perform a hypnotic induction you need to either recreate stages leading to dreaming sleep or recreate the state of not knowing what is happening next causing the orientation response.

Recreating stages of sleep could be through encouraging the client to relax their body and mind or by getting them to imagine something relaxing.

Recreating a state of not knowing what is happening next could be done by interrupting a pattern of behaviour, or causing confusion.
Types of induction include:
Conversational (overt & covert)
Pattern interrupt

1] Here is an example of a conversational induction with ‘embedded commands (in heavy type): “As you sit back and begin to feel comfortably relaxed, I would like you to let those eyes gently close…that’s right…recognising that with those eyes closed you can go inside very pleasantly, accessing memories, past experiences or other meaningful events, times gone by when you felt good… Now I’d like you to take two deep, refreshing breaths and as you release that second breath you can drift even more deeply into a satisfying a pleasant state of relaxation…etc

2] An example of a pattern interrupt induction: “ Hi, I’m Dan (my hand goes out and the client’s hand comes to meet it. I take it with my opposite hand, raise it with palm facing clients face then slowly start it moving to their face)…and as that hand continues to move closer to your face all by itself you can begin to notice the change in your vision…and as the vision changes you can notice how heavy those eyelids are getting…and you won’t go all the way into a trance until that hand comfortably touches the face…”

3] During a metaphorical induction or embedded-meaning induction you tell a story and use embedded commands.

4] A directive induction is one in which you instruct the client what to do.

5] Here are two examples of induction by creating a state of deep relaxation.
“You can take some time to relax… you can let time stand still… like a clock stopping giving you all the time in the world… a clock can be stuck at quarter to three… showing on the face with the motor behind being in control of those hands…whether they should be left stuck or raise right up to the twelve… your unconscious…mind gets the right idea leaving that left behind… rising right up honestly and effortlessly in front of you as that motor moves that right arm… as the other arm is left stuck right there at the 9… as you can notice yourself walking right arm up to the clock you can become the clock with your unconscious mind becoming the motor… the right hand can continue moving up to the 12 even faster… as the wrong hand is left where it is…….

“One afternoon a woman set out looking for her friend’s house. She was feeling rather tired and sleepy, but perked up halfway there when she realised she’d forgotten the directions.

She decided to check for directions anyway, and holding the wheel with her right hand she used her left hand to place a can of coke on the floor right beside her then reaching right across her side with her left hand to her right coat pocket for the directions she discovered they weren’t there so she thought maybe they were left in her left pocket so she checked right there only to discover they weren’t there either. She then checked both pockets again with alternating hands as she steadied the car steering wheel with her knees she remembered that her friend had said that it is two rights and one left. She took a right and was left with one right and a left. She took a left and was still left with one left and two rights. She tried two rights and was left with one left, and after trying just one left alone was left with two rights, and still she had not found her friend’s house, which was starting to get a bit confusing. She decided to try a bit harder which was hard as she fought off fatigue and the traffic, and the first thing she did was reverse the right-left order, which she definitely thought was the right thing to do just then. Leaving from the corner she took a hard left, leaving two rights left, and still she was not there. A right and a left, and continuing with one more right left her not there yet either, and finally in utter bewilderment and near exasperation, she pulled off the road deciding the only decision she has left must be right, she sat back behind the wheel, took one deep breath and said “I might as well just sleep”

Remember to use embedded commands (messages marked out within sentences using a change in tonality or a gesture etc), presuppositions (using terms like as, when, after, before that all imply or presuppose that these things will happen), illusionary choices (offering choices that lead to the same outcome, like saying: ‘do you want to sit in this chair or that chair to go into a trance?’

It doesn’t matter which chair is chosen the outcome is that you will go into trance) and non-verbal behaviour like voice tonality and being congruent by exhibiting what you are trying to get. For example saying ‘relax’ in a relaxing way…”