Hypnosis is a way to access the power of your own imagination. It puts you into a state of mind where you are far more open to simple suggestions; suggestions that will help you to change your old ways of thinking and behaving.

The secret is in finding the right idea and translating that into something that the deep unconscious part of your mind can easily understand.

It is not just knowing what you have to change and it is not just knowing what you have to do. You have to know how to do it and then take some action. You might know that you need to take some exercise and that you should do it every day but will you want to do it when it’s raining hard outside and you can stay warm and comfortable at home?

You need to use your imagination because your imagination is powerful. You need to really ‘feel’ how you will benefit. There are many ways to activate your imagination, but hypnosis is particularly good.


Hypnotherapy is the use of this hypnotic (trance) state to make changes to behavior and habits.  “One small change can gather momentum and like a snowball rolling downhill can eventually make an enormous difference. To make big changes in your life, all you need is to deliver exactly the right idea at the right time.”

Modern hypnotherapy incorporates many therapeutic techniques that have proven to be effective.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can both be used successfully with hypnotized subjects.

Hypnotic subjects respond differently to suggestions so having a varied repertoire of techniques is a definite requirement for any hypnotherapist. The core therapy though, still involves using the characteristics of the unconscious mind to create changes based around the character and experiences of the hypnotic subject. Ideally, all therapy is very specifically tailored to the individual.

There are two principle types of hypnotherapy; direct and indirect. These terms can be confusing as they apply both to the induction style as well as the therapeutic style.

There are two reasonably well known exponents of these two different styles.

Milton Erickson, who contributed considerably to the indirect school of hypnotherapy.

Dave Elman who is a good example of the traditional, direct style.

Dave Elman

There are several direct techniques to produce and deepen a trance state. Traditionally there were considered to be five levels of trance to which you could descend deeper and deeper from one to the other. Probably these are just different states as most therapeutic work can be conducted in any of these states, even in what was considered a very light trance.

Dave Elman’s book ‘Hypnotherapy’ discusses all of these in detail, with case histories for particular conditions.

Direct Hypnosis Techniques and Procedures

  1. The Direct Hypnosis Method of Dave Elman – A summary of these techniques and examples of their application by Dave Elman
  2. Taking a patient history
  3. Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale
  4. Time Distortion
  5. The Five Stages of Direct Hypnosis

Milton Erickson

Milton Erickson developed an indirect hypnotherapy technique. There is no formal structure as in direct hypnosis, though this was helped by his advanced ability to analyze his clients from non verbal behavioral cues. Practitioners new to this field will still find the traditional hypnotherapy structure useful for diagnosis.

Direct Hypnosis Techniques and Procedures

  1. The Indirect Hypnosis Method of Milton Erickson – a full example of the Ericksonian technique in use.

Hypnotic Phenomena

As in traditional hypnosis, various hypnotic behaviors can be demonstrated with a patient.

Read more on types of hypnotic phenomena.

Suggestibility and Hypnotic Style

The difference between the traditional and the Ericksonian approach is the that types of phenomena demonstrated by a particular patent held important clues as to the style of hypnosis and the subsequent therapy to be used. People are generally more suggestible in one way rather than another. This is an important diagnostic step and suggests the best ‘hypnotic style’ to be used.

They tend to fall into one of four categories:

  1. Sensory Input
  2. Automatic behavior and dissociation
  3. Time Changes
  4. Memory

Read more on suggestibility and hypnotic style>>>


Hypnotic Language

The most important technique in indirect hypnosis is probably the language use. Specific sentence structures have a very persuasive and hypnotic effect. There are some excellent books to be found on this subject but it is not well documented online.

  1. Mind Reading
  2. Lost Performative
  3. Cause Effect
  4. Complex Equivalence
  5. Presupposition
  6. Quantifiers
  7. Modal Operators
  8. Nominalizations
  9. Unspecified Verb
  10. Tag Questions
  11. Conversational Postulate
  12. Referential Index
  13. Comparative Deletion
  14. Hypnotic Pacing
  15. Ordinal Numbers
  16. Double Bind
  17. Selectional Restriction Violation
  18. Ambiguity
  19. Utilization
  20. Embedded Commands

Historical Hypnosis – James Braid

James Braid was one of the founding fathers of modern hypnotherapy and first used the term ‘hypnosis’. His original work ‘Neurypnology’ is reproduced here in its entirety. Neurypnology was the term he later favored as he considered ‘hypnosis’ to be a misnomer.

James Braid – Neurypnology

Hypnosis Bibliography

A list of currently available books and research papers. See the reading list>>>

Uncommon Hypnosis – Training Course

(5 hours of video)

  • Live workshop footage of hypnosis in action
  • How to hypnotize yourself and others
  • How your unconscious mind works and how to get it to work for you
  • How to create a post-hypnotic suggestion
  • How to make hypnosis work quickly with anyone
  • Detailed 82-page workbook with checklists and exercises
  • Advanced conversational hypnosislanguage techniques
  • Demonstrations of hypnotic phenomenon, including arm levitation and eyelid catalepsy
  • How to write your own hypnosis scripts, then move beyond them altogether.

“There are many collections of CDs that take you through the process of self hypnosis, or act as aids, but this collection is particularly well regarded.”The Sunday Times newspaper, August 2007

Sunday Times

Uncommon Hypnosis

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