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       The Perridwyn School of Hypnosis presents ...

     -HYPNOSIS 101-

               Hypnosis is a state offocused awareness.  It issomething everyone
     has experienced  countless times;  among  instances of it are  waking up or
     getting absorbed in a  good book.   The characteristics  of the state vary;
     it  cannot be  pinpointed on  an EEG  and the  experience is  different for
     everyone though  there are common elements.  A person can be hypnotized and
     while  that state be  having a  great time  at a party;  no zombie  eyes no
     intonations  of Yeesss Massterr no wandering about with arms outstretched. 
     Hypnosis  does not have a  unique and unmistakable  insignia indicating its

                 This  is generally not the  case with the  PROCESS of hypnosis.
     Patterns of  hypnosis have been written up and used  for decades.   You can
     find books depicting the  process in bookstores and libraries.  The process
     is intended to create that state of focused awareness.  It is this process 
     I wish to discuss in the remainder of this post. [Hypnosis and being
     hypnotized will refer to the process should there be any confusion.]

     General Considerations

        Hypnosis can be thought of as a game that is binding.  The rules are
     initially defined by the expectations of the subject which encompasses all
     their experiences with it everything they've seen on TV and old movies and
     what the subject has been told about hypnosis.   These rules dictate what
     will and  will not be effective;  which inductions will and  will not work;
     and the  conduct of the subject while in the  state of hypnosis.  The rules
     are mutable.  Debunking misconceptions demonstrations and providing more
     information -- accurate or not -- will affect the rules of the game.
          A professor at Stanford illustrated how greatly expectations dictate
     results.  The  gentleman told  one of his  introductory psychology  classes
     that an unfailing indication  of a hypnotized subject was that  their right
     arm would float upwards.   The professor told another class the  same thing
     only in this case he specified it was the  left hand that would rise.  When
     he hypnotized members of both classes he discovered that students responded
     in accord  with their expectations.   The right  arm of the members  of the
     first class did indeed rise while with members of the second class only the
     left hand rose. 
               Inhypnosis the subject callsthe shots. Their expectations outline
     the manner in  which the game is  to be played.    The hypnotist wields  no
     mystical power;  she and the subject have an  agreement that the process of
     hypnosis is  conducted in a  certain manner  and each player  behaves in  a
     particular way.  The  level at which the game  is played is defined  by the
     rules  and the  degree of trust  the subject feels  for the hypnotist.    A
     mistrustful subject will be paying far more attention to what you are doing
     and what you might be scheming than to what you are saying. 


          Hypnosis is useful as a catalyst.  As seen above the state itself is
     not too  exhilarating in and of  itself.  The process  and the applications
     are what make it fun and useful.   You can call on your mind's abilities to
     control pain [useful]; you  can play the  most intense imagination game  of
     D&D of your life [fun]. 
               The functionof the hypnotist is to provide a focal point and talk
     their partner through  evoking the  intended result.   The process  usually
     begins with a discussion of hypnosis.  This is to determine  the purpose of
     a session debunk misconceptions  get a sense of the  subject's expectations
     generally make things go easier later.   The induction consists of bringing
     the  subject's  awareness to  something  and  keeping  it  focused.     The
     hypnotist gives suggestions to bring about the determined purpose including
     any  post-hypnotic suggestions.    Then she  guides the  subject back  to a
     normal state of awareness. 


     - It is not sleep.  The participant is thoroughly aware of their
     surroundings.  They may choose to ignore them.  The hypnotist may ask the
     subject to ignore things or to focus all attention on one idea.

     - You can not  get stuck in hypnosis.   Either you  will awaken on your own
     or the  state  will become  one  of natural  sleep.   Sometimes  a  subject
     requires a  few more moments to  return.  Sometimes the  subject refuses to
     return.   This is particularly true  of stage hypnosis; if  a subject feels
     pissed off at the hypnotist  it can be mightily gratifying to  unnerve said
     offending hypnotist  by not  responding.   Even  if this  is  the case  the
     subject will still either return on their own or fall asleep. 

     - A hypnotized person will not knowingly violate their code of ethics.
     Milton  Erickson  messed  around  with  this  a bit  and  found  it  to  be
     particularly true  if he made it clear that the subject was responsible for
     the consequences of their actions.   There are three twists here;
         1. A person may do somethingseemingly unethical if it is o.k. according
     to their moral standards especially if they believe being hypnotized at the
     time is sufficient excuse.
       2.  Stage hypnotists evoke some silly behavior which might ordinarily be
     contrary to the subject's code of conduct.   This is a result of group
     pressure of the forgivability of stage hypnosis and of the
     streak of hamming it up in each of us.
       3. A person can be tricked.  If I am told I am in a blazing hot 
     desert  sweating buckets and the only  way to get cool is  to take my shirt
     off I might do that.  I will not do that because I am an exhibitionist.  If
     I am directly told to take off my  shirt first I will snap back to the here
     now and next I will drop-kick the lech out of my house.    Furthermore once
     such a maneuver is recognized the hypnotist has utterly destroyed the
     subject's trust and will have no further success with them.



         First some things concerning speaking.  The hypnotist oughtnot speak in
     a  monotone; not only  is it unnecessary  it is  an annoyance.   Rather she
     make her voice congruent with what she's saying.  If she is describing a
     soothing  walk on  the beach  under a  restful sunset  she ought  not sound
     It  is useful to  use a particular  tone of voice  when hypnotizing people.
     This is helpful because soon there will be an association between The Voice
     and the state.  In addition it means you will not inadvertently trip an
     association   if you use your  normal speaking voice with  someone whom you
     see primarily  for hypnosis you  are apt  to zone them  out just by  saying
     Howzit goin   The Voice comes with practice and you can pick it out after a

         There are  definite reasons behind  word choices.     Sense  words make
     things more vivid;  describe the colors textures and sounds associated with
     that soothing  walk on  the beach.      Repeating words  and phrases  helps
     things sink in and adds rhythm to your patter.   You may opt to say  things
     in a permissive way  [in a moment you may picture yourself walking upon a
     soothing beach; perhaps there is a glorious sunset coloring the sky crimson
     and purple]  or in an authoritative way  [ You are walking on a beach.  The
     beach is soothing; it makes you more and more relaxed.  Notice the glorious
     sunset].   The choice of words is based on the situation the hypnotist's
     style and most of all upon the personality and rules of the subject.  Make
     them fit. 


       Synonyms for this word include credibility and rapport.  Leverage makes
     suggestions more effective.   Things that generate leverage are accurate
     descriptions of present experience and accurate descriptions of future
        An accurate description of your present experience may be that your eyes
     are  moving across  these  words and  you  feel the  keyboard beneath  your
     fingers and you feel the chair beneath you and you hear noises in the
     background that you have not been paying much attention to until now.
       An accurate description of future events can be that as you read these
     words you will become aware of your left earlobe.  Another is that when you
     take your next really deep breath your hand may feel somewhat lighter. 
     I base my estimation of your awareness of your earlobe on the fact that
     mentioning it almost inevitably makes you think about it.  The second
     assertion is much shakier in this context but stronger if you were being
     hypnotised.  Relax your hands on your lap for a moment and inhale deeply. 
     Notice how your shoulders rise a little and tug your arm up a little bit

        Things that are bad for credibility are ability tests and blatant
     contradictions of  present experience.    When you use an  ability test you
     run the risk of it not working.  They do work for many people and sometimes
     providing useful information but it is very difficult to recover
     gracefully from an unsuccessful ability test.   The participant may reach
     the conclusion that they can not be hypnotized or that you are incapable of
     hypnotizing them.  Blatant contradiction of present experience as you
     carefully scrutinize the upper left corner of your monitor you can become
     aware of the little picture of a pink-and-purple hippopotamus.  Riiight.


        Now to tie these together.  If you have been correct in the past few
     descriptions you increase the probability you will be in the next one. 
     As an example presume I am being hypnotized right now.  I am told about how
     I feel the keyboard under my hands as my fingers dance from key to key 
     (correct)I glance at my scribblings to help me clarify this thought
     (correct)and I hear muffled music in the background (also correct)and as
     I notice these things I can feel myself becoming more and more relaxed. 
     The last  assertion  is pure  speculation; there  is no  reason that  those
     should make me feel more relaxed and no real indication that I'm mellowing
     out noticing these things.  However the hypnotist has been right on three
     counts so far.  He has acquired a little credibility.  My response is going
     to be Sure he's been right so far why not now  
           This point is somewhat esoteric;if it makes sense fine.  Ifit doesn't
     or even if it does read Trance-Formations listed at the end of this post.
     The  authors go  over this  in  detail and  in a  very  skillful and  clear
     fashion. Let this stand  the more accurate you  are, so much the better;  a
     really incorrect statement or blatant failure is apt to be disruptive. 


       The purpose of an induction is to focus awareness on something and
     gradually move through  to evoking the intended  results.  The methods  are
     many and varied.
           Very often  the focal point  is relaxation.   Progressive  relaxation
     consists  of deliberately tensing  and relaxing   (sometimes just relaxing)
     each part of the body paying attention  to releasing every bit of tension. 
     Descriptions  of soothing  surroundings  or experiences  are  also used  to
     produce relaxation. 
        Trance-Formations describes an induction utilizing points mentioned
     above.  It consists of sets of six statements.  The first set contains five
     accurate   descriptions  of   present  experience   and  one   abstract  or
     unverifiable  statement  (... and these things  make you feel more and more
     relaxed ...and while you notice them you feel a sense of  security  ... and
     strangely enough  these remind you  of wrecking Aunt  Milllie's car).   The
     next set contains four present-experiences and two abstracts; then three
     present-experiences and three abstracts and so on until you're dealing with
     just the abstracts. 
           Confusion inductions consist of confusing the hell out of someone and
     then  providing them with an  understandable option.   This confusion often
     consists of ambiguous statements or  plays on words.  Take the  words right
     write  rite and  Wright.  As you right about the right brothers you realize
     you have violated the rights of those whose right  this is by righting with
     your right instead of your  left.  The intended  response is a huge HUH  at
     which point you offer an understandable option ... and that  makes you feel
     really silly!   The option is an escape route  from all that unpleasantness
     and ambiguity and therefore desirable.


         Inductions take time.  It is common for an induction to take ten or
     twenty minutes with a  participant who has not been hypnotized  much before
     or is unused to your style.   Signs of effectiveness the participant's
     responses match your description.  ... and that makes you feel really silly
     may be met with a smile; depictions of relaxation are matched with visible 
     decreases in tension.   Requests to picture scenes usually evoke rapid eye
     movement.   If you ask your partner to do a lot of talking you will notice
     changes in their manner of speaking; it becomes quieter slower perhaps a
     little less well enunciated.  Depending on what you ask them to say and
     how familiar you are with their normal speech patterns you may notice
     differences in word choices.   Subjectively you or the participant may feel
     more lethargic and may experience dissociation.  For me that means that I
     could do a lot of things like move my hand up a few inches but it would
     require  so much energy and I do not  think it important enough at the time
     to expend that energy.   Also I tend to start loosing track of where I left
     my  limbs (tee  hee); I  know they're  there somewhere  but don't  think it
     important enough to bother to relocate them. 

         It is  desirable  to make  series of  suggestions flow  as smoothly  as
     possible.   Choppy  sentences are more  apt to  create tension  than soothe
     them.  Flowing sentences   encourage relaxation have better  rhythm to them
     and can possess more leverage.
       Take these three phrases   You feel the chair beneath you.  You see the
     text on the screen.  You are becoming more relaxed than ever before. 
           The simplest way to connect them is with plain old conjunctions.  You
     feel the chair  beneath you AND you see the text  on the screen AND you are
     becoming more relaxed than ever before.
        Next step up simultaneous words.  AS you feel the chair beneath youyou 
     see the text  on the  screen AND  AT THE SAME  TIME you  are becoming  more
     relaxed than ever before.
           The most powerful way to hook up phrases is with causal words.  SINCE
     you feel the  chair beneath you AND BECAUSE you see  the text on the screen
     you are becoming more relaxed than ever before. 


        This is the portion of the process where you accomplish the stated
     purpose; the part of the  game that is binding.  Suggestion  styles include
     the following:

     - Direct suggestion.  This is where you flat-out say such and such is going
     to happen.   When you are going to bed tonight you will feel compelled to
     think of purple hippos.  As soon as your head touches the pillow purple
     hippos will occupy your every thought.


     - Indirect suggestion.  Comprised of visualization and storytelling.
             Visualization  is  just mentally  creating the  event.   It  is not
     restricted to  just pictures; whichever  senses make it  more real  are the
     ones you should appeal to.  If you know the person is oriented to one sense
     more than another, describe with them.  ( See  the purple hippos dancing on
     your quilt.   Hear them thundering  up the hallway.   Feel the  floor shake
     with  their every step. )  If in doubt it can't hurt to use all of them.  [
     Most  people favor  either  vision hearing  or  kinesthics so  you  needn't
     necessarily go into how  it tastes to chow down  on purple hippo.    If you
     were visualizing  walking in  a flower  garden  however it  makes sense  to
     include smell.  Use what is  appropriate.]  Picture yourself preparing  for
     bed.  Your  teeth are brushed; the  sounds of traffic  are hushed; and  the
     pillow feels delightfully  cool against your  cheek.   As you snuggle  down
     under the pillows your mind turns to thoughts of purple hippos.

           Storytelling  is   more  subtle  than  both   direct  suggestion  and
     visualization.   You relate an event  or anecdote which provides  a sort of
     framework for conduct. 
         When I was a child every night as I went to sleep I would conjure up a
     rainbow zoo dancing on my bed covers.  First there would be the lions as
     yellow  as lemons. Following them were orange alligators... [blah blah blah
     through blue ostriches..]  And last and best of all were the purple hippos.
     They were my favorite part  of the procession; I looked forward  to them as
     soon as my head  touched the pillow.  And the last thoughts on my mind were
     of those purple hippos cavorting on my quilt. 
         If it's something really strange like the above you probably wish to
     attribute it to a weird cousin or obscure newspaper clipping.   Lead into
     these gracefully; this example might start off with bedtime rituals in
     general and in the present then remembering back to bedtime rituals as a
     child then into your story.  ( How many people will think of purple hippos
     the night after they read this) 
          These should be related in an appropriately serious manner.  If it's
     silly sound a little silly but present it as if it's important as if you
     were sharing it with a friend.  If you make it sound important it will be
     received as such.  Go gently with them too; don't holler PURPLE HIPPOS
     CAVORTING ON THE QUILT.  Just weave it into its surroundings.  Storytelling
     is best for going sideways at something for attending to integral
     corollaries of the purpose.  Their power is in subtlety. 

     - Subliminals.  It is possible to mark out certain words as you say them. 
     You may make a certain unobtrusive gesture change pitch or loudness
     slightly glance off in a certain direction -- something small enough not to
     require the participant's full-blown attention but designed so they will
     be  able to  perceive it.   This is  the hardest  thing for  me to  give an
     example of because it's something I have not begun to master.  If you could