Society tends to romanticize hypnosis as being a form of switch to toggle a person’s thoughts and memories on or off. The fantasy is in making a target perform actions against their inhibitions with no knowledge of what happened. While it is possible to close off one’s access to their own memories, doing so actually contradicts the very nature of the act.
In reality, hypnosis falls under the purview of pseudoscience as a means to control the encoding and recollection processes of memory. Hypnotherapy relies on the latter, though my style of hypnosis tends to rely more on the former, as many of you may have noticed. This article is a general outline of the steps I take when formulating a hypnosis session. Whether you are interested in hypnotizing others, or simply wish to understand what causes you to be susceptible, this should be more than enough to get you started.
Before I get into the discussion proper, I feel I should first emphasize that there happen to be multiple ways of invoking a suggestion. I’ve known several amateur hypnotists who swear by the use of images, though in my experience visual stimuli needs to be presented a certain way for the target’s mind to adequately process it. The other thing I’ve noticed is that differences of interpretation may cause a trance to lack cohesion. This is why I tend not to use them, and as such you will not see any mention of them on this blog. With that being said, let us begin.
Hypnosis transcripts typically have three components: an immersion step, an invocation step, and a conditioning step. During an extended session, the latter steps might alternate multiple times in order to ensure consistency is maintained from start to finish. The immersion step, while often overlooked, happens to be the most crucial element and one which should be nearly perfect before invocation of any kind is attempted. Creating an immersion template allows for rapid duplication and adaptation when writing future transcripts.
The immersion step should open by asking the listener (or reader) to get comfortable. They need to be able to trust that you have their well-being and best interests in mind, so provide them with a gentle atmosphere. I tend to pick the ocean, but a variety of locations are acceptable. The location should be quiet though not silent (more on that later). Once the target feels completely safe in the setting provided, its physical environment should begin to adjust in a way that gives the illustration of depth.
With the ocean, it’s as simple as having the target sink, subjecting them to the fall in temperature and loss of light. Other settings will take a very similar approach. A forest might feel larger and emptier through the inclusion of a thick fog. A desert sky might darken to reveal space, pulling the target into the vastness. Regardless of the original setting, the destination will always be a reality in which the target is unable to interact with anything that is not you.
By this point, the target should be completely immersed. If they are not, then the immersion has failed and the invocation step cannot occur. A valuable technique for determining a template’s effectiveness is to put someone under and then immediately reverse the sequence of events. The target should feel a marked difference in their perception as their alertness slowly returns to them. If there is no real difference, the sensations need to be amplified. If there is so much difference that it causes fear, the sensations need to be lessened.
The invocation step usually begins with the creation of a new setting and the destruction of the old. This returns sensory input to the target while still keeping them under your control. From here, you have essentially free reign to alter their reality and even their own body. The only tip I can provide here is to ensure that they live the moment through as much sensory detail as possible.
If the trance is centered on an interaction between your target and another entity, focus on the journey leading to that entity. For example, a room with an otherworldly creature might be at the end of a complex labyrinth inside of a large castle. Before the target even arrives at their destination, you might have them take detours and experience things which bring about feelings of excitement, apprehension, or some other emotion. The entity’s actions should complement and build upon this existing mood.
Meanwhile, if the trance centers on some sort of bodily change, the target’s focus should be centered around changes to their sensory interpretation. If a person is transformed into – say – clothing, have them focus not only on a heightened sense of smell, but also a blossoming desire for specific aromas. When a body change leads to an interaction, have the target compare the sensations of the current self with the sensations of their original self. They should feel as if their body has evolved or transcended thanks to this new addition.
Having performed a successful immersion and invocation, the final step is of course conditioning. This is the idea of giving permanence to the ideas presented, allowing their effects to linger even after the session has ended. I tend to keep it simple; a target will revel in the sensations until they fade, which can take several minutes or even a few hours. The target is encouraged to repeat the session of their own volition if they wish to extend this time frame.
The sensory details used for invocation should be reiterated to foster a real-world association. Consider, for example, what happens when I say the phrase “peanut butter.” The mouth begins to dry up a bit as it remembers peanut butter’s dry taste and thick texture. Alternately, if I were to describe a thick dryness on one’s tongue, “peanut butter” might be the first thing that comes to mind. This effect can be simulated with most forms of stimuli.
A transcript adopting this format tends to hover between seven and twelve minutes, generally more than sufficient for a typical session. As previously stated, alternating the invocation and conditioning steps can double or even triple a session’s length, but doing so adds a few challenges. As a hypnotist, you may struggle with speaking clearly for that length of time, while your target may find difficulty in listening or responding after such a drawn-out period.
I am of the opinion that an extended session is best done in real time. When I used to do sessions over VoIP, I would break from the script every three to four minutes in order to assess my target’s overall response. If I felt my target was beginning to waver, I would end the session at that point. Everyone was different; some lasted twenty-five minutes, while others lasted nearly two hours. I personally have been on the receiving end of a ten-hour session, which can be incredibly taxing mentally and is therefore not recommended.
Just to cover all the bases, I do want to quickly cover the grammar and style elements of writing a transcript. By no means is formal language a requirement of hypnotism; my own transcripts tend to be of a lower quality than the erotic stories found here on the blog. What’s important to remember is you will be reciting these words, or your target will be reciting them mentally. It needs to match the fluidity of traditional speech.
The words you choose should create minor inflections which emphasize key elements of the trance. Any unnecessary pitch changes will cause your target to veer off-topic while a completely monotone session will put them to sleep. It’s an incredibly narrow vocal range that takes a bit of practice to convey through writing. Repetition and circular dialogue are encouraged, though be careful not to overdo it.
You now have a transcript suitable for use on others, and the idea of hypnotizing someone in real time is rather straightforward. What you might be wondering is how a recording is prepared electronically. In the following paragraphs, I will do my best to explain the software side of things. For recording projects, I highly recommend using the program “Audacity,” which is open-source and freely available across Windows, Mac and Linux.
When you open the program, your first step will be the recording of an audio track. Simply plug in a suitable microphone and hit record. I use a Logitech H390 headset and while the quality is decent, there are literally a thousand better options on the market today. However – for what it’s worth – using something that is a little subpar does give a better understanding of what audio distortions look like. Novices may benefit from starting cheap and working their way up.
A recording should be done in as few takes as possible. When a recording is stopped and started repeatedly, our voice tends to apply different pitches which might not line up cleanly as the tracks are stitched together. If you stumble over your words or screw up, it’s better to take a breath, wait three seconds, and then continue speaking from the beginning of the paragraph that you’re on. Do not be afraid to start over from the beginning; bad takes are simply part of the process.
When you finish a successful take, immediately save the project as an AUP. This creates and associated project folder that contains the uncompressed recording as well as any additional audio or effects. After each major edit, play back the edited portion; and if you like the sound of it, do a quick save of the project. Audacity does have a recovery feature in case of a software crash, but you lose your ability to undo any prior changes. It is always good to have that hard copy of the project if the recovery copy is not viable.
The most important edits to this vocal track will be the removal of breaths, clicks and vibrations. The easiest way to remove a breath is to highlight the gap surrounding it and use (Ctrl + L) to silence the audio in that gap. Play it back to make sure the end of a word is not cut out by accident. With clicks, look for sections where the amplitude makes a tall vertical line. Zoom all the way in and either delete the offending segment, or lower its amplitude to match the amplitude of its surrounding segments.
Vibrations are by far the worst inconsistencies to deal with. As a wave, they appear to have a U shape to them which can last for nearly an entire second. The shortest ones can be removed, but longer ones can only be dealt with through amplitude reduction. Selecting only the offending section, adjust it so its range is -25db to -30db. For example, if its current amplitude is -10db, use the amplify tool to drop it by another 15 to 20.
After the vocal track has been corrected from start to finish, underlays need to be created. An underlay keeps the target’s attention focused on the recording while lulling them into a relaxed state. It should be loud enough to dampen external sounds, though not so loud that it compromises vocal clarity.
Add a new track and open the prompt for generating noise. You can use pink noise to create a rain effect, or brown noise to create a wind effect. Amplitude should be around 0.05. The prompt for generating tone can be used to produce a bass sound, normally between 60Hz and 100Hz. The amplitude should be about 0.1.
When you have all of the tracks in place, you can use the sliders on the left of each track for fine tuning the volume of each. You can make the vocal track a little louder, make the bass tone quieter than the pink or brown noise, and so on. Experiment to find the optimal arrangement for that particular session, as each will be a little bit different. The finished project should be exported as an MP3 at 96K (FM-radio quality). You may need to install an additional codec, so follow any instructions the program gives you.
That’s really all there is to it! You should now be ready to perform hypnosis on others! If you have questions or need additional advice, feel free to contact me on Twitter.