Backing up Blog Post Part 7 from DrakeG's blog

Part 7 of 12

Part seven and we are getting towards the end. Today we will discuss deepening a trance and actually providing suggestions during a trance. As always, this is based on my experience and opinions.
While there are a lot of places out there that propose scales for measuring exactly how deep someone is into a trance, I am of the opinion that it isn’t needed as they just distract the hypnotist from what they are doing. Different people react differently to being in a trance and what the hypnotist suggests can vastly change how the subject reacts. So while not all trances are created equal, if the subject is deep enough to allow the changes to be made they are deep enough. It doesn’t matter what level some scale says the subject is at.
Now as a general rule the deeper a trance, the more access the hypnotist will have to the subject’s subconscious and the harder it will be for the subject to physically react. That being said, if the hypnotist suggests the subject can move like they were not in a trance while staying in one, the subject will be able to move around more or less normally. It is even possible to get someone in trance to hold a conversation.
Unless the subject has a lot of experience going into a trance, it is likely that they are only going to go into a light trance. A light trance is more easily disrupted, especially if the hypnotist does something that tries to use too much of the subject’s conscious mind. For example, moving, speaking, or asking questions that requires the use of logic. To get around this, a hypnotist can use deepening to get the person deeper into a trance. 
There are two categories for deepening a trance. The first is just telling the person to go deeper. Simply saying the word deeper, especially while wrapping up the induction can cause the subject to deepen a trance. It is also possible to give a scenario that causes them to think they are moving deeper, like walking down a set of stairs. In that case you can deepen the trance without saying deeper, or the hypnotist can use the word deeper as a descriptor while talking about going down the stairs.
The second method works around the concept that each time a person is hypnotized, they are more easily hypnotized and go deeper the next time. An early hypnotist noticed this with people he was working with on a weekly basis. Another hypnotist then wondered, do you have to wait a week between sessions to get this effect? Would it work the next day? What if you didn’t wait at all? The answer is you don’t have to wait. If someone is put into trance, brought out of it, and then immediately put back into a trance they will go quicker and deeper. This is called fractionation. This can be taken a step farther. If you use an induction on a person already in a trance, it will deepen the trance.
So once the subject is in a deep enough trance, what next? Obviously this is going to be dependent on what was discussed in the pretalk, but there are some important points to keep in mind. First and foremost, the hypnotist should use positive language. The subconscious mind does not deal well with negatives. Our minds handle negatives by first finding the thing and then negating it, but while in a trance the negation may not happen and the subject will just experience the opposite effect. For an example of how this works, take the following statement: Don’t think about a cat. Most people will now be thinking about a cat, because your mind must first find the information and then negate it. And just as it can be hard to stop thinking about a cat once told to not think about them, trance amplifies this effect.
Next, be careful working with memories. Human memory is a unreliable thing that people rarely question. If you’re looking through reports about witness testimony after a crime or accident, you will quickly find that witnesses will often give different and sometimes contradictory statements. This is because, as I have said before, your mind lies to you. It only sees a small part of the world and guesses to fill in the details. On top of that, every time you remember something there is a chance that the details will change. So the more often you remember it, the more likely it is that something has changed without you noticing it. This is especially true while in trance. It is also possible to create entirely new memories. The subconscious has trouble differentiating a story from fact. This is why you can have a dream that feels so real, but once you wake up and think about it, you notice there are things that made no sense that you simply accepted as normal. 
Years ago there were a bunch of stories of people being hypnotized to recover suppressed memories which led to lawsuits for abuse. Most of these cases were thrown out because it turned out the events never happened. It is possible to use hypnosis to recover “forgotten” memories, it has to be done extremely carefully to make sure not to make changes. For example, even just asking, “was there anyone with you?”, can cause the person to assume there should be someone and add them to the memory.
I said “forgotten” memories earlier, because when it comes to long term memory we don’t normally forget anything. Our memories are not like a search engine where we can find any piece of information we want at any time we want. It works as links and connections. One piece of information leads to a bunch of other information, which in turn leads to more information. Kind of like going to Wikipedia, going to an article, then going to related article, and then another, and another. Next thing you know it’s an hour later and you are reading about something completely different than what you started with. The same is true for hypnotism. It does not remove memories, but it can redirect the links. If for example, a hypnotist wanted a subject to not think about cats, they could suggest that every time they try to think about a cat, they will think about a dog. This doesn’t remove the memory but does make it hard to access.
The hypnotist also needs to be mindful of their wording. Some words carry extra meaning to them and can cause extra effects in a trance. For example, saying the word pain could make the person experience it as the subconscious tries to process it. The word try is tricky, because it implies failure. If you ask someone to help you move, and they say they will try to make it, there is good chance they aren’t showing up. Under that same logic, if in trance the subject is told they should try to change, the subconscious will normally process that as fail to change. On a non hypnotic note, this actually makes Yoda’s famous, “Do or do not, there is no try,” actually make sense. If you are just going to try, you accept failure.
Be careful with triggers. It is possible to create triggers to deal with issues or try to break habits. For example, if someone wants stop biting their nails, a hypnotist could suggest that every time they feel the urge to bite their nails, they will instead pull at their watch band. While this wouldn’t resolve the issue that causes the problem, this could be used to prevent the behavior while it is being resolved. While useful, triggers need to be carefully considered so that they are not triggered accidently. A common trigger, if a subject and hypnotist are going to work together a lot, is a phrase that quickly puts the subject back into a trance. But if the phrase is too common or otherwise limited it could become problematic. It is common for a hypnotist to specify the trigger only works if they say it, or only if in a specific place. Personally, I normally tie the trigger to me and use basic Latin phrases to prevent them from coming up in normal conversation.
A few last small suggestions about suggestion. Suggestions tend to work better if they are repeated a few times during the trance. They don’t have to be exactly repeated, but the suggestion should be given about 3 times. Work slowly, the subconscious takes time to process language. This means that if the hypnotist speaks too quickly, the subject may not understand everything that is told to them. Continue to watch the subject. Trauma or fear can trigger unexpectedly, and while in trance it will feel more intense. The hypnotist needs to be ready to calm the person and potentially end the trance so they can discuss what happened.
With that we come to the end of another entry. Next time we will wrap up the break down by covering waking and after care.

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By DrakeG
Added Apr 15 '22


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