Welcome to Influence, Psychology and Persuasion

This is session number 006 of Influence Psychology and Persuasion. This podcast is all about understanding hypnosis. What it is, how it’s induced, and why it seems so effective at producing rapid amazing change.


First I need to start off by saying, hypnosis is absolutely a “real thing”, and you should not view this in terms of magic, or things like sorcery. You’d be surprised how many people seem to classify hypnosis is something not of this world, or simply made up.

So let’s start with what is hypnosis?
This can be defined in so many ways but let’s drag a little excerpt from Wikipedia as they have a nice neat, and concise description, here is what It is said here.

Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.

To give you an example of what hypnosis is, and something that is commonly taught throughout hypnotherapy training practices around the world. Hypnosis is a state of trance. The most common example of day to day trance is while you are driving, think for a moment, perhaps you’re on a route that you know all too well, you may have the radio on in the background and you’re thinking about what the day has to offer, and things that you may have to do. When you get to where you’re going, more often than not you won’t remember the route you took, what cars were in front of you, what happened at the roundabout. Many people actually say they don’t remember any of the journeys. Then the strange addition! While you are driving, without seemingly paying any attention to the journey, the radio was on in the background. If you are asked what was playing, you probably wouldn’t remember. However! You will most likely be singing that, or humming it throughout the day without giving it a second thought.

So…. go back to while you were driving, It seems, that the music was implanted within your brain and then begins to play during the day without any conscious effort. This leads me quite nicely to how does hypnosis work?  As demonstrated above, while you are distracted, or in a state of trance. And this could come in many guises such as, confusion, relaxation, monotony, overload etc the things that are happening externally of your conscious awareness enter your subconscious mind. Hypnosis isn’t as scarce as you may have thought, in fact, you will be in states of hypnosis regularly. Many times a day. TV is a great form of hypnosis…. part of the reason adverts can be so effective.

A great analogy that I once heard regarding how hypnotherapy works were very similar to how a nightclub operates. Imagine for a moment that a nightclub is your brain, it’s where all the action is happening, lots of things are going on at any one time, and it’s a fun place to be and things are happening all of the time and people are just going with the flow. This is your subconscious mind. The conscious mind, which is the sensible part, also called the critical faculty would be the bouncers on the front door. The bouncers are there to make sure only the right type of people enter the nightclub. These minders of the subconscious part of your brain, have the job of controlling what goes in and what happens within. The job of a hypnotist or hypnotherapist is to put in a suggestion into the subconscious mind without the interruption of the critical faculty. Or, the bouncers.

If the hypnotist, or hypnotherapist or even the person trying to implant the suggestion has a face-to-face discussion with the bouncers about why they should be allowed in. There is a massive chance that this new suggestion will be rejected because the guardians of the subconscious feeling that it is not suitable for some reason. It’s now the hypnotist job to get past these bouncers. So, as we learnt above how do we get past the conscious critical faculty and create hypnosis?

Hypnosis or trance can be produced by, relaxation, boredom, shock, overload, compliance and misdirection. It is the hypnotist job to try whatever is the most suitable to get past the persons’ critical faculty to ensure that the positive suggestion is allowed into the subconscious mind. And just like the music within the background, that you didn’t consciously hear, once in, the positive suggestion will/can begin to play, or act out to deliver the results that are desired.