hypnotic deepeners

Hypnotic deepeners

What are Hypnotic deepeners?

The deepener’s job is to take someone from being in a trance to being in a deeper trance (see trance depth). There are a number of reasons why someone would want to do this;

  • it is general believed that the deeper the trance the more effective the therapy. The evidence for this is not clear, particularly because lighter states of trance may allow you to work more flexibly.
  • People are presenting for ‘hypnotherapy’, the emphasis here being on the ‘hypno’ part and as such may have a more convincing experience with a deeper state.

There are many different formats for deepening and below we will explore some of the most common.


Numerical hypnotic deepeners

These are deepener’s which rely on counting up or down, commonly this might be counting down from 3 or up to 10. The counting provides a defined period of time in which the deepening can occur thus allowing the mind to make the transition. Typically, suggestions such as “deeper and deeper, “deep sleep” and “relax” will be made in and around the numbers to help facilitate the deepening.

Natural phenomena hypnotic deepeners

Possibly the most common natural phenomena hypnotic deepener are those which use ideomotor response to return a limb to normalcy after having conducted induction through an Arm levitation or Limb catalepsy induction. A lesser example of a natural phenomenon deepener is delivering deepening suggestions as the subject exhales to gain the benefit of the simultaneous physical suggestion given by the act of breathing out. for more on natural Phenomena in hypnosis  

Visual engagement hypnotic deepeners

These look to create deepening by encouraging the subject to focus internally on imaginary imagery, typically a journey or favourite place. This creates dissociation from the current environment and may help access resources states, such as relaxation which in themselves may further deepen the subject.

Dissociative hypnotic deepeners

These are deepeners which explicitly encourage dissociation, the separation of subject from their current time / space. Many people argue that dissociation is the basis of hypnosis so anything which encourages it is likely to be useful. A typical example of dissociation deepening is asking a subject to imagine floating out of their body, this can easily lead into a visual engagement deepener such as a journey to a favourite place.

Triggered and conditioned hypnotic deepeners 

These are a little different to the other types of deepener as when initially introduced they are not intended to procedure deepening but rather are establishing a cue for deepening at a later point. The cue word may be “sleep”, “relax”, “Nowww” or something similar. The use of the cue word is to take the subject back to the state in which the cue word was installed, to this end the hypnotherapist will look to install as deep a trance as possible before installing the cue word. Such deepening words are resources to be applied by the hypnotherapist when trance depth has been disrupted by something or an extra bit of deepening is required.

The above are all elements of deepeners and may well in mixed in together to create a more effective whole.


opinions of People with IBS towards hypnotherapy

Opinions of People with IBS towards Hypnotherapy (SAPC 2017)

Opinions of people with IBS towards Hypnotherapy

Recently I presented at the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Conference at Warwick University (UK).  Below is a short video covering some of the main points and below that is the written out full length presentation.

 Full Text – presented to clinicians 

Science or Magic! … well if you were asked which one you represented I suspect you know what you would say? … not so much for me … I’m a hypnotherapist … and none of us control my own image … So what I want to know is which do people see me closer to the scientific world, with a body of knowledge which can be taught, is structured and replicable … or the magical world where the ability to heal is not explicable … not strictly learnable … but comes from something unknowable

And why does this question matter, why is this question important to primary care?

Back in 2008 Hypnotherapy was accepted into NICE guidelines as a treatment for refractory IBS, refractor IBS is IBS which hasn’t responded to primary treatment and has developed an ongoing profile of symptoms.

There was good reason for this inclusion

·         IBS is a substantial problem with prevalence rates around 10% internationally, we don’t know exactly how many of those people are classified as ‘refractory’ but it could be as many as 1/3rd.

·         IBS is expensive for the NHS, with approximate 0.1% spent within the NHS being on IBS, 50 million of which alone is accounted for by anti-spasmodic and laxatives, the rest being in other forms of medication to controls symptoms, but one of the biggest expenses being in GP time.

·         And although it’s not life threatening it does make people’s lives a misery. Its effects their attendance at work, their ability to work (so called presentism) and they usually are paying out of their own pocket for treatments and remedies, some studies suggest the this is roughly equal to the amount the NHS spend.

So there is good reason to integrate any effective tool, particularly if it provides and actual cure, rather than just a control.

But to the best we can tell, people with IBS are not interested Hypnotherapy for their condition, they are not seeking it out either in the public or private sector and we wondered why. One of the things we considered was the image of hypnotherapy and the hypnotherapist, may present a barrier, specifically we were interested in seeing if the perception of the hypnotherapists was more medical or more magical?


I am conducting 1-2-1, semi-structured, qualitative interviews with adults with refractory IBS to find out their opinions about hypnotherapy. These will be analysed using the framework method for indications of what the Sociologist Weber characterised as the Bureaucratic and Charismatic,

·         Bureaucratic meaning reliable, teachable, learnable

·         Charismatic meaning having power from within

So far the main finding has been that it’s very hard to recruit for this stuff, possibly there are too many elements –  IBS, refractory, hypnosis but the one interview which I have conducted has raised some interesting findings  

Firstly, the phrase ‘Cluck like a chicken’ was used, a phrase I’ve heard a lot as a hypnotherapist, another one was “funfair comedy magician thing” suggesting that the musical hall associations of hypnosis are strongly present. This points to a third image which is not science nor magic but frippery, entertainment … and who’s going to consider using hypnotherapy for their IBS if they perceive it as an entertainment.

However, this should be balanced against another observation the interviewee made

“But I’ve not heard of hypnotherapy for an actual medical reason, it’s always been for phobia or … maybe depression, that what I associate hypnotherapy with”

So the connection with mental health appears established in her mind but not with physical health, and although it’s very early days on this research perhaps this is the true barrier to usage, People just don’t think of hypnotherapy for physical problems. They don’t see the connection.

Permissive and Authoritarian Hypnotic styles

Permissive and Authoritarian Hypnotic styles


There are two major approaches to hypnotic language which are broadly the permissive and authoritarian Hypnotic styles .

The authoritarian is more traditional and is characterised by directness. Often authoritarian suggestions will be clear, short and to the point. These will be delivered in a confident, bordering on commanding tone. Often authoritarian suggestions will be delivered in a clipped manner with significant pauses between them.  By tradition sleep suggestions are associated with the authoritarian approach, most well know of which is “deep sleep”, but also “drowsy” ,”tired” and “sleepy” are common. These type of inductions are believed to be more appropriate for people who are used to giving and receiving orders, although they should rarely be given in such a strong manner. In addition, these are often suggested as good techniques with analytically minded people who prefer clear direction.

The permissive by comparison is a gentler approach, being generally slower than the authoritarian. Permissive approaches give the subject choice, or rather the perception of choice. The subject may be “invited” to relax, asked which type of relaxation do they think they will experience first “mental or physical?” , questions and invitations are common indicators of a permissive approaches. Typical suggestions used in permissive approaches include “you may…” “perhaps..” “some people…” and “relax” . Permissive inductions allow the subject the sense of retaining control over their depth of experience by allowing them these choices and not forcing them to go deeper.  Evidence suggests that most people are more comfortable with permissive approaches.

factors which affect hypnotic induction

Factors that affect induction (pre-induction)

Pre-induction factors which affect hypnotic induction

In this Vlog / blog we look at several factors which can effect the outcome of a hypnotic induction.  let’s first define what an induction is;

A hypnotic induction is a way of getting someone to close their eyes. It generally includes some degree of deepening but ultimately it is about taking someone from having their eyes open to having their eyes closed. This means that the simplest form of hypnotic induction is the ‘simple eye closure’ where you just ask someone to close their eyes, even this cuts out a substantial amount of the information which is coming into the brain (approximately 40% I am told) allowing for greater focus on the internal world. However most inductions are more elaborate than this and start to produce hypnotic states in advance of eye closure.

Pre-induction factors which affect hypnotic induction – preparation

there are a number of basics which can make quite a difference these include;

Comfort & physical stabilisation – Are they physically comfortable? Is the chair you use strong, stable and comfy for a semi-conscious person. Is the room warm / cool enough for a semi-conscious person, and have they been to the toilet recently enough (don’t ask about this immediately before induction). In addition I always invite my patients to place their feet flat on the floor and their hands on their laps as this create more physical stability.

Understanding – Studies (by me!) suggest that most people have a balanced view of hypnosis and hypnotherapy and many of the old myths about control and domination are dying out, however they are not yet gone, so a good explanation of what hypnosis is, what it might be like and what it is not is a good idea. In addition you should offer the client the chance to aske any questions they may wish.

Consent – Although it would be possible to argue that the act of presenting to a hypnotherapists for therapy gives implied consent for hypnosis, explicit consent is much more respectful. So always stop to ask if a client is ready to enter hypnosis before you initiate induction.

Co-operative mind set – by enhancing co-operation prior to induction they are far more likely to co-operate in trance. Co-operation is enhanced by building rapport, but also by demonstrating co-operation and techniques like the ‘yes set’ which will be discussed in other videos.



natural phenomenon in hypnotic induction

6 natural phenomenon in hypnotic induction

The use of natural phenomenon in hypnotic induction

In this video I discuss the use of  6 natural phenomenon in hypnotic induction

Breath – deceptively simple but overlooked by many is combining your suggestions with someone breath. Usually this means you deliver deepening suggestions on the outbreath thus giving a physical suggestion in combination with the verbal suggestion.

Tiring – a hypnosis classic! you place the subject in a position where they will gradually become tired, for example the eyes focused on a elevated spot,  wait for a little while and then tell them that they are becoming tired. The real trick is to tell them they are becoming tired before they are consciously aware of it. By directing their attention to the pre-existent tiredness it gives the impression that suggestion has made this happen.

Ideomotor response (IMR) – Most people are not aware that most thought, especially about actions, tend to produce small unconscious movements, these are called IMR’s.  By directing a subject to have a certain thought a hypnotist may produce an IMR. As with tiring (see above) the hypnotist may be credited with producing this IMR but all the hypnotist is actually doing is focusing the subjects attention on something which is already. By repeating and enhancing the IMR through suggestion it can be taken well beyond its naturally occurring level and produce some of the more impressive hypnotic inductions such as the Arm levitation.

Dissociation – we all have the ability to mentally separate from our immediate circumstances, we call it daydreaming, this is also a form of dissociation.  Dissociation means to separate from the here and now, usually by an act of  engaging with the internal mental world. A hypnotist will often encourage dissociation directly by inviting someone to imagine floating out of their body and floating off to a beautify place. Dissociation can be in both space (location an bodily awareness) or time.

Fractionation –  It has been observed that someone in a trance, however light, will go progressively deeper if they are asked to open their eyes and then invited to closed them again.  Although often enhanced with suggestion this interesting natural phenomenon has been used by hypnotists for many years to help people go gently deeper into hypnosis.

Confusion – far from my favourite as it is rarely appropriate to the anxious patients I tend to work with it is however a powerful hypnotic technique.  When in a state of confusion a person will often latch on to any single clear command or idea with far greater belief than if the were not confused. Hypnotists will often produce mild confusion in their subjects which they then break with a single clear command.

Factors which affect hypnotisability

Factors which affect hypnotisability

3 Innate Factors which affect hypnotisability

The socio-cognitive theorists offer up three different factors which are innate to hypnotic subjects to varying degrees and affect how easily they can be hypnotised

  • Vividness & Involvement – this is a persons ability to loose themselves into or sink into a concept. Part of this is the realism with which they experience a scene, memory of concept be that visually, physically or with any other sense. Although this can be enriched through suggestion most people have a basic level of vividness and involvement which the hypnotherapists guides. With people who display a strong level of involvement I tend to use very little deep hypnosis and favour imagery and Ericksonian approaches.
  • Expectancy – as you may anticipate this is a person’s belief in hypnosis. Naturally this varies from complete acceptance in the idea to utter disbelief in phenomenon of trance or hypnotic suggests. Essentially, the stronger the belief in hypnosis the more easily someone is likely to go into it, or respond to it. This is mostly because they are going to be open, co-operative and interested in the experience. With people with a high degree of belief in hypnosis I tend to use the more traditional, often more theatrical, approaches which fit more closely many peoples expectation of hypnosis. A common expectation to this is when they have prior positive hypnotic experience and then I attempt to replicate their past experience.
  • Compliance – some people are naturally more cooperative than others and respond well to being given simple clear instructions. Highly cooperative people tend to be more natural hypnotic subjects, but everyone who presents to a hypnotherapist is intending to go with the process to some degree. A compliant mind set can be nurtured with a few simple, reasonable, request such as asking the person to place their feet flat on the floor and their hands upon their lap.


Factors which affect hypnotisability

How to become a hypnotherapists

How to become a hypnotherapist

So you want to know how to become a hypnotherapist ?  It’s an ambition which many people have but lots of people simply don’t know where to start.  In this blog we will go over the things you need to know.

How to become a hypnotherapist – Training

The first thing you will need to do is get some training, and this is usually the biggest challenge because you will need to find a reputable institution … the question is how? So here is what you need to check

  1. Do they provide an externally validated qualification. This should be simple but unfortunately many schools pretend to have a such a qualification but upon checking into it you find out that actually it is just a qualification which is validated by an awarding body which the organisation themselves have set up. This can be hard to spot at first glance, but take a look and sometimes it becomes obvious. In the UK the best way is to go directly to an awarding body such as the National Council for Hypnotherapy who award qualification but don’t actually run them ( see NCH Accreditied schools for a list of externally validated schools)
  2. How much face-to-face contact will you get? Anything less than 100 hours face to face time and you should just move on. If it is an online or distance course just forget it, hypnotherapy is a practical skill and although you can learn a lot of theory over skype you still need to learn what to do with real people, in the same room.
  3. Can you get there? Getting to a course can be problematic but be wary of going to a course you are not confident in just because it is close, this could be saving hassle and expense at the cost of actually learning.
  4. Cost however is a different subject. The hypnotherapy training market is highly competitive which benefits the student as they may get high quality training at an affordable price.

How to become a hypnotherapist – legal

As a hypnotherapist you are going to need a few things before you practice

  1. Insurance – Public liability & professional indemnity.  These usually come as a package, which a reputable training course will direct you to. Normally they are quite inexpensive, usually coming in at less than £100.00 per year for a hypnotherapists trained by a recognised institution.
  2. Know your Data protection – again most reputable training centres will cover this as part of training. Remember, as a therapist you will be handling and storing sensitive data and as such should follow the relevant guidance.  Go to Gov. data protection act  for more info.
  3. Be especially aware of your safeguarding responsibilities if you plan to work with children. Go to Safeguaring of the young

How to become a hypnotherapist  – Setting up a practice

Ok so you are trained, you have the skills, your insured and know what your legal responsibilities are, you probably want some clients now? Ok you will need

  1. A room – for most people renting a room in a therapy centre can be a great way to start. The over heads may be high but actually for the first little while you are still learning and being surrounded by other therapist’s in different disciplines can help you to get ideas and a little support. many people practice form their home office, and if you have a quiet room, preferably with a lot of natural light this can be fine, but first consider how the room you are using will appear to clients. when starting out be wary of renting an expensive office, get to know the business a bit first as an office can be a substantial over head.
  2. A phone number – Preferably one dedicated to your hypnotherapy business as this will allow you to answer it as a business and you will always know that it is a business call when it comes in. Get a diversion service so that this can be redirected to your mobile when you are away.
  3. Some clients – this is the most important a trickiest bit. Put together a marketing plan and be prepared to work.

You will need a website, and some way of promoting it. You may also want to join one of the directories which promotes hypnotherapy, probably the best of which in the UK is  hypnotherapy directory .

  • You may also wish to use Facebook paid services, google ads, linked in and develop an SEO strategy for the long term.
  • Public talks at local events, groups, meetups are a rich source of clients as people will often come up to you at the end as ask if you can treat such and such a condition, so be available and have your diary with you.
  • Paper adverts have become a lot less popular in recent years but many people use local free directories, my experience is that the more local the publication is the more likely people are to look at it and see your advert.

Eventually you will build up a lot of word of mouth business from former clients who talk about how good you are to their friends, you will still have to market your services but the number of clients you get for the time and money you invest will get much better.


Factors which affect hypnotisability

Hypnotherapy Training Birmingham – Course dates from September 2017

Hypnotherapy training Birmingham – course dates The 2017 Autumn dates are out!

Our next Hypnotherapy Practitioner  Diploma (HPD) course will start Saturday 16th 2017 and finish 8 July 2018.  Classes are held on weekends (both Saturday and Sunday).

For more details go to WMSCH

For location details go to Venue

For Costs and Booking

Dates (Course ref 1701)

Hypnotherapy classes last approximately from 10.00-17.00.

Weekend 1 – 16/17 September 2017

Weekend 2 – 14/15 October 2017

Weekend 3 – 18/19 November 2017

Weekend 4 – 16/17 December 2017

Weekend 5 – 13/14th January 2018

Weekend 6 – 10/11th February 2018

Weekend 7 – 3/4th March 2018

Weekend 8 – 31st March /1st April 2018

Weekend 9 – 5/6th May 2018

Weekend 10 – 2/3rd June 2018

Weekend 11 – 7/8th July 2018

For more details go to WMSCH

For location details go to Venue

For Costs and Booking

Factors which affect hypnotisability

West Midland School of Clinical Hypnotherapy 2017 online prospectus

Welcome to the West Midland School of Clinical Hypnotherapy 2017 online prospectus

At WMSCH we teach the National Council for Hypnotherapy’s (NCH) externally validated Diploma in Hypnotherapy. This is a nationally recognised qualification, being at academic level four. The course is assessed by essays and through assessment of practical work.

In the prospectus we give a day by day breakdown of the course content, for other information simply go to WMSCH or The qualification , Who teaches the course , Where is the course? How much does it cost?

Day 1  – Saturday 16 Sept 2017

  • Introductions
  • Terminology (unconscious, contraindication, Patient/client)
  • What is hypnosis?
  • What is Induction / deepening / awakening.
  • Depth of trance
  • Safe practice & consent
  • Progressive Relaxation induction
  • Awakening
  • Use of voice
  • Use of breathing

Day 2  – Sunday 17th September 2017

  • Ethical Hypnosis
  • Suggestibility Tests
  • Eye fixation inductions
  • Favourite place of relaxation
  • Manipulation of distractions
  • introduction to Direct & indirect hypnosis
  • Indirect eye-fixation

Day 3 – Saturday 14th October 2017

  • Factors influencing inductions (including ‘resistance’ to inductions)
  • Fractionation inductions
  • Limb catalepsy & Iimb heaviness
  • 10-1 deepener
  • Confusion inductions
  • Nowww… deepener

Day 4  – Sunday 15th October 2017

  • Hand levitation induction
  • Eye tiring inductions
  • Ericksonian Hypnosis
  • Ericksonian language
  • Interspersal deepening & Early learning set
  • Triggered hypnosis

Day 5 – Saturday 18th November 2017

  • Overviews of therapy
  • Locus of Control
  • Building Rapport
  • Active listening
  • Intro to NLP
  • Meta model
  • Eye accessing cues
  • Mirroring, pacing and leading

Day 6- Sunday 19th November 2017

  • Ethical Therapy & Code of conduct
  • Suggestion Formation
  • Taking a case history
  • Habit breaking
  • Therapy Contract
  • Becoming a Non-smoker

Day 7 – Saturday 16th December 2017

  • Behavioural therapy overview & Cognitive Behavioural therapy
  • Aversion therapy
  • Desensitisation
  • Flooding
  • Abreaction & catharsis

Day 8 – Sunday 17th December 2017

  • Self-hypnosis
  • Ego strengthening (verbal & Metaphorical)
  • Garden of the Mind
  • Insomnia

Day 9 – Saturday 13th January 2018

  • Metaphors, parables & visualisations
  • Use of Modalities within metaphors
  • Old wise Person
  • Library of recourses
  • Pseud-orientation in time
  • Solution focused therapy & the miracle question

Day 10 – Sunday 14th January 2018

  • Psychosis & Neurosis
  • Planning therapy
  • Self-integration dissociation
  • Anchoring
  • Modifying thoughts  and self-help tools

Day 11 – Saturday 10th February 2018

  • Introduction to dissociation
  • Parts therapy
  • Stage dissociation
  • Dissociation through objects )

Day 12 – Sunday 11th February 2018

  • Weight control
  • Body image
  • Binge eating
  • hypnosis in performance & sports

Day 13 – Saturday 3rd March 2018

  • Pain control
  • IBS
  • Headaches
  • Hand / glove analgesia

Day 14 – Sunday 4th March 2018

  • Mind-body connections
  • The stress response
  • Symptom manipulation tools
  • Control room of the mind
  • Skin conditions

Day 15 – Saturday 31st March 2018

  • Psychosexual problems
  • Hypertension
  • Erythrophobia
  • Psycho-neuro-immunology
  • Chronic illness
  • Healing visualisations

Day 16 – Sunday 1st April 2018

  • Anxiety
  • positive anxiety replacement
  • Stammering & Stuttering
  • Confidence
  • Assertiveness training

Day 17 – Saturday 5th May 2018

  • Psycho-analysis & psychodynamics
  • Cheverals pendulum
  • IMR’s
  • IMR therapy
  • Timeline work
  • Inner child

Day 18 – Sunday 6th May 2018

  • Transference, Counter transference
  • Psychodrama tools
  • The jigsaw puzzle
  • The Mask
  • Working with fundamental emotions – Anger, jealousy, Shame & Guilt

Day 19 – Saturday 2nd June 2018

  • Hypnosis, hypnotherapy & Children
  • Hypnosis & Obstetrics
  • Working with Infertility & IVF
  • Dystonia
  • Tinnitus

Day 20 – Sunday 3rd June 2018

  • Regression – overview
  • Age Regression
  • Esoteric or past life regression
  • Mild & Moderate depression
  • Hill and cloud metaphors

Day 21Saturday 7th July 2018 – revision & tying up loose ends

Day 22Sunday 8th July 2018 – Assessed practical’s & case history written papers.