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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You are getting sleepy...very sleepy... » » Hypnotised but Unresponsive to Suggestions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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hypnofande
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I'm trained in both stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy and I do a lot of one-to-one hypnosis. I haven't given any shows yet but it is something I'd like to do in the future - in the meantime I'm concentrating on practising and developing my skills.

I've developed a patter and an induction I'm comfortable with and it's pretty effective at hypnotising most people. However, it's what happens after the induction when I give suggestions that really puzzles me. Generally most people will be responsive to suggestions, some have better imaginations than others of course. There are a few subjects I've encountered who are definitely in trance and will respond quite well to the sleep/wake up commands but are very unresponsive to stage-style suggestions. These can be anything from forgetting a number, having their hands stuck to the table/feet stuck to the floor, etc.

Should I just accept that these people although they can go into trance are simply unresponsive to suggestion or am I missing something in my induction or how I phrase the suggestions?
Hypnosis - it's all in the imagination...
PsychoHazard
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That's kind of hard to answer without knowing what your induction is and how you're framing your suggestions, but I can tell you what I do when faced with similar subjects. Usually I will switch tracks from suggestion to affirmation and conditioning. Simply telling them that they are doing great and that they are safe is a good start, and then I'll usually interspersing the importance of listening to my voice and letting my voice guide them. Sometimes I'll even throw in a reminder that what I am saying is not for their waking mind, it is only for their subconscious. After a little bit of that sort of thing, I'll shift back to the suggestion. Most of the time that'll work with resistant subjects.
Mindpro
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Presenting suggestions is a skill set and art in and of itself. Most people put the majority of their effort into the induction, where the pre-talk and properly formulation suggestions is equally or perhaps more important. My guess is you are doing this on family, friends and friends of friends which often preconditions them against you even before you begin.

Also don't confuse being responsive for being compliant which may likely be the situation with your "sleep/wake commands" your mentioned.
dmkraig
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Hypnofande, one of the challenges of working with hypnosis is understanding that it doesn't follow the Western scientific paradigm of humans as machines. If humans were machines, one induction is all anyone would need. Thinking in the people-are-machines mode results in what I call a "process orientation." That is, you're more focused on the process than the person you're working with. This is a challenge confronted by many beginning hypnotists, especially one-on-one hypnotists.

Hypnosis is more person oriented. Rather than having a process and sticking to it, you talk with the person and modify your induction, as necessary, depending upon the person you're working with. Obviously, this cant be done when you're working with a dozen people on stage, but you're talking about on-on-one here, and that's what I'm responding to.

One of the problems with the process orientation is that people who do this often feel they must complete the process. They have few or no skills in observation to tell by physiological signs that a person is hypnotized, and they probably don't use confirmation tests or "convincers" to prove to yourself (and to them) that they are hypnotized.

There are several possible reasons why people aren't responsive to you:
1) They're not hypnotized.
2) They don't want to do the stupid things you want them to do.
3) They are in a deep state of hypnotic trance and like it so much they can't be bothered doing anything other than just liking the experience.
4) Your suggestions are worded in a way that isn't working.

You say you're trained, but respectfully, don't you think you should have learned these things from your trainer? I realize that this is supposed to be a forum where hypnotists help hypnotists. I don't know about you, but if I paid for and went through a training and something wasn't working, I'd be asking questions of my trainer, not strangers on a forum.
Jesse Lewis
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Training is key but the right trainer is better

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Jesse
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Dannydoyle
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Fact is these people exist. It is why stage work involves so many volunteers.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jesse Lewis
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Agreed Danny Agreed
Learn how to build a bigger business at www.showbizsuccesssecrets.com
Dannydoyle
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There are ways to handle it if you must. Don't suggest. Rather direct.

This is not how I do things. I hate the look and feel of the show when it is done but it is a valid way to handle things.

"Show me how cold you are" . "It is so hot you begin to fan yourself".
Not suggestions. Directions. Tell them what you expect.
I think it ruins the show but it can be done. Many do it.
If you work rsgularly you must do the show. There may be situations that happen where you need to know this.

They have demonstrated a willingness to be part of the show. Use that.

This is my problem with most training. They assume an easy show. I can send my wife to do an easy show. People need to be trained to make harder shows look easy.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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No need to buy anything.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dmkraig
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Danny, when it comes to stage work I agree, 100%. The original poster, however, was talking about one-on-one situations.
Dannydoyle
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I get confused as this is a stage hypnosis forum.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Funny how that get overlooks so often these days. That and of course the rules of the forum.
Hypno
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Hi Hypnofande,

I think it is worth noting that whilst it is very often possible to get these subjects to respond to your suggestions it is most important that you do not apply undue pressure to your subjects as this can quickly become very stressful for them.
One possible reason for a subject to appear to be in trance whilst not being responsive, is simply that they are not hypnotised but feel unable to extricate themselves from the situation they find themselves in.
I hope this may be of some help.

Kind Regards
Hypno.
hypnofande
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Thanks psychohazard, dmkraig, dannydoyle and hypno for your helpful comments. I know some people have raised issue on why I am doing one-on-one hypnosis but I already explained why in the second sentence of my original posting.

Yes, I do know from going to stage shows (and my training) that you try to get as many people on the stage as possible and ruthlessly get rid of those volunteers who are unresponsive. It's just that I've seen quite a few shows (admittedly in small venues) where the stage hypnotist has wound up with nobody on stage and had to abandon the show after volunteers not responding. I've even seen it in large theatres with perhaps nearly 7-800 people in the audience, 40 people on stage at the start and yet at the end of the night perhaps 3 or 4 people are left on stage (and the show does suffer with smaller numbers).

The people that I practise on are all strangers and I've only ever done a group of people together on one occasion (which I found to be actually easier than one-on-one as the group seemed to reinforce each other's trances). I would never hypnotise family or friends as I know from experience problems that can arise from doing that.

When I was doing my stage training I was told that we were being taught inductions but that the only way to learn hypnosis is to actually hypnotise people (as many as you can and as many times as you can). I've probably hypnotised at least 200 people over the last 5 years and every time it has been a different experience as everybody is unique in how they respond. It was just that those people who were in trance (yes they were) just didn't seem to be responsive to the usual sort of stage show suggestions and I was wondering if there was some other approach I could adopt. I will take up the "talking to the subconscious" suggestion and see how I fare with that.
Hypnosis - it's all in the imagination...
Dannydoyle
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The stage show environment willnhelp. That in and of itself is actually part of the induction.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
mindpunisher
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Seriously " I am talkimg to the subconscious" will have no additional effect. If they are not responsive then there is something wrong somewhere with what you are doing. Its difficult to say on here as it can only be guess work.

It could be something as simple as not giving the right suggestions before the lead out from the induction to the skits. Or not giving the right suggestions after or both.

While I might direct someone as to the emotions they will feel I would never tell them how to react or what to do. You really don't have to when you have the right structure of suggestions in place.

There is something wrong with the structure and content of your hypnotic induction and lead out.

Just a few words missing can make all the difference.
Dannydoyle
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I have seen whole shows done like that. As I said I would not do shows like that and I think it sort of ruins the show but it can get you through a tough night if need be.

Loss of technique is just not taught. The other mistake guys make is when a routine I'd not going well at the start of the show they move on. Well you have just taught them it is ok to be non responsive. Not good.

Also what can help is to create a built in suggestion. Tell the audience the more noise they make the funnier they will be. You can give direction and suggestion to volunteers while talking to the audience. Again technique.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
hypnofande
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Actually I have found that addressing the subconscious does seem to have an effect. It's not something I normally do but I met up with a hypnotist friend recently and during his induction he tells the subject to let his conscious mind ignore the commands and allow his subconscious mind to simply act on them. It did seem to make a big difference and suggestions were a lot easier to give. I do know that so many things can influence a subject from the words you use, your tone of voice, and even as someone else mentioned the fact that it is a stage environment with other people taking part. Most of my hypno practise has been one to one (for the simple reason I'm just practising at this stage) but I did notice that when I did a group of 8 a while ago that it was so much easier and it was almost like they were reinforcing the trance state with each other when they reacted to suggestions.

I also do know that when a suggestion isn't working it's best to move on to something else as it just weakens the trance or can cause the subject to drop out.
Hypnosis - it's all in the imagination...
bobser
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There is NOTHING wrong with what you are doing.
There is a whole world out there of people who go into hypnosis but then become what we call: sleepers.
It simply happens. They do exist. It IS a fact.
The problem is that there are some hypnotists who are NOT as experienced as they themselves believe they are, and instead of asking questions to develop and grow they would rather, well lets call it what it is..... talk utter ****e.
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
kevinuncanny
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The simplest thing I can add is this: Are you giving direct, simple suggestions that they can understand and relate too. The less complex a suggestion the easier it is to accomplish.
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