teaching self hypnosis

Teaching Self-Hypnosis

I’ve been asked by several people to elaborate about self-hypnosis via the post-hypnotic reinduction cue that I talked about in an earlier Hypnosis Tip.

Self-hypnosis is an incredibly useful tool. There are many cases where you’ll want to teach self-hypnosis to people you’ve hypnotized. My philosophy is “teach and man to fish…”

When you teach self-hypnosis, you allow that person to access the wonderful healing and suggestive powers of hypnosis – on their own.

Teaching a person to reach a deep and useful state of hypnosis on their own is basically a simple three-step process…

  1. Hypnotize them to a good level using your favorite induction.
  2. Create a post-hypnotic re-induction cue for them to take themselves into hypnosis.
  3. Rehearse.

Just as a refresher, a post-hypnotic re-induction cue is a post-hypnotic suggestion you give that helps a person enter trance instantaneously.

You might suggest, to someone in a trance…

“And whenever I look at you, say the phrase ‘blue rose’ and snap my fingers, you’ll instantaneously go to this level of hypnosis – or deeper…”

That’s a suggestion for a post-hypnotic re-induction cue.

For self-hypnosis, you want to give the person a suggestion that they go into trance instantaneously based on a cue they give themselves!

Now, there are a few things to take into account when doing this for self-hypnosis….

You should make the cue mufti-layered. In other words, they should have to do 2 or 3 things simultaneously. This prevents an accidental triggering of hypnosis.

If the cue was “every time you think the phrase ‘blue rose’…” they might accidentally think that phrase and trigger self-hypnosis.

If instead, you said “each time you lift up your index finger, drop it down, and at the same time, mentally say the phrase ‘blue rose’ to yourself you will go to this level of trance or deeper,’ that would ensure against accidentally entering self-hypnosis.

Another thing to do when teaching self-hypnosis is teach them how to come out of a trance after a certain period of time (more about that later).

So, here’s the drill…

  1. Hypnotize your subject
  2. Suggest a post-hypnotic re-induction cue that includes at least 2 things they do to trigger hypnosis
  3. Rehearse it a few times.

Here’s how it might go…

(The subject is already hypnotized) “In a moment I’m going to ask you to lift up your index finger and then drop it down again, while at the same time mentally saying the phrase ‘blue rose.’ When you drop your index finger while mentally saying ‘blue rose,’ your level of relaxation will double. Lift up your index finger… Drop it down, mentally say “blue rose’ and double that relaxation… Good.”

“In a moment, I’m going to count to three. When I reach three, lift your index finger and open your eyes. Once your eyes are open, immediately drop your index finger down, mentally say ‘blue rose’ and go to the level of hypnosis you are right now or deeper. One… two.. three. That’s right, go deeper.”

In a moment, I’m going to count to five. When I reach five, open your eyes and be totally refreshed and alert. After a few seconds, lift your index finger then immediately drop your index finger down, mentally say ‘blue rose’ and go to the level of hypnosis you are right now or deeper. One… feeling good. Two… your muscles are beginning to stir. Three… your eyes feel cool and refreshed. Four… feeling relaxed and energized. Five – open your eyes, refreshed and alert and feeling good in every way. Go ahead… (Watch while the subject lifts the index finger etc. Once they reach a good state of hypnosis say…)

“Good. Now, each and every time you wish to enter hypnosis. Simple lift your index finger up, drop it down and at the same time mentally say ‘blue rose.’ You will instantly enter a wonderful relaxing deep state of hypnosis.”

It’s good to add a time component to self-hypnosis. Have them practice entering hypnosis for 15 seconds and then emerging. Suggest that they not try to know how much time has passed but just to allow their own natural sense of time to let them know when 15 seconds is up. Tell them that before they go into trance, they can decide what it is they want to accomplish and how long they should be there.

If they have something they’d like to work on during the trance have them think about and state their goal and time limit before entering self-hypnosis.

“I am going into a trance for 20 minutes for the purpose of _____________ (they fill in the blank with what they want to achieve). During this self-hypnosis session my unconscious mind will make the adjustments so that _____________ (they fill in the blank with what they want to achieve) occurs naturally and easily. ”

That’s it for this Hypnosis Tip. I hope you’ll enjoyed it.

Keith Livingston

About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. Hi 🙂
    This has been an extremely helpful tip , even though im a practicing clinical hypnotherapist.

    Thanks a million -really appreciate your help !

    Please keep up the good work !



  2. Hi I am an accredited hypnotherapist and I am trying to establish whether I can teach self hypnosis to clients without a teaching qualification. I currently have a BSc in Psychology/counselling skills and also hold a diploma in hypnotherapy & counselling skills. Any advice on this would be gratefully received.

    Thanks Tracy

    1. Hi Tracy,
      I don’t know what the laws are in the UK and I’m not qualified to answer legal questions. However, I know of no laws that would require you to have any kind of credential to teach self-hypnosis. In fact, in most areas of US, there are no legal, educational requirements for being a hypnotherapist either.

  3. Hi

    Keith thanks for coming back to me on this. I am going to look into further. Thanks again


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