The Philosophy of Conversational Hypnosis

Remember the scene in Star Wars where Obi Wan Kenobi simply looks into the guard’s eyes and persuades him that the three people he is looking for are not the three standing right in front of him even though they are. Can you imagine having an influence like that over other people?

Conversational hypnosis suggests it is possible.

Of course, nothing is as simple as it sounds. The technique is actually a progression of well-arranged strategies and manipulations that can help bring other people to see your point of view.

Milton Erikson first envisioned the philosophy of conversational hypnosis. He thought that trance states were not rare events that needed to be induced through elaborate measures. He thought that people slip into trance states many times each day, like when they’re waiting in line or concentrating hard on something.

Erickson’s theory stated that a client being induced into a trance state or if direct suggestions were made to them may lead to a resistance on the part of the client. He believed it was much more effective to establish a rapport, use indirect suggestions and confusion to cause trance states and influence agreement.


First, the hypnotist needs to establish a rapport with the client. He needs to agree with what they say. For example, the client may say, “There’s no way out of this mess,” and the hypnotist should respond with “You’re right. There is no way out of this.”


Next, the hypnotist needs to confuse the issue. Sometimes this is possible with a single question like “But even if there is no way out of this, can you be absolutely positive that you won’t find a solution pops into your mind in the next few minutes?”

Another method to create confusion is to encourage resistance in the client. The hypnotist could say something like, “This problem is too difficult. No one could possibly solve it. There is no way out of this you don’t stand a chance” At some point, the client will usually begin arguing that this problem isn’t so difficult at all.

Yet another technique to stimulate confusion is to remark that the client needs to do more of the same thing that isn’t working. An example would be to suggest someone who was overweight to keep eating so they will gain more weight.


Finally, the hypnotist needs to make an indirect suggestion like, “You’re feeling a little more hopeful now, aren’t you?” or maybe “I’m not sure why, but you seem more optimistic than you were a little while ago.”
As you can see, conversational hypnosis isn’t easy to accomplish, and takes training.

If you would like to learn more, there are online courses available. Milton Erickson’s biography also makes interesting reading if you are interested in the history of this technique.

Gaetane Ross owns and she is a Certified Natural Health Consultant who has spent over 4 years focusing on Nutrition and Health.

Get her FREE report on Conversational Hypnosis


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