In this post we are going to know about the four forms of hypnosis. Do you know Under what conditions do you become more suggestible? Most people are aware of three such conditions: clinical hypnosis, self hypnosis, and stage hypnosis. However, there are also forms of hypnosis that occur sponataneously, which I will call natural hypnosis. By understanding each of these forms of hypnosis, you will develop a much more clear sense of what hypnosis is and what it isn’t.

Natural Hypnosis

You can’t escape hypnosis. You are predisposed to suggestibility some of the time, and knowing about this predisposition is an important lesson in the way the mind works. You are more suggestible, compared to the normal waking state, under the following 10 conditions:

1. shortly before natural sleep and upon awakening from it,
2. when tired or relaxed,
3. in a state of total concentration,
4. when influenced by effective persuasion,
5. when experiencing sleep and sensory deprivation,
6. during childhood and adolescence,
7. when experiencing emotional crisis disturbance,
8. when in shock,
9. when under the influence of mind-altering drugs and alcohol and 10. in a state of hysteria.

Shortly Before Natural Sleep and Upon Awakening From It

Before you go to sleep your brainwaves slow down. When you are just about asleep, but not quite there, your mind becomes very active. If you are roused at such times, you may be aware that you have either been dreaming or daydreaming vividly. During these moments, your mind becomes more suggestible, both to your own suggestions and to those made by others.

Shortly before fully awakening, your mind also becomes more suggestible. Have you ever had the experience of “getting up on the wrong side of the bed”? If you haven’t, I want some of your meds! Nonetheless, this is a good example of how a bad dream or negative thought early in the morning can spoil how you subsequently feel that day.

Tiredness or Relaxation

When you are tired or feel relaxed, the analytical part of your mind also relaxes. Have you noticed it is easier to settle an argument when you and the other person remain calm and relaxed, as compared to tense and angry? This is because you become more suggestible to the other person’s perspective.

According to Dr. Genuit (1994), most Native American tribes he studied used rhythmical sounds and movements, like drumming and dancing, to induce altered consciousness, creating relaxed states of intense concentration within the participants of these practices. Modern urban culture adds other sounds and creates the “hypnotic experience” young people experience at a nightclub or rave. Drivers have nearly driven off roads as they became hypnotized by a strobe effect created when sunlight shines between intermittently spaced trees, or after they became confused by the effect of snow blowing at their windshields at night.

Total Concentration

Have you ever read a novel that was so engrossing it brought tears to your eyes, or found that a happy sequence put a smile on your face? Do you remember the last time you laughed hysterically at a movie? Words and images can have this effect on you only when you find something compelling—only then do you become suggestible and, in turn, react emotionally.

Effective Persuasion

Have you ever felt emotionally affected, or trapped, by a persuasive salesperson? Effective salespeople have learned every trick in the book to make you succumb to their allure and, ultimately, to the product they want you to buy. If you leave a sales presentation without buying anything and find yourself feeling like a loser, you have become hypnotized into believing that you need a product. Motivational speakers have the same hypnotizing effect—you leave the presentation feeling pumped and ready for action.

Let’s move onto next type of hypnosis

Stage Hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is the use of hypnosis for fun and entertainment. Are the participants on stage really under the hypnotist’s “spell,” and consequently forced to obey him or her? Stage hypnosis has fostered a number of misconceptions about hypnosis because of what we think is occurring on stage. What really happens? First, the stage hypnotist asks for a number of volunteers to come forward. The fact that these people volunteer indicates that they want to be part of the performance. They also know that if chosen to remain on stage, they will be expected to entertain the audience. Three types of people find their way to the stage those who:

1. are sincerely interested,

2. want to test the hypnotist, and prove that they cannot be “made” to do anything

3. go up on a dare or because they feel pressured by friends. The only participants who have a chance of remaining on stage are the ones who are sincerely interested in experiencing hypnosis. This is because certain factors are necessary for the induction of a hypnotic state, referred to here as the “five Cs” of hypnosis. These include:

1. cooperation,\

2. consent,

3. concentration,

4. communication,

5. conviction (i.e., trust in the hypnotist and in the process).

Only the sincerely Interested will meet the criteria for the five Cs. The best subjects for hypnosis are intelligent, creative, imaginative, and relaxed individuals. Above all else, these people are highly motivated to experience hypnosis and its benefits.

Once the stage performance begins, the participants are given a number of suggestions. They know what is being asked of them, and because they want to take part they feel a desire to act out the suggestions. Be aware that there is a difference between a desire and a compulsion. No one is compelled to do anything while in hypnosis. The hilarity of what occurs on stage is a combination of increased suggestibility and performing (i.e., acting).

Clinical Hypnosis

Clinical hypnosis is the result of a relaxed state of mind and body, along with an increased state of suggestibility. Its purpose is to help people overcome problems, or to make problems more manageable, and to help foster personal growth and development. Like stage hypnosis, the five Cs are necessary preconditions if hypnosis is going to occur. Unlike natural hypnosis and stage hypnosis, clinical hypnosis is almost always conducted with the client or patient relaxed throughout the treatment, and the treatment is usually provided by someone with professional credentials in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, medicine, nursing, dentistry, or clinical social work. There are many uses for clinical hypnosis.

And Finally


Self-hypnosis is also a relaxed state of increased suggestibility,
but you are the person who directs it. There is no loss of control
on your part in any sense. Instead, self-hypnosis is a means by
which you can learn to have more control over your own
thoughts, feelings, and actions than you currently possess. More
will be said about self-hypnosis in the next chapter, which looks
at self-hypnosis and relaxation in depth.