Let us talk about who can and can not be hypnotized.People will often ask a hypnotist are there people who can not be hypnotized?

The fact is that the hypnotic state is a natural state that people go in and out of all the time. The only real difference is that in hypnosis someone is guiding you through that state.

Consider what happens in those moments before you drift off to sleep. You close your eyes, you still your body, and your attention begins to turn away from the outside world as you fall into an inner world that is all your own. This is very much like the hypnotic state with the exception that someone is guiding you through that state.

Understand that everybody can enter that state; therefore, anybody can be hypnotized.

However, whether you, t or someone else can hypnotize them is a completely different matter. More on this soon.

There are conditions where a person will not respond to hypnosis. These are:

People with a low IQ or a brain disorder.

To be hypnotized you must first have an attention span, and some neurological problems can inhibit one’s ability to pay attention. As a general rule these problems must be severe. Schizophrenics already have a tenuous grasp on reality and hypnotizing them is simply best avoided. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is not always enough to prevent hypnosis, although the hypnotist might have to get creative.

People drunk or on drugs.

While alcohol removes inhibitions it does not make hypnosis easier. Most drugs will inhibit the brain from responding to anything. The only exception to this is a rare class of highly controlled drugs called “hypnotics.” The most well known is sodium pentathol, also known as “truth serum.”


I use the term idiots to describe a very small class of people who come to a hypnotist with a complete misconception of hypnosis that even the hypnotist cannot dispel. Even though the hypnotist tells them to “follow the suggestions” and “hypnosis demands your cooperation” they believe that to be convinced they are hypnotized they must be unable to resist the hypnotists suggestions. Thus, they resist all the hypnotists suggestions and they say “I can’t be hypnotized.”

These latter group of people are thankfully rare and will justify their reactions by what they’ve seen on TV and in the movies. To them anything that is less than magical, instant, dramatic and puppetlike submission to the hypnotist means they cannot be hypnotized.


Actually, the fact is that most children can be hypnotized. Children have not learned to inhibit their imagination so the truth is that children can’t not be hypnotized.

Who NOT to Hypnotize

There are many hypnotists in the world who are compassionate, patient, caring and empathetic people and who are usually willing to help anyone with their skills of hypnosis. I am not one of those people.

While I generally like people and love using hypnosis I am also very lazy and don’t like to work. There are people who may genuinely want my help but who I’ve learned to refer to someone else. These people don’t fall into a “type,” but there are certain behaviors I look out for. Here is my personal list of red flags of people to avoid:

People who want to negotiate down your fee.

People consistently late for appointments.

People who monopolize your time with phone calls and stay beyond the appointment time.

People who expect you to save them, and those who see themselves as perpetually victimized by the world.

People who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, as these people will likely demonstrate all of the above behaviors.

The group of people who expect you to save them may seem like good candidates as hypnosis subjects because they would seem to be willing to follow the instructions you give them. While this may be the case on occasion, it is more likely that you will have someone who has a pathological commitment to their own misery.

To explain further, their entire identity is based on a belief that “no one knows my pain,” and to remove their pain will leave them in chaos, in spite of what they say. You may help them and for a moment they will notice they are not feeling miserable, but they will then have to create an entirely new perception of who they are. If you help them you may discover that they will begin to instruct you in how everything you are doing to help them is not the right fit for them, but they will still want your help.

If you work with this type of personality it is likely they will begin to cancel out all the good reasons you got into business.

If you have a lot of confidence in your ability you may want to try to help them, but my advise for these people is to quickly and kindly refer them to someone else. It’s a good rule to stick with clients whom you can categorize at lithe worried well.”