On strong minds and being hypnotised

“Although not aware of it, everyone, by means of the unconscious mind, already performs extraordinarily complex activities. For example, a man walking down a busy street is thinking of some problem. There will be all the sights and sounds which go to make up the noise and distraction of a street. The man, busy with his own thoughts, will pay no attention to the noise or the shop windows or people passing, but should a friend come walking towards him, or should someone suddenly call his name, his thoughts will be instantly switched …

Although he was not consciously aware of all the sights and sounds … his unconscious mind had been busy noting them all…but like a good servant had not reported to him matters which were of no importance …

In short, the unconscious mind of any reader, though [they] may never have thought about psychology, is already highly trained … “

Self-Hypnosis and Scientific Self-Suggestion – William J. Ousby, 1966, p.18-19.

Without exception, the most common question asked of me by first-time enquirers about hypnosis is one that relates to being able to be hypnotised. This is understandable, and arises from misconceptions and entertainment shows where people appear to be under the command of the hypnotist, and ‘made’ to do things that are apparently contrary to their personality.

Nearly all of the people who bring this concern up (“what if I can’t be hypnotised?”) will proceed to comment on their “strong” mind as being a potential barrier to experiencing hypnosis.

Other phrases that are used are “I’m not easily fooled”, or “I don’t like to be told what to do”. Both of these imply that there is some other agent (such as the hypnotist) who is generating the power of the change.

To be hypnotised is to engage and empower the subconscious mind. Whereas we usually have our conscious mind at the forefront, thinking our thoughts and making choices and worrying over this and that, the subconscious mind has a far larger scope, and is where our true power lies.

In this sense, your ability to make the change that you desire using hypnosis has nothing to do with the hypnotist that you see! Here’s a big secret: it’s not that hard to hypnotise somebody.

Those of us who make a study and practise of hypnotherapy know that it is the people who are engaged, focused and determined who are the best natural hypnotic subjects. It is those who are perhaps more passive in their personality who are more likely to need practise to go into the trance state.

What your hypnotherapist wants you to know is that going in and out of the hypnotic state is a natural skill, but like any skill there may be some who are natively ‘better’ than others at it – but pretty much anyone with the ability to focus their attention for a short amount of time can develop the skill and become ‘good’ at being hypnotised. The ‘trick’ to helping you achieve a good hypnotic state is this: you already know how to do it! The hypnotists’ skill lies in helping you find the way in, and guiding you once you are there.

We always hope our clients bring their “strongest” minds, but if not then we’ll show you that this part of you already exists.

Because it does. It’s always a pleasure to show our clients how powerful and strong they really are.