A majority of my clients have never been hypnotised before. Therefore, they often come in with assumptions. If their experience fails to meet their assumptions, they can feel as though they are doing it wrong, or that they cannot be hypnotised. So it is important to understand what being hypnotised might feel like.

Did you know that we all go into hypnotic trance on a regular basis, in our daily lives? What I mean is this – hypnosis can be described as a state of focused attention and relaxation. For instance, your conscious mind takes a backseat when you are daydreaming, perhaps during housework or some other routine activity, and you are focused on the daydream. Your conscious mind takes a backseat while you listen to some types of relaxing music, as the music takes your attention. Similarly hypnosis happens when you engage in a creative activity such as painting. Even reading certain books and watching movies can induce this feeling of being hypnotised, as your attention is focused on the story.

When you think about these everyday activities, you are not in an unfamiliar state. To the contrary, you are relaxed and feel a pleasant familiarity. More traditionally, you may find yourself relaxed with focused attention when you close your eyes to rest them for a few minutes throughout the day, but you do not need to close your eyes to experience hypnosis.

In the above examples, you do not feel under the control of the movie, book, art project, housework or other activity. You simply allow your mind to drift into a relaxed focus. This state is actually all that is needed for hypnosis.

Being Hypnotised in Clinic

Sometimes people will say, “I wasn’t hypnotised”. My follow up question is, “How do you know, since you’ve never been hypnotised before? What is it supposed to feel like?” Assumptions are the issue here.

In a clinical scenario, becoming hypnotised comes from a deliberate process led by the hypnotherapist (for lack of opportunity to catch you daydreaming whilst dusting the furniture :)) Being hypnotised in clinic does not need to result in a comatose state. Nor does it intend to control you to behave in ways that you would not normally behave. In fact, hypnosis is very normal. We all do it. The difference in clinic is that the hypnotherapist will use your already existing ability to be hypnotised, for the intended outcome.

Many therapists do not even ask their client to close their eyes as they perform conversational hypnosis. However eye closure has been found to enhance hypnosis so I always aim for that. Occasionally, a highly anxious client will resist eye closure, due to a fear of the unknown, and we will do the session with eyes open. In the following session, they are ready to close them.

When your eyes are closed your imagination is naturally enhanced, allowing for creative relaxation to take place and for your unconscious mind to be more open.


In session, the hypnosis is induced through various techniques incorporating imagination, rhythm of voice, touch, movement, stillness, memory and other devices. Each of these devices is intended to focus your attention in a relaxed way, to the exclusion of else, resulting in a feeling of being hypnotised. Usually I will rely primarily on imagination. If my client is unable to focus on imagination, I will use a more physically reliant technique which required the client to stare intently at their fingers, or else blink in a particular way, until they need to close their eyes. Sometimes I ill just use body relaxation as a way to induce hypnosis.

So you see, being hypnotised is not a scary thing. It is a natural ability that you already possess. It does not need to be a heavy state of trance in order to be effective. In fact, the most desirable level of hypnosis is somewhere between the normal waking mind and that nodding off stage just before sleep. Think of that relaxed state of almost falling asleep on the couch. I’m sure you’ve done that before.

If you would like to experience hypnosis to help you to achieve your goals, get in touch