Hypnotic induction theory 101

If you’ve ever heard a hypnotist talk, it won’t take them long before they mention these strange things called ‘inductions’.

They probably throw the term out there, forgetting that not everyone knows what that means.

I know I’ve done that.

To make it up to everyone I’ve confused in the past, here’s some info for ya.

What hypnotic inductions are and how they work.

So first, let’s start with an analogy:

Let’s say you’re doing something normal – reading, working, watching TV, whatever. You’re nice and relaxed, just mildly absorbed in the activity.

Then you learn that you’ve won $4 million.

You can take a moment to imagine how excited you would feel in that moment. I won’t patronise you by saying that, yeah, it would probably be pretty awesome.

In this scenario, you go from a ‘normal’ state of awareness to feeling excited and exhilarated.

Your state of mind changes dramatically. And your body does too – your heartrate shoots up, your senses come alive and you get this dopamine rush.

It all happens in a moment.

Hypnotic inductions are similar, only they aren’t about swapping one emotion for another. With them, you go from your normal, everyday state of awareness into a hypnotic trance.

This can be a dramatic shift or so subtle you don’t even notice it.

It can be fast or it can creep up over a day.

But the idea is the same – through the induction, you shift into a hypnotised state of mind.

If you want to see fast, flashy and dramatic hypnotic inductions, find a street or stage hypnotist. They’re entertainers, so their take on hypnosis has to be entertaining. With a clap of the hands or a snap of the fingers, the subject can go from awake to asleep in a moment.

Or it can be slow and mysterious. Many Ericksonian hypnotists simply talk to the subjects, lulling them into trance so slowly that even the hypnotist doesn’t know when the induction starts and stops.

The human brain enters a trance for the same reason it gets happy, focuses on loud noises and retrieves associated memories – because it’s useful. Recreate the conditions where a brain wants to go into a trance, and it will.

That’s all an induction is.

Now, lots of amateur hypnotists get excited about learning new inductions. They’re useful techniques but, really, they’re not important. With a little experience, any hypnotist can make up new inductions on the fly.

And with enough experience, you don’t even need an induction to put someone in a trance.

Really, the important part is what you do with someone once they’re there.

But if you want to be fast and entertaining with your inductions – or you’re just getting started – it pays to master them.

One common question is: does hypnosis work over webcams?

The answer?


Not all inductions will. Some require you to be in the same room as the hypnotist. But 98% of hypnosis – and 100% of the important bits – works perfectly over Skype or Zoom.

See it for yourself here:


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: