A Question About Hypnotic Amnesia…
I am a professor using group hypnosis demonstrations in my lectures. Maybe you can help me with a question?
I can put people in a trance state (see attached image). However, not everyone can deepen in order to do what I want.
For example, the act of “sticking to the chair” the vast majority of people can do because only light trance is required. But to “forget” numbers or names sometimes does not work with some of these people. They seem to be in a deep state of trance, but it does not work when I make the suggestion that they will experience amnesia.
Hypnotic amnesia is a very impressive demonstration in which the subject is caused to forget things that would be seemingly impossible to forget.
Example: A Comedy Hypnotist causes a hypnotized subject to “forget” the existence of the number six.
The video below demonstrates my personal favorite hypnotic amnesia demonstration, causing the subject to forget their own name!
For hypnotic amnesia to work, you need a deep level of trance known as somnambulism. This is the “working level” of trance for stage hypnosis shows. Somnambulism is also the required level of trance to do regression hypnotherapy.
This is what I do to consistently get deeper levels of trance for advanced demonstrations of hypnotic phenomena.
Use a Better Hypnosis Induction
If you had only one hypnosis induction to learn and master, what would that be? My personal recommendation would be the Dave Elman induction for the following reasons:
- Rapid Induction: Takes about four minutes to perform with an individual, and 5-6 minutes to use a modified version for a group.
- Feedback: The induction has built in “tests” that give you feedback that your subjects are compliant and responsive to your suggestions.
- Somnambulism: The induction is designed to induce the deep, somnambulism level of trance.
Use Fractionation as a Deepener
One of the reasons the Dave Elman induction is so effective is the utilization of fractionation. Fractionation is the process of emerging a subject from trance by asking them to open their eyes, and then asking them to close their eyes and “go deeper.” Every time they do this, their level of trance goes successively deeper.
In group hypnosis shows, I typically drop everyone back into an “eye closed” trance state in between each demonstration. This helps to deepen the trance as the performance moves forward.
Do the Easy Stuff First
Don’t go for an advanced phenomena like hypnotic amnesia as your first demonstration. Do some “easy” demonstrations first. Allowing your subjects to experience an “easy” test, like getting their feet stuck to the floor, will cause their trance state to deepen. Every success creates mental expectation that they will “pass” the more difficult tests later on.
Q: In your presentations, do ALL hypnotized people do what you suggest, or do you also meet resistance from some? How can this be handled?
A: If you meet any kind of resistance with anyone, then diplomatically excuse them to go back to the audience. Some people are easily distracted in a group setting. You are under no obligation to work with someone that is not giving you their full concentration.
Q: I use the “hands/fingers glued” suggestibility tests to choose people for demonstrations. Do you use this? Is there something better?
A: Those are good demonstrations that allow your audience members to experience the power of their imagination from the comfort of their chairs. This gives them confidence, and naturally some of them will want to experience the “real stuff” on stage.
The Hand Clasp Suggestibility Test is great to find the “best of the best” potential volunteers. People who pass this test have a natural ability to enter a deep trance very quickly.
It’s one thing to have natural ability, but it’s even more important that they want to participate.
Work with audience members that appear to be the most MOTIVATED. If they are jumping up and down, waving their hands, really looking EXCITED to be a volunteer, it’s a good sign they’ll be great subjects for a group demonstration.