Hypnotic Methods

To look at and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness

- Confucius

Your current psychological state is at least partially determined by what you are attending to. Any change in the focus of attention evokes trance formation. When a stimulus signaling threat or the availability of an incentive captures your attention, an unintentional state change may occur. Intentional Trance Formation is the psychological consequence of intentionally directing your attention to a particular stimulus in order to change state-dependent phenomena.

As used here the term, "Hypnosis" refers to protocols — typically audio scripts —  designed to directly influence state dependent phenomena such as experience, motivation, perception, and response tendencies. Hypnosis is usually thought of as an inter-personal process. An active hypnotist exerts his will on a passive subject. There are some practical advantages to this approach. So even though our collaboration is dedicated to self-direction, a range of "old fashion" hypnosis audio files are presented on this page.


Merely thinking about an addictive incentive or, perversely, trying not to think about it, will elicit a high-risk psychological state. Your motivation and other state-dependent phenomena will change in ways that promote relapse. Likewise, Ruminative Self-Focus will also elicit unintentional trance formation that is likely to consume the cognitive resources required for successful coping.

Enhancing your ability to shift your attention from the most salient to the most meaningful stimulus, when failure to make this shift would risk relapse is the objective of this section of the course. The early chapters of this section described meditation exercises that, among other benefits, can increase your ability to aim your attention to an intended target. The hypnotic tools described below will give you opportunities to explore what happens when you focus your attention according to specific protocols.

For individuals wrestling with an Incentive Use Disorders, self-soothing is an important skill to develop. There are many approaches to coping with stressful conditions. A range of covert Being Mode strategies including detachment from outcomes and non-reactive acceptance have been discussed. Hypnotic inductions provide a more goal-directed path to self-soothing.


Each of the audio files listed below provide a pathway to an altered state of consciousness. Your psychological state is always changing, so don't expect anything weird or unusual to happen. Just do your best to follow the instructions, and see if you can get absorbed in the process. If your mind wanders, that is natural. Please don't scold or distract yourself; instead gently guide your attention back to the content of the script. Do not worry about what is supposed to happen, your task is to simply do what the scripts say and notice what happens when you do.

  • First Induction - This script offers a path from Being Mode Meditation to Doing Mode Hypnotic methods.
  • Sleep Induction - One kind of altered state of consciousness is hypnotic sleep. This script offers a path to a somnambulistic state
  • Visual Imagery Induction - This lengthy induction (about 25 minutes) emphasizes the visual modality. For example, you will use your imagination to create visual images that influence your psychological state. In principle, hypnotic imagery can be used to produce any psychological state including anger and sexual arousal. However, as is the case here, visual imagery of a penny drifting down through a calm and peaceful lake is used, to elicit a calm and relaxed state. Accessing the visual memory of learning the letters of the alphabet can elicit the confidence of mastering a task that seemed difficult at the time. The more vivid and detailed you can make the imagery, the greater will be trance forming power of your imagination. .
  • Progressive relaxation - Rather than using your imagination to create visual images, this exercise guides you through the creation of relaxing feelings as experienced by different parts of your body. When you have only a few minutes to calm the creature so you have greater access to your Cognitive Processing System, this is a good method.


Suggestions are invitations to a try on a particular trance. Whether the entity that creates the suggestion is a hypnotist, salesman, or you, the suggestion is always a creative fiction rather than assumed to be objectively valid. Typically, the suggestion is designed to promote the interests of its designer—unless that entity is neurotic.

The interests of the stage hypnotist are served when the subject performs in a way that makes the audience laugh; the interests of the salesman are served when the customer buys. Your interests are served when you act in accord with your interests and principles.

The method of hypnotic suggestion, demonstrated by stage hypnotists, can be a powerful tool in the service of behavior change. But because the procedure is portrayed as comedy, the public has developed the wrong idea of how it works. The popular misconception that hypnosis compels the mindless subject to obey externally generated commands results from a technique called, the challenge—for example: “Your leg is getting heavier and heavier/you can try to lift your leg/but it will be so heavy/that you won’t be able to do it.”

This sounds like a battle of wills between the hypnotist and the subject, but it is not. In fact the effect is an intra-personal rather than an inter-personal phenomenon. Scripts such as this are used to demonstrate that simple verbal suggestions can influence the experience and behavior of a cooperative subject. The demonstration can produce humorous or shocking consequences when the subject acts as if the reality suggested by the hypnotist were actually true.  Acting as though an objectively false suggestion were true—e.g., your shoe is made of lead—produces behavior that would appear absurd to an observer, and so the audience, who are not asked to buy into the false suggestion, finds it humorous.

The classic heavy shoe challenge asks you to imagine a subjective reality in which you leg and shoe are made of lead. This premise is false, but you can use it to exercise your imaginative faculties. The goal of this training program is to enhance your ability to create the efficacy-enhancing subjective realities that make it possible to actualize your intentions to replace the pathogenic ones that resulted from early conditioning. .


An affirmation is one kind of efficacy-enhancing suggestion. The power of your will is related to your ability to access the resources required for success. The Affirmations Script gives you the opportunity to selectively attend to suggestions that will, over time, cause positive self-fulfilling prophesies to replace the negative ones. This efficacy enhancing audio is designed to promote a cognitive structure that can dramatically improve your ability to perform well during crises.

Navigational Fork

  • To listen to hypnotherapeutic scripts that address specific Incentive Use Disorders, please click here.

  • To continue the study of coping with counter-productive emotional states please visit  The Recursive Trap. [The Recursive Trap is one of six sets of cause-and-effect principles that promote addiction. To choose which of these addictive traps to focus on, please complete the Trap Detector test — next on the default path].



Addictive Traps > >

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