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Hypnosis Training Video #280: Overt and Covert Testing for Depth of Hypnosis in Real Hypnosis Sessions

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Overt and Covert Testing for Depth of Hypnosis in Real Hypnosis Sessions

Happy Hypno-Friday! Meredith is back as my co-host on this episode of Hypnosis Etc. on I get things started by announcing the teleseminar with Elsom Eldridge tonight, June 8th, at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST).

In this latest hypnosis training episode, we discuss the different stages of somnambulism on Harry Arons Depth Scale: Stage 4 – threshold of somnambulism, Stage 5 – full somnambulism, and Stage 6 – profound somnambulism. …AND why they are important to real hypnotists who see clients for deep hypnotherapeutic work.

Then, we dive into this 5-PATHer’s question about “What’s the best way to test for the different levels of somnambulism?” You will find the answers to why it is important to use covert tests when testing for somnambulism. You will also learn why you only need to test for Stage 4 – threshold of somnambulism – using the Elman-Banyan Induction’s covert test, such as “Losing the Numbers” or “Eyelid Fractionation Deepening” technique. Finally…you will discover the tests that I, Cal Banyan, personally use in the first hypnosis session with my clients.

Thanks for visiting my hypnosis training videos website. If you enjoyed these videos, please tell your friends about this helpful resource for hypnotists and hypnotherapists around the world. Remember to check out our Hypnosis, Etc. page on Facebook, at Please “Like” us on Facebook and below this video and get into the conversation.

Today’s Discussion Points:

  • Learn about the three levels of somnambulism (Stage 4, 5, and 6 on Harry Arons Depth Scale) – threshold of somnambulism, full somnambulism, and profound somnambulism.
  • Differences between covert and overt testing for the threshold of somnambulism.
  • How to use the Elman-Banyan Induction’s covert test for threshold of somnambulism.
  • Learn what tests Cal Banyan uses in his first hypnosis sessions.

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7 Reader Comments to Hypnosis Training Video #280: Overt and Covert Testing for Depth of Hypnosis in Real Hypnosis Sessions

  1. Robert Plamondon June 10, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Cal, Meredith:

    Hey, what other convincers do you like? For example, I’m more experienced in arm levitation than arm catalepsy, and arm levitation seems to work nicely to impress the client.

    (Also, once the arm is in the air, I can use the old, “Your arm will fall ONLY AS FAST as you fall ten times deeper into trance,” or “… as you become interested on every level of your being in examining the issue that brought you here today,” or whatever you want the client to do next.)

    I’m curious about your take on the pros and cons of different convincers.



  2. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, DNGH June 11, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Hi Robert,

    I like the eyelid catalepsy test as a convincer. When done right it only takes a few seconds and it really impresses clients. But if you are getting the same results with the arm levitation convincers and you can do that in a few seconds then it should be as good. By the way, what level is required for arm levitation?

    To me the most important things I look for when choosing convincers is that they are fast, effective, and reliable. As you have probably heard me say, “Hypnosis is a confidence game. If you don’t get their confidence there will be no game.” When you manage to convince someone that they have reached the hypnotic state, their confidence grows a great deal. This includes their confidence in themselves, in hypnosis and in your ability to hypnotize them. It is a win-win situation. Convincers are also a great marketing tool. By using convincers you give your clients something that they can talk about with their friends and family.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Robert Plamondon June 11, 2012 at 2:35 PM


    My impression is that arm levitation requires practically no trance at all! So I’d think it’s good as a convincer but lousy as a depth test, which is fine for our purposes. 

    I like convincers too, and of course every suggestion that is acted upon is a convincer, provided that the client doesn’t develop amnesia for it! I liked the way you highlighted in your book that one should list the convincers used, right after the client emerges from trance, to fix that list in their memory and increase their confidence that these were indeed accomplishments to be proud of.


  4. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, DNGH June 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Hi Robert – We are totally on the same page. I’m glad you liked my book, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy: Basic to Advanced Techniques for the Professional. (Readers can learn more about it at

    We need everyone in the profession to become proficient with the use of convincers. It will add a great deal of credibility to what we do.


  5. Susan July 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Hello Cal and Meredith,

    Thank you for responding to my question. The reason I was asking was because after I did the 8 word induction, I did all the tests such as eyelid catalepsy, arm catalepsy, losing the number 6, losing all the numbers, and finally thought I would be good with the last one – finding the doily.  I was wrong. Now I know that you do not have to get to that level anyway which makes me feel much better.  But still I thought I had him deep enough to try it.  Well, I learned my lesson. I won’t be trying that again! It is so great to have a forum like this to learn from.  You do great things for us Hypnos!

    Much appreciated,


  6. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, DNGH August 24, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Susan – You are very welcome! Please tell your hypnofriends about the site!


  7. Charié Edouard October 28, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Hello Cal,

    I am Ed, one of your certified 5path hypnotist.
    I have a question for you, that I met several times doing age regression.

    First session, I do the Elman Banyan induction, and get the client to loose the numbers to be sure they have reached at least the threshold of somnanbulism. I then do the arm catalepsy convincer, and then the “three things we do in hypnosis”. I then give my suggestions and at the end give the post hypnotic suggestion that at the next session the client just will need to press on my hand , close his eyes, and when I say the word sleep he will automatically go back to that state of profound relaxation they are in or , may be even deeper.

    My problem is coming at the second session when trying to do Age regression. I am using affect bridge or the time tunneling technque.

    And when I get to ask them the questions: is it daytime or nighttime, are you alone or with someone, are you indoor or outdoor and Then the 5 big questions, MY CLIENT SAYS: I can’t see anything !!!

    In other words, my client is not able to reply to my questions and simply says: ” I do not see anything ”

    So, please help me: What am I missing ?

    Thanks you so much and a big hello From France.

    Kind regards


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