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Hypnosis Training Video #347: What Is Hypnosis & the Fundamentals of Hypnosis – Part 1 (Transcription)

Return to Blog Post, Hypnosis Training Video #347: What Is Hypnosis & the Fundamentals of Hypnosis – Part 1

Hello, everybody. Cal Banyan here, Cal Banyan’s Hypnosis, etc. Hey, and it’s another all Cal episode, no Meredith, no Celeste, no Brenda. But that’s alright. It gives us some one-on-one quality time. By the way, if you’re watching this video anywhere except, you want to go there right now, because right below this video is additional texts, additional links, additional graphics, that just make this podcast all that more valuable for you.

All right, let’s see here. Oh, I should introduce myself. Usually my co-host does that. Again, I’m Cal Banyan. I’m the CEO and owner of the Banyan Hypnosis Center for Training and Services, here in Tustin, California. We’re a state registered school of hypnosis and hypnotherapy. I am the developer of the 5-PATH® hypnosis system, and also the writer of the 7th Path Self-hypnosis® system, and I’m kind of the hypnotherapist and the trainer of the top hypnotists in the profession.

All right, let’s see here. Oh, I have a couple things that are kind of exciting. Last week I had a call from the National Guild of Hypnotists, Dr. Dwight Damon, calling me and asking me if I’d like to be a presenter of the upcoming Solid Gold weekend. It happens February 2014, next year, and it’s always great. It’s where they select the most popular among the most popular speakers of the National Guild of Hypnotists Convention. Bring them all together for one fabulous hypnotic weekend in Las Vegas. So I’ll be talking more about that as we get closer and closer to February. I will be speaking on, the exact title hasn’t come down the pike yet, but it is going to be about mastering hypnotic age regression, unless some other great idea comes up.

All right; let’s see here. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve got some notes here. And let’s see here. It’s time to address some hypnosis basics, some techniques, and some concepts. And one thing interesting about our profession is, even though it might be what we would consider to be a basic concept, it can still be very controversial. And so, I reserve the right to change my mind when confronted, or informed of something I didn’t know about before. But, this is what we’ve been teaching for a long time, and it seems to be standing the test of time. So I’ll give you some ideas to think about. If you want to add something, or if you want to disagree, please do so in the comment box below, because we do hope that this podcast on, will be an open forum for exchange of ideas.

Alright. Let’s see, I’m always surprised when I have hypnotists who have previous training, come and take my courses. It could be the Week of Power course, or it could be the full ten-day certification course, and that they do not have a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Now, I’m not a huge football historian, but I know there is a great trainer, well-respected coach, in the world of football. And he’s no longer coaching, but he’s very well-respected in the history of football. Every season he’d have all these professional football players out there on the first day of the season, and these guys, they’d been playing football, some of them, since they were 5, 10, 15-years old. I mean, they know football. They’ve eaten it, breathed it, pooped football for all their lives. But, he had an understanding of the fundamentals which were the basis of everything else. And he would stand up in front of them, with a football in his hand, and say, ‘Gentlemen, this is a football,’ and he would begin to go over the most basic, most fundamental things, because he had to make sure that the basics, the fundamentals, were solid. He couldn’t assume that stuff. Maybe they learned basics and fundamentals from a different teacher, and they had different ideas about it. They needed everybody to agree upon the basics and the fundamentals. And in doing so, in our profession, could only lift the profession. So today, I’m going to talk about, and probably, this will spill into another podcast also, that will come out to you next week; I’m talking about the fundamentals.

So as we get some terms to define and some principals explained, the following are some brief explanations of some of the basics I cover in our National Guild of Hypnotists Approved Banyan Hypnosis Certification course, Level One manual called, Hypnosis Mastery, a Foundation for the Hypnotherapy Student. So here we go.

The most fundamental thing, what is hypnosis? Now, I have fun with this sometimes with National Guild of Hypnotists. I’ll be teaching a class or giving a talk or just standing at the bar having a drink, and other hypnotists are around me, and I’ll start the conversation. I’ll say, ‘What exactly is hypnosis?’ And in our profession, it seems, there’s almost as many definitions of hypnosis, as there are hypnotists. Now, coming from a background of psychology, I understand this concept that different schools of thought will tweak their definitions, slightly. But, our definitions, in our profession, for even the most fundamental things, such as, what is hypnosis, seems to be all over the place. So I’m going to offer a definition that’s maybe different from the one that you’ve learned.

Hypnosis, in the most general terms, is a heightened state of suggestibility. That’s what it is. Now there’s a normal state of suggestibility. People walk around in varying levels of suggestibility all the time. We’re more suggestible to professionals, with regard to the topic of their profession. We will just accept what they say, without rejecting it. If we’re in unique situations where we don’t know anything about it, we tend to be more suggestible to those who are in charge, and so on. So even in normal, waking consciousness, I don’t even like that word waking. In normal suggestibility, there’s varying levels of suggestibility, but hypnosis is a heightened state of suggestibility, where we purposely go from normal levels of suggestibility, to a heightened level of suggestibility.

Now, this is a really good definition, if we understand what suggestibility is. So, in order to define hypnosis, we need to define what suggestibility is, and what a heightened state of suggestibility is.

So I did a little bit of preparation. By the way, before I go on, what hypnosis is not; hypnosis is not sleep. We now understand that. We have some misnomers in the profession, and there are some techniques that are built around the concept of sleep. But we understand now that hypnosis is not sleep. If you use the word ‘sleep’ in a technique, such as the Eight-word induction, where we use the word ‘sleep’, and by the way, just look up Cal Banyan Eight-word Induction, and you’ll learn how to do that on the internet. You must, in your hypnosis pre-talk, tell your clients that if you use the word the sleep, it’s just shorthand. It’s just a signal that means, go deeply, relax with your eyes closed, as if you were asleep. But, we never want to confuse sleep with hypnosis, because hypnosis is a heightened state of suggestibility. And I’ve never come across one shred of evidence, either scientific or anecdotal, that would lead me to believe that sleep has the component of being a heightened state of suggestibility.

So what is suggestibility? How a person is able to accept suggestion, which varies according to one’s receptiveness at the time. So either you are receptive to suggestion, or non-receptive and reject suggestion. So at any time, in normal consciousness, we have varying levels of suggestibility. Then I go on to say, the greater the suggestibility that an individual is experiencing, the greater the effect that suggestions offered will effect that person’s perception of reality, including what she senses, such as, touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing.

So as we go from regular levels of suggestibility, which can have an effect on touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing, things can seem rougher if we believe they’re going to be rougher. We can think that smells are going to be stronger if we somehow expect them to be stronger, and so on.

But, in a heightened state of suggestibility, suggestions given by the hypnotist, can also affect habits, emotions, and behavior. In the highest levels of suggestibility, which would of course include hypnosis, and in these highest levels, they’re most commonly thought to be called somnambulistic levels of hypnosis, we can profoundly affect perceptions, including causing amnesia, anesthesia, and both positive and negative hallucinations.

Suggestibility is a continuum. There is a range that we would call normal suggestibility, without hypnosis. We are more suggestible in some situations than others, normally, according to how much credence we give an individual who’s a so-called expert, for example. Also, in completely unique situations, where we know very little about anything, we tend to be more suggestible to people who are in charge. A perfectly good explanation or example of this is like, when one goes into the military. You go to a new place called basic training. It has new rules. If you’re a guy, they shave off all your hair, everyone gets a uniform, and everything is so new unique. In this unique situation, they can take the average guy or woman and train them, or teach them, and affect their attitudes and their beliefs about the world, in four to eight weeks in a way that could never be done. They don’t hypnotize you, but they set up a circumstance where, though you’re not in hypnosis, you’re in that normal range of suggestibility, but you are at that extreme range of normal suggestibility.

Then, when we do something such as, do a hypnotic induction, then what we can do, as we induce hypnosis, what we’re really doing is, increasing their level of suggestibility in a profound way so much, that we can effect, in a more profound way, their senses; touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing. We can have them even hallucinate, not to be able to feel something, like anesthesia or analgesia. Or have them not remember things, amnesia, and so on, because they’re so profoundly suggestible. The hypnotist or hypnotherapist uses this deep level of hypnosis mostly to effect the individuals’ beliefs. For example, if they have limiting beliefs that are holding them back; to affect their emotions. For example, if they come in with fears or phobias, or anger issues, emotional stuff, then we can affect that using hypnosis.

Let’s see here. Habits, that’s the other big thing. Because all this stuff, emotions, habits, and beliefs, they’re stored in the subconscious mind. And in this deep level of hypnosis, especially somnambulism, we can have a rapid and profound effect on their beliefs, on their habits, and on their emotions. Beliefs, habits, and emotions constitute the vast majority of what the consulting hypnotist, or hypnotherapist, does in their daily work.

So, there it is. That’s what I want you to think about when you think about hypnosis. If someone says, ‘What is hypnosis really?’ And you can just say, ‘Hypnosis is a heightened state of suggestibility.’ Human beings in the natural, normal, waking state are suggestible; but only so much, in the state of hypnosis, the varying degrees, depending on how deep they are in hypnosis, and particularly when we get into these profound levels of hypnosis, somnambulism, we can affect their beliefs, their habits, and emotions, which causes rapid change in people’s lives.

All right, so, I’ve got some more stuff to talk about that. Please leave a comment down below if you want to add to that, if you want to disagree with that, it’s all good. I’m going to skip ahead here because as I’m going through this list and I’m talking, I’m thinking about what makes the most sense to go over right now. Let me just go through this as quickly as I can.

When we do hypnosis with a client, we don’t just say, ‘Hi, how are you doing? Sit in the chair,’ and hypnotize them. If you know Cal Banyan and what I teach, I talk about systems, and I talk about doing things in a procedural kind of way. And so, one of the first things we’re going to do is, we need to prepare them for hypnosis. We need to prepare them so that we can instantly, or rapidly take them into that deep level of hypnosis. So we need to do what’s called a pre-talk.

Clients need to receive a pre-talk. A pre-talk consists of information provided to this potential client, to increase an individual’s ability to become hypnotized, generally consisting of information aimed at removing misconceptions they have about hypnosis that would cause them to be fearful of going into hypnosis. Most of our grads, when they go through our course, they pick up my pre-talk video where I spend about 20 minutes talking about some of the misconceptions about hypnosis, and I talk about how hypnosis is a normal state of mind, and that is a safe situation to be in, and that nobody has really been harmed by just going into hypnosis. So it’s safe and it’s natural. And so that’s what you want to do with the individual. After that, what you want to do is the pre-hypnosis interview. What is a pre-hypnosis interview? So we’ve talked about what is hypnosis, what is suggestibility, now we’ve talked about the pre-talk, and now I want to talk about what is the pre-hypnosis interview.

It is the discussion that transpires between the hypnosis client and the hypnotist, in which the hypnotist learns about the history of the client’s problem, including, the nature of the problem, when the client believes the problem began, what the client has done to address the issue in the past, and any important information about what’s going on now, current circumstances, and any future related events that would have an effect on what you’re doing. So you’re finding out what they want to change, what they want to work on, the history of the problem, what’s going on now, and what’s going on in the future, with regard to the problem. And when that’s done, you check to see if it’s done by asking the questions, ‘Would you like to do hypnosis with me now?’ If they appear to be nervous or concerned, then that means that the pre-talk and the pre-hypnosis interview is not done. You need to talk some more. You need to overcome any fears or misconceptions that the individual may have. So you talk some more. You ask them, ‘I feel like you still might be concerned about something. What is that?’ You cover that and then you ask again, ‘Would you like to do hypnosis with me now?’ When and only when they are perfectly comfortable with the idea of doing hypnosis with you, at that time, do you move on to doing the hypnosis session.

Typically, I’ll get permission to touch because I’m going to use techniques such as, touching on the forehead, touching on the hand, the arm, the shoulder, and so on. But then I will do the hypnotic induction. What is a hypnotic induction? I’ve got it written down right here; a technique or process that makes an individual more suggestible than the normal state of consciousness. It is usually a formal script, spoken by the hypnotist.

In our center, and in our training, we teach rapid and instant inductions. The longest induction that I teach takes about four minutes, and it is designed to take someone from normal, waking suggestibility, into a deep state of hypnosis, in four minutes. It has the built-in test for somnambulism. It’s a modernized version of the Dave Elman induction. If you don’t know this induction, please go to and on there, I’ll send you a link to a video and other material that will teach you how to do that induction. If you’re doing a long, progressive relaxation induction, or some other kind of hokey induction, then you want to get away from that. You want to go to an induction that is rapid, and efficient, and effective at taking people into the deep levels of somnambulism.

Also, when you’re ready, learn the Eght-word induction. Do instantaneous induction, or learn The Time-Tunneling™ induction. Let’s quit spending 5 to 20 minutes just inducing hypnosis. It’s a waste of time. Here’s one “Banyanism”, all things being equal, the shorter the induction, the more reliable it is, by virtue of the fact that the shorter the induction, simply, there’s less time for things to go wrong, such as the client falling asleep, or some kind of distractive noise outside. I’m coming to the end of this podcast. In the next podcast I’m going to talk about, how do you know if someone is hypnotized? What does deepening really mean? What are convincers, should you use them? What exactly is hypnotic suggestion, or direct suggestion? What is compounding a suggestion? And more, important, good stuff I’ll be going through, just for you.

So, that’s it, another all Cal episode. By the way, I hope to see you in class. If you’ve not yet become 5-PATH® certified, you definitely want to come to our upcoming classes. Now, if you want to come and be trained by me in Tustin, California, we’ve got a class coming up October 14th. There’s still time if you enroll now, to save $150, early registration, and if you want to take the class in January, we have the January class coming up. Enroll now and save $300. And we have one next year in October, October 14th. We also have our Week of Power class coming up on May 4th. That is for you who are already certified, you already feel confident, and confident as a hypnotist. It’s a certain version of the course. We don’t spend nearly as much time on the basics. We just get right into 5-PATH®, 7th Path™, and such advanced concepts as those.

By the way, we’ve got to recognize that I’m recording this video today. It’s going to be out in a week or two, and then it’s going to exist on the internet forever. I realize that you might be watching this video in 2014, or 2024, or 2034, and if I’m still training, then you can always learn. In case, I’m 95-years old in 2034, or whatever, you can always go to My schedule is always up to date there. And if you can’t get to our center, we have an Online version live, online, interactive, be part of the class from the comfort of your home or office. And if you can’t do that, we also have people who are trained, certified to teach our course, in places like Canada, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Asia, across the United States, so there’s just no good reason not to become one of the best of the best, a hypno-one-percenter, a 5-PATHer. All right. That’s it, enough jibber-jabber from Cal. This is Cal Banyan, signing off.

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