How to Play Tricks Using Hypnosis Techniques

Three Methods:Using Analytical TechniquesPresenting Suggestion TechniquesExploring with Cognitive Techniques

Hypnosis, clinically referred to sometimes as hypnotherapy and/or hypnotic suggestion, is when one party places the subject into a trance-like state--usually resulting in increased focus and concentration. Being able to hypnotize people can see a number of practical experiments accomplished, but these techniques are also used for therapeutic effects. As with any situation where you are dealing with human subjects or potential medical issues, you should consult a physician before proceeding.[1][2]

Method 1
Using Analytical Techniques

  1. 1
    Use a relaxation technique. There are a number of ways to start off a session of analytical therapy (also known as imagination therapy), but getting the subject into a receptive state is essential.[3][4]
    • Try having them lay on a comfortable couch/sofa and close their eyes. They are not to go to sleep at any point.
    • Use a soft, relaxing tone at all times when speaking to the subject.
    • You can attempt to have them count down slowly from 100.
    • For more tense patients, you can have them intentionally and systematically tense, hold, and then release each of their muscles.
    • Controlled breathing also can work. The subject places their hands on their chest and belly--sometimes the hypnotist can do this part--while the subject breathes slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  2. 2
    Target the visuals you want to use. Once your subject is in a receptive state, you need to narrow the sets of imagery you focus on.[5]
    • You can try some interesting experiments as long as you are careful. Select positive images like a holiday party, a graduation, a wedding, or a combination of multiple images in sequence to draw a correspondingly positive response out of the subject.
    • If they need to relax, you may help them "construct" the images out of features the subject associates with positive emotions and memories.
    • If you are helping a case of trauma, you may have them search for pleasant images to supplant horrific ones.
  3. 3
    Choose how you want these visuals expressed. There is a great deal of flexibility here, so this needs to be tailored to your subject's needs and perhaps discussed before the session.[6]
    • With so much range, you can make the mode of expression part of the experiment. Maybe having your subject drive their images around in a vehicle, or make a movie of their happiest memories would be something you can attempt. Perhaps having the subject going on an adventure within their own images could be quite an experience to try.
    • Find a creative way to discard negative images in a symbolic way that allows the positive images to remain in place.
    • Consider something literal like tossing the bad images in a trash can or projecting them on a screen so there is room in the mind for the pleasant imagery.
  4. 4
    Talk your subject through the process. Your subject is in a receptive state, but not asleep. You are guiding them.
    • Steer the subject's images in a positive direction, but observe their responses carefully in case they are resisting.
    • Maintain the calm steady tone of voice throughout the session.
    • Suggest imagery that mixes positively with their existing responses.
    • Be prepared to bring them out of the hypnotic state in the case of an adverse physical reaction.
  5. 5
    Use multiple sessions. For experimental situations, you may take some time to find what techniques and images work best with the subject. And neither hypnotist nor subject should expect an instant cure, especially in trauma cases or when dealing with prolonged pain suffering.[7]
    • Establish from the outset that the hypnotic technique can take many sessions.
    • Schedule a regular time/interval for the sessions.
    • Both parties should bring up issues if they feel the sessions are not working as they expect.

Method 2
Presenting Suggestion Techniques

  1. 1
    Plant a suggestion in the subject's mind. This is a more direct approach than the imagery method.[8]
    • This can actually involve a suggestion to use your imagination, but suggestions, if successful, should seem to take less effort.
    • This method can result in more specific changes to behavior and/or perceptions than other techniques.
    • More careful instruction on the part of the hypnotist will be required.
  2. 2
    Speak the instruction after hypnotic induction. After the subject is in the hypnotic state, they are receptive to suggestions and the hypnotist can pass along the instruction or condition.[9]
    • The instruction needs to be specific, but simple.
    • Create a cue, such as the opening of eyes or ringing of a bell, to start and end the instruction's effect.
    • Do not deviate from your calm, steady voice during the conditioning.
    • Bring the subject out of the period of suggestion with the cue you created.
  3. 3
    Target a particular behavior and/or sensation. If you are experimenting, it's best to try one suggestion at a time. If your subject choose a specific behavior they want elicited or stopped, modify your instructions accordingly.[10]
    • In the experimental setting, the hypnotist can try some practical suggestions as long as they are careful they will do no harm. The hypnotist can try suggesting the subject perform an action like take a drink, eat, write. The hypnotist could try having them respond to a command or stimulus such as doing one action when you play a musical note. The hypnotist can suggest something more complex--perhaps having them respond with a specific phrase when you give a command phrase.
    • Stopping habits like smoking, nail-biting, and the like is a common use for this technique.
    • This technique can also create behaviors and images like seeing lost friends, memory effects, and pain displacement.
  4. 4
    Plan regular sessions. While this technique is not as drawn out as the imagery method, multiple sessions can still be useful for testing variations of the experimental version's effectiveness. Extended therapy sessions can also be beneficial.
    • Maintain communication between hypnotist and subject to determine if the therapy is improving behavior and/or lifestyle.
    • Make sure there isn't a more serious medical problem if prolonged sessions are not having an effect.
  5. 5
    Consider other techniques. If suggestion therapy isn't working, then the subject may need encouragement to pursue other methods.
    • Examine the other hypnotic tricks/approaches like image and cognitive therapy for their potential benefits.
    • Discuss with the subject if they are willing to try these other methods.
    • If significantly more pronounced mental illness is presenting itself, then a mental health professional should be consulted for further examination.

Method 3
Exploring with Cognitive Techniques

  1. 1
    Prepare your subject for a deeper relaxation. Because the cognitive therapy trick is usually tasked with exploring the unconscious memory centers of the mind, and potentially removing unwanted memories/thoughts, this tends to require a deeper trance-like state.
    • In addition to the techniques to put the subject into the relaxed state, eliminating all potential noise pollution may be a good idea.
    • Take extra precautions that the session will not be disturbed externally.
  2. 2
    Discuss the sessions goals thoroughly. For experimental sessions, make sure your subject is okay with you probing around their subconscious. For therapeutic sessions, it is possible the subject may not know specifically what thought or memory they want or need to have removed, but clear up as much as possible.[11]
    • In experimental sessions, it will be up to the hypnotist if they want to go in with foreknowledge of the subject's background or enter in blind--and not risk preconceptions as this is entirely exploratory for both parties.
    • Whether dealing with a traumatic memory or source of pain, getting context information may help when searching for the memory during the session.
    • Be as reasonably accommodating as you can to make the subject comfortable in communicating these preliminary details to you.
  3. 3
    Talk the subject through their memories. During the session, the hypnotist will be having a discussion with the subject's thoughts.[12]
    • The trance-like state bypasses the conscious mind, so the hypnotist is directly talking to the subconscious.
    • This allows the subject to talk about things they may not normally disclose to another person.
    • As a person is still aware during a hypnosis session, they will remember they are disclosing this memory to the hypnotist.
    • In a experimental session, the hypnotist could try a few techniques on the subject's memories. The hypnotist could start with something basic such as childhood or more recent--perhaps at a job and talk the subject through their emotional state during those experience.
    • During the experimental session, the hypnotist will listen to the subject's associations with these memories and can bridge from memory to memory and form a picture of sorts of how the subject's mind is working at the subconscious level.
    • Other experimental techniques could include having the subject revisit old memories to discover new things they had not realized themselves about the event.
    • In a therapeutic session--the hypnotist should lead the discussion to find the source of the unwanted memory, ask questions to drive the patient in that direction, and calmly ascertain the reason the memory is causing the subject trauma and/or pain.
    • In the therapeutic session, when the hypnotist brings the patient out of the trance, ideally, the patient will be able to now consciously confront and/or overcome the problem memories.
  4. 4
    Know what to use cognitive hypnotherapy for. As this is a deep dive into the psyche of a subject, the benefits of this method are numerous, but should be carefully targeted as with the other techniques.[13]
    • In the experimental trick version of this technique, this can be a very intimate experience with accompanying risks and rewards. The subject may be exploring unknown areas of their own mind with the hypnotist as their guide. Both parties should establish that looking into the subject's unknown memories is acceptable, and in fact a desired outcome.
    • Among this therapy's uses are to alleviate long standing fears, anxiety, insomnia, depression, stress, grief (from personal loss), weight loss, bad habits, and even some physical ailments like skin conditions.
    • If you are attempting multiple experiments or addressing multiple traumatic problems, it may be advisable to just take on one or two per session.
    • If the subject's condition ever worsens significantly and/or becomes dangerous to the point of inflicting injury--seek emergency medical care immediately.
  5. 5
    Schedule regular sessions. As this technique can be less precise than the others, it may take several attempts to understand how to access your subject's memories for the cognitive trick and get used to the associations they typically make. For trauma situations, it can take time to first identify the problem memories in a subject and then deal with them.
    • For experimental situations, as this is exploratory, you and the subject should not feel required to stay on one particular theme or track of memories.
    • In trauma cases, if the sessions are sorting through particularly unpleasant memories/pain, consider longer intervals between sessions.
    • Discuss if a journal/record of some sort should be kept about what is covered in each session. This will help keep track of the various paths your experimental tricks might lead your subject. A journal, in trauma situations, will help so unrelated memories are not unnecessarily brought up again. Though keep in mind any memory may associate in unexpected ways.
    • As this technique requires a deeper trance, make sure the subject has ample time to rest before and after sessions.
  6. 6
    Review results of this technique. Make sure the subject is responding to this deep dive trick, or should be considering other approaches.
    • If the cognitive approach isn't working, the analytical or suggestion tricks may be more successful.
    • The subject's case, if too severe for any of these methods, may need referral to a more specialized psychiatrist or doctor.[14]


  • If you are the hypnotist, make sure your subject is comfortable and ideally had a good night's rest before the day the technique is administered.
  • Plan on multiple sessions for any technique/trick you use to enhance your ability to use it and for it's effect on the subject to improve.
  • Reduce sources of noise, interruption around your subject/session as much as possible. Check your schedule to make sure nothing will disturb either of you.


  • Never make a suggestion that could harm your subject and/or others.
  • If your subject experiences any unexpected health complications, seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • A subject will never lose consciousness, control, or willpower during hypnosis.[15]
  • If you are the subject, make sure your hypnotist is officially certified with a government sanctioned medical organization to perform the technique.[16]
  • Headache, drowsiness, anxiety, and/or memory confusion are risks with any hypnotic procedure.[17]

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Categories: Hypnosis