You might not believe this, but all conversations are a form of hypnosis. Human beings have always had the capacity to hypnotize other humans from birth.
For example, you can easily hypnotize a baby into sleep through conversation, and the movies we watch hypnotize us through conversations and the associated motion pictures. Basically, hypnotizing someone is willing someone into a trance.
A trance involves zoning out from reality, even for a moment.
For example, you are in a trance whenever you find yourself losing track of time if you walk into a room but then forget the reason why you are in that room, to begin with, or when you lose your train of thought in the middle of a conversation.
The truth is that every time you go inside your head instead of observing the things happening in your environment, you are in a trance. You are in a trance every time you talk to yourself or have a conversation with yourself (in your mind)
But before we look at some of the most common examples of conversational hypnosis.
Mind/ Brain Function in A Trance
When you are in a trance, you connect with your subconscious rather than the conscious mind. Being in a trance, just like dreaming, takes place on autopilot because it’s not controlled by your logical conscious mind, but by the unconscious/ subconscious mind.
Keep in mind that all the automatic body functions like swallowing, breathing, sleeping, or digesting food take place unconsciously, and you basically have no control over these actions.
You could, therefore, think of a trance as a heightened state of consciousness.
There are many conversational hypnosis techniques, as well as examples that are based on the Milton Model. These techniques and the examples are time-tested, and they have been fine-tuned to affect the lives of the individuals who use the techniques.
According to the Milton Model, the indirect suggestions that are embedded in the conversational hypnosis techniques are a lot more effective than the use of direct suggestions.
This model involves the use of a series of techniques to put an individual into a trance without the individual under hypnosis, knowing that they are being put into a trance.
The technique has to make the person being hypnotized feel that they are a part of a normal everyday conversation. The secret of this technique is, therefore, the Milton Model.
It should also be noted that the indirect suggestions that are used during conversational hypnosis are intended to be confusing or misleading, forcing the participants to think about the possible meaning of the suggestions, as well as the possibilities, and how those suggestions apply to them personally.
Examples of Conversational Hypnosis
Cause and Effect, Implied
The main type of conversational hypnosis is a cause and implied process. In this case, the therapist has to make a specific statement, which implies that one specific action causes something else.
Alternatively, the therapist could state that one specific thing is true, meaning that the next thing should also be true. Also, the statement put forth by the therapist might be untrue, hence bearing no direct links between one thing and the other.
For example, ‘Snapping a tape means choosing a different life,’ ‘Knowing that you could stop will give you the specific rights to change,’ or that ‘You no longer need to smoke because of all the people in your life who love and need you.’
To identify whether the statements are implied cause and effect statements, you need to ask if A leads to B or not.
This is the other form of conversational hypnosis suggested by the Milton Model.
Complex Equivalence, in the Milton Model, is where a suggestive statement is given where one thing is either the same as or even equivalent to another.
In this case, one thing doesn’t cause another, but it’s based on the implication that one thing turns out to be true, which means that the other thing should also be true.
Examples of Complex Equivalence include:
‘Since you have some control in your life, you have a choice over all the things you do.’ OR that ‘Seeing yourself on a bridge demonstrates the fact that you’ve made a specific decision.’
Basically, this example of conversation hypnosis means that you could identify complex equivalence through the substitution of ‘is the same as’ for the sentence’s linking verb, where the word ‘causes’ wouldn’t ordinarily fit.
Advantages of Conversational Hypnosis
Note that instead of direct suggestions such as the use of phrases like ‘You are now a non-smoker’ or that ‘You will now enter a trance,’ the Milton Model goes the other direction.
Since the hypnotic words aren’t specifically defined, it means that the hypnosis participants have to stop and consider the meaning of the words used during hypnosis.
By doing this, the participant is forced to search their subconscious to fill in the gaps and then decide how to apply all the words of their personal experiences. These processes are also called a transderivational search.
By allowing the subconscious mind to think of the possible meaning of an event, then it increases the likelihood of the participant finding possible meanings to events/ thoughts.
As this happens, the participant will find something in their past that fits their puzzle or a situation that is more effective. The Milton Model also uses suggestion which needs some work in terms of preparing the mind, but at the same time, avoiding resistance.
So, if you are struggling with low self-esteem but won’t accept any direct suggestions, then using an indirect suggestion might be an excellent way for you to overcome your low self-esteem.
For example, ‘You deserve to be respected, loved, and admired’ rather than ‘Do you know that many people admire you and respect you… and also love you for who you are.’
The Power of Imagination
One of the most powerful forms of conversational hypnosis is the power of imagination. It’s also the easiest way for you to hypnotize someone. All you have to do is to ask someone to ‘imagine.’
Conversational Hypnosis is more than a collection of skills, it represents a state of mind, it gives your words/ ideas more power and energy, and the processes rely on your thoughts, body language, words, and your tonality.