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A learning center for hypnosis and self hypnosis education. A resource for finding professional referrals for hypnosis treatment of medical and psychotherapeutic issues. A learning center for hypnosis and self hypnosis education. A resource for finding professional referrals for hypnosis treatment of medical and psychotherapeutic issues.
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What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis: Fact and Fiction
Is Hypnosis Dangerous?
Ideomotor Action
Semantic-Imagery Relaxation
Structuring Auto-Suggestions
Administrating Auto-Suggestions
Deepening the Hypnotic Trance
Testing the Hypnotic Trance
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Psychosomatic Disorders
Rules of the Mind
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The Power of Creative Imagination
How to Set Realistic Goals
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You Can Learn to Relax
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Module 16 -- Induction of Hypnosis 6

Mass or Group Hypnosis

Hypnotizing a large number of people at the same time is not difficult. The group can either be a selected group or an unselected group. In the first case, the subjects can be individuals that have submitted to a few tests of suggestibility (i.e., postural sway, hand clasping, etc.) and proven to be potentially good hypnotic subjects or they can be untested volunteers. As a rule, you will find that volunteers are more susceptible to hypnosis than are non-volunteers. In the second case, the entire audience is used, no testing or calling for volunteers is done.

In the case of the group selected on the bases of suggestibility tests, you can proceed in one of two ways. You can pick out a few subjects that you consider highly suggestible and hypnotize them individually before the rest of the group. Often you will find that other members of the group will also have gone to "sleep" or have become partially hypnotized. If this is the case, you can turn to them and finish hypnotizing them or deepen the trance. Tell each subject, including the ones you worked with individually: "You will remain as you are, deep asleep, until I tell you otherwise. You will not awaken until I tell you to." It is good practice to lightly touch each subject on the shoulder or arm as you address him. This will make your suggestions more emphatic and personal. Whether or not other members of the group go into a trance after you have hypnotized a few subjects individually, turn to them and say something like this: "Hypnotizing is a easy as that. Now, I want all of you to look at my eyes."

The other mode of proceeding is to hypnotize the group with out any individual demonstrations. You can start with a group of volunteers or the entire audience by demonstrating waking suggestions or even hypnosis with a few subjects picked from the group. Alternately, you can give the entire audience waking suggestions as explained in module 9. Most hypnotists will only give the hand-clasping test to the entire audience. Then ask those that had difficulty, or are unable to separate their hands, to come forward and act as subjects. If you are dealing with a group of volunteers, you can very effectively turn the hand-clasping test into a trance-inducing procedure. When the test is concluded you can go directly into suggestions of sleep.

Once you have exhausted the volunteers and the subjects selected by means of a test, you probably have not gotten all the good subjects in the audience. Some of the best subjects may still be in the audience. For this reason, when you are ready to hypnotize the selected group, tell the audience something like this: "Shortly I am going to ask those who have volunteered to perform an exercise in relaxation. You may try it also if you wish. I think you will find it very interesting. All you have to do is close your eyes and listen to what I tell you and do what I tell you. Now just close your eyes." Then turn to the volunteer group and say: "Those of you have volunteered look into my eyes."

Alternately, you can address the volunteers first and give them some preliminary instructions. Say to them: "In a moment we will do an exercise in relaxation. I think you will find it very interesting. All you need to do is look at my eyes and listen to what I tell you and do what I ask you to do. Now just close your eyes." At this point turn to the audience and add: "Those of you that are watching may like to try this also. You will find it a very pleasant and interesting experience. Just close your eyes and listen to what I say. Don't worry, you will not miss anything. All right now, close your eyes and just listen." Now, turn to the subjects and proceed to induce hypnosis.

When you have finished the induction, add the following instructions: "Some of you in the audience are now sound asleep. You will remain sleeping and will not wake up until I tell you to do so. In a few moments I will have someone next to you bring you to me. You will remain deeply asleep and follow him to me. The rest of you in the audience may now open your eyes. Please look around you, if you see anyone sleeping, please bring him to me. Just take hold of his arm and help him gently out of the chair and guide him to me." You should always make it a point to come forward to meet the subject.

Other than outlined above, the induction of hypnosis in a group is virtually the same as inducing hypnosis in single individuals. One method that can be used with hardly any alterations is the first method described in module 10 (A Simple Induction).

We will now give a few samples of mass hypnosis. The following instructions assume that the audience is being address. Except for the last part of the following, the instructions are equally applicable to groups of volunteers assembled on a stage or anywhere in the room. When dealing with volunteers, there may be occasions when they are not all seated. If possible try to have as many chairs as you estimate you will have volunteers. However, never turn down volunteers for a lack of chairs. There is no reason why some subject cannot be kept standing. You can arrange the extra subjects in rows behind or in line with the chairs. You can then start giving your suggestions, making a few appropriate changes where needed. For example, you might say something like this: "...Those of you who are standing relax as much as possible, but hold yourself straight, hands by your sides." When the time comes to instruct the subjects to clasp their hands, specify that the standing subjects keep their clasped hands in front of them, and the sitting subjects hold them in their laps.

After making some introductory remarks to the audience, say something like the following:

I would now like to invite you to participate in an interesting experiment. Please place both of your feet flat on the floor. If you have any rings on your fingers, please remove them and place then in your pocket or handbag. Now clasp your hands together as I am doing and keep them in your lap. Breath deeply, just as I am doing. Continue breathing deeply and only listen to my voice.

As you continue breathing deeply imagine that every muscle in your body is relaxing, just turn them lose, just like a hand full of loose rubber bands. Allow a wonderful feeling of relaxation to flow into every muscle of your body. Feel your entire body relaxing. Your entire body is relaxing more and more with each easy breath you take. Now let your eyelids close and continue breathing deeply and easily. You arms and hands are beginning to feel heavy, your legs are growing heavy. Your entire body is growing heavy, heavier and heavier. You are becoming pleasantly drowsy, sleepy...Just listen to my voice. Think of nothing but what I tell you.

As you continue to relax more and more and become more and more sleepy you will find that your hands are becoming stuck together. In a few moments you will find that your hands are so tightly stuck together that you will not be able to take them apart until I tell you that you can. But for now just continue listing to my voice. Your hands are heavy, very heavy. Your arms are heavy, very heavy. Your legs and feet are very heavy. Your entire body is very heavy, so very heavy. You are drowsy, so very drowsy, so sleepy. Just allow yourself to drift into a deep pleasant sleep.

Feel yourself drifting down into a very pleasant, restful sleep. You can hear everything I say and will continue to listen to me. Nothing will disturb you. You are only aware of my voice. You feel comfortable and are going into a deep sleep. Now as I continue to speak to you, you will find that your hands are stuck together. They are so completely stuck together that you cannot separate them. The more you try, the more tightly they stick together. You will remain asleep with your eyelids closed and as I count your hands will become more tightly stuck together. One...They are sticking tighter together. Two...they are stuck tight. Three...tighter. Four...tighter and tighter. Five...They are stuck tight, you cannot take them apart, the more you try, the tighter they stick together...Now stop trying and relax.

Now you can take your hands apart, but now your eyelids are sticking together, sticking more and more tightly closed. No matter how hard you try, you cannot open your eyes, they are stuck closed...All right now, stop trying and relax. You are going deep asleep, deep asleep. Drifting down deeper and deeper asleep.

You might then suggest that they raise their right arms above their heads and make a tight fist. Follow this with suggestions that their arms are stiff and they cannot bend them until you tell them they can. This has the triple purpose of testing suggestibility, deepening the trance and allowing you to get an idea of whom in the audience has responded to your suggestions.

At this point, you can do one of three things. Have members of the audience guide these subjects to you as described before. If practical, go to each subject and give him a few additional suggestions to deepen his trance and escort him to the place where you will give the rest of the demonstration. Or, you can instruct the subjects that they will in the future become instantaneously hypnotized when you command them to sleep; wake them up and ask them to come forward as subjects. You can then quickly hypnotize them as a group or individually.

An effective variation of this procedure is as follows. Either the entire audience or a group of volunteers are instructed to clasp their hands. Have them look at some fixation object or your eyes. If feasible, have the lights dimmed. Now ask them to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Then tell them you are going to count and as you do, they should pay close attention to the counts and what you say. Tell them not to think about anything but what you tell them. Then count something like this:

One... As I count you will feel yourself relaxing and soon you will fall asleep.

Two... You will find this an interesting and very pleasant experience.

Three...A s you continue to relax more and more; a feeling of heaviness will come over you.

Four... You feel yourself getting drowsy, so sleepy.

Five... As you continue to relax and feel more and more sleepy; your hands are becoming stuck together.

Six... You hands are sticking tighter together.

Seven... Tighter.

Eight... Tighter and Tighter.

Nine... Your hands are stuck together, you cannot separate them, try!

Ten... Stop trying and go deeper asleep.

Eleven... If your eyelids are not closed, please close them.

Twelve... Let yourself go deeper and deeper asleep.

Thirteen... You are deep asleep.

Fourteen...I may awaken some of you shortly; if I do, you will go right back to sleep as soon as I tell you to.

Fifteen...Sleep deeply...Soundly. You will not awaken until I tell you. Just stay as you are until I speak to you again.

At this time, as explained before, instruct the nonhypnotized members of the audience regarding those that have entered a trance. Then, as soon as feasible, dismiss the subjects that are obviously not hypnotized. Watch for subjects that are lightly hypnotized and may tend to awaken. If you observe a subject awakening, you can usually re-induce the trance by giving him a few suggestions of sleep. It is good practice to give individual attention to each subject that is hypnotized by touching him on the shoulder or the arm. As you do you should deepen his trance and restate that he will not awaken until you tell him to. Also tell him that if he should awaken for any other reason, he will immediately go back to sleep at your command.

As a rule, this method will quickly hypnotize a large group of people. However, with the exception of a few, most of the subjects will be in a light to medium state of hypnosis. A good way to deepen the trance would be to apply a variation of the fractionation method (see Module 9) by awaking the subjects, all at once or only a few at a time, under some pretext, and then re-hypnotizing them. You do not have to have all the subjects participate at the same time. However, it is a good idea to suggest to those remaining inactive, that their trance will deepen while they wait and that they will not pay any attention to what you say until you address them or give them some signal such as touching them on the shoulder. In general, you will get the best results with mass hypnosis by working quickly but smoothly and keeping your subjects performing most of the time.

The fractionation method can be used very effectively when performing group hypnosis. Tell the subjects that appear sufficiently hypnotized that you are going to awaken them and have them return to their chairs, but once they are seated, they will feel sleepy. Also tell them that as they watch you, they will get sleeper as time passes, their eyelids will get progressively heaver, so heavy that they will close and they will drift deeply asleep; and not awaken until you tell them to. Then awaken them, and have them return to their chairs. While working with those subjects who went into satisfactory trances, keep an eye on those given the above suggestions. Often after a short time you will notice one of these subjects nodding or showing difficulty keeping his eyes open. When this occurs, point your finger at him in a rapid, sudden motion, and say in a commanding voice, "SLEEP!" This will often put him into a deep trance. In many cases these subjects will become hypnotized with out this step and you can attend to them later.

Mass hypnosis is useful when giving demonstrations and increasing the susceptibility of prospective subjects or patients. It can act as a form of psychotherapy. Mass suggestion is probably at the bottom of mass cures that have been reported to occur in temples, churches, and holy sites since ancient times. Mesmer was one of the first physicians to make use of these techniques on a large scale. Bernheim used the technique to increase the susceptibility of his patients.

Continue to Module 17 - Induction of Hypnosis 6



The instructions presented are from the personal collections and writing library of Mr. Robert E. Cutter, who died December 13, 2001, while in the process of completing the transfer of his work to the internet. These are offered as educational instruction only. The purpose of this instruction is the effective learning and use of hypnotic techniques for vocational or avocational self-improvement. This instruction is not offered as a substitute for, nor as a supplement to, any form of therapy concerned with physical, mental, nervous or emotional illness. Robert E. Cutter served as web consultant for American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association for three years. His hypnosis education came through the training he provided at a school he owned in the 1950's in Los Angeles, California, along with his wife who preceded him in death in 1980. Robert Cutter was not a psychologist and did not practice psychotherapy, but his interest in hypnosis motivated him to provide free resources materials for others who wanted to learn to use the power of their minds to improve well being and health-related issues.
Michael A. Robinson, R.N.- BC Psychiatry
Licensed Texas State Nursing Board Registered Nurse
Texas State Nursing Board Certified in Psychiatry
In Honor and Memory of Robert E. Cutter, B.S. 1923-d.2001
From the Writings of Robert Cutter's Self Hypnosis Center
About Feelings Network
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