A question about learning hypnosis from videos and audiotapes. The answer also includes comments about using the information and building proficiency.

Answered by Calvin D. Banyan, MA, CI, BCH


I am currently enjoying the benefits of your 7th Path self-hypnosis method. I have a couple of quick questions for you about studying hypnosis using videos (or audiotapes): 1) What are your suggestions for learning the most from videotapes , in other words, how many times do you watch them, etc? and 2) How did you make the information a part of you?

Robert J
Hypnotist, NY


Its good to hear from you, Robert. When I met you at my office and began teaching you the 7th Path, I could see that you have a passion for this and are a quick learner. I will do my best to answer your questions.

As in anything, the first step is that you watch your self-talk so that you can optimize your mind for learning. Watch out for any limiting statements that you may be saying to yourself. For example, "This is too complicated" or "I'll never be able to do this like ____ does it."

Remember to reject any negative thinking about your ability to completely use and learn the material. Use the Recognitions from 7th Path to reject negative thoughts, or edit your thoughts, and make them more conducive to learning. Example, "I'll just break this down into steps, and learn each one" or "Its just a matter of practicing, and I can get it."

Next, I recommend that you outline all of the important procedures. For example, a simple outline of an age regression might go like this:

  1. Induce hypnosis, deepen, test for somnambulism.
  2. Bring up the affect associated with the problem.
  3. Suggest that the feeling is associated with every time that the client felt that way.
  4. Count back 5 to 1, suggesting that the client return to an earlier time s/he felt that way.
  5. In the regressed state, have the client check to see if the feeling is new or familiar.
  6. If familiar, continue to regress.
  7. If new, revivify the experience.
  8. Use Informed Child Technique.

Outlining a technique or procedure helps to internalize the process, and gives you an outline to work from during the subsequent sessions where you intend to use the new techniques. It also gives you some latitude to use words that are more comfortable for you to use.

When there is specific wording to be used, just write it down and you can use it during the session. This is called "patter" or a "script." Almost all hypnotists use them, especially when they are learning a new technique or procedure. Patter/scripts may be just a line or two, a paragraph, or even several pages in length.

For example, here is a little bit of patter that I use when uncovering whether a feeling is new. I will say to the client who is in hypnosis, "take your attention to that feeling inside you--I'm going to ask you a question about it. Is it familiar like, oh boy--here we go again... Or, is it new, like what the heck is going on here?"

If you wanted to use that wording exactly as written, you could insert it in your outline.

When you decide to use something word for word, you need to practice it by saying it out loud, just as you plan to use them in your sessions. "Perfect practice makes perfect." Practicing saying something silently is not the same as saying it out loud.

The only way you can get good at reading patter in your session is by practicing reading it out loud. I stress this in my classes. When I am teaching instant and rapid inductions (for example), I notice that the students who really go home and practice them out loud do much better than the ones who only read the scripts over and over silently to themselves.

Now go for it!
Calvin Banyan