Questions about using light producing devices to produce hypnosis and videotapes for providing an introduction to hypnosis.

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


Hello Mr. Banyan,

My name is John Denino, I am a certified Hypnotist and I'm hoping that you can answer a question for me?

The use of light and sound machines is becoming popular in our field. I am thinking about obtaining one of these machines to enhance the services I already provide. What is your impression of these machines? Can they help a hypnotist enhance his ability to service his clients? Can a hypnotist do just as well without the light and sound machine? I also would like to know how they work. Can you speak to your client while they arte using the machine, etc.?

On another note. I was looking through your site which is excellent and noticed that you mentioned that you have new clients view a video as part of their orientation or pre-hypnosis talk. Is this video available? Is there a universal video that can be purchased that will provide an orientation for my clients prior to their initial session. Is there a video available that can be played on "loop" in the lobby area that will help to inform and prepare the client for his session?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.



Hello John,

Thank you for your questions and for your kind comments about our web site. I’m glad that you have found it useful.

I have no direct experience with the use of light and sound machines. I have heard from hypnotists that I respect that they work. So, I am choosing to keep an open mind about them at the moment. But I choose not to use them myself. And here is why:

  1. They simply take too long. I use and train hypnotists in the use of instant and rapid hypnotic inductions, so waiting for a machine to work, is simply inefficient. A working hypnotist who sees 3 to 6 hypnosis clients a day will want to spend as much time actually doing the hypnosis as possible. Once a hypnotist has become trained in doing instant inductions he or she can induce a deep level of hypnosis (somnambulism) in 4 seconds and verified in about another 30 seconds. Using rapid inductions, such as the Elman-Banyan induction, the same thing can be accomplished in 2 to 4 minutes.

  2. Dependence on the device to do the hypnosis can be a problem. I am fond of telling my hypnosis students, that one of the wonderful things about our profession is that, “Everywhere I go I always have everything I need to do everything I do.” I don’t need to buy something at wholesale and sell it at retail. I don’t have to carry some kind of device around with me. I don’t have to worry about batteries or if I can find an electrical outlet. I am simply always ready to go.

  3. When you use these devices you lack the ability to measure depth of hypnosis and deepen if need be. I believe that it is much better for a hypnotist to use a modern hypnosis induction like the Elman-Banyan induction (see book, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy: Basic to Advanced Techniques for the Professional, Banyan and Kein). The Elman-Banyan induction contains a hidden test for somnambulism, the ideal state for doing hypnosis. Because this test is covert, you do not risk having the client fail a hypnotic test. Then you can provide other tests for your clients that you know they will pass, which will then be convincers for them, which will improve the success rate of any hypnosis session. Clients who believe that they were hypnotized have the best outcomes.

Who should use these devices? I believe that there may be a case for using these devices in “franchise hypnosis” offices. If you study successful franchises of any kind, and what it takes to really make a franchise successful you will find that the owner needs to be able to provide a product or service by way of the least trained and lowest paid employees. This results in the highest profits for the owner. Since such a device requires very little skill and training to use, it may be what they need to use in order to be profitable. Such franchise hypnosis businesses are starting to use them along with the tapes that they have been using for so many years. The level of quality and results in these offices are below that which result from a client working with a certified hypnotist who is competently trained.

On to your next question…

At the Banyan Hypnosis Center for Training & Services, Inc. we see use a video tape entitled, The Truth About Hypnosis. It is simply a video recording of me in our classroom, giving what we call a pre-talk. It is designed to inform our clients and remove fears and misconceptions that they may have about hypnosis. As I learned from Gerald F. Kein, many years ago, if we remove these fears and misconceptions then everyone of normal intelligence, who is willing to follow instructions can be hypnotized. So it is worth taking the time to address common fears and misconceptions. We have saved thousands of hours by simply showing this video to our clients before their first session. Also by using the video we are sure that we don’t leave anything important out of the talk. The pre-talk only needed to be done right once.

Then when the hypnotist begins the pre-hypnosis interview, he or she can simply ask clients if they have any questions about anything on the video, or if they have any other questions about hypnosis. The hypnotist only needs to address questions not covered in the videotape (or DVD).

In addition our clients seem to respond favorably to seeing a video. It seems very professional to them. My hypnosis students use my video in their practices after they graduate. It was designed to be used by any hypnotist in any office. Other hypnotists have purchased the tape from us and then recorded their own, using mine as a model.

Thanks for the question. I’m glad that I could help.

Calvin Banyan, MA