Viva la Trance

There are so many questions, myths and misconceptions about the state of “trance” in the context of hypnotherapy that I just couldn’t resist writing a piece specifically about it.

I must say at the outset, it’s something you really must try, at least once. Everyone I assist into trance seems to especially enjoy the overall experience and its sensations.  Most say it gets better the more they do it.  Many even learn to do it on their own, which will make perfect sense once you’ve read this article.

Trance, in the context of hypnotherapy is actually just a therapeutic technique. A ticket to the therapeutic dance, if you will.  Once you are in trance, it’s the work we conduct that’s life-changingly  powerful.

That doesn’t however get you any closer to understanding it. So what is trance and what’s it really like?



Interestingly, even the dictionary definitions of the term trance vary.

The Urban Dictionary defines it as “a half-conscious state characterized by an absence of response to external stimuli, typically as induced by hypnosis or entered by a medium.”

Collins Dictionary defines it as “…a state of mind in which someone seems to be asleep and to have no conscious control over their thoughts or actions, but in which they can see and hear things and respond to commands given by other people.”

Wikipedia’s slant on it is “…an abnormal state …in which a person is not self-aware and is either altogether unresponsive to external stimuli but is nevertheless capable of pursuing and realizing an aim, or is selectively responsive in following the directions of the person who has induced the trance. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden.”
No closer to a firm understanding? I don’t blame you. 
In my humble opinion, none of these are  100% correct.  As you read this article, you’ll recognise the inconsistencies, even the inaccuracies in the dictionary definitions.
So why are there inconsistencies? It’s partly because there are so many ways to achieve it and because as individuals, we all experience it differently, both generally and “in the moment”.
Allow me to take a crack at it, as someone who works with it for a living.
I’ll deliberately limit my discussion on trance to the clinical practice of hypnotherapy rather than other forms of hypnosis you might have seen such as stage hypnosis.  For further reading on hypnotherapy in the broader context of hypnosis, check out my web pages aimed at helping you understand hypnotherapy.

Firstly, some context on the relationship between trance and hypnosis.

Hypnosis is defined as the means of guiding someone into an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by deeply focused and directed unconscious concentration and a heightened susceptibility to suggestion.

In essence, hypnosis is a way; note I do not say “the way”; of entering the trance state.    I offer lots of reading on my website about “hypnosis” if you want to explore that concept.

There’s nothing magical or indeed unusual about going into trance. In fact, trance state is something that each of us experiences quite naturally every day. We often just don’t recognise it as such.

Examples include moments of daydreaming as we stand under the shower; dancing to a rhythmic, repetitive piece of music and becoming lost in the beat; being lost in thought as we do something particularly routine such as shaving or mowing the lawn.  Have you ever driven home from work and realised “Wow, I don’t really remember the last few minutes of driving. I must have been on autopilot?”

More likely than not, in each of these circumstances (and there are many others), you’re in an automatically or naturally achieved trance state. In case you’re wondering; yes, you can be in a trance state with your eyes open or closed.

So why is that especially relevant?  It in fact reveals one of the most significant realisations for a newcomer to clinical hypnotherapy.

You unconsciously already know how to go into trance and are probably well practiced at doing so.  Of course, you already know how to get yourself out of trance too.  You’re in the driver’s seat, just as you are in the previous examples.

Absorb that thought.  When I guide you into trance, you actually take yourself there; I simply facilitate it.  That puts an entirely different complexion on the experience, doesn’t it?

The term “hypnotised”, applied in this context, means simply that I have artificially induced you, in fact guided you, to enter one of your own natural states.  Interestingly, there are lots of variations as to how you might achieve trance. With my preferred approach, there’s no right way or wrong way to do it, and I can accommodate practically any way you prefer.

This also means that there is almost no such thing as someone who can’t be hypnotised.  What can be the case however, is that a person decides, consciously or subconsciously, to actively resist induction into trance.

That’s actually pretty rare and it demonstrates the extent to which you are really in control after all.

You’re no doubt wondering how it “feels”.  Almost universally, my clients return from their first trace state with a warm smile and comments such as “that was soooo nice”; “so relaxing”; “different than I expected, in a good way”. They typically become better and better at achieving trance quickly in subsequent sessions and say they really look forward to doing it again.

Contrary to some definitions, you are in fact able to respond both physically and verbally to external stimuli including questions.  You can also be quite aware of what’s happening, if that’s how you choose be to.

The state of trance, managed correctly, is really just a state of highly focused attention.

I can imagine that might take an enormous weight off your mind as you realise it’s quite normal, that you are in charge and that it feels quite pleasant.

So why do you need me at all?

The finesse in hypnotherapy is not just about assisting a client safely and comfortably into trance. It’s what we work on together once you’re there and how we do it that are really important from the perspective of getting results.

In my clinic, I gently and safely assist my clients into trance state. They typically don’t speak unless I ask them to.  I generally only do so to check in and see how they’re feeling.

Once in trance, they’re more readily receptive and suggestible and thus can be more easily influenced and treated.  There’s lots of clinical evidence to show that messages received in that highly receptive state have far deeper and more lasting effect.


So there you have it.  Trance is natural, safe and enjoyable.  It’s an amazing key, capable of unlocking your hidden potentials, creating positive change, and accessing resources you might have consciously forgotten you have.

The only way you’ll know how it is for you, however, is to try it.  I wonder how long it will be before you decide to do just that?


Thank you for readng.  If you like my blog, I’d love it if you’d subscribe, and visit my Google site and rate and like my page here http://Targeted Hypnotherapy Review Link

To explore hypnotherapy and the services I provide, you might enjoy exploring my website.

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Warm regards, Paul

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