Are You A Drill-Sergeant Hypnotist?

by Bob Walsh

There are two different kinds of language in hypnosis. One is directive, on is permissive.

Directive hypnosis is by far more common – and it’s what most people picture when they think about hypnosis.

The hypnotist is giving commands to the hypnotic subject. Things like: You feel sleepy, now. You feel tired. Fall asleep, now!

I personally call it the “military sergeant hypnosis”. It’s what you might have seen in the cartoons.

Now, if that’s directive hypnosis – what is permissive hypnosis then?

Permissive hypnosis is when there really aren’t direct commands, but rather the hypnotic subject is gently guided towards the desired outcome.

For example:
And I wonder, when and where exactly inside your body you can begin to feel the sensation of tiredness. I don’t know how tiredness feels for you… maybe it’s a pleasant warm feeling that slowly spreads through different parts of your body… maybe it’s something else…

As you can see, this is a much more “gentle” and “soft” hypnotic style.

Why would anyone use the “permissive” style? Well, first of all: with some people the directive hypnosis just doesn’t work. They will build up resistance and not follow your hypnotic suggestions.

Second – with permissive hypnosis, you can do “delayed installs”. That means that the command you give now can start to slowly unfold in the hypnotic subjects minds in the course of days, weeks or even months. Almost like a time bomb in the mind. And, if you do behavior change work, the changes that the hypnotic subject will do, are often on a much more generalized level than just one specific thing.

The big advantage in this “generalization” is that you really leave it up to the subjects subconscious mind to decide where to apply these changes to. This is important, because oftentimes the reason somebody wants to be hypnotized is not the “real” reason, or the “right” reason. Somebody might want to be hypnotized because they want to lose weight. So you could hypnotize them to eat less, or eat healther. But underneath that, the root cause might be a wrong self-image, a false perception of oneself. If you don’t fix that, the person might eat less and healthier, but the wrong self-image will still cause unwanted, destructive behaviors. If you use permissive hypnosis though, your hypnotic suggestions will almost “automatically” push the right buttons in the person – and you don’t even have to know what exactly they are.

I know this sounds kind of voodoo, and I surely simplified things here. But it’s important that you get the big idea first, before you go into the nitty-gritty.

Depending upon what you want to achieve, there are times when being a drill-sergeant hypnotist is right, and times when being a permissive hypnotist is right. Masterful hypnotists instinctively know when to go which route. But when you are starting out as a hypnotist, you don’t have that accurate sense of intuition yet, so you want to use a systematic approach to determining which way will work best. To learn more about it, just sign up for your free hypnosis education on this website.