This is the first book in a popular eBook series on hypnosis. The series is written by an anonymous hypnotist and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner from London. As the first book, it addresses the basics of hypnotic induction, including background about what a hypnotic trance is and how it’s achieved, as well as fundamentals of voice and word choice that can influence the hypnotist’s effectiveness. The book also introduces “convincers” and “deepeners,” practices that help get the subject in the right state of mind for hypnosis and which take them deeper into trance, respectively. [Though, the author argues that the former aren’t really necessary.]
This short book consists of 29 chapters and 5 appendices. The “chapters” are as short as a single paragraph and lay out the concepts, and the appendices are scripts for hypnotic induction or trance deepening. This is a short book, and some have complained that it reads more like a detailed outline than a book. While it’s true that it’s a “just the facts” kind of format, many will find that preferable, depending upon how one likes to take in information. As long as you’re not expecting a lot of narrative examples, you may find it’s just what you are seeking. It’s written in a conversational style as if the author were telling one the information in person.
Given the controversial title, a reasonable question to ask is whether the book is practical or a lot of pie-in-the-sky ramblings by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about. What’s the controversy? While there are many hypnotists and would-be hypnotists who claim that they can induce a hypnotic trance in anyone, regardless of the individual or the situation, the science suggests that there is continuum of degrees of hypnotizability. The distribution along this continuum follows a bell curve. What’s this mean? Almost everyone can be hypnotized to some degree, but at one tail there are people who are extremely suggestible – however, at the other end there are people who just can’t be induced. Because there are so many Hollywood misconceptions (see: “Now You See Me”) and hypnosis related fantasy and fiction, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of wrong ideas out there. [I should point out that everyone probably achieves a trance state at some point organically, but some people seem unable to be induced into that state because of anxiety, resistance, or otherwise.] Having said all that, it seemed that the author knew of what he wrote and was quite open about the myths, misconceptions, and limitations.
Later titles in this series address such topics as the details of language for hypnosis, escaping cultural hypnosis, applications for anxiety reduction, uses for combating addiction, as well as the more bizarre and arcane side of the subject.
I’d recommend this book for anyone looking for a primer on hypnosis. I was not bothered by the sparse approach. It’s quick and readable, and seemed to offer well reasoned approach to hypnotism.