Post Hypnotic Suggestions - What are they and how do you use them?
- Chris Harrison
- 17th August 2011
Post Hypnotic Suggestions are probably best known for being used by Stage Hypnotists to make their victims do silly things after the hypnotist wakes them, such as cluck like a chicken or feel the overwhelming urge to visit the bathroom, but they are an important and in many ways completely necessary part of any hypnotists work.
What is a Post Hypnotic Suggestion?
A post hypnotic suggestion is simply any command issued by the hypnotist during a hypnosis session that the client is expected to perform after the session. This could be immediately upon waking (as is often used by stage hypnotists) or at some time later in relation to a specific stimulus - such as putting a cigarette in your mouth or hearing a particular word.
Self-Hypnosis recordings are packed with post-hypnotic suggestions.
Without post hypnotic suggestions a hypnotists could only train a client to remain a non-smoker while they were hypnotized!
It is usually assumed that the client will not remember the suggestion which makes it more effective, but even if the client does remember then they will usually perform the action unless it is against their values or puts them in danger.
How do I use Post Hypnotic Suggestions?
Post hypnotic suggestions come in many forms, but most follow very similar patterns providing a stimulus (time or event) along with an action to perform.
There are a few suggestions:
When you wake up you will feel relaxed and alert - Suggestion to generate a nice state in the client after the hypnosis session.
The next time you put a cigarette in your mouth, you will remember that horrible taste - Fairly straightforward statement commonly found in 'quit smoking' inductions.
The moment I click my fingers you will wake up wide awake and cluck like a chicken then wonder why you did it - well I had to get one stage hypnosis one in.
In a moment you're going to wake up, and at exactly one o'clock you will feel the urge to go to the bathroom - a mean if somewhat amusing suggestion.
Suggestions can be used at any point during a hypnotic session, even though many examples imply that they are used just before waking the client. Suggestions made earlier in the session may in fact be slightly more effective as the client is more likely to forget them.
The key is that the action must be linked to something that will happen to the client that they can respond to, such as waking up, hearing a song or some other stimulus.
One thing to be aware of when using post hypnotic suggestions is to not confuse the client by giving them multiple suggestions for the same stimulus as chances are the confusion will cause them to perform any of the suggestions.