If someone asks you NOT to think about a big red bus, what happens?

You can’t STOP thinking about it.

That’s the power of words and the power of suggestion, even when they’re part of a simple conversation.

Conversational hypnosis refers to creating a hypnotic trance in a similar way, using ordinary words during what seems to be an ordinary everyday conversation.

It works by guiding the person into a receptive state where they can see things from a different perspective and make changes based on newly discovered options.

The process makes use of hypnotic and symbolic language such as metaphors, telling stories, hypnotic blitz, mind bending language and the non-awareness set.

It’s possible to use these techniques individually or to combine them, or to include them as part of the PCAT formula, for example.

Conversational hypnosis for therapy involves using all of these things to help clients overcome specific challenges in their lives. It is a particularly powerful way to help someone find solutions to problems and answers to questions.

It’s also ideal for helping anyone who feels stuck in a rut and unable to move forward, who may be dealing with unresolved trauma or other long-standing issues.

But what does conversational hypnosis for therapy involve?

Understanding Conversational Hypnosis In Therapy


Conversational hypnosis is the act of giving a client’s unconscious mind subtle directions to take a particular action during a conversation.

It’s a covert process, taking place during a seemingly casual conversation, so the other person is unaware that hypnosis is involved.

The process relies on your thoughts, words, tonality and body language working together in harmony. And because it is covert it should only ever be used in the person’s best interests as a force for good.

An example might be helping a friend or relative see a problem from a different perspective to help them overcome an issue.

When used in a therapeutic context, the goal is the same. However, since it is most likely someone you do not know, you need to establish some kind of connection.

Building Rapport & Establishing Trust

The most important thing to do in order to establish rapport and build trust is… to do very little.

In other words, don’t be pushy. Don’t try to solve the problem before you actually know what it is.

Most people need to vent and to get the weight off their shoulders. This can work to your advantage because it gives you the opportunity to really listen and discover as much about them as you can.

Find out:

  • Who they were before the trauma/problem
  • What happened to them
  • Who they are now
  • Who they would like to be

This step can take a long time but will pay dividends in helping establish trust and rapport, because most people don’t get the chance to offload and don’t feel as if their concerns are being listened to.

It also goes a long way towards creating a safe and supportive therapeutic environment where the client can relax and feel comfortable.

Once you’ve established rapport and built trust, then you’re ready to use conversational hypnosis as a powerful and almost limitless therapeutic tool.

The Potential Benefits Of Conversational Hypnosis In Therapy


There are three obvious areas where the technique can be of enormous benefit to your clients, namely:

1. Addressing unconscious patterns and beliefs

This is where you get to uncover any limiting beliefs and reframe them. Finding out what those beliefs are can be done using a series of basic questions as part of the Non-Awareness Set (NAS). The NAS has 4 elements, which are briefly explained below:

  • Orienting Question – bring their attention to something outside their awareness.
  • Echo Effect – echo their answers which helps to gradually move their attention away from their conscious mind and stimulate their unconscious.
  • Reframe – things are happening outside their awareness and you need to ask more questions to confirm exactly what those things are.
  • Deepening Question – this deepens the trance and shows them that they can tap into their unconscious mind.

2. Enhancing relaxation and reducing anxiety

The goal of any hypnotic induction or trance is to help the subject relax. Once they’re relaxed, any stress or anxiety they’ve been feeling should melt away. This can be accomplished initially by getting them to focus on their breathing, followed perhaps by some visualizations of quiet and peaceful places that resonate with them.

3. Facilitating behavior change

Once the subject is totally relaxed, that’s when you make use of suggestions and metaphors to help them make changes to their behaviors. There are lots of techniques that can be used to achieve this, including the PCAT Formula, the hypnotic blitz, Mind Bending Language (MBL) and Dynamic Mental Imagery (DMI).

You can find out more about using hypnotic symbolic language with conversational hypnosis to help facilitate change at the unconscious level by checking out this article:

Hypnotic Symbolic Language Application To Conversational Hypnosis

Examples Of Using Conversational Hypnosis In Therapy

One of the advantages of conversational hypnosis is that there is no formal induction in the usual sense. It takes place as part of a regular conversation to gently persuade the other person to make positive changes.

Quite simply, whatever issues you can treat with hypnosis, you can also treat with conversational hypnosis. Some of the therapeutic uses include:

  • Helping patients relax before and during medical procedures
  • Helping patients manage pain after operations
  • Helping patients relax who are unable to tolerate anesthesia
  • Helping patients remain calm during dental procedures
  • Helping clients break bad habits and adopt more helpful habits instead
  • Helping clients deal with past trauma
  • Helping clients solve problems and resolve deep-seated issues

It’s often the case that problems arise when people are stuck in a rut and can’t find a way forward. This is where the PCAT Formula really comes into its own.

This formula is specifically designed for solving problems and helping the subject dig out the resources they need to make the necessary changes.


Conversational hypnosis gives you the power to help someone make changes in their life in an informal way.

It encourages relaxation and reduces anxiety, helps get rid of limiting beliefs and promotes positive behavior changes, using suggestion, symbolic language and a variety of tried and trusted techniques.

The process has many potential benefits as a therapeutic tool and its usage is becoming more and more widespread.

The only caveat is to remember to use the technique in an ethical and responsible fashion, as a force for good and always with the best interests of the subject in mind.

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Source: Hypnosis Training Academy