Self Hypnosis Technique




This is an eight step approach to self hypnosis. It is based upon a technique originally developed by Betty Erickson, the wife of Milton Erickson, widely regarded as the founding father of modern hypnotherapy.

Step 1 Position

Find a Comfortable Position - Get into a position that you will be able to hold for the whole time, without moving or fidgeting. It can be sitting or lying down, though sitting is recommended to prevent you from falling asleep. Put your feet flat on the floor with your hands resting gently on your thighs. Get yourself centered, just looking in front of you and breathing slowly and easily. Let yourself relax.

Step 2 The Reasons

Go over all of the reasons behind the changes you intend to make. You can speak them aloud if that helps. This helps you to focus your mind.

Step 3 Duration

Tell your self how long you want to spend under self hypnosis - "I am going into self hypnosis for 30 minutes ... " (or however long you want) You will be surprised to discover how well your "internal clock" can keep track of the time for you.

Step 4 Your Purpose

Tell yourself why you are using self hypnosis. In this process, we allow the unconscious mind to work on the issue rather than giving suggestions throughout, so what we say should reflect that. Try something like "I am going into hypnosis to allow my unconscious mind to help me to __________ ." Filling in the blank with what you want to achieve such as "reach my ideal weight."


Always use a positive statement, the unconscious does not understand negative. Apart from that, the actual words you use are not as important as the fact that what you say, acknowledges that you are going over this process in your unconscious mind.

Step 5 Your Final State

Make a final statement to yourself about the state that you want to be in when you come out of self hypnosis. Typically, you may have heard the idea that you should come back feeling "wide awake, alert and refreshed", but in the real world that may not be what you want.


For example, if you are doing your self hypnosis before bedtime, you may prefer to come out of it "relaxed and ready for sleep". If you're doing it before some project you may want to come out "motivated and full of energy". Simply say to yourself, "... and when I'm finished, I'm going to feel __________".

Step 6 The External Self Hypnosis

You are going to concentrate on three of your senses in turn. Sight, sound and touch.


Begin with sight


Looking in front of you, notice three things (one at a time) that you see. Go slowly, pausing for a moment on each. It is preferable that they be small things, such as a spot on the wall, a door knob, the corner of a picture frame, etc. Some people like to name the items as they look at them - "I see the hinge on the door frame". (If you don't know the name for the thing, try "I see that thing over there.").


Then sound


Now turn your attention to your hearing and notice, one by one, three things that you hear. (You will notice that this allows you to incorporate sounds that occur in the environment rather than being distracted by them.


Finally touch


Make yourself aware of what you are feeling. Notice three things that you can feel. Again, go slowly from one to the next. It's useful to use sensations that normally are outside of your awareness, such as the feeling of your shoes, the weight of your wrist watch, or the texture of your shirt.


Continue this using two sights, then two sounds and then two feelings.


In the same manner, continue (slowly) with one of each.


You have now completed the "external" portion of the hypnotic process. Now it's time to begin the "internal" part.

Step 7 The Internal Self Hypnosis

Close your eyes.


Bring an image into your mind. Don't work too hard at this. You can make an image or simply take what comes. It may be a point of light, it may be a beautiful beach, or it could be someone you know. If something comes to you just use it. If nothing comes, feel free to "put something there". Give it a name.


Pause and let a sound come into your awareness or generate one and name it. Although this is technically the internal part, if you should hear a sound outside or in the room with you, it's OK to use that. Remember that the idea is to incorporate things that you experience rather than being distracted by them.


Next, become aware of a feeling and name it. It's preferable to do this internally - use your imagination. (I feel the warmth of the summer sun on my arms) However, as with the auditory, if you actually have a physical sensation that gets your attention, use that.

Repeat the internal hypnotic process with two images, then two sounds, then two feelings.

Repeat the cycle once again using three images, three sounds, and three feelings.

Step 8 Completing Self Hypnosis

It is not unusual to "space out" or lose consciousness during the hypnotic process. At first some people think that they've fallen asleep.


But generally you will find yourself coming back automatically at the end of the allocated time. This is an indication that you weren't sleeping and that your unconscious mind was doing what you asked of it.




Most people don't get all the way through the hypnotic process. That's perfectly all right. If you should complete the process before the time has ended, just continue with 4 images, sounds, feelings, then 5 and so on. As for your goals, trust that your unconscious mind is working for you "in the background" while you're doing the process.