Hypnosis Without Trance – Changework Case Study!

Hello Hypnosis Heads

On Sunday just gone I ran a small workshop teaching Changework applications for Hypnosis Without Trance. For me the day was made great those who attended – a fantastic group who asked the right questions and made the right observations at all the right time. Good people!

On the theme of Changework, I have a case study to share with you from Roland Suljic from Germany (Roland headed up the translation team for the German edition of Hypnosis Beyond the Trance Myth).  When Roland sent this to me, what really struck me was his creativity in application. Here it is in Roland’s own words:

The case:

A 25-year-old history student with a physical discomfort triggered by touching raspy, unpolished wood (e.g. an iced-lolly stick).

The Approach:

He knows that I am a hypnotist but he was unsure whether his condition could be changed because he remembered having it forever. As a setup I framed the discomfort as a very weak kind of fear and used the information that babies are born with only two fears: Fear of falling and fear of loud noise. Then I reminded him that the average adult possesses none of these fears any more but others instead which obviously shows that fears can be both unlearned and learned. After he had acknowledged this thought I explained to him that the brain is constructed by nature in a way to ensure quick learning, not slow learning. To emphasize this, I used the metaphor of a child that burns his hand and nearly immediately learns to avoid this kind of situation afterwards, which he acknowledged, too.

Now I had a sufficiently powerful ‘Big Because’ in order to begin the process. I knew that he strongly believed in the power of hypnosis (as most people know it), so I decided to utilize the hypnosis frame, but not to start with a classic induction but with a HWT ‘opener’ instead. I did a classic HWT hand sticking with him and then opened the next loop by telling him:

“Now that you experience the power and control of your mind over your body without any induced trance whatsoever, you can begin to start feeling how much more powerful this control becomes as soon as you enter real hypnosis, can’t you?”

After eliciting a clear and congruent “yes” from him, I opened the next loop by performing a focus-on-my-spiralling-finger induction, sending him into “deep hypnosis”, eyes closed and all.

Next, I told him that in order to get rid of the physical discomfort he would have to transfer it to me because I simply would not be able to take it away from him. I then explained him:

“In a moment, but not yet, I’m going to have your right hand hold my fist and I will bring your left hand in contact with a piece of raspy wood. You will then feel this feeling of discomfort wandering from your left hand through your left arm, through your shoulders, from there into your right arm and finally your right hand, from where it leaves your body and enters mine. This will be a bit uncomfortable at beginning, but you’re mentally and physically strong enough to endure it one last time. The feeling of discomfort will subside while you keep transferring it to me. When the discomfort will have subsided completely, you let go of my hand in order to signal me that the transfer is complete, because I simply cannot know as I can’t feel what you feel. So, you show me. If you’ve understood the procedure, nod your head.”

He nodded and we started. The reason for this kind of approach was his ongoing belief that getting rid of this condition would not be easy and would not come without a price.

The procedure worked exactly as described and suggested by me and took about 15 seconds until he let go of my fist. I then fractionated him so that could witness that my fist now contained the feeling of discomfort. I asked him to carefully place his hand near my fist in order to ensure that the feeling is there. He did it and told me that he could feel the vibrations emanating from my fist. Now, I had the commitment and consistency principle working for me and, at the same time, set a new belief in his belief system.

I then had him witness how I transferred this feeling of discomfort into a black box on a table, locking and sealing it there, completely separating it from his perception. In order to verify the success and to reinforce the belief that his condition was gone I aksed him to touch the piece of wood and to find that nothing unusual happened by doing so.

I elicited a reality report from him, fed him back his words and asked him whether he was more happy or more amazed that the feeling had gone now, at which point he told me “happy”. I fed this back, sent him back into ‘deep hypnosis’, closed the open loops and ended the session.

After emerging from ‘deep hypnosis’ he felt wonderful, relieved and could’t stop playing around with that piece of wood, now totally free from any feelings of discomfort.

So, let’s recap: First I created a Big Because for him and framed his condition appropriately. The HWT hand stick routine served as tangible demonstration of the power of his own mind. The next loop was opened by using his own belief system and the insinuation…

“If I can make your mind stick your hand to something without trance then I can influence you in any conceivable way by utilizing hypnosis.”

The following induction was, in fact, no more than a placebo in exact alignment with the subject’s beliefs, serving the purpose of both making the approach reasonable to the subject and boosting its power tenfold.

Please note the various presuppositions utilized in my quotations. They all serve the purpose to maintain the frame that this procedure is “piece of cake” and that its outcome is not in question whatsoever. Especially the misdirection/presupposition…

“This will be a bit uncomfortable at beginning, but you’re mentally and physically strong enough to endure it ONE LAST TIME”

…is very powerful because it leads the subject’s thoughts to their inner strength while the presupposition “one last time” slips through. If you want to utilize it, make sure that you deliver it in a rather casual way but with absolute certainty.

A beautiful piece of work and a beautiful write up! Roland can be contacted via his website Hypnoscience.

About The Author

James Tripp

Hypnotist and Transformative Facilitator. Creator of Hypnosis Without Trance.


  • Travis

    March 4, 2011

    Thanks for the great post! Very interested in more like this…when will you be releasing a product geared more towards the changework aspect of HWT?

  • James Tripp

    March 5, 2011

    Hi Travis

    I have just recorded HWY Changework Applications – the DVD’s should be coming out within the next few weeks!

    All the very best


  • Joachim Lee

    May 30, 2011

    When can I get my hands on the HWT Changework DVD? Can’t wait to get my hands on it…

    • James Tripp

      May 31, 2011

      Hi Joachim

      Any day now! Just sorting out the box design and getting the first run pressed.

      All the very best


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