Hypnosis Success Rates – Are All Hypnotic Subjects Equal?

When people first begin to learn hypnosis and how to hypnotise one question that often comes up is “can everyone be hypnotised? Or are some people more hypnotisable than others?” (I guess that’s two questions really!)

The answer is a little less clear cut than it might at first seem that it would be – it’s yes to both parts. The ‘truth’ is, there are a lot of variables… and part of the skillset of being a hypnotist is being able to assess and roll with those variables.

And all of this applies just as much to NLP or any form of strategic influential communication.


About The Author

James Tripp

Hypnotist and Transformative Facilitator. Creator of Hypnosis Without Trance.


  • Tobias Zissner

    March 31, 2014

    I use hypnosis and powerfull communication in my practice. I have noticed that especially in chronic diseases patients have the tendency to avoid change. When they came in they said that they want to get rid of the pain for example. There was one lady (75 years old) with a chronic knee pain. I invited her to change her feeling into a picture. Shortly before she was able to see something she said :”No, I can´t do it because it is not reasonable. There is no picture.”. I tried “the foot stick method” as an opener for change to invite another patient who was stuck to his pain to realy do something. Even though I dealt with “failure” as a sort of new incoming messages how I can change my aproach I didn´t succeed. It works a lot of times and I love to do changework. As a doctor I can not choose the clients. They choose me. I know that I could choose if I do HWT to then or any other kind of hypnosis. I know that the no failure protocoll gives a lot of ideas how to deal with it. Do you have any further advice for this special situation? I realy want to help patients with a chronic pain oder high blood pressure. Fortunately I am able to do it often. I am interessted in how to deal with somenone who conciously wants to change but when it comes to unconcius change steps out of the hypnotic loop. If you understand my question I hope you have a hint. If you need more information I would love to answer your questions.
    Thank you in advance for the answers.
    Tobias Zissner from Berlin, Germany

    • James Tripp

      April 11, 2014

      Tobias, maybe, like me, you are a perfectionist!

      For a long time I wanted to be able to clearly and unambiguously help everyone. This was my goal! Now, whist with many clients I would get good results, there were always some I couldn’t quite get through to. Couldn’t quite get to shift. These days I am more accepting of this, that I may be able to ‘lead the horse to water’ but I cannot always ‘make it drink’ (to utilise the ancient aphorism).

      Without seeing this particular client, I don’t know what I would do or what I would try. As an aside, I don’t do much work with chronic pain (not professionally, at least, because my interest is in behavioral and attitudinal change) but when I do I usually make use of overlapping techniques, very similar to those outlined in Stephen Heller’s excellent book Monsters and Magical Sticks.

      Oh, sometimes it pays to frame it as an imagination game, getting buy in by asking “you can imagine things, can’t you!?” (command tonality on the ‘can’t you’). And maybe start out using a pendulum to get ideomotor effects happening (this is something 99+% of people can do) and using it as a vehicle for the message ‘the mind effects the body’. But if she is very rigid in her frames, and her frames are contradictory to the work you wish to do, you may not get through (she’s 75… it is not uncommon for older people to become very rigid in their frames and worldview).



  • Some people will do anything to prove you wrong regardless of what you’re trying to do. they take it personally. for this kind of people you have to show spectacular proof for the audience (fractionation, warm reading, mind reading..) let them under social pressure of the amazed audience. there’s a another type, the one who has a resistance in his mind: you are no better than me, i would bet you can’t pick up a girl… these people respond to actions. show some audacious actions.

    success depend enormously on perceived authority.

    Thank you James,

    • James Tripp

      April 11, 2014

      “Success depends enormously on perceived authority” I quite agree Yassin!



  • Alberto Dell'isola

    April 1, 2014

    James, congratulations for your work.

    I’m a psychology and a writer. In Brazil, I had two best sellers (top 10): “Mentes Brilhantes” and “Mentes Geniais”.

    My new book is about hypnosis and body language. I’m citing you (and your website) as one of the best in the field. However, I need two different high resolution photos of yourself to put on the book. could you please send me them? albertodellisola@gmail.com


    • James Tripp

      April 11, 2014

      Hi Alberto… That’s great! I’ll have Lexi sort something out for you.



  • Thanks for the great hypnotic phrase James,”and everybody can experience something” ! Roger

    • James Tripp

      April 17, 2014

      You’re welcome Roger. I’ve yet to find it not to be true! 🙂



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