Hypnosis is considered controversial even when it is being utilized with the subjects full knowledge and agreement. However, covert hypnosis is perhaps one of the more interesting forms of hypnosis because it is an attempt to communicate with a person’s subconscious mind without their conscious knowledge. This technique often takes place within the seemingly innocent conversation. This style of hypnosis is also known as conversational hypnosis for this reason. The goal of this form of hypnosis is to change the person’s behavior subconsciously so that the person feels that they have changed their mind of their own free will. When this technique is used successfully the target has no idea that they have been hypnotized or that anything out of the ordinary has taken place.There are 5 techniques of covert hypnosis that are considered to be most powerful. These 5 different styles of hypnosis employ methods that evoke powerful emotions, create prompt action, create unsupported beliefs and premature assumptions and use specific language patterns to bypass a person’s natural sense of judgment or analysis.
- Hot Words
- Action Accelerators
- Law of Reverse Effect
- Stealth Tactics
Consider the last time you heard a pastor deliver a soul stirring sermon that moved people to tears, or watched a Feed the Hungry informercial laced with touching words and powerful images of starving children. Both of these scenarios use language to create strong emotions in order to form a strong impact. A perfect example of this technique can be demonstrated in these 2 sentences that say the exact same thing but in very different ways.
The entire family perished in the fire.
The entire family burned to death in the fire.
The second sentence creates a far more emotional and heart wrenching picture.
Another technique used to communicate some idea, behavior or action to someone subconsciously, is the use of language employed to create quick/immediate action. This method seeks to call its subject to take immediate action. Equally dependent on timing, context and the particular target just as much as action oriented words, when and how this technique is put into action is crucial in terms of its successful use. A few examples of words used to hasten action are listed below.
Law of Reverse Effect
This approach is a bit more complex in that it operates in reverse of how the average person processes things. The Law of Reverse Effect constructs a psychological belief instilled in the target that some procedure is more difficult if externalized. Another way of saying this would be that this approach seeks to create a belief in the target audience that some procedure is easier if it’s internalized first. Take for example, learning to ride a bike. It’s hard initially because you have to pedal, steer and maintain balance all at the same time. However, once you learn how to ride a bike it’s easy because your mind has already internalized all the steps needed to sustain balance, pedaling and steering.
Presupposition is the act of using language to try to get your subject to believe certain things in order to make him or her more prone to your commands/suggestions. Basically, these are cleverly worded sentences about situations that are generally assumed to be true. Example’s of this technique are illustrated below.
“Fortunately, today there are seats at the back of the cinema.”
“The first presupposition is mentioning that there’s a back, so there must also be a front.
The second is by saying “fortunately”, there’s a value judgement about the
- The third is by saying “today”, it’s implied that on other days, there’s no spare seating.”
Last of all, Stealth Tactics consists of suggesting ideas to the targets unconscious mind without their conscious mind filtering the idea or suggestion and rejecting it. The human mind is protected by a guardian or gatekeeper which filters everything it comes across, and in order to get past that guardian, you must use gentle and non-threatening methods. “Stealth tactics allow you to bypass the mind’s guardian in such a way that will go unnoticed and non-resisted.”
Covert hypnosis is widely practiced by people from all walks of life for a variety of different reasons and purposes. If you think back to techniques used by your parents to get you to be obedient or to create some type of belief or behavior it is clear that most people use these methods in some shape, form or fashion. It’s easy to believe that hypnosis is a technique practiced exclusively by salesman, pastors and other people in positions of power or authority, but upon closer inspection, we can see quite easily that hypnosis is used by the average person within a variety of different situations not related to positions of high power and authority. Upon closer inspection, we realize that hypnosis of any form, covert or not, is simply used to bring about a desired reaction from the person it is being used on.