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Hypnotic phenomena are the actions or behaviors a hypnotist can elicit from a subject. However, we rarely discuss what these phenomena entail or how a hypnotist uses them. There are a variety of phenomena some related to suggestibility. Others to motor, sensory, and memory function to name a few. The list below contains some of the common phenomena elicited by hypnotist to enact change.

Below are the common hypnotic phenomena used by clinicians during trance to enact change.


This is probably the best known hypnotic phenomena. As noted in Your Brain On Hypnosis, suggestibility is heightened during hypnosis. Primarily due to deceases and increases in activity between different parts of the brain. However, there is more to suggestion than you might realize.

For example, did you know that your brain takes suggestions literally? This is part of the reason why we talk to you before a session. We like to makes sure that our suggestions are going to work with your modality. Modalities are visual, auditory, or kinsthetic (feeling based). We learn a lot of this just be interacting with you during the first portion of the session. Each brain is different and getting to know you allows us to create the best suggestions for you. Anyone can give a suggestion but that does not mean that any two people will interpret that suggestion the same way.

Sensory Phenomena

When in trance your brain has the capacity to create or block sensory activity. We call this sensory phenomena.

Below are some of the common sensory phenomena used in clinical hypnosis. After each phenomena there is a brief definition or example:

Motor Phenomena

Motor responses are automatic unconscious responses to suggestions. The muscles react instantaneously with no thought or effort. This is instigated by the parts of your brain responsible for autonomic control.

Memory Phenomena

A good deal of the phenomena we focus on in clinical hypnosis relates to the memory. The list below describes each phenomena. It also provides a description of its use in clinical hypnosis:

Each phenomena below is listed with a description as well as an example.

Paving The Way For Change

In addition to trance itself, hypnotist use phenomena to create powerful change. Isn’t it amazing what the mind can do with a little guidance. We like to set clear expectations for what we may do during a session. A discussion with your hypnotist will determine what interventions or processes are necessary for you specifically. In addition, we strive to help you achieve your personal goals and to give you tools to continue to do so beyond our sessions.

However, if you are seeking further information check out our Service page for more information. For more information on hypnotic phenomena check out All About Hypnosis.

Call now for a free consultation with a hypnotist.