If your partner has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, good news: they can absolutely be hypnotized and can have a great experience. All that’s required is meeting them on their terms.
ADHD people may have difficulty staying on task and sustaining focus on one activity for a length of time.
ADHD people may move around constantly, needing to move, fidget, or talk. They may have difficulty staying still or slowing down their tempo to match others.
ADHD people like shiny things. Eye fixation inductions that use fascination with a crystal or strobing lights may be attractive to your partner.
Fractionation inductions can also be effective, as they involve physical movement and change of state which helps involvement.
If your parter has a fidget spinner or another focus attractor, use it in the induction. Every time the fidget spinner turns, your partner can go deeper into trance. You can even do an induction while they’re solving a rubik’s cube.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercises can take far too long and be very "samey" for ADHD people. Build relaxation into waves and make them part of activities. Avoid guided breathing exercises as they can be paced wrong for your partner and can feel stifling if they are slower than your partner wants to go.
ADHD people are familiar with the sensation of hyperfixation, where something can occupy the complete focus. This state can result in a whirling dervish of activity and focused thought, and active-alert hypnosis sounds very similar to this state:
I realized that we can witness altered states of consciousness (ASCs) under natural circumstances, far from the laboratory, when a person’s activity level increases rather than decreases. […] For example, the ecstatic trance states of shamans (Eliade, 1964); the dance of the whirling dervishes (Williams, 1958); the tribal dances of Bali (Belo, 1960); the gods taking possession of the tribesmen while dancing to the rhythm of the drums in voodoo cult (Sargant, 1957); the “second wind” in physical activity, like long-distance running (Miller, Galanter, & Pribram, 1960); sexual orgasm (Ludwig, 1966); and so on.
If you want to do a more traditional induction, consider doing several short sessions with breaks rather than one long session, and use a different short induction each time, or use a reinduction trigger. If you do keep them in trance, assume that depth will fade quickly and you should check-in and deepen regularly.
If you can’t break up the session, taking ritalin has been shown to help keep attention focused on following suggestions.
Upon reaching effective doses, mean SHSS scores increased significantly. All patients who had been poorly hypnotizable at baseline demonstrated moderate-to-high hypnotizability at follow-up. The data support methylphenidate enhancement of hypnotizability in ADHD, thus highlighting novel treatment approaches for this disabling disorder.
Although not compared directly in this study, the observed baseline hypnotizability score among ADHD patients does not seem to differ significantly from the commonly used norms, which are based on a sample of 533 Stanford University students (Hilgard, 1965). This finding is largely consistent with previous data demonstrating relatively high hypnotizability among clients with attention disorders. […] This hypothesis is in accord with recent data suggesting that a shorter attention span may pose a major limitation to successful psychotherapeutic interventions in ADHD patients, especially when immediate reinforcement is unavailable
Hypnotists often slow down and use a soothing hypnosis voice in sessions. In the ADHD case, you want to talk faster.
Watch stage hypnosis shows and see how they keep everything moving. Make your voice dramatic. Use finger snaps for emphasis and as punctuation. Be the entertainment.
Stand up or use body movements in sessions. Allow or even require activity, and lean into physicality in suggestions. Look at improv and acting exercises as examples of using the body as an expression.
The senses that are involved, the more the brain can focus on different things while still being involved. You can have a metronome or binaural beats in the background, a light to focus on, a vibrating footrest, or all of the above.
If you’re using visualizations like being on a beach or driving, describe the scene and provide actions and feedback. Turn it into a roleplaying session. Have them act it out, either in their head or sitting in place.
Sweettist is a hypnotist with resources on ADHD.
Here’s a video about ADHD and hypnosis.