Imagery Inductions

Guided imagery is often used to elicit feelings and thoughts associated with particular situations. Visualization can provide a concrete representation of abstract concepts and demonstrate different ways of interacting with the world, through dreams and metaphor.

Imagery inductions will typically not work for people with aphantasia. You can ask your partner to take this study to determine how vivid their mental imagery is.

Inception Inductions

An inception induction focuses on guided imagery of an induction itself. From theeye368:

Ok, I was just thinking about this today, but a scene based on Inception has a lot of potential.

-Have the subject hypnotized, and suggest to them that they are in a new situation ready to be hypnotized. Fill in details about a place and method of hypnosis different than their current situation. Procede to describe how they are being hypnotized in the imagined scene. You can repeat this several times recursively, and make sure each “level” is different and distinctly memorable. Have the subject “wake up” one level at a time. See if they can remember which level is real.

-Give the subject an idea while they are in trance, and play with the concept of who came up with said idea. Maybe the subject always wanted pizza for lunch, but how can you be sure it wasn’t placed in your mind?

-Time dialation like in Inception is fairly common while in hypnosis. See if you can multiply that with “levels” of trance.

Revelation Inductions

Revelation inductions are typically centered around guided imagery that gives the hypnotee the experience of experiencing a profound sense of mind expansion and revelation. This approach is often used in hypnotherapy to reframe and recast the world and the self in a different light. Examples of revelation inductions are Terrance Watts’s crucial inductions, Gerald F. Kein’s Ultra Height, and Don Gibbon’s hyperempiric inductions.

These inductions are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced, but they have roughly similar structures:

  • The hypnotee is led through a pathway which leads through into a different environment.

  • The path leads through various interactions and physical obstacles.

  • Over time, the journey leads "upwards" and the anticipation builds to what’s at the summit.

  • Finally at the summit, the hypnotee comes to a paradigm-shifting realization as they see the expanded world around them.

This is not the only means to revelation, but the overall concept is to build up anticipation and tension while telling a story, and giving a suggestion or reframing and releasing the tension and associating the reframing with learning, growing, and accomplishment.

By their nature, revelations are uncommon and get weaker with frequent use. Revelation inductions are generally useful in recreational hypnosis as a "reset" or a ceremonial accomplishment, especially after stressful or prolonged activities that may lead to burnout.