“I’ve tried hypnosis in the past but it didn’t work.” This is something I’ve heard more times than I can count — at parties, workshops, networking events, expo’s and even in my own office. Most of the time, people attribute this to the false belief that they are not hypnotizable. While I personally have never encountered someone who was not hypnotizable, I do find there are some people who suspend disbelief more easily than others. Just like with anything else in life, there are some who run head long into the subconscious playground and others who take a bit more time. There is no right or wrong way to do this work. Yet, before you default to the notion that hypnosis is not effective or that you are not able to be hypnotized, consider the following success factors to that contribute to a positive outcome.

Success Factors (click to expand each section)

What we have seen on TV is not hypnosis. What you DO see is commonly over dramatized to emphasize rapid change or even mind control. . .or worse, brainwashing. Hypnosis is NONE of those things. It’s a process – a truth seeking process. A process of deconstructing what you THINK and FEEL is your truth, and reconstructing the REAL truth, your inner truth, and then connecting your body, thoughts and behaviors to it. Your truth is that “knowing” that lives in the deepest part of your innocent child heart and on the tip of the tongue of your highest self. Although there are certainly “one-session wonders,” rarely does this shift happen in one session. It’s not unheard of, it’s just rarely seen. Just like you cannot expect to transform your body in one visit to the gym, you have to have realistic expectations of hypnosis. Being clear on what hypnosis is, and what it isn’t helps set the stage for a successful experience because you have a clear expectation of what success looks like when it works. And it DOES work, when it’s regarded as a process. That’s the truth.
There are countless techniques for engaging the subconscious mind and creating a shift in thought and behavior – meditation, breath work, parts work, childhood regression, past life regression, NLP, meridian tapping. The list goes on. The right technique is key to helping you break through old memories, release negative emotions and clear limiting beliefs to change behavior. Some techniques can even instill an aversion to something or create a fear to performing the unwanted behavior (i.e. smoking). This may create the temporary perception of a shift, but it may also create another negative feeling or unwanted behavior in the process. Further, cookie cutter approaches, generic recordings, or mass conference style sessions, may bombard the subconscious with positive suggestions in the moment, but these suggestions only land on the wall like water balloons. Yeah, they get the wall wet, but they do not break it down. This work is about breaking down the walls and building a bridge, path or tunnel to the life you want. Working with a qualified hypnotherapist one on one or in small groups can ensure the right technique is used to help you create the shift you desire.
Not all hypnotherapists are created equal. Training standards vary by state, philosophy and program. You have to ask yourself how much technique a practitioner can lend if they received their training in a weekend seminar. Seriously. It is imperative to weigh the depth, length and comprehensiveness of training when selecting someone to work with. Also consider the accreditation of the program they graduated from and / or any membership organizations that certify their skill. Practitioner training will absolutely impact your outcome as it directly affects the technique consideration above. Do your research. If this information is NOT on the practitioner’s website, ask the question in a consult. Most hypnotherapists should offer a free consult and it’s your right to inquire and see evidence of training at that time. If you feel there are gaps in their training, keep looking. You don’t want to perpetuate the false belief that YOU are no hypnotizable, when really, the practioner’s lack of skill was the reason you couldn’t get into hypnosis and enjoy a shift.
If you want a positive outcome, you must actively look for a positive outcome, expect it and then celebrate it when you see it. You must make a conscious effort to observe where things are changing for the better, track the change, collect evidence of it and reinforce it. Unfortunately, more times than not, clients enjoy a subtle shift, but then divert their attention back to what still doesn’t feel right. Focusing on the deficit in your situation may rob you of the beauty, joy and relief connected to the shift that has occurred and cause you to believe hypnosis is now working. Before you succumb to that possibility, make sure you have been relentless in your collection of evidence that things ARE changing. Then use this awareness and accompanying feeling to boost your confidence that hypnosis IS working for you. . . . and more important, that YOU are a key ingredient to making it happen.
Hypnosis, NLP and Tapping are incredible tools for desensitizing you to triggers. But triggers are everywhere, in every domain and in multiple contexts of our lives, so they may not all clear at once. So take heart, when a trigger gets your attention. It’s not a sign that hypnosis isn’t working, it’s simply an indication that the trigger may not have cleared in that specific context. Then remember, you can either be a victim of a trigger or take control them. If you are tracking as described above, you know that the trigger and your reaction to it, is not the sum total of you and your progress. Take control. Lean into it. The feeling it creates in you will pass. If not, remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t physically remove yourself, mentally remove yourself. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Shift your state. Lean on the tools and techniques your qualified hypnotherapist has given you to handle situations like this. If you are not seeing progress you really have to examine how much control you are taking of those triggers.
While you are waiting to see change, are you challenging your current thought processes? Those repetitive negative rehashes of the past and rehearsals for the future are contributing to your suffering. So refuse to be driven to think of these thoughts. If they are not contributing to where you want to be, stop giving them air time. Instead, get into the driver’s seat. CHOOSE what you think and this will change how you feel and consequently, how you behave. Draw into consciousness new thoughts that support where you want to be. Keep the thoughts of the shift in focus, and so too will you see more of it.
this work is like peeling away layers of an onion to get at the core. Every time we work together, we work with the layer that is available – whatever you and your subconscious are ready to reveal at that time. In every session, we set the intention to go deeper and deeper to clear issues at the root. How many sessions and how quickly this happens is going to be a function of right timing. It will also be a function of how ready and willing you are to let it all go. Be patient with yourself and trust that you are a part of a process and getting better every day. Your shift is unfolding in its divine right time.
This work will shake things up. You may even feel things you do not recognize – sensations in your body you have no words for – dry heaves for behaviors that you used to mindlessly execute. Just remember, different isn’t bad, it’s just different. So stick with it. Be tenacious. Push through that different feeling. The shift, the love, the peace, the balance, the harmony, the change you are seeking IS on the other side of where you are. Be tenacious in the quest for your positive outcome.
One of the best ways to ensure your success, is to tap into the feeling of having that success in advance. Expressing gratitude for the change you are trying to create brings it into the NOW and the NOW acts like a massive amplifier. It brings evidence of that change into focus and attracts more of it. So, you want to see this work WORK for you? Expect the shift, express gratitude for the shift in advance, and collect evidence of the shift. Doing so will allow you to take advantage of the universe’s most incredible gift designed to help you with this process – The Law of Attraction.


When people say to me “I’ve tried hypnosis in the past but it didn’t work,” I am quick to reply, “what do you mean by you tried?” “What exactly did you do to drive your success?” No blame or shame implied here, just curious about one’s perception of their own effort and role in the process. More often than not, I find that they gave up after one session. Baring extraordinary circumstances, hypnosis DOES work and for more issues, conditions, problems and opportunities than you ever imagined. But effort is key if you want that positive outcome. Half-hearted input into this process will yield the same output. If you think hypnosis will just magically stop a behavior without your involvement, think again. It will definitely help you feel different. It can even create a disconnect with a certain triggers and hot buttons, but unless you make an effort to do something with that new awareness, you may never know you experienced a shift in the first place.

Making an effort also includes listening to the recordings, collecting the evidence, making observations, pushing through triggers and having faith in yourself. You can’t really say you tried, if you are NOT doing these things.

Is it fair for me to put responsibility back on the client to help drive the change? Why not? People pay me for MY best effort, so why shouldn’t you bring yours? There are plenty of practitioners who will continue to take money while clients make half-hearted attempts to change. But that’s not me. I do this work because it works. It changed my life and everything I learned is yours for the asking — the opportunity to create the shift, the tools to sustain the shift and the momentum to create more of it in other areas of life. All I ask is that you TRY.