This information is provided mainly for the enthusiast and hypnosis student.
If you are not a certified hypnotist you should not be making hypnosis recordings for other people. Hypnosis students undergoing training should discusses this with their lecturers. However, enthusiasts can make an hypnosis recording that you can play to yourself as a form of self-hypnosis. This is particularly useful if you have trouble doing self-hypnosis on your own — try making a self hypnosis recording and see what a difference it makes when you simply listen to your own recorded voice.
If you are an enthusiast it is highly recommended that you first do this free hypnosis course.
If you’d prefer to save time and use an MP3 download, you can find a huge range of them here.
Generally, you don’t need to be a deep trance state to achieve a positive outcome. Being in a trance state is something like a ‘day-dream’, it’s not the same as being in a deep sleep. Often, you will be aware of the things going on around you.
If you are not a certified hypnotist you should not be making hypnosis recordings for other people!
1. First, you will need to write or acquire the following free hypnosis scripts and then record them in this order listed below. (If you wish to write your own scripts it would be best if you were a qualified hypnotherapist – however, there are many free professional public domain scripts available here. You will need a warning introduction as set out below.)
2. Introduction: Just in case some one should listen to your recording at a time when it is not advisable, ALWAYS include this introduction at the start of the recording.
“This recording is of a hypnotic nature and should not be used while driving a car or operating machinery.”
3. Source the following scripts:
Induction Script – this is the initial relaxation script. An induction is to help you ‘induce’ relaxation. For example, the script may ask you to close your eyes and relax your scalp muscles. In this case, (& there are other styles of induction scripts,) the script may start at the scalp, to muscles at the back of the head, the muscles around the eyes, cheeks, the jaw, neck… all the way down to the tips of the toes. Just follow the suggestions, and allow yourself to relax.
Deepening Script – allows you to relax deeper than you were during the induction phase. There may be suggestions such as ‘as every minute passes’, or ‘every noise you hear allows you to relax deeper than before’. A popular deepening script is to ‘imagine three steps that take you down… and with the first step you take, now, relax much more than you were just a few moments ago…’
Subject Script – This script will have suggestions to assist you to achieve your objective, whatever it may be. Look for positive suggestions that work with your imagination, as opposed to ones that say you will do ‘this’ or you will do ‘that’. Generally, positive suggestions such as imagine yourself in a situation where you are a non-smoker is preferable to “cigarettes make you feel ill” – while it may work to help stop you smoking, it may also cause a reaction when, for example, you might be on a crowded train and smell cigarette smoke on a person nearby…
Awakening Script – This script will bring you back to full awareness. An awakening script often involves a count from one to five, and to allow the ‘energy’ to return. Should you record one such as this, when you count ‘up’ from one to five make sure you increase the energy in your voice so that you come back to full conscious awareness full of energy and vigor. There is an alternative to the ‘Awakening Script’ and that is by recording an ending to enable you go to sleep. Signaling the end of your session in some way is important, so your mind will be able to focus more effectively.This may be a preferable termination for those who are doing a self hypnosis recording to assist with sleep or insomnia.
4. Record the Introduction and the 4 types of scripts above to suitable equipment in a quiet environment. (Check tips and warnings.)
5. Once you have recorded them play your recording back to yourself. Test it out by finding a quiet, comfortable place; close your eyes and simply follow your suggestions
6. Remember, you have recorded the script for you so allow yourself to really get involved.
How to record your scripts
The correct use of suggestions – ultimately, your script is the most important component. However, the way you present it is equally so. Your tone of voice, the speed or pace at which you pronounce your words, inflection, the emotion you convey and your overall presentation are all factors that have a tremendous bearing on your approach. So let’s address them individually.
Tone of voice – you should sound calm, confident, as if everything your client says and experiences is perfectly normal. Remember, if you at all sound unsure of yourself, your client can feel as if they have no ‘safety net’ to rely on and may even lose confidence in you.
Speed or pace – don’t be afraid to take things slowly. As you commence to develop your skills as a hypnotherapist, your tendency may be to race through your script and perhaps not allow your client to enjoy all the wonderful suggestions that you have presented. You may be a little nervous with your first few sessions. This is understandable since you are charting some unknown territory. In reality, pauses of 5 – 15 seconds between suggestions may seem excessive at first, but in reality allows your client to ‘take in’ and act on what you are saying. It will also help you relax and be more effective.
Inflection – Be careful not to sound mono-tone. I’m sure you don’t like hearing someone just droning on and on. Put some life into it and think what you are saying or you may end up saying what you’re thinking! In reality, you are an actor! This doesn’t mean overdoing it like some ham, but rather sounding as if you really care and if you don’t care, then change your occupation, because your client will subconsciously be attuned to you and your emotions, or the lack thereof.
Emotion – Whatever emotion you convey, it should always be from an understanding, caring and confident base, but always appearing in charge. Too little emotion will sound cold, uncaring and boring, too much – comical and contrived.
Overall presentation – The overall presentation to encourage a state of relaxation and altered state of awareness incorporates all of the above, all are equally important, especially when you are concentrating on what you are saying. It can be very easy to put the blinkers on and forget to relax your self! Remember that for you to sound relaxed, you must also be relaxed. If you are working with music, let the music do some of the work too, pace your script and don’t be afraid to leave pauses. Bear in mind that sometimes ‘less is better’. You may feel the urge, but there really is no need to explain or try to fill up the time with words. Use simple and minimal language but convey it with sincerity.
Conclusion – as in any profession, the adage ‘practise makes perfect’ is the only way to master you skills. All of the above points can best be analysed by recording yourself and listening back to the end result. Try to get to the point to where you are no longer reading from a script but are actually saying the words the way you would in real life, as if you were actually talking to someone. You may have conflicting thoughts as you present the script, such as trying to remember what comes next, worrying whether your efforts are really working or if the client is actually hypnotised or just trying to please you. You might even be worried whether you appear confident enough or simply a person who knows what they’re doing in the first place. The best advice here is to listen to yourself as though you were hearing through your client’s ears.
Choice of music – Music is an effective means to complement your suggestions to your client. Selecting the appropriate music is a way of setting the correct atmosphere. Obviously, the gentler the melody, tempo and rhythm of the music the more conducive it is to a successful outcome. Non emotional music, although perhaps boring in the general sense may be appropriate when used as a gentle and un-intrusive background to relaxation or hypnosis.
Reproduction of copyright material
There are major legal considerations to recognise if you intend using any form of recorded music in your work. All commercially available music is subject to and protected by international copyright laws. So, unless you have express written permission by the copyright owners to reproduce a particular recording for your own purposes, you could land yourself in hot water by firstly – copying the recording and secondly – by distributing it. The basis of this international law is to protect the copyright owner’s right to determine the use of the work or works for whatever purpose seen fit, whether it be for profit or otherwise. Therefore, if you exploit any type of copyrighted material without actual written permission, you are technically breaching this law by interfering with the owner’s right to profit from the work. In short, you are stealing from the copyright owner.
It makes no difference whether you are including a copyrighted recording in your regular fees your client is paying for, or charging for it separately. In any case, this simply means that you are using someone elses work for your gain and to their detriment (yes, even if you work for free).
On this basis it is almost impossible to obtain permission to use any recorded work without substantial monies being paid to the copyright owners, publishers, artist, record company or their representatives. To put it plainly, for you to gain the rights to such an arrangement is so remote, complex, time consuming and expensive that it is usually not even worth contemplating.
So you really like a particular piece of music and would like to be ‘up front’ about it and ask for permission? What do you do then? Getting permission for this kind of thing in your case usually means only one thing – paying for it. Half an hour’s worth of music by Andreas Vollenweider, Steve Halpern or Dean Evenson is almost certainly not going to come cheaply. There is no exact ‘going rate’ to work on. It really is the copyright owner’s prerogative.
Another option is to use special ‘copyright paid’ music, such as used by documentary makers and video production houses. Although quite accessible, this option is also subject to conditions and again involves fees. Another factor is that since the pieces are not constructed for therapeutic purposes, they are usually far too short in time duration to be completely useful.
Bear in mind that technically, the moment you use a piece of recorded music for any other purpose other than your private listening, you are in breach of certain copyrights. It is highly unwise for a therapist these days to ignore the risk of being caught out, even whilst only making one-off copies for clients. All it takes to really hurt, is to be sued once and from there on the law will keep an eye on you. A small time breach could cost you the price of a new car. To mass-produce copies could cost you the price of a nice big house in a well-to-do suburb, if not a jail term as well. This is not printed here to simply try and scare or impress you. You have most certainly seen the copyright warnings on DVD’s, CD’s and various printed literature. It is not there to simply take up space. It exists because it is an actual law. Part of our endeavour as an educator is to make you aware of the technicalities and realities that surround you as a professional therapist.
Having said all this, the copyright law also exists to protect you. Should you produce an original work, be it video, audio or in print, you are also entitled to this same copyright protection. The executors of your publishing rights and copyright have a responsibility and vested interest in ensuring that no part of your work is exploited by those who do not have express permission to do so.
So, you want music that will not bring you headaches, the police and strange men handing out writs to your front door. The most effective way is to use the services of a musician. Unless you plan to have a go yourself, there are musicians around who can create original music for you. A fee for such a venture can vary greatly and is quite negotiable. If the musician has their own recording equipment, a half hour simple recording of gentle music may cost anywhere from $300 to $1000+. An elaborate production using additional personnel in a commercial recording studio can take the fees much higher.
There really is no scale of fees that we can publish as a guideline. The best way is to consult some recording studios, musical instrument stores, entertainment agencies or look up a telephone directory or utilise the internet.
Once you have established the right people to use, please be clear as to your intentions for the recording. Make sure that before any work has commenced that you will have express permission to exploit the recording it in whatever manner you have all agreed to.
… AND GET IN WRITING!
You should insist that you have the rights to use the recording for your work and for as long as you see fit. This way you can rest assured that there will be no ramifications or misunderstandings down the line. You can also negotiate complete ownership of the recording itself. That way nobody can use it for any other purpose, other than as dictated by you.
Bear in mind that owning the recording does not necessarily mean owning the composition itself. The composer, in this case the musician you used, retains the right to the intellectual property, which in this case is the composition, or rather the way in which the musical notes were put together, but not this particular recording of it. He or she can therefore re-record or re-interpret the composition in any manner they wish, without your permission. What it all means is that you have the rights to use a particular recording in the way you have negotiated, which is all you should be concerned with.
Many of the points mentioned above are negotiable in order to establish a final contractual agreement. Once the points in the contract have been agreed upon and undersigned by the parties concerned, it becomes subject to its outlined conditions. Therefore, any breach of the agreement is subject to litigation which can be pursued through legal channels. It’s very much like any other legal document. What it does mean however, is that it will keep things clear between you and the composer/musician and let you know exactly where you both stand legally.
(For those interested in the finer technicalities of copyright, the actual ownership of a composition remains the sole property of the composer until the composition is contracted out or sold outright to a publishing company. Professional composers are typically signed to a deal with a music publishing company, which means they are paid a negotiated lump sum, a royalty on a periodic basis or both. Incidentally, the Buddy Holly catalogue is these days owned by Paul McCartney. So, if you intend releasing a recording of Peggy Sue or Not Fade Away, you’d better clear it with Paul first).
Copyright is by International Convention. Therefore much of this advice can be applied anywhere in the world.
This advice also applies to copyrighted scripts. It is wrong to take work that belongs to someone else and pass it off as your own. At school or college it is called cheating or plagiarism. In the ‘real world’ it is theft.
As it has been said… “Quoting from several texts is called research, quoting from one is called plagiarism.”
However, there is nothing to stop you from reading a script or two and writing your own based on that ‘research’.
- While this is not strictly ‘self-hypnosis’ it is ‘self’ hypnosis!
- When Recording, be aware of:
- The use of suggestions – Make sure you have a suitable script for what you are trying to achieve.
- Your tone of voice – ensure you sound calm and confident.
- Your speed or pace – don’t race, it’s ok to proceed slowly, in fact it is probably preferable.
- The inflection of your voice – don’t drone on, but don’t over do it, either.
- The emotion in your voice – too little will appear cold, too much comical.
- Overall, your presentation is to create relaxation.
- Add energy to your voice during the “Awakening Script”.
- Practice makes perfect.
- Should you add music, use something relaxing.
- On the other hand, hearing the same music can become repetitive, distracting and annoying.
- If planning on doing anything more with your recordings (such as sharing or selling them) you must not use music unless you have purchased the rights to specifically use it. More information on copyright.
- When recording be aware of background noise – you will hear it on playback. For some people, certain types of white noise can actually enhance the hypnosis session, for others it will be an irritation.
- (Self) hypnosis is not intended to be a substitute for seeking medical advice or visiting: a medical practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist or any other relevant health or alternative health therapist. If you are receiving treatment for clinical depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, or any other diagnosed disorder, you must discuss using hypnotic scripts from this, or any other site with your health practitioner before you commence any hypnosis or self hypnosis sessions.
- Be VERY careful when using scripts for eliminating pain. Never remove pain permanently from an area. The pain is there for a reason, and if you can’t feel pain you may end up doing some serious damage without even knowing it. Consult a doctor for advice, but it’s always best to leave pain management to a certified hypnotherapist.
Things You’ll Need
- Printed out Induction script.
- Printed out Deepening script.
- Printed out Subject script.
- Printed out Awakening script.
- Something to record to: MP3 recorder, Mobile phone with recording app, iPhone, iPod, Tape/dictation machine, PC/Mac with suitable recording software.
- Quiet place to do the recording: watch out for background noises.
- Quiet place to listen to your recordings.
Save the time and hassle and start in 10 minutes with a professional pre-recorded hypnosis