Achieving hypnosis is a matter of directing this suggestibility that we all possess into the channels that will finally produce the hypnotic state. It can be much more complicated than this explanation in many cases, but let us use this as a working premise.
Everyone can be hypnotized. The time required for achieving hypnosis will vary from subject to subject. We will discuss some of the reasons for this in a subsequent chapter, but for our discussion at this time we need to understand this point. I have encountered numerous individuals who were extremely disappointed because they did not respond to hypnosis immediately or after several attempts. They wanted to know "what was wrong." An explanation that nothing was wrong somehow did not satisfy these individuals. "After all," they argued, "didn't I go to a hypnotist especially to be hypnotized?" Some insinuated that perhaps the hypnotist
wasn't too good.
Let me explain that most subjects need to be conditioned for hypnosis, and this conditioning is helped when the subject practices certain conditioning exercises that I shall discuss in detail later, in a post titled "How To Attain Self-Hypnosis." In my teaching, I have found that about one out of ten subjects responds to the first attempt at hypnosis. One cannot make a definite statement as to the length of time necessary to learn self-hypnosis, but it is my experience that this usually takes about one month. I have had subjects learn self-hypnosis in about 30 minutes, but I must also relate that I have worked with subjects for one year before they achieved it.
For the most part, the laws of learning apply to self-hypnosis as with anything else that one would want to learn. It can be a relatively simple procedure, or it can be very perplexing. The answer lies not so much with the hypnotist as with the subject.