Deep Trance Identification (DTI) is an unconscious process in which a hypnosis subject is oriented into experiencing the world as if they were another person, creature, or thing. This enables them to rapidly take on new abilities, properties and perspectives. Deep Trance Identification works because it enables people to get out of their own way in order to acquire certain types of new skills and perspectives.
In a sense, the core of all learning is forgetting to be how we were, and taking on a new way of being.
It’s worth taking a moment to let that sink in, because it has some profound implications.
Now, there are some skills that definitely require years of dedicated study to acquire. If you want to learn mathematics or physics, it tends to be necessary to put in those years of study.
Just to become a beginner.
At the same time, there are many, many skills that we tend to learn through observation and pretending we can already do it.
The more we pretend and notice how to move towards doing what people who already have the skill do, the more quickly we acquire it ourselves.
I’m sure you know the skills I mean. Skills like speaking confidently on a stage, or perfecting our golf swing.
Now these skills can also be learnt through study and hard work.
But there’s an easier way.
Why Use Deep Trance Identification (DTI)?
One of the biggest problems that many people face when learning something new is the desire to hold on to what they already know. In Deep Trance Identification, the hypnosis subject’s conscious mind is moved to one side to allow them to experience the world as someone or something else. This allows them to temporarily put their previous identity to one side and take on new perspectives.
Consider the act of talking on stage.
Many people are terrified of talking on stage in front of an audience. This largely happens because they imagine things that typically aren’t true.
For example, a person might imagine that the audience will laugh at them and think less of them if they trip over their words. Or even if they don’t.
But at the same time, there are countless people who appear totally comfortable on stage and even relish the audience’s laughter because they know it means the audience can relate.
So what’s the difference?
When it comes down to it, it’s just a matter of perspective.
If you think back to the last time you saw someone stumble over their words on stage, you probably didn’t think poorly of them. If anything, you might have shared their anguish.
The trouble is that when we go to stand on stage, suddenly that fear wells up again.
With deep trance identification we can achieve several things at once.
In placing ourselves into someone else’s shoes we can begin to experience the world as them. We might choose a skilled presenter and imagine what it’s like being them on stage. This helps us to start to take on a part of their identity as our own.
On top of that, in modeling what they do, we are unconsciously building our own skills by copying theirs.
And it turns out that most skills we can learn can be helped along by doing this.
Human beings learn largely by copying others and doing what they do.
Then we extrapolate and add on our own stuff.
How To Do Deep Trance Identification
To perform deep trance identification, first establish who or what your subject would like to experience. Then induce deep hypnosis and have them imagine what it’s like to be that person or thing. Finally, have them interact with the environment from the place of that new identity to try it on for size.
Sounds easy, right?
Here’s the steps for deep trance identification in more detail:
1. Establish What Your Subject Wants
The very first step in any deep trance identification process is figuring out what your subject wants.
Depending on the context, this may be something that they have selected and specifically asked for, or it may be something you take them through as a part of another process, for example during training.
Technically the hypnotist does not need to know since it will all be happening inside the subject’s mind anyway. That said, I have found that it helps to know what they are hoping to achieve.
Also, if you are going to orient someone into being another real person, bear in mind that they have to have had enough of an experience of that other person that they can do it.
In short: There must be some kind of representation of that other person inside their mind.
I tend to use clean language for this part to mine the subject for their own metaphors.
2. Induce Deep Hypnosis
Naturally, if we want our subject to experience something from a place of deep trance, the next thing we have to do is guide them into deep trance.
This can be achieved with essentially any hypnotic induction. All that’s required is not stopping until they reach deep trance.
How deep you take them depends on exactly how you plan to proceed. If your subject is going to be physically acting something out, you want to go for a nice, deep state where they can still easily move.
On the other hand, if you’re planning for your subject to experience deep trance identification inside a hypnotic reality, you can take them all the way down into an Esdaile state.
If you’re starting out, it’s generally best to use an induction that is known to reliably induce deep trance. The Elman Induction is brilliant for this.
I don’t really worry too much about depth of trance. So long as they are at the level where they cannot easily consciously move, things work just fine.
When I guide people to deep trance, I typically start with a non-awareness induction, then have them imagine they are standing in a field with a tree. Once the field has stabilized and they can perceive it clearly, I have them look around the field for a pathway, and then follow that pathway until they find the right portal. Along the way, I constantly shift their attention around the various details of the pathway, and eventually, the portal itself.
3. Orient The Hypnosis Subject
Once your subject is in deep trance, suggest that a person will begin to form in front of them.
I do this by telling them that the person is on the other side of the portal, and it works just as well if you have them imagine the person standing in front of them.
Spend a few moments having your subject imagine all the observable details of that person: Their posture, how they move, what they pay attention to, how they speak, and so on.
Let your subject know that they can ask any questions of that person they might like.
Eventually, when your subject has a clear view of that person, have them become that person. This can be done in numerous ways: Hug and sink inside, jump inside them like they are possessing them, allow their essence to drift over to your subject… the possibilities are endless.
I find that when I take myself through deep trance identification, it tends to work best if I visualize all the particles that I am made up of drifting into the other person like a constant stream.
The key with this step is that you want your subject to have a good sense of that other person, and then to take on their properties by whatever method seems appropriate.
4. Have The Subject Act As If
Tell your subject that they will automatically and gently nod their head when they know that they have taken on the properties of the object of their deep trance identification.
Wait for them to nod, occasionally prompting them if it takes a long time.
Then have them act out being that other person slowly.
If they are inside a hypnotic reality, this is most easily done by having them do so inside the reality itself.
Guide your subject from where they are inside that reality, to another place which has the context in which the new skills are appropriate.
And then have them act as if they are that other person.
For example, if you are having them become confident on stage you might have them take on the identity of a presenter they admire, then transport them onto a stage. Next, have them stand like that presenter and model their behaviors.
Essentially they are seeing themselves as that other person.
Ideally, have your subject experience being that person at specific points in the subject’s own future. This future paces the deep trance identification, and helps to make it so that your subject is more likely to take on those new skills in the future.
When I do this, I tell them that I am going to stop talking for a bit so that they can experience the world as that other person. And then I stop talking. Sometimes for hours. But usually for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.
5. Lead The Subject Out Of Deep Trance
Eventually it will be time to return to the regular world.
The entire process up to this point could be anything from a few seconds to several hours. I find that it typically works best when the hypnosis subject spends a decent amount of time acting as if they are the person they are modelling.
When it comes time to bring them out, tell them that in a moment they will be returning to the waking world, and that they will find they automatically bring any useful new skills they’ve learnt back with them.
Then lead them back through whatever you used to induce hypnosis, only in reverse order.
Along the way, periodically remind them that they are bringing any skills that are of value to them back into the waking world.
6. Post-Hypnotic Debriefing And Integration
Once your subject comes out of deep trance, they will almost always have a bit of a trance afterglow. This typically lasts for a few minutes, but it can be anything from seconds to hours.
While they are in this state, they still have enhanced suggestibility, but they believe the hypnosis has ended.
This affords a wonderful opportunity to set in any changes they would like to keep.
Take a few moments to ask them about their experience.
Find out what worked for them and ask them about how they can see themselves using that in the future.
Ask them what it was like.
How Does Deep Trance Identification Work?
Deep Trance Identification works by getting the hypnosis subject’s conscious mind out of the way so that they can learn unconscious skills more effectively. During the process, their mind patterns in new habits, behaviors and beliefs. Those which are useful may then be made into a permanent part of the subject’s identity and skillset.
Our unconscious minds can’t really tell the difference between things that are real and things that we imagine.
This has some useful and some less-useful consequences.
An example of a less-than-useful consequence might be that if we believe we cannot do something, we will find that we cannot.
And an example of a useful consequence is that if we want to do something, so long as it is possible for humans to do, an important step is imagining ourselves doing that thing.
The impossible things may take a little more effort.
Our brains decide what to remember and what to habituate based largely on how important they think something is.
Everything we experience is allocated a level of importance by our minds. Now, in reality, there are probably near countless scales of importance, but for simplicity of understanding, assume there is just one.
Things inside our minds become important by 2 primary means: Repetition, and strength of emotion.
With deep trance identification, we have the opportunity to practice being that other person or thing many times.
Deep trance is equivalent to a strong emotion in itself, so coupled with repetition and future pacing, it’s possible to very quickly lay down the patterns inside the unconscious mind that lead to habitually taking on the skills and perspectives we’d like to have.
Deep trance identification works by allowing us to safely alter our unconscious habits and beliefs.