A post-hypnotic suggestion is a suggestion given to someone while in hypnosis with the intention that they perform some action when they are no longer in hypnosis. This action can be anything that the subject is capable of doing, including thinking specified thoughts, experiencing specified emotions, and carrying out specified physical activities.
Post-hypnotic suggestions can take effect immediately when the subject comes out of hypnosis, as is often seen in hypnosis stage shows.
Post-hypnotic suggestions can also take effect in response to some stimulus. This stimulus can be anything that the subject can perceive, including their own thoughts. In hypnosis terms, a stimulus of this kind is known as an anchor or a trigger.
It’s also possible for a post-hypnotic suggestion to be triggered by a specific time, although this is problematic since human perception of time rarely matches clock time. When the subject cannot see a timepiece of some kind, the post-hypnotic suggestion will typically take effect when the subject believes the specified amount of time has passed, or the specified time has been reached.
Since the process is unconscious, it is not necessary for the subject to know why they are acting in the way they are.
Often the subject will perceive actions carried out as a result of post-hypnotic suggestions to be their own idea.
Classes of post-hypnotic suggestions
Post-hypnotic suggestions can be used to cause many different results.
These can be classified into several categories:
- Responses to stimuli
- Thought patterns
- Sensory hallucinations
The key here is that a post-hypnotic suggestion can be used to cause someone to do or experience just about anything that it’s possible for that person to do or experience.
Additionally, post-hypnotic suggestions can be either direct or indirect.
Indirect post-hypnotic suggestions
Indirect post-hypnotic suggestions are those where the suggestion is implied rather than stated directly.
There are countless ways this can be done, including through the use of stories and through generative trance.
Indirect post-hypnotic suggestions are usually used for helping subjects to manifest long-term changes.
Direct post-hypnotic suggestions
Direct post-hypnotic suggestions are those where the suggestion is directly stated as something that will happen.
Examples of post-hypnotic suggestions
You can find examples of post-hypnotic suggestions in many places. Many of my scripts on this site have a suggestion script in the middle to cause specific results such as relaxation, confidence, and feeling amazing when they come out of hypnosis.
A simple post-hypnotic suggestion might be something like: For the rest of the evening, you will find that every time you hear me say the word kitten, you will automatically and excitedly mew, just like a kitten. You will never consciously become aware that you are doing this, and it will feel like a completely natural process to you.
More complex post-hypnotic suggestions might include such things as hallucinations that the subject experiences as real, behavioral changes, and even changes to belief structures.
Typically suggestions are repeated at least 3 times in different ways to make sure the hypnosis subject is paying attention, hears the suggestion, and understands the suggestion.
If you’d like a collection of post-hypnotic suggestions in one place, you can find that in my PDF eBook 10 More Fun Things To Do With Hypnosis that you get when you sign up for my newsletter. This eBook includes tricks such as how to drop someone into hypnosis by snapping your fingers, how to cause someone to temporarily forget numbers (this one can be a lot more hilarious than it sounds), how to cause someone to behave like a cat, and more.