- 1 How to Hypnotise Anyone: Confessions of a Rogue Hypnotist
- 2 Hypnotherapy
- 3 The Hypnotic World of Paul McKenna
- 4 Tricks of the Mind
- 5 Instant Self-Hypnosis: How To Hypnotise Yourself With Your Eyes Open
- 6 Trancework: An introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis
- 7 Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors
- 8 The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnotism
- 9 My Voice Will Go With You: the Teaching Tales of Milton Erickson
There’s no shortage of books on hypnosis, for the simple reason that there’s no shortage of things to be said. Regardless of whether you’re interested in stage hypnosis, clinical hypnosis, self hypnosis or some other facet entirely – you’re bound to come across something that claims to have all the answers, all the right words, all the best techniques.
The simple fact is that there is no one size fits all book, all of them have their own merits and their own downfalls. However, as with anything, there’s a “cream of the crop” collection — and below, we’ve compiled some of our top picks. These books range from short introductory flicks, to great heavy scholarly textbooks. They target several different fields of hypnosis and take a variety of approaches. But in their own right, they each hold their ground:
by the Rogue Hypnotist
Our list kicks off with Amazon Kindle’s number one bestselling book on hypnosis. At only 75 pages long, this is actually the first of a series of books, and it’s definitely one for the beginners – the author (who goes by the pseudonym of The Rogue Hypnotist) is a UK-based hypnotherapist with some fairly impressive clientele, not unlike others on this list. He has a lighthearted but clever way of explaining some very complex concepts,
which has made this book – and the series it pertains to – immensely popular with a diverse audience. lnterestingly, on that note, this isn’t just directed at budding hypnotists – TRH (as l will affectionately call him) acknowledges that many readers may simply be curious to know how they could potentially be hypnotised by someone else, rather than intending to hypnotise someone themselves. That is to say, even if you have no background in hypnosis, you could use this book to learn how someone might try to hypnotise you. There are a few basic scripts and general overviews of hypnosis within this short book, and whilst they’re not quite at the level of some others on this list, they’re definitely an excellent resource for the beginner. There are also a few more complex ideas interspersed within the book, which TRH elaborates on later in the series.
by Dave Elman
This one is something of a classic – which is no surprise, given the status of its author. In the product description on Amazon, Elman is praised as having “trained more physicians to use hypnosis than anyone before or since” – a quote which roughly speaks for itself, if you’re looking at learning hypnosis. It’s a little older than some of the other books on this list, being that it was published in 1964 (a time when the USA evinced an explosion of fascination with hypnosis), and there’s no doubt that some of the theories and comments are antiquated, but the fundamentals still stand. Hypnotists with years of experience consistently hail this as an essential.This is definitely more for clinical hypnosis rather than showmanship, but many of Elman’s comments and techniques are universal – in particular, Elman is the mastermind behind an excellent induction method.
by Paul McKenna
Even if you’re brand spanking new to hypnotism, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Paul McKenna: the radio host turned hypnotist with 12 bestsellers to his name. Most of these books are based on self-help: losing weight, quitting smoking, gaining confidence, the like. However, this one is a little different: it gives the reader a unique insight into the craft that makes it all possible, and provides almost a walk-through, including a history of hypnosis – from the 1700s all the way through to the modern era. He breaks down the tangle of theories and ideas into individual, understandable pieces, and manages to do so in a professional and unbiased manner. And of course, he illustrates how hypnosis can be used for personal growth and improvement. If you do go looking for this book, don’t be confused: he did host a TV series by the same name! Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of this book is the fact that it doesn’t teach hypnosis objectively; rather, it tends to talk more about the world of hypnosis as a whole (which, in fairness to McKenna, is hinted at in the title). If you want to actually learn how to hypnotise someone in a step-by-step guide, this may not be quite right for you.
by Derren Brown
Derren Brown is another famous name in the world of hypnotism. He’s a modern illusionist – you may know him from his shows (the most popular of which shares a title with this book). He has never made any secret of the fact that his “abilities” of mind-control are the result of trickery, misdirection, and of course hypnosis. This book will not give you a step-by-step guide to performing stage hypnosis at the same level as Derren Brown. Instead, Brown will explain a fundamental skill of stage hypnosis: the ability to appear magical. That is the focus of this book. Brown is open about the fallacy of his “mind-control ability”, and uses this book to deconstruct the illusion of magic. He explains techniques that he uses to assist his performance (for example, he explains his memorisation tips), but you won’t find a “big reveal” for now be achieves his level of proficiency – only encouragements to practice, practice. practice. Nonetheless, there’s an endearing sort of candid honesty about his writing style, not to mention some quality humour. It’s a brilliant read, and definitely a must-have for anyone interested in stage hypnosis and the art of manipulation (no judgement here).
by Forbes Blair
Self-hypnosis is probably the field with the most variation: there’s a lot of theory. a lot of skepticism, and a lot of misconceptions. As a result. there’s a lot of less than reliable books. However, instant Self-Hypnosis is one of the most successful self-hypnosis books on the market, and the reason is simple: it’s probably the only book that hypnotises you as you read. In this book, you won’t be bogged down by details or specifics – Blair
provides quick overviews of information, but focuses mainly on getting the reader into a safe hypnotic state, in which they are completely aware of their surroundings and able to return at their own pace. It does this by supplying scripts: several induction scripts, a wake-up script, and a selection of thirty-five specific scripts to address whatever issue plagues the reader: weight loss, self image, confidence, and so on. The reader is able to work at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home. it sounds impossible, but the results seem to speak for themselves: readers are going crazy over this book. The words “life-changing” tend to feature rather heavily in reviews, as you may see for yourself: Some critics have pointed out that this book,
like many self-hypnosis books, has over-simplified the craft. This seems somewhat inevitable, given the nature of the book. However, Blair is not pretending to substitute for clinical hypnotherapy; she’s just created a neat self-help guide.
by Michael D. Yapko
lf you’re looking to learn a little more (well, a lot more) about clinical hypnosis, this book is for you. Trancework has been the quintessential textbook for budding hypnotists for a long time, and a long time yet. This is probably one of the most scholarly books on the list, but don’t let that scare you off; Dr Yapko is commended widely for his clear, concise writing, which helps to make sense of a subject that is – as we all know – easily confusing. If you’re new to hypnosis and are feeling a little apprehensive about picking up such a hefty text, you’ll be glad for the Frames of Reference sections that can be found throughout the book – they’ll outline where certain ideas have come from and now you can find more information. This is also a unique book on this list because it features a DVD of a technically brilliant session with Vicki: a woman with terminal cancer who’s seeking assistance in her final months. Trancework should also be commended because, unlike many books of its kind, Dr Yapko shares opinions and theories that differ from his own, and does so in a professional and even-handed manner. The only real downside to this book is that it is like many scholarly books, very dense and somewhat slow-moving. It definitely requires something of a commitment from its reader. (As a side note, Yapko’s Essentials of Hypnosis is also an excellent read for anyone interested in clinical hypnosis).
by D. Corydon Hammond
Imagine if there was an “answers book” for hypnosis: something that contained the perfect words to use, no matter the situation. That is effectively what the Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors is aiming to do. You could almost refer to this book as a hypnotist’s bread-and-butter – all it takes is a cursory glance at the review section, and you’ll see how many of the real-world pros keep referring back to it! This book is, effectively, a compendium of scripts, stories and suggestions, which cover just about every major topic that a hypnotist would address. You can read them word-for-word if you wanted to, though it’s probably more advisable to alter these stories to suit the issue at hand. Its biggest advantage is that it covers everything: whether you’re a beginner or an established pro, whether you’re treating clients or looking at self-hypnosis, there’s something in this book for you. Be wary, though; some practitioners have commented on the fact that the effectiveness of these scripts do vary, and that personal judgement should still come into play.
by Ormond McGill
This is one of the most highly-commended books on stage hypnosis out there, and it’s a little more advanced than some of the walkthrough books featured earlier on this list. It’s divided into three sections. The first section is called Mastering Hypnosis, and it offers something of an introduction: you’ll learn about the history and the general concepts and theories around hypnotism, and the magnetic and hypnotic power of your own body. All this theory is fairly hefty, at over 250 pages, but these pages are a goldmine of useful ideas, methods and teachings. They also include step-by-step instructions on certain techniques! The second section, Entertaining with Hypnotism, is where the fun can really start. If you’re dreaming of getting onstage and hypnotising a stunned audience, this is for you. Here, McGill uses examples from some of the most successful hypnotic shows ever to be performed – from the audience warm-ups to the final bow, from the commercial output to the legal precautions. If you’ve already got some skills under your belt and are looking to create a showstopper, this would be the perfect book for you.
by Sidney Rossen
We couldn’t write this list without addressing this work of art! Milton Erickson has been called the most influential hypnotherapist of all time; through the use of carefully-selected suggestions, humour and anecdotes, he was able to change the lives of countless people. This book is a perfect encapsulation of Erickson’s power: whilst seeming, at face value, to be a collection of stories about Erickson’s patients, it actually has a far deeper use. Erickson, after all, was able to change lives with stories. By reading this book, you’re not only learning about the art of hypnosis: you’re being subjected to it. The stories themselves are thoroughly enjoyable: sometimes funny, sometimes scandalous, sometimes dark, but always intriguing. Editor Sidney Rossen commentates each case with a breakdown of Erickson’s methods and motives, and does an excellent job of shedding light on a complex art. If you do, like many budding hypnotists, have an interest in Milton Erickson, be sure to also check out Uncommon Therapy by Jay Haley!
This is best books on hypnosis. We hope we helped to you and you will choose one of them to read.