How to Use the Simple Power of Hypnotic Repetition Effectively


Repetition is considered the "mother of all learning" and good hypnotists recognize and use repetition with clients to empower every aspect of the  hypnosis process.

This article and accompanying video below explores why repetition works, and how to effectively use repetition in the hypnosis office to help your clients achieve a greater level of success

The Brain Loves Repetition Because it's Familiar - which is Comforting

The Simple Truth about Repetition

The brain loves repetition because it's familiar  - and familiar is comforting. 

One of the reasons repetition works is for the same reason - the repetitive hypnotic suggestion becomes familiar to the client and they reach a deeper state of hypnosis as the conscious mind relaxes into a sense of  'ah we've heard this before'.

This makes the hypnosis session more enjoyable and powerful for the client, and helps them achieve a greater level of success faster.

With continued repetition of familiar suggestions before, during, and after the hypnosis session, the suggestion becomes so familiar that it actually becomes what we call a habit of the mind - or what I like to call an executable program of the mind. 


What is a habit?

A habit is like a program, executed by the brain automatically without much or any conscious input.

Habits are created out of our brain's desire to conserve energy while completing repetitive tasks. Habits conserves energy, and the mind just relaxes into the repetitive task. The task itself can be positive or negative. As hypnotists - we want to replace any perceived negative habit with a more positive one.

For example, if  a client is bored, their habitual response may be to eat.  What we want to do is first is help our client to recognize the feeling of being bored, then come up with a more appropriate response like : going on a walk, calling a friend, or reading.

That more appropriate response then becomes a hypnotic suggestion for our clients that is repeated back to them in hypnosis, and over time it will become the healthy habit in response to feeling stress.

An example is the following :  "Every time you feel bored,  you find something fun to do - like go on a walk or listen to music".  

Or "Every time you feel bored, you laugh out loud which inspires you to find something interesting to do". 


Effective Use of Repetition in Hypnosis

One of the most common ways to use repetition in hypnosis is to simply repeat a hypnotic suggestion back to the client while they're in the hypnotic state, like the example above.

And this is a very straight-forward and effective technique.

Yet -  there are two even MORE POWERFUL ways to use repetition in the hypnosis session. 


Technique 1 : Listen, then Repeat

This technique is about listening to your client - deeply paying attention to what they are saying (verbally and non-verbally) to you. 

Listen to what changes they want to make and then write down their specific language.

This includes active listening, and asking the right questions, like "How do you WANT to feel?" , and "How will you KNOW you're feeling better?"

When does this process begin? The moment we come in contact with our client. This could be an an event, on the phone, or in an email. The more you do this work the more you'll begin listening for what your client is really saying. "Reading" between the lines so to speak.

Here's how I do it : the moment I come into contact with a client I write down what they are saying to me. Normally this happens on the phone. I don't take detailed notes while I'm in front of a client because it's more important for me to listen to what they are saying and watch for what they're not saying verbally.

When I meet a client, I review what they already shared with me. Keep in mind that at times our clients will share things with us over the phone or in casual conversation at an event that they forget to mention in the office. It's refreshing and comforting to our clients when we are able to repeat back to them something they mentioned to us previously. And many times - what they tell us before the official first session is what they really want anyway.

The Key : Repeat back to your client their  suggestion using their exact language

Suggestions that come from the client are more powerful

Example : Your client states she wants to "feel like herself again"

In hypnosis you repeat back that suggestion to your client as "You are feeling like yourself again" and support it with other suggestions.

It's not nearly as powerful if you say something different - like "You feel like the old you", or "You feel like the you from college again". Although similar, it will not have the same effect with your client because that is not the specific language they used.

Here's a brief outline of the steps :

Step 1 : Be a Great Listener : Listen to the specific language your client uses. Ask them:  How do you WANT to feel? How will you KNOW when you have it?

Step 2 : Repeat the suggestions back to them in hypnosis using their specific language. 

These suggestions are easily acceptable to your client because THEY came up with them. This technique is simple and effective.


Technique 2 : Repetitive Themes

The second technique is the use of repetitive themes with clients. Sometimes a hypnotic suggestion is really bigger than just a suggestion - it's really a theme for the client that can be incorporated into every session. For example, common hypnotic suggestions that make great repetitive themes include "on a new path", and "feeling like myself again", or "writing a new chapter in my life".

If the hypnotic suggestion used in the Listen and Repeat Technique makes sense to use as a theme for the client, then it means you can use that suggestion in every session with them for a variety of purposes. This means they'll hear the suggestion every time they work with you and it becomes even more powerful.

Not every hypnotic suggestion works well as a theme, for example, a client may say they want to "drink more water", and in hypnosis you would repeat that back to them as a hypnotic suggestion. You still may repeat that back to them in every session, but it doesn't make a good repetitive theme because it's too narrow and specific.

Repetitive themes tend to be more abstract and general so they can mean different things to the client at different stages of the hypnosis process. Over time it can be something the client adopts as a new way of living for them - their new story.


When to use these techniques

Both of these techniques are simple and effective. They're easy to incorporate into your practice right away, and it's likely you're already doing all or at least part of them now.

All of this works for a few simple reasons :

  1. The brain loves repetition because it's comfortable and safe, and
  2. Our clients have answers to their own issues inside of them.

Put those two together and we have a simple and effective technique for helping our clients make the changes they want to make in their life as quickly as possible.

Watch Hypnosis, Etc Episode with Erika Flint and Cal Banyan on the Power of Repetition

Now for even more detail, watch the video below where Cal Banyan and I discuss this exact topic. Then leave your comments below.


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Bye for now,