What we’re about to explain here is the very first exercise we teach our students who are first learning hypnosis. Nail this, and everything becomes easy.
It’s called revivification. What the heck is that? And what does it have to do with hypnosis?
How Does Hypnotic Revivification Work?
Have you ever daydreamed about a place you loved visiting or an activity you absolutely enjoyed doing? If your answer is yes, then that’s what revivification feels like, except that with the latter you are guided through the process by someone using descriptive language, that harnesses all your senses.
The word ‘revivify’ essentially means ‘bringing back to life’ or ‘reviving a memory’.
This is one of the first techniques we teach in our hypnosis academy. It teaches you to take the client through an activity they enjoy, while keenly observing the little changes in their external state (calibration) as they go into trance.
It is an essential component of effective hypnosis as it involves noticing the changes in their breathing, skin tone and expression. If you miss calibrating the tiny shifts in your client’s physiology, you miss doing your best for the client.
How Can You Tell When Someone Is Going Into a Hypnotic Trance?
(Read: The Importance of Calibration in Hypnosis)
You look for something called ETI’s - External Trance Indicators. To detect changes in a person’s physiology, it is essential to get a baseline to begin with. Notice their physiological state when they are speaking to you (baseline) before you lead them into trance. That way you will easily be able to detect changes to this baseline, indicating that something has changed and the person is going into trance.
But you don’t always need a hypnotic trance. An easy method to getting good at noticing people going into what we call ‘naturally occurring trances’, is to notice someone watching television as they sink into the couch and their eyes become glazed over as they get oblivious to everything around them.
Calibrate the shifts in their expression, posture and breathing, so you’ll know what to look for, in a hypnosis session or in this case a revivification.
Although revivification isn’t entirely hypnosis, it skims the surface in as far as getting the person into a trance state, having them access a memory from their past and observing them keenly as they do so.
What Does Revivification Involve?
Before you ask the client to shut their eyes, ask them about an activity they enjoy doing. It could range from hiking to swimming in the ocean, to working out or simply lying on a beach.
Gather information about the activity from them so that it is just enough to help you guide them through the experience, while they close their eyes.
Once you’ve gathered sufficient information to be able to talk about their experience, you ask the client to close their eyes and jump right into the experience.
The key to hypnotic revivification is to direct the client’s attention, but never direct their action.
When you describe things that must be in the client’s experie you’re using words to direct the client’s focus on the specific aspects that you highlight.
For example – If they talk about enjoying a swim, then you can bring their attention to the feel of the water against their arms or the pace of their own breathing.
You’ll be using language that implies the client is fully associated into the experience. This means they see through their own eyes. They are not watching some projection of themself in their mind’s eye.
“Notice the temperature of the water” is fine. “See yourself moving through the water” is not fine because it implies the client is dissociated. That’s a big no-no in this activity!
Remember to direct attention, not action. If your client is imagining singing in front of an audience, you are not going to tell them they’re at the chorus of a song, or that the drum solo is starting. That would be directing specific action, and you’d be mind reading.
You have no idea what’s actually happening in the client’s mind. That’s why you must make statements that must be true in that context.
The singer, on stage, can be directed to notice things such as the energy of the people in the audience, the feeling of the sound as it permeates through the body, the intensity of the lights, and even the enjoyment of performing.
All of these things must be in the experience. There must be an audience. The client told you so. There must be some level of lighting, even if it’s dark. There must be sound, since they are singing.
The key is to make statements that will be accepted without question, never rejected as wrong, jarring the client out of the experience. Get the right information from them to make their experience as vivid and authentic as possible in their model of the world.
Remember to calibrate, calibrate and calibrate – as you continue describing the experience, as this serves as an indicator of what you must do next.
Also remember to go at a slow pace and not rush it. This is because when one is in a trance, they access what we refer to as ‘the kinaesthetic system’ (more on this later). This sense takes time to be activated, as it is akin to physical touch so ‘GO SLOW’ to have them fully associate into the experience.
How Can You Intensify the Revivification Experience?
This can be achieved by engaging what we call ‘VAK’. This is an acronym for the three main representation system. VAK stands for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic systems. The latter includes the sense of touch as well as the taste and the smell.
Calling attention to more than one representational system will improve the quality of your hypnotic revivifications.
Think about all the ways you can use these systems. Here are some possibilities depending on what the client is imagining:
- You can see the ripples on the surface of the water
- You can hear the sounds of nature, as you walk
- And the distinct smell of that campfire is something you can appreciate in this moment
- Notice the temperature on the surface of your skin (or the cooling sensation of the wind)
Wake Them Up!
After a couple of minutes, bring your client back to the waking state. Of course, they were never asleep, but hypnosis is understood to be related to sleep in the mind of the general public. So when you’re done making statements that direct your client’s attention and you want to cleanly end the session, just tell them to come on back and feel amazing.
“And as you finish enjoying this wonderful experience, just allow your eyes to open, come on back to the room, and notice how good you feel.”
It’s really that simple.
Practice Makes You Better
The first time someone does this activity, it’s bound to feel overwhelming. There seems to be so much to focus on! Rest assured you’ll get better and better. And before you know it, this will seem easy.
(Read: The Secret to Mastering Hypnosis (Yes, there is one!)).
So, whether someone is running on the shores of a warm sunny beach or scuba diving in the dark depths of a salty blue ocean, they will revisit that memory with the fondest smile on their face and feel grateful for the experience.
To learn this technique and so many more amazing hypnosis tecyniques join the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy, our flagship online hypnosis training where you'll have access to the full course, certification included.
For our in-person hypnosis training, check out the Architecture of Hypnosis where you get to learn and practise with other students. You have the added advantage of immediate feedback from us as well.
For MMHA click here.
For Architecture of Hypnosis click here.