Firstly, this article is aimed at those who are already practicing conversational hypnosis. Therefore it assumes that you have a basic understanding of the principles that underpin successful hypnosis. For example you should have a clear grasp of the 4 Stage protocol of covert hypnosis. You should be able to absorb the focus of the listener and successfully captivate them, move beyond their critical factor and then use hypnotic language and imagery to prompt an unconscious response before progressing to guide that response to your predetermined outcome. If you aren't at that stage yet then, although understanding the concept of piggy backing will be valuable for you, you really need to get the basic principles working first. There is plenty of information available online to help you achieve this.

The piggy back principle refers to the process of attaching a new concept or suggestion to ideas or thoughts that you know have already bypassed the critical factor. A good signal recognition system is vital here, as it is throughout if you really want to hypnotize someone without them knowing it. If you are clear that the subject has wholeheartedly accepted a concept you have already made then the objective is to attach a new, perhaps more hypnotically challenging concept to that idea.

One of the ways you can start to build this process is through establishing clear 'yes sets.' These are positive responses that you are seeking from your subject. Basically you want to introduce the idea that agreeing with you is pretty easy. You are telling the subject that you make sense and that they should, therefore, give some credence to what you are saying. Using a strong correlation to the physical senses is useful here. For example if you ask the subject if they have seen or heard something which you are fairly certain they will have, then you start establishing their unconscious desire to say 'yes' to you.

This isn't rocket science. If you are hypnotizing someone wearing a Batman T shirt then ask them if they've seen the latest Batman movie, ask them if they've read any Batman comics etc. By linking their yes responses to a physical sense (sight in this case) you are suggesting a bond between physical experiences and saying yes to you. This should form part of building a rapport with the subject. Saying 'yes' is habit forming and the more 'yeses' you get, the easier it is for the person you want to hypnotize to continue saying yes to you. Perhaps more importantly, the harder it will be for them to say no.

You can then build upon this process and use the same principle as an initial induction. Again, using repetition effectively, you should maintain your focus upon linking good 'yes sets' with physical experience. For example you can then ask if the subject has ever noticed how the hairs in the back of their arm stand up when they are excited. Then simply look at your own arm. They will almost certainly do the same, if not tell them to.

In doing this you are taking an unconscious involuntary reaction (how our hair follicles react) and drawing their conscious attention to it. In doing this you are taking control of their attention and can now reinforce that captivation with a positive response simply by saying something obvious about what they are looking at. You can say something like “you have blond hairs don't you?” Assuming that statement is true you will strengthen the principle of agreeing with you and the ease with which the subject feels they can say 'yes' to your suggestions. However the cool thing here is that, because their conscious mind is focused upon the hairs on the back of their own arm, you are making the suggestion primarily to their unconscious mind.

Now, as those of you familiar with conversational hypnosis know, you can't hypnotize someone simply by making a few obvious statements and getting agreement. We are discussing basic principles here. Repetition, good use of hypnotic language, signal recognition and amplification are all important. Only practice, personal experience and your own understanding of the correct patterns can enable you to judge when this part of hypnosis is successful for the individual you want to hypnotize. However, once you have clearly bypassed the critical factor it is time to start piggy backing those ideas.

So for example you can say:

“If you look at the hairs on your arm you can see when you are excited. With me it always makes you feel as if things are going to get really exciting.”

Don't worry too much about mixed subjective and objective statements. Firstly this is primarily intended for the subjects unconscious and should be delivered while they are in open trance. Secondly the mixing of subject and object, tenses and use of metaphors will increase rather than decrease captivation, if done properly. The piggy back of suggestion will work well in this context. You are making another statement that is undeniably true. You can indeed see the hairs on the back of your arm react when you are excited. You then attach the concept that the subject feels excited by being in your presence by simply saying “you are excited with me.” You then suggest that they should actually look forward with anticipation to being with you.

As I said earlier it is not simply a matter of making one or two of these hypnotic statements, though it can be of course. Repetition, reinforcement and amplification will probably be required if you want to have a profound and long lasting effect upon the subject.

Author's Bio: 

Ian Davis is an experienced conversational hypnotist who discovered how to hypnotize many years ago. Ian has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to use conversational hypnosis to help people realize their potential. He lives and works happily in the UK.