Have you ever been hypnotized?


They say that aphantasics can’t achieve a state of hypnosis because we can’t visualize. Invariably, the hypnotherapist begins with an instruction that involves visual imagery.

I’m curious if there are any aphants who have had successful hypnotherapy. 

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I have been hypnotized several times. Same old, same old. Words. 

Hi Matthew. You have?? What was your experience? Can you elaborate on what you mean by same old, same old, words?

Yes – successfully hypnotised to stop smoking years ago. I dont remember the hypnotist using visualisation though, 

too long ago… He did use “physical ” suggestion – put your hands together and you cant separate your fingers until I say, that sort of thing

But to your point, I’m not sure its true. We don’t visualise in pictures, but we “see” in words and description, so maybe the result is the same?

Hi Tim. That’s very interesting! I tried hypnosis in the mid-2000s for habit suppression that was visualization-based and so, failed miserably. I’m glad yours was a success. Did you advise the hypnotherapist that you couldn’t visualize and so, they chose a different method for you? Also, you’re right about “seeing” in words/language. I’ve been asked before how I could possible enjoy reading (fiction) if I can’t visualize what the author has written. I say that I can “see” what the author is describing – kind of like snapping legos together to make something – with words.

Thanks for commenting.

Hi Liana, I didnt say anything to the hypnotist as I had no knowledge of aphantasia at the time. Even now, I dont think of myself as not being able to visualise, I do,  but not with pictures…I never knew people really did see actual images in their mind!

I have had two people attempt to hypnotise me, to be told I am not a suitable subject. Once I found myself attempting to solve a problem by throwing my mind to a cobweb in the corner of a high ceiling and had the sensation of leaving my body – my feet became level with my chest and I realised I was putting myself into a trance but worried that if “I” was ‘out there’ how would I bring myself back in, so I pulled myself down into my body. Went round the room touching cutlery, furniture, walls as everything felt so alien. Was told I would have ‘come back’ by myself but that being in a mental hospital at the time was probably not the best place for such an experiment?

Hi Isabel. Firstly – woah. You can “throw” your mind? That’s some amazing spatial imagery you have. It was a good idea to ground yourself after such an experience. Very powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Further, – just remembered – consulted a specialist hypnotherapist to assist in overcoming a projection problem from psychotherapy. As I had enjoyed wonderful states during a psychotic (postnatal) episode, he went off, had a word with someone else, returning to tell me that hypnosis would not be a good idea as there could be a strong reluctance to return from trance. There is a beautiful world out there, Big sigh.