If you want to learn hypnosis from all sides that matter, this is The Reading List™.
It’s not particularly short, many of the books and works listed here are very theory-heavy.
Now, if you’re up to solving simple problems that you, or those around you have, you’ll find a lot of tools and techniques that you can immediately use in the Basics list.
And if you’re a copywriter/ salesperson looking to improve, you’ll want to focus on the more therapy-oriented titles on this list.
Lastly, if you’re here just to impress friends, you can’t go wrong with Reality is Plastic and the Stage Hypnosis section.
Basics of Hypnosis (mostly direct stuff)
A good research-based overview of what hypnosis is, the ways it functions, and all that. It’s academic language, but it does cover everything in a coherent definition of what, how, and why.
Hypnotherapy — Dave Elman
One of the most, if not THE most important book on hypnosis and hypnotherapy so far. Must-read for anyone even remotely interested in practicing hypnosis in any extent whatsoever.
Yes, it is about therapy, but it covers all principles which are important.
And it does so in a very accessible manner.
Reality is Plastic — Anthony Jacquin
Excellent intro to practice, regardless of which direction you want to take later on. It’s a beginner’s book. It does cover things fairly direct perspective, and it makes in-person work easy. Which you should take advantage of; as suggestion remains suggestion regardless of medium.
Conversational (covert) Hypnosis
A lot of it mimics the approaches of conventional marketing. Yet the linguistic subtleties are something that I rarely see mentioned.
Worth your while, especially with regards to storytelling, using confusion, and metaphors.
Ericksonian Approaches — A comprehensive Manual — Thomas L. South
It explains most of the Ericksonian principles in a straightforward way, and opens the way for your study of the next book:
My Voice Will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton Erickson — Sidney Rosen
Basically a script book. It contains the words of Milton Erickson. In-depth study of the way they’re written and their contents will prove very useful.
Literally anything by Igor Ledochowski
The authority on conversational hypnosis in this day, Igor went from lawyer to coach, to hypnotist. Any of his materials are pure gold as far as I’m concerned. What will be of most interest to writers are:
Power of Conversational Hypnosis,
Mind Bending Language System,
and World-Class Hypnotic Storyteller.
These are aimed at elaborating on issues, problems, and solutions a hypnotherapist can offer to their clients. This is definitely not something you can just pick up and use. It requires that you know what you’re doing, and that you can actually help your audience when implementing these ideas.
International Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis
Title says it all. The book is aimed at psychologists and psychiatrists, so the language can be rather dense at times.
Clinical Use of Hypnosis in CBT — Robin A. Chapman
If you’re interested in your target audience picking up healthier behaviors (such as selling coaching programmes), this is the book.
The Complete CBT Guide to Anxiety — Lee Brosan
Paired with the above, it gives insight into the methods of approach, the way to get your reader rid of anxiety. I imagine it especially powerful when their anxiety prevents them from taking action.
Hypnosis and Treating Depression — Michael D. Yapko
Same as above, except with depression. If you’re selling a good, life-changing program, deep knowledge of your audience is necessary. And what better way to start that process than by knowing what works, and what doesn’t?
Provocative Hypnosis — Jorgen Rasmussen
An absolute gem of a book, especially when you know your audience enough. That said, it does need a very deep familiarity with your prospects, so it’s quite difficult to use these methods reliably.
Stage Hypnosis and Mentalism
The reason this section is even here is because being in your audience’s heads is always an astonishing phenomenon for them. It gets attention really, really well.
The New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis — Ormond McGill
Everything you need to get out and run a show. You’ll find easy, quick and useful techniques of getting attention, guiding it, and utilizing it.
13 Steps to Mentalism — Corinda
Super-old book, but it’s still very much valid, and useful.
And… that’s it. There’s a lot more worthwhile books that I could recommend, but this should be a sufficiently wide spectrum of techniques and information to cover anything you might need, whether you’re writing copy, or helping friends out. Or making sales.