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If you are enrolled in a hypnosis program, this page will have your first two basic techniques:

  • Countdown Technique
  • Journal


Countdown Technique

Please start practicing the Countdown on a daily basis. It helps you create a strong foundation for change. And please read this entire page twice. Twice is nice.

1. Count down from 10 to 1, slowly.

  • Say, “10 . . . deeper . . . relaxed . . .”
  • Then say, “9 . . . deeper . . . relaxed . . .”
  • Then say “8 . . . deeper … relaxed …” and so on until you reach 1.

Q. “How do I breathe?”

Keep your breath symmetrical. For example, if you inhale for three seconds, then you would exhale for three seconds.

Q. “My exhalation is longer than my inhalation. What can I do to inhale more slowly?”

Many people find exhaling to be easier. To inhale more slowly, imagine there’s a feather suspended in mid-air between your upper lip and your nostrils. When you inhale, keep that feather from getting sucked up into your nose. And keep that feather from dropping to the ground.

Remember, this is an imaginary feather. But imagine it as really being there. Many clients tell me this gives them more control while inhaling.

Q. “How do I speak the words?”

Speak pretty normally, and gently lower your pitch later during the word. You can also speak more quietly than usual. Experiment with how to speak with less effort and energy. Ideally you’ll get to a point where the word and the exhalation become one unit rather than two things.

When  you exhale, you speak the word. And each exhalation has only one word. For example, if you say the word “deeper,” you would say it as you start exhaling, “Deeeeeperrrr.” You stretch out the word so it’s as long as your exhalation.

Q. “How often do I practice each day? And when?”

Practice three times a day for optimal results.

  • Ideally practice in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep, you can add a fourth time when you’re in bed. Do that one silently.
  • If you’d rather make slower progress, then don’t do it three times a day. If you’d rather make faster progress, then do practice three times a day. If you have trouble with consistency, I can help. Just ask me for some tips.

Q. “Do I always have to speak the words out loud?”

Out loud is better during the first two weeks of getting into a routine. But even during the first two weeks it’s okay to do it silently if you’re at the office or in a more public place.

Q. “After I finish, what do I do?”

Drink some water and walk around to bring yourself out of hypnosis. Make sure you give yourself a few minutes to get back to the regular world before you drive a car or engage in tasks that require a fully conscious state of mind.

Q. “I have a busy life. I don’t think I can easily fit this into my routine.”

I can help you fit this into your routine, so just ask me. Practicing three times a day will sharpen your focus, reduce stress, and make you more productive. And you’ll feel happier. Busy people tend to get the most benefit from the Countdown. And they’re often surprised at how easy it is to fit into their day after I share a few pointers.


Please start keeping a progress journal on a daily basis. Write in cursive rather than print. You remember cursive, right? It’s that old-fashioned loopy writing that you learned as a kid.

Keeping a journal may seem simple. But there’s a lot of hidden power in keeping this type of journal. If you’ve done this type of journal before, you already know the deeper effect writing in a journal can have.

Some of my most journal-skeptical clients became big fans of the journal. And if you ask them explain why the journal worked, they wouldn’t be able to quite put it into words.

  • They would tell you that they experienced some powerful shifts that surprised them. Logic alone doesn’t explain the power of their changes.
  • On the surface, keeping a journal seems so ordinary. But there’s more to the story, and I’ll keep it mysterious for now.

Please get a journal.

  • Some people use an ordinary notebook.
  • Some  buy a really nice notebook or journal.
  • Some use a three-ring binder.
  • If you don’t have a journal, yet, then just use loose leaf paper until you get one.

Using the journal

1. Get out your journal right before going to bed.

  • With a little practice, it may only take two minutes to fill out your journal each night.

2. Write down the hypnosis exercise you did today.

  • Ex. Write down what techniques you practice (e.g., Countdown) and how many times you did them.

3. Write down brief thoughts or experiences from today. They can be hypnosis related or random things.

  • You don’t have to write a whole page. Please keep this brief.
  • If you’re finding that you want to write a lot, then consider doing this step earlier in the evening.
  • Ideally writing in your journal right before bed takes two minutes.

4. And last but not least, write down two appreciations.

  • The appreciations can range from very simple to very profound.
  • I’ll share a few appreciations from my old journal.
  • I appreciate that: I have hair on my head… I had a nice lunch with an old friend.
  • I appreciate that: I live in a free country… I’m married to a wonderful woman.
  • I appreciate that: I have two feet to walk on… I have a roof over my head.

Q. “Why do you want me to write in cursive instead of print?”

Studies have shown that cursive engages your brain in a more powerful way. If you’re going to write for two minutes, you may as well get the most from those two minutes.

Q. “I don’t remember cursive. Do I still need to write in cursive?”

I can’t make you write in cursive. I strongly recommend it to speed up your progress and to get the most from the journal.

If you want to remember cursive, look online for the letters and start practicing a bit.

  • Your muscle memory will return faster than you expect.
  • You can ask your subconscious to help you remember cursive as you do the Countdown.

Q. “What’s so useful about the two appreciations?”

The last things you think about before falling asleep can influence the quality of your dreams and your sleep. By coming from a place of appreciation, clients tell me that helps their sleep.

And it helps them become more appreciative of what they have rather than focus on what is missing. And that attitude helps people make faster progress in their hypnosis journey.

Q. “I feel uncomfortable keeping a notebook around. When if someone else reads it?”

Talk to me about this concern. We’ll figure out a solution, together.

Q. “I’m having trouble doing the journal consistently. Is it really that big a deal?”

Yes, it’s that big a deal. Talk with me about what’s going on with consistency; we’ll figure out a way to make it easier.

Q. “A friend told me that there’s synergy between the Countdown and Journal. Is this true?”

Yes, it’s true. And it’s surprising, because there’s no obvious connection between the two. But after being a hypnotist for many years, the evidence I’ve seen is too compelling. Clients who do both do much better than clients who only do the Countdown. I’m sometimes amazed at this connection, but I’m not surprised anymore.

Bottom line: do the journal if you want to make faster progress. It matters. A lot.

870 Market St., Suite 851   San Francisco, CA 94102    Phone: (415) 421-7200