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Double Binds

Double binds are a very simple and extremely powerful structure that has been used by many parents all over the world. Do you want to go to bed now or in 5 minutes?

Basically, you provide the subject with multiple options (usually two) that are all in the favor of the hypnotist.

Offering more than two options is possible, but can also easily confuse a subject. Which is fun but generally a different purpose.

Do you want to go into trance now, or later?

Did you want to go into a profoundly deep state or are you already there?

Will you forget to remember or remember to forget?


Time based

Physical locations/sensations:


By its very definition, the unconscious mind is not part of the conscious mind and providing an option like this means that either the conscious mind is hypnotized or the unconscious.

Reverse sets

With resistance play or someone who might be struggling, it could be nice to provide them with two ways to resist. Picking either one means they still follow your suggestions.


A strange form where the two parts are connected by the content of the two options without a logical connection. The confusion caused tends the mind to sort of "go along with it".

Opposite or new directions

The questions can also be used to offer new choices or ways to do something while still directing them into a nicer place.

Did you notice?

A fun variation is to ask a subject if they know/realize/notice X. This gives only two options of: "Yes, I noticed that it's happening." or "No, I didn't notice, but it's still happening."

Covering all options

Rapidly combining double-binds with all possible options can also make someone feel like they're doing everything you're saying.

Negative Options

These are more complicated to work with and should only be used when there's well-established trust between hypnotist and subject. The concept is to provide two options where neither is desired by the subject. Often they imply with either option that something is wrong with the subject.

The result is a vulnerable confusion state as the subject doesn't want to admit to either.