My good friend James Tripp is riding high at the moment: his latest Hypnosis Without Trance product sold out in minutes!

I knew James included lots of Clean Language ideas in his work. But I hadn’t spotted the references to “trance without induction” in David Grove’s only published book until I re-read on a flight it recently.

I wonder, is there a relationship?

Written with B I Panzer in 1989, David’s book Resolving Traumatic Memories has been out of print for years. But if you’re curious, you can easily get a copy on Amazon.

I’m not going to recommend the book as any kind of introduction to Clean Language. As ever, David was working on the extreme edge of the known, experimenting therapeutically, and discovering what worked in practice.

The book was created from transcripts – David would never have sat still for long enough for an “ordinary” writing project. And what theory there is feels like “intellectual backfill” (a phrase of John Grinder’s that seems to fit rather well here).

But Panzer, apparently an experienced hypnotherapist, makes some astute observations about David’s work in his preface.

“The use of Clean Language can elicit trance without induction…” he says.

“The therapist’s Clean Language facilitates a state of purposeful, focused, uncontaminated self-absorbtion.”

Is “trance without induction” the same or different to “hypnosis without trance”? Is a Clean Language client in “trance” or not?

Judge for yourself in one of my session videos here – and please comment below.

    18 replies to "Clean Language: Hypnosis Without Trance?"

    • Chris Morris

      Can you say more about how you understand Panzer’s comment – “the use of Clean Language can elicit trance without induction”?

      To me, ‘induce’ carries a connotation of active persuasion whereas ‘elicit’ suggests drawing out what’s already there.

      But elicit also used to mean bringing forth by means of trickery or magic.

      So when Clean Language elicits trance, what kind of elicits is that elicits?

    • Judy

      Good question Chris.
      I read “elicit” as “drawing out”, but I suppose any kind of “lure” to encourage an animal etc to emerge can potentially be a trick.
      “Elicit. 1620s, from L. elicitus , pp. of elicere “draw forth,” from ex- “out” + -licere, comb. form of lacere “to entice.” Related: Elicited ; eliciting ; elicits. Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper”
      My guess from the context is that Panzer wasn’t intending to imply a “trick”. Later in the same passage he says “In many cases the client provides all the ingredients, knowledge and energy for his own healing. The therapist merely evolves the client’s own process…”
      Having said that, the processes described in the rest of the book are a lot less “Clean”, a lot “trickier” than David’s later work. I think they were only just beginning to discover what was possible – and perhaps we are still only at the beginning of that journey.

    • Maarten Aalberse

      When I read Panzer’s book, I feel so grateful for what Penny and James have done in their modeling… And I guess their work has also been helpful for David; do you have any ideas about that?
      BTW: I think of your work as modeling the work of James and Penny, going ever more to the “bare bone” and making it applicable in almost any conversation…

    • Judy

      Thanks Maarten. I’m confident that in the end, David was delighted with James and Penny’s modelling work, though I gather the process wasn’t all sweetness and light.
      Is any modelling process going to be all sweetness and light? If the purpose is to pass on a set of skills, then the “teachable” model will be considerably simplified from the exemplar’s own experience.
      It has to be the “bare bones” to get the student started, to give them something to play with.
      Some of the best models are so “dumbed down” as to be almost unrecognisable to the originator – the NLP Disney strategy, for example. But a lot of their utility comes from their simplicity.

    • Judy

      By the way, there’s an article here in which I discuss modelling with Penny and James

    • James Tripp

      Hi Judy

      Norman Vaughton speaks a lot about naturalistic trance induction when he teaches the David Grove Quadrant 2 material.

      And if I understood right, wasn’t DG a skilled hypnotis? (at least at some point).

      For me, Clean Language is pure hypnosis. Not because it puts people into trance, but because it directionalises attention and facilitates experience.

      All the very best


    • Peter Wright

      “….Clean Language facilitates a state of purposeful, focused, uncontaminated self-absorbtion….”

      This mini-passage sums up (for me) what is happening. There is the labelling (trance, induction), and these are easy ways to sidetrack what I feel is really happening. If ‘trance’ is a label for ‘the shifting someone’s conscious perception of reality’ then it has confusion built in to it, because the general usage of ‘trance’ implies a suspension of that consciousness. Likewise if ‘induction’ is a means of introducing a state of ‘trance’ then the confusion is carried over.

      Using Clean Language as the vehicle to take someone on a trans-derivational search (e.g), tends to give them not only 360deg perception of their metaphorical landscapes, but a multi-dimensional perception of those landscapes. This, I believe, is part of the reason why Clean is such an effective vehicle – and of course there will be shifts in a person’s conscious perception of reality along the way…and for some this will be labelled as ‘trance’.
      Picture if you will a deep sea diver, as he swims (say) across a reef, describing what he sees as he goes. “And there’s some sea anenomes,” he might say. “And what kind of sea anenomes are those sea anenomes?” comes the “Clean” question. He goes in for a closer look – a more purposeful and focussed look – and as such he becomes even more absorbed in those sea anenomes.

      Given that Panzer was a hypnotherapist, then his use of the the labels ‘trance’ and ‘induction’ would (I suspect) have just been from a practical working perspective, because he goes on to qualify that labelling. It’s almost as if he’s been asked “…and what kind of trance is that trance?”
      So, for me, the practical uses of both Clean Language and Hypnosis Without Trance are centred around the fact that they are excellent vehicles.
      And that also they are surely vehicles where there are wheels within wheels, and the ‘therapist’ is merely a spokesman.

    • Peter Fallenius

      Chris Morris:

      Can you say more about how you understand Panzer’s comment – “the use of Clean Language can elicit trance without induction”?
      To me, ‘induce’ carries a connotation of active persuasion whereas ‘elicit’ suggests drawing out what’s already there.
      But elicit also used to mean bringing forth by means of trickery or magic.
      So when Clean Language elicits trance, what kind of elicits is that elicits?

      Agree, Chris. Induction seem to imply activity, and I feel that we feel we have to ‘DO’ something rather than ‘utilizing’ what is already there.
      It also connects to, ie paces, their reality, and then their reality goes ‘psychoactive’ (ie they go into trance).
      It is all already there, Clean Language is just one way to extremely quickly find the words, or other ‘things’, that ‘connects’ to it…

      I hope this makes sense… 🙂

      I am putting out some more information about how I think it relates to marketing very soon.

    • Anand

      I’m hearing a few different definitions being used here, so I think some clarifications would be useful. There seems to be different complex equivalences being used in this thread, so I offer a few definitions and then go into

      Is ‘hypnosis without trance’ the same as ‘trance without induction’?

      (I try to avoid throwing my own complex equivalences into the mix by separating out the key elects as best I can)

      Firstly, to preface, Richard Bandler says with regard to altered states, altered compared to what? In this thread there is mention of normal waking state … I think his point is that there is not an altered or trance state and normal waking states, but an infinite number of mind body states, characterised by various observations (eye closed/open, muscle relaxation, movement/no movement etc.) and in each, different ranges of capabilities and manifestations characteristic of those states.

      Eriksons definition of hypnosis (the state of hypnosis) is ‘the loss of the multiplicity of the foci of attention’ what James calls directionalising attention and facilitating experience (of new realties for the person)


      1. there’s the protocol or hypnotic induction, trance induction, or just induction, which I think can be used synonymously … ie the process of doings that lead to an altered (or different) mind body state

      2. hypnotic phenomena, eg (james’s demo, arm catalepsy, dissociation (of the arm) and jury’s demo positive hallucination of the sphere)

      3. And then theres mind body states, trance state, hypnotic state … The physiology and state that the person is actually in.

      4. Then there’s suggestibility … Will the person follow/carry out the suggestions?

      5. Then there are correlates of what is thought of as defining a classical trance state … Eg eyes closed, slow voice, body relaxation at rest, and still, not moving …

      On James’ video with the girl, the point he makes is the no eye closed, she’s nodding, smiling, chatting as in the normal waking state and yet still exhibiting hypnotic phenomena

      So that would suggest hypnosis without trance in this case means ‘hypnotic phenomena without a mind body (trance) state that is characterised by eyes closed, person not moving, sitting in a chair etc. … To me, it’s an extremely impressive demo of getting her to completely dissociate from her arm in a very short period of time … Nice work James!

      I got slightly confused when i looked at James’ website where the strap line is hypnosis without trance … no ‘sleep’, no ‘eyes closed’, no ‘deeper and deeper’ which are often in a classical trance induction, and James uses none of these (see below in the demo you can hear on YouTube) … so based on the strap line on website, here (differently) to me James’ ‘hypnosis without trance’ I interpret as hypnotic phenomena without an old style trance/hypnotic induction protocol AND no eyes closed, slumping in chair etc.

      There is however an induction from what I could see from the demo on YouTube where you can hear the words, there is a very skilfully executed induction (from 1.30 “now … have you ever experienced any kind of hypnosis before (recalling state) (yeah) ok, I’d just like you to Relax just long enough to pick a point on that that you can just look at, you can just focus on, focus on fully, focus on completely be aware of the sounds around you (pacing) becoming part of that experience as you focus on that point. And as you do that, you don’t need to pay attention to your breathing, you don’t need to Pay Attention to the sensation of your fingers gripping (pacing and leading) that packet. But as you do that you notice on your breathing you focus on that point, continue to focus on that point 2.03… The entire induction to a state that is characterised by ‘the loss of the multiplicity of the foci of attention’ takes just under 35 seconds … James is an extremely skilful hypnotist! … But is definitely an induction of sorts… And the guy goes into what I would call a ‘waking trance state’, eyes open…

      James, I’d value your take on my pieced together definition of ‘hypnosis without trance’ which to me means hypnotic phenomena without a classical induction, and without the characteristics of classical hypnotic trance state i.e. eye closed, slump in chair etc. … I.e. There exist mind body states in which the characteristics of a normal waking state (nodding chatting smiling) can coexist with hypnotic phenomena … Arm dissociation and catalepsy (eg erikson, “you come out of trance, but leave THAT hand over there in in a perfectly nice trance, while you come out of trance and talk to me … What is that hand doing over there floating like that .. Isn’t that funny/aren’t you curious what that hand is doing etc etc.”)

      Now, coming to Judy’s demo and clean language … And ‘trance without induction’

      Here I’m inclined to agree … A trance state and hypnotic phenomena appears (positive hallucination) of a sphere without any induction or suggestion to do so …

      However 0.29 there’s been a pace back of his words and then “and what kind of clarity is that clarity” is an odd question … Gilligan says ‘a trance state appears when a persons map fails’ when they go of the edge of their map … And I think this is where the trance state starts on this demo. Also wonder if fractionation plays a part … He’s going in and considering things he’s never considered before and coming out and answering many many times.

      Then at 1.06 “people need to understand” (a verb) and Judy says “what kind of understanding” is a very weird question following his normal statement (also i think possibly he expects her to understand his statement as he nods slowly so i think its a doubly confusing question and also doesn’t follow on from his previous statement in any way he’s been used to in the past .., off the map,again.

      (As an interesting aside she switches the verb understand to a noun understanding and … Then he says ‘respect’ as a noun and she switches it to a verb …”respect it, what kind of people need to respect it”) … Clean but not clean!

      At 1.57 “it feels like it’s very close and if I don’t grab it, it’s going to disappear” and he puts his hand out…

      Now the non verbal suggestions to positively hallucinate start

      At 2.19 … “its everything you want and it’s very close” (in space) … She points to where it was and looks to where ‘it’ was and he puts his hand back there … She looks at it as if it’s a real object in space and the positive hallucination is accepted by him … Trance phenomena achieved … 2.23 “there” and he points to it with the other hand.

      Then Judy starts with suggestions, mostly non verbal but also turning his statements into commands by selectively deleting certain words, and leaning on certainly words as she feeds them back … Also when she feeds the words back, they can have different meanings given the context even though they are his words. Also she keeps moving her head and looking at it like it’s real.

      2.30 its there and it’s everything you want and it’s very close (in time?)

      2.54 shes just fed his words back (pacing) and then he says “I need to put it where it’ll be safe” … She feeds back I need to Put it where it’ll be safe” she leans on the P in put, a command … Watch her hands they are turned over like in a grabbing rather then pointing

      3.14 Also moving her head to make it more real .. “That it, that it’s like what?”

      And here the master move … 3.18 “And it’s pushing you away and GRAB it! …” and at the same time she gestures with her hand for the third time to close his hand around it … “it’s there, close” 3.24 …” It’s like a circle, it’s like a ball” he grabs it, turns his hand over and he’s now holding it!!! … She told him to nonverbally … His words acting as pacing

      But he puts it back …

      3.56 Judy goes between the two gestures palm up grabbed palm forward … And he follows along perfectly … Masterful Judy!

      “And you need to put it where it’s safe and she gestures very quickly” …but he doesn’t do it until “Whereabouts is where it’s safe?” and he complies, turns his hand over and puts it in his chest … Job done!!!

      That ball, you need to put it there, there, at the core of you (while he’s still got his hand on his chest) reinforces it … Is there anything else about clarity when (you are) ‘there’ at the core of you … Another example of different meaning when fed back … And he says I know exactly what to do …

      the language may be clean, but not much else Judy! … The rest is very very skilful verbal (his words) and nonverbal …suggestion outside of his awareness …


      Trance without induction … Yes, I’d say, by asking questions that take a person of their map, and then acting as if you can see something ‘there’ and they join you in the positive hallucination … And no linguistic trance induction whatsoever!

      So that’s my take on

      Hypnosis without trance and
      Trance without induction

      Plus two very skilled hypnotists Judy and James


    • Anand

      also please i misheard … he does say “respect it”

    • graham

      Hi Judy,

      The first time I delved into ‘clean’ with a client, I remember thinking, “Oh, I recognise that look”.

    • Peter Wright

      Anand – what a fascinating breakdown! Wherein much is revealed – at least to me – about my intuitive perceptions. More answers don’t necessarily equate to fewer questions however – rather they lead to a different range of questions.
      Mind blowing I know – however, fortunately for me, I deal mostly with practical applications!

      I did say, Judy, that particular video was one of your most powerful pieces!

    • Judy

      Hmm, Anand, I’ve been thinking hard about how to respond to your comments – mostly because when I was doing the demo, I wasn’t aware of doing several of the things that you observe me doing. And that opens a number of loops for me.
      I think the demo, with your assessment of it, ends up being a brilliant example of how being Clean isn’t – and can’t be – completely Clean. When you influence someone’s attention by asking questions, by repeating back, you really are influencing them, whether you know it or not. And in fact you may be influencing them in a much more profound and effective way than by “trying” to influence them.
      As you mentioned when we met the other day, Clean Language becomes a great inoculation. The Clean Language therapist may be out there saying “I won’t try to influence you, my ethics don’t allow it” but in fact they are influencing, all the way. The client is encouraged to open up, believing that they provide all the content, all the direction, and won’t be influenced… and is then particularly vulnerable to the influence of the therapist.

    • Judy

      And many thanks Peter and Graham for your comments. Peter, what kind of questions do you have now?

    • Peter Fallenius

      Judy, your comment to Anand’s post hits on many of the reason why I thought from my first contact with Clean Language that the idea it was ‘non-influential’ was a very ‘funny’ concept…
      One of the main ‘beauties’ with the limitations, that following the Clean Language structure enforces, is that it stops people from doing what they normally would like to say, and by doing so often break rapport, by mismatching the client…
      What Clean Language doesn’t teach ( and can’t since it claims to be ‘non-influential’), is what is going really on and how it could be used for influence. Robert Collier, among others, would have loved it…even though h did quite well without it 🙂
      As far as, using it for manipulation…it is very easily doable, but would only be done out of stupidity, since the number of really upset enemies would accumulate very quickly, and that the opportunities from doing mutually positive things is so easy so that the positive intent of empowering is really the only one making sense.
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Peter 🙂

      Ps. …an ‘induction’ in a very basic form can be a ‘Listening Induction…’ 😉

    • Peter Fallenius

      Also, I agree with Judy that when someone is “…“trying” to influence…” it implies adding a ‘force’, and human nature is to fight a force, so by only using & leveraging the already existing energy, while removing blocks/brakes/etc can create massive momentum very quickly… (however, being aware of where it’s heading might be wise, before it is released… 🙂 )

    • trine

      wow amazing how as a conversation develops, so what appeared to be simple develops, as it develops to include complexities> Whether they are all equivalences, might be a matter of debate…. and interepretation,and perception too….

      Its like watching tensioned language unwind. revealing itself,The selfsame occurs, with clients in body oriented psychotherapy, knots unwind. and then nots of resistence and dis association which separate states of awareness,become yes. and begin to cohere.

      re langauage and meaning, and distictions,….
      force and power get used interchangeably, however theres distinct distinctions between force and power which are significant differences……

      wound up clients end up power-less but forced full:-overloaded with tension. which distacts, from full attention. full attention is powerful and relaxed.

      filled with awareness just present, and that it seems to me was what david was striving towards, a style of working which was most present and least interefering,field to field,being to being

    • Peter Fallenius

      Interesting thoughts, Trine. 🙂

      Another thought…Power is most easily acquired by people who do not care if they have it, or not…

      If we strive for power itself, it is often quickly lost…

      A wise person said; ‘If you are truly OK with getting a ‘No’, then you can anyone for anything.’ 🙂

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