Getting Started

 First, a note: This isn't going to be any sort of technical, in-depth discussion about hypnosis. I assume you know at least a little about it, or you wouldn't have gotten this far in the first place. And I'm certainly no expert. So let me just tell you a few things I've learned (or had proven to me) by personal experience and by asking people more knowledgeable than me:
  •     Hypnosis can't make you do anything you don't want to do or think anything you don't want to think. In fact, it might not even be able to make you do some things you do want to do, or think some things you do want to think. It's not magic.
  •     Becoming suggestible enough to forget something on command seems to take practice, and probably also a particular kind of mindset. I certainly haven't been able to do it yet.
  •     Different people respond to hypnosis in different ways. Just because you don't feel the same thing I do, or some other blogger does, that doesn't mean you haven't gone under. If you're like me, you might notice reactions in your body before you notice them in your mind.
  •     One common experience, while under hypnosis, is to think, "I could move/open my eyes/resist/etc., but it's too much trouble, so I'll just go along with the suggestion instead." If you find yourself thinking this way, you probably are hypnotized.
  •     It's okay to change position during a session to make yourself more comfortable. This will not interfere with your trance.
  •     If you find your mouth getting dry during a session because it's hanging open, you can wet your lips or swallow; it won't interfere with your trance. It's also helpful to let your tongue rest against the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose.
Downloading and Installing Virtual Hypnotist
Virtual Hypnotist is available for free on Follow the Watch's website. Navigate to the "Downloads" page, then (assuming you don't already have an older version of VH) click on "download full version." Follow the directions on the page. I also strongly recommend that you download the speech synthesizer (SAPI4 - not SAPI5) and the "Videos and Characters Expansion Pack 2).

If you're running Windows 10 (and probably some of the other, more recent versions of Windows, you'll also need to get a copy of an Active X control called Comdlg32.ocx. There are lots of places to find it online. Just Google it.

1. Begin by unzipping Comdlg32.ocx and placing it in the right folder. If you're running a 32-bit system, put it in C:\Windows\System32. If you're running a 64-bit system, put it in  C:\Windows\SysWOW64. Now open a "Run" window and paste in whichever of the following applies to you:

For 32-bit computers: regsvr32 c:\windows\SysWow64\comdlg32.ocx
For 64-bit computers: regsvr32 c:\windows\SysWow64\comdlg32.ocx

Once you've run this command, you'll get a window saying it was only partly successful. That's fine. Continue on to step #2.

2. Extract and run all the files from the speech synthesizer folder ("Merlin" doesn't work, but that's okay).

3. Now install Virtual Hypnotist itself. NOTE: Assuming you plan to use the speech synthesizer, install VH on your C: drive. I understand that some people might want to put it on a hidden and/or removable drive, but VH will not recognize the speech synthesizer unless they're both on C.

Fortunately, once you've installed VH and the speech synthesizer, you can move them to a hidden folder and/or an encrypted volume on your C: drive. Everything will still work, but if you created an encrypted volume, VH will only be accessible while the volume is mounted.

Your First Session
Once you've downloaded and installed both VH and SAPI4, you're ready to start VH for the first time. You'll be asked to select some settings and provide some very general data about yourself (things like name or nickname, gender, etc.).

You will also be asked to choose a trigger for yourself. This is a word that some scripts will use to help you go under quickly and deeply. You'll have to practice your chosen trigger for awhile before it becomes effective, but it can become very effective over time.

And just to reassure you, I have it on good authority (Lady Ru'etha) that not just anyone can use your trigger to send you into trance; it has to be someone you trust. So don't worry too much about choosing a word that you might hear from a random stranger on the street.

And now you're ready to try out a session.

IMPORTANT: For best results, listen to all VH sessions through headphones or earbuds, rather than through your speakers. Most sessions include binaural beats, which only work when you hear a different tone directly in each ear.

Now you have a choice of how to proceed, depending on how much you want to do or learn before jumping into your first session:

1. The quickest, easiest way to get a taste of a VH session is to put in your earbuds, then click the "Presets" button and select the title that sounds most appealing to you (If you're nervous, the two "Hypnotherapist" options are very, very tame). Then click the "Start Session" button on the main menu, and the session will begin automatically. If you want/need to exit the session before the end, hit the "escape" key or right-click and chose "stop session."

2. You can see the titles of more preloaded sessions by clicking the "Load" button on the main screen instead of the "Presets" button, and you can select the session you want by double-clicking it. Then, as above, just click the "Start Session" button on the main menu; and if you need to exit the session early, right-click and choose "stop session" or else hit the "escape" key.

3. If you want to preview and/or change certain elements of a session before committing yourself, click the Advanced Configuration button either before or after loading a session (You will see another "load" button at the bottom of the new window that opens when you click this button). Now go to the "Components" tab. You will see a number of different elements listed listed here, which you can select or deselect as you please. I will describe these elements in detail in the next section of this tutorial. For the moment, it's enough to know that you can preview each of them by double-clicking on it, and you can change the selection simply by highlighting a different option. Once you have the combination of elements you like best, just click "OK" to return to the main screen, then click "Start Session."

4. I really suggest getting used to how VH works before trying a session that uses a custom audio recording; but if you've downloaded and installed VH specifically to use with a recording, please refer to the Advanced Configuration page, and to the Components and Graphics and Audio tabs in particular.

5. I really don't recommend using the Session Wizard to create a personalized session until you've had more experience with VH; but if you're the kind of person who wants to have complete control over every facet of your experience right from the start, hey, go for it. You will have to read the Elements section of this tutorial first, though.

*Virtual Hypnotist is a freeware program created by Follow the Watch, not by me, and the program includes its own help files. You can download Virtual Hypnotist here.