Society of Experiential Trance

~ Society of Experiential Trance ~

the Exclusive Society of Exceptionally Competent Practitioners in the Arts of

Altered States of Consciousness
Focused Trance Thoughtforms

Guided Imagery, Meditation, and
Genuine Experiential Trancework

About the Society of Experiential Trance

The Society of Experiential Trance is an Exclusive Community Society of Exceptionally Competent Practitioners in the Arts of Hypnosis, Altered States of Consciousness, Focused Trance Thoughtforms, Guided Imagery, Meditation, and other forms of Experiential Trancework. The function of the Society is to provide recognition for achievement while fostering a community in which competence and innovation are recognized as well as providing a bridge in which those utilizing hypnosis and trance in a variety of contexts can meet as equals, sharing techniques and experiences with one another within a caring and thoughtful community. Membership within the special Inner Circle level community of the Society is gained through honors nomination or through one of several competence demonstration opportunities, typically the attainment of Trance Wizard ranking via the mastery of qualifying specialist certifications. In addition to member certified hypnotist and specialist certifications, the Society does maintain an open community Associate membership level for those who have not passed the competence examinations.

The Society of Experiential Trance is an international Exclusive Community Society of Exceptionally Competent tranceworkers, hypnotists, guided imagery facilitators, meditation trainers, and others engaged in the use of experiential focused trance in professional, educational, entertainment, and recreational contexts. Focus is on genuine experiential trance resulting in genuine verifiable hypnotic phenomena. Relaxation trance may be soothing, but Society Inner Circle members consider themselves Hypnotists rather than relaxation facilitators.

While there are membership qualifications and certification standards to be met by members which certainly are of importance, the Society is not strictly a professional organization per se in that it is not formed merely for the certification of members. Rather, the Society is a community of persons with common interests who have met basic membership qualification, a fraternity/sorority/filial society of experiential tranceworkers and hypnotists with an interest in sharing, developing, and exploring trance methods and experiences in many contexts who wish to further the art, the science, the craft, and the spirit of hypnosis, trance, and the like within an exclusive yet open, caring, thoughtful, and professional atmosphere of peers communicating with peers. In practice, the Society of Experiential Trance operates more as an honor society than as a certifying agency.

The Society's model for skill development is based upon experiential practice and the practice of experiential trance. As we are more interested in building a community of exceptionally competent tranceworkers who are experienced in skillsets and in developing and sharing methods and techniques than in promoting any one theoretical understanding or type of practice, we do not have one common theoretical grounding or philosophy of practice or orientation toward appropriate application, rather we are interested in promoting exceptional competence in skillsets. Other than having a general principle or broad understanding of what focused trance may entail, we leave lecture and theory to other organizations. Our primary focus is genuine exceptional competence in experiential modalities. The very general understanding of experiential trance that serves as an umbrella for this orientation is as follows:

"Waking Dreams . . . Focused Trance Thoughtforms . . . Hypnosis, Guided Imagery, Meditation, Hyperempria, Creative Visualization, Neurolinguistic Programming, Active Imagination . . . all of these are forms of Trancework . . . a wonderful special modality of changework that relies on trance . . . EXPERIENTIAL TRANCE . . . an altered state of consciousness or enhanced sensory hypnosis that is consensual guided intensified imaginative involvement to bypass the critical factor of the conscious mind and establish appropriate selective thinking via forms of influence and suggestion through formal and informal ritual induction procedures designed to create associative emotional and physical focus for particular purpose within variable contexts for entertainment, recreational, therapeutic, educational, and intimate personal objectives. We seek genuine experiential trance and guide our trance partners into verifiable hypnotic phenomena. Relaxation may be nice, but we’re Hypnotists!"

While the Society of Experiential Trance does promote certain approaches to training and evaluation, it is not the purpose of the Society to build membership solely through in-house trainings or even to build membership merely for the sake of having a larger membership. We are very powerfully aware that people become exceptionally competent in hypnosis and focused trance in many different ways and for many different contexts - the Society is one of the few organizations to recognize hypnosis and focused trance as being legitimately practiced in many contexts well beyond the narrow therapeutic orientation of most professional societies. In fact, there are a number of aspects and contexts of hypnotic application of which the Society is the only organization to formally consider as legitimately worthy of recognition. The Society was created in a way that is designed to accommodate the diverse needs of those who are novice tranceworkers who would like to be guided into genuine competence through high quality competence-based skill-focused training, those who have received prior training elsewhere who would like to become part of a worthwhile community of practitioners without an expectation of possibly be required to re-take training they have previously been exposed to, and those who have learned on their own without formal training but who have gained genuine exceptional competence through determination, self-study, practice, and extensive experience. The Society welcomes any and all who share a common interest and who wish to be part of a community that values diversity as well as genuine competence in experiential hypnosis and trancework.

The Society of Experiential Trance was founded by Brian David Phillips in 2005 after he was approached by a number of hypnotists who wished to be part of an organization that centered around competence in experiential hypnosis and other trance modalities to form a community of tranceworkers focused on exceptional practical competence. There was a desire to create a community, a Society, that was based less on the business of membership numbers and cashflow and more on the concept of ensuring that those who are members within a community do have a certain practical level of skill in what the founders considered to be basic skillsets for a number of specialization areas as well as to foster a sense of open community in which hypnotists and tranceworkers with a very wide variety of practical orientations can share their interests and knowledge and skills uncritically, with an aim at learning from one another within an open and caring community orientation.

The primary goal of the Society is to serve as a basis of an open community of tranceworkers and hypnotists who value competence and skill. In order to facilitate the realization of this competence orientation, the Society only offers Inner Circle membership to individuals who have been nominated by senior qualified board members as outstanding members of the hypnosis community or those who have passed a Demonstrational Exceptional Competence Examination in a series of skillsets appropriate to membership qualification and status type. Those achieving the rank of Trance Wizard are automatically inducted into the Inner Circle. The Society is less concerned with growing membership as with ensuring that those who are members have competence in all of the basic skills appropriate to their membership designation.

The Society does not consider itself a replacement of or even a competitor for other trainings or organizations. Actually, the Society acts more akin to an honors society and unlike many organizations, encourages members to receive training from as wide an assortment of disciplines and approaches to focused trance as possible in order that the synergy of varied knowledge may spark members to create wonderful new approaches to trancework based upon a synthesis of their training and experience.

Membership is open to anyone who wishes to become a member as long as they are able to demonstrate competence in the minimum basic skillsets. Membership qualification is not implied if one takes a course, although taking a course should normally at least prepare a person towards gaining the competence and skillsets required for passing the examination for membership as long as appropriate diligence is applied to practice and experience.

Endorsed by the Society








Bruce Lee . . .

"Absorb what is useful,
Discard what is not,
Add what is uniquely your own."

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do."

Yoda . . .

"Do or Do Not,
There is no try."

Executive Board of the Society of Experiential Trance

Brian David Phillips
Founder and President, Society of Experiential Trance

Lorraine Phillips
General Affairs Officer, Society of Experiential Trance

Society of Experiential Trance : Main Page
Society of Experiential Trance : Main Page