As the term is used in this Theory, ‘Trance’ is a condition of being extremely and abnormally connected to the past while appearing to be busy living one’s life in the present time. The actual focus of one’s intention for doing something lies in the past.

To the eye of an observer, the person who lives in what this Theory labels as a ‘trance–state’ is busy doing things that are relevant in the present. Yet the person’s actual primary goal for doing those things is different from what the observer would normally surmise. This goal is geared towards ‘fixing’ crucial moments in early childhood of (erroneously) concluding ‘I am not good enough to be approved of’. Sometimes the goal is geared toward ‘compensating’ for a missed opportunity to get approval.

And the goal of getting approval is desperately sought because the child/person is experiencing terror – the terror of ‘not really existing.’ And that got started in the person’s life when the primary caretaker treated them as a pawn in the caretaker’s own emotional games, not as a truly independently-existing person having feelings, needs, and a right to be themselves. The resulting terror caused the development of a natural compensating mechanism which this Theory explores as the Substitute-Sense-of-Self-oriented System. The operation of that system is what puts the person, lifelong, into a ‘trance-state’ of functioning in life.

The ‘trance-‘state is present in a person even after the childhood striving for parental approval is long past. The person is still stuck in that phase, because they have internalized this struggle and identified with it. Being stuck in the past is an unconscious process so even the person herself isn’t aware of it.

For a person who is stuck in the past like this, people, objects, actions, and situations in the present are actually used as a means to make up for something, which didn’t happen or develop in the past.