One of the things I notice the most when observing my own students practice their skills with hypnotising others, is an initial (perhaps sometimes nervously induced) need to fill every second with words and sound.
They seem to want to talk and talk, and they struggle to think of what’s coming next and sometimes subsequently forget the structure of the larger processes they are working on.
So I often offer up the advice of one of my favourite teenage music bands, Depeche Mode (though a couple of my friends who disliked them called them Depressed mode) used to sing about: Enjoy The Silence.
When I say that, I mean, get comfortable with space and moments of quiet and even use that silence for your own advantage as hypnotherapist and as a way of benefiting the person you are working with.
If it is used well, ideally with some skill, silence can become a deepening technique to enhance any hypnosis session. The hypnotist may even just simply suggest that the client can “enjoy some time in silence to go deeper inside” or “take some moments of silence to allow yourself to relax further in your own way” and so on.
I have encountered hypnotherapists who have even stated to the client how long they are going to remain silent; “just take the next 30 seconds of time to benefit from being silent which can deepen your experience of comfort even more…” And then others ask the client to signal to them when they are ready to proceed, or when they have reached a certain level of relaxation/comfort following a period of silence (using a head nod, or ideo motor response of fingers, for example).
if you are going to deepen hypnosis using silence, it is often a good idea to make sure you do not startle the individual when you break the silence by bellowing loudly and making them jump in the chair! You could make a soft sound or use some other previously mentioned signal to do so. You want your voice to continue to soothe and be followed for your therapeutic work to be engaged in, rather than have then stunned with fright for a while!
most importantly I think silence is incredibly useful for the hypnotherapist to get focused, be tuned in to the client, be aware of what they are going to do next while the client is deepening their hypnosis and ideally enhancing their receptivity.
Get comfortable with silence, we do not need to be talking non-stop… I know many Ericksonian styled hypnotherapists use silences to enhance confusion, ambiguity and even to allow the client to interpret things in their own unique way before you finish of certain sentences, but today, I just wanted to encourage people to get comfortable with silence during hypnosis and even utilise it for the gain of yourself, as hypnotherapist, and the client.
Ok, I am training all weekend and need to go prepare, I’ll be back on Monday. Have a great weekend.
I’ll leave you with the key message today, performed by the chaps I mentioned earlier:
Oh the silence.
As a person who is VERY conversational and love to engage and interact, this at first was a challenge for me to do.
However, I started being conscious of the time I give the person to just be in their own thoughts and I am OK with that.
Truth be told, I can sit with friends for quite a long time and not say a word and just enjoy the silence in the air and knowing that, I was able to switch over and use it in hypnosis.
Another thing would point out is, that a minute is REALLY a long time but we need to make sure we give a full minute or two and not what we think a minute is. Something I learned and started valuing how one minute is 60 seconds which can be a long time to get things done.
Quite right Roy, it can seem a lot longer than 60 seconds, for both therapist and client… As a very talkative person myself, I understand this challenge! Thanks for sharing, always great hearing from you 🙂 A.