A little while ago, while working on another project, we recorded a couple of little dinky snippets in the studio demonstrating so-called ‘hypnotic phenomena’ for use in the therapeutic environment.
n.b. I say ‘so-called’ because research has shown that anything and everything that can be done with hypnosis, can also be done without it, though the hypnosis can advance the way we do it and can make certain things a lot easier to do.
I think it is incredibly valuable for the hypnotherapy client to have some evidence and be convinced that they have been hypnotised. Therefore, a couple of basic processes can be used at the beginning of a hypnotherapy session to give the client this sort of evidence.
In recent years, I think trends supported by the likes of Anthony Jacquin and James Tripp as well as my friend James Brown, (all three of whom influence me greatly) have meant that many hypnotherapists want to move away from their clients having any uncertainty that they were hypnotised, leaving the office and thinking “that was very relaxing but I am not sure if I was actually in hypnosis.”
This process here today is the first of 4 clips we’ll be posting here on the blog this week. These clips are not designed to give you means or ways of entertaining an audience; they are not for street or stage hypnosis, they are just to help introduce the therapy client to hypnosis in a professional and respectful way.
This particular process includes the classic and basic eye fixation hypnosis induction as first taught by James Braid. Then utilizes the same pen used for that induction to be stuck to the clients hand, using a process championed and popularised by James Tripp in recent times and David Calof before him. My thanks to James though, as he was the man to show me this process.
Sarah (lady in the clip) had never been hypnotised before, we discussed a few basic premises prior to this session, creating expectation and developing some good rapport. She was told that to get the best results, when asked to use her imagination, she engage her imagination as fully and as vividly as possible and to believe that she was very good at using her imagination.
Here is the transcript of the words I use for this simple and basic introductory process:
“In a moment I am going to ask you just to look at the end of the pen, keeping your head nice and still but follow the end of the pen with your eyes, so your eyes are going to roll up a little bit… when we get to the stage where it feels like a little bit of a strain to keep them in that position, just give me a nod or just say yes and we’re just going to hold it there and I will begin the process. So its going to be a tiny bit uncomfortable just for a few moments…..”
“So keep your head so its nice and balanced and in a comfortable posture and just have a look at the end of the pen, focus on the end of the pen. Now when it becomes just slightly uncomfortable for you to keep looking just let me know, just say yes…..”
(Proceed when yes response comes from client)
“Just focus on the end of the pen, absolutely place all of your attention, all of your energy, all of your focus on there and start to imagine that your eyelids are becoming heavier, yet keep your eyes open but start to imagine that they are becoming heavier and start to imagine how great its going to be when you allow them to close.”
“Now when you are ready for us to begin this process and you’re ready for your eyelids to become nice and relaxed and comfortable and at ease, thats it……. start to notice that only when you’re ready for us to begin let your eyes close comfortably, naturally and notice how enjoyably and easily they become nice and relaxed and comfortable, thats it…… notice how they just want to do that in your own time, thats it……… notice those little fluttery like sensations going on there when they blink, thats it (hypnosis signs ratification) ….. in your own time comfortably close…good.”
“Now start to imagine drifting deeper down inside your mind, now you don’t have to reach down into the deepest depths of your mind straight away, its only natural that you drift as deep and as comfortable that seems right for you, but just start to notice that very basic like almost fluttery sensation in your eyelids from time to time, just start to notice and focusing in all the time to the sound of my voice, notice how your breathings changed, just imagine reaching inside of your mind.”
“Now in a moment I’m just going to ask you to open your eyes, and when you open your eyes your just going to ask your mind to stay nice and perceptive and your just going to follow some basic instructions. I’m going to be handing you the pen, I’m going to show you how to hold it and I’d just like you to hold the pen in the same way that I’ve shown and you’re just going to focus upon that.”
(We just set things up here and create the expectation and clear instruction on what is to follow)
“So just open your eyes for a moment let your mind stay nice and receptive and comfortable. Are you right handed or left handed? ———- In a moment you’re just going to use your ….. hand, put the pen out in front of you between your fingers and your thumb like its pointing down slightly over your eyeline now, just hold it out and focus on the end ..”
“… thats it good, nice and straight with your arm, focus on the end of the pen now, as you look at the end of the pen just start to say inside of your mind with as much meaning as you possibly can ‘I am going to drop this’ say it powerfully inside of your mind and as you say that start to imagine that your fingers are beginning to lock and stick comfortable and profoundly and powerfully in place, in fact you start to find that your fingers lock and stick comfortably and easily and the sensation begins to grow now inside of your mind say the words’ I am going to drop this, I am going to drop this’ with some real meaning and start to notice that your fingers are locking sticking and comfortable.“
(Of course, the presupposition that exists within that sentence she is repeating inside her own mind is that the pen is still in her hand, stuck)
“Now when you are sure that its locking tighter and comfortable and more locked and you are sure that the pen is locked and stuck and tight inside of your hand there when you are sure, try to drop it and realise you can’t (Double bind – only try to test it when you are sure of the response, that it is indeed stuck) …. try to drop it and notice you can’t find that it becomes stuck and the more you notice how stuck it is the more it sticks the more it locks tight unendurably so now you don’t have to let it lock all the way straight away but notice how it starts to develop more and the more you notice the more tightly it gets stuck now have you tried to let go ……. good good keep focusing inside of your mind I’m going to drop this I’m going to drop this and realise you can’t good good… have you tried to? (Making sure it has been tested) …… and its stuck and its there .”
(We only keep it there a short time, no endurance needed here, just a simple test and demonstration before you proceed on to therapy interventions with the client assured of their ability to respond to hypnosis)
“I’m just going to take your hand and it starts to relax nice and comfortably loosely, let me take all the weight in your hand just allow it to return and rest down in your lap now take a slightly deeper breath as you exhale just allow your eyes to be comfortable closed just for 2 moments, thats it, good, now inside of your mind just begin to notice, just begin to think that sort of flavour that sort of sense that you’ve got happening inside of your mind there, Im just going to count from 1 – 5 and we’ll bring this really basic exercise to an end really notice the difference coming up and out 1 2 3 4 & 5 and your eyes open nice and easily and gently ok great.”
There you go, very basic, very simple, for use on a therapeutic environment, a great way to start a session.
Got a couple more of these coming this week.
If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:
1. Come and learn how to induce hypnosis quickly and how to elicit a wide range of hypnotic phenomena in my class: Rapid Inductions and Hypnotic Phenomena For Hypnotherapists.
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist being able to use such skills?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.