Following my blog entry last week about Gender differences in hypnotisability, I became engaged in many discussions on another forum about hypnotisability in general and so I thought I’d address a bunch of those discussed points throughout my blog entries this week… Which I am sure will create much more discussion and debate in other networking places again…
It is not necessarily the simplest of topics for discussion and hypnotisability has been examined and researched in depth by most of the major contributors to the field of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
In order to attempt to put it into some kind of nutshell, most of the research on the subject of hypnotisability points to the idea that the vast majority of people can be hypnotised, there are variances in how people are responsive to hypnosis. The better known examples of this notion are published in Hypnotic Susceptibility by Hilgard 1965 and The Practice of Hypnotism by Weitzenhoffer 2000.
There is also a body of research including work by Spiegel and Spiegel in 1987 (Trance and treatment: Clinical uses of hypnosis) and Lynn, Neufeld and Matyi in 1987 (Inductions versus suggestions, Journal of abnormal psychology) that shows that when hypnotised using variable and standardised types of hypnotic induction and given suggestions in variable and standardised ways, individuals levels of responsiveness tend to vary too.
What do we mean when we talk about hypnotisability? Well in the research and most literature, it means an ability to positively respond to suggestions given in hypnosis sessions. With this in mind, many researchers do conclude that hypnotisability can differ depending upon personal variables, not just interpersonal or contextual variables.
So this week, I am going to look at a number of variables that researchers have in the past examined as contributing to hypnotisability… Stay tuned…
Since telling people of my intention to train in hypnotherapy I have had several people tell me how they do not think they can be hypnotised. On the other hand i have had a lot of people who seem hypnotised just by the very idea of someone hypnotising them if that makes sense!! One lady once told me she was out for dinner with a hypnotherapist friend and she was convinced he was putting her in a trance over dinner! Which is actually a little weird now i think about it, but the point is she clearly has a high level of hypnotisability.
Adam, In your book on self-hypnosis you often mention the importance of using language that is meaningful to ‘ones self’ as a way of increasing the overall positive effects of the session. So we effectively deliver suggestions using language that actually has some kind of personal ‘hypnotic clout’.
Is it a case of, to increase a persons hypnotisability, we need to tap into their own specific language patterns and internal representations to identify exactly what makes them tick? Then we can achieve maximum hypnotisability.
Or am i overthinking as per usual?
Matt, some people believe that using the clients own language helps foster rapport, yet there is very little empirical evidence to support that notion. If you believe that you are communicating in a way that is fostering rapport and have a good intention, the chances are, you’ll do so, though not necessarily because of using the same language as they used.
Remember, if someone pays to attend hypnotherapy sessions with a qualified professional, they are going to be open to the notion and have some investment in it as well as having expectation, then you develop a good working therapeutic alliance to aid and enhance the effect of the work that you do.
It is something that you’ll learn a great deal about on the course and not really something we can put into a nutshell or a blog-friendly soundbite here. Though you’ve not got long to go now… 🙂
Sean, thanks for the contribution too, good to hear from you again.
I don’t think you are overthinking at all.Erckson was I believe a firm believer in using language in such a way that the client would be more amenable to hypnosis simply because he tailored the language patterns to the person he was treating rather than using ready made scripts.It is also why, I believe a good hypnotist will get to know a bit about the client before commencing hypnotic work so that a propper degree of ra[[prt can be established.