Rubber Band Hypnosis Induction and Arm Catalepsy

Following on from yesterday, here is another little clip demonstrating a basic process to use with hypnotherapy clients as a means of providing them with evidence of hypnosis occurring and aiding them in their own belief about their capability using hypnosis, whilst also demonstrating your own congruence and skills as the hypnotherapist of choice.

The induction I use here is a bit different a quirky, but is explained in more detail here on this website: Imaginary Rubber Band Hypnosis Induction.

This unusual rubber band hypnosis induction incorporates many different hypnotic principles and engages the imagination well.

Before I induce hypnosis, I ask the client to actually have the rubber band placed around the hand so that they have an immediate and real-life example of the sensation that they can refer to, enhance and build upon for the use of the induction that ensues.

Then, as I recommended yesterday, I simply elicited a basic arm catalepsy. In the therapy room, there is no need to hold it (the cataleptic arm) there for ages and ages, just long enough for the client to believe in the phenomena prior to beginning a therapeutic intervention.

Again, the induction has a convincer all of its own and the basic, common phenomena enhances the clients belief in their own abilities and this is something I’ll have my own clients doing very often prior to a therapeutic intervention, for the same reasons I mentioned in yesterdays blog entry.

Here is a transcript of most of the session done here in the clip:

Get yourself nice and comfortable and just lift your right hand up off your lap a little bit and then just pick a point on your right hand, pick a point just to stare at and focus and concentrate on just place all your attention on your right hand, now just for a couple of moments space it out, spread it out almost like it becomes a slight strain just to spread your fingers out there for a moment…”

(you’ll notice I am quite permissive in my language here, but there are some very direct instructions embedded within this set up and ensures an element of control and confidence on my part. Then there is a bit of eye fixation and focus on the back of the hand and then some conscious instructions to spread the hand out. The client is already responding to my instructions and suggestions and so we are ready to engage in the procedure.)

“…pick a spot on it then take a slightly deeper breath as you exhale just allow your eyes to become comfortably closed but imagine you can still see your hand you can still see your hand spaced out and spread out there

(Now we engage the imagination, as I mentioned yesterday, Sarah had been told prior to these exercises that it was really important that she engaged her imagination as vividly as possible when asked; this is crucial. However, remember that we also gave her the direct experience of having the rubber hand around her fingers earlier, so she can recall those feelings and sensations very easily as they are fresh in the mind)

Ok now imagine that you are still focusing on that spot and imagine that the elastic band is there, its tight, its around your fingers then start to imagine the sensation when you just lessen the hold of the muscles in your hand and they’ve started to draw inwards…”

(So now she in encouraged to imagine the rubber band is drawing the hands in tightly. Not too dissimilar to magnetic palms induction or the finger vice types of ideas used in other tests and inductions)

Start to imagine that your fingers are drawing inwards really comfortably and naturally now, really easily, start to imagine them drawing inwards and the more you imagine them drawing inwards the more they actually begin to do and the more they begin to draw in the more your mind begins to reach deeper inside of that place, inside of that place where you go deeper and deeper down now, after a while it might feel like you are drawing your fingers in, like you are bringing them in comfortably and naturally and so you go deeper inside of your mind.

(Note the use of the pattern ‘the more you _____, the more ____ happens’ and then tying in the verifiable, observable fact that the fingers are drawing inwards, to her going deeper inside her mind. We ratify and feedback the notion that the fingers are moving inwards and attach deepening suggestions – which are non-observable and therefore more difficult to gauge unless tied to other suggestions – to that happening phenomena.)

And all the time that it takes to be able to draw themselves in is all the time that it takes for you to be able to start reaching and focusing and engaging even more inside of your mind, that’s it, that’s really good, doing wonderfully well

(More of the same, though a different linguistic pattern for attaching the observable finger move to the deepening process occurring inside her mind)

So that when you are ready, you start to notice, start to imagine them, in a short while… One of those fingers is going to touch another one and as soon as one of the fingers touches another one, as they draw in closer and comfortably closer, start to notice in your mind and start to notice how they are not moving in a conscious fashion its like you’ve got a deeper level of being where your mind is kind of moving them in in this almost jerky like fashion

(I am ratifying observable phenomena again here; there is a notable difference when someone moves their fingers deliberately and purposely and when doing so as hypnotically instructed – some may say ‘unconsciously’)

“as soon as you notice any of those 2 fingers just touching each other even slightly just let your hand drop into your lap comfortably and easily just to let me know as though you can begin to notice that happen.”

(Setting up what happens next)

Good… and so you reach deeper and comfortably deeper way down inside of your mind and only do this in the way that is right for you, notice what you notice, that’s it good, and you can just allow that hand to comfortably drift into your lap whenever you are ready that’s it good,notice how that happens be interested in that experience

(Lots of vague language here. The client will be noticing something, they are alive after all. So encouraging them to notice whatever it is they are noticing advances the process and collaboration. Interest and engagement is encouraged here too, both things I consider very hypnotic and work wonderfully well in this context)

that’s it good, now just begin to get a sense of yourself, get a sense of how that felt, what that was like, and as you reach deeper inside of your mind I am just going to ask you to open your eyes just become aware of me over here, all I am going to do, I am just going to take this arm, can you just form a fist let me just take it and just begin to form a fist and just focus on the sensations in and around this fist hold it quite strong and as you hold it strong start to imagine those sensations of strength and power start to begin to work their way all the way down through your arm

(Clear, precise instructions, and stopping with all the ambiguity and vagueness. Just clear instructions now that she is in the right place and responding well)

so that on my first count to 3 feels as if the whole arm feels and behaves as if its a steel bar, stiff and rigid, comfortable, safe, powerful strong 1,2,3 on my second count to 3 start to imagine that its made of concrete and that it is powerful and you imagine the power being driven from up here all the way down through your arm in 1,2,3 stiff and rigid, comfortable, safe, powerful, strong”

(Powerful, direct suggestions, delivered with a strong tonality)

now when you are sure that if you attempted to bend this arm it would just remain here, it would just stay in this powerful strong position like its a block, like it’s a strong steel bar, try and bend it and find that you can’t… the more you try the more you realise you can’t until you just think, I won’t even bother I’ll just let it be strong, powerful.”

(Here we set up what is going to happen, use a bind within the language of setting it up, embed numerous suggestions to disable the arm bend happening and then even feed in a thought for them to have – job done)

Are you trying? are you noticing that that even if you attempt to bend it just sticks and its strong and powerful and locked in position. What does that feel like?

(Having seen the arm catalepsy taken place, I question it, get her to verify it out loud which naturally strengthens and verifies too and then ask her how that feels. Whatever the client replies, you now feed that back and encourage that to happen some more, using their words.)

Allow more of that strength just to build and powerfully work its way through your arm, that’s it good, and the more you try and bend it the more it stays in that comfortable position.”

Now I am just going to take your wrist once again and just start to loosen it and you can just imagine letting go and allowing the muscles to become loose, limp dormant and just letting it flow all the way down back in your lap now, slightly deeper breath and as you exhale just allow your eyes to become comfortably closed again and then inside of your mind I’d just like to thank you and you thank yourself its a lovely thing to do to invest some time in your own imagination your own well being, and as a result of this experience you are beginning to learn more about the power of your own mind and what you are capable of and i am just going to count from 1-5 to bring this part of the exercise to an end coming up and out now really notice the difference 1,2,3,4 and 5 eyes open on 5.”

It is then brought to a timely end. Again, there is no need to keep the arm cataleptic for ages, they are not entering the worlds strongest man competition, this is to use in therapeutic environment, not for stage or street performances, there is no audience to please… This is to aid and facilitate and frame the upcoming therapeutic process.

Hope you enjoyed that, more tomorrow.

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 helping others overcome cynicism?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.