Somatic awareness is not something typically heard of in hypnosis inductions I’d say. I have been reading a paper by Selig Finkelstein from 2003 in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis entitled ‘Rapid Hypnotic Inductions and Therapeutic Suggestions in the Dental Setting’ which I have found to be extremely interesting as it charts a number of evidence based rapid hypnosis inductions. Though the article is aimed at benefiting dentists wanting to induce hypnosis rapidly, I thought I’d point out one of the ways that Finkelstein suggests inducing hypnosis rapidly.

It is called the Somatic Awareness Induction and the paper itself has a full script for such an induction process which you can go and read for yourself (if you subscribe to the journal).

Somatic awareness has its roots in mindfulness and other related fields, though there is a Somatic Psychology field all of it’s own in existence today. The main principle (and I realise how tough and unsatisfying it is to put an entire field into a media-friendly soundbite on a blog!!) is to examine the individual’s relationship with their own felt body. The awareness of how the body is experienced physiologically is examined.

Anyhow, the hypnosis induction suggested by Finkelstein uses somatic awareness by asking the client a number of questions that heighten their awareness accordingly. For example, “Can you notice how your relaxation increases when you exhale?” Or you might also ask “does the right hand feel as if it is lying on your leg or does it feel as if it is supported by the leg?” It can be developed into increasingly more sophisticated and complex questions also, such as “do your right and left legs feel the weight of your hands equally or is there a difference?” Even building up to “is it time for you to go to your special place, changing it whenever you want, with the people you want and only those, changing them whenever you wish, or would you prefer being by yourself?”

The script is longer, but I particularly like this hypnosis induction because it elicits absorption, internal focus and hypnotic responsiveness within the client in a rapid fashion whilst retaining a fairly permissive tone and style, so is not as direct as many rapid inductions tend to be.

I really rather like that. There are many versions of this same thing out there in script books, but it is always good to see these things in peer reviewed journals. If you’ve been on my Rapid Inductions and Hypnotic Phenomena for Hypnotherapists one day seminar, you’ll have seen me employ this notion in a number of different ways to create magnificent effects and outcomes.

Reference: Finkelstein, Selig(2003) ‘Rapid Hypnotic Inductions and Therapeutic Suggestions in the Dental Setting’, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 51: 1, 77 — 85