James Braid often referred to the subject of hypnosis as mono-ideisim, that term is defined as the following:
A mental condition marked by the domination of a single idea; persistent and thorough preoccupation with one idea, but seldom an idea that is complete.
James Braid’s favoured induction method was the eye fixation induction which has a rationale that fits in nicely with the notion of monoideism.
Not only does this hypnosis induction offer up a means of ensuring people focus on the induction and spend less time and attention reflecting on what they are doing, with the eyes closed, we tend to relax naturally (associating eyes closed with sleep and relaxation) as well as shutting out visual distraction.
The eye fixation hypnosis induction (or any attention fixation hypnosis induction derivative) is the classic one that all students ought to be learning about from day one in a hypnosis training. Here is James Braid doing this very thing…
So todays blog entry is all about how it is done, at least this is how I do it… I presuppose that anyone attempting this process has developed trust, created expectation of the process and educated the indivudal as to what is about to happen, and then also ensured they are motivated for it to happen successfully… Much research shows that when the client expects a certain successful outcome and has the motivation and attitidue for it to be successful, and a trust in the hypnotist, then any hypnosis induction will be more successful. There is much more I could say on the preparation, but I presuppose that if you read this blog regularly, and are involved in this field in any way, then you should know all that atuff.
Have your client start with their eyes closed to get used to that while with you.
Tell the client that shortly, you’ll ask them open their eyes and to raise them up as high as they will go so that they are staring at a point on the ceiling – or you might use your pen or something else.
Ask them to fix their gaze on the point, of course, the eyes gradually become more and more tired, the eyelids become heavier, and gradually the eyes feel like it would be much more agreeable to just be closed.
When the eyes close, there is going to be a sense of relief and relaxation in the eyes that you suggest spreads down the face and throughout the entire body.
When doing this, you want to repeat sentences that suggest the eyelids are becoming heavier and heavier … Also suggest that as this is happening, so the rest of his body is feeling comfortable and relaxed.
Do ensure that you observe the rate of blinking. If the person is responsive to this suggestion, then the rate of blinking will increase. You might want to say the words “that’s right” in Erickson style every time they blink.
You might like to state that the blinks last for longer and longer until they last so long that the eyes remain closed. Get them to notice how they blink. Get them being aware of what they are doing.
You might want to add an Erickson style presupposition that “your eyes only fully close when you are ready to go into hypnosis.”
Suggest to them that when the eyes close, they’ll feel a deep sense of relief and physical relaxation that will spread down through their entire body.
And then when the eyes do properly close, suggest exactly that to them, suggest to them that the relaxation they sense in their eyelids spreads through the body. What you have done here is to create a contrast between the slight discomfort of keeping the eyes open and the beautiful relaxation sensation when they finally close… And you have developed suggestibility once the eyes are closed and a degree of complicity, all important for subsequent suggestion delivery.
If they start to show some classic signs of hypnosis, you might like to feed them back to the client – eyelids fluttering, rate of breathing changing, palour of skin etc. You can rattify the signs that you see and tell the client that this shows they are doing it all so well. When you notice something and they then notice it even more, they move their focus further inwards and become more absorbed in the process.
Tell them that these signs show that they are doing this very well and are a great hypnotic subject.
You then proceed with a deepening technique and whatever therapeutic intervention you intend to use from there. Really simple, really good, robust hypnosis induction.