We real hypnosis nerds have an in-joke about this idea… Repetition is hypnotic, repetition is hypnotic, repetition is hypnotic…. What a crazy bunch we are, eh?
When people repeatedly concentrate their attention on a certain idea or outcome, it enhances the likelihood of it happening successfully. Repetition can sometimes become the driving force behind suggestions.
This has created a rule of thumb in some hypnosis schools known as the hypnotic triple – state the suggestion at least three times to accumulate the effect. This does not mean you just repeat everything three times. You can repeat the theme. You might use a metaphor early in the hypnotic communication as Milton Erickson tended to do, then wind the idea into your rapport building and then use it as a direct suggestion once they are hypnotised, for example. When the underlying message is repeated three times, you are going to get some wonderful results.
I can remember during a series of Big Brother on TV here, a latecomer to the Big Brother house called Belinda wanted everyone to remember her name easily from day one and so she introduced herself as “Belinda, Belinda, Belinda” – it certainly helped everyone remember her, and she became known for that… Although it may have aggravated some people too! If you skip forward this clip to 3mins and 30secs when Belinda entered the Big Brother house in series 9, you’ll see her using this tactic for the first time….
If you look back, you’ll see a history of using repetition in hypnosis. You are sure to have seen those swinging pendulums and rotating wheels that get used, not to mention the enjoyable repetitive quality of the ocean waves coming in to shore. I love to hear that sound, it is one of the reasons I love to live beside the sea.
Some of the more classical hypnotists use expressions such as “you are going deeper, deeper and deeper into hypnosis” when taking people into hypnosis. This is repetitive, though can sometimes be a bit boring.
The good hypnotist can use words repetitively to induce a relaxed and focused hypnotic state, though ideally giving the same message in a variety of ways is the way to make this principle most effective.
You see, when you use certain words in a repetitive fashion, they can have the same effects as that pendulum swinging in front of the eyes or the rotating wheel. The repetition tends to hypnotically focus the prospect on your communication. It holds their attention very effectively.
If you want drive suggestions and compound them in a repetitive manner, you could even suggest to the hypnotised person that they “imagine those words echoing inside the mind over and over, having more effect as they continue to do so…” and so on.
Ok, so I am off to London today to the London marathon expo event, to pick up my race number for this Sunday’s London marathon and unnecessarily spend money on running gear I don’t need… I’ll probably repeat the process of writing about it as I have done in previous years!