Hypnosis Induction Techniques - Learn Hypnotic Inductions
- Chris Harrison
- 1st August 2011
As a hypnotist you should aim to learn, and master, as many different hypnotic inductions as possible, because when it comes to hypnosis flexibility is king. The more hypnotic induction methods you know the more you will be able to adjust your approach depending upon the client.
Also, many of these techniques are not used in isolation. For instance, if you're using a physical relaxation induction (relaxing the body muscle by muscle), you may also be using pacing and leading, along with using rapport and your own state.
Basic Hypnosis Inductions
Muscle Relaxation Hypnosis Induction
Simply talking through a simple body relaxation is usually the first hypnosis induction technique a hypnotist learns.
This is a good hypnosis induction technique to learn before you become confident in your skills because you can just keep going until you get it right. The client won't notice if you're taking longer than you should. It's very easy when performing this kind of hypnotic induction to notice if you client is going in the right direction by watching them relax so it's also good calibration practice.
This hypnotic induction works for several reasons. Firstly you are controlling the clients focus and keeping it on body sensations, and it actually takes quite a lot of effort for the client to follow the hypnotist's instructions. For an example of how to use this hypnosis induction technique read the Relaxation Hypnosis script.
Visualization Hypnosis Induction
This is another method that is a good starter hypnosis induction technique. This is the kind of hypnotic induction that is seen a lot in movies. The Hypnotist leads the client through an internal story, usually involving relaxing on the beach or something similar. The key with this method is the use of vague language to ensure that the clients state isn't broken by the hypnotist saying something that doesn't fit in with their internal representations - for example if you ask them to imagine walking on a beach then it's probably reasonable to ask them to notice the sand between their toes, but not to notice the 747 screaming by overhead. An example of this script is the Visualization Hypnosis Script.
Advanced Hypnosis Induction Techniques
Hypnosis by Confusion
Simply giving the conscious mind more information than it can deal with has a tendency to overload the conscious mind and lead to a trance state. The client tries to follow the hypnotist, but their conscious mind gives up and just drops into a trance state waiting for direction. At this point they will simply takes the hypnotists suggestions - usually to relax. For an example check the Hypnosis Induction script using Confusion.
Pacing and Leading
Pacing and leading is a skill that should be used pretty much all the time when using hypnosis. The process can be used in one of two ways. Either the hypnotist paces the clients state (breath or blink rate are a good way to practice), then changes their own state such that the client follows, or the technique can be used within the words of a hypnosis script, such as "you are aware of your feet on the floor, and the sound of my voice as you relax - which goes pace, pace, lead. Check the article on Pacing and Leading for more information, as well as the Relaxation Hypnosis Script. For a beginners approach to using pacing and leading in an induction try the article on using a Hypnotic Pendulum.
Remember those comics from the 50s and 60s which had the adverts for x-ray specs and the like. Remember those adverts for hypnosis skills which had pictures of a hypnotist with flashes coming out of their eyes? If those adverts got you excited, then this is the technique for you. Unfortunately, this technique is probably the most difficult hypnosis induction to perform, especially when you factor in the risk of looking like a fool if you get it wrong, which will affect your own confidence.
In this technique, the hypnotist simply tells the client to drop into a trance with so much conviction that they do exactly that. This is not an easy technique, but it is possible to cheat by employing other techniques such as pacing and leading, rapport, and post hypnotic suggestions, so that the client is already well on the way to being in a trance before the command. This technique of setting up the trance before hand is very useful, and can also improve your success with the next technique - the Rapid Induction.
Interruption Technique (Rapid Induction or Instant Hypnosis)
Most people will be familiar with the handshake interrupt. This hypnosis induction technique works, because the handshake is a single action during with the brain sort of turns off until the action is complete. If the hypnotist breaks the handshake part way through, then the client really has no clue what to do and drops into a suggestive mini trance state (as mentioned in the confusion induction above). This leaves the client with no clear action to take until the hypnotist gives them an instruction. TV evangelists, who lay people on the floor simply by tilting their head back, are performing another (somewhat dangerous for those of us with neck injuries) variation of this induction. For an example check Instant Hypnosis.
How to Learn Hypnosis Induction Techniques
To learn these hypnosis induction technique, the easiest approach is to work on relaxation and visualization techniques with people who trust you and can give you good feedback. As you become more relaxed and proficient then add some milton model language patterns and become more free form in your approach. There are several hypnosis scripts on this site that can be used as a starting point.
One of the most important (and often overlooked) skills for a hypnotist is to be able to control their own state and enter deep trance states at will, so practice self hypnosis regularly too.
When it comes to using these techniques, you will obviously develop your favorite approaches, or find that some methods work better for you. It's worth experimenting with them all, because sometimes you will come across a client who thinks they know what hypnosis is and will only really respond to what they expect you to do.
As you begin to work with more and more clients you will find that some clients are much easier than others to affect - especially those who hold the hypnotist in awe.
You will find that some clients are ready the moment you sit them down and will do all the work for you.
Also, those trance-ready moments that you're trying to create when using confusion or personal power techniques can occur spontaneously in normal conversation so watch out for those moments when you can simply take control and relax the client with no formal hypnosis induction techniques at all.
This is the kind of elegance you want to develop in your hypnosis.