Hypnotic Convincers & Suggestibility Tests: Inductions Success
What are hypnotic convincers and suggestibility tests, and how do they help you become more effective with hypnosis?
Hypnotic Convincer: something that helps convince a person of the power of the mind, or of hypnosis.
Suggestibility Test: a test to see how well a person responds to suggestions.
When you’re hypnotizing someone (or about to), a convincer’s job is to get the ‘hypnotee’ to think a certain way. You see, a person’s thoughts can be thought of a internal suggestions. Those suggestions can work with your suggestions, or against them. For instance, if you’re saying, “Your eyes are getting very heavy,” and the person you’re talking to is thinking, “This hypnosis stuff is crap. It’s not going to work,” you have a problem.
You have two, conflicting suggestions going on. And oftentimes, a person will take their own suggestions over yours. A convincer helps the hypnotic subject think a different thought, such as, “Wow, something is going on here. This stuff works.”
Common convincers include the eye closure portion of many inductions, book and balloon and the lemon slice. You can also do “waking hypnosis” as a convincer. You can suggest that a person lay their hand flat on a table and concentrate on imagining their hand being part of the table. It’s as if they’re carved out of one, solid block of wood. You can use language such as, “Concentrate on the idea that your hand and the table are one and find that, the harder you try to move your hand, the more it stays there, as long as you hold that thought.”
Make sure you eventually suggest that their hand return to normal 🙂
Suggestibility tests are cousins of hypnotic convincers . One classic is the finger vice. The finger vice is where you interlace your fingers and pull your index fingers apart (see image). You then suggest that there are magnets attached tot he index fingers — pulling those fingers together. Use your language to emphasize the magnetic force, have them concentrate on feeling that and positively reinforce as their fingers move together.
When their fingers touch, you can suggest that they press tightly together and that the more they try to pull them apart, the tighter they will squeeze together. After a few seconds, suggest the finger release.
Suggestibility tests can be used in therapeutic hypnosis and are often used by stage hypnotists to pick out the best responding subjects from an audience.
Some inductions include what’s called “disguised testing.” With a disguised test, you don’t tell the subject that it’s a test. And in fact, you probably shouldn’t think of a suggestibility test as a test. Think of it (and frame it) as an “imagination exercise,” or “responsiveness skill-building.” That way, if a person doesn’t respond well at first, you can help them re-shape their thinking.
For instance, what do you do if you suggest a subject’s eyes relax to the point where they stay closed, even when they try to open them, and the subject opens their eyes? You say, “Not bad for the first time. Each time you concentrate on this idea, you get better. Now, concentrate on the idea that they’re so relaxed, they refuse to open, they just stay closed.” You frame it as skill-building, rather than a failure. Otherwise, they might think they’re no good at hypnosis and nothing is going to work.
Then, once they’re successful, these tests function as hypnotic convincers.
You can also help foster the “this is working” attitude by explaining to a client or subject, what their role is. “When I give you a suggestion, your job is to automatically think, ‘Yes!’ We’ll take some time before you experience hypnosis to make sure I’ll only give you suggestions you approve. Once we work out the suggestions together, your job is to have an accepting mind.”
When a hypnotic subject understands their role this way, and already has some taste of success to help convince them it’s going to work, your job is much easier!