What Makes A Suggestion Powerful?
Lots of things make suggestions more powerful. Depth of trance is one factor. Rapport between the hypnotist and the person being hypnotized is key. Pyramiding and compounding suggestions help.
One of the most powerful factors is criteria — what’s important to a person about achieving the suggestion. People literally kill themselves over criteria. They may smoke because it gives them a feeling of freedom. They may eat unhealthy food to escape a feeling of loneliness. Criteria are the ‘why’ that motivates us to do things, including both good and bad habits.
Don’t you think it might be important to include this most important motivating component in our hypnotic suggestions?
It’s not that difficult to find out what’s important to a person — both about changing, and about what they’re currently doing. If you want to exercise but instead lie on the couch, what’s important about both of those things?
To Find Out — Just Ask
Maybe someone wants to exercise to feel vital and energetic. Maybe looking good to other people would gives a feeling of being valued. Maybe staying on the couch results in a feeling of relaxation. Perhaps you don’t want to be tied to a draconian exercise schedule — you want feelings of freedom and ease. Now, take those feelings (vitality, energy, value, relaxation, freedom and ease) and use them in suggestions to exercise for your suggestions to have maximum impact.
You can simply ask, “What’s important to you about exercising?” and “What’s important to you about staying on the couch? What does that get you?” Keep going until you get a feeling as an answer.
I teach that concept in even the most basic hypnosis course I offer. That, plus the rest of the NLP well-formedness conditions and you can create tailor-made, powerful suggestions for folks.
The Business Of Teaching
But that’s not what a lot of hypnosis instruction offers. Instead, they give you scripts. Why?
Maybe you’ve heard of the books The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited. They were very popular books about why most businesses fail and what a businessperson could do to prevent failure. One of the core concepts these books promote is that a successful business model is a business that can be operated successfully by people that have very low skill levels. There are no high-level decisions made by low-level employees. They use franchises as examples. Some fast-food franchises have very simple procedures for their employees. Fryers in a fast-food restaurant might not even have a temperature control. What temperature should the fryer be? Don’t worry — it’s already taken care of!
If your business is going to be built on the backs of minimum-wage employees, they should be easily replaceable. That means their jobs should be well-defined and not require long periods of training. So, one of the questions a business owner who wants to follow this philosophy might ask is, “How do I simplify my business model so that almost anyone could be an employee?”
What Does That Have To Do With Hypnosis Schools Giving Students Scripts?
Well, if you’re a school that teaches hypnosis, how do you ensure you can have the maximum number of students? Make the tasks you have the students do be as simple as possible. Make the training basic.
How do you ensure your instructors don’t need a high level of training? Make sure the procedures they teach the students are as simple as possible.
How do you meet both of those needs? Teach using hypnotherapy scripts.
What Are Hypnotherapy Scripts?
Scripts are pre-written hypnotic patter, either for inductions (hypnotizing a person) or suggestions (the part where you tell the client what to do after they’re hypnotized). If you teach with scripts, all you have to do is make sure people can read. All your teachers need to do is make sure the students are reading. It’s a simple business model. And this business model answers the question, “How can I have the most profitable hypnosis school?” It doesn’t answer the question, “How can I turn out the best hypnotists?”
We all know people who have repeated mis-truths long enough to the point they believe them. Some of these schools have swallowed their own spiel. They’ll tell you, “These scripts have been honed by professionals. They’ve chosen the best wording and address the issue completely. Let the experts tell you what to say.” I always relate it to one-size-fits-all pants. They’re never as good as pants that are specifically tailored. Suggestions are the same way. They’re better tailored.
If you read hypnosis forums where professionals hang out, you’ll see what I mean. The forums are filled with hypnotists asking what to do when their script doesn’t work. My advice…
If you’re looking for a hypnosis school, ask if they use scripts. If they do, go somewhere else. If you’ve been trained with scripts, keep learning. Doing hypnosis with scripts works and avoids the very real drawbacks of many forms of therapy. You can feel good about that. But don’t stop there.