Hypnosis inductions are one of the most powerful elements of an effective hypnosis session. Understanding the foundation of hypnosis inductions is essential to becoming masterful in their use.
And we are talking about hypnosis inductions done without a script. To be sure, there are a lot of induction scripts out there, but a script is only minimally useful.
Some hypnotists and hypnotherapists have one, or even a couple, hypnosis induction, that they use all of the time. However, to really master hypnosis, you need more than one induction, or even a bunch of hypnosis scripts.
You need to understand the key elements of any good hypnosis session, beginning before the induction, and lasting until the subject leaves your presence.
Knowing these foundational concepts can open the door to a world of possibilities with more effective hypnosis inductions, more powerful results, and more satisfaction for YOU.
Those who only know and use one or two hypnotic inductions with which they are comfortable may have missed out on learning the key elements to ANY good hypnosis induction. A true master of hypnosis does not need one specific, canned induction.
Because they understand these key elements and can utilize them to create powerful inductions out of seemingly nowhere.
Having said that, of COURSE I have a favorite induction, and absolutely I do use it, or a variant of it, some of the time.
However, I know why it works. I know what the elements are and what they are meant to do. So if things are not going according to plan, I can easily deviate, make stuff up on the spot, or go in a completely different direction.
This type of flexibility helps me be far more successful with a much wider range of subjects than were I too devoted to any single induction. And I have this flexibility with hypnosis inductions because I know the "what" and the "why" about the different elements that are in any successful induction.
Even if you have never hypnotized another person in your whole life, there are things you can do that have may SEEM like they have nothing to do with inducing a hypnotic trance. In fact, not only are the part of the skill set that will make you a powerful hypnotist, they have everything to do with inducing trance easily and more effectively.
It took a while to dawn on me...
My girlfriend (who is also a hypnotherapist) would tell me about the clients she'd seen that day.
“The first one was really easy, he practically went cataleptic before I started the induction."
"My second client was a natural somnambulist."
"The third was one of those types that questions everything.
I thought it was going to be tough, but when it came down to it,
she went into trance very deeply.”
Now, in case you don't know what “cataleptic” or “somnambulist” means, it means they were showing signs of deep trance.
“Wow,” I would say. “Sounds like you had good clients today.”
I've been studying hypnosis since 1972. I had my first formal hypnosis training in 1993.
I've hypnotized hundreds of clients and taught NLP and hypnosis for many years.
I've hypnotized a lot of people that other hypnotists said were “unhypnotizable".
I've even been on national television as an expert in NLP.
By most accounts, I'm pretty good at hypnosis and NLP.
And my much less experienced girlfriend was getting better results than I was.
So, long story a little bit shorter, I studied her. I paid attention to what she did OUTSIDE of the actual induction, because her specific induction technique was one that I had taught her! So there had to be more to it, right?
I discovered, or was reminded, that a successful hypnotic induction starts before the induction. It is the "non-induction" parts that my friend had mastered. And they are easy to do.
1: Get rapport.
2: Give a thorough and complete pre-induction talk.
3: Go into trance yourself.
That's it. After that, your subject is primed to work with you to go as deeply into trance as they want to, and your induction has a significantly higher chance of being easy and successful.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it is worth looking at. Whether by direct suggestion, or more subtle and permissive techniques, eliciting hypnotic phenomena is absolutely essential for a hypnosis induction to actually lead to ... well, hypnosis!
You can review more about hypnotic phenomena in my blog post about it, "More Tips For A Successful Hypnotic Induction". For now, let's just review a quick list of a few popular signs of hypnosis.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but the signs of hypnosis listed above are common and fairly easy to induce and detect during an induction. That is what the hypnosis induction is all about - inducing trance, so that people are more able to align their subconscious and conscious minds to achieve the goal of the session.
So, just to make things really clear:
Your induction needs to create, elicit, or enhance hypnotic phenomena.
That's it. Easy peasy, right?
How you do that depends on your subject, your style, and what works.
Direct suggestion? "Close your eyes." This almost always elicits the hypnotic phenomenon of eye closure.
A more permissive approach might be, "You can close your eyes whenever you feel comfortable enough... recognizing how pleasant relaxing that deeply can be."
Once you have created and elicited multiple signs of hypnotic phenomena, it is time to deepen the trance. Enhance those elements that exist, help your subject be MORE relaxed, breathe MORE deeply, visualize MORE clearly. So... "Deepen" just means more. More of what you've got, until you are clear that the subject is as deeply in trance as they need to be to achieve your mutual session goals.
Ah, the dreaded test. Many, myself included, have sometimes shied away from testing for trance. After all, do we really want to know? What if we "failed"? What if the subject is NOT in a trance???
Exactly. What if?
That just means your flexibility may be called for, or just a bit more deepening, or a conversation about how your subject can help themselves experience trance. You need to know, and you WANT to know. AND, testing is another way to deepen the trance itself, because it helps your subject know that they are, indeed, in an altered state.
This can help them allow and accept the work that is about to begin.
After you test, if your subject is nice and hypnotized, congratulations! You are ready to move on to the work of creating change.
But if they are NOT as deeply in trance as you want them to be, do it again.
Seriously. Sometimes, do it ALL again.
Maybe do it differently. Maybe use doing it again to teach them HOW to go into a trance.
Some subjects need to learn these things - to know that they can voluntarily not only cooperate, but help you help them.
Below I've included links to written versions of a couple of hypnosis inductions - they should get you started. Nothing replaces instruction by a professional, however, and as mentioned above, keep the underlying elements in mind.
These scripts are intended to inspire and give you practice - not to replace your own ingenuity once you understand the foundational concepts discussed above.
If you'd like a more thorough and explicit understanding of hypnosis inductions and a LOT of other powerful elements and techniques for being a hypnosis "master", check out our home-study hypnosis course.
Remember, these induction are made much easier by a quality pre-induction talk. In order for most people to allow themselves to become hypnotized you must dispel the myths and misconceptions about hypnosis. In order for them to believe they were hypnotized they need to know what the experience of hypnosis might be like for them. That's what a good pre-talk will do for you.
Modified Dave Elman Induction: (Modified): Dave Elman is one of the giants of modern hypnotherapy. His methods and insights produce dramatic results in a very short time. His standard induction allows the majority of people to reach the somnambulistic state in 4 minutes or less. Learn this powerful and effective induction.
Progressive Relaxation Induction: The progressive relaxation induction is an old standby. Folks with modern training in hypnosis rarely use it anymore but occasionally it is appropriate. It's an easy one to perform although it takes a bit of time and patience.