During my first year or two of practice I often battled a lack of confidence in my abilities as a hypnotherapist. Who’s going to take a twenty-something, small, young woman seriously?
If you believe that the success of guiding your clients into trance has anything to do with an air of authority, you can understand how easily I could have doubted my effectiveness. It seemed like so much was working against me.
I knew I didn’t have the voice, presence or look of a Charles Tebbetts or Milton Erickson — that’s for sure.
I would be wracked with nerves over which induction to use before I’d meet a client. Maybe you’ve shared a similar experience, wondering if there is one induction better to use in general or for the specific client you’re working with. Taking time to research or worry your head off the night before or day of the session. Sound familiar?
Those I trained with encouraged me and told me my greatest advantage when working with clients, would be my own ability to be an excellent subject. This helped me, but it wasn’t until my second year of practice when I took an Ericksonian hypnosis certification course, that I really started to hone and utilize my ability to model (demonstrate) trance for my clients. This allowed me to skillfully, purposefully, or even automatically start using it as a successful induction with any client.
In fact, I remember when the idea of modeling trance to induce my clients really first clicked during that training. It was a powerful and unforgettable experience. I asked a friend in the class who had a career as a successful hypnotist for over a decade how to be sure an induction would work before you used it. Meaning that I or the client wouldn’t “fail” at it.
He said “Well that’s easy, you just make sure they’re already in a trance before you do the induction.”
I laughed and replied “Of course, I should have known…And how does one do that?”
Going First…An Induction
Then he totally made his point without saying a word. I could tell just by looking at him that he immediately went into a state of trance. His eyes glazed, his eyelids heavy. His mouth just slightly hanging open. The muscles all over his body seemed to go limp and then stiff. There was a slight rocking to his body. His hypnotic gaze and presence seemed contagious. I felt like I was being drugged, like I was sinking into a pleasant quicksand of mental and physical relaxation just by sitting across from him. When he started speaking in a slow and steady rhythmic voice, giving me suggestions to go into trance, I was already there for sure. Most of my muscles were cataleptic and my mind felt blank. That still, calm, pleasant feeling filled me from head to toe.
The point is, when you are confident of your own ability to easily put yourself into a state of trance, you can easily model it, helping others to experience it with you. It’s easier to be a guide when you’re in trance. You show the client you’re working with exactly what to do. When you go into trance first, when you’re in rapport with your client, they’re bound to follow you! It’s a pretty surefire induction.
Does It Work Every Time?
It’s almost funny now how quickly and easily so many of my clients go into trance. Does it work every time? The answer is yes, pretty much as long as we are in rapport.
In fact I find going into trance first an especially useful induction to use with the clients I think may be more difficult to work with (cases where they seem to be very nervous or have a tendency to over-think). Now, everyday I’m in the office, I see my clients showing signs of trance before any outright verbal suggestion from me to do so (I’ll admit, there may be some embedded suggestions here and there).
Going Into Trance First Is Especially Useful When…
- You’re not sure which induction you should use…or what an “induction” even is 😉
- You want to enable any induction you use to be effective, successful and more powerful!
- You’re working with “difficult” clients like those who seem rebellious, extremely critically minded, nervous, insecure, skeptical or need help following your directions.
The more you do it, the more natural, effortless, and automatic it becomes!
PS: If you don’t experience trance deeply yourself, head on over and pick up Keith’s self hypnosis program.
Kristin Rivas is a Certified Hypnotherapist with practice in Seattle, gifted professional speaker and host of Mind Talk radio on KKNW 1150 AM, Chat with Women Network.
Kristin, loved this blog! I am not a hypnotherapist but I am using hypnosis recordings to lose weight and improve my health. Some days I feel more in trance than others so maybe if I imagine the face of the hypnotist, in the way that you describe, it might help.
Anyway, really good article!
PS: I’ll pass along your feedback to Kristin 🙂