The Dave Elman Induction

The Dave Elman Induction

Elman Induction - Iconic, Brief, Easy... What more could you ask for?

Even the Elman Induction needs a good pre-talk.

First, like any other induction, the Elman induction is 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. Even with the iconic Dave Elman induction, helping your subject understand what hypnosis is, and is not, helps them know what to expect.  Give real world examples of hypnogogic states (like that space in between sleep and awake), so they know that they have felt this feeling before.

The Dave Elman Induction lets you ask for what you want

The Elman induction asks for the subject to produce hypnotic phenomena directly, inviting them to participate voluntarily at first.  This means it might be a good idea to include some of that information in your pre-talk, such as letting your client know that you'll be asking them to do things, and perhaps even having them practice choosing to close their eyes, or choosing to relax a muscle (rather than waiting for it to relax FOR them).

The 5 steps to the Dave Elman Induction

(With some modifications to the original language to make it even better!)

1. Eye Closure

Take a deep breath.  As you let it out, close your eyes and relax.  Now, relax your eyelids and the muscles around your eyes, fully and completely.  Relax them so completely, that as long as you maintain that relaxation, your eyes remain closed.  When you’ve got them relaxed to that point give them a good try and satisfy yourself that they remain closed. (Pause)

That’s right.  Stop trying and keep them that relaxed.

2. Body Relaxation

Take that same level of relaxation, and allow it to flow from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes in a nice flowing wave of relaxation.  (Pause) That’s right.

3. Fractionation

In a moment, I’m going to ask you to open your eyes and then close them again.  When you close them, just go 10 times deeper into relaxation.  Open your eyes, now close them.  (Pause) Go 10 times deeper.  (Pause). That’s right.

In a moment, I’m going to ask you to open your eyes and close them again.  This time, double your relaxation.  Open your eyes, now close them.  Double that relaxation.  (Pause)

Good.  In a moment I’m going to ask you to open your eyes and close them again.  This time, just go much deeper.  Open your eyes, now close them. Much deeper.  All the way down. Good.  (Pause)

4. Arm Drop Deepening

In a moment, I’m going to pick up your left arm by the thumb.  Your arm will be loose and limp like a wet dish rag, if you’ve followed the instructions.  Don’t help me, let me make all the effort.  I’ll lift your arm up a few inches and then drop it, when I do, just allow it to make a nice satisfying plop, and go much deeper (do arm drop). Much deeper. In fact, each and every time I pick up your own arm and drop it down, go much deeper into relaxation (repeat arm drop a few times).

5. Suggested Amnesia (can be done with numbers or letters)

Good. Now we’ve got nice physical relaxation, let’s add mental relaxation to it. In a moment, I’m going to ask you to begin saying the alphabet backwards out loud.  Allow each letter you say to help your mind to grow more relaxed, calm and serene.  You’ll find, that within just a few letters, your mind can grow so relaxed, that the rest of the letters just fade away, grow dim and distant, become quiet and disappear altogether.  When that happens, notice how good it feels.  You’ll say the alphabet backwards in this matter.  Z…  Y…(say slowly, in time with each of their exhales), allowing each letter to relax your mind so that it grows relaxed and serene like the surface of a still lake.  Within just a few letters, the rest of them will just disappear.

Begin saying the alphabet backwards now.




Relaxing more and more.


Now just allow them to disappear completely.

Are they all gone?


End of induction

Deepen and give suggestions

Don't be afraid to repeat various steps in the Elman induction if you want or need to deepen your subject's trance.  Once they are deep enough that you feel you can work with them effectively, give your suggestions.  Don't forget to pay attention, and deepen during the session intermittently if needed.

When you’re ready to emerge the subject from trance just say “I’m going to count to five, when I reach five or before, your eyes will open and you’ll feel relaxed and refreshed.” Count up to five slowly with your voice getting a little less soothing and a little more “awake” with each number. When you reach four, if their eyes aren’t open say “On the next number your eyes will open and you’ll feel relaxed and refreshed. Five, eyes open, feeling relaxed and refreshed.”

What's Next?

The Elman induction is good,
but you still need to know your stuff.

The step by step instructions on this page could be used as an induction script.  That would be... "ok".

However, I highly recommend that you learn the underlying principles and concepts of what makes an induction, ANY induction, (but especially the Elman Induction), truly effective.  

Having some foundation for your process will give you flexibility and confidence.  

If you would like to learn more about how to make your inductions really effective, feel free to request our free report, "Succeeding With Hypnotic Inductions".  You can sign up for that to be sent to you via email by clicking the button below.  

We also offer three different courses that focus on becoming a master of inductions.  Any one of these can enhance your skill set, so please, go take a look.  Looking is free!  If you feel inclined to grow and deliver even more powerful inductions, these three courses all come highly recommended.

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Keith Livingston

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997. Read More....

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