…or. The nature of suggestion and how people respond differently to it.
The other day I was doing a group induction at a presentation. I chose a Dave Elman type of induction. I’ve heard other people use wording in that induction that I don’t care for. You see, in a Dave Elman induction, you suggest amnesia for something. According to Elman’s theories, once you have successfully achieved hypnosis, then amnesia–you have somnambulism. In somnambulism suggestions will be accepted more readily and more permanently. Plus, you can do cooler stuff such as regression and pain control.
Choose Words Carefully
The wording I don’t like usually goes something like “…and you can just relax those numbers right on out of your mind.” (The hypnotist is creating temporary amnesia for numbers). The wording I don’t like is “out of your mind.” “Out of your mind” has a negative connotation–namely, it means “crazy.” Now, I think the chances of someone making that interpretation are low, but why take any chances?
People respond to suggestions differently. That’s one reason why cookie-cutter approaches don’t often work very well. While you can’t foresee every possible reaction to a suggestion, it makes sense to take the obvious potential potholes and remove them.
Me? I chose different wording to convey the idea of amnesia. I used the phrases “disappear completely” and “gone.” Those phrases have the added benefit that you can use them as embedded suggestions when referring to the conscious mind. “Allow those numbers, from your conscious mind, to disappear completely… Gone.” (The implications for the word ‘gone’ may also relate to mental health, but it seems at least a more pleasant implication that ‘out of your mind’)
I was watching a hypnotist create amnesia for a person’s name the other day. He said something like “When I snap my fingers, your name will be gone. (Finger snap) What is your name?” The client replied “Gone.” The hypnotist then said, “This time, when I snap my fingers, your name will be back. (Finger snap). What is your name?” “Back,” the client replied.”
That’s trance logic for you. That’s the way some people will respond.
So in my presentation, I did some regression stuff and then emerged folks and asked about their experiences. One gentleman commented that he didn’t remember anything after the induction until I began counting folks out of trance. Now it’s possible this guy is a natural somnambulist and would exhibit that behavior anyway, but I’ve known him for some time and he’s never mentioned it before.
My guess is that he took the embedded suggestion rather literally–his conscious mind disappeared completely during the trance! Like I said, different people will respond to suggestions differently.
In total agreement Keith. I usually say something to the effect that over the years we all have temporarily forgetten many things that just were unimportant, just like these numbers are unimportant now. 99 — growing dim and distant until it just totally disappears as it’s unimportant right now. (key words here: right now)
ALWAYS PUT BACK WHAT HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY. You know for sure we were taught that well.
For demos I always use the words: ALL SUGGESTIONS ARE HEREBY REMOVED EXCEPT FOR ANY THAT MAY BE OF THERAPEUTIC VALUE and then emerge.
I always have the client start with the number one and let them kn ow that as they count these are special numbers that just disappear into nothing nothing nothing and in a few numbers they will all be gone into nothing nothing nothing…
Starting at 100 or 99 encourages some people to count all the way to 0 before the numbers are gone.
I usually start with a larger number than 100, something like 300, it makes the task seem daunting, I do reductions of more than 1 also. So you start at 300 and count back in increments of 3. 300, 297, 294, 291… the disappear suggestion comes easier.
I’ve tried different things with the numbers. I’ve read different approaches. Some count up because they want to avoid the idea of counting from 100 all the way down. Some object to that because most people think counting down fits better with going “deeper” into trance. I’ve done quite a bit with doing the alphabet backwards as it makes it easier to forget. Most people aren’t as used to going through the alphabet backwards.
I’ve come to the conclusion though–we shouldn’t necessarily make it something they’d struggle to do consciously. The reason–false somnambulism, or “aphasia ” as it was called by Dave Elman. It’s when someone is very relaxed and they don’t feel like saying the numbers (or letters as in my modified Elman induction, or whatever). In other words, no amnesia but they stop counting. If we make their task something difficult, it’s possible we’ll get that false somnambulism more frequently. After all, when you’re very relaxed, you don’t feel like trying to subtract 3 from 232 or figuring out what letter comes before “v”.
If you don’t get true somnambulism with an Elman style induction, you’re not much better off than doing a progressive relaxation induction. That’s why I’ve moved away from making the amnesia task more involved.
Hello Keith , your totally right , i remember i had this engineer , who i used the dave elman technique with and when it came to counting the numbers backward, he went like 100 , 99 ,98 ,97 ,96 , etc.. i tried many times to tell him to relax and allow those numbers to fade away but he kept counting , i told him Jerry’s famous sentence “those numbers were controling you and control them” still nothing happened , so i thought i’ll do the eye lock again , so i gave him my suggestions , he talked and said i can open my eyes , i wished at that point i can crack his head , so i told him to imagin a window at the top of his brain opend up to the sky , and he did now try to f$#% open your eyes you’ll find it f$## hard to do so , he went like ahhhhh internally and started to give me signals hes in trance , i deepened the trance like three of four time with different approach everytime , is it because i have troubles giving suggestions or its because he still has fears or hes not following my suggestions ?
waiting for your reply.
thanks in advance . another question how can i dissapear and suggest that he will not be able to see me ? like stage hypnotists
Nihad – the hypnotist
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