…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.