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Developing Your Induction Style

Developing Your Induction Style
I again recommend that you practice the Elman Pre-talk and Inductions
with a partner until you are doing them smoothly with very little need
for the scripts. As you continue to practise, this chapter will offer refine-
ments that can bring you better and better results.
To begin with, be sure you have a comfortable chair for the client,
one that is more substantial than an ordinary straight-back chair. If
the client feels that they might fall off the chair while in trance, this
fear could keep them from readily going into trance. When you’re
doing hypnotherapy on a regular basis, you may want to invest in
a special chair.. . sometimes clients do very well in a recliner.
At the beginning of your conversation with the client and during
the Pre-talk, begin building rapport by matching their posture and
movements. If the client is sitting with their legs crossed, cross
yours too. If they are leaning to one side a bit, lean at about the
same angle. Without knowing why, the client is almost certain to
feel comfortable and in rapport with you.
You may remember reaching a special level of rapport in the sec-
ond Ericksonian induction (Chapter 10) as the result of matching
the client’s breathing. This attention to breathing can magically
increase rapport in an induction. Speak while the client is breath-
ing out. When they breathe in, stop speaking and breathe in with
them. You can quickly learn to speak smoothly while matching the
client’s breathing. It does not matter if this makes you pause in
mid-sentence. Matching the client’s breathing will not slow down
the induction; actually, it will lead you into a rhythm that intensi-
fies rapport and deepens the client’s trance.
Here are hints for more easily matching your client’s breathing. If
you sit straight across from the client looking directly at them, or
if they are wearing a jacket or heavy clothes, it may be difficult (or
rude!) to observe their breathing. Instead, sit at about a 90-degree
angle, and rather than looking at the client, focus your eyes on an
object or a spot on the wall that will cause you to be looking a foot
or two in front of them. You will actually be able to see the move-
ment of their chest more clearly with your peripheral vision than
you could by looking directly at them. This is because our periph-
eral vision is designed to pick up motion. Sitting at an angle, you
will also have the advantage that you can hold your script-if you
Developing Your Induction Style
are using one-at about the level of the client’s shoulder, and can
easily alternate between glancing at your script and watching the
client’s breathing in your peripheral vision, without needing to
bob your head up and down.
You can also observe breathing by listening. Most obviously, when
the client is talking, they are breathing out. More subtly, as you
pay close attention, you can often hear light sounds of breathing.
If you notice that the client does not respond as well to matched
breathing as they did to an earlier induction without it, by all
means omit this normally effective technique.
In addition to noticing the client’s breathing, notice everything
you can about their physiology and utilize what you see as you are
making suggestions. If you notice, for example, that the client is
not fully relaxing their neck muscles, you could say, “You may feel
that your neck muscles are not totally relaxing yet. And you can
just let those relax too.”
As you begin an induction, speak to the client with your head
upright, talking at a level with the client’s face. As the client
becomes more and more relaxed and their head begins to nod
downwards, allow your own head to gradually move downwards
as well. By the time you get to the disappearing numbers step of
the Elman Induction, you will be talking to the client’s feet.
When you act as the client, you will find that this change in the
direction of the Hypnotherapist’s voice gives a distinct sensory
shift. Your Unconscious Mind will follow the change of direction,
and your own physiology will adjust to match the Hypnothera-
pist’s physiology, allowing you to absorb and respond to their
suggestions more powerfully.
Pay close attention to the stages of hypnosis. What you will notice
is that over repeated inductions, each client’s physiology is pre-
dictable and will show you what stage has been reached.
Generally, the eyelids begin to flutter early in light trance. After
some time you’ll notice increased wetness in the eyes. Then you’ll
observe the face becoming more symmetrical. And you’ll notice
the breathing slowing down dramatically. Finally, you will begin
to notice some shifting in the angle of the head. Noticing the
client’s physiology provides feedback that will allow you to
expertly pace the induction.
You can bring the client out of trance early in the session and ask
them for feedback. First do a full induction, with some good post-
hypnotic suggestions, including one that will make it very easy for
them to get back into deep trance again. Then bring the client out.
If you ask, “So how did that go?” they are likely to tell you
whether the speed of the induction was right for them, and what
things you did that helped the process.. . or didn’t. This will be
essential feedback if you are not sure what you observed, or if you
are still developing your observation skills. Then you can contin-
ue the session, leading the client back into trance and adjusting
your style according to their feedback.
Be open to experimenting. As you allow your Unconscious Mind
to spontaneously supply ideas, especially in utilizing the client’s
responses, you will often be delighted with the effect on the client.
I have said to clients, “As soon as your mind is totally blank, raise
your finger to let me know,” and they have been able to show me
in this way when to go on to the next step.
As the Hypnotherapist, you can allow yourself to go into a wak-
ing trance. Erickson frequently said, “It’s really hard to resist
someone in trance who’s hypnotizing you.”

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