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Elman Induction No. 1

Elman Induction No. 1
An Elman induction is a fast, simple progressive test induction,
with steps different from the one in Chapter 14. Typically there are
six steps for leading the client into deep trance:
Deep Breath / Close the Eyes
a Relax the Eyes
Let the relaxation flow through the whole body
Open and close the eyes. (Assist using two fingers. Achieve
fvactionation by repeating.)
Test for physical relaxation
Mental relaxation
If the client does not succeed at a certain level, you re-do that level
before going on to the next.
Like Erickson, Elman focused on paying attention to every detail of a
client’s physical reactions. “True hypnotic signs cannot be aped,
imitated or pretended. For example, you cannot pretend body
warmth. It has to be there. You cannot imitate fluttering eyelids.
Try it for yourself and notice how after a second or two the eyelids
no longer flutter. In hypnosis, the fluttering eyelids occur almost
constantly as the induction proceeds. There are very few people
who can, at will, cause their eyes to tear, nor can you at will cause
the whites of your eyes to redden.. . .”
The best way to master the Elman induction is to take turns
practising it with a partner. For learning purposes, detailed expla-
nations accompany some of the steps of the induction below. (For
later quick reference, the induction is duplicated in the Appendix
without explanations.)
When acting as the Hypnotherapist, pay attention to everything
the client does, and utilize. Any time they do something that seems
like trance behavior, say, “That’s right.”
Be sure that the client follows your instructions exactly. One of the
beauties of the Elman Induction is that it conditions responsiveness
to suggestions. For example, if the client gets ahead of you by clos-
ing their eyes before you tell them to, they are anticipating your
suggestions rather than responding to them. This will slow down
the induction, making the client less responsive to your sugges-
tions once they are in trance. If the client does something before
you instruct them to, go back and repeat, making sure they follow
your instructions.

3lman Induction No. 1
rake a long, deep breath and hold it for a few seconds.
(Reminder: if the client closes their eyes when you
say, “Take a deep breath,” stop the induction and
restart. The client needs to do what you say when
you say it.)
Ynd as you exhale this breath, allow your eyes to close
Start with your hand above the client’s eyes and bring it
iown to below the chin as the client’s eyes are closing),
ind let go of the surface tension in your body. Just let
your body relax as much as possible, right now.
Vow place your awareness on your eye muscles, and
relax the muscles around your eyes to the point where
they just won’t work. When you’re sure they’re so
relaxed that as long as you hold on to this relaxation they
won’t work, hold on to that relaxation and test them to
make sure THEY WON’T WORK.
(There are three possibilities:
If the client tests and succeeds at keeping
their eyes closed, go on to the next step.
If they open their eyes, say, “Good, now
you’ve proved you can open your eyes,
you’ve proved you’re in charge. You oper
your eyes every day. Now, prove that you
can relax your eyes so much that they’ll
stay closed.”
If the client just sits there and doesn’t tes
their eyes, repeat this step; you are condi
tioning them to respond to your sugges
Elman Methods
Now, this relaxation you have in your eyes is the same
quality of relaxation that I want you to have throughout
your whole body. So let this quality of relaxation flow
through your whole body from the top of your head to
the tips of your toes.
(Look for signs of the client becoming much more
relaxed as they do this next step.)
(Each time you tell the client to close their eyes,
pass two fingers in front of their face, downward
from the forehead to the chin.)
Now we can deepen this relaxation much more. In a
moment I’m going to have you open and close your eyes.
When you close your eyes, that’s your signal to let this
feeling of relaxation become ten times deeper. All you
have to do is want it to happen, and you can make it
happen very easily. OK, now, open your eyes. Now close
your eyes (Pass fingers) and feel that relaxation flowing
through your entire body, taking you much deeper. Use
your wonderful imagination and imagine your whole
body is covered and wrapped in a warm blanket of
Now we can deepen that relaxation much more. In a
moment, I’m going to have you open and close your eyes
and double the relaxation you have now. Make it become
twice as deep. Once more now, open your eyes. Close
your eyes (Pass fingers) and double your relaxation …
good. Let every muscle in your body become so relaxed
that as long as you hold on to this quality of relaxation,
every muscle of your body is totally relaxed.
(You are using fractionation to deepen the client’s
level of trance. Repeat the eye openings and clos-
ings until he looks as if you will have to catch him
from falling off the chair.) Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Guide
In a moment, I’m going to have you open and close your
eyes once more. Again, when you close your eyes, dou-
ble the relaxation you now have. Make it twice as deep.
Once more, open your eyes.. . close your eyes and double
your relaxation … good. Let every muscle in your body
become so relaxed that as long as you hold on to this
, quality of relaxation, every muscle of your body is totally
In a moment (Elman always tells the client what he’s
going to do before he does it) I’m going to lift your (right
or left) hand by the wrist just a few inches, and drop it.
If you have followed my instructions up to this point,
that hand will be so relaxed it will be just as loose and
limp as a wet dish cloth. It will simply plop down. Now,
don’t try to help me … y ou have to remove the realization
and let me do all the lifting, so that when I release your
hand, it just plops down and you’ll allow yourself to go
much deeper. (Lifting hand) Now the moment your hand
plops down on your leg, it will send an even deeper
relaxation through your whole body.
(Some clients are preconditioned to do arm
catalepsy when you lift their hand. That’s not what
you’re looking for, so you may have to talk them
through that. If the client helps to lift their hand,
say, “Let me do all the lifting, don’t help me. Let it
be heavy. Don’t help me.”)
Now, that’s complete physical relaxation. I want you to
know there are two ways a person can relax. You can
relax physically and you can relax mentally. You’ve
already proved that you can relax physically. Now let me
show you how to relax mentally.
In a moment, I’ll ask you to begin slowly counting back-
wards out loud from 100. Now, here’s the secret to mental
relaxation. With each number you say, double your
mental relaxation. With each number you say, let your
Elman Methods
mind become twice as relaxed. Now, if you do this by the
time you reach the number 98, or maybe even sooner,
your mind will have become so relaxed, you will have
actually relaxed all the rest of the numbers that would
have come after 98, right out of your mind. And there
just won’t be any more numbers. Now, you have to do
this; I can’t do it for you. Those numbers will leave if you
will them away. Now start with the idea that you will
make that happen and you can easily dispel them from
your mind. Want it to happen. Will it to happen. Make it
happen. Now, say the first number, 100, and double your
mental relaxation. (Client: “100″) Deeper relaxed. (Wait
for client to say number.) Now, double that mental relax-
ation and let those numbers already start to fade … 99.
(Client: “99″) Deeper relaxed. (Wait for client to say num-
ber.) Double your mental relaxation. Start to make those
numbers leave. They’ll go if you will them away. (Client:
“98″) Deeper relaxed. Now they’ll be gone. Dispel them.
Banish them. Make it happen, you can do it, I can’t do it
for you. Put them out. ARE THEY ALL GONE?
(Usually, the numbers disappear by 98; I’ve never
had a client go past 96. It is your choice whether to
prompt the client by saying the number.)
Insert suggestions.
Bring client out of trance.
The number block achieved in Step 6 is a sign that the client is in the
same state you get into just before falling asleep. This is Elman’s
fourth trance level: somnambulism. If you question the client as they
are going through the numbers, 100.. . 99.. . 98, they will tell you
there is a moment when their mind is completely blank. According
to Elman, this is when you know that the client has reached full men-
tal relaxation. From a Zen point of view, this is the ‘no mind’ state, or
the void. Leading the client to this state is Elman’s objective in doing
the numbers. To know that your client has reached this state, you
must ask, “Are they [the numbers] all gone?”

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