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Progressive Test Induction Based on Estabrooks

Progressive Test Induction Based on Estabrooks
Up to this point we have focused on Erickson’s indirect, permis-
sive approach. It is easy to learn and comfortable to use with most
clients, including those who may have some hesitations about
being hypnotized. We will now examine reasons for sometimes
using the more traditional approach to hypnotism … a direct,
authoritarian approach.
One of the advantages of traditional hypnotism is its usefulness
for producing deep trance phenomena. Even Ericksonian hypno-
tists usually move toward a more authoritarian approach when
they need to induce deep trance to elicit the deeper hypnotic
Most hypnotherapy today is done in an Ericksonian style, with the
client in a waking state. In traditional hypnotism, on the other
hand, the hypnotist talks about sleep at the beginning of the induc-
tion and leads the client into a sleeping state. This is useful
especially in getting the client to forget what happens during
trance. If the desired outcome is, say, for the client to stop smoking
or have an aversion to certain fattening foods, post-hypnotic sug-
gestions will work best when the client forgets the suggestions;
their Conscious Mind will then not interfere with their carrying
out the suggestions.
One of this century’s greatest teachers of the traditional approach
was George Estabrooks, a professor at Colgate University, whose
book Hypnotism was published in 1943. Estabrooks taught a direct,
authoritarian approach. If we were to begin this chapter’s induc-
tion in his style, it would sound like this: “Close your eyes. You are
falling asleep-sound asleep. Relax all your muscles and imagine
that you are going into a deep sleep. Deeper and deeper and
deeper. You will not wake up until I tell you.. . then you will wake
up quietly and you will feel fine as a result of these suggestions.
You are falling sound, sound asleep. Deeper and deeper and deep-
er.” For your later reference, a complete induction in Estabrooks’s
direct, authoritative style appears in the appendix.
For ease in learning and practising, we will use an induction based
on Estabrooks’s style and adapted by the addition of Ericksonian
indirect suggestions. Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Guide
I call this a Progressive Test Induction. I recommend that you prac-
tise it with a colleague, taking turns as Hypnotherapist and client.
The induction will take the client through all six stages of hypno-
sis discussed in Chapter 8. Each step the client reaches will be a
further successful test of his ability to hypnotize himself. In other
words, the client’s success in reaching each stage will act as a
strong convincer, so that the further into the induction you get, the
stronger the client’s belief will become that they are a great hyp-
notic subject.. . the more they will lead themself inward.. . and the
more accepting they will become of your suggestions.
After each test, you will lead the client to once again relax the part
of their body that was involved in that test.
Each client is different. Sometimes a client will not succeed at a
certain level of this induction, and will then succeed very readily
at deeper levels. If, after a reasonable amount of suggestion, the
client does not produce the trance phenomenon you expect at one
of the levels, utilize whatever the client does instead, and move on
to the next level.
When the client has reached a deep level of trance, make post-
hypnotic suggestions that will be of benefit to them after the
induction, and produce amnesia of those suggestions. Before you
bring the client out of trance, the script will prompt you to remove
any test suggestions that the client should not continue to follow
when the induction is finished.
As you use the script below, repeat or expand on sentences as
needed, in order to maintain a smooth flow and assist the client
into total relaxation.

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