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Trance and Rapport

      The basis for practising the art of hypnosis is an understanding of
trance. Trance is the state in which hypnosis takes place. It is also a
state we frequently enter in the normal course of a day.
      My favourite example of trance is on the elevator. You get in the
elevator and the doors close, and you look up and watch the num-
bers flash: one.. . two.. . three.. . four.. . five.. . six.. . You’re going to
seven.. . . The elevator stops and the doors open, and you say, “All
right.. . wait!. . . is this seven?” That’s trance.
      Even more familiar is the driving trance. One time I was driving
along a stretch of Canadian four-lane highway from Niagara Falls
to Windsor. The road passes through beautiful country with
majestic trees and a clear blue sky, and the air is amazingly clear. I
was driving and driving and listening to my radio.. . And all of a
sudden my Conscious Mind clicked back into control, and I real-
ized that I was 60 miles beyond my exit! The driving trance is an
example of the Unconscious Mind taking over to direct behavior
that would otherwise be conscious.
      Probably the most common trance situation of our day is watching
television. Have you ever been watching TV while a person you
live with was having a full conversation with you … and you
turned to that person and said, “What…?” In TV trance, the
Unconscious Mind can take in and store long series of images. If
you’re going to do hypnosis with kids, you can have them remem-
ber their favourite TV show-and they’ll replay the whole thing
for you.
      Trance is a normal, wonderful, relaxed, and very useful state.
People go into it all the time. There are key differences between the
trance you go into with a Hypnotherapist and the trance you go
into in the elevator, in the car, or in front of the TV. With a
Hypnotherapist, you are being guided into trance with a distinct
beneficial purpose.
      A further difference is in the source of the rapport. When you are
in a driving trance, you are in rapport with the radio, with the
passing scenery, or with yourself. When you are in a TV trance,
you are in rapport with the television. But when you are in hyp-
nosis or hypnotherapy, you are in rapport with the person who
has assisted you into the trance; and your Unconscious Mind
opens itself to receiving information directly and uncritically from
that person.
      We all go into trance frequently. The issue is whether we are in our
own trance without a clear purpose, or whether we have chosen or
been assisted into trance for the purpose of learning or therapy.
This becomes a major factor for you as a Hypnotherapist when
your client is in a trance of his own. When that happens, the
client’s trance will not ‘include’ you. In order to work with the
client, you must first draw him out of his own trance and then
assist him into a trance based on rapport with you. We will explore
methods for doing this in later chapters.
       Rapport is the basis for success in hypnotherapy. It is the condition
in which the client accepts our suggestions unconditionally, with-
out resistance, at the Unconscious level. This enables the client to
make the changes he wants to make. Rapport opens the door to
trance, the state in which we can talk directly with the client’s
Unconscious Mind.

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