Rapid Induction Techniques – How They Work
There are many forms of hypnotic inductions. Some of these are used in clinical practice while others are used as part of stage or street hypnosis. Each and every subject is unique, so it is always helpful to learn multiple techniques.
It is best to always be prepared for whatever arises, as you never know when you may need to try a different induction technique.
Many hypnotists still use the standard although “old-fashioned” hypnotic induction of progressive relaxation, because it works on almost everyone and it is extremely relaxing.
The only downfall is that the standard progressive relaxation induction, in which the hypnotist relaxes someone by using a soothing tone of voice or taking then down a long stairway, is often very time consuming. Learning some of the rapid induction techniques will be very helpful to have as part of your hypnotic induction arsenal.
Stage hypnotists are notorious for using rapid induction techniques and they can be very effective. One thing to be aware of though is that in stage hypnosis, clients are very carefully screened for optimum suggestibility, and that is an important fact to keep in mind. If someone was recruited that did not like the spotlight or was the type of person to question every command, they would not make a very good instant induction candidate.
Anyone who volunteers for a stage show probably loves the spotlight and loves being part of the entertainment atmosphere, but your individual clients may not always follow this protocol.
Rapid inductions may be more effective for hypnotherapy clients who have already been successfully hypnotised by you in the past – because they are often very good at getting themselves to rapidly drift into a trance like state.
Milton Erickson, known as the father of clinical hypnosis was known for his rather informal induction technique. He worked to establish rapport with clients using skillful language that would redirect their attention. Indirectly he would make therapeutic suggestions through symbols and metaphors. Using this kind of technique takes much skill and practice, so it is always wise to learn a multitude of techniques so that you can try them out as needed.
You might actually find it useful to combine techniques depending on your client’s needs. Having said all of this, it is NOT necessary for your clients to be in a deep state of trance in order to elicit change. That has been proven with Milton Erickson’s informal technique. Although Erickson’s clients may not have felt like they were deep in trance, the fact of the matter is that his techniques, which are still emulated even today, work amazingly well.
Let’s examine some rapid inductions now.
Rapid Eye De-Focus Induction
Begin by instructing your client take a nice deep breath. Instruct the client to take a second deep breath – and then a third. On the third deep breath, ask your client to hold the breath for approximately three seconds – then instruct them to exhale and relax.
Now ask your client to focus their eyes on a spot on the wall or ceiling, straining their eyes just a bit. Focusing on the spot – with their head straight and their eyes on the wall in front of them, tell your client to continue straining their eyes so that their eyes are focused upwards with their head straight.
You may then count back from 20 to 1. The eyestrain alone will cause their eyes to water and blink. The moment they close their eyes, they will be in a light level of trance and you may continue to deepen from there.
Direct Gaze Induction
The direct gaze method is a very powerful technique but one of the most difficult to use because you have to perform it with a high level of confidence. If you have any doubts or hesitations, your client will notice.
With your client standing, simply say to them “Now I would like you to fix your eyes right here.” Now take the index finger of your right hand and bring it up under your right eye; if they’re seated, or lying down you may say exactly the same thing.
When you’re looking your client in the eye, it is important to NOT blink.
Narrow your eyes slightly, just enough to keep your eyes from drying out. Time your counting in response to what you see is happening in your client’s eyes. If you do not see any response, simply stretch out your suggestions. The moment you see your client beginning to blink, pick up the speed and say “And now your eyes begin closing, closing …it feels so good to close your eyes.”
Words spoken to client
Now I want you to look right here. Don’t take your eyes away from mine. Don’t move or speak or even nod your head or say anything unless I ask you to. I know that you hear and understand me quite well. If you follow my simple instructions, there is nothing that can keep you from entering into a very nice deep and pleasant state of trance, very quickly.
Now, take a nice deep breath in filling up your lungs. (You use this opportunity to take a deep breath and take your right hand moving it in an upward motion in the air). Now exhale. (Bring your hand down as they exhale) Very good. Now take a second and much deeper breath. (Bring your hand up again) Exhale. (Bring your hand down) Now just relax and take a third deep breath. (Bringing hand up) Exhale. (Bringing hand down)
Now slowly raise your hand up over their head, about three feet in front of them, two feet above their head, pointing your finger) And now, I’m going to count from five down to one. As I do, your eyelids will grow very heavy, very droopy, very drowsy and sleepy. By the time I reach the count of one, they will close right down and you will go very deep in nice hypnotic trance. You will go very deep, deeper than ever.
Begin counting….. Five (Start moving your finger down) – Your eyelids are heavy, very droopy, drowsy and sleepy. Four (Moving your finger down) — Those heavy lids feel ready to close. Three (Moving your finger down) — The next time you blink you will know that you are entering into a nice state of trance. Two (Moving your finger down). Your eyes are beginning to close, closing, closing, closing, closing, closing, closing, closing them, close them, close them.
They’re closing. Now place your right hand behind your client’s head at the base of their skull. Grasp their left arm at the elbow and with a sudden pulling movement of the right hand, tell them to “sleep now”.
Proceed with deepening techniques.
Rhythmic Eye Movement or Hypnotic Spinning Wheel Induction
This is a very simple induction that uses a hypnotic spinning wheel.
You may just allow your client to stare at the wheel as it is spinning……counting backward as you go.
You can also have your client visualize a spinning wheel. Continue to deepen as you count backward with typical deepening language.
Now I would like you to imagine the color green – just concentrate on seeing nothing but the color green, like a beautiful field of grass in the spring. Erase everything else from your mind and allow you thoughts to just imagine that fresh green color as you listen to my voice. Now see the color green fading into a nice soothing yellow. This color yellow is so warm…….and mellow. You feel so relaxed so at ease. So warm.
Relaxed and glowing … warm and relaxed. Now see this yellow melding into the color orange, like a beautiful sunset making you more and more serene and comfortable. You feel so relaxed, as you go deeper and deeper. See the colors spinning in your mind…like a wheel of color.
Now notice how the color orange becomes a beautiful deep red, as you go deeper and deeper. You feel so warm and relaxed as you go deeper and deeper, safer and calmer.
You may then do the arm jerk sleep command or continue deepening.
Pattern Breaking Induction
This is a classic technique that throws someone off guard. It can be used with a handshake induction.
Get permission first to use the technique to induce trance.
Reach out to shake the person’s hand.
Before your hand meets their hand, use your other hand to lightly grab them by their wrist.
Gently pull their hand up in front of their face
Verbally bring their attention to their hand by saying something like “look at your hand…and notice how your vision is starting to change” while you slowly move their hand towards their face.
Continue with verbal patter
Relaxation Technique – Arm Levitation
This induction technique requires that the hypnotist monitor the pace of the suggestions to the response of the subject.
I’m going to count from one up to twenty. As I do, a light, easy, relaxing feeling will move into your right hand and then into your right arm. As I continue counting, that feeling will grow stronger and stronger. Soon you’ll feel a slight movement of your fingers, and a twitching of the muscles.
(At this point grasp the subject’s arm and demonstrate how it will move as you continue with the following suggestions).
At that point your hand begins to lift. Your arm begins to lift. It continues moving, lifting, and rising up until it comes to rest upon your body.
Now when you feel the movement in your hand and in your arm, do not try to resist. You may resist if you chose to, but that is not why you are here. Just allow your subconscious mind do its work. Now – we are ready to begin.
Number 1 – The first light, easy sensation now moves into your fingertips of your right hand.
Number 2 – The feeling is now spreading around beneath your fingernails.
Number 3 – The feeling is now moving up to the first joint of your fingers.
Number 4 – It’s now spreading to the large knuckle across the back of your hand.
Number 5 – the first slight movements begin to take place. You are now noticing slight movements of your fingers and a twitching of the muscles.
Number 6 – The light sensation now spreads all across the back of your hand.
Number 7 – It now spreads over and into your thumb.
Number 8 – It’s now moving now all through the palm of your hand.
Number 9 – The sensation now spreads up and into your wrist. Think of your left hand now. You’ll see by comparison, your left hand is beginning to feel very, very heavy.
While on Number 10 – your right hand grows lighter and lighter with each number I speak – light as a feather floating in the breeze and even lighter. As light as a helium-filled balloon. Just as a helium-filled balloon will rise and float towards the ceiling, in the same way, by the time I reach the count of twenty, your right hand is moving, lifting, rising and floating.
Number 11 – The light sensation has moved beyond your wrist now, spreading up into your forearm.
Number 12, 13 – Now think of your left hand. Your left hand has grown so heavy, it feels as though it were made of stone.
Number 14 – That sensation is spreading up toward your elbow.
Now on 15 – From your fingertips all the way up to your elbow your hand has grown light, light and free. It’s beginning to lift. It’s moving, lifting, rising and floating.
(At this point, if the hand is not moving, gently lift the hand to get it started)
All right, 16 – Now your arm is moving up and lifting and rising. And as your arm is lifting, you’re going deeper and deeper into hypnosis.
17 – Your hand continues moving, lifting and rising now until it comes to rest over on your body.
18 – Moving, lifting, rising, floating. Right on over now and when your hand comes to rest upon your body, at that time your eyelids will shut tightly. Your eyelids are so tightly closed at that point, the more you try to open them the tighter they close.
19 – Your hand is getting ready to come down and rest upon your body.
20 – Now your hand has come to rest upon your body and at the same time, your eyelids are locked so tightly closed, the more you try to open your eyelids the tighter they are locking closed.
That’s fine, stop trying and go deeper into trance.
Rapid techniques are fun to try and the more you do them, the better you will get and the more confident you will feel.