If you train as a hypnotist, the odds are that you will be taught a number of specific inductions (methods a hypnotist can use to induce trance). Typically these will include techniques like visualisation (encouraging the subject to visualise specific things), progressive relaxation (having the subject gradually relax every part of their body from head to toe, or toes to head), countdowns (counting the client down into trance) or a combination of these and similar. In many instances hypnosis students are taught to simply read outloud pre-written scripts based upon the aforementioned ideas and in the worst case scenario never graduate beyond simply reading out scripts to clients (not going to lie – the thought alone of this makes me cringe).
Now – I am not here to belittle the techniques (except for “experienced” hypnotists reading to clients directly from scripts – that will always be wrong) as they definitely have their uses. They provide a solid foundation for new hypnotists to build their craft upon. They’re tried and tested techniques that work on a majority of individuals (though not all) when applied appropriately. They can also be used (for those who are curious enough) to understand exactly how hypnosis works and precisely why these styles of inductions work so well for so many.
But rarely in my experience are hypnotists taught or encouraged to move beyond the basic inductions they’ve been taught. As a hypnotist becomes more experienced they may tweak or adjust elements of these inductions, but it’s not common to see anyone break out, get creative and invent their own inductions. I guess the thinking is stick to what you know works, and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that approach, but as I mentioned earlier, these tried and tested techniques don’t work on everyone so what do you do when faced with a client who doesn’t respond to the techniques you’ve been taught? Many hypnotists will (wrongly) assume that the subject is bad/difficult to trance when this could not be further from the truth. The limitation does not lie with the client. It lies with the hypnotist.
In order to be a truly successful hypnotist you must be able to adjust and adapt your approach to meet the needs of your client. In many cases this can be achieved by tweaking the commonly used inductions you have been taught, but there is so much more potential with hypnosis for those who are adventurous enough to look beyond the horizons of their original teaching.
The question then becomes – how? How do you expand your hypnotic horizons and break away from the traditional inductions you’ve been taught. Surely these specific techniques are taught and used for a reason? Aren’t you risking failure if you stray from the tried and tested path and strike out on your own? Well…yes. But you’re also potentially achieving a great deal more understanding, success and achievements.
In terms of *how* one goes about breaking free from traditional inductions, I’m not going to lie – there is no easy way or shortcuts. You need to invest time in furthering your learning by understanding the mechanics of how hypnosis works. Inductions are techniques that utilise specific actions and package them in a useable way. If you look beyond the induction and into exactly what underpins the induction and makes it work successfully, then you’re a long way to understanding the principles of hypnosis and the specific techniques that underpin the often successful inductions.
Once you understand the mechanics – how hypnosis works “under the hood” so to speak – then you can begin to build new frameworks/inductions of your own design based off the intrinsic principles of successful trance. It’s a process. You’re not going to be able to manage perfectly original and 100% successful inductions overnight. What you will be able to do is begin to branch out from the more traditional inductions. Perhaps change up some elements, experiment, throw in a few original ideas and incorporate them into inductions you know work. Basically what you’re aiming for is to experiment and have fun.
If you try out an idea and it doesn’t go to plan, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Quite the opposite. You’ve learned something really important. If your subject doesn’t trance, it’s not a problem. Not everyone responds to the same induction techniques. But the more you experiment, the more you understand how to read people and get a better idea of what techniques are more likely to be successful. This can be a matter of trial and error, but as long as you remain calm and professional it is not a disaster which cannot be overcome. You simply pivot, explore different techniques and discover what works for your client. The way you frame the experience (for instance explaining that everyone is different and responds differently and so you’re working out how best you can help them) and your attitude will have a much bigger impact than you assume.
The more you experiment, the more you learn. The more you learn the more you understand. And the more you understand, the more confident you will become in exploring more original aspects to inductions and eventually more original inductions themselves.
The key is to be confident and not allow yourself to be dissuaded when things don’t go to plan. Everything is a learning experience and opportunity and the benefits of getting comfortable with breaking free from traditional inductions far outweigh the negatives. As a hypnotist you’ll be far better placed to help your clients by tailoring inductions specifically to them and their needs rather than relying on generic inductions and as a result your sessions will be much more successful. Trust me – I know. I took this path and now excel at successfully trancing people who have previously struggled. I’ve had multiple clients come to me after trying to trance for 20+ years (more than one was 40+ years) and because I’ve taken the time to explore and experiment, I have been able to successfully trance them where other hypnotists could not.
Breaking free from traditional inductions may not be quick or easy, but I promise you (as someone who has been a practising hypnotist for nigh on a decade now) it’s definitely worth it!
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