In this essay, my objective is to demonstrate my understanding of the theoretical concepts and techniques used in hypnotic inductions and to discuss my reasons for believing that it is best that an induction is personalised as well as the reasons why they may not always be the best strategy.
Research shows that words make up 7% of our communication, tone and volume make up 38% and our body language make up 55%. In order to practice hypnosis, an individual’s eyes are closed and the aim is to relax the body completely, leaving only words, tone and volume to communicate, this makes these factors very important in the process of hypnosis therefore using these factors right is the key to a successful induction. To my understanding, a personalised induction is a hypnotic induction screed that is tailored to suit a specific inividual. There are 2 induction styles that are used when personalising an induction, those are; the permissive technique and the authoritarian technique.
In the permissive technique, a softer tone of voice is issued to draw the subject into a state of relaxation. With this technique, the subject and the hypnotherapist are equal partners in the process of hypnosis. More imaginative suggestions are used and greater responsibility is given to the hypnotic subject to create the right state that is needed to achieve results.
Subjects who are most responsive to this technique are individuals who are very imaginative an creative because more specific imagery is used in the induction. This technique was devised by Milton Erickson in the 1900s, It is particularly used in subjects who are gaining to reach goals, such as people who want to become more successful in their occuption or career.
The Authoritarian technique is a more direct and authority based technique. It’s purpose is to establish control over the subject. In this, the hypnotist commands the individual to respond in a specific way. Repititious commands are given in order to alter the subjects behavior.
This technique was made famous by Franz Mesmer. Subjects who are most responsive to the authortarian technique are those who have great respect for authoritarian figures, such as teachers, employers and police officers. This technique is best used on individuals who are suffering with problems that began from childhood which usually originates as a result of a response to an authority figure.
The authoritarian and permissive technique can also be personalised to an individual by identifying which type of suggestions an indiviual will best respond to and is most comfortable with. These are called modalities. There are 3 main types of modalities; visual(sight), auditory(hearing)and Kinaesthetic(feeling). There are many ways to identify an individual’s modality. Their interests, eye movements when using their imagination, tone of voice, the words and phrases they use when speaking and even their body type.
Individuals who respond best to the visual modality induction are usually very creative and are interested in drawing, design and television. A visual person When speaking would usually use wording like; “looks good to me” or “the future looks bright”. Or they may use more color references than persons with other modalities. When using their imagination, their eyes would go up and to the right. Their voice tone is generally faster but in a high, clear tone.
An auditory individual loves music and talking on the phone and find unpleasant and undesirable sounds highly intolerable. They would frequently use phrases like “that sounds good” or “I hear what you’re saying”. Their eyes would go right when imagining something. Their voice is usually an even paced tone.
Individuals who would respond best to Kineasthetic suggestions would usually use such wording like; “i know how you feel”, ” i can’t put my finger on it” or “heated argument”. Their eye movement when using their imagination would be down to the right. Their tone of voice is usually a soft, deep tone and speaks with pauses in speech.
A hypnotherapist would usually identify the best modality to use by conversating with the client, being sure to listen to the client as this provides more doorways into their subconscious, as paying attention to the things that relax them, the way they process experiences and the style of behaviour that they will likely best react to. The therapist would also, to be more acurate, determine the client’s moality through the use of rapport during the initial consultation.
This helps the therapist to become more aware of any fears, phobias and illnesses of the subject.The results would then be used in the development of a personalised induction or in some cases it would actually prove that a personalised induction is not even necessary as the indivdual’s case may be basic enough to decide on the option of the use an already written or recorded script which would be a time saver.
In one sense, we use personalised inductions because people are individuals and deserve the personal touch. However, it it because we recognise that people are individuals and are unique, that we recognise that an initial consultation can’t tell you everything you ever need to know about someone. A personalised induction can presume too much.
I do however believe that after a rapport a hypnotherapist cannot go wrong with personalising a screed because not all screeds are very effective in all circumstances. Each induction tends to be more effective in different situations and with different subjects, for example; The authoritarian technique would be very effective when used in a private session when dealing with an individual who is struggling with a bad habit which may have resulted from a past experience with an authoritarian figure, for eg. smoking, drinking or over eating. This is because the authoritarian technique would be used to take an indivdual back to their past to discover where their problem originated and to help the individual in understanding that incident and therefore let go of the behavior that compensates for it. In this situation, a personalised induction is more effective.
However, The authoritarian style, would not be the best option to utilise in a group session, because whereas there are some individuals with which the authoritarian approach would be very effective, not all individuals respond very well with recieving a command. This could cause some individuals to become very uncomfortable which would make it difficult, if not impossible, to get some individuals into a trance. As a result, the hypnotherapy session would be very unsuccessful as a group treatment.
I also believe that more direct techniques, in contrast, are powerful and often effective but often more difficult to make effective use of, often very narrow in their impact and they involve an unecessary element of submission, helplessness and reluctant agreement on the part of the subject.
Personalised inductions may, sometimes be less effective with permissive suggestions because in this technique an individual is presented ideas in a carefully crafted general manner, he or she tends to process the incoming words on the basis of what he or she expects to hear, wants to hear, needs to hear. Thus, because of indirect techniques, the listener’s own mind assures that suggestions are personally “form-fitted” to his or her needs and expectations so in this case, personalisation is not necessary.
I also believe that it is best to personalise a screed because people are different in many ways. They have different likes and dislikes, cultural backgrounds and experiences therfore people have different perspectives, traits and outlooks. Personalising an induction takes these factors into account, thus helping to avoid making mistakes with a client. These factors are also what determines an individual’s modalities and the more effective induction style for them, which is very important in developing a sucessful screed.
For instance, some individuals may find recieving a demand when the authoritarian technique is used to be very offensive and it may even be processed as agression. The subject may even feel the need to retaliate as a result. Therefore the authoritarian style of induction may not best used with this individual. Or an subject may find it very difficult to get into a trance because of difficulty with visualising the induction, as they may be more of an auditory or kinaesthetic modality.
In cases of people with phobias, personalised inductions are definitley the best option for such reason that, for example,the therapist may use the imagery of floating on a cloud with a client who is afraid of heights, this would be very disturbing for this client. Or a suggestion of floating on water may be terrifying for a client who suffers with the fear of drowning. In these cases, a personalised screed would be best utilised.