A personalised induction will always be more effective. Discuss. Base your answer on the theoretical concepts and techniques presented in class
This essay will describe the benefit to put into practice a personalised induction, as well as how to create a script, in order to tailor a personalised induction. I will also show that it is not always possible to use a personal induction on a client.
There are some points to take in to consideration when doing a personalised induction. Firstly, people are different in many ways. They have different likes and dislikes, cultural backgrounds and upbringings. These factors have provided us with different outlooks, values and perspectives.
In order for the client to relax, a hypnotic induction must always have positive words and feelings, such as “you are more relaxed than you ever felt before”. Negative words such as “the noise outside does not disturb you. It does not disturb you in any way”, should never be used as it could produce the reverse effect. In order to have the best chance of success we need to do our best to achieve the most beneficial stat as possible. When communicating with other people it seems that we do so using language. This is not entirely true as research shows that words make up 7% of our communication, tone and volume 38% and our body language 55%. Generally in order to practice hypnosis the client will have to have their eyes closed. This is why the therapist has to be very careful on the words he uses.
To be able to understand the client and to address them in the perfect way, the therapist will have to look at the modality, which is the “language of the minds”. Modalities are used to communicate with the outside world using five senses: visual for sight, kinaesthetic for touch, auditory for hearing, olfactory for smell and gustative for taste. A person’s modality is the sense that they feel the most comfortable using. However, for certain people they can be comfortable with using more than one modality at the same time. There is a sixth modality which is referred to as digital, this refers more to people who think mostly in language and symbols. In order to create an effective treatment the therapist must create an induction script based on the client’s modalities.
When meeting a client for the first time for a personalised induction, it is critical to build a good rapport with him. This will enable the therapist to be aware of any fears, illnesses, issues, phobias, his alcohol consumptions; any use of recreative drugs and most importantly, if the client is on any medication. If there is any doubt the therapist should contact the client GENERAL PRACTITIONER, to get their medical history. This can be done quite easily by chatting, observing and general discussion. The client can be scored on their appearance, behaviour and personality which can give the therapist a clearer insight to them. This is to avoid unnecessary stress and also to avoid any interruption of the hypnotic process. For examples if a client has an aversion to water, the imagery of a water fall could be stressful, but if the person likes water, this description would be nice and relaxing and bring a peaceful feeling. During the course of a research programme the induction was standardised, an image of a lift was used to deepen the trance. One elderly lady told the therapist after the session
This is a preview of the whole essay
that when she had been asked to visualise the door of a lift opening ready for her to get in, she decided to go down the stairs instead. This is a typical example of a negative imaginary description.
To be able to eliminate certain words which may be distressful the therapist can use imagery, such as a “privet place”. This can be anything; it doesn’t even have to exist. It can evoke good memories by recapturing a happy moment in time or re-describing a good feeling. These happy moments can counteract the negative emotions affecting the client in his or her current life. This is an example of the kind of language the therapist will have to use in order to bring the client back to a good feeling, “I would like you now to let yourself go back in time, back through your life to that time and place when you felt completely happy and relaxed, when everything was fine” or alternatively “what I would like you to do now is to imagine that you have a photograph album in front of you. This photo album is a collection of all the good times in your life.”
Another important factor to incorporate into the script is the style of approach which is divided into Authoritative and Permissive.
The authoritative technique is commanding and direct. Its purpose is to establish control over the subject and alter behaviour through the use of repetitious commands. This approach was used in the early days of hypnosis because they believed that the authority they had over their subject increased their chance of success. This is still true today. If the client sees the hypnotist as an authority figure, they may have greater confidence in the power of an induction. The heightened expectation alone increases the chance of success. This is an example of an authoritarian technique: “As you relax deeper and deeper you will respond to the suggestion I give you. YOU WILL NOW STOP SMOKING. YOU WILL NOW STOP SMOKING. This is your wish your desire and you will act on it now.” In general the people who are the most responsive to this technique are those who have great respect for authority figures such as teachers, parents, community leaders and police officers. Scientifically oriented people will fit more into this category as opposed to those who are highly imaginative or creative. Repressed emotions are generally the symptoms related to this technique such as weight loss, smoking and low self esteem. For example obesity that started at a young age. Because the problem started at childhood the authoritarian technique is employed to take the patient back in time to see the problem, understand it and let go the need for the behaviour that compensates for it; therefore another authoritarian figure can help unlock the problem and eventually eliminate it. During the use of this technique a suggestion is given to the subject to assume responsibility and eliminate dependent behaviour. This is done during the induction by increasing the self-confidence of the subject and reprogramming independent behaviour. The authoritarian technique works better in individual sessions and is difficult in group sessions.
The permissive technique uses a softer tone of voice to lull the subject into relaxation. In this technique the hypnotist and the client are equal partners in the process. More imagery is used to
enhance suggestions and greater responsibility is given to the client. This is an example of the permissive technique: “As you listen to my voice let it helps you to relax. As you relax deeper and deeper, just imagine yourself in a peaceful place. Imagine how great you feel in the place. Now let yourself relax deeper and as you relax deeper your desire to feel healthy and free of any habit grows strong, then stronger and soon you realise you truly are a non-smoker.” The clients who will be the most receptive to this technique are the ones who are more imaginative and creative. Because more specific, individualised imagery are incorporated and the induction becomes more real, more applicable to the individual. This technique is more successful with a client that is determined on reaching goals.
Milton. H. Erickson was a master in how to use permissive technique. At first Erickson seemed unlikely to be able to revolutionize the practice of hypnotherapy; he was colour-blind, dyslexic, tone deaf and at the age of seventeen was stricken with polio and again at the age of fifty-one. When he was completely paralysed (he could only move his eyes) he started observing his family, there body language, behaviour, voice intonation, especially his younger sister. He developed an incredible understanding of human behaviour. His relationship with hypnosis was a very personal one as it was a way of overcoming his own physical limitations. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1928 with an MA in psychology and a MD; he then went on to hold a senior psychiatric post in hospitals across the United States. Erickson was incredible, as he was supremely flexible, adapting his approach to each individual client. Sometimes he could be direct, authoritarian and even aggressive. At another time he could be permissive, indirect and soothing. Occasionally he would choose not to use hypnosis at all. He used to verbally abuse his clients to such a shocking degree that they would walk out of his practice, telling him exactly what they thought of him. As they did so they would instantly be cured. Erickson used to work with symptoms to bring about a change. He was seeing problems as a process and by changing the symptom (its intensity, frequency or location) he could change the entire pattern of the problem. He used to engage the unconscious mind by any means available. He used to firmly believe that the individual’s unconscious contained all the resources necessary to bring out a cure for that individual at that very moment. This is why he used imagination and metaphor, therapeutic stories, anecdote, jokes, puns and riddles. All these are like coded messages for the unconscious, which is able to make the connection and see the point of the story, even if the conscious mind doesn’t. He believed in allowing the client freedom to interpret this in their way. Erickson’s great achievement was to bring hypnosis back to the service of the individual, by doing whatever was necessary to make the client-focused.
Like Erickson showed us, it is up to the therapist to identify the real problem and to find out the right way in order to cure the patient, even if the client doesn’t really know where his problem comes from. This is why a personal induction will always be better and more specific to the client’s needs. The client carries the solution inside them. The therapist only needs to set it free.
Of course it is not always possible to do a personal induction especially in group sessions for weight loss, smoking and so on. In this case the hypnotic induction must be vaguer, give more freedom to the patients to use their own imaginations. For example: “You may like to close your eyes now to enjoy the experience more deeply... Or you may just like to let them close when they are ready...” This induction gives the client the choice when they want to close their eyes. The therapist can also use as well different suggestions on what the private place could be, like the beach, the mountain, by the river and so on; in this case the induction works on more of a broad basis in order to cure the whole group at the same time.
In conclusion a personal induction will always be more effective in curing the client. However if there is no possibility for a personalised induction the therapist will need to give a more expansive session for the imagination of the clients to open. This may work as well as a personalised induction. This is all done so that the therapist can ask the right questions and to asses his client before starting any sessions even for group sessions. The client is like an open book, the only thing the therapist has to do is read it. We should take our lead from Milton. H. Erickson and pays more attention to detail.
- My Voice will go with you: Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erikson. Edited and commentary by Sidney Rosen.
- Hypnosis for Change. Third Edition. By Josie Hadley and Carol Staudacher.
- Hypnotherapy: A Handbook. By Michael Heap and Windy Dryden.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
The writer could have explained why induction may be more challenging with groups than with individuals. The work around the 2 different styles of induction was generally clearly written - the differences were highlighted well. Perhaps the writer could have contrasted the 2 types of clients that each approach would work better with, eg. why would someone who was not very creative respond to the authoritarian approach and what might that mean for the success of the hypnosis? There were a few grammatical errors which could be minimised by careful proof-reading. 4/5