There’s a common mistake that a lot of new hypnosis practitioners make. That’s thinking that once they have acquired the basic tools and techniques of hypnosis they should be ready to dive right in and start working with clients. That’s just not true for everyone.
Not everyone feels ready to dive right in.
In fact, for some people, that can be downright scary. Sometimes it can feel like jumping into the deep end. With sharks ….
If you’re still struggling with how to take what you learned in the classroom, and put it to use in the session room, working with real clients and real problems, “Just Do It” may not be the best approach for YOU.
Just Do It!
The “Just do it” attitude has certainly inspired and motivated a lot of people. And it certainly worked well for Nike when it came to promoting their products. But did you know this phrase was inspired by a notorious serial killer?
It’s true. Gary Gilmore is quoted as saying, “Let’s do this!” just before he was executed by a firing squad.
Some people learn best by rolling up their shirt sleeves and diving right in. If you’re a gung-ho-damn-the-torpedo’s kind of person, diving right in might just be your path to success. But if having to “just do it” feels like facing a firing squad to YOU, that’s okay.
You just need to rethink your expectations.
Diving in before you’re ready is a BIG mistake. It could end up costing you your most valuable asset in sessions - your confidence.
To get real results working with real people you need to feel confident in your sessions. So, you need to make that your first priority.
Clients are going to come to you with unresolved problems that are rooted in painful past experiences. And the reason they need your help is because there’s FEAR.
It takes courage to face your fears.
Your clients don’t have it. So where are they going to find the courage they need to face their past? From you. They borrow the courage they need from YOU. That means that you need to feel confident guiding the process.
Hypnosis is not the answer – YOU are. Hypnosis simply gives you access to the Part of the Mind that is generating the problem. But to create the kind of change your clients are looking for, you need to feel confident guiding them through the healing process.
If you need more time, or you need to ease into things more gently, there’s nothing wrong with you. You just need to honour that need and figure out what’s the next best step that’s going to empower you.
If you need to develop your knowledge and skill in some specific area, then that might be the next best step for YOU.
For most people, simply being able to take things one step at a time is the ultimate path to success.
Hypnosis comes down to three essential steps.
- Therapeutic Technique
It doesn’t matter whether you’re working at a basic, intermediate, or advanced level of skill. You’re always using the same three steps. They’re just used differently at each level.
For example, at the BASIC level, the focus is primarily on the phenomenon of hypnosis. So you learned how to induce hypnosis, and how to deepen the hypnosis, and then how to deliver hypnotic suggestions.
At the basic level, the therapeutic techniques we learned were primarily words and imagery.
Most of us learned by reading generic scripts. Scripts are a great way to learn how to create effective suggestions because they allow you to study how other people do it.
By studying other people’s scripts, you learn how to turn an elegant phrase. And it can help you to develop your skill at delivering suggestions in a way that has impact.
Suggestion is the basis of everything we do.
Most of us started out by learning relaxation hypnosis because it’s slow. When you’re learning, you need it to be slow because you need to observe responses to your suggestions.
Responses to suggestions for physical relaxation are usually quite obvious. So, a slow induction process helps you to develop your skill in guiding the healing process. This begins with developing your ability to observe what’s happening in a session so that you can adapt to the needs of the client.
Relaxation hypnosis helps you to develop your observation skill. As you develop your skill at reading physiological feedback, you can develop your skill at pacing and leading. But when you advance to the INTERMEDIATE level of training, the emphasis shifts from the phenomenon of hypnosis to getting results. That’s what people pay for.
People don’t pay for hypnosis – they pay for results.
This is why one of the primary tools of therapeutic hypnosis is age regression. Therapeutic hypnosis is about getting results.
You’re no longer concerned with how deeply relaxed a person feels. You’re concerned with how deeply into the Subconscious Mind they are because that’s the Part of the Mind that has the power to create real and lasting change.
Regression-to-cause hypnosis focuses on locating the underlying cause of the problem so that you can remove whatever has been generating the problem. But this can take time. So, at the intermediate level we need rapid inductions.
There’s nothing wrong with using a progressive relaxation induction. Many people will benefit from learning how to relax. But a long, drawn-out progressive relaxation process burns up a lot of session time. That’s time better spent working on the client’s issue and helping them to heal it!
At the basic level, you learn relaxation inductions because you’re learning to recognize when the hypnosis is happening. But hypnosis does not require physical relaxation. It just requires hypnotic depth. For regression work you need to establish a state of somnambulism.
Somnambulism allows a person to relive a past event vividly.
The client doesn't need to be relaxed to do that. In fact, there will be times during the process that they won't be relaxed. This doesn’t mean they’re not hypnotized.
A person can be very tense and agitated when they’re in a very deep state of hypnosis. This is something you can utilize in a regression hypnosis session. And it can help you to get rapid results.
So, you don’t need relaxation to induce hypnosis. A rapid induction can save precious time in a session by allowing you to get a client into hypnosis very quickly, giving you more time to work on their issue. That’s what they’re paying you for.
At the ADVANCED level of hypnotherapy the focus is on feelings. Advanced hypnotherapy uses use all the same interactive techniques that you learned at the intermediate level. But here the focus is on releasing trapped feelings and emotions.
This is the key to healing.
There are 5 essential tools we use in regression hypnosis. If you’ve got all 5 you have everything you need to get stellar results working with virtually any issue a client might come to you for help with.
1. Suggestion is the basis of everything we do. Direct and autosuggestion are fundamental tools for regression hypnosis.
2. Age regression is about going back into past events. It’s based in the recognition that every problem is the result of a life experience. So, the tools and techniques of age regression allow you to access events that are contributing to the client’s problem. And the goal is to resolve the problem at its root.
3. Parts Work is a foundation for regression hypnotherapy because there are three Parts that we work with routinely in regression hypnosis. They are the Inner Child Part, Inner Parent Parts, and the Adult or Grownup Part of the client.
4. Resourcing has to do with the uncovering work of regression hypnosis. This allows you discover the underlying contributing factors to the problem. You can then transform these things into new capabilities, and insights, and sources of empowerment for the client.
5. Forgiveness Work is the emotional release work or regression hypnotherapy. It’s what happens when a person lets go of the problem. So, forgiveness really is the healing.
In the healing work of regression hypnosis, forgiveness has nothing to do with pardoning a sin. It’s not a religious act. It is a corrective process that allows a person to heal by releasing self-destructive beliefs and the feelings they generate. The result is a reclaiming of the Self and a restoration of the client’s sense of safety and control. That’s when healing happens.
So, that’s it.
If you’re just starting out, and you don’t feel like you’re ready to start diving into the healing work, that’s okay. That’s your feeling. You need to honour that. Then, figure out what the next best step needs to be for you.
What’s going to empower you in your client-based work?
That’s what matters here because hypnosis is not the answer - YOU are. Remember, people don’t pay for hypnosis – they pay for results. And to get those results you need to feel confident guiding the process.