Q: I have a client with an issue that should be relatively easy to resolve IF I can get him into a deep hypnotic state. He’s very motivated, extremely intelligent, and quite analytical – the type of person who sets goals and invariably achieves them. He really wants me to help him overcome his problem.The problem is I can’t “coax” him into somnambulism. After three sessions, he has definitely become more and more relaxed and he says he can’t imagine feeling any more relaxed without actually being asleep. Yet when I do the eye catalepsy test, his eyes always open. Every time.I’ve never had this problem! I have given him audios to listen to, to train himself to drift into a hypnotic state. He tells me they’re very relaxing, and that he actually gets so relaxed that he falls asleep before they end. I’m positive that this client isn’t purposely “holding back,” yet something is stopping him from going into somnambulism when I have him in my office.What can I do?
1. Relaxation Hypnosis Won't Work
You have probably already figured this out. Relaxation hypnosis doesn't work for analytical types. Fortunately, you don't need relaxation to establish somnambulism because hypnosis is not relaxation. Relaxation is just a nice side-benefit of hypnosis.
Relaxation, alone, is not a sign that you have even established hypnosis. If you don’t establish hypnosis there’s nothing there for you to deepen to somnambulism.
2. You need to test for state.
One of the tests for somnambulism is eye catalepsy through suggestion. If you conduct the test, and the client opens their eyes, they're not in somnambulism. The client may feel very relaxed. You may even have a light state of hypnosis. But you don’t have somnambulism. So, what do you do?
What do you do if the client fails the test? Here are a few tips to help you get your client into deep hypnosis.
#1. Pyramid Inductions
Stacking one induction on top of another will usually get the job done. I like to start with the Elman Induction, then switch to Eye Fractionation.
#2. Confusional Induction
Use a Confusional Induction as a deepener. Analytical types hate Confusional patter because, well, it's confusing! They work with analytical types because, eventually, the conscious thinking mind just gives up.
#3. Rapid Induction
Rapid Inductions are very effective for analytical types. A simple Hand-Drop rapid induction provides a slight shock-effect that quickly by-passes the Critical Faculty. Just remember to deepen immediately! Don't give the conscious mind time to think!
When the conscious mind doesn’t know what is going to happen, or can’t anticipate exactly when it’s going to happen, it retreats. That’s by-passing the Critical Faculty. This is very effective with us thinking types. Plus, rapid inductions are time savers. There’s no need to deepen with suggestions for relaxation. Just test and move on.
Rapid and instant inductions employ the element of surprise. This works well with analytical types. I’m pretty analytical, myself. Personally, I find Progressive Relaxation Inductions irritating and Confusional Inductions annoying. BUT, once you get me into hypnosis, you can use these approaches as deepeners with good effect.
Personally, I prefer a rapid induction because they're time-savers in sessions. Get in. Go to work. Get out. That's what the client is paying you for - not the hypnosis.
You can fractionate even the most difficult client into a very deep state of hypnosis. Analyticals tend not to like this technique because it's repetitive. Analyticals hate repetition. But the more you fractionate, the deeper they'll go. This technique will get anyone Gonzoed in no time flat. The trick is to make sure they're responding instantly to your suggestions. No thinking allowed!
#5. Work fast!
Slowing things down just gives the conscious mind the opportunity to step back in. Obviously, this is counter-productive. It’s not that your client is being difficult, or consciously trying to resist. It’s just his learned coping strategy. When Analytical types feel stressed, they go into figuring things out so that they can decide on a strategy. That’s their strength. It gives them a sense of control in situations that feel threatening.
The key is to work quickly. You need to stay ahead of the conscious mind's tendency to process information quickly. This ability to think quickly makes the analytical client an excellent goal-setter. You can use these things in your favour. But you must first get ahead of his lightening-speed intellect. To do that you’ll have to work fast! The trick is to not give the client time to think. Just tell them what to do - quickly! When they are action-oriented, analyticals are excellent goal-achievers.
Analytical clients can enter into a state of somnambulism, easily. You just need to by-pass their highly active critical thinking mechanism. Throw a wrench in the wheel and by-pass their Critical Faculty before it can get a thought in sideways. To accomplish this, try a hand-drop induction followed by the eye-catalepsy test. (Pyramid your inductions!) Then, continue to work quickly.
Rapid induction. Deepen quickly. Conduct a test for state.
Working quickly takes some skill. If you’re just trying to keep up, guess who’s in charge of the session? You need to take charge to by-pass the thinking part of the mind rapidly. Then, move straight into the Eye Catalepsy Test.
#6. Take charge.
Analyticals need somebody to be in charge. If you take charge, your client won’t have to. Use a slightly-more authoritative tone. Don’t give the client any opportunity to question your commands.
If the client passes the eye catalepsy test, you have somnambulism. Throw another deepener at them and proceed directly to the hypnotherapy.
You can wrap up your session with suggestions for relaxation. That way, your client can float out of your office feeling really good. Just know that it can take a l-o-o-o-n-g time to bore an analytical type into hypnosis with suggestions for relaxation. It's best just to cut to the quick. Test for state. Dive into the regression work.
#7. Use a Covert Test First.
Testing is a lot like lawyering. To be a hypnotherapist, you have to think like a lawyer. Never ask a question you don’t already have the answer to and never perform a test you’re not 99% certain the client will pass. For example, the eye-lock test is not a test for somnambulism. It's not even a test for hypnosis. It's a test for compliance.
If the client “fails” to pass this test, you need to stop right there and find out why the client is not following your instructions. The client must be willing to follow your instructions to be willing to accept your suggestions to get any real results. This is the foundation for the Therapeutic Contract.
The Eye Catalepsy test is a test for somnambulism that also doubles as a Convincer. A Convincer provides proof to the client that he’s actually in hypnosis. That's useful because analytical types need to know the hypnosis is happening. Otherwise, they’ll be busy thinking and wondering when it’s going to happen or if it’s going to happen. All that thinking prevents the hypnosis from happening!
Don't shoot yourself in the foot! Convince yourself first. Make sure the client is going to pass that test before you perform it by using a Covert Test. For example, the Eye Fractionation Test is a covert test for somnambulism because the client doesn’t know he’s being tested. I perform this test before I perform the Eye Catalepsy test. That way, I know the client is in hypnosis. The Eye Catalepsy test then provides proof to the client.
Th Eye Fractionation Test requires a little skill in terms of timing and observation, but it’s a fail-safe technique. If at first you don’t succeed, just do it again. The client won't know the difference. The more you do eye fractionation, the more it tires the eye muscles. and because it’s repetitive, it tends to satisfy the conscious mind because it can predict what’s going to happen next. That's why the test works.
You're testing to see if the response is coming from the subconscious mind or the conscious mind. If the conscious mind is still running the show, you'll see it. There will be a slight hesitation before the response. When the conscious mind finally decides, “I’m outta here!”, the responses will become spontaneous and automatic. That’s when you perform the test.
So, that's it. If you get an analytical client, don't try to relax them into hypnosis. You'll only frustrate them (and yourself). Worse, if they're not convinced that they were hypnotized, they won't get the benefits. Make sure you've got them where you want them. Then, show them that they're already there!
- Use more than one induction
- Use a Confusional Induction as a deepener
- Use a Rapid Induction
- Fractionate the client into hypnosis
- Work fast to stay ahead of the Conscious Mind
- Use a more authoritarian tone
- Use a Covert Test first
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