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Use Hidden Tests And Convincers To Improve Success and Receive More Referrals

Calvin D. Banyan, MA, BCH, CI

One of the ongoing frustrations for many hypnotherapists is that their clients don't feel or think they were hypnotized. This is unfortunate because there can are many benefits to having your clients leave the office knowing that they were hypnotized. Here is how to accomplish that.

Is It Important That Your Clients Believe That They Were Hypnotized?

When a client believes that she has been hypnotized she becomes the ideal client. If she leaves your office thinking that she had just wasted her time, you may never see her again and be unable to complete your work with her. She may even undo any work that you did with her because of her lack of positive mental expectancy, which can result in counter suggestions because of doubt. But, fear not! You can avoid these problems with some planning on your part.

The benefits of having your client convinced that she was hypnotized are considerable. Here are just a few:

  • She will not reject your suggestions because of doubt.
  • She will have a mental expectation of success.
  • She will have overcome the fear of not being hypnotizable.
  • She will be more suggestible during your next session.
  • She will be a better referral source.

A positive mental expectation tends to improve success. When your client expects to be successful, she tends to respond more favorably to the suggestions she received in your office.

You should know the value of a good hypnosis pre-talk. The goal of the pre-talk is to prepare your client for success by removing any fears or misconceptions that your client may have regarding hypnosis. However, no matter how wonderful or complete your pre-talk may be, there is one fear that you cannot remove by simply talking. It is the fear that your client may have that she cannot be hypnotized. Even though your client may believe in hypnosis, most clients have some fear that they will not be able to be hypnotized for any number of reasons.

Once you have demonstrated to your client that she is in hypnosis, you have overcome this almost universal fear and transformed her into the ideal client; one who knows she was hypnotized and that she was able to be hypnotized by you. Your next session with her is bound to be more effective than the one before. She will easily go into hypnosis using the previous induction procedure, or a shorter version, or by post-hypnotic suggestion.

One of the great benefits of having a client convinced that she was hypnotized in the first session is that she becomes a wonderful source of referrals. Before she met with you she probably confided in someone that she was going to see a hypnotist. She may have even told a lot of people, and after her appointment, they will all want to know how it went. The convinced client will tell everyone that she was sure that she was hypnotized. Then her friends will all want to know who her wonderful hypnotist was and she will gladly refer them to you.

How Does The Professional Demonstrate To Clients That They Were Hypnotized?

The unfortunate truth is that most Hypnotherapists don't test for hypnosis. If they did, it would be an instant boon to our profession. But most don't test and here is why. What if they tested their client and they failed the test? This would be unfortunate for everyone.

When conducting hypnosis sessions you need to build confidence in your clients. Giving them a test and allowing them to fail would work against your success with your client. (That is, if she is aware of failing the test.)

On the other hand, each time you test your client for a level of hypnosis, any level, and she passes the test, it tends to deepen the level of hypnosis, making her more suggestible.

So it seems to be a double-edged sword: If you test and they pass, they go deeper. If you test a client and they fail, it can interfere with any success at all, not to mention shaking your confidence.

This is how you can have the best outcome. Learn at least one or two hidden tests for the level of hypnosis that you want (ideally somnambulism). I am convinced that achieving amnesia through suggestion is a good test for somnambulism, at least the threshold of somnambulism. The Dave Elman Induction has a great built-in test. In this induction there comes a point where the client is instructed to begin counting backwards beginning with the 100, and with each number she is to relax mentally until the numbers have disappeared. In my experience this is a great hidden test. It is a hidden test because there is no direct challenge of the suggestion. (You can continue giving instructions for deepening and relaxing the mind until the numbers have faded away-it usually only takes about 3 to 5 numbers.) Once you have completed this hidden test, do another short deepening technique to take her from the threshold into a deeper state of somnambulism.

Here is the secret to success.

When you have good evidence that your client has reached somnambulism, it is only logical that there is a very high probability that she will pass a test for a lighter state. You can test for these lighter states with confidence. In fact, it is not really a test at all; rather, the "test" is a convincer because you have already tested for a deeper state. It is a convincer because the procedure is strictly for the benefit of the client, in order to build her confidence.

Use a convincer like eye catalepsy (test for a light state) or arm catalepsy (test for a medium state). Remember that unless your client is a trained hypnotist, she does not know about the different levels of hypnosis, and will be quite impressed when she finds that she cannot open her eyes or lower her arm merely because you suggested it. She will be convinced! And you will have conducted a great session. Any suggestions that you give her from that point on will be powerfully accepted.

Copyright © Calvin D. Banyan. All rights reserved.