Question about clients who open their eyes during the session.
Answered by Calvin D. Banyan, MA, CI, BCH
I recently had a client open his eyes during a hypnosis session and emerged himself. How should I have handled it?
Jill - I have had clients open their eyes in sessions and attempt to emerge. It is not very common, but can happen from time to time. It occurs more often if you are doing work that makes the client feel uncomfortable (especially if they are afraid). It is a reminder to us that our clients are always in control of the sessions that we conduct. We must remember that we can't do the work for them and that our role is that of coaches or guides.
When this happens, I have been 95% successful in continuing the session by simply saying, "close your eyes and go deeper." Remember that just because their eyes are open, does not mean that they have emerged.
Furthermore, this tends to deepen the hypnosis. Opening and closing the eyes results in only a partial emergence, and then closing the eyes with the suggestion to go deeper, is a deepening technique. Of course, if they refuse to follow these instructions, they will continue to emerge.
On the other hand, some clients will continue to remain hypnotized, even though they prefer to have their eyes open. If your client opens her eyes but continues in the process as if her eyes were closed, then just continue and let her have her eyes open.