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gratitude

Expressing gratitude improves hypnotherapy results

Expressing gratitude

Gratitude is an approach to living. We can all be miserable about what we don't have, or all grateful for what we do have. Expressing gratitude to others leads to better relationships and better health.

Whenever I create change in my client during a hypnosis session, I always try to reinforce the change by getting the client to express gratitude. It is quite simple. I say something like, "there is just one thing more to do. And that is to express to your gratitude your mind for having made this change. So take a moment now, and in whatever way makes sense to you, just send a message of gratitude to your own mind. Think about how much you wanted this change, and how happy you are to have the change. And send that message to your own mind saying 'thank you '."

Expressing gratitude as parts therapy

This simple act can help to make the change permanent. Asking the client to send that message involves asking them to imagine how that message would be sent, and how it would be received. For some people it will be visual, some people it will be auditory, and for some people it will be a kinaesthetic experience.
But whatever it is, it is reinforcing the work that I have done in a very personal way that I am unable to do for them. To a certain extent, you are engaging in a bit of Parts Therapy. Part of them is sending the message, and part of them is receiving the message.

Expressing gratitude as homework

Whenever you express gratitude you make changes in your brain in the part that regulates emotion and motivation. If you want to give your clients homework, ask them to keep a gratitude diary. Tell them to write down three things that they can be grateful for that happened that day. Research has shown that keeping a gratitude diary can reduce the symptoms of depression.

You can take this idea a step further. Tell your client to visit or phone someone every day. And during that personal interaction to find the reason for expressing gratitude to the other person. Social interaction linked to gratitude is very powerful at reducing social anxiety. For clients who don't feel comfortable doing this, they can write an email expressing gratitude to the other person, and just not send it. The results are nearly as good.

So why not get into the habit of building a gratitude part into your hypnotherapy sessions?

 

 

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improving hypnotherapy outcomes

Improving hypnotherapy outcomes

Improving hypnotherapy Outcomes

Hypnotherapy is one of the talking therapies. It is interesting to consider how it is similar and how it is different from other talking therapies. Examining the structure of other talk therapies might give insights into improving hypnotherapy outcomes.

Some of the most used talking therapies and what they do, include:

cognitive behavioral therapies: change how you think about the world, stop using dysfunctional schemas

interpersonal psychotherapy and some dynamic therapies: improve into personal relationship skills

self compassion therapies, acceptance and commitment therapy: be more accepting of yourself

emotion focused and dynamic therapies: be able to express difficult emotions

mentalization therapies: accepting the perspective of others.

 

All of these therapies have a number of factors in common. First is the relationship between the therapist and the client. Second is building an expectation in the client that they will be helped. Third is the actual form of therapy.

Many decades of research suggest that the relationships and expectations are much more important than the actual therapy itself.

The therapeutic relationship

The relationship between the client and therapist actually begins before they get to know each other. Research suggests that a level of trust of some sort is worked out in the few microseconds before either person says anything. This level of trust is influenced by how the therapist is dressed, the layout and furnishing of the office, and interpretation of the therapist's facial expression. It may also be influenced by recommendations from others and beliefs about that type of therapy in general. The relationship is also strongly influenced by whether the client wants to be there, or has been forced to go there.

The psychodynamic relationship

This is basically about how the client and therapist perceive each other. This relationship is different from normal social relationships because there is an implied confidentiality, and it focuses entirely on the emotional problems of the client. Whatever the client says, the therapist has to accept it uncritically.

Expectations and goals

Expectations have a strong role in outcomes. This is basically the placebo effect at work. If you believe something will work, then it very often does. People who believe a bottle of wine is expensive, will reliably report that it tastes better.

If the therapist sets out to create positive expectations in the client, this can be enough to lift the client out of the cycle of hopelessness. They may have tried and failed many times. If someone tells them, with evidence, that they can get better, this will have an immediate effect.

Similarly, giving people a reason for their distress or illness, may reverse faulty thinking. Many clients come to therapy with 'folk' explanations for why they feel the way they do. Replacing these with scientific or pseudo-scientific explanations changes their mindset.

Giving the client a goal, and a way to reach that goal, gives them a way out of their problem. It focuses on the problem, and not on their personal failures.

Specific therapies

Every type of therapy is based on some sort of theory, and some sort of protocol for creating change. However, in most talking therapies, there is no clear scientific explanation for how they work. Each therapy has a theory that they insist is right, and every other theory is wrong. Each therapeutic model insists that there must be certain elements present before change can happen.

However, more than a century of research suggests that the effect of the specified elements of the therapy is actually very small. In other words, it really doesn't matter what therapy you use. They are all about equally effective.

Why does the therapy not matter?

This rather unexpected result can be explained by any number of things.

In some therapies, the client and therapist will meet for hundreds of sessions. It has been suggested that much of the benefit of therapy is actually because it is in the nature of a professional friendship. The client feels validated, accepted, understood, and avoids loneliness. This in itself can be very therapeutic.

Many clients come to therapy because they are living in unbearable situations. It is the situation that is causing the problem. Most therapies do not deal with clients' lifestyle at all. So giving them a goal and a way to reach it may be enough to help them change the external causes of their problems.

Therapeutic alliance

Research finds that the most important element in therapy is what is called the Therapeutic Alliance. This consist of the therapist-client bond, the goals of the therapy, and agreement about the tasks of the therapy. It includes elements of empathy, positive regard and collaboration.

Laboratory experiments have shown the personal relationship between the caregiver on their client has a major effect on the success of the treatment. Just having a warm and friendly manner goes a very long way. Personal relationships also involve recognizing and valuing your client's cultural background.

Expectations also play a major role. No matter what type of therapy is offered, giving your client a solid expectation of success affects that success.

Research also shows that the warmth and friendliness of the therapist is much more important than how good the therapist is at delivering the therapy. This reinforces the findings that the therapy itself is not all that important.

Improving hypnotherapy outcomes

You might think doing hypnosis has little in common with say psychoanalysis, or CBT. But in fact, the same elements are there. There are lessons to be learned from this research.

You, as a hypnotherapist, can work on each of the three elements. Start by building trust. You can improve your website, or your sales literature, to include testimonials and other proof of how good you are. Make sure that your office gives the impression of professionalism and competence. You can make sure that you dress appropriately. You can decorate your office with your awards and qualifications. All of these will go a long way to convincing your client that you are reliable and competent, before even opening your mouth.

You can spend time building rapport with your client, before starting the therapy. Showing an interest in the client's lifestyle, situation, relationships will all help to build a deeper level of trust.

You can spend time explaining how and why you work the way you do. Make sure that the client has no unanswered questions or reluctance. Fill your client with confidence in you, that you care about them personally. Don't treat all smokers the same, or give all phobias exactly the same treatment.

Make sure that you spend time telling the client exactly what to expect from you, and during the hypnosis, and what they will feel after the hypnosis.

Very importantly, don't just tell them at the end it's all finished and they don't have to do anything. Give them some sort of homework to do. Even if it's a placebo, it will constantly remind them that they have changed and focus them on making that change permanent.

Improving hypnotherapy outcomes is not about better hypnosis

Most hypnotists spend a lot of time and effort on trying to improve their hypnosis. They try to become better hypnotherapists, to become better at delivering the therapy.

Perhaps some of that time would be better spent developing skills in managing the therapist-client relationship?

 

 

 

Source: Bruce Wampold. (2015) How important are the common factors in psychotherapy? An update. Psychiatric World. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20238

 

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find past lives

Why people can’t find past lives

My reason for wanting to visit you is that I am interested in my past life regression (if any) and a stronger connection/understanding of Higher Power and Spiritual awareness.

This client seemed quite bubbly and outgoing. She was very well dressed. Actually dressed very young. I was much surprised later when she said that she was 50 years old. I got the impression later that it was all a façade.

She put out this image of being up, and alert, and outgoing but in fact she felt quite differently inside. She feels disconnected from everything and everybody. That longing for connection is why she thought it might be good to find past lives.

Hypnosis Childhood Regression

I was not at all sure that she was a candidate for past life regression. Nothing in what she told me about herself and her feelings seem to have anything to do with the standard past life regression requests.

I decided to do the regression with her anyway. I took her into trance using a walk along a river. "You will find something significant from your younger life that has a bearing on what you are feeling today." After a long time, she told me that she was seeing a horse.

I questioned her about the horse. It was a horse that her parents had given her. I asked her how she felt about the horse, did she love the horse? "No, I just feel confused". She had no idea what to do with the horse. She could not ride it, she knew nothing about horses.

When she had been given this horse all she felt was confusion. Her parents had taken down to this place in the country and just said to her "this is your horse". No preparation, no training. no nothing. Apparently this was quite typical of her upbringing. Her parents really were quite clueless about children. Her parents were very cold and distant people.

Regression to past life

I tried to take her back to a time before this present life. She told me she was getting nothing, feeling nothing. I pressed on with finding a life.

Still nothing. Then I asked her what she was feeling. She told me she felt small and lonely. I used that feeling to start an Inner Child therapy. But part way through she said "I am not seeing any child" so I stopped that and deepened her again.
Since she was already in trance I decided to try to work on her feeling of loss of connection.

Parts therapy

I took her to a place where she was floating in a void. In that place a Presence told her that it was the part of her that controlled all the other parts. It showed her the part of her that was causing the connection problems.  She visualized getting other parts of her to repair the damaged part that could not connect.  She was able to repair the part of her that was causing the connection problems.
I then brought her out of trance we talked about her experience for a while.

Holding on to control

She described how as she was going into trance she felt herself constantly fighting against what I was saying. This matched what I observed as I was inducing her. I lead her into trace with my standard induction of  Breathing, Favorite place, Stairs. She seemed very susceptible, except that she was one of those people who keep moving around. After the stairs induction  I always test with an eye catalepsy. I suggested that she could not open her eyes, and then suggested that she test it. She was unable to open her eyes. But about 10 seconds later she did briefly open her eyes then close them again.

I then decided to be absolutely sure she was in trance, so I did a beach induction. I asked her to imagine lying on a beach somewhere comfortable, relaxed, nothing to do. Then I asked her to focus on the waves rolling up the beach and back down again. I suggested that as the waves pulled away she felt herself being pulled with them. But every wave was taking her deeper and deeper.

She told me that as I was saying that she could feel herself being pulled down by the waves but was frantically clawing back up again all the time I was talking to her. I then do the vanishing numbers induction and she did finally go into trance. She clearly does not like giving up control.

The real reason for lack of connection

Then I started asking about her own feelings. I asked her "would you say your mind is always busy?" She said, "oh yes".
I showed her the anxiety questionnaire and she agreed that she was all over it. I suggested to her that her feeling of disconnection was much more likely to be due to a mild form of depression, rather than having anything to do with a past life. I asked her "would your mother be on that list of symptoms?". At that point she told me "I was adopted".

We then talked about her relationships with her brother and the couple who brought them up. She said that she always felt quite distant as a child. I explained that this was a symptom of dysthymia. We then spent 30 minutes talking about how depression affects her.

Why people can't find past lives

I think that the undiagnosed depression completely explains her feelings of not belonging anywhere. It also explains her need to never give up control.

I have been doing quite a few past life regression is recently. Comparing my notes on each of them, I have come to the tentative conclusion that people who have no past life, or at least are not willing to allow themselves to submit to the idea of a past life, are actually people who are trying to keep control of their own consciousness. Their desire to stay in control is incompatible with letting go enough to experience past lives.

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super visualizer

Are you a super visualizer?

Are you a super visualizer?

This month's edition of Scientific American Mind deals with something which might be of interest to hypnotherapists. Recent research has shown that about 2% of the population are unable to visualize anything. When you ask them to recall say, what they had for breakfast this morning, they are incapable of picturing it in their mind's eye.

They are also unable to imagine the face of their children, or their kitchen, or the school they went to. Hypnotists have long known that some people do not respond well to hypnotic inductions that require them to visualise.

You don't have to be a super visualizer to go into trance

Hypnotists have also learned that you don't have to be able to visualise in order to be able to go into trance. Avoiding visualization words allows people to understand things in their own terms. You do not need to be able to see a picture of a staircase in order to imagine going deeper by going down one.

The new research has shown that people who cannot visualise are not handicapped. Many of these people have successful careers in design, programming and the arts. It appears that they have invented other ways of experiencing the world to make up for the fact that they cannot create a mental image.

In one test people were asked whether the grass was a darker or lighter green and a pine tree. Non-visualizes insisted that they were not seeing a pine tree grass, somehow they just knew that the pine tree was darker.

How to spot a Super Visualizer

The researchers developed a questionnaire which reliably classifies people who have aphantasia. MRI scans have shown that the brains of these people react differently when asked to visualize. The normal visual part of the brain shows almost no activity, but parts of the brain to do with decision-making and error prediction were busy.

It turns out that aphantasia has been known for more than 100 years but no one had ever bothered to look into it closely. Once it began to become widely known, hundreds of people came forward to say that they also could not visualise.

They had all assumed either that no one could, or that there were oddities. Most of them felt a great relief to know that there were actually thousands of people just like them.

Interestingly enough, at the other end of the scale there are people who are superbly good at visualising. This group has not been studied scientifically either.

Maybe this is something you should look out for in your clients?

 

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Increase Hypnosis Success

Hypnotherapy is a strange and mysterious thing to most people. Clients who come to be hypnotized are often uncertain of what to expect. Many are secretly convinced that they can not be hypnotized, are seeking the session out of desperation. They really don't expect it to work. Many of them are therefore ready for it not to work, and will use anything as evidence that they are right.

There is one simple thing that every hypnotherapist can do to increase their success - convince the client that they were hypnotized. Success is a matter of meeting the client's expectations. If the client believes that they were not hypnotized then the hypnotherapy is unlikely to work as well as if they believe that they were. So it is good practice to always find a way to convince the client they were hypnotized.

One simple way to increase hypnosis success

Some people assume that because they can remember everything, they must not have been hypnotized. Others expect to feel somehow strange or bewitched in some way and are disappointed when they don't feel that way. Others expect to wake up feeling totally different and that their life will instantly be transformed when they open their eyes. This naive set of beliefs works to prevent a successful outcome.

Therefore the therapist has to demonstrate to the client, clearly and unambiguously that they were in trance. It has to be proved to every client, every time.

Use eye catalepsy to increase hypnosis success

improve hypnosis successThe easiest way to do this is to test for eye catalepsy after the induction. This lets both you and the client know that the client really is in trance. I have trained myself to always do this. When I started out as a hypnotist I was often afraid to do this test, just in case the client wasn't in trance. I have since learned that if the client opens their eyes then you both have learned something valuable. The other simple convincer is to do a finger lift at some point in the session.

A method that is used less often, but is probably better, is to talk to the client in trance. Ask them what they are experiencing. Again this is very illuminating for both parties and rapidly builds the confidence to use regression and metaphor therapies.

Building in a convincer takes only a minute or two, and is well worth the extra effort.

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anxiety and weight gain

Anxiety and weight gain

Today I got this email:

I am studying hypnotherapy and was hoping that I could use hypnosis to help with my own weight problem. I have listened to various weight loss CD's but it seems to have little effect. I was wondering if you had a script that I could record and listen to myself for weight loss?

If you are new to therapy the first thing you need to realize is that people seldom recognize the source of their own problems. People don’t have weight problems: they actually have a self esteem or anxiety problem. The reasons for weight gain are well known – eat too much and you put on weight. Simple. Continue eating too much and it stays on. There is no mystery about why people are fat. The mystery is why they don't regulate what they eat.

Anxiety and weight gain

In my experience weight problems are always emotional problems. Anxiety and weight gain are closely connected. People eat because their thoughts make them feel anxious. Eating gives them something to do to distract the thoughts. Then they get overweight and that makes them feel bad, so they get negative about themselves, and the cycle continues. The right approach is to find the source of the anxiety.

What you need to find out is why you eat, and what it is doing for you. Since you are a hypnotherapy student the best thing to do is to hook up with one of the other students.  Together you can explore why you are continuing to eat when you know you shouldn’t. This will benefit both of you.

Then get the other student to choose one of the scripts and personalize that script to suit your particular needs. Ask the other student to put you into trance and follow the script outline. Self recording seldom works.

What do you think?

How do you deal with weight loss? Should aim at the weight or the emotions?

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background music

Background music in hypnotherapy

The question is often asked about whether a hypnotist should play background music. There are three ways music can be used: with clients in the office, as background on hypnosis recordings and for self hypnosis.

Music certainly isn't necessary for hypnosis.

Background music in your office

When you use music in the office you may find some problems. Many people who have music training find themselves analyzing the music. That prevents them from going into trance. Many people cannot stop themselves from mentally singing along with any bit of music they know.

Or thinking about the words of an instrumental version of a song they know.  You don't want to have the client thinking about the song lyrics while you are trying to put other words into their mind. Having music in the background might give analytical clients another stimulus to analyze. It is just one more thing to distract them from listening to your hypnotherapy.

Music is a very personal thing. Everyone has associations with music, either with particular tunes or particular genres. When you introduce music you have no idea what some people will dislike, or more importantly, what memories or associations people have with the music you are playing. I personally dislike the Glenn Miller Big Band style of music. I have no idea why, but the dislike is very strong. Anyone who played that while hypnotizing me wouldn't get very far.

Then there is the unlikely but possible chance that you will anchor the client's hypnotic state to a particular part of the music. They might get anchored on one part going into trance, and another part as you bring them out. The result is that they will go in and out of trance unexpectedly the next time they hear the music.

Background music on hypnosis recordings

The same sort of logic applies to recorded hypnosis tracks. Music is used in recordings of all kinds.  A continuous background music track helps to hide background noise or to give continuity over breaks in the recording.

The problem here is that a client may play a hypnosis recording dozens of times. The music can become repetitive and irritating, and detract from the smooth induction of trance. Some hypno recordings use nature sounds of waves and waterfalls. That just makes the client want to go to the toilet. Some use forest sounds, but a sudden bird call in the middle of quiet passage can jerk the listener right out of trance again. Some clients get anxious and listen intently for dangers in the noises of the forest.

Background music for self hypnosis

Music can help with self hypnosis. In that case you have complete control of the music. But then you also run into the same problems outlined above.

What I prefer personally when I am putting myself into trance, is some kind of white noise that has a cycle to it. The noise of an oscillating cooling fan is ideal for me. I find it just merges into the background and masks any sudden noises from inside like a fridge starting up, or outside traffic noise, police cars, aircraft etc. 

Do you prefer music while you trance? Leave a comment below.

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ideomotor

Ideomotor Signal Finger Lift

I was asked what I meant by 'finger lift', and whether this was the same thing as 'ideomotor signalling'. To me they are different. I think the finger lift gives an honest and reliable test for trance that is very difficult to fake. 'Ideomotor' has acquired a unique meaning in hypnotherapy. 

A 'finger lift' is a form of ideomotor response, but a very simple one, without setting it up in advance.

For example... from one of my scripts... this script shows how I typically use the finger lift...

and as you drift deeper and deeper... become aware that one of your fingers or perhaps a thumb will feel a need, a desire, a compulsion... to move... without thought... just allow that to happen ... don't assist in any way... a finger or a thumb will want to move... or maybe the whole hand... It may begin as just a tiny tremor... and you may be surprised at what you experience... that's right...

Testing for trance with finger lift

This is meant to be a test of trance. The client doesn't know how they are supposed to react, so the reaction you get is genuine. If the finger lifts straight up immediately then they are faking it. If it takes a long time to get any movement, if the finger trembles a little, and moves a tiny bit, or if several fingers move like closing a fist, or the whole hand jerks, then the client is in trance, and genuinely experiencing involuntary movement.

Talking to the unconscious mind with ideomotor signals

Ideomotor signalling is actually something else. 'Ideo' means unique to the person, and Ideomotor should mean the movements uniquely made by each individual. But the way that ideomotor signalling is used actually means that it is not unique. The person is told specifically how to signal a 'yes' or 'no' answer and what counts as a valid movement. This means everyone signals the same way for that hypnotist. This is the exact opposite of the original meaning of 'ideomotor'. Some hypnotists use one finger, most two, and few try to get the person to use all ten.  

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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brain habits

How to change Habits

It is hard to change habits. Why do people start smoking again? Why is it so easy to start, and then hard to stop?

Changing habits has to do with how the human brain works. Research suggests that behavior is controlled by two different parts of the brain. There are goal directed actions, and there are automatic actions.

Goal directed actions are behaviours we consciously try to control. Automatic actions are things we do unconsciously without thinking about them.

Goal directed actions are controlled by the pre-frontal cortex. Goal directed actions focus your attention on getting something done. You will put a lot of effort in thinking about how to get what you want.  Automatic actions are controlled deep inside the brain, in the basal ganglia, part of the reptilian brain. Automatic actions react automatically, without thinking about it at all.

Put simply, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for new behaviours, the basal ganglia controls old behaviours.

Triggering automatic habits

When someone decides to give up smoking, their pre-frontal cortex is what they use to try to change their behavior. The basal ganglia ignores the pre-frontal cortex. The basal ganglia doesn't think. It doesn't know what is going on in the pre-frontal cortex. And doesn't care. It just waits patiently for a stimulus and acts on it, starting the automatic pre-programmed behavior, over and over.

The basal ganglia knows that there is a stored behavior routine to deal with whatever the stimulus is. All it has to do is to find it and start it. Once the routine is started, the basal ganglia can go back into its crocodile dream state. Until the next stimulus wakes it up. Then it searches for the right bundle of behaviors, starts it going, and goes back to sleep again. It never considers whether the behavior routine is good or bad for you, it just starts it running and forgets all about it.

Origin of habits

The automatic behavior got programmed into the basal ganglia in the first place by the prefrontal cortex. A stimulus happened, the prefrontal cortex thought about it and told you to react in some way.  If the result successfully deals with the stimulus (the problem) then the basal ganglia notes this. If the next time you meet that problem, you do the same behavior and it solves the problem, then you reinforce the basal ganglia memory. After the same thing happens again and again, the response becomes automatic. You never think of a different response because you have an automatic one that works just fine. 

The job of the basal ganglia is to identify the stimulus and find the matching response. It learns that when that particular stimulus appears, some particular response is the thing to do. Once the basal ganglia learns the routine, the prefrontal cortex leaves the basal ganglia to get on with it. In simple terms, your conscious mind passes it to your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind then triggers an automatic behavior routine.

Life is difficult enough without having to consider afresh what to do every time you come to a door, or if someone smiles at you. Why waste energy thinking when you can just delegate it to another part of the brain, and let it react for you? And that is how a habit is born.

How to change habits

However, we are not condemned to repeat the same behaviour for life. People can and do change their habits. The prefrontal cortex can over ride the basal ganglia. And if it does it often enough, and in exactly the same way, the basal ganglia will learn a new habit for the old stimulus. You can retrain it. But the prefrontal cortex can only over ride the basal ganglia when it is paying attention and acting deliberately in the new way. The instant the prefrontal cortex gets distracted, it forgets. So the basal ganglia automatically takes over and produces the old behavior again.

Origin of Cravings

When one part of your mind is distracted, and the other part is trying to perform its automatic behaviour but can't, that is when the cravings start. The automatic part of the brain, the basal ganglia, knows what it is supposed to do when it gets that particular stimulus. It knows that to end that problem it has to go through a predefined routine. The problem will not end until it does that routine. It believes that until the routine is done your body is in danger. And that cannot be allowed. So the basal ganglia runs a program that it knows will make the body uncomfortable until the behavior routine is performed. That way it is keeping you safe. The more distracted you are the more automatic the process is, and the harder the basal ganglia will try to make the behavior happen.

And what stops the prefrontal cortex from paying attention? Other things happening. Or stress. Stress is just another name for a situation where you need to focus on something to the exclusion of all else, and just let the body run on automatic pilot. And that is why people start smoking again. Stress makes them forget their good intentions. Before they are even aware of it, they are lighting up, just going through the old routine that always worked in the past, that doesn't even need thinking about.

Retraining habits

The basal ganglia can relearn, but it only responds to rewards and repetition. So the prefrontal cortex has be vigilant long enough, and repeat the new behaviour often enough, for the basal ganglia to give up its old behaviour and learn the new behaviour.

The problem of course, is that basal ganglia will learn anything. And if the repeated behaviour is to keep starting again at every bit of stress, then that is what it will learn. You can train yourself into being unable to give up!

What do you think?

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impossible to hypnotize

Everyone can be hypnotized

Everyone can be hypnotized. But it might take a while. Last week I had one of those nightmare clients. No matter what you do, they will not go into trance. I had no reason to think that there would be any problem with this client. She seemed ready to go into trance and really wanted to give up smoking. I had treated her husband the day before and she wanted to help him give up as well as herself.

However, when I started with my usual induction it was clear that she was not responding they way I expected. She kept opening her eyes. When I asked her what she was experiencing she said "I can't visualize going down a corridor as you are asking me to". She also was not able to relax either.

So I used a different progressive muscle relaxation induction, and she seemed to be relaxing a bit. I then tried an Elman induction but she couldn't make the numbers disappear. I tried induction after induction and every time I tried for eye catalepsy her eyes opened.

She was not responding to the inductions at all. In fact she could not do anything that would lead to trance. I tested her for visualization ability. I found that she could not visualize at all. She did have a little kinesthetic orientation, but nothing else that I could find.

Stair Case induction

The Going down the Stairs induction is supposed to be ideal for kinesthetic people, but it didn't work either. In this case I had to admit defeat. But I was determined not to give up. So I asked her to let me think about it, and for her come back the following day. I spend the night thinking about what to do, and really worrying about "what if I just can't get her into trance?". I like to think that I know what I am doing, but this was a real challenge.

Feel the colors induction

The following day I had decided on a strategy. She came in I set up an instant induction and fired it. Nothing. She didn't even flinch. Then I did a color induction. You invited to think of feelings associated with a color. This is supposed to be a full proof induction for kinesthetics. By the third color she told me she didn't feel any associations with colors.

Cloud Induction

I tried her on an induction where the client imagines a cloud around them, and by increasing their depth of relaxation they can make the cloud dissipate. Several rounds of this did produce a noticeable level of relaxation.

Confusion Induction

I then threw in a long confusion induction, about the unconscious being conscious of the subconsciouis while the conscious was unconscious of the unconscious, and so on. She finally showed clear signs of trance. I then flowed straight into an elevator deeper where she pushed buttons to go down and down... and finally I got eye catalepsy.

So the lesson I take from this is that yes, everyone can be hypnotised, but sometimes it a real battle of wills. She went on to enjoy the feeling of being hypnotized and to give up smoking.

What do you do?

How do you deal with hard to hypnotize clients?

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