How do you know if your client can be hypnotized?
There are questions that you can ask to establish whether or not your client can be hypnotized or not.
The first question to ask is "Have you ever been hypnotized?". I find that quite a high proportion of people who come to me for hypnosis have already had some experience of hypnosis. Some will have been hypnotized at a stage show. Others may have consulted a hypnotherapist at some point in the past.
It is always useful to ask "and how did that go?". Very often my client will say "I don't think I was hypnotized". This opens up the way to a discussion about what the client expects from hypnosis, and why it didn't work at the time.
If the client has been successfully hypnotized in the past it is often useful to ask "What induction method did the other hypnotist use?". The answers are always interesting, and may give you some pointers as to which method to use.
Establish their expectations about if they can be hypnotized
You can also ask "do you think you'll be easy to hypnotize?". A "Yes" answer suggests that you should go straight on with your simplest induction. A "No" answer should lead to a discussion of why the client feels that way. It will very often bring out one or more false beliefs about hypnosis. Clearing these away will make your induction much easier. Then you can ask questions about how close they are to their subconscious anyway.
Establish how open they are to their own subconscious
If the client has never been hypnotized, then there are several ways to establish how susceptible they will be.
- Are you the kind of person who daydreams?
- Have you sometimes driven home, and realize you can't remember anything about the journey?
- Do you find that you can lose yourself in a book, or a computer game, or a movie, and forget about time and everything else?
- Do you often find yourself thinking in pictures instead of in words?
- When someone is talking to you, or you're watching TV, do you sometimes "zone out" and you can't remember what they said?
- Do certain events trigger vivid memories for you? So strong you feel like you're there?
A "yes" answer to most of these will indicate that you have a client who is highly susceptible.