Who get hypnosis 100% success?
It was originally believed that anyone could be hypnotized, and then that only a few could be, and later most could be, and to today we are back to thinking that everyone can be. But how realistic is that? Who gets hypnosis 100% success rate?
The first issue has be - what do we mean by 'everybody'?
The original Stanford Hypnotizability Scales were mostly used on students. They sat student volunteers in a chair and played the same taped induction to all of them. Some were hypnotized, some fell asleep, some thought about their lunch... and from this it was concluded that only a third of people can be hypnotized. Not very good science in my view.
As far as hypnotherapists are concerned, it really doesn't matter whether the general public can be hypnotized or not. What is important is whether the people who come to our offices are getting hypnotized. The people who come into my office have self selected. They expect to get hypnotized, they are happy to be hypnotized, they have come precisely for that reason.
Can your clients be hypnotized?
The question then is 'Can the people who expect and want to be hypnotized, be hypnotized'? The Stanford type experiments insisted that every person be treated exactly the same, which is why the inductions were done in the same chair, in the same room, with the same taped message. In our offices we have no such restriction, so we should get 100% success.
And in fact I find that I do get almost 100% success. I certainly don't expect any client not to go into trance, and I test each one to be sure that they are actually in trance. It might take me several goes at it, and I might have to try several different styles of induction before I get a result, but hypnosis what they want, and hypnosis is what I try to give them.
Clients who can't be hypnotized
However there are a few clients who I just cannot get into trance. I am talking here about maybe two or three a year. With some of these I have tried for up to three hours, and still never got them into trance. The common factor seems to be a terrible deep seated anxiety. Some of them have depression, but most are just hyper anxious. They tell me that they can feel themselves going into trance, but then panic and snap back out of it again. Even with instant inductions such people go into trance for a fraction of time and then snap back into control.
At the moment, my strategy is to give such clients three CDs to listen to in their own time. By playing them over and over, at some point they drop their guard and the next thing they remember is my voice counting them out, and they realise that they actually were in trance. After that they can go into trance as easily as anyone else. But I would like to find a better way of getting to them, so that I can have that elusive 100% success.
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