I had a challenging client yesterday.
They say that everyone can be hypnotized but this client did her best to prove it wrong. She was very nervous about trance but started willingly enough.
I started the standard induction and when we got the 'now close your eyes' bit, she closed them, and five seconds later, opened them again. She was constantly fidgetty, touching her face, moving around, not settling down. I told her to close her eyes again, she did so and opened them again two seconds later. But I was determined to get this client into trance. I like to think I know what I am doing and at the very minimum I should be able to get anyone into trance. So I persevered.
Challenging clients don't relax
She just would not relax. She kept opening her eyes. I used the stairs induction, but she opened her eyes on the last step. I then used a beach induction with her lying on a beach relaxing and willing the clouds to disappear. Still opening her eyes. Then I did a long gentle breathing induction, and began to get some response and signs of going into trance. I then did a shortened progressive muscle relaxation and finally got her relax. I then tested with an eye catalepsy.
I think that the problem with this client was really hypervigilance, a fear of losing control. For people like this, the idea of me saying 'Now just close your eyes and trust me' triggers immediate defence responses that you have to work hard to overcome.
However the lesson from this is that if you keep at it, eventually everyone will go into trance.