Personalised Induction Will Always Be More Effective

Michaela Lawes SOUTH1A 11 Jacqui Godfrey Hypnotherapy & Counselling Skills – Module 21850 words “A personalised induction will always be more effective”. Discuss. Base your answer on theoretical concepts and techniques presented in class. If it is true that we all see the same thing but interpret it as different, if we respond to stimuli in a unique way, then a personalised induction would prove more effective. Would an anxious client respond to a linguistically passive approach? Would a direct and logically structured induction gain their trust and make them feel at ease?
The Hypnotherapist will seek to understand their client, interpreting both verbal and non-verbal signals. They will also have to contend with the way our brain interprets external information. Once the individual’s personality is understood, there are a number of verbal techniques that the Hypnotherapist can utilise in order to get the best results from the induction process. It would appear that the personalised induction is effective but this perhaps depends on whether the Hypnotherapist has ascertained the true nature of their client.
One area where the Hypnotherapist can start to understand the type of person they are seeking to induce would be to ascertain the dominant modality within their client. Modalities are a classification of sensory perception. These are listed as visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory. When a person is assimilating external information they will seek to disseminate that information using a dominant modality. There are many ways in which they will reveal this through language, speech, gestures and even eye movements.

NLP gurus Bandler and Grinder aptly call this the language of our minds. A person with a dominant visual modality will tend to use phrases that are littered with visual terms such as “I see… ” or “The sky looks turquoise… ” If this person’s eyes are looking up the right as they are explaining something to you they are creating a visual representation in their heads. Robert Dilts in his article Eye Movements and NLP states: ‘The most common application of eye positions in NLP is to determine the representational strategies a person is using in order to think or make a decision.
Since many aspects of people’s thinking processes are unconscious to them, spontaneous eye movements can be an extremely important part of eliciting and modeling a person’s inner strategies for decision making, learning, motivation, memory, etc. ’ The eyes maybe a poetical window to the soul but they are also an infallible insight into an individual’s dominant modality. Using these linguistic and visual clues the Hypnotherapist can begin to relate to their client on his or her intellectual level. They can gain the trust of the client by appealing to their dominant modality.
If the client had a dominant kinaesthetic modality they would have a more tactile and emotionally attuned personality, they would speak in a soft lower tone of voice than the fast talking, higher toned visual personality. Would there be conflict if the hypnotherapist used a quick thinking, highly imaginative visual approach to the tactile and feeling kinaesthetic? Perhaps yes, when one is trying to ‘access’ the brain at an unconscious level, surely it would be more productive to be in harmony with your client in order to get the best therapeutic results.
Josie Hadley and Carol Staudacher agree ‘By using similar language and reinforcing the induction with certain kinds of images, you are making sure the subject can relate to the induction and feel an affinity for it’ Whilst using the dominant modality to gain an affinity with the client, the best results will come from gradually introducing language into an induction that will appeal to all of the senses. This technique is called compounding, and is a crucial tool in engendering a deep trance.
The client is being invited to experience a linked chain of events during their induction that will encourage them to lose themselves in the scenarios being suggested by appealing to all of the senses. So whilst the client may, through their language, both verbal and non verbal, have the olfactory as their main modality, if they are subjected via the induction to visualize or imagine a taste then this will engage all of their senses for a more effective induction.
This supposes that hypnotherapist has initially ascertained the dominant modality in order to gain the trust of their client and then proceeded to introduce a multi sensory screed that opposes the idea of a fully personalised induction. It is recognized that there are two types of hypnotic induction, namely, permissive and authoritarian. It is said that traditional hypnosis is generally authoritarian. The induction is concise and uses direct language and less creative imagery. This is a favourite style of the stage hypnotist as it lends itself favourably to the quick and direct nature of induction.
A proponent of this technique was Dave Elman, whose authoritarian technique was used by doctors and dentists to calm their patients. It was quick and to the point. When thinking of the authoritarian style as a use for today’s hypnotic induction, it would be suited to use with a nervous or anxious person. Perhaps the controlled style reassures the nervous client that the therapist is in control, they know what they are doing and therefore it will follow that they will be more inclined to follow the suggestions made by the therapist.
Instead of ‘you may start to feel your eyelids are becoming heavy’ the authoritarian approach will read as ‘your eyelids are heavy’ The logical and concise nature of the language used in this type of induction is also a useful when presented with a skeptic of the science behind hypnosis, the style does away with too vivid imagery and curtails the use of metaphor, allowing a sense of logicality to the ‘unconvinced’.
This direct style also lends itself well to addiction therapy as ascertaining their modality can be difficult due to the personality and cerebral damage created by the addiction, for example, alcohol abuse. The repetitive and authoritarian style of induction Karle and Boys suggest the mere act or suggestion of an attempt to give up, say, smoking will work whether personalised or not as they ‘will respond well to any form of treatment, because any ritual will perform the functions they seek’ Again it would seem that a personalised induction is not so important in this type of case.
The permissive approach is much more widely used in therapeutic hypnotherapy as it can ‘play’ with linguistic metaphor and imagery based on the client’s personality and dominant modality thus creating a much more personalised hypnotic experience. Michael Caroll in his essay ‘The Structure of Permissive Hypnotherapy’ states: ‘Rapport is an important aspect of permissive hypnotherapy because the hypnotherapist is going to lead the client to trance rather than just direct the client’s experience.
To lead the client to trance the hypnotherapist mirrors the clients imaginative preferences through verbal communication allowing the hypnotherapist access to the physiology and state associated with trance, so when the client unconsciously follows the hypnotherapist’s lead he/she will be accessing a trance like state’ The leading hypnotherapist in this type of therapy was Milton H Erickson, he could be said to be the inventor of the personalised hypnotic experience. Rapport building underpins this type of approach and this is what Erickson sought to gain in his sessions.
The permissive style will use an indirect approach in order to gain the trust of their clients without appearing too authoritarian. Hypnotic suggestion is wrapped up in metaphor and creative language coupled with varying vocal tonality. It was Erickson’s theory that ‘people must participate in their therapy’. The true meaning of a personalised induction! His screed would incorporate linguistic techniques in order to gain a rapport. There are several examples of this. Using the client’s dominant modality (which are discussed earlier in this essay).
Convincers which are used in such a way as to make the client think they are in control of their induction when in fact they are being indirectly guided into a trance. A convincer may read as this: ‘I can see that your eyes are beginning to close and you are relaxed’. ‘Anchoring’ a key-word that will bring a repeated response, for example, the client could be asked to feel the summer sun on their skin throughout the induction so as to induce feelings of warmth and contentment. This could change according to the dominant modality of the client, whether visual, kinaesthetic, olfactory and so on. Presuppositons and double binds’ are a clever way of allowing the client to feel in control of their destiny through contradictory linguistic signals. A client seeking to give up a bad habit may be told ‘you may wish to give up x tomorrow, next week or next month… when this happens is entirely up to you’. This type of therapy works well as it allows the client to participate in their own induction. It allows for the uniqueness of the individual as to how they are induced which would surely be more effective.
It would be too simplistic to argue that a personalised approach would be wholly effective as compared to a generic induction, but, in the main, it can offer a wide ranging approach for the therapist. In general, we use only a very small amount of verbal communication, much is achieved through body language and non verbal signals. In hypnotherapy the hypnotist does not have these non verbal tools to hand in an induction and therefore has to rely on linguistic techniques such as modality, metpahor or tone of voice in order to get the most effective results for their client.
The different techniques found within the personalised approach, such as the use of modalities and indirect/direct language allows the client a proactive approach to his or her own induction. Michael Heap writes: ‘Regarding the legitimate therapeutic uses of hypnotherapy it is important…that the therapist’s actions and communications be in keeping with context and should contribute to the creation of the appropriate expectations, thus maximizing the patient’s receptivity to suggestion’.
For example the therapist would have to take in consideration the mannerisms of the client, even they way they are dressed and what they do for work and pleasure. They also have to consider that the client may not be behaving as they normally would due to nerves or the differences between their public and private persona. They may be acting or behaving differently than is normal. However the hypnotherapist will surely learn to gauge their approach as they gain more experience.
There is a place for the generic and direct approach as discussed in the essay, but the effectiveness of getting the client themselves to participate in their own induction is surely a more interesting and varied approach which lends itself to a more effective induction. References Hadley & Staudbacher – Hypnosis for Change -1996, New Harbinger Publications, USA Heap & Dryden – Hypnotherapy: A Handbook – 1991, Oxford University Press, UK Karle & Boys Hypnotherapy: A Practical Handbook – 1987 Free Association Books, UK

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