Thursday, November 29, 2007

Talking Intake

He snickers, skips the questions on page two and hands back my intake form. I glance at it and hand it back, smiling at the skipped questions. He sighs and begins to answer them, every so often moaning about how hard they are. Sounds like an exam, does it not? Hardly. What he is moaning about is answering the questions about what peacefulness means to him or perhaps he does not feel like divulging his phobias.

In talking about hypnosis sessions in general, there are a few things that are fairly basic. The intake form or process is a big part of the session itself and provides a guiding focus for the hypnotist. It sounds elementary and maybe so, but there is an art to the intake. Whether the client fills out the form or the hypnotist ask questions and notes them, this is not just a formality. These questions help clients to pinpoint what it is that they want to work on and gives insight that the hypnotist can use to help in relaxation processes (such as taking the client to their own particular peaceful place and doing so with words that are familiar to the client - their own). Some intakes are more in depth than others. They may ask several potential questions that seem ultra personal, but again they point to clues that the hypnotist can use.

I once read someone's intake that asked specifically about a person's sexual preference. At first it seemed a little like privacy invasion, but the reason for it was sound. Say the client is wanting to work on intimacy in a relationship and part of the session includes focusing on the partner, if the hypnotist makes an assumption, the whole session may be a no go because the partner was described in the wrong sex.

So here are two questions for you out there.

Hypnotist - do you ask enough questions to get a true picture of the client?
Clients or potential clients - do you feel the intake forms you have filled out ask things that make you uncomfortable?

Hypnotist - do not be afraid to ask everything you need to know. Just be ready to explain why it will help you to know the items on your intake form.
Clients - do not be afraid to ask the hypnotist why he or she wants to know something, if it makes you uncomfortable.

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