Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Reason to Use Convincers

One of yesterday's sessions ended in a very odd way. There was nothing very unusual in the request - smoking cessation. My client was a young man who had quit before using hypnosis. It had last a few months until a crisis happened and he started up again. Also he had quit during his wife's pregnancy with no effort, then when the child was born, he started again. But, before he turns 40, he had wanted to be rid of the habit. No problem.

We went through the pre-talk. I asked him what he remembered about his first hypnosis session. He did not remember too much. Again, no problem. I always ask about people's other hypnosis experiences to get a feeling where they are in comprehension of hypnosis and what differences to expect from me.

He did great when I put him through a few paces to see how he processed information and to get an idea about how our rapport was working out. And so I believed it would be a good session (I am still pretty sure it was - it was just odd) and worked with a permissive, traditional approach. Induction, deepener, depth test and convincers before beginning the suggestion work. Excellent, textbook responses.

At the end, once he had opened his eyes, he looked at me and said that he had heard every word going on in the office below me, as well as the outside street noises. I explained that some people experience a hyper-awareness of the senses. Then he said I needed to get what his other hypnotist used - a sound system where the client wears soundproof earphones and I do the session speaking through a microphone that is connected to the earphones (yikes, more wires everywhere). This means there is no opportunity for outside noises to be a distraction. I see the point. But I come from the school of philosophy that says hypnosis does not require sense deprivation or total silence other than the sound of my voice. I work the background noises into my patter and allow the client plenty of time to acclimate to the various noises around us.

Then my client remembered his whole first session. It sounded like a lovely guided visualization. But I found myself on edge a bit, as though I was about to be criticized. I know there was a comparison process going on within him, but it felt like he was going to be not so favorable to my version (now mind you, I suspect this was an internal thing within me and not him). Before he could start to unravel the work we had just done, I remembered I had given him a post hypnotic suggestion to lose a certain number when counting. I suddenly asked him to count and the number was gone. I snapped my fingers twice (which was also suggested during the session) and the numbers came back. He looked very startled. He said he had thought it impossible, he knew the numbers, but then just could not say the one I suggested he lose.

He left with the standard - hope I never see you again line. (Me too.) Then as he was walking out the door said he would be calling me in a few months to work on weight loss.


Michael Raugh, C.H. said...

What, no comments on this yet?

Good for you, Ellie, for having that extra trick ready. So many clients seem to need proof that they were really hypnotized or much of the work gets lost.

I tend to use time distortion as a proof, but the missing number is probably more dramatic and sounds like more fun. And since it's a staple of demonstrations it's likely a client has seen it before. Good choice!

The only reason I can think of why you would need a sound system to speak to someone in the same room would be a group trance, where you have a dozen people all paying for the same session. I've seen people do that for weight loss and smoking cessation, where the hypnotist hooks everyone up to the audio system and does the patter into a mic (or, sometimes, uses a recording!) so that everyone hears clearly.

I'm not a fan of that approach, not because of the technology -- I'm pretty geeky when it comes to it -- but because I don't believe a generic script is going to be as effective as one on one trancework. But that's a whole other topic, which you've covered before.


The Transparent Hypnotist said...

Thanks for the input. I am glad you feel that the mics and earphones do not add so much, necessarily. I do tend to be a sucker for such things, but I do have a frugal side. It seems like it would be an unnecessary cost (the rooms at the office are fairly small) that would probably, undoubtedly be passed down to the client.