“A Personalised Induction Will Always Be More Effective”

Words “A Personalised Induction will always be more effective”. Discuss. Base your answer on theoretical concepts and techniques presented in class. “There are many standardised procedures for the induction of hypnosis, but all have the aim of relaxing the patient and encouraging him or her to focus awareness inwardly” (Hadley & Staudacher, 1996, page 19). When a person decides to undergo hypnotherapy, an induction is required to ensure they are sufficiently relaxed to experience the process completely.
Various formats are used, depending on why the hypnosis is being undertaken (such as; giving up smoking, weight loss). Some hypnotherapists use a standard format while others personalise the script to each individual. There are many techniques a therapist can adopt to suit the client and their personality, but this must be based on first impressions and using the techniques to better define that person and as a result give successful counselling. It is these techniques that will be addressed in further detail in the following essay. One year ago I attended an interview for the role I am currently employed in.
My manager conducted the interview and displayed many of the personal traits I would expect such as; to encourage and support, be understanding of my level of skills and interested in my development. I accepted the role and a big part of my decision was based on the characteristics displayed by my manager. Unfortunately, my first impressions were amiss and my manager turned out to be a very different person. Although I have found the last year one of the most challenging in my working life, I realise that I have learnt valuable lessons when trying to determine a person by first impressions.

Had I structured my questions to my manager more effectively, could I have learnt more about their style of working and seen their true traits? Now I wonder, had I known their true traits and not taken the role, would this have been a bad decision due to having learnt and grown so much as an individual while being under their management? Humans may appear to possess similar characteristics at times but, we are very different and our personalities can change from day to day. We will all have been brought up in different environments giving us different likes and dislikes and having different opinions on the world.
History tells us that old styles of hypnosis were more of an authoritarian approach, where those such as Franz Anton Mesmer, would command their clients into a trance. In today’s world, where cultural change has taken effect on people, this approach would not be suitable for some individual’s due to people’s unique characters which need to be considered when assessing a client. In hypnosis we have to rely on words to communicate with our clients. It may come as a surprise that language makes up only 7% of our communication. Body language is our main way of communicating at 55% followed by tone and volume at 38%.
This is why it is so important to find out the client’s likes and dislikes, their personality and to gain trust very early in the client / therapist relationship. So, how can we find out all of this information? Our brain receives information via our senses internally so we can assess it and learn how to act on it. So, what we feel internally is usually what we show on the outside. Our primary senses are referred to as what we: see, hear, touch and feel. Our smell and taste are what some would refer to as our secondary senses.
In most cases we will have a preferred sense that we turn to in a particular situation, however we will use all of them at different times in our everyday life. We can also train ourselves to be more equal in using our different senses. These senses are known as Modalities. “Hypnosis and NLP both influence the subconscious mind. In many ways, hypnosis and NLP are opposite sides of the same coin and when they are combined they become arguably the most powerful tool for human evolution that has ever been developed” (Hypnosis and NLP article, The Human mind).
Lateral Eye Movements (LEM) is a well known discovery of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), albeit controversial. It was first suggested to be related to internal representation by American Psychologist, William James (Principles of Psychology, 1890, page 193-195). Many psychologists followed to support this theory and began to explore the relationship between eye movements and different senses. For example, looking up and to the left is non-dominant visualisation, remembered imagery. Looking down and to the left is internal self-talk.
It is important to remember that people will have gained habitual eye movements, so a therapist must feel confident in knowing how read a client’s eye movements to determine any characteristics or trustworthy traits. Those therapists adopting the personalised method carry out a preliminary interview to determine their client’s primary modality. They may use questionnaires, or a series of questions on behaviour, appearance and personality, to find out what kind of speech patterns and style the client would be most receptive to. The three primary modalities are: Kinaesthetic (Feeling)
This represents a person who thinks in terms of feeling or physical actions, both internally and externally and will also use words that tend to reflect this. So, the person will speak of how something feels such as; rough or smooth and the word feel will be used often. The person will speak in lower, deeper tones breathing naturally deeply from their abdomen. LEM will usually be down to the right, tactile and intuitive, with gestures of body language focussed on their mid to lower body. These are people who would describe feeling their future within their grasp. Visual (Sight)
A visual person will tend to use visual words and think in pictures. That person will also tend to be more receptive to visual words rather than those associated with other modalities. This person will be inclined to use the words see, look, imagine and refer to shapes, colours and sizes. LEM is likely to be defocused or up to the left (remembered visualisation) or to the right (constructed visualisation, fantasy). A visual person may describe their future as bright. Auditory (Hearing) An auditory person will think in terms of sounds or language and the speech and language will tend to reflect the same.
Words such as hear, listen and harmony will be commonly used and they may refer to things by their loudness or quietness or by their frequency. They may also be sensitive to obtrusive sounds. An auditory person will imagine sounds by using their auditory system. They tend to have a melodic voice and may tilt their head to one side when listening. An auditory person might be told by a little bird that their future will be great. When we speak normally, we might use visual, auditory and kinaesthetic words, but when we are being very serious or emotional, it can become pparent of how a person uses their modality for thinking. People’s modalities and characteristics change. On an initial consultation someone may seem auditory and the therapist may therefore adopt an authoritarian approach. However, on the next meeting the client could display a different more prominent modality rendering the first one ineffective. This can be helped by compounding, this means adding two or more of the modalities to the script, for example; kinaesthetic with visual. The question then is, why not do this for all inductions?
As mentioned earlier, one of the well known techniques of hypnotic induction and ways of suggesting things to a person once in a hypnotic state of trance is, authoritarian (direct suggestion). The other technique is known as permissive (indirect suggestion). The Permissive technique was devised by Milton Erickson, a psychologist and psychiatrist of the twentieth century. This technique is nurturing and can be known as the ‘mother figure’. It gives a client choice by using phrases such as; … you may like to close your eyes… … you might want to remove your jacket to make yourself as comfortable as possible…
The words are caring and give the client a sense of safety which can often mean that the style of the script is more imaginative. Hence this would suit a client who is imaginative and tends not to challenge ideas and realities. Authoritarian scripts will have no choices, but be direct and logical. Although it can contain imagery, it will not be to the level that can be reached using a permissive style. The authoritarian style can also be known as the ‘father figure’ where the therapist is shown to be in complete control at all times. Authoritarian scripts refer to the client’s ‘powerful subconscious mind’ and use phrases such as: .. close your eyes knowing you will always be in control… … use the powerful ability of your subconscious mind to concentrate on your breathing… Although this style may seem harsh to some people, it can work well on those with a busy mind who don’t like choices. This is a reaction to the confidence and ability shown by the therapist that gives a client comfort that they know what they are doing. Sigmund Freud versus Milton Erickson Freud would demand his client to slip into a trance, he found this very difficult to get results from however, as he believed that suggestibility was a symptom of neurosis.
Freud believed in being the powerful practitioner and felt uncomfortable using a technique that seemed to access unconscious thought processes, which he believed were the weapons of dark and ugly aspects of the human mind. Erickson on the other hand, who came along decades later, saw no harm in letting people feel in charge of their positive changes. He believed in letting a person’s own mind interpret the suggestion in a way to make the best out of the relaxation process. Erickson did this by structuring the language used in making a suggestion to give the client the right to choose to comply with his suggestion.
This gives the client more responsibility. Although it is evident that direct techniques can be powerful and effective, they do not seem to give as much scope to encourage such a positive impact as an indirect approach. Both the authoritarian and permissive techniques can be successful and both are still adopted by therapists today. It will ultimately depend on the therapist themselves and how they mould and carry out the technique upon the client in order to encourage successful positive change, this is supported by Karle and Boys (1987), page 28.
A personalised induction can make a person feel special and taken care of. But, are we then forgetting that people are unique and although you can get an idea of someone on first impressions; you cannot tell everything you need to know about them, which could be crucial in the approach taken to form their induction. Imagine the impact if visual words of the sea and “… sinking deeper into relaxation… ” were used when a person has a fear of drowning. In hypnosis we rely on the client and ourselves as the therapists, we cannot ask anyone else.
It seems evident throughout this essay that the relationship between the client and therapist is paramount. By trusting the therapist, a client will feel more open to ideas and the suggestions given to them. This is supported by Heap and Dryden (1991), page 18. After writing a number of specific scripts to suit the primary modalities and incorporating both direct and indirect techniques; I have found that this is, to some extent, already moulding an induction to certain groups of personalities. There are examples of where a personalised induction would not be effective and one of these is for groups.
A therapist would not be able to effectively write a script that is specific to more than one person as no two people are the same. A standard format would not only save time, but could also be used on numerous clients, whereas a personalised one could not. At the beginning of my research I felt that a personalised induction had many risks involved with first impressions and the time taken to write each individual script. However, I do believe that by personalising an induction would give a better chance of the client being receptive to the words which undoubtedly encourages successful positive change.
Bibliography Boys, H. K. (1987). Hypnotherapy: A practical handbook. London: Free Association Books. Chrysalis (2012). Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling: Year One Hypnotherapy and Counselling Skills – Module Two, Hypnosis and Mental Health. Dryden, M. H. (1991). Hypnotherapy: A Handbook. Milton Keynes, Philadelphia: Open University Press. Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders (2012). Hypnotherapy article, Advameg Inc. Hypnosis and NLP article (2010). Hypnotic Strategies: authoritative and direct, permissive and indirect. Staudacher, H. &. (1996). Hypnosis for Change. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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