Talk To Me
In the hypnotism part of sessions with clients, I do most of the talking. Sometimes we have a simple conversation, but that’s rare. Usually clients answer some questions with very short answers. Depending on the depth of the trance, they may not say anything.
Feedback is essential. During the trance I always test my clients’ depth by observing their responses to certain suggestions. At the lightest level of trance they will lose control of simple motor functions. At the deepest levels they will experience hallucinations and negative hallucinations (not seeing something that is there). I always test.
The feedback I need is immediately after the trance. I want to know what their experience was like for them, if they were comfortable, if there was any idea or impulse or memory they want to talk about. I want to know whatever impressions they had that they might want to talk about. I want to know what hypnosis was like for them.
I don’t ask these things out of curiosity; I ask because the information is essential to their success, and to the way I will conduct the next trance session. For example, if I know what their individual idea of hypnosis is, I can suggest it to them and they will be able to slip into that state more easily and quickly. Their answers to my questions also reveal whether I went too quickly or too slowly of if they need concrete or more accurate instructions and descriptions. Sometimes they pick up on subtleties that I miss, because they are extremely attentive to certain details while in the trance state.
I won’t know most of this information if I don’t ask, because during hypnosis they are sitting passively in a chair, physically relaxed. Of course, there are many signs that I can see: rapid eye movement, changes in breathing, especially in response to suggestions of physical relaxation, abreactions, fidgeting, etc.
Abreactions are physical movements in response to suggestions. They can vary in intensity, and they are always significant and must be explored if the client is to be successful. I always ask about physical reactions, because I need to know what was going on at that time. It may have been their subconscious reacting in some way–or they might have been physically cold or uncomfortable. It’s essential that I find out more, so I can help them succeed in the best possible way.
Sometimes certain words or phrases are distracting to them because they remind them of specific situations. I like to snap my fingers as a cue, but some clients are startled by that, so I’ll do something else such as a gentle knock on my wooden desk.
Feedback closes the loop of communication with my client. A few simple explanations and descriptions from them help me to understand what to do differently in order that they achieve what they set out to do!