As a hypnotherapist, I have enjoyed developing as style that lets me do hypnosis in a conversational way. When using conversational hypnosis I am not using what my teacher, Dave Dobson, called “tuxedo”. Dave called “formal” trance “tuxedo”, because it was formal. So, of course, I started calling informal trance, “T-shirt”.
Formal trance involves using a ritual to guide someone into trance. For example, in beginning a formal trance one might say something like, “Close your eyes, and notice the rhythms of your breathing as you go into hypnosis only at the same rate that I count backwards from 5 to 1…”
Successful conversational hypnosis demands that the hypnotherapist pay close attention to the nonverbal, out of conscious, communications of the client. Recently, for example, I offered a client some ideas, and she agreed verbally, but I detected some unspoken skepticism. So I said, “It seems like there’s an unspoken ‘but’…” She agreed.
So, I started beginning all my sentences with “But” and finishing them with “yes?” That frequently will short circuit the patterned responses of someone who automatically disagrees with new ideas.
To get things moving, I said something like, “But, you really do recognize the importance of making those phone calls to build your business, Yes?”
She replied, “Yes.”
After a few minutes of phrasing everything that I said to her in the form of “but…yes?” statements, I noticed something interesting. Not only was my client showing signs of hypnosis, complete bodily stillness, reduced blinking rate, and slowed speech, she was actually saying “yes” to my questions before I finished them!
From that point on, it was easy to gradually shift my questions so that they led her into feelings of certainty that she could and would do what she needed to make her business thrive.
“But, you can already begin to see yourself making those calls regularly, yes?”
“But, you are already noticing that you feel comfortable with the thought that any number of people will inevitably be saying ‘no” along the way as you build your business, yes?”
“But, the old fears of rejection are fading away completely even as we speak, yes?”
One of the keys to conversational, or regular hypnosis, for that matter, is for the hypnotherapist to notice the client’s out of conscious and habitual responses to suggestions. That allows the hypnotherapist to adjust his or her suggestions and hypnotic language to suit the client’s unique personality, which leads to a successful session.