Friday, April 27, 2012

Trying a Rapid Induction for the First Time

I just wanted to share the lovely experience I had about a week ago doing my first rapid induction – and on a subject who’d never been hypnotized! I know this is something that a lot of you fairly frequently, but it was very exciting for me to succeed the first time :)

I’m going to start by saying that it’s been about 2 or 3 months since I’ve hypnotized anyone, and maybe only the 4th person I’ve put under, but as per usual I’ve been studying up. When a friend of mine expressed that she was stressed out, I gathered my courage and asked if she would like to try hypnosis to relax.

(Long post under the cut!)

She said that she would, and so I immediately began doing a subtle bit of pretalk and building rapport, even though we couldn’t do it in the environment we were in at the time. I talked to her about what hypnosis was, a little bit what it would feel like, and answered any of the questions she had. All the while I kept suggesting how easy it was and how many people were surprised how simple it was to go into a trance. I told her that the process was fairly automatic, and that since people go in and out of hypnosis every day (I gave examples as well), her subconscious mind would have no trouble getting to that state provided the right environment and suggestions. I also mentioned that I had learned a new technique that was very effective at putting subjects under. I made a mental note to measure how well she responded to these “out of trance” suggestions.

I sat her down in a chair and sat across from her. I’m not going to sugar-coat this – I was more nervous than I’d ever been. But I remained as calm and confident as I could. The induction I used was an adaptation of one I’d seen Brian David Phillips do, and I’ll describe it here.

First, I told her that in a few moments I was going to say the word “sleep” to her, and that her brain would take that as a signal for her eyes to close and for her whole body to relax. Then, I took her left hand in mine. Casually I asked, “Oh, are you a righty or lefty?” She replied that she was a righty, and then I switched hands. (I love this misdirection technique! No matter what they say, you switch hands, don’t explain it, and they just have to wonder why it’s so important.) Then I told her to look at my eyes (I pointed where to look), and to just take a few deep breaths. I stared right between her eyes and monitored what her face was doing. At first I could tell she was biting her lip with a bit of nervous laughter, so I gave her a bit of relaxation and focus patter, interspersed with breathing. I then suggested that she match her breaths with mine. (As a note, this was a bit impractical and I should have just stuck with matching my breathing with hers.)

I watched her face closely, especially her eyes, and when her pupils began to expand slightly and her eyelids looked like they wanted to start closing, I went for it. The moment of truth! “Sleep,” I said to her, pulling gently on her arm, and down she went, her eyes closed and her head fell forward and I felt like I had just won a million dollars.

I went immediately into patter on semi-autopilot, being sure to let her know that she was doing perfectly the whole time. And she was, despite a nervous smile at the beginning. But I knew that if I let her know that that sort of thing was acceptable and desireable she would have no problem going a little deeper.

And go deeper she did. This girl dropped like a rock; I could see it in her body language. And when I picked up her wrist for an arm drop deepener, it was already completely limp. I gave her some suggestions to help her mind and body relax (since that was what she had wanted), a reinduction trigger, and woke her up. I was positively brimming with glee. She smiled at me and said to our other friend in the room, "That feels awesome, you've got to try it. I just feel all calm and euphoric." (I'll say that I did not hypnotize him -- I was still nervous and knew for a fact he was very skeptical / analytical.)

But wow! What a rush. I couldn't believe I had so much success. Since that night I've hypnotized her a few times after that, and those experiences were similarly fantastic. I've gotten her to achieve eye and arm catalepsy without the slightest trouble -- and taking a very short time for me to suggest it. Also, drawing back on what I had mentioned earlier, I've observed that she takes waking suggestions pretty darn well, which I think is very cool. I feel like I've finally started to get over that block I had about putting others under, and I've finally gained some confidence. Just wanted to share, especially with those who are nervous about either hypnotizing someone for the first time or trying out a new technique.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! Rapids are a little tricky to master, since they're very all-or-nothing and opportunities to practice don't come up until you have regular subjects. I know from experience that there are few feelings more exciting than getting a rapid right for the first time. :)