While we’ll always recommend you learn hypnosis with a qualified practitioner or trainer, The Elman hypnotic induction is excellent. Just by reading a script to your partner, you can induce a surprisingly deep level of hypnosis; you’ll learn some of the basic principles of hypnosis, and with a bit of practice, you’ll improve significantly.
Elman hypnotic Induction Script
Suggest to your partner that they’ll benefit much more if they cooperate; ask for their agreement to this – Read this script to your partner whilst they cooperate.
First, prepare the positive/helpful suggestion that you will insert at the end. You can write it into the space indicated if you want to.
“In this exercise, you must be happy to learn about how to develop your relaxation skills and follow instructions exactly as asked – Neither taking too long to follow instructions nor anticipating what will be asked.”
“Now take a long deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. As you exhale this breath, allow your eyes to close and let go of the surface tension in your body. Just let your body relax as much as possible right now.”
“Now place your awareness on your eye muscles and relax the muscles around your eyes to the point they just won’t work. When you’re sure they’re so relaxed that, as long as you hold on to this relaxation, they just won’t work, now to test you’re holding on to that relaxation, test your eyes to make sure THEY WON’T WORK.” “That’s right!”
“Now, this relaxation you have in your eyes is the same quality of relaxation that I want you to have throughout your whole body. So, let this relaxation quality flow through your whole body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.”
“Now we can deepen this relaxation much more. In a moment, I will have you open and close your eyes. When you close your eyes, that’s your signal to let this feeling of relaxation become 10 times deeper.”
“All you have to do is want this to happen, and you can make it happen very quickly.”
“OK, now, open your eyes…now close your eyes and feel that relaxation flowing through your whole body, taking you much, much more profound. Use your wonderful imagination and imagine your whole body is covered and warmed up in a warm blanket of relaxation.”
“Now, let every muscle in your body become so relaxed that as long as you hold on to this quality of relaxation, every muscle in your body is totally relaxed.”
“In a moment, I’ll have you open and close your eyes one more time. Again when you close your eyes, double the relaxation you now have. Make it become twice as deep. OK, now, once more, open your eyes. …And close your eyes …and double your relaxation…good. Let every muscle in your body hold on to this quality of relaxation.”
“In a moment, I’m going to lift your right (or left) hand by the wrist, just a few inches and drop it. If you followed my instructions up to this point, that hand will be so relaxed it will be just as loose and limp as a damp dishcloth and simply plop down.”
“Now, don’t try to help me. Let me do all the lifting so that when I release it, it just plops down, allowing you to go deeper still.”
[Gently lift their hand by the wrist and drop it onto their leg]
“Take a deep breath as you let yourself go deeper still.”
“Now again, relax the muscles around your eyes to the point where they won’t work… and pretend you can’t open them even though you know fully that you can. As long as you hold on to this relaxation, you can pretend that they just won’t work. When you’re sure they’re so relaxed that they just won’t work, continue to pretend that they won’t work and test them to make sure THEY WON’T WORK. Test them hard……that’s right.”
“We want your mind to be as relaxed as your body is, so I want you to start counting from 100 backwards when I tell you to. Each time you say a number, double your mental relaxation. With each number you say, let your mind become twice as relaxed. By the time the numbers get down to 98, you’ll be so relaxed the numbers won’t be there.”
“Now, you have to do this; I can’t do it for you. Those numbers will leave if you will them away.”
“Now say out loud the first number, 100 and double your mental relaxation. Say 100.
Now double that mental relaxation, say 99,…now double that mental relaxation, let those numbers already start to fade. They’ll go if you will them to. Say 98.
Deeper relaxed, now they’ll be gone. Dispel them. Banish them. Make it happen; you can do it; I can’t do it for you. Put them out, and make it happen! Are they all gone?”
Now really enjoy the skills and relaxation until I say something important to you, which I want you to take in at an even deeper level, quickly and honestly, if it’s what you need.
Now come back to this room when I’ve counted from 3 to 1, and you’ve realised that you’ve learnt something important to you. You’ve all the time you need.
“With 100% honesty, what are you feeling? What are you thinking.”
Elman hypnotic induction. Unpacking the theory and practice
Usually, I like creating my own inductions, and I think that our unconscious, even if clunky at times, beats any script; however, I think there are some powerful and valuable learning points from this particular script:
- We need engagement! If they choose not to listen, we’re wasting our time! So this is an approach where we don’t move forward unless they commit to actively participating is significant learning.
- It’s a straightforward approach which uses commands rather than embedded commands; it’s excellent practice for a more authoritarian style compared to an Ericksonian style. (Both have their uses).
- Trance Logic. Statements like “Now place your awareness on your eye muscles and relax the muscles around your eyes to the point they won’t work. When you’re sure they’re so relaxed that, as long as you hold on to this relaxation, they won’t work, now to test you’re holding on to that relaxation, test your eyes to make sure THEY WON’T WORK.” “That’s right!” Logically don’t make sense,” But in practice, it works really well; we’re interested in what works!
- Again the combination of sentences: “In a moment, I’m going to lift your right (or left) hand by the wrist just a few inches and drop it. If you followed my instructions up to this point, that hand would be so relaxed it would be just as loose and limp as a damp dishcloth and plop down.” “Now, don’t try to help me. Let me do all the lifting so that when I release it, it just plops down, allowing you to go deeper still.” It doesn’t make logical sense, but it often works. Keep an open mind!
- So play and practice until you work out what really works!!
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