Hypnosis and Meditation
Hypnosis and meditation lead to altered states and have been used since civilisation began to help us relax, focus and increase well-being and creativity.
There are many similarities between meditation and hypnosis. The main difference is meditation is about acceptance and being open to whatever happens, whereas hypnosis is more directional – It’s about guiding us or others to something better.
An ideal position is fully appreciating what we already have AND moving towards something better.
Hypnosis is a natural process; We drift in and out of hypnotic states all of the time. Waking people up from non-useful states via hypnosis can be as much as help as getting them into good states.
It is useful thinking of hypnosis as a further amplifier to improve any NLP approach.
- The power of ambiguity. If we give our clients just a structure without any content, they will often determine the most useful content themselves to fill in the gaps. A blank space is often more useful than giving them the (or rather our) answer.
‘You may choose to take action.’ For example, is completely un-specific, and therefore it’s very difficult to deny outright and allows the client to relate them to what is truly important to them.
- Shock and pattern interrupts are useful, provided we lead them somewhere beneficial afterwards
- Pace and then lead. Start by referring to what is true in their world. Only when they accept what we say we can lead them somewhere more useful.
- Anything that presupposes a hypnotic state often leads to it. Encourage any behaviour that supports your client going into hypnosis. Say “That’s right” or “That’s really good” These behaviours include: Slower breathing, eyes fluttering, increased flaccidity of muscles and skin, dilated pupils and lower lip becoming filled with blood.
- Utilisation. We can use anything that’s happening. For example, something that can always happen, a car alarm goes off mid-induction. You might chose to say ‘And you may have noticed an alarm, and as the alarm gets quieter, as the car goes further away, it will allow you to focus more on that which is important to you.’
- Fractionation. Many small pieces weaved into normal conversation work exceptionally well. Little but often, works well. Too much too soon can make our clients uncomfortable. Leave our clients wanting more.
- Get into rapport, go into trance, and our client will follow.
- A deep hypnotic state can also be thought of as a state of deep rapport/deep learning.In a hypnotic state we can often replace ‘or’ with ‘and’.
And the golden rule :
We are responsible for the impact of our communication and our client’s well being.
There are four types of language patterns that are particularly useful for helping us get the benefits from hypnosis: Commands, embedded commands, linkage phrases and process language.
Commands and Embedded Commands
With an effective hypnotic command the client acts upon it before thinking about it, and one way of achieving this is by embedding the command – By which we mean packaging it with other language.
Always learn commands first. Know specifically what you want people to do. How do you want them to feel?
The easiest step sometimes is to ask/tell them directly,
eg: Stop, listen, feel good, enjoy, start now etc
Commands have more impact when:
- Voice tone lowers. Said as a unequivocal command, not a question.
- The command is emphasised through some gesture or voice change
- The voice reflects the meaning of the word
- ie All our communication is congruent with the command
We can ‘hide’ the command by embedding it into a sentence, and hence the description embedded command. Packaging the command with other words can often distract our ‘logical’ thinking.
Luckily, you can (command) and (something else)
If you were to (command) and (something else)
When you (command) and (something else)
A person can (command) and (something else)
You don’t have to (command) and (something else)
You shouldn’t (command) and (something else)
Examples of phrases to set up embedded commands:
(Now at the end often amplifies the effect.)
Luckily you can:
You might want to:
I wouldn’t tell you to:
If you were to:
I don’t know if (command) is the very best thing you can do:
If I were to:
What’s it like when you:
A person can:
It’s not necessary to:
You really shouldn’t:
You don’t have to:
Why is it some people see x and others don’t?
What is it that will help you to know whether to do x or y?
As humans we like to associate ideas, even when there is no logical pattern present.
The simplest linkage word is ‘and’. We can link one, two or three factual statements with a statement that leads our client somewhere useful – Presenting a few undeniably true statements before a useful command makes the speaker more trustworthy and the command more acceptable.
“You’re listening to me (assuming it’s true) and you want to relax (assuming it’s true) and you’ve started to relax, now (useful) and you’re now going into a really useful relaxed state (useful).”
When can be used as a stronger version of and.
“You’re listening to me and you want to relax, and when you’ve started to notice that you’ve begun to relax, that’s a sign that you’re able to go into a really deep state, now.”
Process language combines all the above, giving your client a powerful direction, but no or very little content.
“You’ve been listening and as you sleep and dream tonight, you’ll run through all the ideas we’ve explored, add some of your own, mentally rehearse them, and to your delight and surprise start implementing the most useful of them when it’s both safe and beneficial to do so.”
“And something else that may surprise you, when you least expect it, you’ll start to notice when others use these patterns, and copy the very best and add them to what you so easily.“