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This hypnosis script tutorial is the first part of a hypnosis for beginners section that shows beginners how to do hypnosis, how to plan a hypnosis session, and to use standard hypnosis scripts in hypnotherapy.
If you are looking for a standard hypnosis script and basic hypnosis inductions for > how to hypnotize someone < click here.
This hypnosis tutorial us about how to write a hypnosis induction script for beginners. Writing a hypnosis script is not difficult, but to begin hypnosis you need to understand some hypnosis theory before beginning a first script. The direct and indirect suggestions must be effective and the visualizations and metaphors must engage the subconscious mind. This hypnosis tutorial for beginners is based on the best way to learn about hypnosis and to write a hypnosis script: study other people's hypnosis scripts.
The reason for writing out a hypnosis script is so the hypnosis beginner has a plan for the hypnosis session. All the hypnotic words and phrases in the hypnosis script need to be focused on your client's needs, every part of the hypnosis session carefully thought out to address the specific needs of that one client. If you are using a tutorial script you need to know exactly what each part of the script is doing, how it does it and what the effect should be. That way you will know which parts of the hypnosis induction script to emphasize and which parts to skip over with particular clients.
Hypnosis Scripts are essential when learning hypnotism: they serve the same function as text books in a university. The students study the textbook, not because they are expected to repeat the exact words, but in order to be able to learn from expert hypnotists and to model how the experts approach hypnosis. Good hypnotherapists collect hypnotic scripts, analyses the suggestions, adapt them and develop better hypnosis scripts by stealing the best ideas of others.
Hypnotherapy is not about scripts. Hypnosis scripts are useful for beginners but have many limitations.
A hypnotherapy script can be simple or complex. Some advanced hypnosis scripts need experience to be able to use them properly: the hypnosis script may use embedded commands, hypnotic words, analogical marking, multi-level metaphors and guided visualization and many other hypnosis techniques. Like the director of a play or movie, the hypnotist uses the script to ensure that each scene occurs in the right sequence and that the words used will produce the intended effect. However, having the script of a play does not make you a director and owning a collection of hypnosis scripts does not make you a hypnotherapist.
For a start it is obvious to the client when the hypnotist is speaking freely and when the hypnotist is reading a script. Very few people can read aloud and make it sound natural.
If you are reading the hypnosis script then you are not watching the client: the hypnotist needs to be acutely aware of the client's reactions at all times. Reading a hypnosis script means using a fixed approach. It assumes that the client is going to be passive and take no part in the hypnosis session. This is a bad approach to hypnotherapy. In every hypnosis session the client is actually communicating with the hypnotist all the time, and the hypnotherapist needs to be watching for these signals. This means that the hypnotherapist has be ready to change direction at any point in the hypnosis session.
In addition, some clients will react unpredictably to a hypnotic word, image or suggestion in the script and the hypnotherapist has to be ready to deal with whatever comes up. If the beginner hypnotist is relying on a script then the hypnosis session will change course if there is an abreaction, or a spontaneous regression from the client. A skilled hypnotherapist will switch to a different hypnotic technique and follow whatever the client does, smoothly blending different hypnosis techniques as required. Similarly a skilled hypnotherapist will be comfortable interacting with the client via ideomotor signals, or direct speech or in guided metaphor. Scripts cannot deal with that sort of live dialogue.
Hypnosis scripts are a starting point, not the end result. A hypnosis script should be regarded as representing the minimum level of therapy skill: an experienced hypnotherapist should be able to include Cognitive Modelling, Behavioural Therapy, Metaphor Therapy, Regression and many other non-scripted interactive hypnosis techniques in any session.
When you go to the theatre, the actors don't read from their copy of the script and neither should the hypnotherapist. Only a bad hypnotherapist would read the script aloud while the client was in the room.
The hypnotherapist needs to be as familiar with the script as the actors are in a real play. With practice the actors become word perfect and don't need to refer to the script all. Similarly, the hypnotherapist will eventually be able to recall entire scripts from memory.
However, that is not good hypnotherapy practice either. An actor cannot go from theatre to theatre and just repeat scenes from other plays, and a hypnotherapist cannot simply repeat the same script to each client. Equally, great work can be done when skilled actors get together and improvise, but only because their improvised words are drawn from a deep pool of experience. A hypnosis script is more like a plan, a guide to follow to ensure that the hypnotherapist produces the best outcome for the client. You don't actually need a written script in hypnotherapy but you do need to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. It is in that sense that every hypnotherapist follows a script, but every session is unique.
Hypnotherapy scripts are all about images and language. The exact words are not important but the structure of the script is. Every sentence used in hypnotherapy has to be there for a reason. Good hypnotherapy is based on good science. If you cannot state specifically why you are saying these particular words then you shouldn't be saying them: you might as well recite the telephone directory.
The basic structure of a hypnotherapy session is:
Defining the problem is the most critical of the therapist's skills but it is not dealt with here. Bad hypnotists apply the same script to everyone - and then are surprised when they don't get results. Scripts have to be designed individually to address the particular problems and resources of each client. Therefore identifying the actual problem and the resources available to change it is the first stage.
Hypnotic Inductions are generally simple and standard. The induction may be preceded by a test for susceptibility and a test for preferred representational style. (The induction will need to be re-worded if the client turns out to be unable to visualize, for example). The induction process usually involves a combination of induction suggestions, one or more deepeners and one or more tests for depth of trance. For examples see the section on inductions and deepeners on this site. Most published therapy scripts omit the induction section because each therapist will usually use their one or two standard hypnotic inductions with every client.
The therapy section depends on the nature of the client's problem. Therapy can be based around Regression, or Parts Therapy, or Metaphor or Guided Visualization or any combination of these techniques and more. For a standard session, (if there is such a thing!) the following structure could be expected.
After the therapy the client has to be brought back to the present and left alert and clear headed. Most therapists have a favourite style that they always use so most published scripts do not detail the reorientation text.
The next part shows how to write a hypnosis script for nail biting.
First identify the exact problem as the client experiences it, then create a block outline for the hypnosis script, then identify client beliefs and resources, and finally tailor it to suit the particular client using hypnotic words and phrases.
The transcript of an actual hypnotherapy session is presented to show how an experienced therapist created an original hypnosis script based on the block outline. The steps are: