This test anxiety hypnotherapy script uses direct and indirect suggestion, metaphor and visualisation. Each piece of hypnotic language removes test anxiety by creating change: changing how the client perceives the exam environment; how the client deals with an emotional reaction to a trigger; changing their actions in response to a trigger; or changing their beliefs about their own capabilities in the exam. The script assumes a pick-some-questions essay type test, but can be easily adapted for multiple choice question tests.
The main part of the test anxiety script goes through the series of events that lead up to the test. At each step the student gets a suggestion that the triggers will cause a different feeling or action, and therefore replaces the beliefs and fears that are causing the test anxiety.
The test anxiety script is shown laid out in sections in order to explain how it works, but it would actually be spoken continuously, with pauses where indicated and with changes in emphasis, volume and tone of voice at various parts.
The symbol '>' shows Cause and Effect linking statements of the type "doing A leads to B";
The symbol '=' shows Reframing of the type "A is really the same as B".
The symbol 'D' shows where a direct suggestion is being made.
The symbol 'I' shows where an indirect suggestion is being made.
The script would be delivered slowly, with pauses at the ellipses (...) or where explicitly indicated.
Embedded commands are bold: use analogical marking with these phrases.
Coloured text does not imply emphasis: it indicates to the reader what work that the words are doing, or helps to structure the script.
YOU ARE READY NOW
|You are lying there comfortably,.... breathing gently,.... listening to my voice.... and as you drift even deeper.... you can allow yourself enough time to think of many ways to succeed.||Pacing
Permissive bind ''many ways'
|Assumption||You are concerned about something that you have to do soon. It is natural to be concerned. You are going to have to perform well, to work under pressure, on something that will affect your future.||Validate the client's concerns|
|And being concerned shows that you are giving it the right amount of attention.||=||Reframe|
|You are getting ready for an exam.
Everybody worries about exams.
So you are worried about an exam.
|Rule||But everybody who is ready passes their exams, don't they?||Tag question|
|And you might be wondering just how you will know how you will succeed.||I||Presupposition :Inevitability|
|Capability||You have studied, practiced, revised. You know the subject. You are ready, now. You can learn more, but you are ready now.||D|
YOU CAN RECALL SUCCESS
|Behaviour||You know, [ClientName], life is full of examinations, full of tests.
You have passed many tests in your life.
You might not think so, but your life has been a series of exams and tests... and you have passed them all.
You are good at passing exams.... you have doing it all your life.
|Capability||There was a time when you couldn't tie your shoelaces, that was a test... and you passed, didn't you? There was time when you couldn't read, and you passed..... there was a time when making friends was the biggest test, and you passed..||>||Resource Association|
|Capability||Oh, I know there have been some setbacks, but really, when you think about all the tests you have passed.... you have passed test after test, you know how to pass tests||D|
|Behaviour||You are good at taking tests.||D|
|Capability||So you can look forward to this exam. The exam is about showing people how good you are. How confident you can be.||>||Reframing|
|Memory||When you think about this exam you realise that it is the opportunity you have been waiting for.... to show everyone what you know. To show yourself how good you are. You are ready to show the world that you know what you know you know.||Reframing
|Capability||You are prepared for this. You are ready for success. You are ready now...||D|
You can relax Deeper
|You are standing at the top of stairs.... ten steps going down... and at the bottom of those stairs you can see a door.. a welcoming door... door that you know holds something wonderful for you...|
|when you are ready begin to go down the first step... count the step to yourself in your mind... One... and then the next step... Two... and with every step down you say to yourself... deeper and deeper... going deeper into a warm safe gentle place... continue down the steps counting to yourself as you descend.... allowing yourself to go deeper and deeper... into a comfortable dreamy trance.... and when you have reached the tenth step and are in front of that door, you can signal by lifting a finger, or maybe a thumb... and we can go on.||P:time
|[Await ideomotor signal]||Depth Test|
|That's good, you are doing really well.||Pacing|
YOU CAN ENJOY EVERY STEP
|Rule Stimulus||.... Successful people know that success starts before the exam... on the night before the exam... you go to bed in good time and sink into a good night's rest, confident of a deep refreshing sleep, confident of success the next day. On the morning of the exam you open your eyes refreshed, alert, excited, ready. Ready for a great day.|| >
|Stimulus||... at breakfast you to take a moment to go through the topics of the day's exam in your mind. In your mind somehow you know you know the books and lessons and notes are confidently laid out for you. You know they are all there.... there in your mind... ready when they are needed, secure in your mind, easily and instantly.||D|
|Reaction||You leave for the exam early.... time... to take a stroll to enjoy the air and enjoy the anticipation... that feeling, the signals you get from your body that is your body's way of letting you know you are ready for it ... there's no rush... you arrive at the exam room twenty minutes early... time... to settle down to easily review the main headings... and something you experience on the way in reminds you of how good you feel...||>
|Stimulus||and inside the building ... passing through the doorway... seeing the room... the desks... reminds you of all the hopes and wishes that have been said that morning to you and so many others... and you can feel some of that spirit lift you as you can open your mind to accept complete confidence now.|
|Stimulus||You ignore the words and actions of other students: they are irrelevant... they are unimportant to you... you don't even notice them.... you are focused.||D||Negative Hallucination|
|Activity||As you settle comfortably into your seat, you take three deep breaths... you feel great ... Relaxed and confident... and the more you become aware of the growing relaxation in your mind the less notice you pay to sounds and distractions around you...||>
|Reaction||and with each breathe your concentration increases as every noise and thought from outside dwindles away... You feel all the resources of your mind awakening; your body feels a surge of confidence. Your hands feel alive, your brain is sharp, your eyes sparkle. You take a moment to picture yourself working steadily and confidently through the questions. All your preparation falls into place... it all seems so simple....||D|
|Stimulus||You analyse the questions in the exam paper,||D|
|Response||break them into parts... little easy parts... and the topics for each question just jump out at you... key words trigger memories..... You review what you know about each topic and the details just appear in your mind, crisp and clear and effortless.||>
|Behaviour||Your reading... your practice.. your preparation fills your mind. Your actions are almost automatic. You quickly produce an answer plan and still have the time to enjoy another brief relaxation break. Feeling great. Ready to roll... ready to write...||>
|Stimulus||As you start the first question your confidence and recall increases and the right words flow from your hand, effortless, flowing, sentence after sentence, idea after idea, crisp and bright, each stronger than the first.||D|
|Response||As each question flows out you check your time, review your answer plan, relax your hands, relax your mind, move on to the next question. And you enjoy that growing sense of ease, every line of your answers increasing your confidence, bringing ever more resources out as you need them. It's just amazing how the right thing appears in your mind at the right moment... examples... explanations... theories... models... cases... whatever the question calls for arrives...||>
|Response||As the exam progresses your focus increases, the outside world fades away, the only thing in mind is the questions.... and the answers flowing effortlessly from brain to paper.||D||Negative Hallucination|
|Rule||And isn't it good to know, that your answers don't have to be perfect? You don't have to be perfect. You only have to be good enough. Your answers only have to be good enough. Long ago, the Persian rug makers used to put a little error, a small mistake into their rugs, one knot wrong ... so as not to offend god, by trying to be perfect... knowing they had made one mistake somewhere meant they could stop worrying about knot being perfect, can't you.||Metaphor|
|Behaviour||And when the last answer has flowed out, you still have time to review everything, that every question is answered, everything completed.|
|Evaluation||See yourself standing up, stretching... handing in a complete answer ... walking out of the examination room; confident, powerful, elated; you have done well; looking forward to the results. Your rewards are waiting for you, aren't they, now.||Visualisation|
YOU ARE A VALUABLE PERSON
|And now allow your mind to clear.... ...now to let your mind drift to a time after the exam is past... you are in front of a door that leads to a special room. In that room are all the people who love you, and all the people who you love and respect. There are people from the present and people from the past.... they are all in there, like a party... expecting you. They are waiting to congratulate you....now, you can go through the door into that room.||Past = passed
|Identity||They are all there... They look up.... they applaud as you enter.... they crowd round you. You can see the delight on their faces... their smiles... they know about your outstanding result...Hear the voices of friends and family talking to you..."Great result"... "Wonderful"... "I've always thought you were the smart one in the family, [clientname]"... "You're better than any of them".... Feel their hands in your hand... a hand on your back, arms around you, the friendly touch that means 'well done!'. Enjoy their warm hugs. People want to be near you.... as you walk from group to group...||I||[Activate all the modalities]
P: out standing result
|Identity||you notice respect in the eyes of teachers... students ... others... and that new respect makes you reflect on yourself, how do you look in their eyes?||Dissociation|
|Identity||And as you move around you overhear people talking to each other...." I'm so pleased about [clientname]".... "I couldn't ask for a better [son/daughter]. I've always been proud of [him/her] but this makes me even more proud"...."Yes, you're right. This is only the beginning, [clientname] will go far"...."You know, I've always admired [clientname]".||I||Extended quotation|
|Identity||Everywhere you look people show in many ways that they love you and respect you and admire what you have done so far.||Sensory. Bind: Time "so far"|
YOU ARE RESPECTED BY OTHERS
|Capability||And someone leads you to a phone. Feel the excitement in your fingers as you telephone and text friends, students, family... taste the tingle of success on your lips as you tell them the results; hear the warmth in their voices..."I knew you could do it"..."It's been too long, let's catch up soon"..."Maybe we could do something together?"..."I'm so jealous of your luck".||InDirect Suggestion|
|Identity||And as you look around the room everyone is smiling and waving, lifting their glasses to salute you.... you are a success.... you turn in the doorway and wave back. ..|
|Memory||... and take a few moments to enjoy that wonderful feeling from all those people....[pause] .... and whenever you think about the exam you will enjoy these feelings again...||Anchoring|
|Identity||... people want you to succeed ... and you are determined to make them proud of you.... you are someone who lives up to expectations, aren't you?.||D|
YOU CAN REMEMBER YOUR SUCCESS
|Memory||Enjoy what success means to you, let your mind roam over the successes you can have in the future... and let your mind recall all those things that you did that led to success in that exam.... how you prepared yourself... how you relaxed and enjoyed the challenge...how you focused on the task... how you shut out all distractions... how the answers just flowed onto the paper for you...||I||Connecting with resources|
YOU WILL PASS THIS EXAM
|Stimulus||...now allow your mind to move forward in time. To the time when the exam is past... think about how you learn the results....|
|picture the result right there in front of you ... it's a great result... you pass easily. Success. Imagine yourself at that time... Experience that sense of achievement... Move into your own body, feel how it reacts to success... allow pride in achievement to grow inside you, opening like a sunflower, lighting up everything you do... Enjoy the burst of pleasure that comes with learning your exam results: a pass; an easy pass; more than you ever got before. Let yourself experience now that glow of pleasure... delight ... pride... confidence... as you learn you pass the exam. .... and learned to pass the exam... and passed the exam by learning how to pass the exam...||Visualisation|
|Capability||You know how to study.
You know how to learn.
You know how to succeed.
You know how to pass that exam.
You WILL pass that exam.
You CAN pass that exam.
You WILL pass that exam.
You ARE READY to pass that exam NOW.
You WILL pass that exam.
You are looking forward to that exam ....
|and now... I want you to focus on your breathing.... become aware of that breathing... and with each breath out.... you can hear in your mind somehow... these words... over and over... going through your mind, as if someone is whispering them to you.... and you will hear these words being repeated in your mind... all day ... all night.... repeat them over and over now....||D||Post hypnotic suggestions|
|Identity||I know how to study.
I know how to learn.
I know how to succeed.
I know how to pass that exam.
I CAN pass that exam.
I WILL pass that exam.
I WILL pass every exam.
YOU CAN BRING BACK FEELINGS OF CONFIDENCE
|... and now.... confident in your abilities, sure of yourself... allow yourself to come back to the present .... bringing with you all those good feelings...
[snap] EYES OPEN....