The ways that a client's hypnosis can become deeper are almost unlimited. But what does "deeper" mean? When a client goes deeper, it means that she is becoming more suggestible, and this can be measured by tests for different levels of hypnosis.
The lightest state that can be tested for is the hypnoidal state, and the most common test for this state of hypnosis is the Eye Catalepsy Test. When your client has reached this level of hypnosis, you can suggest that her eyes are glued shut and that she is unable to open them. This is a very easy state of hypnosis to achieve and test for. (More about this state later.)
The next level of hypnosis is a medium state of hypnosis. The most commonly used test for this level is the Arm Catalepsy Test. In this level you can suggest to your client that her arm has become stiff as a board and locked at her shoulder. You can challenge this condition by telling your client that when she tries to lower it, she will not be able to. If indeed she is in this state she can try but she will not be able to.
The next level of hypnosis is called somnambulism and within it are at least three definable levels of increasing suggestibility.
The first level of somnambulism is the initial amnesic stage, in which a client can experience amnesia for a name or number, etc., because of suggestion. It is a very easy level to achieve, and all therapists should strive to attain at least this level of hypnosis with each client.
The second level of somnambulism is the positive hallucination stage. In this stage, your client will be able to "see" a thing that is not really there simply because you suggest that it is. For example, if you tell the client who is in this level of hypnosis there is a flower on the table in front of her, she can open her eyes and look at a table with nothing on it and hallucinate a flower. Furthermore, she will happily describe it to you. At this level you can also suggest hypnotic-analgesia where the perception of pain is blocked by the suggestion of numbness.
The numbness is a positive hallucination.
In the third level, sometimes called Profound Somnambulism, the client is able to experience negative hallucination. By negative hallucination I mean that, through suggestion, your client can become unaware of something merely because she has accepted the suggestion that it is gone, or that she cannot find it. For the time that your client is accepting the suggestion, a person or object, or any other perception, will simply not exist. Actually, she can become unaware of any kind of stimuli, including pain. When someone has achieved this level of hypnosis, she can experience hypnotic-anesthesia and lose all physical sensation.
Every working hypnotherapist should be very familiar with these levels of hypnosis. Here is why. The ideal level of hypnosis for therapy is somnambulism. In order to apply some of the more powerful hypnotic techniques, your client needs to be able to achieve these levels.
Much has been said about the work that can be done in the lighter levels of hypnosis, but you should consider them nothing more than steps your client may need to go through to reach somnambulism.
In the following, you will learn about many ways to deepen hypnosis. This chapter should leave you with a working arsenal of techniques for deepening your clients. Using these techniques and using the appropriate inductions should ensure that nearly 100 percent of your clients will reach somnambulism in the first session, and most likely the remainder will reach somnambulism in the next session.
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