The only way you can know for sure that you client has reached a sufficient level of hypnosis for the work you wish to do is to test for that level. When testing to determine what level of hypnosis your client has achieved, always use hidden tests.
When doing research or demonstrations for training purposes, you may test levels of hypnosis starting off with tests for a light level and continue until the subject fails a test. Then you know what state the subject has attained (the levels for which she has passed the tests) and what level she has not yet attained (the level for which she failed the test)
In research, things are different than when you are doing hypnosis for therapeutic use. When doing research, you might want to test to the point of failure, but this is definitely not the case when doing hypnotherapy. When doing hypnotherapy, you want your clients to be able to consistently go into a deep level of somnambulism. Failing tests tends to destroy confidence and lighten the trance.
I have two favorite tests for somnambulism that clients cannot be aware of failing or cannot fail. The first is deepening by losing the numbers, like that built into the Dave Elman-type inductions. Here the client is instructed to begin to count, letting their mind become more relaxed with each number until the numbers are gone. When the numbers are gone, you have had the client lose the numbers, literally to forget that they were counting or what the next number was. In doing this, you have guided the client into achieving amnesia by suggestion, which is a definition of somnambulism.
In practice, while they are counting you may continue giving suggestions for relaxation of the mind until they lose the numbers and they are gone. Once this is done, you want to immediately take their attention to something else and deepen
the state to ensure that the state of somnambulism is maintained.
The second hidden test for somnambulism is the fractionation deepening technique listed below in Chapter 6.
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