In hypnosis it is vitally important to create a sense of positive expectancy in the patient. Trance ratification refers to the process of providing the patient with a convincer, that is, an experience or experiences that ratify for patients that they have been in an altered state of consciousness. It is interesting that sometimes even highly talented hypnotic subjects do not believe they have been hypnotized until they have a ratifying experience.
Trance ratification is a basic, yet often neglected, hypnotic principle. Through eliciting various hypnotic phenomena, patients may come to realize that they have undiscovered potentials beyond their conscious capacities. This realization increases patients' sense of self-efficacy and confidence that they have the inner resources needed to change (Bandura, 1977). It is recommended, therefore, that you provide from time to time a trance ratification experience for your patients.
For example, with a weight control patient, you might facilitate a glove anesthesia. Then, with the patient's permission, press on the hand with a shaip object, clamp a hemostat on the fleshy part of the hand below the little finger, or put a sterile needle through a fold of skin on the back of the hand. After inserting a needle or attaching a hemostat, ask your patient to open her eyes to briefly look at the hand. The suggestion may then be forcefully given: "I have had you do this to demonstrate to you the power of your own mind over your body. You have now witnessed the incredible power of your unconscious mind to control your feelings and your body. And you can know that, when your unconscious mind is so powerful that it can even control something as fundamental and basic as pain, that it can control anything having to do with your feelings and your body. You have far more potentials than you realize. And because of this power of your unconscious mind, your appetite and cravings will come under your control." Such an experience instills hope, belief and positive expectancy.
Some of the following hypnotic experiences are recommended as having value for providing trance ratification:
1. Glove anesthesia or analgesia.
2. Time distortion.
3. Limb catalepsy.
5. Limb heaviness.
7. Ideomotor signaling.
8. Response to posthypnotic suggestion (e.g., for an itch; to not be able to stand up).
9. Recall of forgotten or even insignificant memories.
10. Ideosensory phenomenon: warmth, taste, smell.
example of suggestions for trance ratification. As I have stated, the production of hypnotic phenomena serve to convince patients that they are in an altered state. In addition, successful response to such suggestions also appears to increase the patient's subsequent depth of trance. In the following suggestions for the treatment of warts, Crasilneck and Hall (1985) model for us, in a single treatment procedure, the use of a wide variety of trance ratification procedures: ideosensory phenomenon (heat, coolness); arm levitation; eyelid heaviness; response to posthypnotic suggestions for eyelid catalepsy and limb rigidity; glove anesthesia; and olfactory hallucination.
Please cup your right hand on your right knee. . . . That's it. . . . Now look at the knuckles of your hand and as you are doing so, your entire body will begin to relax thoroughly. . . . Pay no attention to other sounds . . . just concentrate on your right hand and my voice, realizing that nothing is beyond the power of your mind . . . and of the body. As I continue talking to you and as you continue staring at the back of your cupped hand, you will begin to notice things like the heat in the palm of your hand . . . and perhaps movement in one of the fingers. ... As this occurs, slightly nod your head . . . yes . . . very good . . . and now you will notice that your hand is becoming very, very light . . . like a feather coming up toward your forehead . . . Good . . . Your hand starts to move upward . . . and as your hand continues to rise, keep looking at the back of your hand . . . but notice your eyelids are getting very heavy, very drowsy, and very relaxed. . . . Now when your hand touches your forehead . . . your eyes will be closed . . . you will be tremendously relaxed and capable of entering a deep level of trance. Your hand and arm comes up, up, up towards your forehead. . . . Now, your hand touches your forehead . . . your eyes are closed. . . . You can let your hand rest comfortably in your lap and normal sensation is returning to your right hand and arm. . . . Notice that your eyelids feel heavy ... so heavy that even though you try to open your eyes for the moment . . . you can't. ... Go ahead and try . . . but you cannot. . . . Try again . . . but the eyelids are shut tight. . . . Normal sensations return to the eyelids. . . . Now you will enter a much more sound and relaxed state. . . . Now I want you to raise your right hand. . . . That's it. . . . Extend it in front of you, and as I count to three, your arm will become rigid . . . hard . . . like a board soaked in water . . . like steel ... so tight ... so rigid . . . those muscles become steel. . . . One, tight . . . two . . . very rigid, and three, the whole arm, each finger . . . yes . . . become steel. . . . There . . . nothing can bend that arm or the fingers [as a further demonstration, at this point Crasilneck often has the patient use the other arm and feel the arm rigidity and their inability to bend it. Ed.] . . . showing you the power of your mind and body. . . . Now relax the arm and hand. . . . Normal sensation returns and still a much deeper and sounder state of relaxation.
I now give you the hypnotic suggestion that your right hand will develop the feeling that a heavy thick glove is on your right hand ... as your hand has developed this sensation, move the forefinger of the right hand. . . . Good. . . . Now you will note some pressure in the forefinger ... a dull sensation of pressure. . . . Open your eyes. . . . Now you see that in reality I'm sticking your finger severely with my nail file . . . but you are feeling nothing . . . correct? . . . Fine. . . . Normal sensation is returning to your hand. ... I am now going to stimulate the middle finger. ... As you feel this . . . nod your head, yes. . . . You see you pulled your hand back, which is an immediate and normal response. You are now aware of the tremendous control that your unconscious mind has over your body. . . . Now close your eyes again. ... I now suggest that you can smell a pleasant odor of your choosing. ... As you smell this, nod your head yes. . . .Good. . . . And now a very, very deep level of trance. . . . The pleasant odor leaves and still a more relaxed and deeper state of trance. . . . Nothing is beyond the power of the unconscious mind and these warts are going to leave completely and your skin will be void of them. . . . The area that I touch with this pencil . . . this area of warts now begins to feel very cool . . . cool . . . slightly cold. ... As you feel this, nod your head. . . . Good. . . . Think the thought as I continue talking. . . . The area is cool. . . . The warts are going to leave. . . . The area is cool, and the warts will leave my body because of the power of my mind over my body. . . . Now just relax your thoughts . . . just pleasant, relaxed, serene thoughts. . . . Listen to me . . . my every word . . . These warts are going to leave. . . . We have demonstrated the control of your mind over your body, and these warts will be gone very shortly. . . . Your skin will feel slightly cool around the area of the warts for a day or so, and as the coolness fades, the warts will also begin to fade. And so, as I slowly count from ten to one, you will be fully awake . . . free from tension, tightness, stress and strain. These warts are going to fade out (pp. 374-375, reprinted with permission).
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HYPNOTISM is by no means a new art. True, it has been developed into a science in comparatively recent years. But the principles of thought control have been used for thousands of years in India, ancient Egypt, among the Persians, Chinese and in many other ancient lands. Miracles of healing by the spoken word and laying on of hands are recorded in many early writings.