The sequence of phenomena in the six stages is based on LeCron's and other hypnotists' research and experience with large numbers of clients. The LeCron scale is accepted as one of the major guides in hypnosis. This sequence will hold true for many though not all, hypnotic subjects. Some clients will not experience all of the phenomena, and some may experience them in different order. For example, your client might achieve arm catalepsy not in light trance, but later, in medium or deep trance.
The percentages in the table show approximately what proportion of people can achieve each of the levels of trance in an early session without further conditioning. Of the people who come to see you, it is likely that 20% will initially achieve only light trance, 60% will achieve medium trance, and the remaining 20% will achieve deep trance.
Both Erickson and Dave Elman disputed these percentages. Erickson said he didn't know anybody who couldn't go into a deep trance, though some people took a long time to achieve it. His best subject actualized deep trance phenomena only after 300 repeated inductions. Erickson's point of view was that, "Trance is about learning how to go into trance."
LeCron's percentages referred specifically to people without previous practice at achieving trance. In my experience, anyone can eventually learn how to achieve deep trance, which assists a person in healing and making changes at the unconscious level.
You will improve your effectiveness as a Hypnotherapist by developing your own ability to experience trance at all three levels. You can practise by being a hypnotic subject or doing self-hypnosis. The Elman techniques (Chapter 16) are quite effective for reaching deep trance by self-hypnosis.
We are now ready to examine the most effective methods for leading a client into hypnosis. We will start with Milton Erickson's methods, in recognition of Erickson's pioneering work in the field, and because his methods are so often the most comfortable way to introduce a new client to trance.
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