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A Personalised Induction Will Always Be More Effective

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Christine Parker

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“A personalised induction will always be more effective”

In this essay I will discuss the importance of a personalised induction in relaxation and if it is always more effective. As we know all individuals are different, not just the outward appearance but the inward person to. People have different characters and personalities built on their genes influences through life experiences, friends, school and age.

 It is important when we first meet the client to get as much information and history as possible. The client must also be made aware of how hypnotherapy works so that mutual realistic expectations can be agreed, for example; if someone wants to lose weight, it is about changing their eating habits and retraining their subconscious mind, not a quick fix.  All of the information gathered will give a clearer picture about their likes, dislikes, background, hobbies, fears, allergies and history of any illness’s and medication past and present.  This will assist in not only finding out about their preferences and their modalities but will also be a time when anxiety levels can be reduced, a rapport and the trust between client and therapist can be built. Mutual trust, respect, belief and empathy are key to a successful initial meeting.

This information also assists the therapist in determining an individual’s personality. A person’s preferences and modalities can change in order to a situation that they find themselves in.  So you can see why the induction has to be flexible, and by trying to find out which modality our clients prefer will help them in feeling more comfortable and relaxed.

What are Modalities?

We perceive the world through five senses and these senses are sometimes called modalities. Each person has a preferred modality that they use to think. The senses we are referring to are sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste, although some people would describe the last two as secondary senses (Chrysalis course notes). Our brain represents experiences received from all our senses and different parts of our brain have been designated to our senses so we have a visual cortex, an auditory cortex, a kinaesthetic cortex, a olfactory cortex, a gustatory cortex and a auditory digital cortex. It was Handler and Grinder who revolutionised psychology by suggesting the terms and definitions of modalities as the first “Language of our minds” when we are communicating with other people do we just use speech? This is not entirely true, as research shows that words make up a mere 7%of our communication, tone and volume accounts for 38%, with body language making the remaining 55% (Chrysalis course notes). Most of this is unnoticed by us, but is registered by our subconscious and is translated so we understand what the person is really saying to us. For example, if we see a mime artist he can make us understand and communicate to us through his movements and expressions to emphasise what he is trying to tell us, and we do understand. So this tells us that even if we do not understand the language we can still communicate and know how someone is feeling. There may also be times when a person’s voice or their facial expressions may say something different to what the person is telling you, for example; “I’m really happy” but the smile is forced or it may be the tone of their voice that says differently. There are other subtle ways of telling if the things you are being told are true or not, these may be eye movements or micro facial expressions, and could easily be missed.  It is more of listening and paying attention to what is not being said sometimes as well as what is actually being said to you.


Each of the modalities has representations in the person’s physiology, language, behaviour, eye movement and possibly their preferences in leisure and work. A person will find one of the senses easier to imagine in and so create their comfort zone. (Chrysalis hand out, module two)

In hypnosis we divide the senses into three primary groups;

Visual; when you communicate with a person who is operating in a visual mode, the person will tend to use visual words and think in pictures. They also tend to daydream more and use fantasy in imagination. These people may be more creative and be good at art. Visual people also like things around them to look good.

Auditory; when a person is operating in auditory mode, the person tends to think in words/language or sounds. In an auditory state you would use the words hear and listen quite often, and refer to things by their loudness, quietness or frequency.

Kinaesthetic; when a person is in a kinaesthetic mode, they think in terms of feelings or physical actions and will use the words that reflect this.

When a person is emotional or angry they are more likely to speak in a way that shows which modality is more prominent. Some people may have a mix of modalities but usually there is one that is more prominent than the other.

Once you have all of this information and you have determined which modality a person is, you can then start and write a personalised induction for them.

Milton H. Erickson

Erickson (cited in chrysalis, 2009, p. 13) believed that the internal processes of individual clients were important to the success of therapy. Through observation Erickson noticed the significance of nonverbal communication, the importance of body language, tone of voice and the way that these non-verbal expressions often directly contradicted the verbal ones. Erickson developed an understanding of people through his research and observation. He believed that people must take part in their own therapy in order to achieve the best success and accomplish their goals.

Erickson believed that for therapy to be successful the suggestions made by the therapist must be in line with the client’s values and desires. He believed that hypnosis was a natural process, which evolves and went onto use more of a permissive style as a pose to an authoritarian style during therapy with clients so as increase the cooperation and responsiveness of the client.

The permissive technique uses a much softer approach with a gentler tone of voice so as to help the client get into a relaxation state. This technique also gives more responsibility to the client and equalizes the power between the hypnotist and the client during therapy.



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