We can all understand and probably agree that the more efficiently we use the time spent with a client, the better. We only have so much time during each session and want to get the most out of it and this is one way of using session time more efficiently. When I use the word ‘session’ I am referring to sixty minutes. I know the word is used a lot and some people do two hour sessions or longer. What I will share in this article is based on the time I use for a session, which again is sixty minutes. Also, this isn't THE way to practice, as there is no one way, but a variety of approaches we should use. This is simply one way when using this type of approach.
If you were taught the way I was during your certification training, in a typical conventional model, your session model was most likely structured something like this:
4) Intervention / changework
6) Post/exit talk
Using Session Time More Efficiently
If you haven’t already figured it out or got further training, this is not the most effective way to use your session time. And when you think about it, this structure isn’t really true. What I mean is, when doing an induction, deepeners are built in, unless of course it is a very quick, rapid induction, which is to be followed up immediately by "deepening techniques". When using the more common imagery based inductions or progressive relaxation induction, deepeners are throughout the dialogue. “And as your stomach relaxes, you continue to go deeper into that comfortable, peaceful feeling and deep inner awareness.” It’s practically unavoidable to do most inductions without the deepening dialogue already included.
In my experience, we can be more effective in less time when we think of our approach like a recipe. You can add one ingredient at a time or you can mix them all in and save time while getting the same end result… in less time. I just explained how we can insert the deepeners throughout the induction. Now let’s see how we can include suggestions for change during the induction as well. But before I do that it’s important to mention you should know how to deliver indirect and embedded suggestions as well as direct suggestions for change.
Let’s imagine for a moment a client has come to see you for letting go of something in their past. They continue to “feel stuck” and the “nagging thought just won’t go away.” Using an imagery based induction, it could go something like this:
Note: Next to the deepener I will add a (D) and after a suggestion to make the desired change an (S). Notice how easily and effectively the induction, deepener and suggestions for change are entwined using time more efficiently.
“And now as you take in your next breath… exhale more deeply into your relaxation (D)… feeling a deeper sense of comfort (D) while letting go anything that doesn’t matter anymore (S). And another deep breath brings a deeper feeling of relaxation (D) into your mind, body and any nagging thoughts that can release like the breath you exhale.” (S)
Note: The client can be sitting with eyes still open or closed. Closing our eyes is not a prerequisite for suggestions to work, relaxation and hypnosis.
“Your eyelids are closed now… feeling more and more deeply relaxed (D)… and will remain closed as you hear my voice… while feeling more deeply relaxed with every breath (D)… naturally and automatically. And… just as you did as a child… in a natural, automatic way… you will find it easier (S)… in that deeper place within you (D)… to begin letting go of thoughts, feelings or behaviors that have passed… as they are in the past (S).
And as you allow yourself to now focus on that nagging thought that just won’t go away (use the clients words as they say them to you in the pre-talk). But as I count from 7 down to 1 (an obvious deepening technique)… with each number you will be able to let go of unwanted thoughts and any tension you may feel in your body.”(S)
“Seven… all sounds you hear let you know all things are going on the way they need to while you let go (S) and continue to relax deeper and deeper still (D). Six… those nagging thoughts of the day just pass by (S) like white puffy clouds against a blue sky… drifting away and clearing your mind (S). Five… as you feel more comfortable… drifting into a deeper place (D) more personal and more aware in different ways… you notice what was once a nagging thought that wouldn't go away… is just a thought and can be released like a used breath (S). Four… but as you look at that thought there may be a deeper meaning and deeper understanding (D) of why it has lingered in your mind. If there is something you can learn from it… you can do that now. Three… still relaxing more deeply now (D)… once you have exhausted any meaning from that thought… notice how it becomes less than what it once seemed… as you look at things differently now as you did then (S). Two… another relaxing breath that soothes and calms your mind and body now. One… now in that deep personal place where you can look at the time and event when that thought may have mattered… or not… and how easily you can now let it go now.”
Using session time more efficiently has benefits for the client, as they get more out of the allotted time for the actual hypnosis session and for your business and use of time. Of course, this dialogue can be written with many, many variations, but I believe you get the idea of how by the time you end your “induction”, which would be about five minutes using what I just wrote, the time would be used more effectively by simply including indirect and embedded suggestions to reframe the presenting issue. In this case the feeling of being stuck because of some nagging thought that just won’t go away. The more you listen to your client and use their words back to them, the more effective your suggestions will be for them. Be creative, have fun with it and watch how much more you get out of the same time allotted for each client.