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The Suggestibility Profile
Using a suggestibility profile can quickly build rapport and is a very good way to start a successful hypnotic session. Of course an experienced hypnotist will not need to use a Suggestibility Profile to obtain a trance. But as a novice it can be very helpful. Download and print the Suggestibility Profile form (Acrobat Reader required) and as a first step in your session give your subject a pencil and have the subject go through it by themselves, checking off the “yes” or “no” boxes as appropriate. The hypnotist should NOT fill it out for the subject.
The objectives of the questions are two fold. First we are assembling a "yes set" of questions for the subject. So some of the questions are designed to simply force the subject to answer "yes." So every one should be able to answer yes to being either right or left handed.
Second some of the questions on the profile help the subject start thinking about situations where they found themselves in a suggestible mental state. Contagious behavior such as yawning is akin to suggestibility and any of the activities listed that induce an engrossing mental response are related to the altered state need for hypnotic trance.
After having your subject complete the profile review it briefly to make sure there are several yes responses. Ideally at least eight “yeses” are needed for the yes set to be effective.
Seat the subject and instruct them to place their left arm on a table or the armrest of their chair. Then, with their permission, re-position them slightly. Adjust the placement of their arm a half-inch; perhaps gently tilt their head by pressing their chin and above their ear. The actual change you make should be minor to non-existent. The purpose of physically moving them is to put them in a passive mode with you, the hypnotist in the driver seat.
Then tell them "I would like to go through your profile with you. Simply nod your head if what I'm saying is correct." Verbal activity reduces trance depth so non-verbal response on the part of the subject is key producing a trance state.
The Hypnotist should ONLY read the questions to which the subject answered yes. Go through there profile sheet reading aloud each of the question to which they answered “yes”. Between questions be sure to look up and wait for their response of nodding their head, and then proceed to the next “yes” answered questions. Ignore any answered no.
Do not rush through the profile. Pace each question as an independent phrase. The phrases should be interspersed with suitable pauses that allow the subject’s unconscious mind to absorb and process the information, but not so long as to cause an uncomfortable silence. Look down at the each question and read it to yourself first and then again aloud while looking up at the subject as if gauging their response.
By the end of the review of the Suggestibility Profile the subject will be primed to continue to the next step in the session, which for the novice hypnotist should be suggestibility exercises. Experienced hypnotists might skip the profile and exercises, as they are more able to estimate the responsiveness of subjects and recognize when these are unnecessary.
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