8 Word Induction


In its shortest form, this is a powerful and reliable induction that can consist of only 8 words, ”Press on my hand. Close your eyes... Sleep!”

To pull-off the 8 word induction, a good pre-talk is essential. Clients need to understand that hypnosis is safe and natural. They must also understand that it is important to follow your instructions.


[NOTE: Unlike other scripts here, this one consists of mostly directions. After all, there really isn't all that much speech to include. The clue is in the title!]

Place your hand, palm side up, in front of the client.

"Press on my hand."

While they are pressing down, have your client close her eyes, giving the client two tasks to focus their attention on at once.

"Close your eyes."

Whilst the client is pressing down on the therapist’s hand with her eyes closed, the therapist’s hand is suddenly removed, creating the startle response which lasts for a very short period of time, two seconds at the most. During this “instant” your client is in a state of high suggestibility.

Then say the word, “SLEEP" in an authoritative tone and delivery, instantly inducing a deep state of hypnosis. However, if this suggestion is not immediately followed by further suggestions for deepening, your client will emerge from trance.

"Go limp and relaxed, continuing to relax further with every breath. As I gently rock your head, your neck relaxes and that feeling of relaxation moves through your entire body."

Shock inductions should be approached with the appropriate level of care and caution. As the 8-word induction involves a hand drop which initially startles your client, it is not advisable to use it on someone who is suffering from shoulder, back or neck problems. Likewise, it should be avoided for clients with a history of heart problems.


When first using the 8 word induction some people find it difficult to know when to pull away their hand. It can be helpful to wait until the client seems to be thinking, "I can't push any more/harder..." At that point, they are often slightly confused, helped by the two commands that they are concentrating on at once. It is then that you interrupt by swiftly moving your hand away. It is widely thought that the weakness with the 8 word induction is the lack of a test for depth, as we would find with, e.g. The Dave Elman induction.