The Modified Wicks Induction

Introduction

The core of this induction was originally developed by Graham Wicks and published in 1982 ('A rapid induction technique, mechanics and rationale.' Published in the Australian Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis). It has been modified and updated by Graham Old, whilst respecting the rationale and appearance of the original technique.

The original pure induction - as conceived by Graham Wicks - had the hypnotist keep hold of the hand (and lower it themselves), regardless of the presence or absence of catalepsy. The modification added later was to allow the arm to float down on its own, if catalepsy was initially achieved.

This is a rapid hypnotic technique, devoid of any shock. It is phenomenological at its core and incorporates kinaesthetic confusion.

Transcript

Hypnotist: "Are you left-handed or right-handed?"

Client: "Right-handed."

H: "Okay, well let's use your left arm then, just to give it a bit more attention. Do you mind if I touch your arm or wrist."

C: "No."

H: "Any issues with your arm, wrist, elbow or shoulder?"

C: "Nope."

H: "And, finally, do you have any objections to going into hypnosis quite quickly?"

C: "No."

H: [Takes arm by the wrist and extends arm all the way above the head...]

"Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Hold it..."

[As you say, "hold it," let go of the arm almost completely, with it just resting on my thumb.]

(1) At this stage, if their arm is cataleptic, after a couple of seconds continue:

"Let the breath out. And let the rest of your body relax completely... In a moment, your arm will slowly begin to float down to your lap. As it comes down, you will feel yourself going more and more deeply into hypnosis. But I don't want you to go all the way in, until that hand has come to rest."

[As the arm begins to float down:] "That's right, coming down only as quickly as you go deeper into hypnosis. The deeper you go, the better you feel. And the better you feel, the deeper you go. All the way..."

[Once the hand has come to rest in their lap or by their side:] "And you can go all of the way inside now. Every beat of your heart, every word that I say and every sound that you hear, causing you to go deeper and deeper."

(2) If their arm was heavy, instead of being cataleptic, after a couple of seconds continue as follows:

"Let the breath out. And let the your body relax completely... Your arm is now deeply relaxed and heavy and it will get heavier and heavier as I allow it to descend. And as your arm moves down, you can go deeper and deeper into that relaxation. But I don't want you to go all the way into hypnosis, until that hand has come to rest."

[As I move the arm down, taking between 10 and 20 seconds, I  may include words like:] "That's right, getting heavier and heavier, going deeper and deeper.  And the deeper you go, the better you feel. And the better you feel, the deeper you go."

[Once I have brought their hand all of the way down, I say:] "And you can go all of the way inside now. Deeply relaxed. Loose and limp. [Said as I drop the hand for the final half inch.] And every beat of your heart, every word that I say and every sound that you hear, causing you to go deeper and deeper."

This induction relies on the almost instantly catalepsy that is established at the beginning. However, it includes a fail-safe for the occasions when this is not achieved.

The induction is preceded by a simple 'yes set,' even though these are verbalised as "no"s. Included in these affirmations is the rather blatant suggestion that hypnosis will be achieved "quite quickly."

Tips

The way that you "place" the arm when it is fully extended can have a surprising effect on whether or not the catalepsy takes. It may not be obvious to onlookers, but it is possible to almost place the arm onto an imaginary hook when it is extended. This may not even be discernible to the hypnotee, but if nothing else it serves to increase the hypnotist's congruency.