The truth is, we don’t need any of this. We don’t need suggestibility tests, or inductions, or deepeners. We don’t even really need “hypnosis” as such.
If the end goal is to influence someone in such a way that their experience and expectation of reality is pliable, we could start by recognising that we do that all the time without any kind of formal hypnotic rituals.
Every time we tell an engaging story that someone gets engrossed in, we could be considered to be entrancing them. Whenever we tell a chilling tale, causing someone’s heart to beat faster and the hairs on their arms to stick up, we are impacting their experience of reality through little more than our words and their imagination. Even when all we do is scratch our head – perhaps whilst talking about headlice going round our child’s school – causing someone else to instinctively scratch their own head, we could be considered as being hypnotic.
The three stages we present on this site – Preparation, Induction, Deepener – are in a sense hypnotic rituals. They are ways that allow us to structure our words and influence someone else’s experience in a way they can engage with.
Deepeners are often presented as a means of allowing someone to go ‘under’ to a deeper degree. This is sometimes spoken of as reaching deeper levels of trance. Whilst it is possible that this is what is happening, I am not convinced that the research or science conclusively supports that.
Instead, I am more interested in the experiential effect of deepeners. In my experience – well, actually the experience of my clients – a deepener helps someone to increase, intensify and expand the hypnotic event.
We can think of the Preparation stage as helping someone to open the window on their understanding of reality, to consider that something out of the norm could take place. The Induction might then be seen as allowing them to enter into a more flexible experience of reality. The Deepener extends that experience and effectively informs them that this is not a fleeting moment, but something that they can dive into and explore for as long as you or they want them to.
Another way to think of things – still keeping an experiential focus – is that the Preparation makes way for an openness to a new and flexible reality. The Induction facilitates engagement with that reality. And the Deepener intensifies and extends the whole experience.