Three goals of a Pre-Induction Interview
A good Pre-Induction Interview is the best way to begin an effective hypnosis session. This article covers the most important goals of conducting an interview. Meeting these goals will set the stage for a successful hypnosis session. An effective interview should accomplish three main goals. First is should set the expectations for the client. Second it should establish you as a skilled operator with the knowledge and ability to accomplish the goals of the session. Third it should build rapport with the client by establishing conscious and subconscious communication.
Building expectation is accomplished by telling the client what to expect as you conduct the hypnosis session. This is important for two reasons. The first is to keep the client from having any surprises during the session. The second is to allow the client to more fully relax because they know what is coming next. As you describe what they are going to experience you can provide subtle suggestions about how they will react (ex. “when I count from one to five you will feel yourself relaxing deeper”). Peppering suggestions like this throughout the interview will cause the clients imagination to start visualizing the outcomes you want. This will make it more likely that the session will go as planned.
Establishing your expert status
The pre-induction interview is also an opportunity to ensure the client that you have the skill and knowledge to do what you say you are going to do. There are two parts to this process.
First is to provide the information that the client needs to fully trust you. This is best done by asking them questions about their concerns. Client concerns will normally fall into one of two areas. First safety, “is this dangerous?” Second effectiveness, “will this actually work?” The first concern comes from bad information about hypnosis from the media, or old urban legends about how hypnosis is mind control. If your client has fears about being hypnotized, overcoming them is crucial to getting the client to cooperate during a hypnosis session. The second is just good old skepticism. The best way I have found to overcome both of these concerns is by giving the client short demonstrations that allow them to see the power of their mind, and that they are actually in control during hypnosis.
Establishing rapport is about opening lines of communication, conscious and subconscious. This step starts from the moment you first meet the client, and continues until they leave your presence. This has less to do with the words you actually say and more to do with how you say them. It is your body posture, your eye contact, your mannerisms, the way you’re dressed. It is really about how congruent you are from the beginning of the conversation to the end. Many stage performers develop a stage personality that is very different from who they are off the stage.
Some hypnotists try to do this by developing a dramatic trance voice or practicing their pre-induction interview for theatrical effect. It is good to practice, but if you sit a client down in your office, introduce yourself, start the interview, and then become a different person, the clients sub-conscious will throw up so many barriers you’ll never get through. Be the same person from beginning to end. The client needs to know who they are dealing with or they will be trying to relax with one eye open.
If you accomplish the three goals of the pre-induction interview you can be assured that you have set yourself up well for a successful hypnosis session. The client will know what to expect, trust in your abilities, and know that they are dealing with someone they know.