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First, define the exact application that you’d like to work on. By define, I mean delineate it in every way you can. Pretend you’re your own client and interview yourself about this application. Here is some of the information you will want to collect.
If it’s a habit you’d like to break:
When did it start?
Why did it start?
How did it start?
Why do you want to stop this habit?
What’s the pay-off for stopping?
How will your continuing affect others?
How will your stopping affect others?
Who else will gain the most from your stopping?
This information is the source material for the suggestions you will create for your session. As you interview yourself and write down your answers, you are helping yourself to understand the situation more fully. In a conscious state, you are reviewing what motivates this habit and what motivates stopping this habit. This is powerful pre-hypnotic programming, so take your time with this process.
The first 3 questions serve the purpose of clarifying the breadth and depth of the habit. It takes about 18 days to make a habit, so if your habit has been operating for 20 years you will need to give yourself a bit of time to change the behavior. Without hypnosis, it takes 38 days to stop a habit. With hypnosis, the process is much quicker but the actual length of time depends on you, the script you create, your feelings about Hypnosis, and your desire to change the habit. Hypnosis doesn’t turn people into robots. You still exist in free will so you have the choice of directing your free will toward stopping a habit or continuing one. It’s up to you and the decision you make definitely affects the outcome of your Hypnosis sessions.
For suggestion creation, you will use the answers to the last 5 questions to create your custom suggestions and to populate the behavior modification landscape with virtual observers and supporters. See the stop smoking hypnosis session script for an example of this.
Let’s use stop smoking as an example hypnosis application. In any session, it’s good to have custom suggestions and some standard suggestions. Good standard suggestions are available in any of the included Hypnosis session scripts. Here are a few:
You breathe easily and deeply.
You feel your clothes getting looser as you walk along the beach.
You feel younger and healthier than you have in years.
These are positive, present tense, short suggestions that would work well in several different Hypnosis application sessions. When creating your own suggestions, be sure to keep them simple, present tense, and positive. One of the ways to stay in the positive tense when you want to suggest a future outcome is to use this one:
“From this moment forward” suggests a future outcome while staying in the present tense.
Okay, back to creating your custom suggestions. Using the answer, “I want to stop smoking so that I won’t get lung cancer.” you might create this suggestion:
“Your health is assured when you take positive actions to stay healthy.”
For the answer, “I want to stop smoking so my clothes don’t smell bad”, you might create these suggestions:
“Your clothing and body scent is fresh and clean.”
“You love the way your clothes smells.”
For the answer, “I want to stop smoking because my boyfriend John doesn’t want to kiss me now that I smoke”, you might create the suggestions:
“John finds you totally appealing. He loves the way you smell.”
“John is so grateful that you take his needs into consideration.”
“John tells everyone how thoughtful you are.”
I want to discuss briefly how the above answer led me to create these suggestions. We want to create short, present tense, positive suggestions. We also want to create a utopian situation in the session that the client’s mind or your mind will find irresistible. John is rejecting our pretend client on a very emotional level by not kissing her. The suggestions I created indicate the opposite of the current situation. They are actually pay-off suggestions that reward the client or self in advance for making the behavior change that is desired. In addition, the jump to the reward phase takes the focus off what is being “lost” to what is being gained. Also, operating in the reward phase strongly suggests that the change has already been made. In the Behavior Modification portion of the script, we are operating within the framework that the desired change has already occurred.
These simple suggestions shown above actually address the last four interview questions also mentioned above. You could build upon these suggestions and expand to an imagined situation in which John begins to make behavioral changes that would please the client. You could have John suggest a weekly date night. Creating suggestions that add value to the success of the process for yourself or a client is the key to great Hypnosis sessions. And since it’s all in your mind and the client’s anyway, the sky is the limit. Suggest amazing and wonderful things and then watch them show up in your life or your client’s life.
If you choose to work with a friend or family member, you will find that the best way to create great suggestions for someone else is to pretend for a moment that you are this other person. Create suggestions that would work for that pretend “you.” Once you realize how much easier this technique makes the suggestion creation process, you will become more comfortable with it. I feel it’s the best way to find the perfect language choices and content to create the perfect suggestions for any other person you might choose to work with. This article is a copyrighted excerpt from Quantum Self Hypnosis written by Jo Ana Starr, PhD and available for sale at Amazon.com. This article may be duplicated and distributed as long as it includes the writing credit line.