It's a fact that effective induction is crucial in the overall success of a hypnotherapy session. It can make or break the entire session. To understand why this is, it's important to realize what an induction is and what we're trying to achieve by doing a hypnosis induction.

Induction is the part of hypnosis in which your subject in taken into a trance. Now while there is such a thing known as an instant induction (handshake), what we'll be discussing is a preliminary induction. This is the type used by therapists because it's more comfortable for clients and is done by gradually relaxing your subject. What we're effectively aiming to do is take the client from an alert state to one of selective attention in which your subject can focus closely on the hypnotic session. Our two key aims then are to generate relaxation and focus our clients' attention on the goals of the session in hand.

Without it or with an infectious version of it, your subject might only be in a slight trance or none at all. This means your subjects' unconscious mind will not be open to your suggestions, lessening the effective of the treatment by a reasonable amount.

So how do you carry out an effective induction?

There are effectively 4 Steps. If you use each of these steps in the way I describe, you'll find your subject drifting off into a deep trance in no time

1. Relaxation
2. Creating Confusion
3. Vivid Visualizations
4. Step Downs

Let's look at each step in turn.

1. Relaxation

We start by getting our client relaxed. There's a number of ways to do this and some hypnotists will even do some pre-hypnosis relaxation. This is where they get their client to do a series of actions to get them in a more relaxed state for therapy. One effective way of doing this is to direct your client to tense then relax muscles in each part of their body. While this is effective, it's really only necessary when dealing with clients who are more on edge.

When the hypnosis session gets started, the easiest way to start this relaxation process is by instructing your subject to take deep breaths. This is a highly effective technique and is used in a variety of medical fields to calm people down. Indeed, it's taught to anxiety victims to help them remain calm when their anxiety strikes. Tell them to take around 3 or 4 slow deep breaths. If you wish you can also tell them to visualize the air flowing down to their lungs like water flowing down a stream.

The second method to achieving this step is having your client fixate on a certain object. Tell them to make out every part of the object, all the detail and what the texture would feel like if they touched it. This calms the mind and starts eliminating outside stimuli.

The final way I'll be explaining is progressive relaxation. Start by telling your client to pay particular attention to each part of their body in turn and feel the muscles in that area relaxing. You can start at the foot and move up the body. You could tell them to imagine a ball of light or a certain color moving through them and relaxing each part of the body it touches.

Regardless of the approach you choose, your client should be now relaxed and ready to move further into the process.

You'll want to tell your client to close their eyes at this point, if they have not already. People love been directed when relaxed. It also removes the worry. People think you close your eyes when you're been hypnotized but if you do not tell them to them 'they worry they're doing it wrong and it will not be effective. Your aim is to make them feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

2. Confusion

Next we're going to create some confusion in your subject. This distracts them and allows us access to their unconscious so that we can proceed with the session. In order to do this, direct your client to start counting down from a high number such as 300. While they're doing this, you'll proceed to the next step, giving them another direction and making them lose focus on the task. It's important to tell them not to worry about losing their place and to simply continue from the last number they can remember.

3. Vivid Visualization

Now you're going to set a scene for your subject to imagine. You want a bright tranquil scene that screams out calmness such as a beach, forest, park or a stroll in the garden on a hot summer's day. You'll want to tell them to imagine this setting in every vivid detail from the feel of the grass or sand beneath their feet, the smell of the flowers, and the vastness of the ocean in front of them, the feel of the breeze gently brushing them to the sound of the ocean or birds in the sky.

This is where your knowledge of the client comes in handy. If you know of one, you can use an experience they've actually had to strengthen the process. If not just use what you think works best based on the clients' personality.

What we're doing here is strengthening the relaxation and focus before we place them in trance.

4. Step Down

Next it's time to pull them into trance. This is where we get their focus fixed on the session. This is where you tell them to imagine walking down some sort of path or stairs. Just make it relevant to the scene you created above. You could have them walk down the garden path getting deeper and deer, more relaxed as they go. You'll then start counting down from 10 or even up 1-10. With each second count you'll tell them they've taken another step and are getting deer and deeper into trance.

Summary

Let's go through the process again. Firstly, you'll start getting your client relaxed and making them fees as if you understand their problems and can help them through it. You'll then go through each step of the 4 step method in order. This entire process should take around 5 minutes and it'll leave your subjects' unconscious open to suggestion do not write if you write down your script that you should rehearse it and make it sound natural rather than reading it aloud, otherwise it will not be effective.