A new hypnotist called me up the other day. He said so far he’s had pretty good luck in converting phone calls into new clients. He said, “I had a call from somebody who was inquiring about weight loss, and what they said to me was, ‘What if I don’t get hypnotized?’ They were really worried about not experiencing hypnosis.” He said, “I really didn’t have a good answer, because what if somebody does come to my office and they don’t respond, they don’t go into hypnosis?” I chuckled a little bit and I said, “What you have right now is a beginning or elementary understanding of hypnosis. You believe the same thing your client believes, and that is that people go into hypnosis or go under hypnosis.” The reality is trance is naturally-occurring phenomena. Trance takes place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, with or without a hypnotist.
I told him that the proper answer to that question is to explain to the client that when they come to the office, you won’t actually be hypnotizing them. Instead of doing something to them, you’re going to be doing something with them. You’re going to be training them and teaching them how to utilize trance. In hypnosis, we call this concept trace utilization. Simply explain to the client that each and every day we experience our driving trance, our playing with the puppy trance, our frustration trance, our anger trance, our calm trance, our happy trance. We all have various trances that we experience and that we go into and that we exit at various points during the day.
The real question in hypnosis is how do I utilize these trances so they become a valuable resource to me. Everybody has the ability to choose the resource trance that they’re going to access. Explain to your client what this means is that next time you get to a buffet, you’ll see it no longer as the unresourceful state of the opportunity to prove that they under-priced the buffet and that you can eat more than $12.95 worth of food, but instead to view it as an opportunity to make one of many healthy food choices in the correct portion, even if the people who you’re with choose to do something different.
You see, this is the difference between the belief that I’m doing something to the client or that hypnosis is somehow a magical and mystical state that only occurs in a hypnosis office. It’s far more empowering for clients to help them recognize that when they leave your office, everything that was accomplished is something they can take with them into their real world. I explain to new clients that everybody who comes to my office, 100% of the people who come to my office, have been able to learn how to benefit from trance utilization, accomplish what’s most important to them, and take action when the hypnotist is no longer around. This type of an explanation really helps to normalize the experience of hypnosis for our clients and helps people to feel empowered and excited about the opportunity that they have to work with somebody who’s not going to do something to them, but rather do something with them.