We all know the stage hypnotist will work with 10-15 people, sometimes even more, and hypnotize the group. But does that work in clinical hypnosis? Can you do sessions with multiple people? What about couples? What about a large room full of people?
The answer is of course yes, you can hypnotize groups of people. I have often doesn’t smoking cessation sessions and weight loss hypnosis sessions with couples who are trying to accomplish the same goals. In my office I have multiple seats, including 2 recliners and a loveseat. I can easily fit 4-5 people in my office for a session.
The process is simple, and really almost the same as one -on-one hypnosis, but it takes a few nuances. The exception is, you are observing multiple people and responding to them both together and individually. This take some practice. Specific suggestions can be given by simply using this suggestion to both of them, “And now I am speaking to both of you….” When it is time to address individual issues, the suggestion, “Bob, go ahead and continue to relax while I talk to Bertha for a moment….” Then address Bertha. You can release Bertha, by then giving her the same suggestion to relax while you talk to Bob.
It really works a lot like the script for a wedding ceremony, where the minister talks to the couple, and also to each individually asking for commitment and action.
What about hypnotizing large groups? Like 10-20 in a corporate environment?
I have also done a lot of group smoking cessation, specifically for companies who want to offer this to employees. Often, a company that is adapting a new smoking policy feels the need to also provide a way for employees to quit. These groups have averaged about 20 people for me.
In these cases, I do a first session where I do a pre-talk to the group, then do a group session using a Contextual Skill-Building induction. I have found this is an induction most will respond to. For the 1-2 in a group who are non-responsive, I deal with them the same way a stage hypnotist does, or I will let the larger group relax and work with them individually for a moment, sometimes using a speed-trance instant induction.
My style of suggestion then is to use a combination of auditory, kinesthetic, and visual strategies, combines with metaphor and story, and compounded while using fractionation strategies to keep the entire room in a deep level of focused experience. In this first session, I am almost always focused on suggestions to help them prepare to quit – then in the second session a week later, I use the same process since this is the pre-planned quit date. Here is the ICBCH stop smoking with hypnosis certification program: http://subliminalscience.com/product/quitsuccess-certified-tobacco-cessation-specialist/
I have done this with groups of over 100 people at a time.
If you are a hypnotist, you know how to hypnotize people, and learning the nuances of groupnosis and how to structure the sessions is really the key. The best part? If I work with a couple, or a family, I am getting paid 2-3 times for the same amount of time (especially for smokers, they each pay the full fee, even if it is a group session). For corporate smoking I charge the company a flat fee, and when I do group smoking sessions for 100 people, I can lower the cost to as low as $49 each, but the math here is simple, I have made almost $5000 in a 90 minute group session.