I saw it again today on a hypnosis forum, a post saying “real hypnotists don’t use scripts.” This particular post even referred to it as “scriptnosis.” And while I agree, that going into a hypnosis session with little knowledge and just a script to read will yield few results, the reality is that real professionals do use scripts. And the reason they use scripts is to do a better job with their clients.
But before I get to the actual use of paper scripts in a session, let’s just talk about the professional who has seen thousands of clients and done thousands of sessions. I have watched some of these seasoned pros do sessions. And time after time, they used the same words, the same patter, the same metaphors, the same suggestions, time after time. Sure thy might not have paper copies of a script in their hand, but they are using a script – one that they have just committed to memory with so many sessions behind them.
But now let’s get to the more likely scenario. You have some experience, but now have a unique client. You have a plan, and you know what you want to address, but a part of you wonders, “Will I remember all of this wonderful stuff when I’m 22 minutes into the session?” Compound that with a busy practice where you are seeing multiple clients for multiple issues in a single day.
Do you have the memory of an elephant? I don’t. And chances are halfway through the session I have given some great suggestions, but I am never going to remember all of the wonderful stuff I hoped I would say. This is where a script comes in. A script is not used as a verbatim list of words to be read, but rather as notes to prompt my memory.
I tell clients during the pre-talk, “You might hear me refer to my notes, or even to some of the books and other resources here on my shelf. The reason is simple, I want to make sure I cover everything in our session that is important to you.”
What I have done with this simple suggestion is normalized paper or a book or a script in my session! I not only no longer need to fear they will hear paper, but I have actually created a desire to have them hear me rifling through notes, because to them it means they are getting everything they came for!
- I can now read a section from a story book, or a metaphor or poem, and both lengthen the session and make sure I tell the story correctly.
- I can now read, and adapt, a list of direct suggestions, in a way that compounds them in a way I could never do without a written list.
- I can now try out new lines and new approaches, without feeling like I might forget a key element.
- I can now, on a busy day, remember everything that is important to this client, without mixing up in my head, the needs of different clients.
- Now, on a day when I might have my own lack of focus, or energy, keep on track.
- With a unique clients, one who has atypical problems that I have not worked with a great deal, I can have a written plan in my hand, making sure I give the absolute best service.
You see, when I hear someone tell me they would never use a script, it is either someone who has committed them to memory by seeing client after client for the exact same issue; or (the most likely scenario) it is someone who like to pontificate on internet forums about hypnosis, but probably actually doesn’t see clients.