Never Use These Words In A Hypnotherapy Session

Things have come long way since the first person was ever hypnotized. We have learned so much more about hypnosis and the way our suggestions and words affect the brain and the client. This is the year 2012 and many of us are still using words that are causing Hypnotists to shoot themselves in the foot.

As we all know, the media has really given hypnosis a bad rep over the years. While there are some good reports out there, certain movies and books have convinced people that what we do is magic, something from the occult or that Hypnosis is evil.

Words Have Power, Especially In Hypnosis

The average person tends to think we have “super powers” or some type of control over people, so it’s important that we stop using certain words that give people the wrong idea about what we do. I also promise that if you start to change the words you use, you’ll notice a strong difference in the way your sessions go.

Once again, this is just my opinion and you are free to use whatever language you like, but how do you know what the results will be unless you attempt the change? All I am doing here is offering you an alternative.

I want to give you something to think about before I list some of the words. Have you ever had a session that you thought went really well? Only to find out a few sessions later that your client has actually gotten worse or not improved at all.

How Can Words Hurt My Hypnosis Session Success Rate?

Yes, it’s possible that the client rejected your suggestions, but it could also be that the client was confused or didn’t understand something properly. This could cause the client to believe they were doing something wrong, or that they weren’t in hypnosis.

For instance, during the hypnosis pre-talk, you let the client know that they are not asleep during hypnosis. I’m assuming you do know that hypnosis isn’t sleep. ¬†Well as the hypnosis session concludes, you have the client “wake up and open their eyes” when you count to 5.

The problem is that you told the client they weren’t asleep in hypnosis, yet you told them to wake up. So the client goes home, and as they are driving, they start thinking to themselves “I must have done something wrong since he told me to wake up when I wasn’t asleep. Maybe I should have gone to sleep.” It is at this moment that all your work has been undone.

I’m not saying this will happen with all clients, and to be honest, most of them may never even think about it, but why take the chance? I do recommend that if you continue to use ‘wake up’, you should explain to the client beforehand why you say ‘wake up’.

That way, the client will know that they did what they were supposed to. The idea for this post isn’t mine alone, and I didn’t even come up with the concept.

I actually heard Gerald Kein, a world famous hypnosis trainer from the Omni Hypnosis Training Center, talk about this subject before. I totally agree with his point of view, so I would like to give Gerald Kein credit for giving me the motivation to write this blog post.

The Words To Avoid In Any Hypnosis Session

  • Deep Sleep: When I say the word “sleep”, I don’t mean the word we use to induce hypnosis. Many hypnotists will tell a client they will go into a deep sleep. This can cause problems. The problem is that hypnosis isn’t sleep, and we don’t want the client to think hypnosis is sleep. I also recommend that you always explain to your client beforehand that when we use the word sleep in our inductions, we don’t mean actually sleep. Clarify that you mean a state of relaxation similar to sleep. Let them know the subconscious mind understands this suggestion, and it seems to work well with it.
  • Awake, or Wake up: This can cause all the work you do as a hypnotist to be worthless at the end of the session. The reason is, ‘How can I wake up if I’m not asleep?’ A person knows they are not asleep during hypnosis because they will be able to hear you throughout the session. So when the person comes out, he is going to start thinking, ‘Maybe it didn’t work because he told me to wake up when I wasn’t asleep. I must have done something wrong.’ Instead of saying ‘awake’ or ‘wake up’, I recommend to do as other hypnotists do and use the word “Emerge”. This word seems to work wonders, and I promise your client won’t be wondering about it later. If you do like to use the phrase ‘wake up’, then at least explain the reason to the client beforehand.
  • Under: When you tell someone ‘you are going under’, it can be perceived as talking down to someone. You are “under” my control is a phase which most of our population has heard. Think about it for a minute. You are telling a person they are going under. So you may want to just let the person know that “You are going into hypnosis”, or “Allow yourself to go into a nice state of deep relaxation”.
  • Command: When you tell people that you are giving them a command, they tend to think you are forcing them or being bossy. A command means you are in charge of them, and they know you are not. I have found with a few clients, the word command can work, but most clients will have an issue with this word on the subconscious level. I suggest using the word “suggestion” instead.
  • Subject: When you call someone a subject, it gives the impression that they are beneath you or under your control in some way. Think about this for a moment. How would you feel if someone kept addressing you by this term? Subject can also imply you are running a test, or trying something out on somebody. For someone who may be new to the experience of hypnosis, this is not the type of thoughts you want running around in their head.

Well, these are just a few words or phases which can possibly hinder a session or the level of hypnosis a person can enter. When I put these changes in my practices, I noticed an amazing change in the depth of my clients and the overall success of the sessions.

While these words have been used long before I was born, and hypnotists have been successful with them, I believe in moving forward instead of backward. I believe that to be taken as a serious professional by others, one must move forward and work hard to erase the negative stereotypes within our profession of hypnosis.