The Elman stage has the same structure as the PMR stage. However, for the Elman stage, the induction is more involved and hands on, and you will have difficulty reading from a script.
With the PMR, you printed out and read through the script. The Elman is more interactive, both physically as it involves hand passes, arm drops and so on, and mentally, as you are asking questions and watching your subject throughout the process.
The goals for this stage are to learn the Elman induction, introduce the idea of a deepener, and get both you and your subject comfortable with suggestions.
Same as PMR checklist. You should have your partner sitting up and have their hands available for the Elman induction. If they are in bed they should be sitting up and have pillows.
The Elman is a reliable workhorse induction. The advantage of the Elman is that it’s short, has feedback built into it, and combines many different forms of relaxation. It produces results with a broader spectrum of subjects than some other inductions. Once you’re an experienced hypnotist, you’ll typically start with an Elman when working with a new subject for the first time. If you want to know more, Graham Old has an excellent book all about the Elman Induction.
Rehearse the Elman before the session and get all the movements down. Print out 3x5 cards and use them as flash cards to remind you of the next step, and keep rehearsing until you don’t need the flash cards anymore.
Eye catalepsy is used to set up the general intention instruction to follow suggestions and feel them as automatic and real by engaging the imagination.
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in, and let it out. Feel a wave of relaxation all the way through your body, from head to toe. We’ll do that again, and this time the wave is going to be stronger than before. Take a deep breath in, and as you breathe out, feel your body relax in a long slow wave from head down to your toes, moving through every single muscle fiber. Every time you feel a wave, that wave is going to be stronger and relax you deeper. And the deeper you go, the better it will feel.
Now, notice how your eyes are closed and your eyelids are relaxed. Take that relaxation, and relax all the little muscles around the eyes, until those muscles are so completely relaxed that you know that if you try to open them, they are so relaxed that they just won’t open. And when you know that they’re so relaxed they won’t open, you can go ahead and try to open them.
Good. Now you can stop trying, and feel another wave of relaxation as you let go and relax.
Fractionation is a means of bringing people in and out of a state of relaxation.
Now in a moment, I’ll ask you to open your eyes and then close them again. When you close those eyes, you’ll feel a wave of relaxation pass through your body, turning knots into snarls, smoothing out snarls, and letting every muscle fiber go loose and limp and heavy.
Now, open your eyes, breath in, and as you breathe out close your eyes, feeling that wave. Going deeper.
Now in a moment, I’ll ask you to open your eyes, and this time when you close those eyes make that wave of relaxation even stronger and deeper. Now open your eyes… and close those eyes and go even deeper than before.
And let’s do that one more time. This time, when you close your eyes, let go and relax as deep as you can, all the way down. Open your eyes… and close your eyes.
Arm drops are a useful way of establishing body relaxation.
In a moment I’m going to pick up your left hand and drop it. When I pick it up, don’t help me at all, and when I drop it, let the arm drop completely relaxed. As your arm drops, feel another wave of relaxation go through the body.
<pick up their arm, drop it>
Feel that wave of relaxation and notice how completely relaxed your arm is.
This is a suggestion based on belief. It’s not your partner can’t remember the number if they want to, but that your partner can choose not to remember the number.
In a moment, I’ll ask you to begin counting out loud, backwards, from 100, like this "100… 99… 98…" (breath in between ellipses)
And after each number, you can send a wave of relaxation through your body. And as you do that, you’ll find that by the time you get to 97 or 96 you wil have relaxed all those numbers out of your mind.
So, start counting backwards out loud, starting with 100…
<Add suggestions to deeply relax with each number, if they get down to 96, then interrupt>
And when you’re ready, just push them out. Tell them to leave and they will go, and let them be gone.
We can leverage the deepener from the PMR.
The language here is a bit different from the PMR as it focuses more on deliberately relaxing thoughts.
And now, we’re going to relax the mind.
Imagine the mind as a structure made of thoughts, thinking, analyzing and planning. Some of those thoughts hold together other thoughts, some are knotted tightly on themselves, some thoughts feed back into themselves.
Remember that feeling of relaxing all the thoughts in the mind, and do that now. Loosening and opening those knots and turning them into snarls. And as those snarls are smoothed out and you relax every single thought, those thoughts can come loose from the mind and start drifting all the way down the bottom of the mind, letting go and feeling good.
And as more and more thoughts relax out of the mind, more and more thoughts come loose and let go and drift. And when you’ve relaxed the thoughts, you can nod your head to let me know.
And thoughts can still happen and float up from the bottom of the mind, and as thoughts float up, more relaxation will sink into those thoughts and they can feel good and sink down even deeper and those thoughts become even more relaxed than before.
There are more active suggestions here than in the PMR. Again, we start with super suggestion, safety suggestion, and check in.
Remember to leave room for shades of grey, and start small, only building up when you see movement.
You can give a shorter super suggestion here and reinforce the safety suggestion.
And now, the mind can be still and calm and quiet, and can focus easily and naturally on following and accepting each and every single suggestion, letting every suggestion sink in and become reality.
If I give you any suggestions that do not feel right to follow, you will let me know immediately by making an unhappy sound and not following the suggestion, and I’ll work through it with you.
Whenever you have something to say, or I ask you to check in, you’ll find it easy to speak, and easy to articulate what you would like to say. You’ll be able to respond and say what you need to say, and you’ll find that doing so relaxes you even deeper.
Magnetic hands is a classic motive (aka moving) induction to get started with.
We’re going to do magnetic hands now. I’d like for you to put your hands out in front of you, palms facing towards each other.
And in a moment, I want you to imagine you feel a pull between your left and your right hand, like two magnets pulling the hands together… now.
And as you feel that pull and your hands start coming together, that pull grows stronger and stronger, pulling your hands together more and more. And as those hands come together, the magnets are turned off and your arms can drop… now.
We’re going to do arm levitation now. For this exercise, we’ll take one of your hands and place it by your side.
Now, imagine a string tied to the wrist of that hand, and a helium balloon lifting that string up, and pulling upwards on the wrist. As you imagine that wrist getting lighter and lighter, you might be able to feel your wrist start to move, your arm start to feel lighter and lighter, and as you focus your attention on that feeling it gets stronger and stronger.
<continue in this vein, if it doesn’t move, tap the wrist and tell it to lift now>
And as that arm continues to rise, lighter and lighter, you can feel that pull more and more until the arm is all the way up… and now drop, the string is cut. And relax.
If the arm doesn’t rise after some amount of time, you can suggest the feeling will get stronger when you touch their wrist lightly.
Same as PMR wakeup.
Same as PMR aftercare.
Same as PMR debrief, but with the additional items:
Go over the Elman and discuss what was different from the PMR, and how it felt for your partner.
Go over the suggestions. How did they feel, both giving and receiving?
What do you want to explore more? Is there anything you really liked, or would do differently?