Session Structure

The basic unit of hypnosis is the session, also known as a ``scene.'' A hypnosis session always has a beginning, a middle and an end, with a number of well known steps in between, called the session structure or session model. The canonical hypnosis session structure is as follows:

  1. Checklist

  2. Pretalk

  3. Induction

  4. Deepener

  5. Check In

  6. Suggestions

  7. Wake up

  8. Aftercare

  9. Debrief

This structure is a useful guide to let you know what you need to do and when. The plan starts off with a fairly strict structure, and starts loosening it in the later stages. Each stage shows the additions and modifications to the structure and calls out changes. The plan is also set up with shorter inductions and faster drops in each stage. The PMR induction takes roughly ten minutes. The Elman induction may take between two and five minutes. A single fractionation takes seconds but is repeated many times. Instant induction is instant.

This is not because it takes a set number of sessions to go into trance. There is opportunity to build up the skill of going into trance, but the plan is set up to build up the comfort level with hypnosis for both subject and hypnotist, and introduce different inductions and styles at a steady pace. Eventually, you’ll be able to freestyle all of this, and with an experienced partner you can skip much of the formalities.

Go slow. Take small steps. Listen. Learn. Be kind.