Tailoring Inductions

Now that you’ve run through several different kinds of inductions and looked at the components of hypnosis, you can start thinking about how and when to use different inductions and suggestions.

Inductions set the scene. They create immersion in the hypnotic experience by encouraging a particular focus and framing of experience.

According to the theory of emotional construction, emotions are interpretations of the underlying affect system. Depending on context, the same physical sensations can be felt as anger, fear, or excitement, and the emotion must be decided on. How we think and react to the situation depends on the identified emotion.

This opens the door for the hypnotist to determine the emotional context and behavior of the hypnotee, by cueing and pointing signs that would lead to the desired emotional framing and mindset.

Because the interoceptive signals produced by hypnosis are unfamilar, the mindset is generally described as an altered state of consciousness. The most common mindset is "hypnotic trance" but there are many possible mindsets, from meditation to "highway hypnosis" to subspace. Because mindset is an inherently subjective experiences, there are as many potential inductions as there are potential states of awareness.

Different inductions have different effects on mindset, and we can break them down in some rough categories:

The key point is to decide what sort of experience you want your partner to have, and tailor the induction to the desired experience.

If you want to help your partner destress after a hard day, use a relaxation induction. if you want to train your partner in a new skill, use an alertness induction. For dollification, use an absorption induction focusing on mantras and depersonalization. The language and style used to establish rapport also affects the experience: an absorption induction may be authoritarian and use direct suggestions, or a confusion induction may be permissive and use indirect language.

Initially, you may want to try many different kinds of inductions to see what’s possible and explore your range. Despite that, it’s normal to settle on a few favorites and reserve others for special occasions.

Creating a scene and creating an experience is a talent that is used extensively in stage and recreational hypnosis, and has elements in common with improvised storytelling. Impro for Storytellers is a great starting point for how to project and act in the moment.