Hypnosis Session - 5 Stages




A traditional hypnosis session comprises 5 stages.

1. Pre Induction Period

This is where the practitioner interviews the patient. There is no hypnosis but the conversation is very structured and has a very definite hidden agenda. The whole hypnosis session is planned out at this stage.

  • Establish rapport with the patient. Rapport is essential to a successful outcome. This will include an analysis of the language model of patient and its incorporation it into all communication.
  • Take a personal history.
  • Discuss the problem and it's history as presented by the patient. Be aware that what the patient thinks is the problem and what actually is, may be totally different things.
  • Diagnose the problem,
  • Introduce the patient to the idea of hypnosis and explain exactly what it is. Dispel any myths or false beliefs that the patient has on the subject.
  • Conduct a number of suggestibility tests to convince patient that they are a good hypnotic subject. These are essentially hypnotic procedures without any formal induction.

2. Induction

The induction is the formal hypnosis stage during which the patient goes into a trance state. It is traditionally based on relaxation, generally focusing on breathing and using a progressive relaxation where you might start with the feet and work up through the body to the head.


Read more on signs of trance>>>

At some point in this process, either automatically or through suggestion the eyes will close. This helps the trance develop in most people though anyone can be in a hypnotic trance with their eyes wide open, though probably at some point their eyes did close to initiate the state.


Read more on eye closure>>>

3. Deepening

During this stage, superficial hypnosis is taken to a deeper level


There may be different levels of trance, whether they are deeper levels of the same state or slightly different states is a matter of a lot of speculation. The development of indirect therapy would suggest that now, this is largely irrelevant.

  • Use direct suggestion. For example suggest that the patient goes "deeper and deeper into trance".
  • Use a scale of hypnosis. This could involve leading directly, for example descending a staircase step by step. Alternatively, by using a feedback technique where the patient says how deeply they are going. For example, "visualize a number where 1 is awake, 20 is very deep trance, close your eyes and tell me number, what do you see? 10, lets go for 15, take 5 deep breaths and go there, now."
  • Fractionation, where the patient is brought in and out of trance with the suggestion that each time they go deeper.
  • Provide a test suggestion for one of the classic hypnotic phenomena, for example, hallucination, amnesia, or time distortion, when the patient experiences this, then the trance becomes deeper.

4. Therapeutic Sessions

Traditional therapy was very directive, consisting of suggestions to change behavior.


5. Termination & Ratification

At the end of the hypnosis session control is returned to the patient and they regain their a normal conscious state. You will need to reestablish rapport with their conscious mind and then ratify the trance suggestions.


Ask how long they think they have been in trance? Patients often find their impression of the amount of time is often too short. Time distortion reinforces idea that something different happened.


The Hypnosis Session is best ended by showing total confidence in the success of the process. the patients total belief is important for them to continue with the change process after the session.