Suggestibility can be determined by noticing how a hypnotic subject produces various hypnotic phenomena. This can then be used to develop an appropriate hypnotic technique.


Apart from proving trance state to the subject, the idea behind eliciting the various hypnotic phenomena is to identify a resource on which to attach the therapy


Whichever phenomena the patient exhibits will form the basis of the best suggestions. For example, if the patient demonstrates good amnesia then allow them to understand how they can 'forget' their pain or problems.


You develop a hypnotic style for a specific subject based on the degree to which a subject demonstrates these phenomena.


A subject's ability to distort their normal conscious reality is known as 'plasticity of perception'.


There are four main divisions in which a subject will show varying degrees of effectiveness. They are listed below together with the main hypnotic phenomena that characterize them.


  • Sensory (visual, auditory, kinesthetic (tactile), gustatory (chemical), proprioceptive).
    • Hallucinations
    • Anaesthesia
    • Analgesia
    • Catalepsy
  • Automatic behavior and dissociation
    • Ideomotor
    • Ideosensory
    • Automatic
    • Post hypnotic suggestion
  • Time Changes
    • Time distortion
  • Memory functions
    • Amnesia
    • Hyperamnesia
    • Age regression

You need to identify the ability of the subject to experience change or distortion in these four categories. Find out their capabilities, what they are best at. You map out the subjects sensory processes. This way you develop a better ability to fit your therapy to the person.


You can also use their language to identify their internal 'meta programs' to further select the appropriate therapeutic technique.