Why resistance and rapport

In the above I have been somewhat casual about whether to regard rapport and resistance as being different aspects of one system or as two different systems. For practical purposes at this level the question is not very important. However it is a good principle to always look out for pairs of opposing organic systems. You might see that there is only need to develop an active system of resistance if there is also an active system of rapport. A child that never had any desire or motive to...

Feedback loops

After you have done these exercises quite a lot you will be able to see the sense of what I am going to say next. Every time you have got a positive response you have reduced the activity of the resistance system of the mind. But the less active it is the easier it is to get the next statement past the resistance. And the very fact that then there has been another 'yes' response lulls the subject still further into acceptance. And so you are actually involved in a feedback loop, in which you...

Words can trigger pictures in your mind

This must seem a pretty obvious fact. You need only think of reading a novel and remember the pictures that come to mind as you do so to realise the obvious truth of this. But it is still worth doing a little exercise on it, as follows. First just think to yourself, I am on holiday. STOP NOW did you see a picture of it in your mind People vary, but it is unlikely, in the very short time I allowed you, that you saw anything very clearly. Now allow yourself more TIME. Think, I am on holiday....

Exploring the Imagination

We explore the visual imagination, which is enormously rich and varied. This is a tool much used in hypnosis and so it is valuable to explore its natural processes in many people, including yourself. You may agree that one ofthe main functions you have when helping another to explore his or her imagination is in helping to maintain focus, primarily by asking questions. The question of what kind of meaning such an exploration gives is left open. There are a wide variety of interpretation schemes...

Posthypnotic suggestions

Posthypnotic suggestions are a large part of what people regard as typical of hypnosis. We start by comparing it with the common phenomenon of social compliance the fact that people quite normally will do what another asks them to do. A description of a subject (Nobel Prizewinner Richard Feynman) is used to illustrate what it feels like to carry out a post hypnotic suggestion. Both phenomena are based on establishing a causal connection between two subsystems of the brain. Some exercises are...

Rigidity of muscles catatonia

In rather a different vein you may aim not for a comparatively mild activation of a group of muscles to produce a movement but for total rigidity catatonia of a set of muscles, to the point where the subject is unable to release them. Stage hypnotists often use a form of this as a test. They ask everyone in the audience to clasp their hands together firmly, then suggest that they will be unable to unclasp them. Those that can't do so are rather more likely to respond to other suggestions. You...