Learning tends to happen best when there is focused attention

So, with that idea in mind, you can try to establish if for a given person you can get a more reliable reaction to a suggestion if you can focus their attention more. There is of course no one way of establishing this.

But you might try out something like the following:

You. "I want to see next how far we can steady your mind so that it will concentrate on what I am saying and nothing else. So to begin with sit so that you are not distracted by any physical discomfort or muscular strain. Just tell me when you are really fine in that way.

Y. "Next we do not want you distracted by anything you are looking at. So could you close your eyes, please?"

F. Closes eyes.

Y. "Now probably there is a lot going on in your mind. So I would like you to spend a minute or two just noticing if there are any preoccupations on your mind at present: any matters that you feel that you must deal with. If so, just mention them."

F. Pause. "Well, I have just remembered a piece of work I have to finish by tomorrow."

Y. "Right. It is good that you have remembered it. If you cannot leave it for five minutes we will stop now. Otherwise you can do it later."

Y. "OK, anything else on your mind?" F. "There is a bit of an itch on my leg."

Y. "Just scratch it, then." Pause. "OK, that's fine. Now if anything else comes along to distract you just let me know. But how focused do you feel on my voice: on a scale of 1 to 10?"

F. "About seven I suppose."

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