Sunday, February 15, 2009


I receive many queries from both new and experienced hypnotherapists who ask my opinion about the best induction to use (or the easiest way to put a person into trance). They are concerned about which induction is more effective for their clients.

I discuss with them how the hypnotic induction is the single most important factor in hypnosis and if it is done right, the client will leave with a good perception of hypnosis— in addition to a positive feeling that he or she will achieve his or her goals.

Many inductions have been developed over decades. Some examples: the Dave Elman method, Erickson’s conversational method, the arm levitation, the pendulum swing/eye fixation, and the handshake method. The Instantaneous, Rapid or Shock inductions are some of the quicker inductions that many hypnotists may employ.

Since hypnosis is both science and art, every hypnotist has a different style – some want to go for the faster inductions, some like a conversational one and yet others feel the need to test the induction (or the level of trance) on the client such as in the case of the Elman method. Many hypnotherapists think that a light stage of trance as in the pendulum swing/eye fixation is good enough in most cases, and some would rather maintain a medium or deep trance.

In my opinion, many of the inductions out today are more hypnotherapist-driven instead of client-driven.

My theory on the induction is to keep the client in mind when selecting the appropriate induction. Think about it: if you were to go into the office of a hypnotherapist for a one-on-one session – not knowing anything about hypnosis or the hypnotist, would you want this stranger shocking you (rapid or shock induction), snatching on your arm (arm bar/levitation) or boring you into trance with some long, convoluted dissertation? Would you be comfortable enough to let someone shake your hand (handshake method) and shortly after immediately hear the word, sleep, screamed into your ear?! Do you feel you would go to sleep in this manner? Do you feel you would relax enough to be at ease or even speak positively to your friends about your hypnotic experience?

Because many inductions have little consideration for the client in a clinical setting, it is the reason I developed my own induction method – The JOImethod. The goal of this induction is to get the client to a state of somnambulism or deeper (around five minutes is a good speed for the client) in the most relaxed way (so he or she can enjoy the experience) and then install his or her goals while they are at this deep level.

The idea of a great induction is to place the client in a highly suggestible state (my theory is to do it in a comfortable way for the client) so that his or her mind could receive the goals (suggestions) that he or she came in for and leave with a positive perception of hypnosis.

John Owens
Clinical Hypnotherapist & Life Coach
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