Since my last post on somnambulism and whether it is necessary, I decided to write on one of the more interesting uses of hypnosis, which is to have them open their eyes!
“Can you hypnotize someone with their eyes open?”
Yes, absolutely! Just look at a stage hypnosis show. The people are up on stage, with their eyes open, deeply hypnotized.
We can also similar things with clinical work. We have the person open their eyes, deeply hypnotized.
The Benefits of Eyes-Open Hypnosis
Having them open their eyes within somnambulism has primarily the benefit of fractionating the state. When we do fractionation within the Elman induction, we are have the person open and close their eye lids three times.
They are not actually “emerging” out of hypnosis during those three times, rather they are bringing themselves deeper into the state.
If you are a hypnotist who has a skill with fractionation, you may also apply this skill in other ways, such as anchoring that state with your vocal tone and then purposefully doing a break state. Remember, everything you do is hypnosis.
A second benefit to having them open the eyes is that it can act as a powerful setup for having the person ratify/test that they are indeed hypnotized. Or, indeed, to ratify just about anything at all.
How To Do It: Step by Step
The steps of getting into this state are first to bring them into a natural state of hypnosis with their eyelids closed. Verify and test for somnambulism, making sure that you have them in the state. Then you say something similar to this:
“In a moment, Clarice, I’m going to count slowly from 1 to 3… When I count the number 3, you’ll open your eyelids slowly, remaining in this hypnotic state, and we’re going to have a hypnotic conversation. 1, feeling warm and comfortable, 2, now the eyelids start to blink open, and 3, feeling great…”
It’s really as simple as that. At that point I might condition the state further like this:
Taylor: “Hey how are you doing? Feels great doesn’t it.” (descending tonal inflection)
Clarice: “Yeah it feels good”
Taylor: “Did you notice how every breath you were exhaling just kept taking you right on down?”
Taylor: “And I wondered, if you were aware, of how deeply you were relaxing, as I continued to talk to you, and you continued to breathe…”
Now for those of you who are trained in such techniques, you’ll recognize that I am using Ericksonian language patterns, and tons of presuppositions. That’s what you want to do. Use strong pacing statements with presupposed suggestions.
From this point, once you have compounded the suggestions, it’s time to re-hypnotize the person. Here is how I set it up:
“Now, the interesting thing about hypnosis is that every time you go into hypnosis you’re going to go deeper, you feel more comfortable, and your body gets much more relaxed. So in a second you’re going to go back into hypnosis, and this time you’ll go much deeper than before… Ready? Alright, just look here at me, and…”
And at this point I would do an instant induction. Proceed immediately to deepening (as explained in my video here) and then compound and reinforce the suggestions even more.
This works, really well. Go out and use it — and if you have any suggestions or ideas that you pick up through your own practice, tell us in the comments below.