Rapid Induction

Rapid Induction



This is an excerpt from Elman’s Hypnotherapy (1964) which gives his famous induction technique verbatim, in his own words;




Rapid Induction

“Will you just take a good long deep breath and close your eyes. Now relax the muscles around your eyes to the point where those eye muscles won’t work and when you’re sure they won’t work, test them and make sure they won’t work… [Subject opens their eyes.] No, you’re making sure they will work. Relax them to the point where they will not work and when you’re sure they won’t work, test them. Test them hard. Get complete relaxation in those muscles around the eyes… [Client now exhibits eyelid catalepsy.] Now let that feeling of relaxation go right down to your toes… In just a moment we’re going to do this again and when we do it the second time you’re going to be able to relax ten times as much as you’re relaxed already.

“Now open your eyes. Close your eyes. Completely relax -let yourself be covered with a blanket of relaxation. Now the third time we do it you’ll be able to double the relaxation which you have. Open your eyes -now relax.

I’m now going to lift your hand and drop it and if you’ve followed orders up to this point that hand will be just as limp as a dishrag and will just plop into your lap… No, let me lift it -don’t you lift it- let it be heavy -that’s good- but let’s open and close the eyes again and double that relaxation and send it right down to your toes. Let that hand be as heavy as lead… You’ll feel it when you’ve got the real relaxation… Now you’ve got it. You could feel that, couldn’t you? (Patient: Yes.)”



“That’s complete physical relaxation, but I want to show you how you can get mental relaxation as well as physical, so I’m going to ask you to start counting -when I tell you to- from a hundred backwards. Each time you say a number, double your relaxation, and by the time you get down to ninety-eight you’ll be so relaxed there won’t be any more numbers… Start with the idea of making that happen and watch it happen. Count out loud please. (Patient: One hundred.) Double your relaxation and watch the numbers start disappearing. (Ninety-nine.) Watch the numbers start disappearing. (Ninety-eight.) Now they’ll be gone… Make it happen. You’ve got to do it, I can’t do it. Make them disappear, dispel them, make them vanish. Are they all gone? [The subject says “yes” but on questioning and testing Elman finds that he is simply “too darn tired” to continue.]”

“So, make those numbers completely disappear… Banish them… Are they gone? (No.) Make them disappear. I’m going to lift your hand and drop it, and when I do, the rest of those numbers will drop out. Want them to drop out and watch them go… Gone? (Yes.)” (Elman, Hypnotherapy, 1964: 60-65)