doctorwho wrote:These are my questions:
Question why does the word “sleep” have such a big impact on the client, if the word has not been set up to be acted as a “post hypnotic instruction”?
For years, ike Satantoystore I did not use the word Sleep. My thinking was that because hypnosis is not sleep, saying that word will just throw a spanner in the works. Plus I got into this via an 'ericksonian' route and he did a damn good job of convincing me that there was no need for the word sleep and that trance was much more useful.
However the more hypnosis I watched and the more I read, the more I realised anyone I respected in the field (other than Erickson) used the word sleep.
So one day I decided to start using it and found that i was very useful it certainly made instant and rapid inductions much more effective. But why? That is your question. There are numerous reasons.
Firstly whatever the subject thinks of hypnosis the chances are they associate the word sleep with hypnosis, the image of people appearing to be asleep with being hypnotised and they just seem to know what to do when it is said, close your eyes and relax. So it is important from the subjects own associations and understandings and also from the audiences point of view - they expect to see people zonking out on command.
The fact that hypnosis and sleep represent directly opposite states of mind in terms of focus of attention is neither here nor there.
The other reason according to McGill, who knew a thing or two about hypnosis, is that the mind instinctively knows the pathways to sleep. Every night we go to sleep and sleep leads to the subconscious phase of mind from which all hypnotic phenomena originate. In going into hypnosis you are in a way entering the realm of sleep, so putting someones attention there is a good thing. Many old schol inductions do little other than focus the attention and ideas on sleep and they work very well.
My own take is that we are simply dealing with someones internal representation or template of what 'sleep' means. Sleep in the context of a hypnosis show or session does not mean being unable to move or unable to speak, it means something else entirely and that something else is in effect the subjects onboard model for hypnosis. If you say relaxed state and there onboard model is something else entirely then you will not get them. If you say trance and they do not associate that with hypnosis then you will not get them. Sleep covers all bases because the subject seems to know that it doesn;t mean sleep like at night, just a deep relaxation of the nervous suystem or some other thing. Most stage hypnotists qualify this at the beginning anyway by saying you will be able to hear me and move around etc...
My advice is use the word sleep if you want to do rapid inductions. Commanding someone to 'go inside' or 'trance' is just not as effective.