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A Hypnotic Fractal? Conscious Buy-In with Hypnosis Clients

by Cascade Hypnosis on

Erika Flint, BCH, MCPHI, OB
Written for the 5-PATH © Journal

Steven sat across from me at the hypnosis office for a consultation. “Why is now the right time for hypnosis?” I asked. 

“My daughter, she’s 10, is asking me why I don’t go to the doctor. She’s concerned, so I’m going to go. I need to go, I’m just afraid of needles and have been since I was a kid.” 

Steven’s fear of needles diminishes over the course of the 5-PATH sessions we did together, aided in part by the selective use of conscious buy-in.

What is Conscious Buy-In?

Conscious buy-in is allowing the conscious mind to accept and ‘buy-in” to something - in this case the process of hypnosis. 

As hypnotists we interact with all parts of the mind, focusing on the subconscious mind. We know from the Model of the Mind, that the subconscious mind is organized by association and is unlimited.

The conscious mind is limited - holding 7-9 pieces, or bits of information before maxing out. We say the conscious mind is limited in this way - yet the reality of the conscious mind is that it is extremely powerful and should not be overlooked at all. It has benefits in other areas!  This article highlights the value of the conscious mind’s experience and how to effectively use it to give clients better results at all levels of the mind.

The Conscious Mind is Our Point of Power

As powerful as the subconscious mind is, the conscious mind truly is our point of power. We first use the ability of the conscious mind to focus, usually focusing on relaxation with our clients. The conscious mind is used first -  whatever we direct our attention to - that is where energy flows. 

One of the principles of the Hawaiian practice of Huna is,  “Energy flows where attention goes.” Being present, entering into hypnosis, all require excellent use of the conscious mind. Honoring this part of the mind is part of bringing our clients full relief. 

Practical Use of Conscious Buy-In with Clients

The conscious mind is analytical - it thinks in numbers and percentages. Here’s how to use it with clients through the example of Steven: 

Fractional Results

How does a plant grow, is it all at once? Or is it bit by bit? Our clients can have huge changes - massive insight that changes everything in an instant. Other times, their results are partial - or fractional, like a fractal.  And just like mother nature - the change is ongoing. Use the value of the conscious mind to help your client know they are getting better, even if they aren’t completely there yet. 

Steven returned after his first hypnosis session reporting he had a good week, yet he did not make his doctor appointment yet. Instead, he got a flu shot. 

This is a great opportunity for using conscious buy-in and fractional results. Why? Because the conscious mind thinks in numbers and percentages. If left alone, Steven could think he “failed” because he didn’t follow through on exactly what he had planned.  I asked Steve in the pre-hypnosis interview, even though he didn’t make it to the doctor, how much better - in his own mind, is he since last session?”

“Oh at least 50% better. There’s no way I’d get a flu shot in the past.” 

After Steven realized he was 50% better after a single session, he was inspired to continue! The conscious mind realized the value of a 50% improvement in a short week. 

This can be referred to as incremental success as well, yet the point here is that we are purposefully driving these questions at the conscious mind to help our client realize their own success. Just as we can engage the subconscious mind with imagination and emotions, we can engage the conscious mind with numbers, percentages, and grades. 

Later on in Phase III Forgiveness of Others (FOO), Steven was not able to fully forgive the person at the doctor’s office who held him down when he was a young boy in order to give him an allergy test. He was still too angry and upset by the situation and how it had in his own mind crippled him for so many years. 

I asked Steven, how much can you forgive? If it’s not 100%, how much? 

“70%. I can forgive 70% of it. That feels better, but I’m still too upset by it to completely forgive right now.”

Steven returned the next week after FOO, and reported that over the week he had finished the forgiveness himself. He realized how good it felt to forgive the amount he already did, and wanted to complete the work. 

When we help our clients take their experiences and recognize they’re getting better - whether it’s a percentage, a grade, a number from 1-10, we are engaging the conscious mind and getting it to recognize the changes, and benefit of hypnosis. 

Benefits of Conscious Buy-In

  • Clients know they’re getting better because we look at all results, not just black and white “wins.”

  • Conscious buy-in is a way to help teach our clients about emotions - emotions are the feedback we can pay attention to with our conscious mind, it’s what helps us to stay in the moment to notice what we are feeling. 

  • Paying attention consciously to their results ends up creating an upward spiral of relief and further results for our clients. 

How to Use Conscious Buy-In

Anything that engages the conscious mind by asking for percentages, or a grade, or a number can work.

Note that, as usual, be selective when using these techniques with clients. Is your client analytical? Would they appreciate noticing they’re 50% better? We of course don’t want to use this technique as the standard - we want our clients to get all results at once! So only use this if there’s resistance to getting 100% results.

Example of Fractional results in hypnosis session: 

  • Percentage done: eating 50% better, falling asleep 25% faster. 

  • Grading self: B for the week in staying calm, will give self an A by doing 7th Path ® daily. 

  • Reviewing the benefits form and placing a grade or number next to each item based on clients perception of the week.

  • Looking for the silver lining or lessons learned, with insight from the process, and having the client put the results in a form the conscious mind loves - percentages, and grades! 

  • Anything else you come up with.

Steven emailed me after his fifth hypnosis session, where we did Phase IV Forgiveness of Self (FOS). He forgave himself for not resolving his fear of needles sooner - 100%!  He was most happy about going to the doctor and yes they gave him a shot. 

“My daughter said she was proud of me, and I’m proud of me too. I slept better after that shot than I have in decades” 

I teared up. Thank you hypnosis.