Whether you're a professional hypnotist or considering trying hypnosis as a client, it can be beneficial to understand what clarifying questions should be explored before starting. Here are my top 7 questions to ask before beginning hypnosis:
1. Why hypnosis?
When a client expresses interest in hypnosis, the first question to ask is, "Why hypnosis? What brings you here?" This inquiry provides an initial understanding of the client's motivations and the specific issues they want to address. Many clients will have a small list of issues they want to work through, and it is imperative that we help them identify a singular issue. I often ask my clients, "If I could snap my fingers and you no longer had to deal with something, what would that something be?" Hypnosis is most powerful when we address one issue at a time.
2. Why now?
Find what the tipping point was by asking, "Why is this the right time for you to pursue hypnosis?" This question helps uncover the immediate catalyst or urgency behind their decision. Are they worried about their health? Are their relationships suffering? Can they not enjoy things they used to? Is fear holding them back from daily activities? Whatever the reason is, it's important to pinpoint the specifics so that you can use this as motivation and a way to measure success as you work together.
3. What have you tried in the past?
Many, if not most, of my clients have already tried several methods to get results before turning to hypnosis. There's a desire to use the conscious brain to solve the problem -- doing Google searches, reading books, trying new routines, buying therapeutic tools, etc. And the reason hypnosis works so well is because we are able to delve deeper than the conscious mind to find the true root of the problem and make changes at a subconscious level which transcends into your life more fluently.
4. What are your current obstacles?
Is there something in your life that you SHOULD be able to do, but for some reason you just can't do it despite all your best efforts? "No matter how hard I try, I just can't stop eating junk food at night." Asking this question helps identify specific obstacles as a point of focus. For this example we know we can work on nighttime snacking first. This approach personalizes the hypnosis process which encourages consistent results. During this question we can do a mini age regression to really highlight the emotions during these frustrating moments.
5. How do you know what results look like?
We have to be able to measure results. There's a huge difference between "I think I'm feeling better..." and "I went for a walk three times this week and smiled at myself when I looked in the mirror." When we have specific metrics, it's easier to build momentum and be proud of the small steps taken that will end up turning into huge successes. It also helps combat perfectionism and feeling like nothing but perfect is good enough. This leads us to the next topic...
6. How can we practice gratitude?
Gratitude is immensely powerful. There are numerous studies about the benefits of gratitude. Through hypnosis, we are able to help our clients find gratitude in any moment. Gratitude can be very difficult at first because most clients are struggling with negative self-talk, but hypnosis helps us to relearn gratitude and work towards making that the default response.
7. What are your default responses?
Encourage clients to make gratitude and curiosity their default emotional responses. Explain that by defaulting into these positive mindsets, they can navigate challenges with a more open and receptive outlook, fostering growth and resilience.
These 7 questions are must haves in my hypnosis practice. They help to identify the most important issue, what success will look like, and how to individualize your approach so that the client attains meaningful and successful results.