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How to Use Suggestibility to Plan Hypnotic Suggestions My experience with hundreds of hypnosis sessions has repeatedly shown the wisdom of planning a strategy for the session. Perhaps the most important basis for the plan is the “suggestibility style” of the subject. There are two types of people in the world– some are direct suggestibles, but the majority are indirect suggestibles. This article will discuss the difference between the two types, why it is wise to test subjects and be aware of their type, and how to construct suggestions for each type. The purpose of this writing is to emphasize the importance of planning sessions in advance to maximize your effectiveness and positive benefits for your subject. Many hypnotists are trained to use only a direct approach in which they induce trance and tell the subject exactly what to do, hear, think and feel. This is unfortunate because the majority of subjects, perhaps as many as 90%, are not directly suggestible. While the direct suggestible will comply with the hypnotist’s imperative style, it may not work at all with the indirect subject. The indirect subject tends to analyze each suggestion rather than accepting it and can end the session believing that it had no benefit to him. So it is critical to the success of the session to determine the suggestibility type of your subject, plan your sessions based on that type and expect success for yourself and positive outcomes for your subject. There are several exercises to use for testing the suggestibility type of your subject, but those will be addressed in a follow-up article. For now, let’s assume that you’re aware of your subject’s type and are creating a plan to ensure the success of the session. The most important thing to recognize is that your suggestions must be constructed differently for the indirect suggestible. Here’s an imperative, direct suggestion. “Upon awakening, you will forget chocolate and other sweets and start to lose weight at a healthy rate.” A fine suggestion, but likely to be a bust for the indirect suggestible. The indirect must be led, cajoled, prodded and encouraged to take a positive direction which you intend. It is important to invoke the indirect’s imagination and use subtle confusion, misdirection and indecision to not only deepen his trance state but allow him to move gradually in the direction you planned. Here’s a sample of an indirect suggestion. “I’m not sure if you’re ready to release your craving for sweets. That might happen today, tomorrow or the next day–but sometime soon, only as slowly as you are really ready, you will let go of these cravings.” Notice that the imperative, direct suggestions are embedded in language which makes it OK for the indirect to comply on his own terms. A great technique is to give permission to the indirect rather than order them imperatively. “I don’t know if you can relax fully and accept my suggestions…but it’s OK to let go and feel better for no reason at all.” Get the picture? Although it’s a good idea to mix direct and indirect suggestions into your scripts, it’s critical to recognize when your subject is predominantly indirect. You should observe this in your intake interview and plan the direction of your sessions and the construction of your suggestions accordingly. By recognizing the differences between directs and indirects, planning and suggesting accordingly, you can both expect and ensure success for your sessions and improved outcomes for your subject.