We can often hear that hypnosis is ineffective and not trustworthy. This impression is created in the mind of people due to the impact of traditional methods for hypnosis. Traditional hypnosis methods are direct and authoritarian. The hypnotist directly tries to induce a trance in the subject and tries to control him.
Most people feel uncomfortable to be subjected under others control. This creates a sense of unwillingness and resistance on the subject. If the subject is unwilling then the hypnotist will fail to control him leading to the failure of the whole process. The success of hypnosis needs the willingness of the subject either knowingly or unknowingly.
There are some people who approach a hypnotist to solve some of their problems and may promise their cooperation. But some part of his mind will be reluctant to get subjected to the control of another person.The traditional approach fails due to the fact the subject is aware that he is going to be hypnotized and can resist if he really don’t want it.
The traditional hypnosis method is very simple and difficult to be applied. Let us go through the basic structure of traditional hypnotic induction to understand its demerit.
The subject will be first asked to sit on a chair comfortably with his feet fully rested on the floor and hands on the lap. You will be asked to relax your body and mind. You will be then asked to concentrate on an imaginary point on the wall. The hypnotist will then try to induce sleep in you using a monotone and low voice. This usually make you eyes feel heavier and sleepy. This process may take around ten to thirty minutes.
The hypnotist will then try to make you relaxed by massaging your body from head to bottom. He will also repeat the suggestions to relax by mentioning each body parts and method to do it by specifying each muscle group.
The hypnotist will then test subjectively whether you are relaxed or not. Some test may be used to measure the level of relaxation. The response of the subject is then compared with hypnotic depth scales like Davis – Husband Scale or Stanford Hypnotic Scale.
If the subject responds suitably to the tests will be declared as hypnotised and the hypnotist will proceed to the next stage. If he does not respond suitably, will be subjected to others methods for induction or will be declared unfit for hypnosis.
This is where traditional hypnosis really fails. Any one who cannot be hypnotized using the basic strategy is declared as “not responding” and left alone in traditional hypnosis. Covert hypnosis is more flexible and provides methods to hypnotize everyone. If one method fails more effort, variety or persistence must be used from the part of the hypnotist. The inability to hypnotize a subject is not the failure of hypnosis; it is the failure of the method and person chosen to do it.