Friday, May 11, 2007

Hypnosis: Leading Suggestions (主觀引導暗示)


Yesterday we were doing the 2nd attempt of Practice Assessment for last year's Certified Hypnotherapist Program. One of our graduate assistants raised a good question and I like to discuss here. I added some more questions to make understanding easier.

How to define a Leading Suggestion?

Any suggestion, which contains a message the client has never said can be leading. There is a danger of leading the client believing something which does not actually exist or misleading the client to a conclusion that is not the intention of him/her.

Then, can we use Leading Suggestions?

I would say NO under any circumstance. This is the basic code of ethics of hypnotherapist.

But can we use Leading Questions to help clients to improve?

I would also say No. This is just as bad, or even worse than Leading Suggestions. You embedded the suggestions into a question. This enhances its effectiveness in misleading!

How about using Leading Questions to help clients to discover more?

Tricky question. Our standard questions of "Because...?" and "That is....?" are leading questions. ("Because" implies there is a reason and "That is" implies there is an alternative description or definition) If we are taught to use them, that means we can use them?

Yes, but with caution. It is OK to use some of the Context Leading Questions, but absolutely NOT OK to use Content Leading Questions.

Context Leading Questions are leading questions without content. The 2 examples above is Context Leading Questions. You just give a structure for the clients to think. This makes discovery easier.

Content Leading Questions are leading question with content. For example: "Can you just forget about it?" The content is "forgetting something". You indirectly suggest the client to do or believe something that he/she never told you.


Using Context Leading Questions to help clients to discover can be very effective. But if you are not sure about whether your questions are Context or Content Leading, don't use them. Using our 2 standard questions is more than enough in most cases.

Explore, Exceed & Excel