I’ve been dabbling a lot more recently with awakened trance. What I mean by this is giving clear instructions and suggestions to clients whilst in a fully awakened but somewhat relaxed state.

It has been working extremely well with children.

Sometimes using “formal” trance doesn’t work. Especially with children and adults with busy brains that they cannot quiet.

It is working well because I think, I’m throwing it in at the end of a session, just as one might do with a session of hypnosis to round off the other great work you may have done using NLP techniques.

I say something like “Ok, we have covered everything we can here today with the time that we had available but we still have a few minutes left. A few minutes to fill with something…..is there anything else you wanted to mention? An little issues you wanted to clear out having sorted all the other stuff we did earlier?”

There are a couple of sneaky presuppositions thrown in here

1) The issues they will share will be little, whether they used to perceive them that way or not.

2) The issues will be cleared out. Their minds will be clear as soon as the issue is out of their mouth

3) We have assumed that the stuff we worked on earlier is sorted now.

Once they have told me the issue, I then respond to it with a story, anecdote or reframe which allows them to access thinking and feeling about overcoming the issue. I ask them very little but say a lot, sometimes acting things out or making it funny.

It’s not about having a conversation. It is an awakened trance which is achievable because they are relaxed having overcome some challenges/learned some techniques to help them overcome challenges already. It in some ways works better than diving into a trance at the beginning of the session because they have had plenty of time for rapport building and relaxing. They are in a much more comfortable place by the end of the session compared to at the start.

Sometimes I use the awakened trance at the end of my consultations too. Once they have offloaded their problems and received some hope of a solution they become very relieved and very suggestible. Quite often people have come to see me at the start of their treatment, claiming that they are getting better already just from the consultation, although no formal work was done.

A great example of an awakened trance recently was a boy I worked with who was self harming. He had cuts to his hands, knees and arms.

We had worked together for 3 sessions and on the 3rd session we had 10 minutes to use up at the end of the session. He said he felt everything was going to be ok now so I asked the question above to find out if there were any little things that we could mop up before I let him go for good.

He said that sometimes his scabs were itchy where the self harming was stopping and beginning to heal. I told him it’s where the skin is pulling back together to rejoin and heal. “The itchiness means the skin is pulling and fusing. All of those little red marks that are left by the scabs after they fall off completely on their own, will be red for a while because they are brand new skin for a brand new body. But in just a few months from now they will no longer be red and then you will forget that they ever were or that you ever used to harm yourself.”

It was just 10 minutes of saying things like this, putting his problems in a forgotten past and accepting that everything will be fresh and new in the future. I think it made a difference.