2021 Alternative Therapies Hypnosis Self-Hypnosis

Conducting The Hypnotherapy Interview And Building Rapport

Becoming A Good Hypnotherapist:


The best hypnotherapists are confident in their craft. They’ve practiced, they’ve rehearsed, they’ve been through the motions – they’ve been through hell and back and they’ve survived. Confidence rules the day. 




You need to believe in yourself, and believe in the outcomes you’re delivering through hypnosis. Your confidence needs to be deep seated and radiate through every pore in your being. You must have a strong ego – but be clear on the difference between confidence and arrogance. 


This TED Talk by Arel Moodie takes you through the scientific ways of becoming a more likeable person:



Remember that you’re here to help people. This is more for them than it is for you. Add a splash of humour to your life and your practice. Have a quick wit, cheeky grin and that devilish little twinkle in your eyes. Remember that you’re not a comedian, you’re not there to entertain, however it is essential people feel comfortable around you, and you can achieve this through a dash of humour. 


Remember: people will let you get away with some of the most outrageous comments when you are pleasant and humorous about it. If you make people smile, you can get away with anything. 


The best hypnotherapists are empathetic to their clients’ needs. They care about helping their clients. Why? Because clients need to know deep down that you care about them, in order for them to feel comfortable lowering their guard with you. And they need to relax and lower their guard to reach their subconscious. 


If you want to be a good hypnotherapist – it helps if people can like you 🙂 


Rapport Building:


You must have a deep level of mutual trust and respect before you can take someone into deep hypnosis. The whole process is based on trust. 


This could start by giving them some compliments – their shoes, their shirt, their jacket – then have a short conversation that has nothing to do with hypnotherapy – talk about their life and what their up to – let them open up and connect. 


Being in a state of ‘rapport’ means you have built a container of mutual, private, trust and respect, that would allow for a deeper level of communication and influence during your hypnotherapy sessions. We naturally feel closer to people we feel are ‘like us’. 


This video by legendary Tony Robbins takes you through the fundamentals of building good rapport:


The Interview:


This is where you work to understand what is going on for the client – what are they experiencing – what are they going through. Pay close attention to what they say – the words, mannerisms, tone of voice – all of this will be important for you when you’re going through your hypnotic process. 


The client is giving your clues. They’re leaving you a little breadcrumb trail to piece together and deliver back to them – they’re telling you what they need to hear, and what they want to fix. To get started, can kick it off by saying “can you please tell me a little more about …”. 


Do not ask any leading questions (where you pre-populate the answers) – allow the clients to answer the questions fully. 


Example – don’t ask: “How stressful was that for you? About a 6 or 7?” – when you lead the client you’re influencing their answers. 


Use Open Ended Questions:


Be a reporter – who, what, where, why, when, how – these allow people to further explain and elaborate on what they’re trying to say. Simple yes or no answers will not get you very far, and will often feel like pulling teeth. 


Open ended questions better allow the client to open up, be reflective, provide better and more meaningful answers, as well as share their true feelings and opinions. They’ll feel supported and cared for as you listen intently, gently moving the conversation as you narrow in on the true root causes. 


Example Interview Questions:


  • So what brings you here today? 
  • When did that start? Age? Place? Situation?
  • When is it worse or better? Time? Place? Situation? 
  • What impact does it have on your life? Physical? Emotional? Social?
  • How does it impact others? Reactions? Their treatment of you?
  • What steps have you already taken to improve the situation? Were there signs of success? What do you feel could have been done differently? 
  • What would success from this session look like to you? Physically? Mentally? Financially? Emotionally?
  • What time frame are you looking at? Rapid? On-going?


Listen to their answers – and modify and tailor your script accordingly – give your clients a personalized and bespoke experience. 


Suggestibility Testing:


The purpose of suggestibility testing is to understand a person’s degree of imagination, suggestibility and agreeableness to your suggestions. The more suggestible, the more suitable for deep trance work. 


Even if only a light trance is required, it is still helpful to go through a compliance procedure to establish a level of agreeableness to your suggestions. Can also think of these as ‘imagination exercises’. 


All testing should be done with the clients enthusiastic willingness to participate and never from an authoritarian standpoint. 


In short – suggestibility testing follows this path:


  1. The hypnotherapist describes a vivid and imaginative scenario to a willing client
  2. Through imagination, willingness and concentration, the client accepts the imagined scene and visualises the scenario. 
  3. Ta-da – there is a physical effect!


This short video by Mike Mandel takes you through a foolproof method for running a suggestibility test on your clients:



Be patient with yourself and practice – allow yourself to make mistakes as you figure it out. But the process of suggestibility testing will allow you to connect deeper with your clients, and understand truly how suggestible they are to your suggestions.

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