Crown House Publishing Co. LLC, Wales Copyright, 2009
Reviewed by Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D.
As a hypnotherapist, I was intrigued by this small book focusing solely on hypnotic inductions. In Techniques of Hypnotic Induction, psychotherapist George Gafner, brings over 30 years of experience to bear, teaching hypnotherapists how to communicate with the unconscious mind skillfully, through story-telling inductions.
Gafner begins with an overview of the applications and efficacy of clinical hypnosis, backed by research studies. The applications include gastro-intestinal disorders, skin disorders, anesthetic-free surgery, nausea associated with chemotherapy, asthma, gender identity disorders, cystic fibrosis, and of course, smoking and weight management, as well as pain management, insomnia, substance abuse, and anxiety and mood disorders.
Next, the author offers a metaphoric trance induction with helpful notes in the margin showing how he indirectly suggests various trance phenomena: time distortion, dissociation, hallucination, and catalepsy. Then he launches into a series of hypnotic story-telling scripts, which are whimsical, haunting, and amusing, --all designed to induce trance with indirect references to time distortion, opening the mind to discovery, considering options for problem-solving, acceptance, releasing, and dissociation. These scripts teach readers how to insert suggestions into fascinating stories that help clients experience the effects of hypnosis. The scripts obviously speak to the unconscious mind and the influence of Milton H. Erickson is evident. While the scripts are beautifully written, readers are reminded to adapt them to their own circumstances and the preferences and sensitivities of their clients.
Gafner includes a very nice chapter on the hypnotic voice--a subject I've not seen in other books on hypnotherapy. He follows with a chapter on guided imagery inductions, based on scenes from nature – mountain vistas, streams, and forests. He also presents confusional inductions for clients who are not easily hypnotized or who may be somewhat resistant to direct suggestions.
The main text ends with a few practical recommendations for educating clients about hypnotherapy, introducing colleagues to hypnotherapy in clinical settings, and additional practice guidelines. The two appendices cover a range of techniques (with references to other books where each may be found) and a glossary.
Techniques of Hypnotic Induction makes enjoyable reading for hypnotherapists who want to bring creativity and imagination to their inductions. The clever scripts are interspersed with instruction written with just enough hypnotic language to appeal to the conscious mind as well as the unconscious mind. The entire book makes for a truly entrancing learning experience.
Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach with a solo practice, Motivational Strategies, in Springfield, Virginia. She is a certified hypnotherapist and NLP Trainer as well as Executive Director of the National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. Her recently-published book is The Weight, Hypnotherapy and You Weight Reduction Program: An NLP and Hypnotherapy Practitioner's Manual. Her website is www.engagethepower.com. Her email is email@example.com.