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Script Writing

by Ron Stubbs

Category: Hypnotherapy




Components of a script

The writing of scripts is basically an art form. While there are some rules to be followed, only experience will help you to become a good script-writer. Wording of a script is very important. A good script has three basic parts. First, it induces eye closure and relaxation, whether by authoritarian or permissive tones, using mental confusion, mental misdirection, imagery or progressive relaxation techniques. Second, it provides suggestion, whether therapeutic or non-therapeutic, post hypnotic or be acted upon while in trance, by using direct or non-direct suggestion, metaphor or imagery. Third, it brings the client back to a complete state of awareness or alertness.

Remember that humans are ritualistic beings; we need a ceremony for everything we do in life. We have a ceremony for marriage, divorce, dating and mating rituals, religious etc. The idea of an induction is just that, a ritual, an expectation of a client that will produce a hypnotic trance state. Whether our client expects that a snap of the fingers or a pocket watch will be swung before their eyes to produce a hypnotic effect, it is our job as hypnotists to provide that ritual. We, as hypnotists know that no we have no power of a client to induce "hypnosis" beyond facilitating the expectations of our client. If a client is ritual orientated, and almost all are, taking a moment in your pre-talk to examine their ideas, their concepts of hypnosis and trance will guide you to using a most successful induction technique possibly for that client.

My suggestion is to study and read through many different types of scripts to see the context of wording, suggestion use and metaphor. Learn the patterns and the "why" they are constructed as they are. Then abandon them, and use the script in your mind and heart. In my years of working with clients, I have never sat down to write a script to be used with a client. The only time I use scripts is for classes that I have taught to be used as an example of various techniques and language patterns. Remember the goal of client-centered hypnosis is going where the CLIENT needs to go, and reading from a script in hopes of successfully helping someone transform and change their life is a long shot at best.
The one successful component of scripting is the idea of approaching the task you want to accomplish in a variety of ways, or rewording a suggestion in several ways, i.e. covering all possible responses to a suggestion. Sometimes the mind will reject a suggestion but if reworded in another manner will accept the same suggestion. I strongly suggest that you re-read and fully understand the concepts in this chapter on hypnotic language patterns. These patterns are the cornerstone of good hypnotic techniques.

Humans love the power of choice so by using binds and hypnotic language patterns we can successfully guide a client to the desired result. Example: "I (1)don't know if you want to (2)begin relaxing while you breathe slowly and deeply or if you want to (3)breathe slowly and deeply while you begin to enter into a state of trance, either one is fine."

Let's look at that last example in a bit more depth. The number (1), the word "don't", as we have learned is a power word that actually means "do". Number (2) and (3) are examples of a bind, which is the illusion of a client's choice when both options lead to the same conclusion. The simple rewording or re-phrasing of a suggestion raises the possibility of acceptance by the subconscious.

Another way is the repetition of a suggestion. The repeated suggestion combined with different tonalities of voice modulation will put emphasis on the suggestion and help to maintain hypnotic depth during the time that the suggestions are being made. Example: "You are listening ever so carefully to my voice. With each and every day you find yourself becoming more and more aware of the food that you are eating. You find that each and every day you become more and more comfortable eating fruit, vegetables, rice and grains. You find that you begin to become more and more satisfied eating salads, fruits, rice and grains. You become more and more satisfied with the taste, consistency and appearance of fruits, vegetables, rice and grains.

Yet another way to induce trance is by combining several inductions of methods of inductions. Taking into mind that the mind cannot hold more than one thought at a time, the following example works on this concept.

It combines eye fractionation, mental confusion, mental misdirection and progressive relaxation. This method almost never fails to induce a VERY deep state of relaxation. It's great for relaxation, post hypnotic suggestion, suggestion therapy, stress reduction and gives the client a deep state of trance to experience.

The first time you work with a client, it is important to make sure their first trance experience is a good one. After inducing trance, that is to say after eye closure and progressive relaxation, you could incorporate a suggestibility type test, i.e. "eye catalepsy" or hand/arm levitation as a "convincer". This would "show" the client or "convince" them that they were indeed in trance. I've included an eye catalepsy convincer in this version. Typically after the first time experience, the need for convincers is not necessary.

It is the method I personally use when inducing trance the first time with a client. This script also incorporates a "safe haven" spot at the end. I use this as a place a client can return to on his or her own when needed. This is a good tool for teaching self-hypnosis, stress reduction, helpful in smoking cessation, and other techniques later, giving the client a fast, effective way to go deep into trance on their own or at a later date with the therapist. It also shows the client that THEY really have the "power" of trance themselves. As you review this script, please note that it is actually FIVE scripts/techniques in one.

Induction Script
I would like you to just sit back in this chair and begin to focus on a spot of your choice on the wall…any spot or object will do just fine, and when you begin focusing on this spot, don't let your eyes leave it for a single second but continue to stare and focus at that particular spot you have chosen.

I also would like to ask you to take one deep breath…hold i…and now let it out while you continue to focus…good one more…hold it… hold it…and now let it go slowly…good… And now I'd like you to do something for me while you continue to focus on that spot…never allowing your eyes to leave it…and that is to begin counting backwards…silently to yourself… mentally counting backwards from the number 99… counting odd numbers only… and you can begin to do that now…focusing on your breathing…in and out…in and out…staring at that spot on the wall that you have chosen and seeing those numbers slowly turning in your mind's eye, counting down…good…

Also while your doing this I'd like to ask you to try NOT to listen to the sound of my voice…you'll still hear everything that I say but just try and not listen to me…just focusing your attention on your breathing…slowly and deeply now…staring at that spot that you have chosen while counting backwards…easy…slowly…that's right…

In a moment your eyes may become a bit watery and that spot a bit blurry and your eyes may feel as thought they need to blink… and that would be ok…and when they blink… it would also be ok to allow them to blink as much as they would like…and notice how good it feels to let them close for that spilt second…that's right…focusing your attention on your breathing…counting down those numbers…while you try and not listen to the breath of my voice…just watching those number disappear…that spot growing blurry…eyes blinking…trying not to hear the breath of my voice…

(Repeating this type of suggestion until eye closure occurs then continuing)
Good, just let those eyes close…noticing how good that feels to just rest them for a moment…letting go of the stress and tension of the day…those numbers till falling…taking another deep breath…hold it…hold…hold…now letting it go…just letting the cares, stress and frustrations go for a moment…we can always go find them again if we need to…but for now just letting them go for a moment…

Now allow the numbers to completely fade away…and notice that your breathing has before very relaxed and found it's natural rhythm…breathing in and out…slowly…deeply…and you already know that every breathe you take simply allows you to relax even more…
Now I wonder in your mind…that wonderful mind of yours…if you can imagine the tip of your toe…just the tip…and maybe you like me… notice that it's hard to imagine the tip of your toes and you begin to visualize your entire foot instead…now I want to show you just how strong your mind is…when I count 1,2,3…I want you to imagine in your mind only…tensing up the muscles in your foot…then when I count 3,2,1, releasing all those muscles…remember this is in your mind only…ready…
1,2,3…3,2,1…good…and now I want you to notice …just how very relaxed your feet have just become…now begin to notice your legs…seeing the muscles…1,2,3…3,2,1 relaxing…releasing…letting go of the stress…fears… frustration…anger…guilt…just letting it go…your stomach…lower back…releasing…relaxing…breathing deep…your chest…upper back…letting go…every breath just letting go a bit more…shoulders…
biceps…seeing them in your mind…releasing the muscles…elbows…forearms…wrists, hands, fingers…just letting them go…seeing…feeling the tension just melt away…now the back of your neck…maybe seeing in your mind…a cube of butter in a warm pan slowly melting…as the butter melts…the muscles in your neck become very relaxed
…Liquid…just melting…moving up over your head…feeling wonderful…around your eyes…your cheeks…your jaw…knowing the if your jaw is relaxed there can be no stress left in your body…so scan your body now…finding any stress left and letting it go now…and allowing your jaw to become loose and limp…good…very good…

Now I wonder if you can imagine a spot of color, your favorite color…it's right above your eyes…on the top of your forehead…I wonder if you can see it there now…(Look for eye roll)…good…yes…that's the one…

Now I want you to focus all your attention and awareness on that spot…see it in your mind now…focusing…don't take your eyes off that spot for a second…and when your absolutely sure you can see it very clearly…KNOWING that it is there…SEEING it there…I want you to try and open your eyes, knowing that you can't…that your eyes just don't want to open…(don't allow client to "try" to long) …good…now just let your eyes relax now…and drift…(If your client eyes DO open, just say "good…and now let your eyes just relax twice as much as they were"…and continue along with the script)

Now…in just a moment…I'm going to ask you to move one your right index finger…just a slight movement is ok…this finger that you will move…will represent a "yes" response…if you understand this request…show me by moving the right finger… ( wait/watch for response)…that's right…very good…
Now… I wonder if you could imagine a set of elevator doors before you…and when you enter this special elevator you notice three buttons marked 1,2,3…and you already know that these numbers represent three stages of relaxation…now push button 1 and see the doors slide slowly, quietly, silently shut…and feel the elevator car begin to descend…knowing that as the elevator descends… it's ok to allow yourself to descend deeper into trance with it…just becoming even more relaxed…elevator still going down…deeper…deeper…in a second… you'll feel the elevator begin to slow…when the elevator has stopped completely on floor number one…just give me that yes response …so I'll know…(wait for response)…VERY good…now take a moment to notice this sense of relaxation and how this feels…your mind begins to wander…wondering…knowing that there are two more floors to go…wondering how much deeper relaxed you can become… and how much better you can feel…becoming curious…and pushing the button marked "2"…once again descending deeper…slowly…at your own pace…totally in your control…knowing the number two signifies going two times as deep as you just were…twice as deeply relaxed…that's right…going deeper…elevator slowly moving downward…slowing now…when you feel the elevator stop at floor number two…twice as deep…show me by the yes response so I will know…(wait for response)…THAT"S RIGHT…VERY good…now take a moment to notice this sense of relaxation and how this feels…your VERY good at this…once again your mind begins to drift… becoming curious …wondering…knowing that there is one more floor to go…wondering even how much deeper relaxed you can become… and how much better you can possibly feel…becoming very curious…and pushing the button marked "3"…once again the elevator begins to slowly descend deeper…slowly

…at your own pace…totally in your control…this time letting yourself become more relaxed than you have ever let yourself before…feeling better than you have felt in ages…comfortable…warm…relaxed…feeling good…safe…going even deeper…deeper still…feeling wonderful…when the elevator begins to slow…and your as deep as you care to go at this time…feeling wonderful…give me the yes response…(wait for response)…good…very good…now before you step off the elevator…I wonder if you could imagine in your mind…a very safe…quiet…tranquil place…this place is for you and you alone…nobody else is invited…this place can be inside or outside…it may be a place that you have been to, a place that you have seen in a picture, or maybe just a place that you imagined…a place where you feel safe…comfortable…
Now in this place…there can be no stress…no tension…anxiety…fears, frustrations, angers, guilt, shame, or pain…we can go find them later if you have too, but for now…just let them go…you can SEE this place in your mind…FEEL this place…or just KNOW that it is there…

And when you can imagine this place in your mind…notice the colors…how rich and vibrant they are…notice the textures…the smells…notice the sounds…notice the feelings…the emotions…and knowing that you can come back to this place at anytime…anywhere that you are…feeling this good…this relaxed…coming to this place with all these good feelings…simply by taking a deep breath…hold it…let it out and think "safe"…one more deep breath…hold it…hold it…let it go slowly…"safe"…one more deep breath…hold…hold…hold…and as you let it out…thinking of the word…"relax" and that simple little word…"relax"…allowing you to become this relaxed…and take you back to this safe…comfortable…place…feeling all these good feelings…anywhere…anytime…you choose…safe…safe…relax…

(At this point you can proceed with therapeutic suggestions, post hypnotic suggestions or just allow your client to experience this state of relaxation. Then, bring back to awareness using a standard method. AND…don't forget to smile…)

Ron Stubbs is a Certified Hypnotherapy Instructor and Registered Certified Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist in the Greater Seattle/San Juan Island area. He has become one of the most well respected hypnotherapists in the Pacific Northwest Area. He is a national speaker, teaches nationally with Dr. Kevin Hogan PHD and Marie Mongan (Hypnobirthing Founder), an expert on Tinnitus, Pediatric (Child) Hypnosis, Adult Sexual Survivor Abuse, Past Life Regression, as well as general hypnotherapy, giving lectures, teaching classes and seminars on hypnosis. He has helped clients reach their goals of wellness from ages 4 to 90. He is currently teaching Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy certification classes at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington. He is also in the process of writing various articles for publication on hypnosis and related subjects. He is the co-owner of Islelife Hypnosis, located on beautiful Camano Island, and can be reached at 360-387-1197


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