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The Hypnotic Handshake

By Shlomo Vaknin, C.Ht
Source: NLP Weekly

The Hypnotic Handshake method is based on ‘brief hypnosis’. Brief hypnosis is a less known format of hypnotizing, first initiated by Dr. Milton H. Erickson. Erickson also taught the Hypnotic Handshake method based on the principles of brief hypnosis.

Brief hypnosis claims that most people enter trance (the hypnotic state of mind) and exit trance many times during the day.

One good example would be driving on the free way, white you’re figuring out what to say to your boss about you being late again (for the 29th time this month). Not being aware completely to the road and to the driving activity, you still make it in one piece to the office. That’s hypnosis.

Brief hypnosis starts with a rapid induction to get a person into trance. Rapid induction is based on two key principles:

Rapid Induction Principle No. 1:
Interrupt the auto-pilot

We are predictable creatures. Lift your right hand toward someone, say Hi, smile, and he will automatically lift his right hand to shake yours. Odd. He didn’t even think about it, it happened automatically. It’s the auto-pilot. One of many automatic behaviors we’re known of doing without conscious decision.

If you interrupt an automatic behavior like this, you create an empty space, a query in the other person’s mind, a brief window to the subconscious mind. It takes less than a second for that window to close, so you’d better act fast.

Rapid Induction Principle No.2: Fill the blank

Now that the automatic pattern is missing, fill the blank quickly. The other person will follow if it’s done immediately after the interruption, because our minds don’t like voids. They want completion.

Do something that will restore the missing link. Use hypnotic language and fast pacing induction script while talking in your regular voice.

Now that you know the key principles of rapid induction in brief hypnosis, let’s move on to show you the Hypnotic Handshake method:

Step 1: Interrupt the Auto Handshake

Let’s say you’re going to hypnotize John. John is a nice guy, but he deserves to be hypnotized and positively abused (meaning he will be happy during and after the session).

You meet John, smile at him, look him directly in the eyes and you lift your right hand toward him for a handshake. Now stay alert!

For the handshake interrupt, as John’s hand comes up, you form a cup with your thumb and first finger. Instead of meeting John’s right hand with yours, you put your hand in cup form under his hand that is coming to shake.

But then your hand goes back just a little bit—don’t pull it way back, just an inch. The other hand goes behind the wrist so that it goes up. Just gently cup it and move his hand up in front of his eyes and say, “Look!??

That’s an awesome interruption! John would never expect something like that! Oh, poor John… Oh well, on with the plan…

Step 2: Pull him into hypnosis

In hypnosis we don’t ask people to relax and allow themselves to be hypnotized. We make them to be! Yes, I know, I have to be nice to my clients. Still, you have to show them who’s the boss, right? And if I’m getting paid and they are paying, I guess I’m the one who’s in charge here.

Don’t get nervous now. Pull John into hypnosis. Here’s how:

As you pass John’s hand in front of his eyes and say “Look!”, you point with your other hand toward his hand. That’s a new program.

“John, look at your hand and nod when you notice the changing focus of your eyes, and as you notice it, see if you can take a deeper breath than the one you just had and as you notice the changing focus, that’s right! You may let your eyes stay close on the next… that’s the way, I will let you know when you are ready to let your hand rest and go all the way down… listen, can you hear all the sounds, aren’t they clearer… ”

And from here you can continue with deepeners or with hypnotic suggestions and make John’s shocking experience of hypnosis a pleasant one.

One warning: make sure your victim (cough… client) is sitting on a chair and not standing up. I did this technique once on a ‘non believer’ while he was standing up, and he fell down on the floor… I had to use amnesia and pain-killer techniques to make sure he’s not resentful afterwards…

Oh, and another warning: remember to take John out of hypnosis when you’re done!

RELATED ARTICLE: The Definitive Hypnosis Cheat Sheet

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