Article as published in The Australian Hypnotherapy Journal ‐ July 2013 Winter edition

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3 kinds of rapport essential for a

successful hypnosis session

By Claudia Klein CHT (non-medical), CPTF, CPTT, HNLP (South Africa)

Anyone who has received professional Hypnosis training will have learnt to prepare a client to receive and hopefully accept carefully designed suggestions sets in the form of a Script or Metaphor. We also learn that even the best hypnotic script skilfully delivered may not yield the desired outcomes. Not yielding the desired outcome could mean that either the suggestions have not been accepted at all, or the positive effect is cancelled out when the client experiences a trigger situation; or the session only brought minor adjustments towards the desired outcome and/or the positive effects starts waning off quickly.
Even when the practitioner has taken care to include all the steps for a successful session, it can still be difficult to pinpoint whether the rejection is due to insufficient rapport, insufficient trance depth, improper wording of the script or due to a deep subconscious program that will prohibit the full acceptance of the suggestions.
This can be disheartening to the newcomer of hypnosis practices. Students often look for reliable signs as to the likelihood of a hypnotic script to work (suggestibility).
They need to understand that the probability of a script being accepted by the client’s subconscious and conscious mind usually increases proportionally to the efforts the practitioner puts into factors like pre‐talk, rapport, induction, deepening and maintaining a good trance depth. In many cases these efforts enhance suggestibility of a client.
In this article I take a closer look at rapport and for the reader to gain the most value, it is presupposed that a thorough understanding of what hypnosis is, how to alleviate misconceptions, various methods of induction and deepeners to reach somnambulism, sustaining trance and trance termination is in place.
All hypnosis training will emphasise the importance of rapport and how to establish it so the reader will be aware that without rapport, a “Client Centred” Hypnosis session is simply not possible.
The quality of the rapport is important to both parties. A client must have confidence in the competence of their practitioner and must feel that they can confide in them. The better the relationship in terms of mutual respect, knowledge and trust, the better will be the quantity and quality of information about the client’s background and concerns, which builds the basis of a client centred session.
Most training mainly focuses on the rapport between the practitioner and the client; the client and the modality, the latter by dealing with misconceptions, explanations and motivation and the former through various techniques, including eliciting details on the reason for visit, the outcome and the establishment of sensible waypoints, gaining insight about the client’s background, life and values.
In “Client Centred” Hypnotherapy the rapport needs to be taken further to include the client’s commitment to participate as the client remains in control of their understanding and change. This is the core of the “Client Centred” approach vs. therapy or therapist centred approach.
While the client may assure the practitioner of their readiness for change ‐ if there is no rapport between the client and themself – even the best session may fail to bring the desired outcomes.
When people seek a hypnosis practitioner for habits, behaviours, fears, and conditions, we need to understand that those are usually deeply embedded parts or aspects of our client. Often the client is very clear on what they don’t want but may have limited understanding of what they do want or even associate fears with the impact the change may have on their personality, lifestyle, people and surroundings – most probably they might not even be aware of this consciously. In some cases there could be Secondary Gain involved, in other words the client hangs on to what he does not want because it gives him something else he does want.


As an example :

A person that is overweight for many years may have to implement major shifts in lifestyle and needs to embrace these, plus the consequences of, for example, becoming more attractive. Being attractive may sound appealing to most of us, but what if the weight was gained to hide the attractiveness, perhaps as a form of protection? Seldom are these conscious decisions and therefore cannot be solved through conscious effort. And precisely herein lies the effectiveness of Hypnosis.
We need to establish that the conscious decisions (to be slimmer in this case) is congruent with the subconscious beliefs or programs. In my professional opinion the subconscious more often than not supports the conscious decision which in turn fuels the desire for change within the client. Knowing to have the inner support usually is experienced as enormous relief and is reassuring and this sets a positive tendency for the remaining and future sessions.
In cases where we experience subconscious conflict, this will need to be explored and mediated before one can continue on the path to the desired outcome.
Unless the client’s enthusiasm and motivation for change outweighs possible fears or apprehensions associated with it ‐ it is questionable that any suggestions to facilitate the change will be accepted.
Also, many clients have, for various reasons, a poor or distorted appreciation of their Self or belief that they lack worthiness. The conscious decision to change may therefore be sabotaged by subconscious beliefs. Advanced Hypnotherapy techniques can help uncovering the cause of this but with good preparation during the earlier stages of working with a client the connection to the SELF can be established and/or healed.
We call the process to establish or strengthen the rapport between the client and their Self RESOURCE STRATEGY©.
When the Resource State is established and explored the likelihood of suggestions for the desired change to be accepted increases so drastically, that in retrospect it often seems that all the client needed was to experience inner congruence. Once the client senses this inner support, outside motivators becomes less necessary and triggers for unwanted behaviour easier to bypass.
RESOURCE STRATEGY© courses are held by the South African Institute of Hypnotism and Claudia Klein is in the process of publishing this method together with a set of carefully assembled scripts to increase the effectiveness of the symptomatic approaches with Hypnosis.


Claudia Klein CHT (non medical), CPTF, CPTT, HNLP, and owner and main facilitator of the South African Institute of Hypnotism and The Mastermind Hypnotherapy Training Centre.   Member of  SAIH, IMDHA (USA)