Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Hand-Clasp Induction

(This blog was originally posted on June 6, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., the hand-clasp is a secondary-induction technique that can help deepen the hypnotic trance during the first hypnotherapy session. As always, start with the arm-raising induction followed by a progressive relaxation; then “awaken” the client and do the hand-clasp induction and give another suggestion. “This process will make the client feel like you are taking him deeper into hypnosis,” the hypnotherapist explained. However, this induction should never be used as a primary induction technique to hypnotize a person, he warned.

To do the hand-clasp induction, the client is instructed to clasp his or her hands in front of the body while looking directly into the hypnotherapist’s eyes. The individual is then instructed to close the eyes while the hypnotherapist holds the outstretched arms at the elbow. At this point, the hypnotherapist counts down from five to zero, explaining that the person’s hands will tighten and the fingers will interlock with each count. By the time the count reaches “zero,” the person’s body will be totally relaxed. Meanwhile, the hands will be tightly locked together so that the harder the individual tries to separate them, the tighter this grip will become (double-bind), Dr. Kappas said.

At the hypnotherapist’s suggestion the arms begin to feel very heavy and start to drop into the person’s lap in small, jerking motions. “As the arms reach the lap [the client] will go deeper and deeper into hypnosis.”

In a variation of the hand-clasp induction, the client is instructed to raise the arms—bent at the elbow—with the fingers and palms facing each other. There should be several inches between the hands to start. There will be a tendency for the fingers to draw together until they are touching. At this point, the hypnotherapist instructs the client to close the eyes and concentrate on the hands moving closer together. When the fingers touch, the person will be at the height of his or her suggestibility, Dr. Kappas explained.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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