Ideomotor Responses in hypnosisAnother example of how hypnosis works in hypnotherapy is subconscious negotiation. Hypnosis is all about talking to the subconscious mind but can be most effective when that conversation is two ways. The conscious mind will often have some ideas of what is going on but the actual cause for an emotional or behavioural problem may be completely unknown to the conscious mind. Also, some clients cannot visualise to the extent that is necessary to benefit from metaphor in hypnosis and so some even more direct methods may be necessary.

There are numerous ways to establish this two way conversation in hypnosis but only one that I feel is reliably entirely subconscious. You could ask to have a verbal conversation with the subconscious or you can ask the subconscious to communicate with the conscious mind through images. You could as the subconscious to respond to questions with a nod or shake of the head. All of these could be very effective but I can’t help being a little suspicious of some conscious interference or interpretation. My preferred method of talking to the subconscious mind in hypnosis is using Ideomotor Responses (IMRs). I do this by asking the subconscious mind to take control of a finger or thumb on either hand that it wishes to use to signal me yes and then to move it so that I can see. Once I have established a yes single and no single and I am happy the movement is involuntary, I can ask the subconscious questions with an absolute minimal risk of conscious interference. And so I can negotiate with the subconscious, I can ask carefully selected questions to uncover general reasons behind behaviour and then suggest solutions, guide the subconscious to solve the problem and then confirm if it has been done or not. Once it seems to have been done, I will ask if there is anything else that needs to be done and use the same signals to find out what if needs be.

Sometimes it is as easy as how direct suggestion works in hypnosis asking if the subconscious can do X now instead of Y but other times I will need to find a way to make my suggestions that fits with the way the subconscious of that individual works.

Talking to the subconscious mind using ideomotor responses works as it is bypasses conscious reasoning completely. The conscious mind has no influence over what the answers are as the movements are involuntary – they are entirely subconscious.

If you come and see me for hypnosis in Worthing I will do a series of experiments before we go into any detail. Those experiments will tell me which techniques are most likely to work for you, be that direct suggestion, subconscious negotiation, parts therapy, metaphor, reframing or past life regression or which combination.

About Alex


Alex Vrettos is The Worthing Hypnotist using direct hypnosis, metaphor, parts therapy, subconscious negotiation to change any unwanted feelings and behaviours specialising in treatment of anxiety and fear related issues. He has an informal style that is solution focused and usually gets results within the first session or two.