What is Suggestibility?

Contact Joan Teasdale to discover how Hypnosis can help!

Hypnotic Suggestibility describes how one takes in a hypnotistst’s information in order to enter into the hypnotic state, and how one responds to positive suggestion while in hypnosis. Suggestibility can be determined and is important for the hypnotherapist to gauge, as understanding clients’ suggestibility exponentially enhances the experience for each individual. Suggestibility is known to have three stages of depth in hypnosis relating physiological changes and brain wave states:


  1. Hypnoidal or light trance
  2. Cataleptic or medium trance
  3. Somnambulistic or deep trance

For many generations it was believed that medium and deeper trance levels created better suggestibility and better results. And it seemed that some people were more hypnotizable (suggestible) than others. With John Kappas’ E+P Theory (more below), we now know that everyone is suggestible to something—meaning almost everyone can be hypnotized and receive positive benefits, even at the lighter trance stages. Suggestibility is how we hear, how we take in information and how we learn. Hearing and responding to a mother’s voice is one of the first steps towards focusing on something in life, most importantly for survival, and then for love and connection. In youth, when the mother speaks directly to her child and acts in accordance to her words, the child learns literally. This is referred to as Physically Suggestible (P). If the mother speaks to the child inferentially (not directly) and if her words and actions do not match, the child learns to infer the messages being given. We refer to this as Emotionally Suggestible (E). Individuals have varying combinations of both the E+P on a scale of 50 to 100 percent of each E+P. This subconscious way of liking what we hear is re-enacted throughout life… hearing and responding as we were conditioned to long ago. We are all more suggestible to ideas and thoughts if they are posed in a familiar and comfortable way. Results in hypnosis prove more powerful and effective if spoken according to the client’s E+P suggestibility. There are two other types of Suggestibility, the High Intellectual and the Somnambulist. The High Intellectual has a continuous need to analyze the processes and will try to logic and reason their way out of hypnosis, but the trained hypnotist (hypnotherapist) knows they can drop equally well into trance and begin new associations for learning. On the other hand, the Somnambulist is open, follows direction, and responds to both Physical and Emotional suggestions. These individuals are unique and capable of reaching three depth levels of amnesia. These individuals are recognized by stage hypnotists, as they are great subjects. On another note… we are all most suggestible to ourselves. The hypnotist can acknowledge this and speak or suggest in a certain way to be most effective. In my practice, we discover your Suggestibility in the Introductory Session. This information is a valuable tool in everyday life as well as in hypnosis healing and I urge you to learn about your own suggestibility!

I am a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Certified Hypnotist in NYC and Certified Therapeutic Guided Imagery Facilitator, I have been immersed in work with images for my entire adult life, and I would love to share with you my skills and experience to help you change your life.

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