Hypnotic Induction By George Gafner
Published by Crown House Publishing Ltd
Reviewed by Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D.
As a hypnotherapist, I was intrigued by this small book
focusing solely on hypnotic inductions. In Techniques of
Hypnotic Induction, psychotherapist George Gafner, brings
over 30 years of experience to bear, teaching
hypnotherapists how to communicate with the unconscious mind
skillfully, through story-telling inductions.
Gafner begins with an overview of the applications and
efficacy of clinical hypnosis, backed by research studies.
The applications include gastro-intestinal disorders, skin
disorders, anesthetic-free surgery, nausea associated with
chemotherapy, asthma, gender identity disorders, cystic
fibrosis, and of course, smoking and weight management, as
well as pain management, insomnia, substance abuse, and
anxiety and mood disorders.
Next, the author offers a metaphoric trance induction with
helpful notes in the margin showing how he indirectly
suggests various trance phenomena: time distortion,
dissociation, hallucination, and catalepsy. Then he launches
into a series of hypnotic story-telling scripts, which are
whimsical, haunting, and amusing, --all designed to induce
trance with indirect references to time distortion, opening
the mind to discovery, considering options for
problem-solving, acceptance, releasing, and dissociation.
These scripts teach readers how to insert suggestions into
fascinating stories that help clients experience the effects
of hypnosis. The scripts obviously speak to the unconscious
mind and the influence of Milton H. Erickson is evident.
While the scripts are beautifully written, readers are
reminded to adapt them to their own circumstances and the
preferences and sensitivities of their clients.
Gafner includes a very nice chapter on the hypnotic voice—a
subject I’ve not seen in other books on hypnotherapy. He
follows with a chapter on guided imagery inductions, based
on scenes from nature – mountain vistas, streams, and
forests. He also presents confusional inductions for clients
who are not easily hypnotized or who may be somewhat
resistant to direct suggestions.
The main text ends with a few practical recommendations for
educating clients about hypnotherapy, introducing colleagues
to hypnotherapy in clinical settings, and additional
practice guidelines. The two appendices cover a range of
techniques (with references to other books where each may be
found) and a glossary.
Techniques of Hypnotic Induction makes enjoyable reading for
hypnotherapists who want to bring creativity and imagination
to their inductions. The clever scripts are interspersed
with instruction written with just enough hypnotic language
to appeal to the conscious mind as well as the unconscious
mind. The entire book makes for a truly entrancing learning
Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist and
life coach with a solo practice, Motivational Strategies, in
Springfield, Virginia. She is a certified hypnotherapist and
NLP Trainer as well as Executive Director of the National
Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists. She has written
The Weight, Hypnotherapy and You Weight Reduction Program:
An NLP and Hypnotherapy Practitioner’s Manual. Her website
Her email is
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