The Difference Between Direct & Indirect Suggestions

21st September 2011

Read each pair of the following statements slowly and with deliberation. It’s no secret which is a direct and which is an indirect version. The question is not – do you immediately respond to one statement versus the other – but how much you are drawn into the experience of one or the other. Which are you more comfortable with?

Direct: You will go into a deep trance!
Indirect: Before you let yourself go into a nice comfortable trance, you might want to think about just what that means exactly to you?

Direct: Your eyes are stuck closed. You can’t open them no matter how hard you try. In fact the harder you try to open them the more they stick tightly closed.
Indirect: It is possible to relax your eyes and your eyelids so completely and so perfectly that the mere thought of trying to open them, may make them heavier than any effort you could bother to muster, to open them wouldn’t even be worth the thought of it.

Direct: All tension is leaving your body. You are becoming more and more relaxed
Indirect: You can allow yourself to attend fully to any tension or discomfort you might have, while another part of you learns how you can be more comfortable right now.

Direct: You are very very sleepy.
Indirect: What’s it like to come home from a long day’s work and finally get to rest your head on your pillow?

Direct: And you won’t be able to move your arm!
Indirect: Everybody knows that when you pose for your picture you find the most easy and natural way to hold your arms comfortably locked and naturally immobile.

Direct: Your arm will float up into the air.
Indirect: And as you sit there you can wonder if your arms will grow heavier or lighter, or will one arm in fact grow heavier and the other grow lighter?

Direct: When I count to five, you will awaken feeling wide awake and alert.
Indirect: Take as much time as you like in the next two minutes of clock time to re-orientate yourself fully and open your eyes, now.

This information can be used if you are practicing hypnosis or even just if you want to communicate an idea or point to someone more effectively.

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