Achieve Hypnosis Magic with the Client Interview

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

Ok, here’s where the rubber meets the road. You’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing hypnosis training for a while. Your toolbox is overflowing. Now it’s time to (GASP!) start working with clients.

Scary, isn’t it?

Relax, because you’re in good company. It's normal to not feel ready. Taking the first step from knowing to doing can be incredibly intimidating. But you are not going to “break” your client or leave them more tangled up than they were at the start of the session.

And, I hate to break this to you, but you’re not going to use your tools perfectly when you first get started. Perfectionism is boring. Give yourself permission to fail.

Would you rather wait until you’re perfect (which will never happen) or begin making a difference now?
 I double dare you to get out of your comfort zone and USE YOUR TOOLS!

Training Wheels for the New Hypnotist

The following guidelines will increase your confidence. You will quickly grow and relax into the process when you see your client change before your eyes. Soon you’ll feel comfortable trusting your unconscious to create sessions “on the fly”.

The Perfect Intake: Part 1 

An effective session starts with your client intake form. It’s important to understand the following.

Mental health history:

  • Has your client ever been treated for an emotional problem?
  • Have they been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD? This can affect the induction process.
  • Do they have any fears or phobias? This would indicate a need to de-traumatize first.

These questions will make you aware of any previous diagnoses and what the client has tried in the past. Find out was has worked and do more of that. Find out what hasn’t worked so you can avoid repeating ineffective methods.

Medical history:  How are medical conditions affecting your client’s life? Have they been treated for problems like diabetes, epilepsy, or heart problems? Do they have any allergies? If they’re currently under the care of a physician or mental health practitioner, is that person aware and supportive of them working with you?

What prescription, over the counter, and recreational drugs are they using? What is the purpose of the drug and how long have they been using it?

It’s important to understand how medications are affecting their life. If your client has drugs in their system during your session, it can suppress the problem state and get in the way of the desired change.

Current support system: Find out who else wants them to change. Do they have supportive people in their life? Is there anyone who is not supportive of your client making this change?

It’s important to understand your client’s support system (or lack thereof). Toxic relationships can have a negative impact on your client’s ability to change. 

The Perfect Intake Part 2: Graphology

Direct your client to write 2 or 3 sentences in their normal handwriting. This should be written on unlined paper, then signed and dated. You can learn so much about your client from their handwriting!

Have your client complete this step even if you haven’t taken Mike Mandel’s Graphology course yet. You can post the handwriting sample (minus their signature) in the “Graphology with Mike Mandel” Facebook group and learn what your client’s writing says about them.

A great way to keep your client engaged in their own change process is to require a handwriting sample before you book their session. Many new hypnotists work with people for free or for a reduced fee. Sometimes people are flaky when they don’t pay, or if you offer a heavy session discount.

You can avoid working with flaky people by only scheduling their session AFTER they have completed the intake and submitted their handwriting sample. They’ll be more likely to put as much effort into the process as you are.

You will get the best sample if they spontaneously choose what to write. However, if your client has a hard time choosing content, you can suggest they answer the following question:

How will my life improve when this issue is resolved?

Everyone has a camera on their phone these days. Just have your client email or text you a clear picture of the handwriting sample.

Free Power Inductions Tutorial

This free video tutorial shows you exactly how to perform Rapid and Instant inductions. Take what you learn in the client interview and create lasting change easily.

The Perfect Intake Part 3: Consultation

Your goal during the consultation is to make your client feel heard and valued without talking too much about the problem. Talking about the problem only reinforces, re-accesses, and re-amplifies the problem and keeps it manifesting in their lives.

The following questions are phrased to get clean, authentic answers from your client's unconscious mind. Speak with a confident, expectant, congruent tone, backed by the intention of speaking with your client’s unconscious.

Ask these questions in person or during a phone consultation. Write down key words and phrases as your client answers.

1. What is the single, most powerful change you can make during this session?

What is the one thing that will fix the greatest amount of problems and have the maximum effect? Focus on one thing at a time for maximum results.

2. How do you know you have the problem?

How does the problem affect their life? Relationships? Work? Health?

3. What does this problem stop you from doing?

Find out what limitations the problem is bringing into their life. What negative beliefs accompany this problem?

4. What does this problem give you or enable you to do?

This question uncovers the secondary gain. What is your client getting out of this behavior? You can also ask, “What will happen if you don’t do it?”

5. When did the problem start?

This answer will sometimes reveal the initial sensitizing event (ISE). However, the client is usually mistaken about why they have the problem. A true ISE almost always occurs before age seven.
Remember to de-traumatize first if the problem began during a traumatic or stressful time in their life. Mike’s 6 step tapping protocol is an excellent tool for this.

6. Why have you decided to make this change?

The answer to this question will reveal if they're truly ready to change. Do they understand the following?

Something has to change.
It has to be ME.
It has to be NOW.

Or are they here because they want to get their spouse to stop bugging them about the problem?

7. What would you like to do/have instead of the problem?

Explain that they are only allowed to tell you what they DO want, not what they don’t want.
Write down the EXACT words and phrase that are meaningful to them. Feed these words back to them during their session for maximum impact. Pay attention to shifts in their voice, expressions, and body language and say, “When you said that your voice shook. What just happened there? What was that?”

8. How will your life improve when you make this phenomenal change today?

This question goes hand in hand with question 7. Speak the bolded portion as an embedded command by pausing or changing your tone slightly.

Find your client’s core values by asking “And what will that give you?” Pay attention to their tone and body language as they answer. Keep asking “And what will that give you?” until they can’t come up with anything else or until you see them light up when they answer. This is their core value. Make a note of this nominalization and use the exact word or phrase in the session.

Nominalization: A noun you cannot fit in a wheelbarrow. These words mean something different to everyone. Examples: success, love, power, happiness. Dump truck is NOT a nominalization, although you'd need a pretty big wheelbarrow to hold one.

Use the nominalization that's meaningful to your client during conversational hypnosis, direct suggestion, and ego strengthening.

9. Have you made previous efforts to resolve this issue?

Find out what has worked? Why or when did it stop working? What changed in your client’s life to make the problem start again?

What didn’t work? This will help you know what NOT to do.

10. Do you have any previous experience with hypnosis?

What did/did not work? Do more of what did work and avoid using techniques that didn’t. If they tell you someone did timeline therapy with them and they hated it, do not use timeline therapy with them!

11. Do you have any questions before we schedule your hypnosis session?

This question presupposes that the person on the other end of conversation WILL book a session. It also gives the client a chance to ask any of his or her own final questions.

What tool should I choose for my client?

After your consultation, expect to have “aha” moments all the time. You’ll hear something and think, “That’s exactly what Susan needs at her appointment next week!”

Organization tip: You may wish to start a file in your phone or computer. OneNote is my favorite way to organize my “Eureka!” moments. Create a page for each client and record your ideas on the spot. Don’t expect to remember later. Take 5 seconds and do it now! You can also paste your clients intake answers, handwriting sample, and a photo of your consultation notes in the file under their name.

Magic Happens Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Once you have a few sessions under your belt, you’ll start choosing the best tool from your toolbox on the fly. Your goal is to stop overthinking and planning sessions in advance.

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself automatically knowing what to do or say next. You’ll trust your unconscious mind to lead you, based on what unfolds in real time during the session.

The best way to arrive at this goal is to get out of your comfort zone and start doing it BEFORE you think you’re ready.


Experience the magic!
You’ve got this!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article where I’ll provide a foolproof template for structuring highly effective change work sessions based on your client intake.

Free Power Inductions Tutorial

This free video tutorial shows you exactly how to perform Rapid and Instant inductions. Take what you learn in the client interview and create lasting change easily.

World Class Video Training and Certification

Learn Hypnosis Online

"I absolutely love the online course. It completely changed my life and consulting career. The information is the best I've ever seen. You guys are incredible at what you do. I love the course so much."

Jason Cyrus

Connecticut, USA

World Class Video Training and Certification

Learn Hypnosis Online

"I absolutely love the online course. It completely changed my life and consulting career. The information is the best I've ever seen. You guys are incredible at what you do. I love the course so much."

Jason Cyrus

Connecticut, USA