A Note about Suggestibility Tests
We've already discussed that 'suggestibility' does not necessarily equate to the presence of trance. Even so, the examples outlined in the following sections may loosely be termed 'suggestibility tests' or 'susceptibility tests', and can be used to evaluate a person's natural trance responsiveness. The problem is that to be 'suggestible' or 'susceptible' may be construed as a weakness, an ability to be influenced - connotations that we may wish to avoid. Suggestibility and susceptibility do, however, have historical origins as words used in research into hypnosis, and in many books and studies into the subject. This is why we use them here.
Regardless of the semantics, do remember that in testing and experimenting we do so in order to enhance the clients' experience, and to help us develop our skills in recognising trance behaviour. As such, these 'tests' are best understood as opportunities for furthering the skills of both the subject and the hypnotist.
In "Hypnotherapy: An Exploratory Casebook", Rossi makes the following statement:
"Trivial experimentation tends to blur the distinction between the trance and awake state and lessen the dissociation between them, which in turn lessens the effectiveness of trance." (Erickson & Rossi, 1979, p. 294)
We do well to remember this.
Erickson, M., & Rossi, E. (1979). Hypnotherapy, an exploratory casebook. New York: Irvington Publishers.