Kappas Suggestibility

HHypnotic suggestibility is a trait-like, individual difference variable reflecting the general tendency to respond to [hetero]hypnosis and hypnotic suggestions. Research with standardized measures of hypnotic suggestibility has demonstrated that there are substantial individual differences in this variable.

TThe extent to which a [person] may or may not be “suggestible” has significant ramifications in the scientific research of hypnosis and its associated phenomena. Most hypnotherapists and academics in this field of research work from the premise that hypnotic susceptibility (or suggestibility) is a factor in inducing useful [hypnotic] states. That is, the depth of hypnosis a given individual can achieve in a given context with a particular hypnotherapist and particular set of beliefs, expectations and instructions.

Dr. John Kappas (1925–2002) identified three different types of suggestibility in his lifetime that have improved hypnosis:

Emotional suggestibility – A suggestible behavior characterized by a high degree of responsiveness to inferred suggestions that affect emotions and restrict physical body responses; usually associated with hypnoidal depth ([light trance state]). Thus the emotional suggestible learns more by inference than by direct, literal suggestions. [The emotionals are also called analyticals to a certain degree].

Physical suggestibility – A suggestible behavior characterized by a high degree of responsiveness to literal suggestions affecting the body, and restriction of emotional responses; usually associated with cataleptic stages or deeper. The physicals are non-analyticals; therefore, easier to go in hypnosis.

Intellectual suggestibility – The type of hypnotic suggestibility in which a [person] fears being controlled by the [hypnotherapist] and is constantly analyzing, rejecting or rationalizing everything the hypnotherapist says. With this type of personality, the [hypnotherapist] must give logical explanations for every suggestion and must allow the subject to feel that he is doing the hypnotizing himself. [Hypnosis is always self-hypnosis]. Source

The questionnaires developed by John Kappas can be found online. If you wish, you may use the ones that are applicable to your situation. The questionnaire is a tool that measures how best you and your hypnotherapist can communicate with your subconscious mind.

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