The handshake induction is one of the most fascinating ^hd effective procedures developed by Erickson for initiating trance. Is is essentially a surprise that interrupts a subject’s habitual framework to initiate a momentary confusion.
A receptivity for clarifying suggestions is thus initiated with an expectancy for further stimuli and direction. In a letter in Weitzenhpffer in 1061 Erickson described his approach to the handshake induction as a means of initiating catalepsy.
When he released the subject’s hand, it would remain fixed in a cataleptic position or would keep moving in any direction he initiated. He used this approach as a test to assess hypnotic susceptibility and as an induction procedure.
The prerequisites for a successful handshake induction are a willingness on the part of the subject to be approached, an appropriate situation, and the suitability of the situation for a continuation of the experience.
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