Instructions to hypnotist
Most children will enter hypnosis very quickly and easily; while an eye closure technique is suitable for most children, some smaller children will object to it. It is always wise to enquire from the child whether it will be O.K. for him to close his eyes.
Spoken to the subject
Do you like to pretend games, (child's name)? I would like you to pretend something for me, will you? Good. All right, now close your eyes please and while you have them closed, I want you to pretend that they just won't open no matter how hard you try and, so long as you keep pretending, they won't open at all. That's good. Keep pretending until I ask you to stop. Do you have a television at home? O.K., will you switch in on please? What's on? ... Can you turn it up a little? Good. What's happening now?
The exact wording is not important here and should be adapted to the circumstances. The objective is to invoke the child's imagination, which normally he/she is using continually in his/her games of pretence, to gain eye closure. When futile attempts to open the eyes are observed, hypnosis has already begun. It is important to secure the child's agreement to maintain the pretence until you direct him/her to stop pretending. With an easy extension of his/her pretence, the child transports himself/herself to his/her home and regresses to a favorite TV programme. He/she can be asked to describe in detail all that he/she sees and hears going on. Hypnosis is established. The body relaxation normally associated with adult hypnosis is often less in evidence with children who remain physically active through hypnosis.