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In response to this question the first aspect you must be absolutely clear about is whether your responses were purely involuntary. There must be no voluntary contribution to the response. The less sure you are that your response was involuntary the more careful you must be about accepting the response at face value. The more serious or important your question the more careful you must be. One way forward is to ask different aspects of the question. This will establish whether they support the initial response.

Let us suppose you wanted to know whether you should take up a new job that has been offered to you. You might under self-hypnosis and using ideomotor signalling ask yourself, “Should I accept the new job?” There are, of course, four possible responses

  1. yes
  2. no
  3. yes and no
  4. no response

What we are concerned about here is a ‘yes’ response about which you are not sure you gave an involuntary response. The same would apply to a ‘no’ response. There are two ways forward.

  1. You can ask the unconscious mind a whole series of subsidiary questions. E.g.,
         (a) “Will I be happier if I take up the new job?”
         (b) “Will my partner agree with me taking up the new job?”
         (c) “Will the extra travelling become a burden to me?”
         (d) “Will I find the change in lifestyle acceptable?”
    All this should help in clarifying the initial response.
  2. Alternative is to go totally away from ideomotor responses and use visualization. The gist of the script is that you walk along a path and come on a fork. Going down one path sees you continuing in the present job. Seeing what you will be like over (say) the next five years. Going down the other path is to take up the new job. To see how you might be like over the next five years if you took up the new job.  

Of course, there is nothing preventing you from doing both. What is being emphasized here is a method of establishing how far you can accept the ideomotor response as the ‘right’ response – an involuntary response.

Another safeguard is worth considering. It may be that you will be happier with a new job but it is not a practical solution at the present time. This may be because of financial commitments or family commitments. Your new job may mean moving, which means your children going to a new school. You may be happier but will your children or your partner? No one can answer these questions other than you. But in self-hypnosis you have a better chance of seeing the issues in perspective and consider alternatives in a relaxed and dispassionate manner.

Nodding and shaking the head is another ideomotor signally used more in heterohypnosis than in self-hypnosis. Finger signalling, however, is far more flexible both for heterohypnosis and self-hypnosis.

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Should I Trust my Responses?