Tips for Writing Scripts

Page numbers are from Paul Durbin Kissing Frogs: The Practical Use of Hypnotherapy: Second Edition and on my website “Articles 1” “Kissing Frogs: The Practical Use of HypnotherapyWebsite version. When using website version, refer to chapters.

Guidelines for Writing Scripts: (144-146) (Chapter 18)
1. Use present tense: Construct your suggestions as if they have already been accomplished or being accomplished. “Using the word “will” reduces the effectiveness of the suggestion because it is indefinite. Any suggestion given in the future tense with the word, “will” is like making a New Year’s resolution.
2. Use positive instead of negative statements as the subconscious mind may drop the “not” or “no” and accept the suggestions opposite to the desired meaning
3. Do not use the word “try”. “Try” implies failure.
4. Imagine or visualize what you want to happen as if it has already happened.
5. Be specific. Choose one area to work on at a time or a few related areas.
6. Be detailed: Analyze the goal and structure your suggestions to cover details of the changed behavior and/or attitude.
7. Be simple. Speak to the subconscious as you would a bright 9-year-old. In most cases avoid long technical terms.
8. Use exciting words: Joyous, radiant, thrilling, abundant, loving, wonderful.
9. When a suggestion is coupled with an emotion, the suggestion is enhanced.
10. Be accurate: Name exactly what the client desires to achieve. “You reduce to your desire weight to 125 lbs.”

11. Be Realistic. To suggest that a 57 year old man can be a major league ballplayer may be unrealistic. If the individual involved is capable, you may suggest he consider a softball league or a senior baseball league.
12. Personalize the suggestion. Take information obtained in the interview and integrate the clients concerns into the script you use with the client.
13. Be repetitive. Repeat the suggestion, repeat the suggestion, repeat the suggestion. It may be helpful to repeat the suggestion several times with a slight change in wording.

IMAGERY AND VISUALIZATION: The use of imagery and visualization with suggestions intensifies the suggestion and makes it more effective. Determine if client is visual before using visualization. For the visual person you can have them use their imagination or visualization. The non-visual may think they are not doing it right because they can’t visualize so use “imagine…” Jonathan Edwards said, “The ideas and images in the minds of men are the invisible power that constantly governs them.” The wise old man of Proverbs once wrote, “Whatever a person thinketh his heart so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” and “Imagination is your preview of coming events.” One of the characteristics of the subconscious mind is that which is expected, good or bad, tends to be realized. The most effective imaging is that which communicates with the subconscious “in the heart”. The mental picture you hold of yourself is what directs and controls you. You can use your imagination to improve you or destroy you.

 (151-152) (Chapter 18)
1. Spontaneous Imagery comes to one without consciously requesting the imagery. I can remember at a time while visiting the pastor of Arcadia Methodist Church. As I drove by the old Joy Theater (still standing, but not in use) I could almost see myself as a 5 to 9 year old boy going to that theater. It was usually on a Saturday afternoon and a double feather western was the order of the day. What a good time I had in my spontaneous age regression.
2. Induced Imagery 
is consciously selected for a specific purpose. One day, as I was thinking of my dad who died in 1983, I consciously went back in my mind to the night before I went to college. I could see my dad plainly as he said to me, “Paul, you are going to be taught many things while in college. Some will be different from what you have been taught at home. Take that which will help you whether it is like you have been taught or not and add it to your life. If it does not help, discord it.” He continued to talk and finished his guidance with these words, “Be careful what you pray for and what you preach against, because you might get them both.” I did not have to ask my dad what he meant. I understand him to mean, “If you pray to miss an event that you do not want to attend, you may get sick and not have to attend.” The prayer was answered but the person did not want to get sick. In regards to the preaching statement; he meant that which one preaches against most often may well be the biggest temptation for that individual. One who preaches against the “sins of the flesh” may get into trouble by having sex outside of marriage.
3. Concrete imagery 
is used to see something in detail which you want to happen in your life. A person who desires to reduce to a specific weight uses an imagery of stepping on the scales and seeing the exact weight she desires to be.
4. Abstract imagery 
has the person in number 3, seeing a bowl of ice cream behind a red circle with a red bar crossing the bowl. That is the universal symbol for “refrain from.”
5. General imagery
 is used to see yourself health, feeling good, enjoying life. This imagery is used for overall achievement instead of specific results.
6. Specific imagery 
is used for a specific purpose. A person with high blood pressure
imagines taking his blood pressure and seeing 120 over 80.
7. End Results imagery 
is used to imagine the end result which is desired. I have shared with you the imagery that I used before being selected for promotion to Brigadier General. I visualized my star being pinned on me by the Chief of Chaplain of the Army and wearing my general’s uniform.
8. Process imagery 
is used in going through a process by which the goal is achieved. A person in preparation for a speech imagines preparing the speech, choosing just the right things to say, writing the speech, practicing the speech, and delivering the speech.
9. Guided imagery 
is scripted to bring about a specific imagery. “Imagine that you are walking down a beautiful country road. It is a beautiful sunny day…”

Stories can come from fiction and non fiction book, TV-radio, magazines, newspapers, Bible, client’s life experience, your life experience or something you just make up.

1. Robert – chicken breaking out of shell (46-53) (Chapter 7)
2. Sandy – boy who refused to eat prunes (54-60) (Chapter 8)
3. Ralph – invisible barriers (61-67) (Chapter 9)
4. Cindy – tadpoles to frogs (68-73) (Chapter 10)
5. Katie – let go of the garbage (106-115) (Chapter 15)
6. Ned – using canon ride from his session. Wizard of Oz (153-159) (Chapter 19)
7. Mr. Thibodeaux – stroke rewiring the house (182-199) (Chapter 23)
8. Joe Bob’s – pistol competition (had him tell me about competition and wrote a script (214-215) (Chapter 26)
9. Drew – pitching (218) (Chapter 26)

1. Motivation – Buddha and the man who wanted deliverance. (127) (Chapter 16)
2. Letting go of fears – The Green Dragon (158-159) (Chapter 19)
3. Procrastination – sleeping well on a windy night (129) (Chapter 16)
4. Stop smoking – crutches (164) (Chapter 20)
5. Weight control – ‘back pack’ story (171) (21)
6. Improving immune system – protective ants (193-194) (Chapter 23)
7. New ways of looking at life’s problems – grandma embroidering a pillowcase (233) (Chapter 28)
8. Releasing – hand to face for therapy (If hand does not touch face Therapy Between Sessions. (110) (Chapter 15)
9. Cleansing – waterfall for cleansing (23) (Chapter 3)
10. Ending – eagle and chicken with two endings – (206) (Chapter 24)