Problems with Ideo-motor Questioning Methods
Though this is a useful therapeutic technique, the fact remains that there can be problems. Below are listed come of these difficulties:
Some individuals cannot or will not develop definite finger signals. Such behaviour is often seen with clients who have had series of failures with other modes of treatment at the hands of highly competent therapists. No signals may be an unconscious defence against the possibility of another failure. Here the hypnotherapist needs to access and correct this problem.
Substitutions of Unimportant Events
This is common in any form of psychotherapy. Individuals in hypnosis are economical in their energy output; they will try to “get away with” the least amount of work. The therapist can be led astray. When ideo-motor methods are used and a client has released what seems important, one can ask “Could there have been some earlier experience that set the stage for the one you have just reported?” The therapist then continues to regressing time until the client is emotionally satisfied and the problem is resolved.
Signals Given but Refusal to Answer Verbally, or Signals that Change or Become Multiple and Unreadable
This gives the therapist immediate knowledge about resistances. Recognition of this fact can save time and cost to the client and can also stimulate the client into thinking about the necessity to continue resisting. There may be a resolution of the problems between visits. There are two major classes of typical resistances which are:
Intrinsic Factors arising with the client:
“Flashback” to a previous unpleasant spontaneous hypnodial state;
Previous frightening association (ie. Stage Show Demonstrations);
Unresolved need for symptom or problem.
Extrinsic Factors arising from the environment:
Unfavourable reaction to the therapist;
Rebellion against request for therapy by someone else;
Association with critical or resistant people.
Initial Inability to Signal No
Another form of resistance that is usually associated with cultural, religious, or family training in passivity is seen with the client who is easily able to give a yes signal but initially cannot give an no signal. This is an important piece of information. These people do not know how to say no at an inner level. It is likely that many of their life problems stem from this difficulty. Training these people to give the no signal then becomes a very effective initial approach to ego strengthening.
Persistent Inability to Signal
A persistent inability to give any apparent ideo-motor signal may indicate a difficulty in the transference situation between therapist and client. The therapist’s attitude, approach, or frames of reference may not be appropriate for this particular client. Therapist and client may need to re-evaluate the problem and/or the dynamics of the relationship. Both may need to feel more secure before they can proceed successfully.
Ideo Sensory Signals
Occasionally very sensitive subjects will experience such vivid sensory responses that they may be reluctant to actually move it. Their fingers or entire hand and arm can remain cataleptic, even while strong sensory response is experienced. The therapist can utilise these ideo sensory responses just as well as ideo-motor responses. With ideo sensory responses, however, the client must verbalise whether a yes or no response is being experienced. Alternatively, the therapist can suggest that the client’s unconscious can translate the ideo sensory response into a slow, repetitive head nodding for yes, or a slow head shaking from side to side to signal no.