Roland Suljic – HWT in Changework (Case Study No. 2)

This is a case study on the application of HWT to changework, presented by the incredibly creative hypnotist Roland Suljic. If you have any questions or comments, I know that both Roland and I would love to address them, so please do leave them in the comments section below! Over to Roland!

The case: Subject is a 38-year-old engineer with fear of blushing in awkward public situations. On the one hand he is rather easy to influence but tends to be skeptical on the other hand as long as doubts remain. The subject is highly fascinated by stage hypnosis and its possibilities.

The approach:

Step 1: Preframing and ‘Big Because’
Step 2: HWT Hand Stick as convincer
Step 3: Shift from ‘Not hypnosis frame’ to ‘hypnosis frame’
Step 4: Intervention (Desensitization)
Step 5: Ending the session

Step 1: Preframing and “Big Because”

The subject explicitly asked for hypnosis in the first place but then again showed signs of doubt whether or not hypnosis might be able to change his situation. As in the last case study, I explained him that he had not been born with this fear but had learned it in the past, while the inborn fears (of falling and loud noises) had been unlearned since birth which leads to the conclusion that all fears can be learned and unlearned. Next, I explained to him that the mind learns by associating and that his mind, at some point in the past, had associated the feeling of awkwardness to the feeling of fear.

I framed his problem as being comprised of two elements, i.e. the trigger and the physiological reaction, both linked together by the ‘A means B’ pattern of association which is typical for the mind. The goal of the whole hypnosis intervention was severing this connection by redefining the association in his mind.

His reactions indicated that he had bought in, so I suggested starting the process with a preliminary practice und the „not hypnosis“ frame.

Step 2: HWT Hand Stick as convincer

I did a standard HWT Hand Stick routine (as described in the HWT Mastery Programme) which took about half a minute until his left hand stuck to his leg. This experience finally let all remaining doubt dissipate and the subject was now fully convinced about me, my skills and the coming procedure.

Next, I opened a new loop by unsticking his hand and asking him to interlink his fingers. Then I stuck his fingers and palms firmly together and tested him. He was uncapable of seaparating his hands, so I could end up step 2 and proceed to next step.

Step 3: Shift from ‘not hypnosis frame’ to ‘hypnosis frame’

As step 2 was framed as ‘not hypnosis’ but the subject expected to be hypnotised, it was now necessary to change the frame from ‘not hypnosis’ to ‘hypnosis’. I did this my standard way by telling him:

“Now that you experience the power and control of your mind over your body without any induced trance whatsoever, you can begin to start feeling how much more powerful this control becomes as soon as you enter real hypnosis, can’t you?”

After eliciting a “yes” response from him, I told him to pick a point somewhere on his hands, suggested heavy eyelids and led him into a trance. Now, in order to start the real intervention, another ‘big because’ was necessary, so I told him:

“As you are very relaxed now, your mind is open to my suggestions and your thoughts and ideas. You can feel your hands still stuck together and you still cannot separate them, even if you try really hard. This is a representation for the situation that you wish to change. One hand represents the trigger, the other one represents the physiological reaction and when both come together you feel out of control. And as you begin to remember one very unpleasant situation of your past you start to feel out of control now as you did then. Nod when you feel it. [Waiting for signal]. That’s right. And as you feel that again your mind starts to associate it automatically with the stuck hands and corresponding feeling of being out of control as you begin to focus on that now. Nod when you feel it. [Waiting for signal]. That’s right. And now, as this situation of stuckness represents the situation that you wish to change in your mind, all we have to do is to unstick your hands, finger by finger, thus unlearning the unwanted behaviour while we teach your mind to associate something new to the feeling of awkwardness, thus creating a new behaviour. Now, focus on the relaxation in your body …”

I then intensified the feeling of relaxation before procedding to the next step.

Step 4: Intervention (Desensitization)

For those of you who don’t know the term: The principal idea of desensitization is imagining a fearful situation while the body is very relaxed. As anxiety and relaxation cannot exist in the body at the same time, the mind learns to associate relaxation with the mental images.

I combined this simple therapeutic principle with the HWT Hand Stick, using the hands as a representation for the situation in order to release it step by step, finger by finger. So, I ran the subject through a series of ten imagined situations, in which the level of akwardness of the imagined situation increased with every step. The central suggestion was always:

“As you see this situation in your mind’s eye you can feel the awkwardness related to it but your body remains as deeply relaxed and calm as it is now. And when you clearly feel this deep releaxation and calmness throughout your body although you are in this awkward situation, your right-hand pinkie unsticks and you regain control of it.”

This was the suggestion for the first scenario, the following unstuck the left-hand pinkie, the third released the right-hand ring finger and so on, in the order from pinkies to thumbs. [Hint: This order is essential for two reasons, so I do NOT recommend reversing the order. First reason: The pinkie is weaker than the thumb and is therefore connected to the less fearful scenarios in alignment with the symbolic language of the subconscious. Second reason (even more important): Very many people are physiologically unable to lift the ring finger without lifting the pinkie at the same time. Therefore, the pinkie must be released first.]

After running him through the tenth scenario (with the highest level of awkwardness), all fingers and thumbs were free, and I gave him the final suggestion:

“Now all your fingers are unstuck as your mind has linked a new physiological state to the situations, in which awkwardness may arise. From now on, whenever you feel the emotion of awkwardness, your body stays completely calm and relaxed, in fact, you are no longer capable of blushing in those situations because this old behaviour is unlearned. You can go back in your memories to a moment where the feeling of awkwardness was very high, finding that your body is relaxed and calm, but can try. Go on, try to feel something different from relaxation in this kind of situation, really try, but the more you try, the  stronger the relaxation becomes, and when you feel this, your palms finally unstick and you can separate your hands.”

I watched him trying until he separated his palms. Then I used an element of surprise and confusion by suddenly grabbing his hands and pulling them apart, saying ‘”Done! You’re free now. Open your eyes and look at me!” He slowly opened his eyes and looked at me in a confused way. I elicited a reality report by asking “What’s that like for you, being free and feeling that the old behaviour is gone now?” He answered “It’s kind of cool.” I fed that back, saying “Yes, it is kind of cool, and you can feel this kind of cool even more fully as your eyelids start to close again… becoming heavier and heavier …”

Step 5: Ending the session

Well, the ending was pretty standard, so there’s not much to report. I ended the trance, closed all open loops and verified that both hands had returned to normal.

That’s the report for this time.

Please DO comment and please DO give feedback. Maybe you have creative ideas about possible variations? I’d be happy to read them, and I’m sure that James feels just the same.


P.S. A limited number (30) of pre-release copies of the HWT Changework Applications DVD set will be being made available at a 20% discount to LIST MEMBERS ONLY later on today. I’ll send an email when the offer page is open!

P.P.S. If you liked this post, please ‘LIKE’ it! ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

About The Author

James Tripp

Hypnotist and Transformative Facilitator. Creator of Hypnosis Without Trance.


  • harry wilson

    June 23, 2011

    i would like to purchase it . sounds interesting . where am i suppose to pay & how much ?

    • James Tripp

      June 23, 2011

      Hi Harry

      If you are on the email list, you are about to get an email!

      If not, you will have to sign up at the top of the right hand side bar, or wait until Monday when it is on public release.

      All the very best


  • Hi James,

    I missed out on the pre sale and now can’t find it in your shop….. How can I purchase the dvd/download?



    • James Tripp

      July 7, 2011

      Hi Hope

      It has just been put in the shop today – you can view the details here!

      All the very best


  • Steven

    August 6, 2011

    I really like this application. Any feedback on how effective the client found it to be for addressing their problem?

  • Hope Wesley

    August 7, 2011

    Thanks James…..

    Looking froward to receiving it

    Perth Western Australia

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