Hypnotic Facilitation – The significance of ‘I Don’t Know’

Hi All

I recorded this video in response to a question posted on the previous post Exploring Questions that Drive Change, where we were talking about hypnotic questioning as it relates to driving change in hypnotherapy, coaching and changework.

My original intention was to add to that post (and you’ll notice I reference that in the video!), but it was already looking a little crowded on there, so I have given it a fresh new post of it’s own.

The original question was:

“what if the person responded “I don’t know” in all questions?” 

This is an excellent question and well worth asking (thank you, Leng), because “I don’t know” tells us something important about the clients level of psychoactive engagement…. Watch the vid to know more.



About The Author

James Tripp

Hypnotist and Transformative Facilitator. Creator of Hypnosis Without Trance.


  • Brian H

    August 27, 2012

    Another response to the “I don’t know” is to say ” If you did know what would it be?”

    That almost always gets the answer. If it doesn’t then then say “make it up what is the first thing that comes into your mind?”

    Generally in my experience when someone says they don’t know they are operating from the conscious mind and are not in touch or ignoring the unconscious which is where the information is coming from.
    The above WILL ALWAYS get you the info if you are congruent and expect an answer,

    • admin

      August 27, 2012

      Hi Brian

      Yes, “if you did know…” is the ‘classic’, and often works just fine. though because I have found that when it doesn’t I have to coach them to reconnect (which is what “make it up” does I would say), my preference has become to skip the “if you did know…” bit and just go straight for the ‘coaching to reconnect’.

      The harsher version (discussed in the vid) I hold back for serial ‘I don’t knowers’, but I hardly ever use it because I hardly ever get them these days (due to screening only for clients who are willing to engage).

      All the very best


  • Brian H

    August 27, 2012

    I have not had many not willing to engage mainly because they are paying money or they genuinely want get relief from their problem.

    I do get the odd client who finds it difficult to engage its not that they aren’t willing. They either tend to be highly over analytical or an unconscious part of them wants to keep the problem in place. But as I say they are rare.


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