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Ultimate rapport

By on September 4, 2014

Research suggests that by far the most important element of any change work is the relationship between client and coach, patient and therapist, subject and hypnotist. If this relationship is strong and trusting, a state called rapport, then change is easy. The hypnotist simply and gently leads the client to change.

But if the rapport is weak, or nonexistent, that the relationship between hypnotist and client is filled with resistance, uncertainty and misunderstanding.

So if rapport is so important to therapeutic change, what exactly is it and how do you create, nurture and develop rapport?

There are simple surface answers, such as matching and mirroring where the hypnotist matches the posture, breathing, blinking, voice tone and other behaviors of the client. This can indeed go someway toward creating rapport if done with elegance.

But the fascinating research linked below offers a new and surprising track to follow for the ultimate in rapport. A path that turns the idea of ‘matching and mirroring’ on its head. You see, matching and mirroring depends upon reacting to the client’s behavior.

This research suggests that we do not unconsciously match the other erson when we are in rapport, instead we are unconsciously predicting what they will do. It is this prediction that allows us to understand others, by tracking whether and to what extent their words and actions agree with our predictions.

This then is the trick to creating the ultimate rapport. The hypnotist predicts what the client will say and do, until those predictions are fulfilled. It is at tis point that true rapport exists.

But the real secret is to then mentally predict that the client will change. The rapport you have built will lead the client to fulfill that prediction.

Do people use language production to make pr… [Trends Cogn Sci. 2007] – PubMed

We present the case that language comprehension involves making simultaneous predictions at different linguistic levels and that these predictions are generated by the language production system… and that comprehension is accompanied by covert imitation. Via

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