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What is a ‘Yes Set’ in Hypnosis?

The ‘Yes set’ is a very useful technique that can be used in hypnosis to help build rapport and get compliance. It can also be used in adverts to persuade viewers to buy products and draw them in to their sales pitch; indeed, is a technique that has become very popular in marketing and it works. It involves the speaker iterating a set of truisms – statements which seem plausible to the listener. The listener, in turn, silently agrees to each statement with a silent ‘yes’. In advertising the speaker might use this at the beginning of an advert in order to get the viewers on side. An example of a yes set in advertising may go something like:

“ We all get hungry from time to time…”

“Some of us live busy lives and have little time to prepare food…”

“ Others like to eat tasty food without too much preparation…”

“We all like to eat tasty food from time to time…”

“The more we enjoy are food, the more we seem to enjoy life…”

After this set of truisms or chaining suggestions in which we silently respond, “Yes”, we are more likely to go with the next suggestion, for example:

“…Which is why this brand of stir fry should be used at home because it can be made into so many tasty dishes which can be prepared easily at home or at work”.

These chaining suggestions can be used in hypnosis in order to help people make lasting changes in their behaviour.

Here is an example of a yes set that can be set up in order to treat somebody with anxiety:

“ The human body is a complex system of organs and systems…neurotransmitters, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activity… and isn’t it interesting how the way we think can have an effect on our bodies from time to time… sometimes you can feel hot because you think you’re hot and sometimes you can feel cold because you think you are cold…sometimes you can feel stressed by thinking too much and we all get stressed from time to time…and sometimes you can sort of tune into your body and sometimes you can tune out of your body… and sometimes we are able to become deeply relaxed in a short space of time without even realising it..which is why you can make changes to your body just by thinking about relaxing and just by creating a place where you feel relaxed in the special place”.

In this technique and I use chaining suggestions to build rapport by getting my clients silently to agree to the suggestions made. This is a powerful technique and can be used to build rapport both in the hypnosis and at other times during the session.

David Kraft runs two clinics in Enfield and utilises a combination of approaches – psychodynamic psychotherapy, counselling, brief solution-focused therapy and hypnosis.


David Kraft 

Enfield Psychotherapy

Enfield Counselling Local 


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