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Kappasinian E&P Suggestibility

Made up of "Emotional" (Analytical) and "Physical" components (E&P), this system measures how your subconscious reacts to suggestions

Over the course of his more than 30-year hypnotherapy career, Dr. John Kappas founded the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, College of Hypnotherapy, literally defined the terms "hypnotist", "hypnotherapist" and "hypnotherapy" for the "Dictionary of Occupational Titles" and founded both the American Hypnosis Association and the Hypnotherapist's Union Local 472. But perhaps his biggest contribution to hypnotherapy is the "E&P" model of Emotional & Physical Suggestibility and Emotional & Physical Sexuality. These models have come to form the foundation of the Kappasinian school of Hypnotherapy.

It was long believed that only 50-70% of people were hypnotizable. Not satisfied with that number in his own practice, Dr. Kappas perfected a series of questions that when answered honestly, reveals a glimpse into how a given mind will react to hypnotic inductions and suggestions. As it turns out, it wasn't that only 70% were hypnotizable, it was that we just didn't know how to reach the rest. Now, thanks to Dr. Kappas, we can determine in advance what methods are best to induce hypnosis, and success rates are routinely measured above 99% by well-trained hypnotists/hypnotherapists.

Dr. Kappas named the ends of his scale "Emotional" and "Physical". Physically suggestible minds tend to process input in a literal fashion and emotionally suggestible minds tend to be more analytical and prefer a more indirect approach. No one is 100% in either direction. We all fall somewhere along the scale, though some have stronger indications in one direction or the other.

In the Kappasinian system, a "Physical" is someone with a strong linkage between mind and body. A physical person tends to take in information in a very literal sense. They tend to use more words to communicate an idea. The Physical uses the physical body as a defense to protect emotions, needs physical touch, sex equals love, hates rejection, acts before thinking, has a hard time letting go of relationships, not concerned how others see them, speaks inferentially but hears literally, family-oriented.

An "Emotional" might be more clearly called an "Analytical". More compartmentalized, an emotional tends to communicate in a more inferential way. They tend to have a perceived separation between mind and body. Some of the traits of an Emotional are: puts emotions first to protect the body, suppresses feelings, worries how others see them, needs alone time, sex equals romance, work-oriented, talks literally, but hears inferentially, thinks before acting, quiet, doesn't like crowds, ends relationships easily.

If you have ever read "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus", though the author was targeting some perceived societal differences in a popular way, the book would likely have been more accurate from a Kappasinian perspective if it was titled "Emotionals are from Mars and Physicals are from Venus". These differences are not based upon sex, 50% of men are Emotionals and 50% are Physicals, the same goes for women.

The survey questions were written by Dr. John Kappas and are scored according to his formula. I do not claim them as my own and I use them as both a student of Dr. Kappas's work and as a graduate of the school he founded. If you want to, you can take this assessment on the HMI site. HMI is the school founded by Dr. Kappas and the school I graduated from. Otherwise, you can take the Suggestiability Quiz below.

It has been my experience that the term "Emotional" tends to cause confusion. If you think about the two lead characters in the original "Star Trek" series, Captain Kirk was a very strong Physical in Kappasinian terms and Mr. Spock was a very strong "Emotional". See the problem? Spock was very non-emotional in the way that most people define "emotional". I understand why Dr. Kappas chose the word, but for the vast majority of people, using it only adds confusion. So, to remain faithful to and in credit to Dr. Kappas, I still use the word "emotional" when describing the theory here. However, I use the alternate term "Analytical" almost exclusively when speaking to groups or with clients. In terms of the "Spock" end of the Kappasinian spectrum, Analytical causes a lot less confusion than "Emotional" does.  

When you picture the Kappasinian Suggestibility scale, you can imagine it this way:


Emotional/Analytical/Mr. Spock-------------Somnambulist--------------Physical/Captain Kirk


Bottom Line

When it comes to suggestibility, according to Kappasinian theory, there are two ends of the spectrum.

A physical responds best to ideas that are literal and direct. If you ask "Will you tell my your name?", a very strong physical is likely to view that as a "yes or no" question and answer "Yes, I will tell you my name" or "No, I will not tell you my name." A person at this end of the spectrum is going to respond better to more direct suggestions during hypnotherapy.

Those who are what Dr. Kappas called "Emotional" and we are calling "Analytical" respond best to inference and metaphor. A very strong analytical asked "Will you tell my your name?" is going to answer that question as a request for information and answer it "My name is...". During hypnotherapy, someone at this end of the spectrum will respond best to more indirect suggestions.


Take the test!

When taking the suggestibility assessment, take your time reading the questions, but then answer with your first or "gut" response. The less you think about the answer, the better.

At the beginning of the suggestibility quiz, you will be able to enter your name and email address (both are optional) if you want to receive the results via email.

Hypnotechs Clients: Please fill in your name and email address so that I can review your results with you during your first session.