Conversational Postulates are requests for action or information masquerading as yes or no questions.  It is a question which, on the face of it, requires a Yes or No answer, but which is really demanding a specific behavior. ‘Could you pass me the cream?’ is a request for action, not an inquiry about ability. ‘Do you really have to stand there?’ is a request for someone to move. Similarly, questions can be posed in hypnosis that are really instructions.

Conversational questions can be tested by trying a ‘yes/no’ answer to see if it fits.

I wonder if you can recall a time when you were really relaxed?’.
‘Can you imagine some peaceful, restful place? ‘
‘I wonder if you could imagine a big old house somewhere….? ‘
‘Could you begin to relax while counting backwards from ten?’
‘Can you tell me what time it is?’
‘Do you know what today’s date is?’
‘Can you lend me a pen?’
‘Can you go into a trance easily?’

 

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