When people think of hypnosis, they tend to instantly get the impression of hearing the line “…you are getting sleepy…your eyelids are growing heavier and heavier…” when in fact, hypnotic trance exist in everyday lives. Whenever people watch product advertisements on television or talk to sellers are advertisers, they actually become subjects of a particular technique of hypnosis. Everyday, people are faced with a number of forms hypnosis with or without their recognition.
However, one form of hypnosis that most people are familiar of is hypnotherapy
Modern hypnotherapy is a discipline that is mostly accounted to one man, Milton Erickson. This technique is usually administered as a form of therapy that is designed to eliminate disturbing or irrational behaviors. Over the years in the development of the healing techniques using hypnosis, Ericksonian hypnosis became one of the fastest growing and influential branches of hypnotherapy.
Milton Erickson’s methods in hypnosis have inspired a short term and strategic therapy which promoted other guided imagery techniques such as the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the PBS by Even John Bradshaw.
He had developed a radically different approach to hypnotism
He made use of informal and conversational approach and complex language patterns to establish therapeutic strategies. From around 1950s onwards, the concept of Neo-Ericksonian hypnotherapy was introduced. Erickson’s divergence to the traditional approaches of hypnotherapy is not without its critics. A known colleague, Andre Weitzenhoffer, disputed if Erickson’s work is to be rightly accepted as an actual hypnosis. Even so, Ericksonian hypnosis was widely accepted and has become a very influential force in the development of modern hypnotherapy.
The practice of Ericksonian hypnotherapy involves the use of little stories called metaphors to deliver present suggestions to the unconscious mind. Its methods of hypnosis were found to be very effective in eliminating blockage and resistance to suggestions which is often controlled by the conscious mind. There are three techniques that were developed under Erickson’s approach to hypnotherapy; the use of isomorphic metaphors, embedded command and process instructions.
The isomorphic metaphors are those that offer direction to the unconscious mind in the story-telling phase, touching the subject of morals and values. It is one great tool that is used in discreetly imbedding commands or interspersal nature. This group of metaphors makes use of certain elements in the story to present a problem situation or behavior to the patient which then leads him to resolving his own behavioral concerns.
The embedded command technique also makes use of story-telling
It makes use of stories that are parallel to the present situation of the patient, leading him to be engaged in listening to the story to distract the conscious mind. As the name implies, this technique administers hidden commands and suggestions that will readily be accepted by the unconscious mind as the patient listens and follows the story.
In the process instruction technique, the patient is directed to his unconscious mind by leading him with a story that concerns about the appropriate learning experience he had in his past. In this light, the decisions and the behavior that the patient had during his learning experiences will help him and guide him through the resolution of the problems that he is presently handling.
Hence, Ericksonian hypnosis is all about administering indirect suggestions as they are much harder to resist, disguising its instructions through stories and metaphors. With that, Milton Erickson will forever be remembered for his practical insights and wisdom in effectively developing a rapport between the conscious and unconscious mind.