Sie sind auf Seite 1von 420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapy
AnExploratoryCasebook"
Seeotherformats

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

1/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Hypnotherapy

AnExploratoryCasebook

by

MiltonH.Erickson

and

ErnestL.Rossi

WithaForewordbySidneyRosen

IRVINGTONPUBLISHERS,Inc.,NewYork

HalstedPressDivisionof
JOHNWILEYSons,Inc.
NewYorkLondonTorontoSydney

Thefollowingcopyrightedmaterialisreprintedbypermission:

Erickson,M.H.Concerningthenatureandcharacterofposthypnoticbehavior.
JournalofGeneralPsychology,1941,24,95133(withE.M.Erickson).Copyright
1941.

Erickson,M.H.Hypnoticpsychotherapy.MedicalClinicsofNorthAmerica,New
YorkNumber,1948,571584.Copyright1948.

Erickson,M.H.Naturalistictechniquesofhypnosis.AmericanJournalofClinical
Hypnosis,1958,1,38.Copyright1958.

Erickson,M.H.Furtherclinicaltechniquesofhypnosis:utilizationtechniques.
AmericanJournalofClinicalHypnosis,1959,2,321.Copyright1959.

Erickson,M.H.Anintroductiontothestudyandapplicationofhypnosisforpain
control.InJ.Lassner(Ed.),HypnosisandPsychosomaticMedicine:Proceedingsof
the

InternationalCongressforHypnosisandPsychosomaticMedicine.SpringerVerlag,
1967.ReprintedinEnglishandFrenchintheJournaloftheCollegeofGeneral
PracticeofCanada,1967,andinFrenchinCahiersd'Anesthesiologie,1966,14,
189202.Copyright1966,1967.

Copyright1979byErnestL.Rossi,PhD

Allrightsreserved.Nopartofthisbookmaybereproducedinanymannerwhatever,including
informationstorageorretrieval,inwholeorinpart(exceptforbriefquotationsincriticalart
iclesor

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

2/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

reviews),withoutwrittenpermissionfromthepublisher.Forinformation,writetoIrvingtonPubli
shers,
Inc.,551FifthAvenue,NewYork,NewYork10017.

DistributedbyHALSTEDPRESS

AdivisionofJOHNWILEYSONS,Inc.,NewYork

LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData

Erickson,MiltonH.Hypnotherapy,anexploratorycasebook.
Includesbibliographicalreferences.

1.HypnotismTherapeuticuse.I.Rossi,ErnestLawrence,jointauthor.II.Title.RC495.E719
615.85127823839ISBN0470265957

PrintedinTheUnitedStatesofAmerica

Contents

Foreword
Preface

Chapter1.TheUtilizationApproachtoHypnotherapy

1.Preparation

2.TherapeuticTrance

3.RatificationofTherapeuticChangeSummaryExercises
Chapter2.TheIndirectFormsofSuggestion

1.DirectandIndirectSuggestion

2.TheInterspersalApproach

a)IndirectAssociativeFocusing

b)IndirectIdeodynamicFocusing

3.TruismsUtilizingIdeodynamicProcesses

a)IdeomotorProcesses

b)IdeosensoryProcesses

c)IdeoaffectiveProcesses

d)IdeocognitiveProcesses

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

3/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

4.TruismsUtilizingTime

5.NotKnowing,NotDoing

6.OpenEndedSuggestions

7.CoveringAllPossibilitiesofaClassofResponses

8.QuestionsThatFacilitateNewResponsePossibilities

a)QuestionstoFocusAssociations

b)QuestionsinTranceInduction

c)QuestionsFacilitatingTherapeuticResponsiveness

9.CompoundSuggestions

a)TheYesSetandReinforcement

b)ContingentSuggestionsandAssociationalNetworks

c)AppositionofOpposites

d)TheNegative

e)Shock,Surprise,andCreativeMoments

10.ImplicationandtheImpliedDirectivea)TheImpliedDirective

11.BindsandDoubleBinds

a)BindsModeledonAvoidanceAvoidanceandApproachApproachConflicts

b)TheConsciousUnconsciousDoubleBind

c)TheDoubleDissociationDoubleBind

12.MultipleLevelsofMeaningandCommunication:TheEvolutionof
ConsciousnessinJokes,Puns,Metaphor,andSymbolExercises

Chapter3.TheUtilizationApproach:TranceInductionandSuggestion

1.AcceptingandUtilizingthePatient'sManifestBehavior

2.UtilizingEmergencySituations

3.UtilizingthePatient'sInnerRealities

4.UtilizingthePatient'sResistances

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

4/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

5.UtilizingthePatient'sNegativeAffectsandConfusion

6.UtilizingthePatient'sSymptomsExercises
Chapter4.PosthypnoticSuggestion

1.AssociatingPosthypnoticSuggestionswithBehavioralInevitabilities

2.SerialPosthypnoticSuggestions

3.UnconsciousConditioningasPosthypnoticSuggestion

4.InitiatedExpectationsResolvedPosthypnotically

5.SurpriseAsaPosthypnoticSuggestionExercises

Chapter5.AlteringSensoryPerceptualFunctioning:TheProblemofPainand
Comfort

Case1.ConversationalApproachtoAlteringSensoryPerceptualFunctioning:
PhantomLimbPainandTinnitus

Case2.ShockandSurpriseforAlteringSensoryPerceptualFunctioning:Intractable
BackPain

Case3.ShiftingFramesofReferenceforAnesthesiaandAnalgesia

Case4.UtilizingthePatient'sOwnPersonalityandAbilitiesforPainRelief

SelectedShorterCases:ExercisesforAnalysis

Chapter6.SymptomResolution

Case5.AGeneralApproachtoSymptomaticBehavior

SessionOne:

PartOne.PreparationandInitialTranceWork

PartTwo.TherapeuticTranceasIntenseInnerWork

PartThree.EvaluationandRatificationofTherapeuticChange

SessionTwo:InsightandWorkingThroughRelatedProblems

Case6.DemonstratingPsychosomaticAsthmawithShocktoFacilitateSymptom
ResolutionandInsight

Case7.SymptomResolutionwithCatharsisFacilitatingPersonalityMaturation:An
AuthoritarianApproach

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

5/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Case8.SexualDysfunction:SomnambulisticTraininginaRapidHypnotherapeutic
Approach

PartOne.FacilitatingSomnambulisticBehavior

PartTwo.ARapidHypnotherapeuticApproachUtilizing.TherapeuticSymbolism
withHandLevitation

Case9.AnorexiaNervosaSelectedShorterCases.ExercisesforAnalysis

Chapter7.MemoryRevivication

Case10.ResolvingaTraumaticExperience

PartOne.SomnambulisticTraining,Autohypnosis,andHypnoticAnesthesia

PartTwo.ReorganizingTraumaticLifeExperienceandMemoryRevivication
Chapter8.EmotionalCoping

Case11.ResolvingAffectandPhobiawithNewFramesofReference
PartOne.DisplacingaPhobicSymptom

PartTwo.ResolvinganEarlyLifeTraumaattheSourceofaPhobia

PartThree.FacilitatingLearning:DevelopingNewFramesofReference

SelectedShorterCases:ExercisesforAnalysis

Chapter9.FacilitatingPotentials:TransformingIdentity

Case12.UtilizingSpontaneousTrance:AnExploration

IntegratingLeftandRightHemisphericActivity

Session1:SpontaneousTranceanditsUtilization:SymbolicHealing

Session2:PartOne.FacilitatingSelfExploration

PartTwo.AutomaticHandwritingandDissociation

Case13.HypnotherapyinOrganicSpinalCordDamage:NewIdentityResolving
SuicidalDepression

Case14.PsychologicalShockandSurprisetoTransformIdentity
Case15.ExperientialLifeReviewintheTransformationofIdentity
Chapter10.CreatingIdentity:BeyondUtilizationTheory?
Case16.TheFebruaryMan
References

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

6/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Foreword

SpeaktothewallsothedoormayhearSufisaying.

EveryonewhoknowsMiltonEricksonisawarethatherarelydoesanythingwithouta
purpose.Infact,hisgoaldirectednessmaybethemostimportantcharacteristicofhis
lifeandwork.

Whyisit,then,thatpriortowritingHypnoticRealitieswithErnestRossi(Irvington,
1976)hehadavoidedpresentinghisworkinbookform?WhydidhechooseErnest
Rossitocoauthorthatbookandthepresentone?And,finally,Icouldnothelpbut
wonder,Whydidheaskmetowritethisforeword?

Ericksonhas,afterall,publishedalmost150articlesoverafiftyyearperiod,butonly
tworelativelyminorbooksTimeDistortioninHypnosis,writtenin1954withL.S.
Cooper,andThePracticalApplicationsofMedicalandDentalHypnosis,in1961
withS.Hershman,MDand1.1.Sector,DDS.Itiseasytounderstandthatinhis
seventieshemaywellbeeagertoleavealegacy,adefinitivesummingup,afinal
opportunityforotherstoreallyunderstandandperhapsemulatehim.

Rossiisanexcellentchoiceasacoauthor.Heisanexperiencedclinicianwhohas
trainedwithmanygiantsinpsychiatryFranzAlexander,amongstothers.Heisa
Jungiantraininganalyst.Heisaprolificauthorandhasdevotedthemajorpartofhis
timeoverthepastsixyearstopainstakingobservation,recordinganddiscussionof
Erickson'swork.

Again,Whyme?Iamalsoatraininganalyst,butwithadifferentgroupthe
AmericanInstituteofPsychoanalysis(KarenHorney).Ihavebeenapracticing
psychiatristforalmostthirtyyears.ForalmostfifteenyearsIhavealsodoneagreat
dealofworkwithdisabledpatients.Ihavebeeninvolvedwithhypnosisforover
thirtyfiveyears,sinceIfirstheardaboutMiltonErickson,whowasthenlivingin
Eloise,Michigan.

BothRossiandIhavebroad,butdiffering,clinicalandtheoreticalbackgrounds.
Neitherofushasworkedprimarilywithhypnosis.Therefore,neitherofushasa
vestedinterestinpromotingsomehypnotictheoriesofourown.Wearegenuinely
devotedtothegoalofpresentingErickson'stheoriesandideas,notonlyto
practitionersofhypnosis,buttothecommunityofpsychotherapistsand
psychoanalystswhichhashadlittlefamiliaritywithhypnosis.Towardsthisend,Rossi
assumesthepostureofarathernaivestudentactingonbehalfoftherestofus.

MargaretMead,whoalsocountsherselfasoneofhisstudents,writesofthe
originalityofMiltonEricksonintheissueofTheAmericanJournalofClinical
Hypnosisdedicatedtohimonhisseventyfifthbirthday(Mead,M.TheOriginalityof
MiltonErickson,AJCH,Vol.20,No.1,July1977,pp.45).Shecommentsthatshe
hasbeeninterestedinhisoriginalityeversinceshefirstmethiminthesummerof
1940,expandingonthisideabystating,ItcanbefirmlysaidthatMiltonErickson
neversolvedaprobleminanoldwayifhecanthinkofanewwayandheusually
can.Shefeels,however,thathisunquenchable,burningoriginalitywasabarrierto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

7/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thetransmissionofmuchofwhatheknewandthatinquiringstudentswouldbecome
bemusedwiththeextraordinaryandunexpectedqualityofeachdifferent
demonstration,lostbetweentryingtoimitatetheintricate,idiosyncraticresponseand
theunderlyingprincipleswhichhewasilluminating.InHypnoticRealitiesandinthis
book,ErnestRossitakessomelargestepstowardselucidatingtheseunderlying
principles.Hedoesthismostdirectlybyorganizingandextractingthemfrom
Erickson'scasematerial.Evenmorehelpfully,though,heencouragesEricksonto
spelloutsomeoftheseprinciples.

Studentswhostudythisvolumecarefully,asIdid,willfindthattheauthorshave
donethebestjobtodateinclarifyingErickson'sideasonthenatureofhypnosisand
hypnotictherapy,ontechniquesofhypnoticinduction,onwaysofinducing
therapeuticchange,andofvalidatingthischange.Intheprocesstheyhavealso
revealedagreatdealofhelpfuldataaboutErickson'sphilosophyoflifeandtherapy.
Manytherapists,bothpsychoanalyticandothers,willfindhisapproachescompatible
withtheirownandfarremovedfromtheirpreconceptionsabouthypnosis.Asthe
authorspointout,Hypnosisdoesnotchangethepersonnordoesitalterpast
experientiallife.Itservestopermithimtolearnmoreabouthimselfandtoexpress
himselfmoreadequately....Therapeutictrancehelpspeoplesidesteptheirown
learnedlimitationssothattheycanmorefullyexploreandutilizetheirpotentials.

ThosewhoreadErickson'sgenerousofferingoffascinatingcasehistories,andthen
attempttoemulatehim,willundoubtedlyfindthattheydonotachieveresultsthatare
atallcomparabletohis.Theymaythengiveup,decidingthatErickson'sapproachis
onethatisuniqueforhim.TheymaynotethatEricksonhasseveralhandicapsthat
havealwayssethimapartfromothers,andthatmaycertainlypermithimtohavea
uniquewayofviewingandresponding.Hewasbornwithcolordeficientvision,tone
deafness,dyslexia,andlackingasenseofrhythm.Hesufferedtwoseriousattacksof
cripplingpoliomyelitis.Hehasbeenwheelchairboundformanyyearsfromthe
effectsoftheneurologicaldamage,supplementedbyarthritisandmyositis.Somewill
notbecontentwiththerationalizationthatEricksonisatherapeuticorinimitable
genius.Andtheywillfindthatwiththehelpofclarifiersandfacilitators,suchas
ErnestRossi,thereismuchinhiswayofworkingthatcanbelearned,taughtand
utilizedbyothers.

Ericksonhimselfhasadvised,inHypnoticRealities(page258),Inworkingata
problemofdifficulty,youtrytomakeaninterestingdesigninthehandlingofit.That
wayyouhaveananswertothedifficultproblem.Becomeinterestedinthedesignand
don'tnoticethebackbreakinglabor.Indealingwiththedifficultproblemof
analyzingandteachingErickson'sapproaches,Rossi'sdesignscanbemosthelpful.
WhethereachreaderwillchoosetoacceptRossi'ssuggestionthathepracticethe
exercisesrecommendedinthisbook,isanindividualmatter;inmyexperience,ithas
beenworthwhiletopracticesomeofthem.Infact,bydeliberatelyandplanfully
applyingsomeofErickson'sapproachesasunderlinedbyRossi,IfoundthatIhave
beenabletohelppatientsexperiencedeeperstatesoftranceandbemoreopento
changingasanapparentconsequenceofthis.Ifoundthatsettinguptherapeutic
doublebinds,givingindirectposthypnoticsuggestions,usingquestionstofacilitate
therapeuticresponsiveness,andbuildingupcompoundsuggestionshavebeen
particularlyhelpful.EricksonandRossi'srepeatedemphasisonwhattheycallthe
utilizationapproachiscertainlyjustified.Inthisbooktheygivemanyvividanduseful

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

8/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

examplesofacceptingandutilizingthepatient'smanifestbehavior,utilizingthe
patient'sinnerrealities,utilizingthepatient'sresistances,andutilizingthepatient's
negativeaffectandsymptoms.Erickson'screativeuseofjokes,puns,metaphorsand
symbolshasbeenanalyzedbyothers,notablyHaleyandBandlerandGrinder,butthe
examplesanddiscussioninthisbookaddagreatdealtoourunderstanding.

Attimes,Ericksonwillworkwithapatientinalighttrance,inwhathecallsa
commoneverydaytrance,ornotranceatall.Hedoesnotlimithimselftoshortterm
therapy.Thisisillustratedinhispainstakingworkoveraninemonthperiodwith
Pietro,theflutistwiththeswollenlip,describedinoneofthedramaticcaseoutlines
inthisbook.Hisexpertise,however,inworkingwithpatientsinthedeepesttrances,
oftenwithamnesiaforthetherapeuticwork,hasalwaysinterestedobservers.The
questionofwhetherornotinducingdeepertrances,andgivingdirectionsor
suggestionsindirectlyratherthandirectly,leadstomoreprofoundorlastingclinical
resultsisaresearchableone.Ithascertainlybeenmyexperiencethatifonedoesnot
believein,orvalue,deepertrancesanddoesnotstriveforthem,oneisnotlikelyto
seethemveryoften.Myexperiencehasalsobeenthattheachievementofdeeper
trances,oftenincludingphenomenasuchasdissociation,timedistortion,amnesia,and
ageregression,doesleadtoquickerandapparentlymoreprofoundchangesin
patients'symptomsandattitudes.

Ericksonemphasizesthevalueofhelpingpatientstoworkinthemodeofwhathe
wouldcalltheunconscious.Hevaluesthewisdomoftheunconscious.Infact,he
oftengoestogreatlengthstokeepthetherapeuticworkfrombeingexaminedand
potentiallydestroyedbythepatient'sconsciousmindandbythepatient'slearnedand
limitedsets.Hismethodsofdoingthisaremoreexplicitlyoutlinedinthisbookthan
inanyotherwritingsavailabletodate.

Itistruethathetendsnottodistinguishbetweeninductionoftranceorhypnotic
techniquesandtherapeutictechniquesormaneuvers.Hefeelsthatitisawasteoftime
forthetherapisttousemeaningless,repetitiousphrasesintheinductionoftranceas
thistimemightbemoreusefullyemployedinjectingtherapeuticsuggestionsorin
preparingthepatientforchange.AsRossihaspointedout,boththetherapyand
trance,inductioninvolve,intheearlystages,adepotentiationofthepatient'susual
andlimitedmentalsets.Ericksonisnevercontentwithsimplyinducingatrance,but
isalwaysconcernedwithsometherapeuticrole.

Hepointsoutthelimitedeffectivenessofdirectsuggestion,althoughheiscertainly
awarethathypnotictechniques,usingdirectsuggestion,willfrequentlyenhancethe
effectivenessofbehaviormodificationapproachessuchasdesensitizationand
cognitiveretraining.HenotesthatDirectsuggestion...doesnotevokethere
associationandreorganizationofideas,understandingsandmemoriessoessentialfor
anactualcure...Effectiveresultsinhypnoticpsychotherapy...deriveonlyfrom
thepatient'sactivities.Thetherapistmerelystimulatesthepatientintoactivity,often
notknowingwhatthatactivitymaybe.Andthenheguidesthepatientandexercises
clinicaljudgmentindeterminingtheamountofworktobedonetoachievethedesired
results(Erickson,1948).Fromthiscomment,andfromreadingthecasehistoriesin
thisvolumeandinotherpublications,itshouldbeapparentthatEricksondemands
andevokesmuchlessdoctrinalcompliancethandomosttherapists.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E

9/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Itisobviousthatclinicaljudgmentcomesonlyastheresultofmanyyearsof
intensivestudyofdynamics,pathologyandhealth,andfromactuallyworkingwith
patients.

Thejudgmentofthetherapistwillalsobeinfluencedbyhisownphilosophyandgoals
inlife.Erickson'sownphilosophyismanifestedbyhisemphasisonconceptssuchas
growthanddelightandjoy.Tothisheadds,Lifeisn'tsomethingyoucangivean
answertotoday.Youshouldenjoytheprocessofwaiting,theprocessofbecoming
whatyouare.Thereisnothingmoredelightfulthanplantingflowerseedsandnot
knowingwhatkindsofflowersaregoingtocomeup.Myownexperienceinthis
regardisillustratedbymyhavingvisitedhimin1970,spendingafourhoursession
withhim,andleavingwiththefeelingthatIhadspentthistimemostlyinlisteningto
storiesabouthisfamilyandpatients.Ididnotseehimagainuntilthesummerof
1977.Then,at5:00a.m.inaPhoenixmotel,whileIwasreviewingsometapesof
Ericksonatwork,someveryimportantinsightsbecamevividlyevidenttome.They
wereobviouslyrelatedtoworkbegunduringoursessionin1970andtoselfanalysisI
haddoneintheinterveningsevenyears.LaterthatmorningwhenIexcitedly
mentionedtheseinsightstoErickson,he,typically,simplysmiledanddidnotattempt
toelaborateontheminanyway.

Whenwereadsomeofthewritingsonotherformsoftherapy,suchasfamilytherapy
orGestalttherapy,wearestruckbyhowmuchtheyhavebeeninfluencedby
Erickson.Thisisnoaccidentasmanyoftheearlytherapistsintheseschoolsbegan
workingwithhypnosisorevenwithEricksonhimself.IhopethatRossiwilltrace
someoftheseinfluencesinhisfuturewritings.Ihavealludedtosomeoftheminmy
article,RecentExperienceswithEncounterGestaltandHypnoticTechniques(Rosen,
S.AmJ.Psychoanalysis,Vol.32,No.1,1972,pp.90105).

InconjunctionwithEricksonandRossi'sfirstvolumeHypnoticRealities,
Hypnotherapy:AnExploratoryCasebookshouldserveasafirmbasisforcoursesin
EricksoniantherapyorEricksonianhypnosis.Thesecoursesmaybesupplementedby
otherbooks,includingthosewrittenbyJ.HaleyandbyBandlerandGrinder.In
addition,wearenowfortunatetohaveavailableabibliographyofthe147articles
writtenbyEricksonhimself(seeGravitz,M.A.andGravitz,R.F.,Complete
Bibliography1929'1977',"AmericanJournalofClinicalHypnosis,1911,20,8494).

RossihastoldmethatinworkingwithEricksonhehasalwaysbeenstruckbythefact
thatEricksonseemstobeatheoretical.IhavenotedthatthisappliestoErickson's
opennessbutcertainlynottohisemphasisongrowthorhishumanisticorsocially
orientedviews.RossiandothersareconstantlyrediscoveringthefactthatErickson
alwaysworkstowardsgoalsthoseofhispatients',nothisown.Thismaynotseemto
besucharevolutionaryideatodaywhenitistheavowedintentionofalmostall
therapists,butperhapsmanyofusarelimitedinourcapacitytocarryoutthisintent.It
issignificantthatbothintentandpracticearemostsuccessfullycoordinatedand
realizedintheworkofthismanwhoisprobablytheworld'smasterinclinical
hypnosis,andyethypnosisisstillassociatedbyalmosteveryonewithmanipulation
andsuggestionatypicalEricksonianparadox.Themastermanipulatorallowsand
stimulatesthegreatestfreedom!

SidneyRosen,MDNewYork

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

10/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Preface

Thepresentworkisthesecondinaseriesofvolumesbytheauthorsthatbeganwith
thepublicationofHypnoticRealities(Irvington,1976).Likethatfirstvolume,the
presentworkisessentiallytherecordoftheseniorauthor'seffortstotrainthejunior
authorinthefieldofclinicalhypnotherapy.Assuch,thepresentworkisnotofan
academicorscholarlynaturebutratherapracticalstudyofsomeoftheattitudes,
orientations,andskillsrequiredofthemodernhypnotherapist.

Inthefirstchapterweoutlinetheutilizationapproachtohypnotherapyasthebasic
orientationtoourwork.Inthesecondchapterweessayamoresystematic
presentationoftheindirectformsofsuggestion,whichwereoriginallyselectedoutof
thecasepresentationsofourfirstvolume.Wenowbelievethattheutilization
approachandtheindirectformsofsuggestionaretheessenceoftheseniorauthor's
therapeuticinnovationsoverthepastfiftyyearsandaccountformuchofhisunique
skillasahypnotherapist.

InChapterThreeweillustratehowtheutilizationapproachandtheindirectformsof
suggestioncanbeintegratedtofacilitatetheinductionoftherapeutictranceina
mannerthatsimultaneouslyorientsthepatienttowardtherapeuticchange.Inour
fourthchapterweillustratetheapproachestoposthypnoticsuggestionthatthesenior
authorhasfoundmosteffectiveindaytodayclinicalpractice.

Thesefirstfourchaptersoutlinesomeofthebasicprinciplesoftheseniorauthor's
approach.Wehopethispresentationwillprovideotherclinicianswithabroadand
practicalperspectiveoftheseniorauthor'sworkandserveasasourceofhypotheses
aboutthenatureoftherapeutictrancethatwillbetestedwithmorecontrolled
experimentalstudiesbyresearchers.

Attheendofeachofthesefirstfourchapterswehavesuggestedanumberof
exercisestofacilitatelearningtheorientation,attitudes,andskillsrequiredofanyone
whowantstoputsomeofthismaterialintoactualpractice.Asimplereadingand
understandingofthematerialisnotenough.Anextensiveefforttoacquirenewhabits
ofobservationandinterpersonalinteractionarerequired.Allthesuggestedexercises
havebeenputintopracticeaswehavesoughttohoneourownskillsandteachothers.

Eachoftheremainingsixchapterspresentscasestudiesillustratingandfurther
exploringtheseniorauthor'sclinicalworkwithpatients.Sixofthesecases(cases
1,5,8,10,11,and12)aremajorstudieslikethoseinourfirstvolume,Hypnotic
Realities,wherewetranscribedtaperecordingsoftheseniorauthor'sactualwordsand
patternsofinteractionwithpatients.Therecordingequipmentforthesestudieswas
providedbyaresearchgrantfromtheAmericanSocietyofClinicalHypnosis
EducationandResearchFoundation.Inourcommentariesonthesesessionswehave
presentedourcurrentunderstandingofthedynamicsofthehypnotherapeuticprocess
anddiscussedanumberofissuessuchasthefacilitationofthecreativeprocessand
thefunctionsoftheleftandrighthemispheres.

Mostoftheothershortercasesweredrawnfromtheseniorauthor'sfileof
unpublishedrecordsofhisworkinprivatepractice,someofthemfromlong

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20E 11/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

unopenedfolderscontainingyellowedpagesmorethanaquarterofacenturyold.
Thesecaseswereallreviewedandreeditedwithfreshcommentariesandprovidean
appropriateperspectiveonthespontaneouscreativityanddaringrequiredofthe
hypnotherapistinclinicalpractice.Inaddition,wehaveskimmedthroughmanytape
recordingsoftheseniorauthor'slecturesandworkshopsatthemeetingsofthe
AmericanSocietyofClinicalHypnosis.Someofthesewerealreadytypedand
partiallyeditedbyFlorenceSharp,Ph.D.,andothermembersoftheSociety.Mostof
theseappearundertheheadingSelectedShorterCases:ExercisesforAnalysis.Many
ofthemhavebeenrepeatedandpublishedsooften(Haley,1973)thattheyappear
anecdotal,aspartofthefolkloreofhypnosisinthepasthalfcentury.Theycanserve
asmarvelousexercisesforanalysis,however.Attheendofeachsuchcasewehave
placedinitalicssomeoftheprincipleswefeelwereinvolved.Thereadermayenjoy
findingothers.

Itisourimpressionthattheclinicalpracticeofhypnotherapyiscurrentlyemerging
fromaperiodofrelativequiescenceintoanexcitingtimeofnewdiscoveriesand
fascinatingpossibilities.Thosewhoknowthehistoryofhypnosisarealreadyfamiliar
withthiscyclicpatternofexcitementandquiescencethatissocharacteristicofthe
field.Somehistoriansofsciencenowbelievethiscyclicpatternischaracteristicofall
branchesofscienceandart:Theexcitementcomeswithperiodsofnewdiscovery,the
quiescencecomesastheseareassimilated.Asthejuniorauthorgraduallyputthis
volumetogether,hefrequentlyhadasubjectivesenseofnewdiscovery.Butwasit
newonlyforhim,orwoulditbenewforothersaswell?Wemustrelyuponyou,our
reader,tomakeanindependentassessmentofthematterandperhapscarrytheworka
stepfurther.

MiltonH.Erickson,M.D.ErnestL.Rossi,Ph.D.

Acknowledgments

Thisworkcanberecognizedasatrulycommunityeffort,withmanymoreindividuals
contributingtoitthanwecanacknowledgebyname.Firstamongtheseareour
patients,whofrequentlyrecognizedandcooperatedwiththeexploratorynatureofour
workwiththem.Theirspontaneouscreativityistrulythebasisofallinnovative
therapeuticwork:Wesimplyreportwhattheylearnedtodowiththehopethattheir
successmaybeausefulguideforothers.

ManyoftheteachersandparticipantsintheseminarsandworkshopsoftheAmerican
SocietyofClinicalHypnosishaveprovidedacontinualseriesofinsights,illustrations,
andcommentsthathavefoundtheirwayintothiswork.Prominentamongtheseare
LeoAlexander,EsterBartlett,FranzBaumann,NeilD.Capua,DavidCheek,Sheldon
Cohen,JerryDay,T.E.A.VonDedenroth,RoxanneandChristieErickson,
FrederickaFreytag,MelvinGravitz,FrederickHanley,H.ClagettHarding,Maurice
McDowell,SusanMirow,MarionMoore,RobertPearson,BerthaRodger,Florence
Sharp,KayThompson,PaulVanDyke,M.ErikWright.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

12/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ToRobertPearsonweoweaspecialacknowledgmentforhavingfirstsuggestedthe
basicformatofthiswork,forhiscontinualencouragementduringitsgestation,and
forhiscriticalreadingofourfinaldraft.RuthInghamandMargaretRyanhave
contributedsignificanteditingskillsthatfinallyenabledourworktoreachthepress.

Finally,wewishtoacknowledgethefollowingpublisherswhohavegenerously
permittedtherepublicationoffiveofthepapersinthisvolume:AmericanSocietyof
ClinicalHypnosis,JournalPress,W.B.SaundersCompany,andSpringerVerlag.

CHAPTER1

TheUtilizationApproachtoHypnotherapy

Weviewhypnotherapyasaprocesswherebywehelppeopleutilizetheirownmental
associations,memories,andlifepotentialstoachievetheirowntherapeuticgoals.
Hypnoticsuggestioncanfacilitatetheutilizationofabilitiesandpotentialsthat
alreadyexistwithinapersonbutthatremainunusedorunderdevelopedbecauseofa
lackoftrainingorunderstanding.Thehypnotherapistcarefullyexploresapatient's
individualitytoascertainwhatlifelearnings,experiences,andmentalskillsare
availabletodealwiththeproblem.Thetherapistthenfacilitatesanapproachtotrance
experiencewhereinthepatientmayutilizetheseuniquelypersonalinternalresponses
toachievetherapeuticgoals.

Ourapproachmaybeviewedasathreestageprocess:(1)aperiodofpreparation
duringwhichthetherapistexploresthepatientsrepertoryoflifeexperiencesand
facilitatesconstructiveframesofreferencetoorientthepatienttowardtherapeutic
change;(2)anactivationandutilizationofthepatient'sownmentalskillsduringa
periodoftherapeutictrance;(3)acarefulrecognition,evaluation,andratificationof
thetherapeuticchangethattakesplace.Inthisfirstchapterwewillintroducesomeof
thefactorscontributingtothesuccessfulexperienceofeachofthesethreestages.In
thechaptersthatfollowwewillillustrateanddiscussthemingreaterdetail.

1.Preparation

Theinitialphaseofhypnotherapeuticworkconsistsofacarefulperiodofobservation
andpreparation.Initiallythemostimportantfactorinanytherapeuticinterviewisto
establishasoundrapportthatis,apositivefeelingofunderstandingandmutual
regardbetweentherapistandpatient.Throughthisrapporttherapistandpatient
togethercreateanewtherapeuticframeofreferencethatwillserveasthegrowth
mediuminwhichthepatient'stherapeuticresponseswilldevelop.Therapportisthe
meansbywhichtherapistandpatientsecureeachothers'attention.Bothdevelopayes
set,oracceptanceofeachother.Thetherapistpresumablyhasawelldeveloped
abilitytoobserveandrelate;thepatientislearningtoobserveandachieveastateof
responseattentiveness,thatstateofextremeattentivenessinrespondingtothe
nuancesofcommunicationpresentedbythetherapist.

Intheinitialinterviewthetherapistgatherstherelevantfactsregardingthepatient's
problemsandtherepertoryoflifeexperiencesandlearningsthatwillbeutilizedfor
therapeuticpurposes.Patientshaveproblemsbecauseoflearnedlimitations.Theyare

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

13/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

caughtinmentalsets,framesofreference,andbeliefsystemsthatdonotpermitthem
toexploreandutilizetheirownabilitiestobestadvantage.Humanbeingsarestillin
theprocessoflearningtousetheirpotentials.Thetherapeutictransactionideally
createsanewphenomenalworldinwhichpatientscanexploretheirpotentials,freed
tosomeextentfromtheirlearnedlimitations.Asweshalllatersee,therapeutictrance
isaperiodduringwhichpatientsareabletobreakoutoftheirlimitedframeworks
andbeliefsystemssotheycanexperienceotherpatternsoffunctioningwithin
themselves.Theseotherpatternsareusuallyresponsepotentialsthathavebeen

learnedfrompreviouslifeexperiencebut,foronereasonoranother,remain
unavailabletothepatient.Thetherapistcanexplorepatients'personalhistories,
character,andemotionaldynamics,theirfieldofwork,interests,hobbies,andsoonto
assesstherangeoflifeexperiencesandresponseabilitiesthatmaybeavailablefor
achievingtherapeuticgoals.Mostofthecasesinthisbookwillillustratethisprocess.

Asthetherapistexploresthepatient'sworldandfacilitatesrapport,itisalmost
inevitablethatnewframesofreferenceandbeliefsystemsarecreated.Thisusually
happenswheneverpeoplemeetandinteractclosely.Inhypnotherapythisspontaneous
openingandshiftingofmentalframeworksandbeliefsystemsiscarefullystudied,
facilitated,andutilized.Thetherapistisinaconstantprocessofevaluatingwhat
limitationsareatthesourceofthepatient'sproblemandwhatnewhorizonscanbe
openedtohelpthepatientoutgrowthoselimitations.Inthepreparatoryphaseof
hypnotherapeuticworkmentalframeworksarefacilitatedinamannerthatwillenable
thepatienttorespondtothesuggestionsthatwillbereceivedlaterduringtrance.
Suggestionsmadeduringtrancefrequentlyfunctionlikekeysturningthetumblersof
apatient'sassociativeprocesseswithinthelocksofcertainmentalframeworksthat
havealreadybeenestablished.Anumberofworkers(Weitzenhoffer,1957,Schneck,
1970,1975)havedescribedhowwhatissaidbeforetranceisformallyinducedcan
enhancehypnoticsuggestion.Weagreeandemphasizethateffectivetranceworkis
usuallyprecededbyapreparatoryphaseduringwhichwehelppatientscreatean
optimalattitudeandbeliefsystemfortherapeuticresponses.

Asingularlyimportantaspectofthisoptimalattitudeisexpectancy.Patients'
expectationsoftherapeuticchangepermitsthemtosuspendthelearnedlimitations
andnegativelifeexperiencesthatareatthesourceoftheirproblems.Asuspensionof
disbeliefandanextraordinarilyhighexpectationofcurehasbeenusedtoaccountfor
themiraculoushealingsometimesachievedwithinareligiousbeliefsystem.Aswill
beseeninouroverallanalysisofthedynamicsoftherapeutictranceinthefollowing
section,suchseeminglymiraculoushealingcanbeunderstoodasaspecial
manifestationofthemoregeneralprocessweutilizetofacilitatetherapeuticresponses
inhypnotherapy.

2.TherapeuticTrance

Therapeutictranceisaperiodduringwhichthelimitationsofone'susualframesof
referenceandbeliefsaretemporarilyalteredsoonecanbereceptivetootherpatterns
ofassociationandmodesofmentalfunctioningthatareconducivetoproblem
solving.Weviewthedynamicsoftranceinductionandutilizationasaverypersonal
experiencewhereinthetherapisthelpspatientstofindtheirownindividualways.
Tranceinductionisnotastandardizedprocessthatcanbeappliedinthesamewayto
everyone.Thereisnomethodortechniquethatalwaysworkswitheveryoneoreven

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

14/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

withthesamepersonondifferentoccasions.Becauseofthiswespeakofapproaches
totranceexperience.Wetherebyemphasizethatwehavemanymeansoffacilitating,
guiding,orteachinghowonemightbeledtoexperiencethestateofreceptivitythat
wecalltherapeutictrance.However,wehavenouniversalmethodforeffectingthe
sameuniformtrancestateineveryone.Mostpeoplewithproblemscanbeguidedto
experiencetheirownuniquevarietyoftherapeutictrancewhentheyunderstandthatit
maybeuseful.Theartofthehypnotherapistisinhelpingpatientsreachan
understandingthatwillhelpthemgiveupsomeofthelimitationsoftheircommon

everydayworldviewsothattheycanachieveastateofreceptivitytothenewand
creativewithinthemselves.

Fordidacticpurposeswehaveconceptualizedthedynamicsoftranceinductionand
suggestionasafivestageprocess,outlinedinFigure1.

Whilewemayusethisparadigmasaconvenientframeworkforanalyzingmanyof
thehypnotherapeuticapproacheswewillillustrateinthisvolume,itmustbe
understoodthattheindividualmanifestationsoftheprocesswillbejustasuniqueand
variousasarethenaturesofthepeopleexperiencingit.Wewillnowoutlineour
understandingofthesefivestages.

Figure1:Afivestageparadigmofthedynamicsoftranceinductionandsuggestion(from
EricksonandRossi,1976.)

1.FixationofAttentionviaUtilizingthepatient'sbeliefsandbehaviorfor

focusingattentiononinnerrealities.

2.DepotentiatingHabitualviaDistraction,shock,surprise,doubt,confusion,

FrameworksandBeliefdissociation,oranyotherprocessthatinterrupts

Systems

thepatient'shabitualframeworks.

3.UnconsciousSearchviaImplications,questions,puns,andotherindirectforms

ofhypnoticsuggestion.

viaActivationofpersonalassociationsandmental

mechanismsbyalltheabove.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

15/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

4.UnconsciousProcess

5.HypnoticResponseviaAnexpressionofbehavioralpotentialsthatare

experiencedastakingplaceautonomously.

FixationofAttention

Thefixationofattentionhasbeentheclassicalapproachforinitiatingtherapeutic
trance,orhypnosis.Thetherapistwouldaskthepatienttogazeataspotorcandle
flame,abrightlight,arevolvingmirror,thetherapist'seyes,gestures,orwhatever.As
experienceaccumulateditbecameevidentthatthepointoffixationcouldbeanything
thatheldthepatient'sattention.Further,thepointoffixationneednotbeexternal;itis
evenmoreeffectivetofocusattentiononthepatient'sownbodyandinnerexperience.
Thusapproachessuchashandlevitationandbodyrelaxationweredeveloped.
Encouragingthepatienttofocusonsensationsorinternalimageryledattention
inwardevenmoreeffectively.Manyoftheseapproacheshavebecomestandardized
andarewelldescribedinreferenceworksonhypnosis(Weitzenhoffer,1957;
Hartland,1966;Haley,1967).

Thebeginnerinhypnotherapymaywellstudythesestandardizedapproachesand
closelyfollowsomeofthemtoinitiatetranceinaformalizedmanner.Theyareoften
highlyimpressivetothepatientandveryeffectiveininducingtrance.Student
therapistswillbeinerror,however,iftheyattempttoutilizeonlyoneapproachasthe
universalmethodandtherebyblindthemselvestotheuniquemotivationsand
manifestationsoftrancedevelopmentineachperson.Thetherapistwhocarefully
studiestheprocessofattentionineverydaylifeaswellasintheconsultingroomwill
sooncometorecognizethataninterestingstoryorafascinatingfactorfantasycan
fixateattentionjustaseffectivelyasaformalinduction.Anythingthatfascinatesand
holdsorabsorbsaperson'sattentioncouldbedescribedashypnotic.Wehavethe
conceptofthecommoneverydaytranceforthoseperiodsineverydaylifewhenwe
aresoabsorbedorpreoccupiedwithonematteroranotherthatwemomentarilylose
trackofourouterenvironment.

Themosteffectivemeansoffocusingandfixingattentioninclinicalpracticeisto
recognizeandacknowledgethepatient'scurrentexperience.Whenthetherapist
correctlylabelsthepatient'songoinghereandnowexperience,thepatientisusually
immediatelygratefulandopentowhateverelsethetherapistmayhavetosay.
Acknowledgingthepatient'scurrentrealitythusopensayessetforwhatever
suggestionsthetherapistmaywishtointroduce.Thisisthebasisoftheutilization
approachtotranceinduction,whereintherapistsgaintheirpatients'attentionby
focusingontheircurrentbehaviorandexperiences(Erickson,1958,1959).
Illustrationsofthisutilizationapproachtotranceinductionwillbepresentedinour
thirdchapter.

DepotentiatingHabitualFrameworksandBeliefSystems

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

16/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Inourviewoneofthemostusefulpsychologicaleffectsoffixatingattentionisthatit
tendstodepotentiatepatients'habitualmentalsetsandcommoneverydayframesof
reference.Theirbeliefsystemsaremoreorlessinterruptedandsuspendedfora
momentortwo.Consciousnesshasbeendistracted.Duringthatmomentary
suspensionlatentpatternsofassociationandsensoryperceptualexperiencehavean
opportunitytoassertthemselvesinamannerthatcaninitiatethealteredstateof
consciousnessthathasbeendescribedastranceorhypnosis.

Therearemanymeansofdepotentiatinghabitualframesofreference.Anyexperience
ofshockorsurprisemomentarilyfixatesattentionandinterruptsthepreviouspattern
ofassociation.Anyexperienceoftheunrealistic,theunusual,orthefantasticprovides
anopportunityforalteredmodesofapprehension.Theauthorshavedescribedhow
confusion,doubt,dissociation,anddisequilibriumareallmeansofdepotentiating
patients'learnedlimitationssothattheymaybecomeopenandavailablefornew
meansofexperiencingandlearning,whicharetheessenceoftherapeutictrance
(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).Theinterruptionandsuspensionofourcommon
everydaybeliefsystemhasbeendescribedbythejuniorauthorasacreativemoment
(Rossi,1972a):

Butwhatisacreativemoment?Suchmomentshavebeencelebratedastheexciting
hunchbyscientificworkersandinspirationbypeopleinthearts(Barron,1969).A
creativemomentoccurswhenahabitualpatternofassociationisinterrupted;there
maybeaspontaneouslapseorrelaxationofone'shabitualassociativeprocess;there
maybeapsychicshock,anoverwhelmingsensoryoremotionalexperience;a
psychedelicdrug,atoxicconditionorsensorydeprivationmayserveasthecatalyst;
yoga,Zen,spiritualandmeditativeexercisesmaylikewiseinterruptourhabitual
associationsandintroduceamomentaryvoidinawareness.Inthatfractionofa
secondwhenthehabitualcontentsofawarenessareknockedoutthereisachancefor
pureawareness,thepurelightofthevoid(EvansWentz,1960)toshinethrough.This
fractionofasecondmaybeexperiencedasamysticstate,satori,apeakexperienceor
analteredstateofconsciousness(Tart,1969).Itmaybeexperiencedasamomentof
fascinationorfallinginlovewhenthegapinone'sawarenessisfilledbythenewthat
suddenlyintrudesitself.

Thecreativemomentisthusagapinone'shabitualpatternofawareness.Bartlett
(1958)hasdescribedhowthegenesisoforiginalthinkingcanbeunderstoodasthe
fillinginofmentalgaps.Thenewthatappearsincreativemomentsisthusthebasic
unitoforiginalthoughtandinsightaswellaspersonalitychange.Experiencinga
creativemomentmaybethephenomenologicalcorrelateofacriticalchangeinthe
molecularstructureofproteinswithinthebrainassociatedwithlearning(Gaito,1972;
Rossi,1973b),orthecreationofnewcellassembliesandphasesequences(Hebb,
1963).

Therelationbetweenpsychologicalshockandcreativemomentsisapparent:a
psychicshockinterruptsaperson'shabitualassociationssothatsomethingnewmay
appear.Ideallypsychologicalshocksetsuptheconditionsforacreativemoment
whenanewinsight,attitude,orbehaviorchangemaytakeplaceinthesubject.
Erickson(1948)hasalsodescribedhypnotictranceitselfasaspecialpsychological
statewhicheffectsasimilarbreakinthepatient'sconsciousandhabitualassociations
sothatcreativelearningcantakeplace.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

17/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Ineverydaylifeoneiscontinuallyconfrontedwithdifficultandpuzzlingsituations
thatmildlyshockandinterruptone'susualwayofthinking.Ideallytheseproblem
situationswillinitiateacreativemomentofreflectionthatmayprovideanopportunity
forsomethingnewtoemerge.Psychologicalproblemsdevelopwhenpeopledonot
permitthenaturallychangingcircumstancesoflifetointerrupttheiroldandnolonger
usefulpatternsofassociationandexperiencesothatnewsolutionsandattitudesmay
emerge.

UnconsciousSearchandUnconsciousProcess

Ineverydaylifetherearemanyapproachestofixingattention,depotentiatinghabitual
associations,andtherebyinitiatinganunconscioussearchforanewexperienceor
solutiontoaproblem.Inadifficultsituation,forexample,onemaymakeajokeor
useapuntointerruptandreorganizethesituationfromadifferentpointofview.One
mayuseallusionsorimplicationstointrudeanotherwayofunderstandingthesame
situation.Likemetaphorandanalogy(Jaynes,1976)theseareallmeansof
momentarilyarrestingattentionandrequestingasearchessentiallyasearchonan
unconsciousleveltocomeupwithanewassociationorframeofreference.These
areallopportunitiesforcreativemomentsineverydaylifewhereinanecessary
reorganizationofone'sexperiencetakesplace.

Intherapeutictranceweutilizesimilarmeansofinitiatingasearchonanunconscious
level.Thesearewhattheseniorauthorhasdescribedastheindirectformsof
suggestion(EricksonandRossi,1976;Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).Inessence,
anindirectsuggestioninitiatesanunconscioussearchandfacilitatesunconscious
processeswithinpatientssothattheyareusuallysomewhatsurprisedbytheirown
responses.Theindirectformsofsuggestionhelppatientsbypasstheirlearned
limitationssotheyareabletoaccomplishalotmorethantheyareusuallyableto.The
indirectformsofsuggestionarefacilitatorsofmentalassociationsandunconscious
processes.Inthenextchapterwewilloutlineourcurrentunderstandingofavarietyof
theseindirectformsofsuggestion.

TheHypnoticResponse

Thehypnoticresponseisthenaturaloutcomeoftheunconscioussearchandprocesses
initiatedbythetherapist.Becauseitismediatedprimarilybyunconsciousprocesses
withinthepatient,thehypnoticresponseappearstooccurautomaticallyor
autonomously;itappearstotakeplaceallbyitselfinamannerthatmayseemalienor
dissociatedfromtheperson'susualmodeofrespondingonavoluntarylevel.Most
patientstypicallyexperienceamildsenseofpleasantsurprisewhentheyfind
themselvesrespondinginthisautomaticandinvoluntarymanner.Thatsenseof
surprise,infact,cangenerallybetakenasanindicationofthegenuinelyautonomous
natureoftheirresponse.

Hypnoticresponsesneednotbeinitiatedbythetherapist,however.Mostofthe
classicalhypnoticphenomena,infact,werediscoveredquitebyaccidentasnatural
manifestationsofhumanbehaviorthatoccurredspontaneouslyintrancewithoutany
suggestionwhatsoever.Classicalhypnoticphenomenasuchascatalepsy,anesthesia,
amnesia,hallucinations,ageregression,andtimedistortionareallspontaneoustrance
phenomenathatwereasourceofamazementandbewildermenttoearlyinvestigators.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

18/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Itwaswhentheylaterattemptedtoinducetranceandstudytrancephenomena
systematicallythattheseinvestigatorsfoundthattheycouldsuggestthevarious
hypnoticphenomena.Oncetheyfounditpossibletodothis,theybegantouse
suggestibilityitselfasacriterionofthevalidityanddepthoftranceexperience.

Whenthenextstepwastakentoutilizetranceexperienceasaformoftherapy,
hypnoticsuggestibilitywasemphasizedevenmoreastheessentialfactorfor
successfulwork.Anunfortunatesideeffectofthisemphasisonsuggestibilitywasin

thepurportedpowerofhypnotiststocontrolbehaviorwithsuggestion.Bythistime
ourconceptionofhypnoticphenomenahadmovedveryfarindeedfromtheiroriginal
discoveryasnaturalandspontaneousmanifestationsofthemind.Hypnosisacquired
theconnotationsofmanipulationandcontrol.Theexploitationofnaturallyoccurring
trancephenomenaasademonstrationofpower,prestige,influence,andcontrol(asit
hasbeenusedinstagehypnosis)wasamostunfortunateturninthehistoryof
hypnosis.

Inanefforttocorrectsuchmisconceptionstheseniorauthor(Erickson,1948)
describedthemeritsofdirectandindirectsuggestioninhypnotherapyasfollows:

Thenextconsiderationconcernsthegeneralroleofsuggestioninhypnosis.Toooften,
theunwarrantedandunsoundassumptionismadethat,sinceatrancestateisinduced
andmaintainedbysuggestion,andsincehypnoticmanifestationscanbeelicitedby
suggestion,whateverdevelopsfromhypnosismustnecessarilyandcompletelybea
resultandprimaryexpressionofsuggestion.Contrarytosuchmisconceptions,the
hypnotizedpersonremainsthesameperson.Onlyhisbehaviorisalteredbythetrance
state,butevenso,thatalteredbehaviorderivesfromthelifeexperienceofthepatient
andnotfromthetherapist.Atthemost,thetherapistcaninfluenceonlythemannerof
selfexpression.Theinductionandmaintenanceofatranceservetoprovideaspecial
psychologicalstateinwhichthepatientcanreassociateandreorganizehisinner
psychologicalcomplexitiesandutilizehisowncapacitiesinamannerconcordant
withhisownexperientiallife.Hypnosisdoesnotchangetheperson,nordoesitalter
hispastexperientiallife.Itservestopermithimtolearnmoreabouthimselfandto
expresshimselfmoreadequately.

Directsuggestionisbasedprimarily,ifunwittingly,upontheassumptionthat
whateverdevelopsinhypnosisderivesfromthesuggestionsgiven.Itimpliesthatthe
therapisthasthemiraculouspowerofeffectingtherapeuticchangesinthepatient,and
disregardsthefactthattherapyresultsfromaninnerresynthesisofthepatient's
behaviorachievedbythepatienthimself.Itistruethatdirectsuggestioncaneffectan
alterationinthepatient'sbehaviorandresultinasymptomaticcure,atleast
temporarily.However,suchacureissimplyaresponsetothesuggestionanddoesnot
entailthatreassociationandreorganizationofideas,understandingsandmemoriesso
essentialforanactualcure.Itisthisexperienceofreassociatingandreorganizinghis
ownexperientiallifethateventuatesinacure,notthemanifestationofresponsive
behaviorwhichcan,atbest,satisfyonlytheobserver.

Forexample,anesthesiaofthehandmaybesuggesteddirectlyandaseemingly
adequateresponsemaybeelicited.However,ifthepatienthasnotspontaneously
interpretedthecommandtoincludearealizationoftheneedforinnerreorganization,
thatanesthesiawillfailtomeetclinicaltestsandwillbeapseudoanesthesia.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

19/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Aneffectiveanesthesiaisbetterinduced,forexample,byinitiatingatrainofmental
activitywithinthepatienthimselfbysuggestingthatherecallthefeelingofnumbness
experiencedafteralocalanesthetic,orafteralegorarmwenttosleep,andthen
suggestingthathecannowexperienceasimilarfeelinginhishand.Bysuchan
indirectsuggestionthepatientisenabledtogothroughthosedifficultinnerprocesses
ofdisorganizing,reorganizing,reassociatingandprojectinginnerrealexperienceto

meettherequirementsofthesuggestion.Thus,theinducedanesthesiabecomesapart
ofhisexperientiallife,insteadofasimple,superficialresponse.

Thesameprinciplesholdtrueinpsychotherapy.Thechronicalcoholiccanbeinduced
bydirectsuggestiontocorrecthishabitstemporarily,butnotuntilhegoesthroughthe
innerprocessofreassociatingandreorganizinghisexperientiallifecaneffective
resultsoccur.

Inotherwords,hypnoticpsychotherapyisalearningprocessforthepatient,a
procedureofreeducation.Effectiveresultsinhypnoticpsychotherapy,or
hypnotherapy,deriveonlyfromthepatient'sactivities.Thetherapistmerely
stimulatesthepatientintoactivity,oftennotknowingwhatthatactivitymaybe,and
thenheguidesthepatientandexercisesclinicaljudgmentindeterminingtheamount
ofworktobedonetoachievethedesiredresults.Howtoguideandtojudge
constitutethetherapist'sproblemwhilethepatient'staskisthatoflearningthroughhis
owneffortstounderstandhisexperientiallifeinanewway.Suchreeducationis,of
course,necessarilyintermsofthepatient'slifeexperiences,hisunderstandings,
memories,attitudesandideas,anditcannotbeintermsofthetherapist'sideasand
opinions.

Inourwork,therefore,weprefertoemphasizehowtherapeutictrancehelpspeople
sidesteptheirownlearnedlimitationssothattheycanmorefullyexploreandutilize
theirpotentials.Thehypnotherapistmakesmanyapproachestoalteredstatesof
functioningavailabletothepatient.Mostpatientsreallycannotdirectthemselves
consciouslyintranceexperiencebecausesuchdirectioncancomeonlyfromtheir
previouslylearnedhabitsoffunctioningwhichareinhibitingthefullutilizationof
theirpotentials.Patientsmustthereforelearntoallowtheirownunconsciousresponse
potentialstobecomemanifestduringtrance.Thetherapist,too,mustdependuponthe
patient'sunconsciousasasourceofcreativityforproblemsolving.Thetherapist
helpsthepatientfindaccesstothiscreativityviathatalteredstatewecalltherapeutic
trance.Therapeutictrancecanthusbeunderstoodasafreeperiodofpsychological
explorationwhereintherapistandpatientcooperateinthesearchforthosehypnotic
responsesthatwillleadtotherapeuticchange.Wewillnowturnourattentiontothe
evaluationandfacilitationofthatchange.

3.RatificationofTherapeuticChange

Therecognitionandevaluationofalteredpatternsoffunctioningfacilitatedby
therapeutictranceisoneofthemostsubtleandimportanttasksofthetherapist.Many
patientsreadilyrecognizeandadmitchangesthattheyhaveexperienced.Otherswith
lessintrospectiveabilityneedthetherapist'shelpinevaluatingthechangesthathave
takenplace.Arecognitionandappreciationofthetranceworkisnecessary,lestthe
patient'soldnegativeattitudesdisruptanddestroythenewtherapeuticresponsesthat

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

20/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

arestillinafragilestateofdevelopment.

TheRecognitionandRatificationofTrance

Differentindividualsexperiencetranceindifferentways.Thetherapist'staskisto
recognizetheseindividualpatternsandwhennecessarypointthemouttopatientsto

helpverifyorratifytheiralteredstateoftrance.Consciousnessdoesnotalways
recognizeitsownalteredstates.Howoftendowenotrecognizethatweareactually
dreaming?Itisusuallyonlyafterthefactthatwerecognizewewereinastateof
reverieordaydreaming.Theinexperienceduserofalcoholandpsychedelicdrugs
mustalsolearntorecognizeandthengowiththealteredstateinordertoenhanceand
fullyexperienceitseffects.Sincetherapeutictranceisactuallyonlyavariationofthe
commoneverydaytranceorreveriethateveryoneisfamiliarwithbutdoesnot
necessarilyrecognizeasanalteredstate,somepatientswillnotbelievetheyhavebeen
affectedinanyway.Forthesepatients,inparticular,itisimportanttoratifytranceas
analteredstate.Withoutthisproofthepatient'snegativeattitudesandbeliefscan
frequentlyundothevalueofthehypnoticsuggestionandabortthetherapeuticprocess
thathasbeeninitiated.

BecauseofthiswewilllistinTable1someofthecommonindicatorsoftrance
experiencewhichwehavepreviouslydiscussedandillustratedinsomedetail
(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).Becausetranceexperienceishighly
individualized,patientswillmanifesttheseindicatorsinvaryingcombinationsaswell
asindifferentdegrees.

TABLE1

SOMECOMMONINDICATORSOFTRANCEEXPERIENCE

AutonomousIdeationandInner

Respiration

Experience

BalancedTonicity(Catalepsy)
BodyImmobility

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

21/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Swallowing
Startlereflex

ObjectiveandImpersonalIdeation

BodyReorientationAfterTrance

PsychosomaticResponses

ChangedVoiceQuality

PupillaryChanges

Comfort,Relaxation

ResponseAttentiveness

EconomyofMovement

Expectancy

EyeChangesandClosure

FacialFeaturesSmoothRelaxed

FeelingDistancedorDissociated

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

22/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

FeelingGoodAfterTrance

Sensory,MuscularBodyChanges
(Paresthesias)

SlowingPulse

SpontaneousHypnoticPhenomena

Amnesia

Anesthesia

BodyIllusions

Catalepsy

Regression

TimeDistortion

Literalism

LossorRetardationofReflexes
Blinking

etc.

TimeLaginMotorandConceptual
Behavior

Mostoftheseindicatorswillbeillustratedastheyappearinthecasesofthisbook.

Welookuponthespontaneousdevelopmentofhypnoticphenomenasuchasage
regression,anesthesia,catalepsy,andsoonasmoregenuineindicatorsoftrancethan
whenthesesamephenomenaaresuggested.Whentheyaredirectlysuggested,werun
intothedifficultiesimposedbythepatient'sconsciousattitudesandbeliefsystem.
Whentheycomeaboutspontaneously,theyarethenaturalresultofthedissociationor
reorganizationofthepatient'susualframesofreferenceandgeneralrealityorientation
whichischaracteristicoftrance.

Certaininvestigatorshaveselectedsomeofthesespontaneousphenomenaasdefining
characteristicsofthefundamentalnatureoftrance.Meares(1957)andShor(1959),
forexample,havetakenregressionasafundamentalaspectoftrance.Fromourpoint
ofview,however,regressionperseisnotafundamentalcharacteristicoftrance,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

23/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

althoughitisoftenpresentasanepiphenomenonoftheearlystageoftrance
development,whenpatientsarelearningtogiveuptheirusualframesofreferenceand
modesoffunctioning.Inthisfirststageoflearningtoexperienceanalteredstate,
manyuncontrolledthingshappen,includingspontaneousageregression,paresthesias,
anesthesias,illusionsofbodydistortion,psychosomaticresponses,timedistortion,
andsoon.Oncepatientslearntostablizetheseunwantedsidereactions,theycanthen
allowtheirunconsciousmindstofunctionfreelyininteractingwiththetherapist's
suggestionswithoutsomeofthelimitationsoftheirusualframesofreference.

IdeomotorandIdeosensorySignaling

Sincemuchhypnotherapeuticworkdoesnotrequireadramaticexperienceof
classicalhypnoticphenomena,itisevenmoreimportantthatthetherapistlearnto
recognizetheminimalmanifestationsoftranceasalterationsinapatient'ssensory
perceptual,emotional,andcognitivefunctioning.Avaluablemeansofevaluating
thesechangesisintheuseofideomotorandideosensorysignaling(Erickson,1961;
CheekandLeCron,1968).Anexperienceoftranceasanalteredstatecanberatified
byrequestinganyoneofavarietyofideomotorresponsesasfollows:

Ifyouhaveexperiencedsomemomentsoftranceinourworktoday,yourright
hand(oroneofyourfingers)canliftallbyitself.

Ifyouhavebeenintrancetodaywithoutevenrealizingit,yourheadwillnodyes
(oryoureyeswillclose)allbyitself.

Theexistenceofatherapeuticchangecanbesignaledinasimilarmanner.

Ifyourunconsciousnolongerneedstohaveyouexperience(whateversymptom),
yourheadwillnod.

Yourunconsciouscanreviewthereasonsforthatproblem,andwhenithas
givenyourconsciousminditssourceinamannerthatiscomfortableforyouto
discuss,yourrightindexfingercanliftallbyitself.

Somesubjectsexperienceideosensoryresponsesmoreeasilythanothersubjects.
Theymaythusexperienceafeelingoflightness,heaviness,coolness,orpricklinessin
thedesignatedpartofthebody.

Inrequestingsuchresponseswearepresumablyallowingthepatient'sunconsciousto
respondinamannerthatisexperiencedasinvoluntarybythepatient.This
involuntaryorautonomousaspectofthemovementorfeelingisanindicationthatit
comesfromaresponsesystemthatissomewhatdissociatedfromthepatient'shabitual
patternofvoluntaryorintentionalresponse.Thepatientandtherapistthushave
indicationthatsomethinghashappenedindependentlyofthepatient'sconsciouswill.
Thatsomethingmaybetranceorwhatevertherapeuticresponsewasdesired.

Anuncriticalviewofideomotorandideosensorysignalingtakessuchresponsestobe
thetruevoiceoftheunconscious.Atthisstageofourunderstandingweprefertoview
themasonlyanotherresponsesystemthatmustbecheckedandcrossedvalidatedjust
asanyotherverbalornonverbalresponsesystem.Weprefertoevokeideomotor
responsesinsuchamannerthatthepatient'sconsciousmindmaynotwitnessthem

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

24/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

(forexample,havingeyesclosedoravertedwhenafingerorhandsignalisgiven).It
isverydifficult,however,toestablishthattheconsciousmindisunawareofwhat
responseisgivenandthattheresponseisinfactgivenindependentlyofconscious
intention.Somepatientsfeelthattheideomotororideosensoryresponseisentirelyon
aninvoluntarylevel.Othersfeeltheymusthelpitoratleastknowaheadoftimewhat
itistobe.

Asecondmajoruseofideomotorandideosensorysignalingistohelppatients
restructuretheirbeliefsystem.Doubtsabouttherapeuticchangemaypersistevenafter
anextendedperiodofexploringanddealingwithaproblemintrance.Thesedoubts
canoftenberelievedwhenthepatientbelievesinideomotororideosensoryresponses
asanindependentindexofthevalidityoftherapeuticwork.Thetherapistmay
proceed,forexample,withsuggestionsasfollows:

Ifyourunconsciousacknowledgesthataprocessoftherapeuticchangehasbeen
initiated,yourheadcannod.

Whenyouknowyouneednolongerbebotheredbythatproblem,yourindex
fingercanlift,orgetwarm[orwhatever].

Insuchusagethereisvalue,ofcourse,inhavingthepatient'sconsciousmind
recognizethepositiveresponse.Themoreautonomousorinvoluntarytheideomotor
orideosensoryresponse,themoreconvincingitistothepatient.

Atthepresenttimewehavenowayofdistinguishingwhenanideomotoror
ideosensoryresponseis(1)areliableandvalidindexofsomethinghappeninginthe
unconscious(outofthepatient'simmediaterangeofawareness),or(2)simplya
meansofrestructuringaconsciousbeliefsystem.Agreatdealofcarefullycontrolled
experimentalworkneedstobedoneinthisarea.Itisstillamatterofclinical

judgmenttodeterminewhichprocess,orthedegreetowhichbothprocesses,are
operatinginanyindividualsituation.

Summary

Ourutilizationapproachtohypnotherapyemphasizesthattherapeutictranceisa
meansbywhichwehelppatientslearntousetheirmentalskillsandpotentialsto
achievetheirowntherapeuticgoals.Whileourapproachispatientcenteredand
highlydependentonthemomentaryneedsoftheindividual,therearethreebasic
phasesthatcanbeoutlinedanddiscussedfordidacticpurposes:Preparation,
TherapeuticTrance,andRatificationofTherapeuticChange.

Thegoaloftheinitialpreparatoryperiodistoestablishanoptimalframeofreference
toorientthepatienttowardtherapeuticchange.Thisisfacilitatedbythefollowing
factors,whichwerediscussedinthischapterandwhichwillbeillustratedinthecases
ofthisbook.

Rapport

ResponseAttentiveness
AssessingAbilitiestoBeUtilized

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

25/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

FacilitatingTherapeuticFramesofReference
CreatingExpectancy

Therapeutictranceisaperiodduringwhichthelimitationsofone'shabitualframesof
referencearetemporarilyalteredsothatonecanbereceptivetomoreadequatemodes
offunctioning.Whiletheexperienceoftranceishighlyvariable,theoveralldynamics
oftherapeutictranceandsuggestioncouldbeoutlinedasafivestageprocess:(1)
Fixationofattention;(2)depotentiatinghabitualframeworks;(3)unconscioussearch;
(4)unconsciousprocesses;(5)therapeuticresponse.

Theutilizationapproachandtheindirectformsofsuggestionarethetwomajor
meansoffacilitatingtheseoveralldynamicsoftherapeutictranceandsuggestion.The
utilizationapproachemphasizesthecontinualinvolvementofeachpatient'sunique
repertoryofabilitiesandpotentials,whiletheindirectformsofsuggestionarethe
meansbywhichthetherapistfacilitatestheseinvolvements.

Webelievethattheinductionandmaintenanceoftherapeutictranceprovidesa
specialpsychologicalstateinwhichpatientscanreassociateandreorganizetheirinner
experiencesothattherapyresultsfromaninnerresynthesisoftheirownbehavior.

Ratifyingtheprocessoftherapeuticchangeisanintegralpartofourapproachto
hypnotherapy.Thisfrequentlyinvolvesaspecialefforttohelppatientsrecognizeand
validatetheiralteredstate.Thetherapistmustdevelopspecialskillsinlearningto
recognizeminimalmanifestationsofalteredfunctioninginsensoryperceptual,
emotional,andcognitiveprocesses.Ideomotorandideosensorysignalingareof

specialuseasanindexoftherapeuticchangeaswellasameansoffacilitatingan
alterationofthepatient'sbeliefsystem.

Exercises

1.Newobservationalskillsarethefirststageinthetrainingofthehypnotherapist.
Oneneedstolearntorecognizethemomentaryvariationsinanother'smentation.
Theseskillscanbedevelopedbytrainingoneselftocarefullyobservethemental
statesofpeopleineverydaylifeaswellasintheconsultingroom.Thereareatleast
fourlevels,rangingfromthemostobvioustothemoresubtle.

1.Rolerelations

2.Framesofreference

3.Commoneverydaytrancebehaviors

4.Responseattentiveness

1.Rolerelations:Carefullynotethedegreetowhichindividualsinallwalksoflife
arecaughtwithinroles,andthedegreesofflexibilitytheyhaveinbreakingoutof
theirrolestorelatetoyouasauniqueperson.Forexample,towhatdegreearethe
clerksatthesupermarketidentifiedwiththeirroles?Noticethenuancesofvoiceand
bodyposturethatindicatetheirrolebehavior.Doestheirtoneandmannerimplythat
theythinkofthemselvesasanauthoritytomanipulateyou,oraretheyseekingtofind

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

26/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

outsomethingaboutyouandwhatyoureallyneed?Explorethesamequestionswith
police,officialsofallsorts,nurses,busdrivers,teachers,etc.

2.Framesofreference:Totheabovestudyof'rolerelationsaddaninquiryintothe
dominantframesofreferencethatareguidingyoursubject'sbehavior.Isthebusor
taxicabdrivermoredominatedbyasafetyfameofreference?Whichofthestore
clerksismoreconcernedwithsecuringhispresentjobandwhichisobviously
buckingforapromotion?Isthedoctormoreobviouslyoperatingwithinafinancialor
therapeuticframeofreference?

3.Commoneverydaytrancebehavior:Table1canbeaguideastowhattolookforin
evaluatingaperson'severydaytrancebehavior.Eveninordinaryconversationone
cantakecarefulnoteofthosemomentarypauseswhentheotherpersonisquietly
lookingoffintothedistanceorstaringatsomething,asheorsheapparentlyreflects
inward.Onecanignoreandactuallyruinthesepreciousmomentswhentheotheris
engagedininnersearchandunconsciousprocessesbytalkingtoomuchandthereby
distractingtheperson.Howmuchbettersimplytoremainquietoneselfandcarefully
observetheindividualmanifestationsoftheother'severydaytrancebehavior.Notice
especiallywhethertheperson'seyeblinkslowsdownorstopsaltogether.Dotheeyes
actuallycloseforamoment?Doesthebodynotremainperfectlyimmobile,perhaps
evenwithlimbsapparentlycataleptic,fixedinmidgesture?

Watchingforthesemomentsandpausesisespeciallyimportantinpsychotherapy.The
authorswillthemselvessometimesfreezeinmidsentencewhentheyobservethe

patientgoingoffintosuchinwardfocus.Wefeelwhatwearesayingisprobablyless
importantthanallowingthepatienttohavethatinwardmoment.Sometimeswecan
facilitatetheinnersearchbysimplysayingthingssuchas:

That'sright,continuejustasyouare.

Followthatnow.

Interestingisn'tit?

Perhapsyoucantellmesomeofthatlater.

Afterawhilepatientsbecomeaccustomedtothisunusualtoleranceandreinforcement
oftheirinnermoments;thepausesgrowlongerandbecomewhatwewouldcall
therapeutictrance.Thepatientsthenexperienceincreasingrelaxationandcomfortand
mayprefertorespondwithideomotorsignalsastheygiveincreasingrecognitionto
theirtrancestate.

4.ResponseAttentiveness:Thisisthemostinterestingandusefulofthetrance
indicators.Thejuniorauthorcanrecallthatluckydaywhenaseriesofthreepatients
seenindividuallyonsuccessivehoursjusthappenedtomanifestasimilarwideeyed
lookofexpectancy,staringfixedlyintohiseyes.Theyalsohadasimilarfunnylittle
smile(orgiggle)ofwistfulnessandmildconfusion.Thatwasit!Suddenlyhe
recognizedwhattheseniorauthorhadbeentryingtoteachhimforthepastfiveyears:
Responseattentiveness!Thepatientsmaynothaverealizedthemselvesjusthow
muchtheywerelookingtothejuniorauthorfordirectionatthatmoment.Thatwas

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

27/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

themomenttointroduceatherapeuticsuggestionorframeofreference!Thatwasthe
momenttointroducetranceeitherdirectlyorindirectly!Thejuniorauthorcanrecall
thesameslightfeelingofdiscomfortwitheachpatientatthatmoment.Thepatient's
nakedlookofexpectancybespokeakindofopennessandvulnerabilitythatis
surprisingandabitdisconcertingwhenitissuddenlyencountered.Ineveryday
situationswetendtolookawayanddistractourselvesfromsuchdelicatemoments.At
mostweallowourselvestoenjoythembrieflywithchildrenorduringloving
encounters.Intherapysuchcreativemomentsarethepreciousopenersoftheyesset
andpositivetransference.Hypnotherapistsallowthemselvestobeopentothese
momentsandperhapstobeequallyvulnerableastheyoffersometentativetherapeutic
suggestions.Moredetailedexercisesontherecognitionandutilizationofresponse
attentivenesswillbepresentedattheendofChapterThree.

CHAPTER2

TheIndirectFormsofSuggestion
1.DirectandIndirectSuggestion

Adirectsuggestionmakesanappealtotheconsciousmindandsucceedsininitiating
behaviorwhenweareinagreementwiththesuggestionandhavethecapacityactually
tocarryitoutinavoluntarymanner.Ifsomeonesuggests,Pleaseclosethewindow,I
willcloseitifIhavethephysicalcapacitytodoso,andifIagreethatit'sagood
suggestion.Iftheconsciousmindhadasimilarcapacitytocarryoutallmannerof
psychologicalsuggestionsinanagreeableandvoluntarymanner,thenpsychotherapy
wouldbeasimplematterindeed.Thetherapistwouldneedonlysuggestthatthe
patientgiveupsuchandsuchaphobiaorunhappinessandthatwouldbetheendof
thematter.

Obviouslythisdoesnothappen.Psychologicalproblemsexistpreciselybecausethe
consciousminddoesnotknowhowtoinitiatepsychologicalexperienceandbehavior
changetothedegreethatonewouldlike.Inmanysuchsituationsthereissome
capacityfordesiredpatternsofbehavior,buttheycanonlybecarriedoutwiththe
helpofanunconsciousprocessthattakesplaceonaninvoluntarylevel.Wecanmake
aconsciousefforttorememberaforgottenname,forexample,butifwecannotdoso,
weceasetryingafterafewmomentsoffutileeffort.Fiveminuteslaterthenamemay
popupspontaneouslywithinourminds.Whathashappened?Obviouslyasearchwas
initiatedonaconsciouslevel,butitcouldonlybecompletedbyanunconscious
processthatcontinuedonitsownevenafterconsciousnessabandoneditseffort.
Sternberg(1975)hasreviewedexperimentaldatasupportingtheviewthatan
unconscioussearchcontinuesattherateofapproximatelythirtyitemspersecond
evenaftertheconsciousmindhasgoneontoothermatters.

Theindirectformsofsuggestionareapproachestoinitiatingandfacilitatingsuch
searchesonanunconsciouslevel.Whenitisfoundthatconsciousnessisunableto
carryoutadirectsuggestion,wemaythenmakeatherapeuticefforttoinitiatean
unconscioussearchforasolutionbyindirectsuggestion.Thenaiveviewofdirect
suggestionwhichemphasizescontrolmaintainsthatthepatientpassivelydoes
whateverthetherapistasks.Inouruseofindirectsuggestion,however,werealizethat
suggestedbehaviorisactuallyasubjectiveresponsesynthesizedwithinthepatient.It

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

28/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

isasubjectiveresponsethatutilizesthepatient'suniquerepertoryoflifeexperiences
andlearning.Itisnotwhatthetherapistsaysbutwhatthepatientdoeswithwhatis
saidthatistheessenceofsuggestion.Inhypnotherapythewordsofthetherapist
evokeacomplexseriesofinternalresponseswithinthepatient;theseinternal
responsesarethebasisofsuggestion.Indirectsuggestiondoesnottellthepatientwhat
todo;rather,itexploresandfacilitateswhatthepatient'sresponsesystemcandoon
anautonomouslevelwithoutreallymakingaconsciousefforttodirectitself.

Theindirectformsofsuggestionaresemanticenvironmentsthatfacilitatethe
experienceofnewresponsepossibilities.Theyautomaticallyevokeunconscious
searchesandprocesseswithinusindependentofourconsciouswill.

Inthischapterweshalldiscussanumberofindirectformsofsuggestionthathave
beenfoundtobeofpracticalvalueinfacilitatinghypnoticresponsiveness.Mostof
theseindirectformsareincommonusageineverydaylife.Indeed,thisiswherethe
seniorauthorusuallyrecognizedtheirvalueashesoughtmoreeffectivemeansof
facilitatinghypnoticwork.

Becausewehavealreadydiscussedmostoftheseindirectformsfromatheoretical
pointofview(EricksonandRossi,1976;Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976),our
emphasisinthischapterwillbeontheirtherapeuticapplications.Itwillbeseenthat
manyoftheseindirectformsarecloselyrelatedtoeachother,thatseveralcanbeused
inthesamephraseorsentence,andthatitissometimesdifficulttodistinguishone
fromanother.Becauseofthis,itmaybeofvalueforthereadertorecognizethatan
attitudeorapproachisbeingpresentedwiththismaterialratherthana"technique"that
isdesignedtoachievedefiniteandpredictable(thoughlimited)results.Theindirect
formsofsuggestionaremostusefulforexploringpotentialitiesandfacilitatinga
patient'snaturalresponsetendenciesratherthanimposingcontroloverbehavior.

2.TheInterspersalApproach

Theseniorauthorhasdescribedtheinterspersalapproach(Erickson,1966;Erickson
andRossi,1976)alongwithnonrepetitionashismostimportantcontributionstothe

practiceofSuggestion[InaconversationwithAnisleyMears,GordonAmbrose,andothersonthe
eveningwhentheseniorauthor,attheageofseventyfour,wasawardedtheBenjaminFranklingold

medalforhisinnovativecontributionstohypnosisatthe7thInternationalCongressofHypnosiso
n
July2,1976.].Intheolder,moretraditionalformsofdirectsuggestionthe
hypnotherapistusuallydronedonandon,repeatingthesamesuggestionoverand
over.Theeffortwasseeminglydirectedtoprogrammingordeeplyimprintingthe
mindwithonefixedidea.Withtheadventofmodernpsychodynamicpsychology,
however,werecognizethatthemindisinacontinualstateofgrowthandchange;
creativebehaviorisinacontinualprocessofdevelopment.Whiledirectprogramming
canobviouslyinfluencebehavior(e.g.,Coueism,advertising),itdoesnothelpus
exploreandfacilitateapatient'suniquepotentials.Theinterspersalapproach,onthe
otherhand,isasuitablemeansofpresentingsuggestionsinamannerthatenablesthe
patient'sownunconscioustoutilizetheminitsownuniqueway.

Theinterspersalapproachcanoperateonmanylevels.Wecanwithinasingle

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

29/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

sentenceintersperseasinglewordthatfacilitatesthepatient'sassociations:

Youcandescribethosefeelingsasfreelyasyouwish.

Theinterspersedwordfreelyautomaticallyassociatesapositivevalenceoffreedom
withfeelingspatientsmayhavesuppressed.Itcantherebyhelppatientstofree
feelingsthattheyreallywanttoreveal.Eachpatient'sindividualityisstillrespected,
however,becausefreechoiceisadmitted.Theseniorauthor(Erickson,1966)has
illustratedhowanentiretherapeuticsessioncanbeconductedbyinterspersingwords
andconceptssuggestiveofcomfort,utilizingthepatient'sownframesofreferenceso
thatpainreliefisachievedwithouttheformalinductionoftrance.Case1ofthis
volumewillgiveanotherclearillustrationofthisapproach.Inthefollowingsections
wewilldiscussandillustrateindirectassociativefocusingandindirectideodynamic
focusingastwoaspectsoftheinterspersalapproach.

2a.IndirectAssociativeFocusing

Abasicformofindirectsuggestionistoraisearelevanttopicwithoutdirectingitin
anyobviousmannertothepatient.Theseniorauthorlikestopointoutthattheeasiest
waytohelppatientstalkabouttheirmothersistotalkaboutyourownmotheror
mothersingeneral.Anaturalindirectassociativeprocessistherebysetinmotion
withinpatientsthatbringsupapparentlyspontaneousassociationsabouttheir
mothers.Sincewedonotdirectlyaskaboutapatient'smother,theusuallimitationsof
conscioussetsandhabitualmentalframeworks(includingpsychologicaldefenses)
thatsuchadirectquestionmightevokearebypassed.BandlerandGrinder(1975)
havedescribedthisprocessasatransderivationalphenomenonabasiclinguistic
processwherebysubjectandobjectareautomaticallyinterchangedatadeep,
(unconscious),structurallevel.

Intherapywecanuseaprocessofindirectassociativefocusingtohelpapatient
recognizeaproblem.Theseniorauthor,forexample,willfrequentlyintersperse
remarksortellanumberofstoriesandanecdotesinseeminglycasualconversation.
Evenwhenhisstoriesappearunrelated,however,theyallhaveacommon
denominatororcommonfocusedassociationwhichhehypothesizestobearelevant
aspectofthepatient'sproblem.Patientsmaywonderwhythetherapistismakingsuch
interestingbutapparentlynonrelevantconversationduringthetherapyhour.Ifthe
common,focusedassociationisinfactarelevantaspectoftheirproblem,however,
patientswillfrequentlyfindthemselvestalkingaboutitinasurprisinglyrevelatory
manner.Ifthetherapistguessedwrong,nothingislost.Thepatientwillsimplynot
talkaboutthefocusedassociationbecausethereisnoparticularrecognitionand
contributionwithinthepatient'sownassociativeprocessestoraiseittotheverbal
level.

Amajorvalueofthisinterspersalapproachisthattherapistscantosomedegreeavoid
imposingtheirowntheoreticalviewsandpreoccupationsupontheirpatients.Ifthe
focusedassociationisofvaluetopatients,theirownunconsciousprocessesofsearch
andevaluationwillpermitthemtorecognizeitasanaspectoftheirproblemand
utilizeitintheirownwaytofindtheirownsolutions.Examplesofthisprocessof
indirectassociativefocusingtohelppatientsrecognizeandresolvepsychodynamic

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

30/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

problemswillbepresentedinanumberofcaseillustrationsofthisvolume(e.g.,
particularlyCase5,ageneralapproachtosymptomaticbehavior).

2b.IndirectIdeodynamicFocusing

OneoftheearliesttheoriesofhypnoticresponsivenesswasformulatedbyBernheim
(1895),whodescribeditasapeculiaraptitudefortransformingtheideareceivedinto
anact.Hebelieved,forexample,thatinthehypnoticexperienceofcatalepsythere
was''anexaltationoftheideamotorreflexexcitability,whicheffectstheunconscious
transformationofthethoughtintomovement,unknowntothewill.Inthehypnotic
experienceofsensoryhallucinationshetheorizedthatthememoryofsensation[is]
resuscitatedalongwithexultationoftheideosensorialreflexexcitability,which
effectstheunconscioustransformationofthethoughtintosensation,orintoasensory
image."Thisviewofideodynamicresponsiveness(thatideascanbetransformedinto
anactualexperienceofmovements,sensations,perceptions,emotions,andsoon,

independentlyofconsciousintentionality)isstilltenabletoday.Ourutilizationtheory
ofhypnoticsuggestionemphasizesthatsuggestionisaprocessofevokingand
utilizingapatient'sownmentalprocessesinwaysthatareoutsidehisusualrangeof
egocontrol(EricksonandRossi,1976).

Ideodynamicprocessescanbeevokedwithaninterspersalapproachutilizingindirect
associativefocusingasdescribedintheprevioussection.Whentheseniorauthor
addressedprofessionalgroupsabouthypnoticphenomena,forexample,hefrequently
interspersedinterestingcasehistoriesandtoldstoriesabouthandlevitationor
hallucinatorysensations.Thesevividillustrationsinitiatedanaturalprocessof
ideomotorandideosensoryresponsivenesswithinthelistenerswithouttheirbeing
awareofit.Whenhethenaskedforvolunteersfromtheaudienceforademonstration
ofhypnoticbehavior,theywereprimedforresponsivenessbyideodynamicprocesses
thatwerealreadytakingplacewithintheminaninvoluntarymanneronan
unconsciouslevel.Theseunrecognizedideodynamicresponsescanfrequentlybe
measuredbyelectronicinstrumentation(ProkasyandRaskin,1973).

Inasimilarmanner,whenconfrontedwitharesistantsubjectwecansurroundhim
withoneormoregoodhypnoticsubjectstowhomwedirectourhypnoticsuggestions.
Aprocessofindirectideodynamicresponsivenesstakesplaceautomaticallywithin
theresistantsubjectashelistenstothesuggestionsandobservestheresponsesof
others.Heissoonsurprisedathowthehypnoticatmosphereeffectshimsothathe
becomesmuchmoreresponsivethanbefore.

Manyclearillustrationsofthisprocessofinterspersingindirectideodynamic
suggestionwillbefoundinthecasesofthisbook.Inourfirstcase,forexample,the
seniorauthortalksabouthisfriendJohn,whohadphantomlimbpaininhisfootjust
likethepatient's:Johnwasmarvelous.AndIdiscussedwithhimtheimportanceof
havingnicefeelingsinyourwoodenfoot,yourwoodenknee....Theimportanceof
havinggoodfeelingsinthewoodenfoot,thewoodenknee,thewoodenleg.Feelingit
tobewarm.Cool.Rested...youcanhavephantompleasure.

Inthecontextofanumberofanecdotesandstoriesabouthowothershavelearnedto
experiencephantompleasureinsteadofpain,interspersedindirectideodynamic
suggestionssuchastheabovebeginautomaticallytoinitiateunconscioussearches

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

31/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

andprocessesthatwillleadtotheameliorationofphantompainevenwithoutthe
formalinductionoftrance.

3.TruismsUtilizingIdeodynamicProcesses

Thebasicunitofideodynamicfocusingisthetruism:asimplestatementoffactabout
behaviorthatthepatienthasexperiencedsooftenthatitcannotbedenied.Inmostof
ourcaseillustrationsitwillbefoundthattheseniorauthorfrequentlytalksabout
certainpsychophysiologicalprocessesormentalmechanismsasifheweresimply
describingobjectivefactstothepatient.Actuallytheseverbaldescriptionscan
functionasindirectsuggestionswhentheytripoffideodynamicresponsesfrom
associationsandlearnedpatternsthatalreadyexistwithinpatientsasarepositoryof
theirlifeexperience.Thegeneralizedrealityorientation(Shor,1959)usually
maintainsthesesubjectiveresponsesinappropriatecheckwhenweareengagedin

ordinaryconversation.Whenattentionisfixedandfocusedintrancesothatsomeof
thelimitationsofthepatient'shabitualmentalsetsaredepotentiated,however,the
followingtruismsmayactuallytripoffaliteralandconcreteexperienceofthe
suggestedbehavior,whichisprintedinitalics.

3a.IdeomotorProcesses

Mostpeoplecanexperienceonehandasbeinglighterthananother.

Everyonehashadtheexperienceofnoddingtheirheadyesorshakingitnoeven
withoutrealizingit.

Whenwearetired,oureyesbegintoblinkslowlyandsometimesclosewithoutour
quiterealizingit.

Sometimesaswerelaxorgotosleep,amusclewilltwitchsothatourarmorleg
makesaslightinvoluntarymovement(Overlade,1976).

3b.IdeosensoryProcesses

Youalreadyknowhowtoexperiencepleasantsensationslikethewarmthofthe
sunonyourskin.

Mostpeopleenjoytherefreshingcoolnessofalightbreeze.

Somepeoplecanimaginetheirfavoritefoodsowelltheycanactuallytasteit.

Thesaltandsmellofalightoceanbreezeispleasanttomostpeople.

3c.IdeoaffectiveProcesses

Somepeopleblusheasilywhentheyrecognizecertainfeelingsaboutthemselves.

Itseasytofeelangerandresentmentwhenwearemadetofeelfoolish.Weusually
frownwhenwehavememoriesthatarealltoopainfulto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

32/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

remember.

Mostofustrytoavoidthoughtsandmemoriesthatbringtears,yetthey
frequentlydealwiththemostimportantthings.

Wehaveallenjoyednoticingsomeonesmileataprivatethoughtandwe
frequentlyfindourselvessmilingattheirsmile.

Informulatingsuchideoaffectivesuggestionsitishelpfultoincludeabehavioral
marker(blush,frown,tears,smile)wheneverpossible,toprovidesomepossible
feedbacktothetherapistaboutwhatthepatientisreceivingandactingupon.

3d.IdeocognitiveProcesses

Weknowthatwhenyouareasleepyourunconsciouscandream.Youcaneasily
forgetthatdreamwhenyouawaken.

Youcansometimesrememberoneimportantpartofthatdreamthatinterests
you.

Wecansometimesknowanameandhaveitonthetipofourtongueandyetnot
beabletosaythename.

4.TruismsUtilizingTime

Inhypnotherapeuticworktruismsutilizingtimeareveryimportantbecausethereis
frequentlyatimelagintheexecutionofhypnoticresponses.Thestagesof
unconscioussearchandprocessesleadingtohypnoticresponsesrequirevarying
lengthsoftimeindifferentpatients.Itisusuallybesttopermitthepatient'sown
unconscioustodeterminetheappropriateamountoftimerequiredforanyresponse.

Soonerorlateryourhandisgoingtolift(eyesclose,orwhatever).

Yourheadache(orwhatever)cannowleaveassoonasyoursystemisreadyforit
toleave.

Yoursymptomcannowdisappearassoonasyourunconsciousknowsyoucan
handle(suchandsuch)probleminamoreconstructivemanner.

5.NotKnowing,NotDoing

Whiletruismsareanexcellentmeansofintroducingsuggestionsinapositivemanner
thattheconsciousmindcanaccept,validhypnoticexperienceinvolvestheutilization
ofunconsciousprocesses.Abasicaspectoftherapeutictranceistoarrange
circumstancessothatconstructivementalprocessesareexperiencedintakingplace
bythemselveswithoutthepatientmakinganyefforttodriveordirectthem.When
oneisrelaxed,asistypicalofmosttranceexperiences,theparasympatheticsystem
physiologicallypredisposesonenottodoratherthantomakeanyactiveeffortof
doing.Similarlywhenwearerelaxedandtheunconscioustakesover,weusuallyfeel
comfortableanddonotknowhowtheunconsciouscarriesoutitsactivities.Not
knowingandnotdoingaresynonymouswiththeunconsciousorautonomous

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

33/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

responsivenessthatistheessenceoftranceexperience.Anattitudeofnotknowing
andnotdoingisthereforeofgreatvalueinfacilitatinghypnoticresponsiveness.This
isparticularlytrueduringtheinitialstagesoftranceinduction,wherethefollowing
suggestionsmaybeappropriate.

Youdon'thavetotalkormoveormakeanysortofeffort.Youdon'tevenhave
toholdyoureyesopen.

Youdon'thavetobothertryingtolistentomebecauseyourunconsciouscando
thatandrespondallbyitself.

Peoplecansleepandnotknowtheyareasleep.

Theycandreamandnotrememberthatdream.

Youdon'tknowjustwhenthoseeyelidswillcloseallbythemselves.

Youmaynotknowjustwhichhandwillliftfirst.

Theseexamplesclearlyillustratehowdifferentourindirecthypnoticformsarefrom
thedirectapproach,whichtypicallybegins,Nowpaycloseattentiontomyvoiceand
doexactlywhatIsay.Thedirectapproachfocusesconsciousattentionandtendsto
activateconsciouscooperationbythepatient.Thiscanbeofvalueininitiatingsome
typesofresponsivebehavioringoodhypnoticsubjects,butfortheaveragepatientit
mayactivateconsciousprocessestothepointwhereunconsciousprocessesare
inhibitedratherthanenhanced.

Notknowingandnotdoingareofparticularvalueintranceworkwhenwewishto
evokethepatient'sownindividualityinseekingthebestmodalityoftherapeutic
response.

Youdon'treallyknowjusthowyourunconsciouswillhelpyouresolvethat
problem.Butyourconsciousmindcanbereceptivetotheanswerwhenitdoes
come.

Yourconsciousmindsurelyhasmanyquestions,butitdoesnotreallyknowjust
whentheunconsciouswillletyougiveupthatundesirablehabit.Youdon'tknow
ifitwillbesoonerorlater.Youdon'tknowifitwillbeallatonceorslowly,by
degrees.Yetyoucanlearntorespectyourownnaturalwayofdoingthings.

6.OpenEndedSuggestions

Therapistsaswellaspatientsdonotalwaysknowwhatisthebestavenuefor
constructiveprocessestoexpressthemselves.Humanpredispositionsand
potentialitiesaresocomplexthatwemayevenconsideritpresumptuoustoassume
thatanyonecouldpossiblyknowaheadoftimejustwhatisthemostcreative
approachtothenewthatcontinuallyovertakesus.Indeed,oneviewofmaladjustment
isthatwedoinfactattempttoimposeoldviewsandsolutionsintochangedlife
circumstanceswheretheyarenolongerappropriate(Rossi,1972).Theopenended
suggestionisameansofdealingwiththisproblem.Openendedsuggestionspermitus
toexploreandutilizewhateverresponsepossibilitiesaremostavailabletothepatient.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

34/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Itisofvalueonthelevelofconsciouschoiceaswellasunconsciousdeterminism.
Whenpatientsareawakeandconsciouslydirectingtheirownbehavior,theopen
endedsuggestionpermitsselfdetermination.Whenpatientsareintrance,theopen
endedsuggestionpermitstheunconscioustoselectthemostappropriatemeansof
carryingoutatherapeuticresponse.

Aswehavealreadyseen,notknowingandnotdoingleadnaturallytoopenended
suggestions.Thefollowingarefurtherillustrations.

Weallhavepotentialsweareunawareof,andweusuallydon'tknowhowthey
willbeexpressed.

Yourmindcanreviewmorefeelings,memories,andthoughtsrelatedtothat
problem,butyoudon'tknowyetwhichwillbemostusefulforsolvingthe
problemyouarecopingwith.

Youcanfindyourselfrangingintothepast,thepresent,orthefutureasyour
unconsciousselectsthemostappropriatemeansofdealingwiththat.

Hedoesn'tknowwhatheislearning,butheislearning.Anditisn'trightforme
totellhim,Youlearnthisoryoulearnthat!Lethimlearnwhateverhewishes,in
whateverorderhewishes.

Whilegivingagreatdealofapparentfreedomtoexploreandexpressthepatient's
ownindividuality,suchopenendedsuggestionscarryastrongimplicationthata
therapeuticresponsewillbeforthcoming.

7.CoveringAllPossibilitiesofaClassofResponses

Whileopenendedsuggestionspermitthewidestpossiblelatitudefortheexpression
ofatherapeuticresponse,suggestionscoveringallpossibilitiesofaclassofresponses
areofmorevaluewhenthetherapistwishestofocusthepatient'sresponsivenessina
particulardirection.Ininitiatingtrance,forexample,thefollowingmightbe
appropriate.

Soonyouwillfindafingerorathumbmovingabit,perhapsbyitself.Itcan
moveupordown,tothesideorpressdown.Itcanbesloworquickorperhaps
notmoveatall.Thereallyimportantthingistosensefullywhateverfeelings
develop.

Allpossibilitiesoffingermovementhavebeencovered,includingthepossibilityof
notmovingatall.Thesuggestionisthusfailsafe.Thepatientissuccessfulnomatter
whatresponsedevelops.Thetherapistissimplyexploringthepatient'sinitial
responsivenesswhileinitiatingtrancebyfocusingattention.

Exactlythesameapproachcanbeusedwhenthepatienthasexperiencedtherapeutic
tranceandisreadytodealwithaproblem.

Soonyouwillfindtheweightproblembeingdealtwithbyeatingmoreorlessof
therightfoodsyoucanenjoy.Youmayfirstgainweightorloseitorremainthe
sameforawhileasyoulearnthereallyimportantthingsaboutyourself

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

35/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Inbothoftheseillustrationswecanobservehowwearedistractingthepatient's
consciousnessfromtheimportantareaofresponsivenesswithaninterestingideain
theend(initalics),sothattheunconsciouscanhavemoreopportunitytodetermine
whichoftheresponsepossibilities(notinitalics)willbeexpressed.Thisisinkeeping
withtheclassicalnotionofhypnosisasthesimultaneousfocusinganddistractionof
attention.

8.QuestionsThatFacilitateNewResponse
Possibilities

Recentresearch(Steinberg,1975)indicatesthatthehumanbrain,whenquestioned,
continuesanexhaustivesearchthroughoutitsentirememorysystemonan
unconsciouslevelevenafterithasfoundananswerthatisapparentlysatisfyingona
consciouslevel.Thisunconscioussearchandactivationofmentalprocessesonan
autonomouslevelistheessenceofourindirectapproach,whereinweseektoutilizea
patient'sunrecognizedpotentialstoevokehypnoticphenomenaandtherapeutic
responses.

Thisprocessofanunconscioussearchandanautonomousprocessingofinformation
isevidentinmanyphenomenaofeverydaylife.Accordingtoonefolksaying,The
morningiswiserthantheevening.Afterwehavesleptonaproblem,wefindthe
solutioncomesmoreeasilyinthemorning.Evidentlyanunconscioussearchand
problemsolvingprocesshasbeentakingplacewhiletheconsciousnesswasatrest.
Thereisevidencethatdreamingcanbeanexperimentaltheaterofthemind,where
questionscanbeansweredandnewlifepossibilitiessynthesized(Ross,19711973).

TheSocraticmethodofeducation,wherebyateacherasksthestudentaseriesof
pointedquestions,isaclassicalillustrationofusingquestionsasinitiatorsofmental
processes.Wecanwonder,indeed,ifconsciousnesscouldhaveevolvedtoitscurrent
levelwithoutthedevelopmentandutilizationofquestionsasaprovocativesyntactical
formwhichfacilitateinternalprocessesofinquiry.Inthissectionwewillillustrate
howquestionscanfocusassociationsaswellassuggestandreinforcenewresponse
possibilities.

8a.QuestionstoFocusAssociations

Aninterestingillustrationofhowquestionscanfocusdifferentaspectsofinner
experiencecomesfromresearchonthesubjectivereportsofhypnoticsubjects
(Barber,Dalai,andCalverley,1968).Whenasked,Didyouexperiencethehypnotic
stateasbasicallysimilartothewakingstate?mostsubjects(83percent)reported
affirmatively.Ontheotherhand,whenasked,Didyouexperiencethehypnoticstate
asbasicallydifferentfromthewakingstate?72percentrespondedaffirmatively.We
couldtaketheseapparentlycontradictoryresponsesasindicationsoftheunreliability
ofthesubjects'reportsaboutthehypnoticexperience.Fromanotherpointofview,
however,wecanunderstandhowsuchquestionsfocusedthesubjectsondifferent
aspectsoftheirexperiences.Thefirstquestionfocusedtheirattentiononthe
similaritiesbetweenthewakingandhypnoticstates;thesecondfocusedattentionon
thedifferences.Bothquestionscouldinitiatevalidresponsesaboutdifferentaspects

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

36/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ofthesubjects'innerexperiences;nocontradictionneedbeimplied.

Inhypnotherapyitisoftenofvaluetohelppatientsdiscriminatebetweendifferent
aspectsoftheirinnerlivesortofindthecommondenominatorinapparentlydifferent
experiences.Carefullyformulatedquestionssuchastheabovecanfacilitatethis
process.

8b.QuestionsinTranceInduction

Questionsareofparticularvalueasindirectformsofsuggestionwhentheycannotbe
answeredbytheconsciousmind.Suchquestionsactivateunconsciousprocessesand
initiateautonomousresponseswhicharetheessenceoftrancebehavior.The
followingareillustrationsofhowaseriesofquestionsmaybeusedtoinitiateand
deepentrancebytwodifferentapproachestoinductioneyefixationandhand
levitation.Ineachillustrationthefirstfewquestionsmaybeansweredbyresponsive
behaviorthatisguidedbyconsciouschoice.Thenextfewquestionsmaybeanswered
byeitherconsciousintentionalityorunconsciouschoice.Thelastfewcanonlybe
answeredonanunconsciousorautonomouslevelofresponsiveness.Theseseriesof
questionscannotbeusedinafixedandrigidmanner,butmustalwaysincorporateand
utilizethepatient'songoingbehavior.Itisunderstoodthatpatientsneednotrespond
inaconventionalverbalmannertothesequestions,butonlywiththeresponsive
behaviorsuggested.Patientsusuallydonotrecognizethataveryimportantbutsubtle
shiftistakingplace.Theyarenolongerverballyinteractinginasocialmannerwith
theirtypicaldefenses.Rather,theyarefocusedintenselywithinthemselveswondering
abouthowtheywillrespond.Thisimpliesthatadissociationistakingplacebetween
theirconsciousthinking(withitssenseofcontrol)andtheirapparentlyautonomous
responsestothetherapist'squestions.Theapparentlyautonomousnatureoftheir
behavioralresponsesisusuallyacknowledgedashypnotic.Withthatthestageisset
forfurtherautonomousandunconsciouslydeterminedtherapeuticresponses.

EyeFixation

1.1.1.Wouldyouliketofindaspotyoucanlookatcomfortably?

2.2.2.Asyoucontinuelookingatthatspotforawhile,doyoureyelidswant
toblink?

3.3.3.Willthoselidsbegintoblinktogetherorseparately?

4.4.4.Slowlyorquickly?

5.5.5.Willtheycloseallatonceorflutterallbythemselvesfirst?

6.6.6.Willthoseeyesclosemoreandmoreasyougetmoreandmore
comfortable?

7.7.7.That'sfine.Canthoseeyesnowremainclosedasyourcomfort
deepenslikewhenyougotosleep?

8.8.8.Canthatcomfortcontinuemoreandmoresothatyou'drathernot
eventrytoopenyoureyes?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

37/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

9.9.9.Orwouldyourathertryandfindyoucannot?

10.10.10.Andhowsoonwillyouforgetaboutthemaltogetherbecauseyour
unconsciouswantstodream?(Therapistcanobserveslighteyeball
movementsasthepatient'sclosedeyesfollowchangesontheinnerdream
scene.)

Thisseriesbeginswithaquestionthatrequiresconsciouschoiceandvolitiononthe
partofthepatientandendswithaquestionthatcanonlybecarriedoutby
unconsciousprocesses.Animportantfeatureofthisapproachisthatitisfailsafein
thesensethatanyfailuretorespondcanbeacceptedasavalidandmeaningful
responsetoaquestion.Anotherimportantfeatureisthateachquestionsuggestsan
observableresponsethatgivesthetherapistimportantinformationabouthowwellthe
patientisfollowingsuggestions.Theseobservableresponsesarealsoassociatedwith
importantinternalaspectsoftranceexperienceandcanbeusedasindicatorsofthem.

Ifthereisafailuretorespondadequately,thetherapistcangoonwithafewother
questionsatthesameleveluntilresponsivebehaviorisagainmanifest,orthetherapist
canquestionpatientsabouttheirinnerexperiencetoexploreanyunusualresponse
patternsordifficultiestheymayhave.Itisnotuncommonforsomepatients,for
example,toopentheireyesoccasionallyevenafteritissuggestedthattheywill
remainclosed.Thisseemstobeanautomaticcheckingdevicethatsomepatientsuse
withoutevenbeingawareofit.Itdoesnotinterferewiththerapeutictrancework.The
questionformatthusgiveseachpatient'sownindividualityanopportunitytorespond
inatherapeuticallyconstructivemanner.Thesefeaturesarealsofoundinthehand
levitationapproach,whichwewillnowillustrate.

HandLevitation

1.1.1.Canyoufeelcomfortablerestingyourhandsgentlyonyourthighs?
[Astherapistdemonstrates]That'sright,withoutlettingthemtoucheach
other.

2.2.2.Canyouletthosehandsresteversolightlysothatthefingertipsjust
barelytouchyourthighs?

3.3.3.That'sright.Astheyresteversolight,doyounoticehowtheytendto
liftupabitallbythemselveswitheachbreathyoutake?

4.4.4.Dotheybegintoliftevenmorelightlyandeasilybythemselvesasthe
restofyourbodyrelaxesmoreandmore?

5.5.5.Asthatgoeson,doesonehandortheotherormaybebothcontinue
liftingevenmore?

6.6.6.Anddoesthathandstayupandcontinueliftinghigherandhigher,
bitbybit,allbyitself?Doestheotherhandwanttocatchupwithit,orwill
theotherhandrelaxinyourlap?

7.7.7.That'sright.Anddoesthathandcontinueliftingwiththeseslight

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

38/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

littlejerkingmovements,ordoestheliftinggetsmootherandsmootherasthe
handcontinuesupwardtowardyourface?

8.8.8.Doesitmovemorequicklyorslowlyasitapproachesyourfacewith
deepeningcomfort?Doesitneedtopauseabitbeforeitfinallytouchesyour
facesoyou'llknowyouaregoingintoatrance?Anditwon'ttouchuntilyour
unconsciousisreallyreadytoletyougodeeper,willit?

9.9.9.Andwillyourbodyautomaticallytakeadeeperbreathwhenthat
handtouchesyourfaceasyoureallyrelaxandexperienceyourselfgoing
deeper?

10.10.10.That'sright.Andwillyouevenbothertonoticethedeepening
comfortablefeelingwhenthathandslowlyreturnstoyourlapallbyitself?
Andwillyourunconsciousbeinadreambythetimethathandcomesto
rest?

8c.QuestionsFacilitatingTherapeuticResponsiveness

Questionscanbecombinedwithnotknowingandwithopenendedsuggestionsto
facilitateavarietyofpatternsofresponsiveness.

Andwhatwillbetheeffectivemeansoflosingweight?Willitbebecauseyou
simplyforgettoeatandhavelittlepatiencewithheavymealsbecausethey
preventyoufromdoingmoreinterestingthings?Willcertainfoodsthatputon

weightnolongerappealtoyouforwhateverreasons?Willyoudiscoverthe
enjoymentofnewfoodsandnewwaysofpreparingthemandeatingsothat
you'llbesurprisedthatyoudidloseweightbecauseyoureallydidn'tmiss
anything?

Thelastquestioninthisseriesisanillustrationofhowcompoundquestionscanbe
builtupwithandandsotofacilitatewhatevertendencyismostnaturalforthepatient.

Theambiguityandsuggestiveeffectofcompoundquestionshaslongbeenrecognized
injurisprudence.Theuseofcompoundquestionsbyattorneysisthereforeforbidden
duringtheircrossexaminationofawitness.Inahotlycontestedcaseajudgeoran
opposingattorneycanoftenbeheardobjectingtothecompoundsbywhichan
unscrupulousattorneymaybefuddleandperhapsensnareanunwarywitness.Inour
therapeuticuseofcompoundquestionstheirveryambiguityisofvaluein
depotentiatingthepatient'slearnedlimitationssonewpossibilitiesmaybe
experienced.

Wewillnowturntoamoredetailedexaminationofcompoundsuggestions.

9.CompoundSuggestions

Wehavealreadyseeninmanyofourpreviousillustrationshowtwoormore
suggestionscanbecombinedtosupporteachother.Inthissectionweshalltakea
closerlookatavarietyofcompoundsuggestionsthathavebeenfoundtobeofvalue
inhypnotherapeuticwork.Atthesimplestlevelacompoundsuggestionismadeupof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

39/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

twostatementsjoinedtogetherwithagrammaticalconjunctionorwithaslightpause
thatplacesthemincloseassociation.Traditionalgrammarhasclassifiedconjunctions
broadlyascoordinatingandsubordinating.Thecoordinatingconjunctionsand,but,
andorjoinstatementsthatarelogicallycoordinatedorequalinrank,while
subordinatingconjunctionssuchasthough,if,so,as,after,because,since,anduntil
joinoneexpressiontoanotherthatisitsadjunctorsubordinate.Thelinguisticjoining
andseparatingexpressionsobviouslyhavecorrespondenceswithsimilarprocessesin
mathematicsandlogicaswellaswiththepsychologicalprocessesofmental
associationanddissociationthatareofessenceinhypnotherapy.GeorgeBoole(1815
1864),oneoftheoriginatorsofsymboliclogic,feltthathewasformulatingthelaws
ofthoughtwithhisequations.Weknowtoday,however,thatwhilelogic,natural
language,andmentalprocessessharesomeintriguinginterfaces,thereisnosystemof
completecorrespondencebetweenthem.Whileasystemoflogicormathematicscan
becompletelydefined,naturallanguageandmentalprocessesareperpetuallyina
stateofcreativeflux.Thereisinprinciplenofixedformulaorsystemoflogicor
languagethatcancompletelydetermineorcontrolmentalprocesses.Wewouldbe
deludingourselves,therefore,ifwesoughtacompletelydeterministicmeansof
manipulatingmentalprocessesandcontrollingbehaviorwithourindirectformsof
suggestion.Wecanusethemtoexploreandfacilitateresponsepotentialswithinthe
patient,however.Inthissectionwewillillustratefiveclassesofcompound
suggestionthathavebeenofparticularuseinhypnotherapy:(a)theyessetand
reinforcement,(b)contingency,(c)appositionofopposites,(d)thenegative,and(e)
shock,surprise,andcreativemoments.Otherformsofindirectsuggestionsuchas
implication,binds,anddoublebindsaresocomplexthatwewilldiscussthemin
separatesections.

9a.TheYesSetandReinforcement

Abasicformofcompoundstatementwidelyusedindailylifeisthesimple
associationofacertainandobviouslygoodnotionwiththesuggestionofadesirable
possibility.

It'ssuchabeautifulday,let'sgoswimming.

It'saholiday,sowhyshouldn'tIdowhatIwant?

Youhavedonewellandcancontinue.

Ineachoftheaboveaninitiallypositiveassociation(beautifulday,holiday,done
well)introducesayessetthatfacilitatestheacceptanceofthesuggestionthat
follows.Wesawearlierhowtruismsareanothermeansofopeningayessetto
facilitatesuggestion.

Whenthetruismorpositiveandmotivatingassociationfollowsthesuggestion,we
haveameansofreinforcingit.Thus:

Let'sgoswimming,it'ssuchabeautifulday.

9b.ContingentSuggestionsandAssociationalNetworks

Ausefulformofcompoundstatementoccurswhenwetieasuggestiontoanongoing

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

40/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

orinevitablepatternofbehavior.Ahypnoticsuggestionthatmaybedifficultfora
patientiseasierwhenitisassociatedwithbehaviorthatisfamiliar.Thehypnotic
suggestionhitchhikesontothenaturalandspontaneousresponsesthatarewellwithin
thepatient'snormalrepertory.Thecontingentsuggestionisitalicizedinthefollowing
examples.

Witheachbreathyoutakeyoucanbecomeawareofthenaturalrhythmsofyour
bodyandfeelingsofcomfortthatdevelop.

Asyoucontinuesittingthere,youwillfindyourselfbecomingmorerelaxedand
comfortable.

Asyourhandlowers,you'11findyourselfgoingcomfortablybackintimetothe
sourceofthatproblem.

Asyoumentallyreviewthesourceofthatproblemyourunconsciouscandevelop
sometentativewaysofdealingwithit.

Andwhenyourconsciousmindrecognizesaplausibleandworthwhilesolution,
yourfingercanliftautomatically.

Whenyoufeelreadytotalkaboutit,you'11findyourselfawakeningfeeling
refreshedandalert,withanappreciationofthegoodworkyou'vebeenabletodo.

Ascanbeseenfromthelastfourexamples,contingentsuggestionscanbetied
togetherintoassociationalnetworksthatcreateasystemofmutualsupportand
momentumforinitiatingandcarryingoutatherapeuticpatternofresponses.Fromthe
broadestpointofviewawholetherapysessionindeed,anentirecourseoftherapy
canbeconceivedasaseriesofcontingentresponseswhereineachsuccessful
therapeuticstepevolvesfromallthatcamebefore.Haley(1974)haspresenteda
numberoftheseniorauthor'sclinicalcasesthatillustratethisprocess.

9c.AppositionofOpposites

Anotherindirectformofcompoundsuggestioniswhatwemaydescribeasthe
balanceorappositionofopposites.Abalancebetweenopponentsystemsisabasic
biologicalprocessthatisbuiltintothestructureofournervoussystem(Kinsbourne,
1974).Mostbiologicalsystemscanbeconceptualizedasahomeostaticbalanceof
processesthatpreventstheoverallsystemfromstrayingoutsidetherelativelynarrow
rangerequiredforoptimalfunctioning.Toaccountforsomeofthephenomenaof
hypnosis,ithasbeenproposedthattherearealternativesinvariousopponentsystems,
suchasthesympatheticandparasympatheticsystem,theleftandrightcerebral
hemispheres,corticalversussubcorticalprocesses,thefirstandsecondsignaling
system(Platonov,1959).

Thisbalancingorappositionofopponentprocessesisalsoevidentonthe
psychologicalandsociallevels.Thereistensionandrelaxation,motivationand
inhibition,consciousandunconscious,erosandlogos,thesisandantithesis.An
awarenessandunderstandingofthedynamicsofsuchopponentprocessesisof
greatestsignificanceinanyformofpsychotherapy.Inthissectionwecanprovide
onlyafewillustrationsofhowwecanbalanceopponentprocessesbymeansofverbal

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

41/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

suggestion.Intheprocessofhypnoticinduction,forexample,wehavethefollowing:

Asthatfistgetstighterandtense,therestofyourbodyrelaxes.Asyourright
handlifts,yourlefthandlowers.

Asthatarmfeelslighterandlifts,youreyelidscanfeelheavierandloweruntil
theyareclosed.

Similarsuggestionscanbeformulatedforvirtuallyanyoftheopponentprocessesin
thesensory,perceptual,affective,andcognitiverealms.

Asyourforeheadgetscooler,yourhandscangetwarmer.

Asyourjawbecomesmoreandmorenumbandinsensitive,noticehowyourleft
handbecomesmoreandmoresensitive.

YoucanexperienceallyourfeelingsaboutsomethingthatoccurredatageX
withoutbeingabletorememberjustwhatcausedthosefeelings.

Whenyounextopenyoureyesyouwillhaveanunusuallyclearmemoryofall
that,butwithoutthefeelingsyouhadthen.

Asyoureviewthat,youcannowexperienceanappropriatebalanceofthinking
andfeelingaboutthewholething.

Ascanbeseenfromthelastthreeexamples,aprocessofdissociationcanbeutilized
tofirsthelpthepatientverythoroughlyexperiencebothsidesofanopponentsystem
beforetheyarebroughttogetheratamoreadequatelevelofintegration.

9d.TheNegative

Closelyassociatedwiththeappositionofoppositesistheseniorauthor'semphasison
theimportanceofdischargingthenegativityorresistancethatbuildsupwhenevera
patientisfollowingaseriesofsuggestions.Ineverydaylifewecanrecognizehow
peoplewhoarenegativeorresistantusuallyhaveahistoryoffeelingtheywere
imposedupontoomuch.Becauseofthistheynowwanttohaveittheirway!They
resistbeingoverdirectedandveryoftendotheoppositeofwhattheybelieveothers
wantthemtodo.Thisoppositionaltendency,ofcourse,isactuallyahealthy
compensationfortheirearlyhistories.Natureapparentlywantsustobeindividuals,
andmanybelievethatthehistoryofman'sculturalandpsychologicaldevelopment
hasbeenanefforttoachieveevermoreencompassingdegreesoffree,unfettered,and
genuineselfexpression.

Inexperimentalresearchpsychologistshavedevelopedtheconceptofreactive
inhibitiontoaccountforsimilarbehavioralphenomena(WoodworthandSchlosberg,
1954).Afterrepeatingsometask(runningamaze,solvingcertainproblemsofa
similarnature)thesubject,whetherratorman,appearslessandlesswillingtogoon,
andmoreeasilyacceptsalternativepathwaysandotherpatternsofbehavior.This
inhibitionapparentlyhasanadaptivefunctioninblockingpreviousbehaviorinfavor
oftheexpressionofnewresponsesthatcanleadtonewpossibilities.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

42/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Inhispracticalworkwithpatients,theseniorauthorhasexploredvariousmeansof
copingwithandactuallyutilizingthisinhibitoryoroppositionaltendency.He
believesthatthesimpleexpressionofanegativebythetherapistcanoftenserveasa
lightningrodtoautomaticallydischargeanyminorinhibitionandresistancethathas
beenbuildingupwithinthepatient.Thushewillusesuchphrasesasthefollowing:

Andyoucan,canyounot?Youcantry,can'tyou?Youcan'tstopit,canyou?
Youwill,won'tyou?Youdo,don'tyou?Whynotletthathappen?

Researchhasdemonstratedanothervalueinthisclosejuxtapositionofthepositive
andthenegative.Ithasbeenfoundthatitis30percentmoredifficulttocomprehenda
negativethanapositive(Donaldson,1959).Thustheuseofnegativescanintroduce
confusionthattendstodepotentiateapatient'slimitedconscioussetsothatinnerwork
canbedone.

Theuseofthenegativeisalsorelatedtoanotherindirectformnotknowingandnot
doing.Thisuseofthenegativecanbeveryusefullyandcasuallyintroducedin
contingentsuggestions,suchasthefollowingthatutilizetheconnectiveuntil.

Youdon'thavetogointotranceuntilyouarereallyready.

Youwon'ttakeareallydeepbreathuntilthathandtouchesyourface.

Youwon'treallyknowjusthowcomfortableyoucanbeintranceuntilthatarm
slowlylowersallthewaydowntorestonyourlap.

Andyoureallydon'thavetodo[therapeuticresponse]until[Inevitablebehavior
inpatient'snearfuture].

Youwon'tdoituntilyourunconsciousisready.

Thelatteruseofthenegativeisactuallyaformoftheconsciousunconsciousdouble
bindwewilldiscussinalatersection.

9e.Shock,Surprise,andCreativeMoments

Amostinterestingformofcompoundsuggestionisillustratedwhenashocksurprises
patients'habitualmentalframeworkssotheirusualconscioussetsaredepotentiated
andthereisamomentarygapintheirawareness,whichcanthenbefilledwithan
appropriatesuggestion(Rossi,1973;EricksonandRossi,1976).Theshockopensthe
possibilityofacreativemomentduringwhichthepatient'sunconsciousisengagedin
aninnersearchforananswerorconceptionthatcanreestablishpsychicequilibrium.
Ifthepatient'sownunconsciousprocessesdonotprovidetheanswer,thetherapisthas
anopportunitytointroduceasuggestionthatmayhavethesameeffect.

Shockandsurprisecansometimesprecipitateautonomicreactionsthatarenormally
notundervoluntarycontrol.Atadelicatemomentinaconversationonesometimes
blushesinanuncontrolledmannerwhenunconsciousemotionalprocessesaretouched
upon.Ifapersonisnotblushingduringsuchanunguardedmoment,onecan
frequentlyprecipitateablushingresponsebysimplyasking,Whyareyoublushing?
Thisquestionasanindirectformofsuggestionadministeredduringthedelicate

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

43/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

(potentiallycreative)momentwhenthelistener'shabitualmentalframeworksarein
nascentfluxevokesthesuggestedautonomicprocesseseasily.

Ineverydaylifealoudnoisemaystartleussothatwefreeze,momentarilyinhibiting
allbodymovement;wearethrownintoamomentarytranceastheunconsciousraces
forameansofcomprehendingwhatishappening.Theanswermayflashthatitwas
onlyacarbackfiring,andwerelax.Butifinthatprecisemomentsomeoneyellsthe
suggestion,bomb!wealmostcertainlywillflinch,lookaroundinpanic,orfalltothe
groundtoprotectourselves.Dailylifeisfilledwithlessdramaticexamplesof
unexpectedshocksthatstartleandsurpriseandperhapsleadtoadoubletake,where
wehavetolookbackorgooverthatagaintocomprehendwhatisreallygoingon.We
couldtheorizethatfoullanguageisactuallyaformofshockthathasdevelopedin
mostculturestostartlethelistenerssotheywillbemoreavailabletowhatisbeing
saidandbemorereadilyinfluencedbyit.

Ifpeoplehaveproblemsbecauseoflearnedlimitations,itcanbetherapeuticto
momentarilydepotentiatethoselimitationswithsomeformofpsychologicalshock.
Theycanthenreevaluatetheirsituationviatheautomaticprocessofunconscious
searchthatisinitiatedwithinthem.Inthiscasetheprocessofshock,surprise,and
creativemomentsisopenended;thepatient'sownunconsciousprocessesprovide

whateverreorganizationorsolutionthatemerges.Ifnothingsatisfactorycomesforth,
thetherapistmaythenaddsuggestionsasfurtherstimuliduringthemomentarygap,
inhopethattheymaycatalyzeatherapeuticresponse.

Momentaryshockcanbegeneratedintherapeuticdialoguebyinterspersingshock
words,tabooconcepts,andemotions.Wordslikesex,secrets,andwhispering
momentarilyfixattention,andthelistenerismorereceptive.Amomentarypauseafter
theshockallowsaninnersearchtotakeplace.Itcanbefollowedbyreassuranceoran
appropriatesuggestion.

Yoursexlife

[Pause]

justwhatyouneedtoknowandunderstandaboutit.

Secretlywhatyouwant

[Pause]

ismostimportanttoyou.
Youmaygetdivorced
[Pause]

unlessyoubothreallylearntogetwhatyouneedintherelationship.

Ineachoftheseexamplestheshockinitalicsinitiatesaninnersearchthatcanleadto
theexpressionofanimportantresponseduringthepause.Thetherapistlearnsto
recognizeandevaluatethenonverbalbodyreactionstosuchpsychologicalshock.If
thereareindicationsthatthepatienthasbecomepreoccupiedwiththeinnersearch,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

44/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thetherapistsimplyremainsquietuntilthepatientcomesforthwithwhatevermaterial
hasbeenstimulated.Iftherearenoindicationsofmaterialcomingfromthepatient,
thetherapistendsthepausewithareassuranceorsuggestion,asillustratedabove.The
mosteffectiveinitiatorsofshockutilizethepatient'sownframesofreference,taboos,
andneedsforabreakoutoftheoldsothatacreativereorganizationcantakeplace.
Illustrationsofthisprocesshavebeenpublishedelsewhere(Rossi,1973b),and
detailedclinicalexampleswillbefoundinanumberofthecasesinthisvolume.

10.ImplicationandtheImpliedDirective

Implicationisabasiclinguisticpsychologicalformthatprovidesuswiththeclearest
modelofthedynamicsofindirectsuggestion.Mostpsychotherapistsagreethatitis
notwhatthetherapistsaysthatisimportantbutwhatthepatienthears.Thatis,the
wordsofthetherapistonlyfunctionasstimulithatsetoffmanypersonaltrainsof
associationwithinthepatient.Itisthesepersonaltrainsofassociationwithinthe
patientthatactuallyfunctionasamajorvehicleforthetherapeuticprocess.This
processcanbedisruptedwhenthetherapist'sinnocentremarkshaveunfortunate

implicationsforthepatient,butitcanbegreatlyfacilitatedwhenthetherapist'swords
carryimplicationsthatevokelatentpotentialswithinthepatient.

Agreatdealofcommunicationindailylifeaswellasintherapyiscarriedoutby
implicationinamannerthatis,forthemostpart,notconsciouslyplannedoreven
recognizedbytheparticipants.Wewitnessthisineverydaylifewhenahousewife,for
example,bangsherpotsabitlouderwhensheisdispleasedwithherhusbandbutmay
humsoftlytoherselfwhensheispleased.Shemaynotrecognizewhatsheisdoing,
andherhusbandmaynotalwaysknowquitehowheisgettingthemessage,buthe
feelsitatsomelevel.Bodylanguageandgesture(Birdwhistell,1952,1971;Scheflen,
1974)arenonverbalmodesofcommunicationthatusuallyfunctionviaimplications.
Insuchimplicationthemessageisnotstateddirectlybutisevokedbyaprogressof
innersearchandinference.Thisinnersearchengagesthepatient'sownunconscious
processessothattheresponsethatemergesisasmuchafunctionofthepatientasitis
ofthetherapist.Likealltheotherindirectformsofsuggestion,ourpsychologicaluse
ofimplicationideallyevokesandfacilitatesthepatient'sownprocessesofcreativity.

OnthesimplestlevelimplicationisformedverballybytheIf...thenphrase.

Ifyousitdownthenyoucangointotrance.

Nowifyouuncrossyourlegsandplaceyourhandscomfortablyonyourlap,then
youwillbereadytoentertrance.

Patientswhofollowsuchsuggestionsbyactuallysittingdown,uncrossingtheirlegs,
andplacingtheirhandsintheirlaparealsoaccepting,perhapswithoutquiterealizing
it,theimplicationthattheywillgointotrance.

Whatisthevalueofsuchimplication?Ideallysuchimplicationsbypassconsciousness
andautomaticallyevokethedesiredunconsciousprocessesthatwillfacilitatetrance
inductioninawaythattheconsciousmindcouldnotbecauseitdoesnotknowhow.
Wecanprepareourselvestogotosleep,buttheconsciousmindcannotmakeit
happen.Thusifwedirectlyorderanaivepatient,Sitdownandgointotrance[The

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

45/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

readerwillnotethateventhisapparentlydirectsuggestionactuallycontainsanindirecthypnoti
c
form:acompoundcontingentsuggestionwhereandgointotranceiscontingentonSitdown.For
someparticularlyaptorexperiencedsubjects,therefore,thisstatementcouldfacilitateaneffec
tive

induction.']heorshemaywellsitdownwhilepolitelyprotesting,ButI'venevergone
intotrance,andI'mafraidIdon'tknowhow.Sincetheessenceofhypnoticsuggestion
isthatresponsesarecarriedoutonanautonomousorunconsciouslevel,itisusually
futiletoexpecttheconsciousmindtocarrythemoutviadirectsuggestion.When
directsuggestionsaresuccessful,theyusuallyinvolvepreparationforhypnoticwork
inthesamesensethatbrushingone'steethandlyinginbedareconscious,preparatory
actsthatsetthestageforgoingtosleep,whichisthenmediatedbyunconscious
processes.Withimplicationandalltheotherindirectformsofsuggestion,weare
presumingtodosomethingmore:Wearemakinganefforttoevokeandfacilitatethe
actualunconsciousprocessesthatwillcreatethedesiredresponse.

Aswereflectupontheprocessofimplication,wegraduallybecomeawarethat
everythingwesayhasimplications.Eventhemostgeneralconversationcanbe
analyzedasastudyinimplicationhowthewordsofonespeakercanevokeallsorts

ofassociationsinthelistener.Ineverydaylifeaswellasinhypnotherapyitisoften
theimplicationsthataremorepotentassuggestionsthanwhatisbeingsaiddirectly.
Inapublicconversationtheparticipantsarefrequentlyinhibited,andrespondwith
associationsthatarenothingmorethancliches.Inamorepersonalinteraction,suchas
hypnotherapy,theparticipantshavelicensetorespondwiththeirmoreintimateor
idiosyncraticassociations.Insuchpersonalinteractionswearesometimessurprised
atwhatassociationsandfeelingsweexperience.Whenourconsciousmindis
surprisedinthismanner,thetherapyhasbeensuccessfulinfacilitatinganexpression
ofourindividualitythatwewerenotpreviouslyawareof.Wecouldsaythat
potentialshavebeenreleasedornewdimensionsofinsightandconsciousnesshave
beensynthesized.

Thefollowingareexamplesoftheuseofimplicationfordeepeningpatients'
involvementwiththeirowninnerrealitiesduringtrance.

Yourownmemories,images,andfeelingsarenowmoreimportanttoyouinthis
state.

Whilegivinganapparentlydirectsuggestionaboutmemories,images,andfeelings,
thisstatementalsocarriestheimportantimplicationthattranceisdifferentfromthe
ordinaryawakestate,andinthisstateeverythingelseisirrelevant(outsidenoises,the
timeofday,theofficesetting,etc.).

Weareusuallynotawareofthemomentwhenwefallasleepandsometimesare
notevenawarethatweslept.

Thisstatementhasobviousimplicationsforalackofawarenessaboutthesignificant
aspectsoftrance,alackthatcanfurtherdepotentiatethelimitingsetsof
consciousness.Thisimplicationisemphasizedinthefollowingmonologue,which
structuresaframeofreferenceinwhichautomaticandunconsciousbehaviorcanbe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

46/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

facilitated.

Nowyouknowyoudomanythingsalldaylongwithoutbeingawareofthem.
Yourheartjustbeatsalongwithoutanyhelporconsciousdirectionfromyou.
Justasyouusuallybreathewithoutbeingawareofit.Andevenwhenyouwalk,
yourlegsseemtomovebythemselvesandtakeyouwhereveryouwanttogo.
Andyourhandsdomostofthethingsyouwantthemtodowithoutyoursaying
Nowhandsdothis,nowhandsdothat.Yourhandsworkautomaticallyforyou,
andyouusuallydon'thavetopayattentiontothem.Evenwhenyouspeak,you
doitautomatically,youdon'thavetobeconsciouslyawareofhowtopronounce
eachword.Youcanspeakwithoutevenknowingit.Youknowhowtodoit
automaticallywithouteventhinkingaboutit.Also,whenyouseeorhearthings
orwhenyoutouchorfeelthings,theyworkautomaticallywithoutyouhavingto
beconsciousofthem.Theyworkbythemselvesandyoudon'thavetopay
attention.Theyjusttakecareofthemselveswithoutyourhavingtobebothered
aboutthem.

10a.TheImpliedDirective

Aspecialformofimplicationthatiscloselyassociatedwithcontingencysuggestions
iswhatwehavetermedtheimplieddirective(EricksonandRossi,1976).Theimplied
directiveisanindirectformofsuggestionthatisincommonusageinclinical
hypnosis(CheekandLeCron,1968)eventhoughithasnotyetreceiveddetailed
psychologicalanalysis.Liketheotherindirectformsofsuggestion,itsusehas
evolvedoutofarecognitionofitsvalueineverydaylife.Theimplieddirectivehas
threerecognizableparts:

1.1.1.atimebindingintroduction;

2.2.2.theimpliedsuggestionthattakesplacewithinthepatient;

3.3.3.behavioralresponsethatsignalswhentheimpliedsuggestionhasbeen
accomplished.

Thus,assoonas

1.1.1.thetimebindingintroduction

yourunconscioushasreachedthesourceofthatproblem,

2.2.2.theimpliedsuggestioninitiatinganunconscioussearchtakingplace
withinthepatient

yourfingercanlift.

3.3.3.thebehavioralresponsethatsignalswhentheimpliedsuggestionhasbeen
accomplished.

Ascanbeseenfromthisillustration,theimplieddirectiveisanindirectformof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

47/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

suggestionthatinitiatesinnersearchandunconsciousprocessesandthenletsusknow
whenatherapeuticresponsehasbeenaccomplished.Itisofparticularvaluewhenwe
needtoinitiateandfacilitateanextensiveprocessofinnerexplorationandwhenwe
areattemptingtounravelthedynamicsofsymptomformation.

Otherindirectformsofsuggestionthatareparticularlyusefulforinitiatingan
unconscioussearchinhypnosisareimplieddirectivessuchasthefollowing:

Whenyouhavefoundafeelingofrelaxationandcomfort,youreyescloseallby
themselves.

Inthisexamplethepatientmustobviouslymakeasearchonanunconsciouslevelthat
willideallyinitiateparasympatheticresponsesthatcanbeexperiencedascomfortand
relaxation.Eyeclosureisaresponsenaturallyassociatedwithsuchinternalcomfort
andthusservesasanidealsignalthattheinternalprocesshastakenplace.

Asthatcomfortdeepens,yourconsciousmindcanrelaxwhileyourunconscious
reviewsthenatureoftheproblem.Andwhenarelevantandinterestingthought
reachesyourconsciousmind,youreyeswillopenasyoucarefullyconsiderit.

Thisexamplebuildsuponthefirstandinitiatesanotherunconscioussearchfora
generalexploratoryapproachtoaproblem.

Ascanbeseenfromtheseexamples,anunconscioussearchinitiatesanunconscious
processthatactuallysolvestheproblemthattheconsciousmindcouldnothandle.
Theseunconsciousprocessesaretheessenceofcreativityandproblemsolvingin
everydaylifeaswellasintherapy.Hypnotherapy,inparticular,dependsuponthe
successfulutilizationofsuchunconsciousprocessestofacilitateatherapeutic
response.CheekandLeCron(1968)havegivenextensiveillustrationsofhowaseries
ofquestionsintheformofimplieddirectivescanbeusedforboththeexplorationand
resolutionofsymptoms.

11.BindsandDoubleBinds

Pyschologicalbindsanddoublebindshavebeenexploredbyanumberofauthors
(Haley,1963;Watzlawicketal.,1967,1974;EricksonandRossi,1975)fortheirusein
therapeuticsituations.Theconceptofbindsappearstohaveafascinatingpotential
thatextendsourquestfornewtherapeuticapproachesintotheareasoflinguistics,
logic,semantics,epistemology,andthephilosophyofscience.Sincetheyarethe
vanguardofnewpatternsofourtherapeuticconsciousness,ourunderstandingofthem
isasyetveryincomplete.Wearenotalwayssurewhatbindsanddoublebindsare,or
howwecanbestformulateandusethem.Mostofourknowledgeaboutthemcomes
fromclinicalstudiesandtheoreticalformulations(Bateson,1972)withverylittle
controlledexperimentalresearchthatexactlyspecifiestheirparameters.

Becauseofthis,wewillusethetermsbindanddoublebindonlyinaveryspecialand
limitedsensetodescribecertainformsofsuggestionthatofferpatientsanopportunity
fortherapeuticresponses.Abindoffersapatientafree,consciouschoicebetween
twoormorealternatives.Whicheverchoiceismade,however,leadsthepatientina
therapeuticdirection.Adoublebind,bycontrast,offerspossibilitiesofbehaviorthat
areoutsidethepatient'susualrangeofconsciouschoiceandvoluntarycontrol.The

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

48/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

doublebindarisesoutofthepossibilityofcommunicatingonmorethanonelevel.In
dailylifewefrequentlysaysomethingverballywhilecommentingonitextraverbally.
Wemaysay,Let'sgotothemovies.Wecansayitwithinnumerablevariationsof
toneandintent,however,thatcanhavemanyimplications.Thesevariationsareall
commentsormetacommunicationsonourprimaryverbalmessageaboutgoingtothe
movies.Asweshallseeinthefollowingsections,bindsanddoublebindsarevery
muchafunctionofwhoisreceivingthemessage.Whatisabindordoublebindfor
onepersonmaynotbeforanother.Asisthecasewithalltheotherindirectformsof
suggestion,bindsanddoublebindsutilizethepatient'suniquerepertoryof
associationsandpatternsoflonglearning.Mostbindsanddoubleblindscannotbe
appliedinamechanicalorrotefashion.Therapistsmustunderstandsomethingabout
howtheirmessagesaregoingtobereceivedinordertomakeiteffective.

11a.BindsModeledonAvoidanceAvoidanceandApproachApproach
Conflicts

Psychologicalbindsarelifesituationsinwhichweexperienceaconstrictioninour
behavior.Typicallywearecaughtincircumstancesthatallowusonlyunpleasant
alternativesofresponse.Wearecaughtbetweenthedevilandthedeepbluesea.We
thusexperienceanavoidanceavoidanceconflict;wehavetomakeachoiceeven

thoughwewouldliketoavoidallthealternatives.Insuchcircumstancesweusually
choosethelesserofthetwoevils.

Psychologicalbindscanalsobeconstructedonthemodelofanapproachapproach
conflict.Inthiscaseoneisinthebindofhavingtochooseonlyoneofanumberof
desirablecoursesofactionandexcludingalltheotherdesirablepossibilities.In
commonparlance,Youcan'thaveyourcakeandeatittoo.

Sincewehaveallhadinnumerableexperiencesofsuchbinds,theavoidance
avoidanceandapproachapproachconflictsusuallyexistasestablishedprocesses
governingourbehavior.Aswestudypatients,welearntorecognizehowsomeare
governedmorebyavoidanceavoidanceconflictswhileothers,perhapsmorefortunate
(butnotnecessarilyso),appeartobeperpetuallyjugglingapproachapproach
alternatives.Theclinicalartofutilizingthesemodelsofconflictistorecognizewhich
tendencyisdominantwithinaparticularpatientandthenstructurebindsthatoffer
onlytherapeuticalternativesofresponse.Whenwedonotknowwhichtendencyis
morepredominant,wecanoffergeneralbindsthatareapplicabletoanyone,suchas
thefollowing.

Wouldyouliketoentertrancenoworlater?Wouldyouliketoentertrance
sittingorlyingdown?Wouldyouliketogointoalight,medium,ordeeptrance?

Thepatienthasfree,consciouschoiceinrespondingtoanyofthealternativesoffered
above.Assoonasachoiceismade,however,thepatientisboundtoentertrance.As
canbeseenfromtheseexamples,thequestionformatisparticularlywellsuitedfor
offeringbinds.Whenusingitwithideomotorsignaling,wecanfrequentlyformulate
anassociationalnetworkofstructuredinquirythatcanrapidlyunravelthedynamics
ofaproblemandresolveit.CheekandLeCron(1968)havepioneeredsuchlinesof
structuredinquiryformanypsychologicalandpsychosomaticconditions.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

49/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Anexampleofthetherapeuticuseofanavoidanceavoidancebindtoresolvea
symptomofinsomniawasthecaseofameticulouselderlygentlemanwhotookpride
indoingallhisownhouseworkexceptthathehatedtowaxfloors.Afteranappraisal
ofhispersonality,theseniorauthortoldthegentlemanthattherewasanobvious
solutiontotheinsomniaproblem,buthemightnotlikeit.Thegentlemanpolitely
insistedthathewoulddowhateverwasnecessarytobeabletosleep.Thesenior
authorcontinuedtodemur,whilepermittingthegentlemantocommithimselffurther
bygivinganumberofexamplesofhowpersistenthewasindealingwithdifficult
problemsoncehedeterminedhewould.Heinsistedthathiswordwashisbond,and
hewasusedtodealingwithunpleasantmatters.Thisclearlyconfirmedthatthisman
ofadmirablecharacterwas,indeed,wellpracticedinworkingthroughavoidance
avoidanceconflicts.Hisdeterminationinthefaceofsuchconflictswasutilizedin
structuringatherapeuticavoidanceavoidancebind.Hewastoldthatifhewasnot
asleepwithinfifteenminutesofgoingtobed,hehadtogetupandwaxfloorsuntilhe
felthecouldsleep.Ifhewasstillnotasleepwithinfifteenminutes,hehadtogetup
againandsocontinuethisprocedureuntilhewasasleep.Thegentlemanlaterreported
thathehadwellwaxedfloorsandsleptremarkablywell.

Wemaycallthissituationatherapeuticavoidanceavoidancebindbecausethe
gentlemanwaspresentedwithnegativealternativesoverwhichhehadconscious,

voluntarychoice.Hecouldchoosebetweenthenegativealternativesofinsomniaor
waxingfloors.Aswestudythisexampleabitfurther,however,itbeginstoreveal
aspectsofadoublebind.Wecouldconceptualizethegentleman'scharacterological
structure,whichenabledhimtopersistinthefaceofdifficulties,aswellashisword
washisbond"asmetalevelsthatboundhimautomaticallytohistherapeutictask.
Thesemetalevelsofhischaracterwereutilizedinamannerthatwasoutsidehis
normalrangeofconsciouschoiceandcontrol.

Thisexampleillustratesthedifficultiesinanyexactformulationorunderstandingof
theoperationofthebindanddoublebindinactualclinicalpractice.Ingeneral,
however,wecansaythatthemoreweinvolvethepatients'ownassociationsand
learnedpatternsofresponse,themoretheyarelikelytoexperienceabind,double
bind,ortriplebindasaneffectiveagentinbehaviorchangethatisexperiencedas
takingplaceonanautonomous(unconscious,hypnotic)level.

lib.TheConsciousUnconsciousDoubleBind

Someofthemostfascinatingandusefuldoublebindsarethosethatdealwiththe
interfacebetweenconsciousandunconsciousprocesses(Erickson,1964;Erickson
andRossi,1975).Thesedoublebindsallrestuponthefactthatwhilewecannot
controlourunconscious,wecanreceiveamessageconsciouslythatcaninitiate
unconsciousprocesses.Theconsciousunconsciousdoublebindisdesignedtobypass
thelimitationsofourconsciousunderstandingandabilitiessothatbehaviorcanbe
mediatedbythehiddenpotentialsthatexistonamoreautonomousorunconscious
level.Anyresponsetothefollowing,forexample,requiresthatthepatientexperience
aninnerfocusandsearchthatinitiatesunconsciousprocessesinwaysthatareusually
beyondconsciouscontrol.

Ifyourunconsciouswantsyoutoentertrance,yourrighthandwillliftallby
itself.Otherwiseyourlefthandwilllift.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

50/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Whetheronegetsayes(righthand)orno(lefthand)responsetothissuggestion,one
hasbeguntoinducetrance,sinceanytrulyautonomousresponse(liftingeitherhand)
impliesthatatranceexists.Ifthepatientsimplysitsquietly,andnohandresponseis
evidentafterafewminutes,thetherapistcanintroduceafurtherdoublebindwiththe
followingaddition.

Sinceyou'vebeensittingquietlyandthereisyetnohandresponse,youcan
wonderifyourunconsciouswouldprefernottomakeanyeffortatallasyougo
intotrance.Itmaybemorecomfortablenottohavetomoveortalkoreven
bothertryingtokeepyoureyesopen.

Atthispointthepatient'seyesmaycloseandtrancebecomemanifest.Theeyesmay
remainopenwithapassivestare,andtherewillbecontinuingbodyimmobility
suggestiveofthedevelopmentoftrance.Ifthepatientisexperiencingdifficulty,on
theotherhand,therewillbeanuneasyshiftingofthebody,facialmovements,and
finallysometalkabouttheproblem.

Theconsciousunconsciousdoublebindinassociationwithquestions,implications,
notknowingnotdoing,andideomotorsignalingisthusanexcellentmeansof
initiatingtranceandexploringapatient'spatternsofresponse.

Intherapytheconsciousunconsciousdoublebindhasinnumerableuses,allbasedon
itsabilitytomobilizeunconsciousprocesses.Theuseofthenegativeasdescribed
earlierisveryusefulhere.

Youdon'thavetolistentomebecauseyourunconsciousishereandcanhear
whatitneedsto,torespondinjusttherightway.

Anditreallydoesn'tmatterwhatyourconsciousminddoesbecauseyour
unconsciouscanfindtherightmeansofcopingwiththatpain[orwhatever].

You'vesaidyoudon'tknowhowtosolvethatproblem.Youareuncertainand
confused.Yourconsciousmindreallydoesn'tknowwhattodo.Andyetweknow
thattheunconsciousdoeshaveaccesstomanymemoriesandimagesand
experiencesthatitcanmakeavailabletoyouinwaysthatcanbemostsurprising
forsolvingthatproblem.Youdon'tknowwhatallyourpossibilitiesareyet.Your
unconsciouscanworkonthemallbyitself.Andhowwillyouknowwhenithas
beensolved?Willthesolutioncomeinadreamyouwillremember,orwillyou
forgetthedreambutfindthattheproblemisgraduallyresolvingitselfinaway
thatyourconsciousmindcannotunderstand?Willtheresolutioncomequickly
whilewideawakeorinaquietmomentofreflectionordaydreaming?Willyou
beatworkoratplay,shoppingordrivingyourcar,whenyoufinallyrealizeit?
Youreallydon'tknow,butyoucertainlycanbehappywhenthesolutiondoes
come.

Intheseexamplesitcanbeseenhowtheconsciousunconsciousdoublebindin
associationwithquestionsandopenendedsuggestionscanfacilitatewhatever
responsesaremostsuitableforthepatient'sindividuality.Allthemajorcasesofthis
volumeillustratehowthisformofdoublebindcanbeappliedtoavarietyofproblems
andsituations.Inallsuchsituationswearedepotentiatingthepatient'sconscious,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

51/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

habitual,andpresumablymorelimitedpatternsinfavorofunconsciousprocessesand
potentials.Ifwearewillingtoidentifytheseunconsciousprocesseswiththeactivity
ofthenondominantcerebralhemisphere(usuallytherightGalin,1974;Hoppe,
1977)andconsciousselfdirectionandrationalprocesseswiththedominantcerebral
hemisphere(usuallytheleft),wecouldsaythattheconsciousunconsciousdouble
bindtendstodepotentiatethelimitationsofthedominanthemisphereandthereby
possiblyfacilitatethepotentialsofthenondominant.Thisisparticularlythecasewith
thedoubledissociationdoublebind,towhichwewillnowturnourattention.

lie.TheDoubleDissociationDoubleBind

Traditionallytheconceptofdissociationhasbeenusedasanexplanationofhypnosis.
Hypnoticorautonomousbehaviortakesplaceoutsidethepatient'simmediaterangeof
consciousnessandisthereforedissociatedfromtheconsciousmind.Theseniorauthor
hasevolvedmanysubtleandindirectmeansoffacilitatingdissociationsthatappearto
utilizemanyentirelynormalbutalternatepathwaysofbehaviorthatleadtothesame
end.AllroadsleadtoRomeisaclichethatexpressestheintenseobviousnessand,

therefore,usefulnessofthisapproach.Preciselybecausealternatepathwaystothe
sameresponseareveryobviouslytrueandrespectfulofthepatient'sindividuality,
suggestionsthatutilizethemareveryacceptable.

Thedoubledissociationdoublebindwasdiscoveredbytheauthors(Erickson,Rossi,
andRossi,1976)whenweanalyzedthefollowing.

Youcanasapersonawaken,butyoudonotneedtoawakenasabody.
[Pause]

Youcanawakenwhenyourbodyawakensbutwithoutarecognitionofyour
body.

Inthefirsthalfofthissuggestionawakeningasapersonisdissociatedfrom
awakeningasabody.Inthesecondhalfawakeningasapersonandasabodyare
dissociatedfromarecognitionofthebody.Suggestionsthatembodysuch
dissociationsfacilitatehypnoticbehaviorwhilealsoexploringeachindividual's
uniqueresponseabilities.Thedoubledissociationdoubleblindtendstoconfusea
patient'sconsciousmindandthusdepotentiatehishabitualsets,biases,andlearned
limitations.Thissetsthestageforunconscioussearchesandprocessesthatmay
mediatecreativebehavior.Thefollowingexamplessuggesttherangeofits
application.

Youcandreamyou'reawakeeventhoughyou'reintrance.
[Pause]

Oryoucanactasifyou'reintranceevenwhileawake.

Youcanfindyourhandliftingwithoutknowingwhereitisgoing.

[Pause]

Oryoumaysensewhereitisgoingeventhoughyou'renotreallydirectingit.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

52/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Youcanmakeanabstractdrawingwithoutknowingwhatitis.

[Pause]

Youcanlaterfindsomemeaninginiteventhoughitdoesnotseemrelatedtoyou
personally.

Youcanspeakintranceeventhoughyoudon'talwaysrecognizethemeaningof
yourwords.

[Pause]

Oryoucanremainsilentasyourheadveryslowlynodsyesorshakesnoallby
itselfinresponsetomyquestions.

Ascanbeseenfromtheseexamples,thedoubledissociationdoublebindisoftena
potpourriofallsortsofindirectformsofsuggestion:implications,contingencies,
negatives,openendedsuggestions,apparentlycoveringallpossibilitiesofaclassof
responses,notknowing,notdoing,andsoon.Theircommondenominatoristhe
facilitationofdissociationsthattendtodepotentiateapatient'shabitualconscioussets
sothatmoreinvoluntarylevelsofresponsecanbeexpressed.Theauthors(Erickson,
Rossi,andRossi,1976)havediscussedhowthisformofthedoublebindmaybe
relatedtotheneuropsychologicalconceptsformulatedbyLuria(1973).

Adetailedstudyandassessmentofthepatient'sresponsetocarefullyformulated
doubledissociationdoublebindscanbeofgreatuseinplanningfurtherhypnotic
work.Considerthefollowing,whichcanprovideeitheraninitiationinto
somnambulistictrainingoratleastavalidationoftrance.

Now,inamomentyoureyeswillopenbutyoudon'tneedtoawaken.[Pause]

Oryoucanawakenwhenyoureyesopen,butwithoutrememberingwhat
happenedwhentheywereclosed.

Thisdoubledissociationdoublebindhasadefinitemarkerindicatingthatthe
suggestionhasbeenreceivedandisbeingactedupon:theeyesopening.Whenthe
eyesopen,thetherapistnoteswhether(1)thereisasimultaneousmovementofthe
body,indicatingthatthepatientisawakeningor(2)thepatientremainsimmobile,
indicatingthattranceiscontinuing.Ifthepatient'sbodyremainsimmobilewhenthe
eyesopen,thepatientwillhaveacompletememoryofalltranceevents,sincethat
trancecontinues.Thetherapistcanassessthisconditionbyquestioningandthen
requestinganideomotorresponsesothepatient'sunconsciouscanfirmlyvalidatethat
atranceisstillpresent(e.g.,Ifyouarestillintranceyouryesfingercanlift,your
headcanslowlynodyes,andsoon).Anaffirmativeideomotorresponse,indicating
thatthepatientcontinuestoexperiencetranceevenwitheyesopen,isastrong
indicationthatthepatienthasenteredthefirststagesofsomnambulistictraining:
Patientsinthisstatecaningeneralactasiftheyareawake,yettheycontinueto
followsuggestionsasiftheywereinadeeptrance.Thetherapistthensimply
continuesthissomnambulistictrainingbyprofferingfurthersuggestionstodeepen
theirinvolvementandextendtheirrangeofhypnoticresponsiveness(automatic

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

53/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

talkingandwriting,visualandauditoryhallucinations,andsoon).

If,ontheotherhand,suchpatientsmoveandspeakasiftheywereperfectlyawake
whentheireyesopen,theyareapparentlyactingonthesecondalternative,andwe
wouldassessthevalidityofthetrancebydeterminingthepresenceofanamnesiafor
tranceevents.Butwhatifapatientawakesandthereisnoamnesia?Doesthismean
thattrancewasnotexperienced?Possibly.Morelikely,however,suchpatientswill
recallonlyoneortwothingsofsuchparticularsignificanceforthemduringtrance
thattheyattractedconsciousattentionandsoarerecalledeasilyaftertrance.There
willtendtobeanamnesiaformanyothertranceevents;however,anotherpossibility
isthatamnesiamaybeaparticularlydifficultresponseforsuchpatients.Theymay
haveexperiencedagenuinetrancebutforsomereasoncannotexperiencethe
responseofamnesia.Toassessthispossibilitythetherapistreintroducestranceand
then,afteranotherdoubledissociationdoublebind,usesanothermodalityasan

indicationoftrance.Inthefollowing,forexample,bodymovement(oraninhibiting
verbalresponse)isusedasatranceindicationinsteadofamnesia.

Now,inamomentyoureyeswillopen,butyoudon'tneedtoawaken.

Oryoucanawakenwhenyoureyesopen,butyouwon'tfeellikemovingyour
armsforafewminutes[orwon'tfeellikespeakingforafewminutes].

Patientswhoacceptthesecondalternativeandawakencanvalidatethetrancebynot
movingtheirarms(orspeaking)forafewminutes.Itiswisetooffertranceindicators
inthispermissivemanner.(Youwon'tfeellikemovingyourarms)ratherthanasa
challenge(Youwon'tbeabletomoveyourarms),becausethechallengeisoften
takenasanaffrontbyourmodernconsciousnessthattakessuchhubrisinitsapparent
independenceandpower.

12.MultipleLevelsofMeaningandCommunication:
TheEvolutionofConsciousnessinJokes,Puns,
Metaphor,andSymbol.

Ourfivestageparadigmofthedynamicsoftranceinductionandutilization(Figure1)
illustratessomeoftheessentialprocessesinwhatwemaycallmultiplelevelsof
meaningandcommunication(EricksonandRossi,1976).Mostliterarydevicesare
actuallymeansofinitiatingunconscioussearchesandprocessestoevokemultiple
levelsofmeaning.Thisisamostinterestingandsignificantaspectoftheeconomyof
mentaldynamicsandtheevolutionofconsciousness.Freudhasdiscussedthe
antitheticalmeaningofprimalwords(Freud,1910)andtherelationofjokesandpuns
totheunconscious(Freud,1905).Jokesareofparticularvalueinourapproach
becausetheyhelppatientsbreakthroughtheirtoolimitedmentalsetsandthusinitiate
unconscioussearchesforotherandperhapsnewlevelsofmeaning.Junghas
discussedtheconceptofthesymbolnotasasimplesignofonethingforanother,but
ratherasthebestrepresentationofsomethingthatisstillintheprocessofbecoming
conscious(Jung,1956).Thesignificantfactorinalltheseconceptionsistheideaof
theevolutionofconsciousness.Ifpatientshaveproblemsbecauseoflearned
limitations,thenitisclearthattherapeuticprocessescanbeinitiatedbyhelpingthem
developbehavioralpotentialsandnewpatternsofconsciousnessthatbypassthose
limitations.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

54/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Fromthispointofviewwecanunderstandhowmetaphorandanalogycanbe
somethingmorethanartisticdevices:Theycanevokenewpatternsanddimensionsof
consciousness.Theveryderivationofthewordmetaphor(meta,beyond,over;
pherin,tobring,bear)suggestshownewmeaningdevelopedwithintheunconscious
isbroughtovertoconsciousnessbymeansofmetaphor.Thetraditionaldefinitionof
metaphoristhatitisawordorphrasethatliterallydenotesonethingbutbyanalogy
suggestsanother(e.g.,ashipplowsthesea;avolleyofoaths).Inourpsychological
usage,however,suchtraditionallyliterarydevicesasmetaphor,analogy,andsimile
areunderstoodasmeansoffacilitatingthedevelopmentofinsightornew
consciousnessinthetherapeutictransaction.Theyareessentiallystimulithatinitiate
unconscioussearchesandprocessesleadingtothecreationofnewmeaningand

dimensionsofconsciousness.RecentlyJaynes(1976)hasintegratedabroadrangeof
datafromthefieldsofpsychology,linguistics,neuropsychology,andanthropology
whichaffirmedthehypothesisthatmetaphorandanalogygeneratenewlevelsof
consciousness.

Theseniorauthorhaspioneeredtheuseofsuchapproachestofacilitatetherapeutic
processesinhypnotherapy.Hisgradualdevelopmentoftheinterspersalapproachhas
beenthemostsignificantfactorinhislearningtocultivatemultiplelevelsofmeaning
andcommunicationaswellasenhancetheevolutionofconsciousness.Deterministic
aswellasnondeterministicprocessesarebothinevidencehere.Inmanyofthecases
inthisbooktheseniorauthorusestheseapproachestofacilitatetheawarenessof
certaindynamicsthathefeelstobeatthecoreofthepatient'sproblems.Heuses
multiplelevelsofcommunicationinahighlydeterministicwaytohelpthepatient
recognizecertaindefinitedynamics.Inmostofthesecases,however,thepatientsalso
learnentirelynewthingsthatneithertheynortheseniorauthorcouldhavepredicted.
Itisthenondeterministicaspectoftheseapproachesthatismostexcitingin
facilitatingtheevolutionofconsciousness.Junghasformulatedthesedynamicsin
whathecallsthetranscendentfunction:theintegrationofconsciousandunconscious
contentsinamannerthatfacilitatestheevolutionofnewpatternsofawareness(Jung,
1960).Wepresumethatmanyofthepracticalapproachesillustratedbythecasesin
thisvolumeareactuallymeansoffacilitatingtheevolutionofsuchnewpatternsof
awareness.

Exercises

1.Wehavepreviouslypresentedanumberofexercisestofacilitatetheacquisitionof
skillwithmostoftheindirectformsofsuggestiondiscussedinthischapter(Erickson,
Rossi,andRossi,1976).Somultifacetedarethepossibilitiesoftheindirect
approaches,however,thatonecanfeeloverwhelmedtothepointwhereonedoesnot
attemptasystematicbeginninginpracticingtheiruse.Becauseofthiswestrongly
suggestthatthereaderlearntouseonlyafewatatime.Theinterspersalapproach,
togetherwithallformsofquestionsandtruisms,forexample,canbeutilizedinany
therapeuticinterviewevenwithouttheformalinductionoftrance.Itishighly
instructivesimplytoobservethedevelopmentofayessetwhentheseapproachesare
usedwiththepatient'sownvocabularyandframesofreference.Atthislevelour
approachmightappearsimilartothenondirective,clientcenteredapproachofRogers
(1951).

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

55/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

2.Evenwithouttheformalinductionoftranceonecanexploretheeffectivenessof
ideodynamicprocessinanopenendedmannerwiththepatientsimplybymaintaining
anattitudeofexpectancyaboutwhatcanbeexperienced.Itisinstructivetonotehow
afteraperiodoffivetotwentyminutesofsuchexerciseswiththeeyesclosedmost
subjectswillstretch,yawn,andreorienttotheirbodieswhentheyopentheireyesto
endtheinnerworkasiftheyhadbeenasleeporintrance.Perhapstheyhavebeen
(Erickson,1964).Wereallyhavenoindependentcriterionforassessingwhetherthey
wereornot.

3.Thenextstageofcompetenceprobablyinvolvestheplanneduseofthevarietiesof
compoundsuggestions.Thetherapistneedstimeandpatiencetocarefullywriteout
aheadoftimepatternsofcontingencysuggestionsandassociationalnetworks.The

useofshock,surprise,andcreativemomentscaninvolveacarefulstudyand
retrospectiveanalysisofhowthesephenomenaoperatespontaneouslyineveryday
life.

4.Theuseofimplicationscanbefacilitatedbyacarefulstudyoftaperecordingsof
one'stherapysessions.Whataretheconsciousandunconsciousimplicationsofboth
thetherapist'sandthepatient'sremarks?Afteraperiodofsuchstudyonegradually
developsmoreofaconsciousnessoftheimplicationsofwordsjustasoneisuttering
them.Oneistheninapositiontobegintheplanneduseofimplicationsasa
therapeuticapproach.Themultiplelevelsofmeaningviajokes,puns,andmetaphor
nowbecamemoreeasilyavailable.

5.Thetherapeuticbindsanddoublebindsdiscussedinthischapterarefairlysimpleto
learn,andtheyprovideanalmostinfiniterangeofpossibilitiesforexploring
psychodynamicsandfacilitationofhypnoticresponsiveness.Thetherapistnewly
interestedinthisareacanspendmanyenjoyablehoursformulatingplausible
consciousunconsciousanddoubledissociationdoublebindsthatapparentlycoverall
possibilitiesofresponse,justasothersmightspendtheirtimeoncrosswordpuzzles.
Totestoneoutinclinicalpracticeisafailsafeprocedure,sinceatworstthepatient
willprobablyignoreitandnothingwillhappenatall.Otherformsofthedoublebind
discussedbyWatzlawicketal.(1967),Haley(1963,1973),andtheauthors(Erickson
andRossi,1975)stillonlycometothejuniorauthorbyhappyaccident.Wearehere
inthevanguardofourunderstandingofunderstanding.Controlledexperimental
studiesaswellasinterestingclinicalexamplesverymuchneedtobepublished.

6.Theindirectformsofsuggestionmaymakeacontributiontothecurrentintriguing
debateaboutwritingacomputerprogramtodopsychotherapy(Weizenbaum,1976;
Nichols,1978).Readerswiththeappropriateexperiencemightexplorethepossibility
thatacomputerprogrammedwiththesehypnoticformscouldgeneratenew
combinationsofsuggestionsuniquelysuitableforspecificsymptomcomplexes,
personalityproblems,andalteredstatesofconsciousness.

CHAPTER3

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

56/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

TheUtilizationApproach:TranceInductionand
Suggestion

Theseniorauthor(Erickson,1958,1959)hasdistinguishedbetweentheformalized
ritualisticproceduresoftranceinduction,wherethesamemethodisapplied
mechanicallytoeveryone,andthenaturalisticapproach,whereinthepatient'sunique
personalityandbehaviorareutilizedtofacilitatetrance.Inthisutilizationapproach
thepatient'sattentionisfixedonsomeimportantaspectofhisownpersonalityand
behaviorinamannerthatleadstotheinnerfocusthatwedefineastherapeutictrance.
Thepatient'shabitualconscioussetsaremoreorlessdepotentiated,andunconscious
searchesandprocessesareinitiatedtofacilitateatherapeuticresponse.Inthischapter
wewillillustratethisutilizationapproachtotranceinductionandsuggestionwitha
varietyofexamplesfromclinicalpractice.Wewillanalyzesomeofthetypical
approachestopreparingpatientsfortranceexperiencealongwiththeactualinduction
andratificationofthetrance.Intheseexampleswewillfocusonhowaninteraction
oftheutilizationapproachandtheindirectformsofsuggestioncanfacilitatea
therapeuticoutcomeinvirtuallyanysituationinwhichthetherapistandpatientfind
themselves.

1.AcceptingandUtilizingthePatients'Manifest
Behavior

Theinitialstepintheutilizationapproach,asinmostotherformsofpsychotherapy,is
toacceptthepatients'manifestbehaviorandtoacknowledgetheirpersonalframesof
reference.Thisopennessandacceptanceofthepatients'worldsfacilitatea
correspondingopennessandacceptanceofthetherapistbythepatients.Thefollowing
examplestakenfromtheseniorauthor'sunpublishedandpublishedrecords(Erickson
1958,1959)illustratehowtherapportcandevelopandrapidlyleadtoanexperience
oftherapeutictrance.

Thedevelopmentofatrancestateisanintrapsychicphenomenon,dependentupon
internalprocesses,andtheactivityofthehypnotistservesonlytocreateafavorable
situation.Asananalogy,anincubatorsuppliesafavorableenvironmentforthe
hatchingofeggs,buttheactualhatchingderivesfromthedevelopmentoflife
processeswithintheegg.

Intranceinduction,theinexperiencedhypnotistoftentriestodirectorbendthe
subject'sbehaviortofithisconceptionofhowthesubjectshouldbehave.Thereought
tobeaconstantminimizationoftheroleofthehypnotistandaconstantamplification
ofthesubject'srole.Anexamplemaybecitedofavolunteersubject,usedlaterto
teachhypnosistomedicalstudents.Afterageneraldiscussionofhypnosis,she
expressedawillingnesstogointoatranceimmediately.Thesuggestionwasoffered
thatsheselectthechairandpositionshefeltwouldbemostcomfortable.Whenshe
hadsettledherselftohersatisfaction,sheremarkedthatshewouldliketosmokea
cigarette.Shewasimmediatelygivenone,andsheproceededtosmokelazily,

meditativelywatchingthesmokedriftingupward.Casualconversationalremarks
wereofferedaboutthepleasureofsmoking,ofwatchingthecurlingsmoke,the
feelingofeaseinliftingthecigarettetohermouth,theinnersenseofsatisfactionof
becomingentirelyabsorbedjustinsmokingcomfortablyandwithoutneedtoattendto
anyexternalthings.Shortly,casualremarksweremadeaboutinhalingandexhaling,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

57/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thesewordstimedtofitinwithheractualbreathing.Othersweremadeabouttheease
withwhichshecouldalmostautomaticallylifthercigarettetohermouthandthen
lowerherhandtothearmofthechair.Theseremarkswerealsotimedtocoincide
withheractualbehavior.Soon,thewordsinhale,exhale,lift,andloweracquireda
conditioningvalueofwhichshewasunawarebecauseoftheseemingly
conversationalnatureofthesuggestions.Similarly,casualsuggestionswereofferedin
whichthewordssleep,sleepy,andsleepingweretimedtohereyelidbehavior.

Beforeshehadfinishedthecigarette,shehaddevelopedalighttrance.Thenthe
suggestionwasmadethatshemightcontinuetoenjoysmokingasshesleptmoreand
moresoundly;thatthecigarettewouldbelookedafterbythehypnotistwhileshe
absorbedherselfmoreandmorecompletelyindeepsleep;that,assheslept,she
wouldcontinuetoexperiencethesatisfyingfeelingsandsensationsofsmoking.A
satisfactoryprofoundtranceresultedandshewasgivenextensivetrainingtoteachher
torespondinaccordwithherownunconsciouspatternofbehavior.

Inthisexampletheinitialpreparationandfacilitationofanoptimalframeofreference
occurredasthesubjectlistenedtoageneraldiscussionofhypnosis.Theseniorauthor,
asateacher,couldnothelpbutuseindirectassociativefocusingandideodynamic
focusinginhisgeneraltalkabouthypnosis.Aswesawinthepreviouschapter,all
suchgeneraldiscussionsautomaticallyinitiateideodynamicprocessesthatcanthen
serveasthefoundationfortranceexperience.

Thefactthatthissubjectvolunteeredisanindicationthatthisinitialpreparationwas
particularlyeffectiveforher.Oneofthejoysofworkingwithvolunteersfromsuch
groupsispreciselythisformofselfrecognitionofone'sreadinessfortrance.

Hersurprisingdesiretosmoke,onceshewassettledfortrancework,mighthavebeen
experiencedasadisconcertingsignofresistancebyalessexperiencedtherapist.
Indeed,whenthissamesubjectwaslaterusedbystudents,whodidnotaccepther
wishtosmoke,theywerenotabletoinducetrance.Theseniorauthorimmediately
acceptedherbehavior,however,andevengaveheracigarette.Thisenhancedtheir
rapportastheywerenowcooperativelyengagedtogetherinhersmoking.Asshe
proceededtosmokelazily,meditatively,wecanbegintoappreciatehowher
apparentlydisruptivebehaviorofsmokingmayhavebeenanunconsciously
determinedmeansofcooperatingwiththehypnoticprocess.Forthissubjectsmoking
ledtoaninnermeditativemoodentirelyinkeepingwithtranceinduction.Thesenior
authorrecognizedandutilizedthismeditativemoodtofacilitatetrancebyfixingher
attentionevenmoreonhersmokingwithcasualconversationalremarks.Thiscasual
conversation,ofcourse,providestheseniorauthorwithageneralcontextintowhich
hecaninterspersesuggestionsaboutpleasure,ease,innersenseofsatisfaction,and
becomingentirelyabsorbedinsmoking''comfortablywithoutneedtoattendtoany
externalthings.Theseinterspersedsuggestionstendedtodepotentiateherhabitual
wakingorientationevenfurther.Theprocessofnotknowingandnotdoingthattakes

placewhenwedonothavetoattendtoexternalthingsledhertoanunconscious
searchforsomenewformofdirectionandorientation.

Thisnewdirectionwasprovidedbytheseniorauthorwithhisobviousinterestinher
smokingbehavior.Hethenutilizedhersmokingbehaviorforaprocessof
unconsciousconditioning;herinhaling,exhaling,liftingandloweringofherhand

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

58/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

becameconditionedtofollowinghisvoiceandsuggestions.Thisunconscious
conditioningwasawayofassessingandreinforcingherresponseattentiveness.
Finallytheideodynamicassociativevalueofwordslikesleepwerethenassociated
withheractualeyelidbehaviorsuggestiveofsleep(eyelidsclosing,fluttering,etc.).
Eventhoughboththerapistandpatientfullyrecognizethattherapeutictranceisnot
sleep,wordsevokingtheideaofsleeptendtoevokeassociatedbehaviors(like
comfortandnotdoing)thattendtofacilitatetrance.

Theprocessofrapportwasfurtherenhancedashetookhercigaretteandsuggested
shemightcontinuetoenjoysmokingasshesleptmoreandmoresoundly.A
hallucinatorywishfulfillmentofsomethingsheobviouslyenjoyed,suchassmoking,
wasmadecontingentonsleepingmoreandmoresoundly.Shewasgivenan
expectancyofcontinuedsatisfyingfeelingsasshewentdeeperintotrance.Thissound
utilizationofhersmokingbehavior,togetherwithmanyindirectformsofsuggestion
thatevokedherownassociativeprocesses,thenledtomoreextensivetrancetraining.

Ournextexampleisaparticularlyvividillustrationofhowahighlyintellectualized
frameofreferenceattendingprimarilytoexternalthingscanbegraduallyshiftedtoan
internalfocusthatismoresuitablefortherapeutictrance.

Thispatiententeredtheofficeinamostenergeticfashionanddeclaredatoncethathe
didnotknowifhewashypnotizable.Hewaswillingtogointoatranceifitwereat
allpossible,providedthewriterwouldapproachtheentirematterinanintellectual
fashionratherthaninamystical,ritualisticmanner.Hedeclaredthatheneeded
psychotherapyforavarietyofreasonsandthathehadtriedvariousschoolsof
psychotherapyextensivelywithoutbenefit.Hypnosishadbeenattemptedonvarious
occasionsandhadfailedmiserablybecauseofmysticismandalackofappreciation
fortheintellectualapproach.

Inquiryrevealedthathefeltanintelligentapproachsignified,notasuggestionof
ideas,butquestioninghimconcerninghisownthinkingandfeelinginrelationto
reality.Thewriter,hedeclared,shouldrecognizethathewassittinginachair,thatthe
chairwasinfrontofadesk,andthattheseconstitutedabsolutefactsofreality.As
such,theycouldnotbeoverlooked,forgotten,deniedorignored.Infurther
illustration,hepointedoutthathewasobviouslytense,anxious,andconcernedabout
thetensiontremorsofhishands,whichwererestingonthearmsofthechair,andthat
hewasalsohighlydistractable,noticingeverythingabouthim.

Thewriterimmediatelyseizeduponthislastcommentasthebasisfortheinitial
cooperationwithhim.Hewastold,Pleaseproceedwithanaccountofyourideasand
understanding,permittingmeonlyenoughinterruptionstoinsurethatIunderstand
fullyandthatIfollowalongwithyou.Forexample,youmentionedthechairbut
obviouslyyouhaveseenmydeskandhavebeendistractedbytheobjectsonit.Please
explainfully.

Herespondedverboselywithawealthofmoreorlessconnectedcommentsabout
everythinginsight.Ateveryslightpause,thewriterinterjectedawordorphraseto
directhisattentionanew.Theseinterruptions,madewithincreasingfrequency,were
asfollows:Andthatpaperweight;thefilingcabinet;yourfootontherug;theceiling
light;thedraperies;yourrighthandonthearmofthechair;thepicturesonthewall;
thechangingfocusofyoureyesasyouglanceabout;theinterestofthebooktitles;the

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

59/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

tensioninyourshoulders;thefeelingofthechair;thedisturbingnoisesandthoughts;
weightofhandsandfeet;weightofproblems,weightofdesk;thestationerystand;the
recordsofmanypatients;thephenomenaoflife,ofillness,ofemotion,ofphysical
andmentalbehavior;therestfulnessofrelaxation;theneedtoattendtoone'sneeds;
theneedtoattendtoone'stensionwhilelookingatthedeskorthepaperweightorthe
filingcabinet;thecomfortofwithdrawalfromtheenvironment;fatigueandits
development;theunchangingcharacterofthedesk;themonotonyofthefiling
cabinet;theneedtotakearest;thecomfortofclosingone'seyes;therelaxing
sensationofadeepbreath;thedelightoflearningpassively;thecapacityfor
intellectuallearningbytheunconscious.Variousothersimilarbriefinterjectionswere
offered,slowlyatfirstandthenwithincreasingfrequency.

Initially,theseinterjectionsweremerelysupplementarytothepatient'sowntrainof
thoughtandutterances.Atfirst,theeffectwassimplytostimulatehimtofurther
effort.Asthisresponsewasmade,itbecamepossibletoutilizehisacceptanceof
stimulationofhisbehaviorbyaprocedureofpausingandhesitatinginthecompletion
ofaninterjection.Thisservedtoeffectinhimanexpectantdependencyuponthe
writerforfurtherandmorecompletestimulation.

Asthisprocedurewascontinued,graduallyandunnoticeablytothepatienthis
attentionwasprogressivelydirectedtoinnersubjectiveexperientialmatters.Itthen
becamepossibletousealmostdirectlyasimple,progressiverelaxationtechniqueof
tranceinductionandtosecurealightmediumtrance.

Throughouttherapy,furthertranceinductionswerebasicallycomparable,although
theprocedurebecameprogressivelyabbreviated.

Thepatient'sinitialstatementthathedidnotknowifhewashypnotizableisan
importantadmissionofhisavailabilityfortrance.Aswesawinthepreviouschapter,
notknowingandnotdoingareactuallyanimportantconditionfortranceexperience.
Thishighlyintellectualizedindividualisadmittingthereisaplacewherehedoesnot
know,aplacewherehishabitualsetsandframesofreferencearenotstablehypnosis
isaplacewherethesehabitual,andobviouslyinsomewayinadequatemental
frameworkscanbebypassedsothattheneededpsychotherapycantakeplace.

Thepatientthenstateshisconditionsfortranceexperience.Thewriter(thesenior
author)musteschewallmysticalandritualisticmeansanduseanintellectual
approach.Thepatient'sintellectualorientationisobviouslytheabilitythatany
sensibletherapistwouldassessasmostsuitableforutilization.

Thepatientthendescribeshisdistractablestate,andtheseniorauthorimmediately
utilizesitasabasisfortheinitialcooperationwithhim.Heencouragesthepatientto
continuewithanaccountofhisideastoensurethatIunderstandfullyandthatI
followalongwithyou.Thisisanunrecognizedinterspersedsuggestionthatmeans

understandingandfollowingareimportantintherapy.Justasthetherapistinitially
understandsandfollowsthepatient,sowillthepatientsooncometounderstandand
followthetherapist.Rapport,responseattentiveness,andanoptimalattitudefor
creatingatherapeuticframeofreferenceareallimpliedandtherebyfacilitatedbythis
initialsuggestionandacceptanceofthepatient'sbehavior.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

60/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Theseniorauthor'srequestthatthepatientexplainfullyisactuallyanunrecognized
meansoffocusingandfixingthepatient'sattentionontoaprominentaspectofhis
ownbehavior(distractedbyobjects)thathehimselfpointedout.Sincethepatient
pointedoutthisaspectofhisownbehavior,itmustholdsomespecialinterestforhim
andthuscanserveasanidealmeansofholdinghisattention.Thisisacurious
situationthatmayinvolveadoublebindforthisparticularpatient:Hisdistractibility
isusedtoundistract,tofocushisattention.

Theseniorauthornowgingerlyinteractswiththepatientbyredirectinghisattention
anewateverypauseasameansofcooperatingwithhim,andatthesametime,
enhancinghisresponseattentiveness.Byverygradualstepstheseniorauthorbuilds
anassociativenetworkthatleadsthepatientfromthepaperweightandfilingcabinet
tothedelightoflearningpassivelyandthecapacityforintellectuallearningbythe
unconscious.Theshiftinfocusisfromtheoutertotheinner,whichisinkeepingwith
trancework.Theshiftisfacilitatedbyacontinuingutilizationofthepatient's
intellectualapproach,withtheemphasisonlearningpassivelyandtheunconscious
learning.Thepassivityandunconsciousaspectsoftranceexperiencearethus
associatedwiththelearningthatthepatientalreadyacceptsandknowshowtodo;itis
thusmucheasierforthepatienttoacceptpassivityandtheunconsciouswhenitis
associatedwithlearning.Inthisshiftfromanoutertoaninnerfocustheseniorauthor
hasagreatopportunitytointerspersemanyformsofindirectassociativefocusing
(e.g.,thephenomenaoflife,ofillness,ofemotion,ofphysicalandmentalbehavior)
andindirectideodynamicfocusing(e.g.,therestfulnessofrelaxation...thecomfort
ofwithdrawalfromtheenvironment,fatigueanditsdevelopment).Thiscanfacilitate
tranceinductionbyinitiatingunconscioussearchesandprocessesthatcouldevoke
partialaspectsoftranceexperienceaswellasareviewofthepatient'sproblems.

Asthetherapistcontinuedtoutilizethepatient'sowntrainofthoughtandutterances,
hisresponseattentivenesswasfurtherenhancedandagreaterdegreeofexpectant
dependencywasexperiencedbythepatientashenowbegantolooktothetherapist
forfurtherdirectionintoinnersubjectiveexperientialmatters,wherehis
psychologicalproblemswere.

Asimilarapproachwasusedinthefollowingcase,whichthereadershouldnowfind
easytoanalyzeintermsofthedynamicswehavepresented.

Essentiallythesameprocedurewasemployedwithamalepatientinhisearly30's
whoenteredtheofficeandbeganpacingthefloor.Heexplainedrepetitiouslythathe
couldnotendurerelatinghisproblemssittingquietlyorlyingonacouch.Hehad
repeatedlybeendischargedbyvariouspsychiatristsbecausetheyaccusedhimoflack
ofcooperation.Heaskedthathypnotherapybeemployed,ifpossible,sincehis
anxietieswerealmostunendurableandalwaysincreasedinintensityinapsychiatrist's
officemakingitnecessaryforhimtopacethefloorconstantly.

Furtherrepetitiousexplanationofhisneedtopacethefloorwasfinallysuccessfully
interruptedbythequestion,Areyouwillingtocooperatewithmebycontinuingto
pacethefloor,evenasyouaredoingnow?Hisreplywasastartled,Willing?Good
God,man!I'vegottodoitifIstayintheoffice.

Thereupon,hewasaskedtopermitthewritertoparticipateinhispacingbythe
measureofdirectingitinpart.Tothisheagreedratherbewilderedly.Hewasaskedto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

61/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

pacebackandforth,toturntotheright,totheleft,towalkawayfromthechair,and
towalktowardit.Atfirsttheseinstructionsweregiveninatempomatchinghisstep.
Gradually,thetempooftheinstructionswasslowedandthewordingchangedtoNow
turntotherightawayfromthechairinwhichyoucansit;turnlefttowardthechairin
whichyoucansit;walkawayfromthechairinwhichyoucansit;walktowardthe
chairinwhichyoucansit.etc.Withthiswording,afoundationwaslaidformore
cooperativebehavior.

Thetempowasslowedstillmoreandtheinstructionsagainvariedtoincludethe
phrase,thechairwhichyouwillsoonapproachasiftoseatyourselfcomfortably.This
inturnwasalteredtothechairinwhichyouwillshortlyfindyourselfsitting
comfortably.

Hispacingbecameprogressivelyslowerandmoreandmoredependentuponthe
writer'sverbalinstructionsuntildirectsuggestionscouldbegiventhatheseathimself
inthechairandgodeeperanddeeperintoaprofoundtranceasherelatedhishistory.

Approximately45minuteswerespentinthismannerinducingamediumtrancethat
solessenedthepatient'stensionandanxietythathecouldcooperatereadilywith
therapythereafter.

ThevalueofthistypeofUtilizationTechniqueliesinitseffectivedemonstrationto
thepatientthatheiscompletelyacceptableandthatthetherapistcandealeffectively
withhimregardlessofhisbehavior.Itmeetsboththepatient'spresentingneedsandit
employsasthesignificantpartoftheinductionproceduretheverybehaviorthat
dominatesthepatient.

Theseniorauthor'squestion,Areyouwillingtocooperatewithmebycontinuingto
pacethefloor,evenasyouaredoingnow?isanunusuallyfecundexampleoftheuse
ofanumberofindirecthypnoticformsinasinglesentence.Beingaquestion,it
immediatelyfixesthepatient'sattentionandsendshimonaninnersearchforan
appropriateresponse.Itisanexcellentcompoundsuggestionthatassociatesan
importantsuggestionaboutcooperationwithhisongoingbehaviorofpacingthefloor.
Pacingthefloorconstantlywasthepatient'sownabilitythatwasrapidlyassessed,
accepted,andutilizedtofacilitateayesset.Thequestioncameasabitofashockand
surprisethatdepotentiatedhisdominantmentalsetabouthisownresistanceand
startledhimintoastrongexclamationofhisneedtocooperate.Rapportwasthus
stronglyestablished,andtherapystructuredasajointendeavor.Withsuchastrong
immediaterapport,ahighexpectationwassetinmotion,heighteningthepatient's
responseattentivenesstohisowninternalstatesaswellastothetherapist'sfurther
suggestions.Byagradualprocessofassociationandunconsciousconditioningthis
responseattentivenesswasheightenedevenfurther,sothepatientwasfinallyableto

acceptsuggestionstositdownandgoevendeeperintohimselfsothathecouldrelate
hishistoryinastateofdeepabsorptionthatisdescribedasprofoundtrance.

Thebeginningtherapistwhoisjustlearningtointegratetheutilizationapproachwith
theindirectformsofsuggestionmayinitiallyfeelabitoverwhelmedbythese
examples,whichseemtorequiresuchquickwitsandacompletecommandofthe
material.Inpractice,however,mostpatientsaredesperatelysearchingforhelpand
areverywillingtocooperateiftheyaregivenanopportunity,asindicatedbythe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

62/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

followingexample.

Anothersubject,agraduateinpsychology,experiencedgreatdifficultyingoingintoa
deeptrance.Afterseveralhoursofintensiveeffort,shetimidlyinquiredifshecould
adviseontechnique,eventhoughshehadnootherexperiencewithhypnosis.Her
offerwasgladlyaccepted,whereuponshegavecounsel:You'retalkingtoofaston
thatpoint;youshouldsaythatveryslowlyandemphaticallyandkeeprepeatingit.
Saythatveryrapidlyandwaitawhileandthenrepeatitslowly;andplease,pausenow
andthentoletmerest,andpleasedon'tsplityourinfinitives,withheraid,aprofound,
almoststuporoustrancewassecuredinlessthanthirtyminutes.Thereafter,shewas
employedextensivelyinagreatvarietyofexperimentalworkandwasusedtoteach
othershowtoinducedeeptrances.

Acceptanceofsuchhelpisneitheranexpressionofignorancenorofincompetence;
rather,itisanhonestrecognitionthatdeephypnosisisajointendeavorinwhichthe
subjectdoestheworkandthehypnotisttriestostimulatethesubjecttomakethe
necessaryeffort.Itisanacknowledgmentthatnopersoncanreallyunderstandthe
individualpatternsoflearningandresponseofanother.Whilethismeasureworks
bestwithhighlyintelligent,seriouslyinterestedsubjects,itisalsoeffectivewith
others.Itestablishesafeelingoftrust,confidence,andactiveparticipationinajoint
task.Moreover,itservestodispelmisconceptionsofthemysticalpowersofthe
hypnotistandtoindirectlydefinetherespectiverolesofthesubjectandthehypnotist.

Thisacceptanceandutilizationofthepatient'shelpisthecardinalfeatureofour
approach,whichcontrastssharplywiththeolder,authoritarianmethodsthatarestill
ingrainedintheimaginationofthelaityandthepopularpress.Theearlier,misguided
approachthatmakestranceexperiencesynonymouswithpassiveobedienceis,
unfortunately,stillbeingpromulgatedbystagehypnotists.Morethanageneration
ago,however,theseniorauthorillustratedhowthepatient'scooperationandself
controlareofessenceingoodhypnoticwork,ascanbeseenintheutilizationof
emergencysituationsdescribedinthefollowingsection.

2.UtilizingEmergencySituations

Emergencysituationsareinvariablytranceinducing.Cheek(CheekandLeCron,
1968;Cheek,1959,1966,1969,1974)hasillustratedhowmanyiatrogenicproblems
andneuroticsymptomscanbelearnedbyoverhearingunfortunateremarksduring
emergencyandstresssituationswhenthepatienthadlapsedintoaspontaneoustrance
(asaprimitiveprotectiveresponsetodanger)andwasconsequentlyinanunusually
heightenedstateofsuggestibility.

Theseniorauthorhasillustratedhowsuchemergencysituationscanbeutilizedto
graduallyintroducetherapeuticsuggestions.Twoexampleswithhisownchildrenare
asfollows.

SevenyearoldAllanfellonabrokenbottleandseverelylaceratedhisleg.Hecame
rushingintothekitchencryingloudlyfrompainandfright,shouting,It'sbleeding,it's
bleeding!

Asheenteredthekitchen,heseizedatowelandbeganswabbingwildlytowipeup
theblood.Whenhepausedinhisshoutingtocatchhisbreath,hewasurgentlytold,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

63/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Wipeupthatblood;wipeupthatblood;useabathtowel;useabathtowel;useabath
towel;abathtowel,notahandtowel,abathtowel,andonewashandedtohim.He
droppedthetowelhehadalreadyused.Hewasimmediatelytoldurgentlyand
repetitiously,Nowwrapitaroundyourleg,wrapittightly,wrapittightly.

Thishedidawkwardlybutsufficientlyeffectively.Thereupon,withcontinued
urgency,hewastold,Nowholdittightly,holdittightly,let'sgetinthecarandgoto
thedoctor'soffice;holdittightly.

Allthewaytothesurgeon'soffice,carefulexplanationwasgivenhimthathisinjury
wasreallynotlargeenoughtowarrantasmanystitchesashissisterhadhadatthe
timeofherhandinjury.However,hewasurgentlycounselledandexhortedthatit
wouldbeentirelyhisresponsibilitytoseetoitthatthesurgeonputinasmanystitches
aspossible.Allthewaythere,hewasthoroughlycoachedonhowtoemphatically
demandhisfullrights.

Withoutawaitinganyinquiry,Allanemphaticallytoldthenurseatthesurgeon's
officethathewanted100stitches.Shemerelysaid,Thisway,sir,righttothesurgery.
Allanwastold,asshewasfollowed,That'sjustthenurse.Thedoctorisinthenext
room.Nowdon'tforgettotellhimeverythingjustthewayyouwantit.

AsAllanenteredtheroom,heannouncedtothesurgeon.Iwant100stitches.See!
Whippingoffthetowel,hepointedathisleganddeclared,Rightthere,100stitches.
That'salotmorethanBettyAlicehad.Anddon'tputthemtoofarapart.Anddon'tget
inmyway.Iwanttosee.I'vegottocountthem.AndIwantblackthread,soyoucan
seeit.Hey,Idon'twantabandage.Iwantstiches!

ItwasexplainedtothesurgeonthatAllanunderstoodwellhissituationandneededno
anesthesia.ToAllan,thewriterexplainedthathislegwouldfirsthavetobewashed.
Thenhewastowatchtheplacingofthesuturescarefullytomakesuretheywerenot
toofarapart;hewastocounteachonecarefullyandnottomakeanymistakesinhis
counting.

Allancountedthesuturesandrecheckedhiscountingwhilethesurgeonperformedhis
taskinpuzzledsilence.Hedemandedthatthesuturesbeplacedclosertogetherand
complaininglylamentedthefactthathewouldnothaveasmanyashissister.His
partingstatementwastotheeffectthat,withalittlemoreeffort,thesurgeoncould
havegivenhimmoresutures.

Onthewayhome,Allanwascomfortedregardingthepaucityofthesuturesand
adequatelycomplimentedonhiscompetenceinoverseeingtheentireprocedureso
well.Itwasalsosuggestedthatheeatabigdinnerandgotosleeprightafterwards.
Thushislegcouldhealfasterandhewouldnothavetogotothehospitalthewayhis
sisterdid.Fullofzeal,Allandidassuggested.

Nomentionofpainoranesthesiawasmadeatanytimenorwereanycomforting
reassurancesoffered.Neitherwasthereanyformalefforttoinduceatrance.Instead,
variousaspectsofthetotalsituationwereutilizedtodistractAllan'sattention
completelyawayfromthepainfulconsiderationsandtofocusituponvaluesof
importancetoasevenyearoldboyinordertosecurehisfull,activecooperationand
intenseparticipationindealingwiththeentireproblemadequately.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

64/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Insituationssuchasthis,thepatientexperiencesatremendouslyurgentneedtohave
somethingdone.Recognitionofthisneed,andareadinesstoutilizeitbydoing
somethingindirectrelationshiptotheoriginoftheneed,constitutesamosteffective
typeofsuggestioninsecuringthepatient'sfullcooperationforadequatemeasures.

LittleRoxannacameintothehousesobbing,distressedbyaninconsequential(butnot
toher)scratchuponherknee.Adequatetherapywasnotassurancethattheinjurywas
toominortowarranttreatment,noreventhestatementthatshewasmother'sbrave
littlegirlandthatmotherwouldkissherandthepainwouldceaseandthescratch
wouldheal.Instead,effectivetherapywasbasedupontheutilizationofthe
personalityneedforsomethingtobedoneindirectrelationshiptotheinjury.Hence,a
kisstotheright,akisstotheleftandakissrightontopofthescratcheffectedfor
Roxieaninstantaneoushealingofthewoundandthewholeincidentbecameapartof
herthrillinghistoricalpast.

Thistypeoftechniquebasedupontheutilizationofstrongpersonalityneedsis
effectivewithchildrenandadults.Itcanreadilybeadaptedtosituationsrequiringin
somewaystrong,active,intenseresponsesandparticipationbythepatient.

Ascanbeseenfromtheseexamples,thehypnotherapistiscontinuallyutilizingthe
patient'sowninternalframesofreferenceeveninsuchouteremergencysituations.
Furtherillustrationsofthisallimportantuseofthepatient'sinnerrealitiesare
presentedinthenextsection.

3.UtilizingthePatient'sInnerRealities

Theutilizationofpatients'outermanifestbehaviorscanbegeneralizedtoan
acceptanceandutilizationoftheirinnerrealitiestheirthoughts,feelings,andlife
experiences.Theseniorauthorillustratesthisinthefollowing.

Anothertypeofutilizationtechniqueistheemploymentofthepatient'sinner,as
opposedtoouter,behavior;thatis,usinghisthoughtsandunderstandingsasthebasis
fortheinductionprocedure.Thistechniquehasbeenemployedexperimentallyand
alsointherapeuticsituationswherethepatient'stypeofresistancesmadeitadvisable.
Ithasalsobeeneffectivelyusedonnaivesubjects.Ordinarily,goodintelligenceand
somedegreeofsophisticationaswellasearnestnessofpurposearerequired.

Theprocedureisrelativelysimple.Theexperimentalortherapeuticsubjectiseither
askedorallowedtoexpressfreelyhisthoughts,understandings,andopinions.Heis
thenencouragedtospeculatealoudmoreandmoreextensivelyuponwhatcouldbe
thepossiblecourseofhisthinkingandfeelingifheweretodevelopatrancestate.As
thepatientdoesthis,orevenifhemerelyproteststheimpossibilityofsuch
speculation,hisutterancesarerepeatedafterhimintheiressenceasiftheoperator
wereeitherearnestlyseekingfurtherunderstandingorconfirminghisstatements.
Thus,furthercommentbythesubjectiselicitedandrepeatedinturnbytheoperator.
Inthemoresophisticatedsubject,theretendstobegreaterspontaneity;but
occasionallythenaive,evenuneducatedsubjectmayprovetoberemarkably
responsive.

Withthistechnique,thepatient'sutterancesmayvarygreatlyfromoneinstanceto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

65/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

another,butthefollowingexampleisgiveninsufficientdetailtoillustratethe
method.

Thispatient,inseekingpsychiatrichelp,declared,I'vemadenoprogressatallinthree
yearsofpsychoanalysis,andtheyearIspentinhypnotherapywasalsoatotalloss.I
didn'tevengointoatrance.Itriedhardenough.Ijustgotnowhere.I'vebeenreferred
toyouandIdon'tseemuchsenseinit.Probablyanotherfailure.Ijustcan'tconceive
ofmyselfgoingintoatrance.Idon'tevenknowwhatatranceis.Theseremarks,
togetherwiththeinformationreceivedpreviouslyfromthereferringphysician,
suggestedthepossibilityofemployingthewoman'sownverbalizationasthe
inductionprocedure.

Thewriter'sutterancesareinitalics:

Youreallycan'tconceiveofwhatatranceisno,Ican't,whatisit?yes,whatisit!
apsychologicalstate,IsupposeApsychologicalstateyousuppose,whatelse!1
don'tknowyoureallydon'tknowno,Idon'tyoudon't,youwonder,youthink
thinkwhatyes,whatdoyouthink,feel,sense?(pause)1don'tknowbutyoucan
wonderdoyougotosleep?no,tired,relaxed,sleepyreallytiredsoverytired
andrelaxed,whatelse?I'mpuzzledpuzzlesyou,youwonder,youthink,youfeel,
whatdoyoufeel?myeyesyes,youreyes,how?theyseemblurredblurred,
closing(pause)theyareclosingc/osmg,breathingdeeper(pause)tiredand
relaxed,whatelse?(pause)sleep,tired,relaxed,sleep,breathingdeeper(pause)
whatelse1feelfunnyfunny,socomfortable,reallylearning(pause)learning,
yes,learningmoreandmore(pause)eyesclosed,breathingdeeply,relaxed,
comfortable,soverycomfortable,whatelse?(pause)1don'tknowyoureally
don'tknow,butreallylearningtogodeeperanddeeper(pause)tootiredtotalk,
justsleepmaybeawordortwo1don'tknow(spokenlaboriously)breathing
deeperandyoureallydon'tknow,justgoingdeeper,sleepingsoundly,moreandmore
soundly,notcaring,justlearning,continuingeverdeeperanddeeperandlearning
moreandmorewithyourunconsciousmind.

Fromthispointonitwaspossibletodealwithhersimplyanddirectlywithoutany
specialelaborationsofsuggestions.Subsequenttrancesweresecuredthroughtheuse
ofposthypnoticsuggestions.

Theaboveissimplyacondensationofthetypeofutterancesutilizedtoinducetrance.
Ingeneral,thereismuchmorerepetition,usuallyonlyofcertainideas,andthesevary
frompatienttopatient.Sometimesthistechniqueprovestobedecidedlyrapid.
Frequentlywithanxious,fearfulpatients,itservestocomfortthemwithaconviction
thattheyaresecure,thatnothingisbeingdonetothemorbeingimposeduponthem,
andtheyfeelthattheycancomfortablybeawareofeverystepoftheprocedure.
Consequently,theyareabletogivefullcooperationwhichwouldbedifficultto
secureiftheyweretofeelthatapatternofbehaviorwasbeingforciblyimposedupon
them.

Ascanbeseenfromtheabove,thepatient'sexperienceofnotknowing,Idon'tknow
whattranceis,canbeanidealstartingpointforinitiatingtranceandtheexplorationof
innerrealities.Thefollowingisafurtherillustrationofhowapatient'slife
experiencescanbeusedtofacilitatetranceinduction.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

66/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Avolunteersubjectatalecturebeforeauniversitygroupdeclared,Iwashypnotized
onceseveralyearsago.Itwasalighttrance,notverysatisfactory,andwhileIwould
liketocooperatewithyou,I'mquitecertainthatIcan'tbehypnotized.Doyourecall
thephysicalsettingofthattrance?Ohyes,itwasinthepsychologylaboratoryofthe
universityIwasthenattending.Couldyou,asyousithere,recallanddescribetome
thephysicalsettingofthattrancesituation?

Heagreeablyproceededtodescribeindetailthelaboratoryroominwhichhehad
beenlightlyhypnotized,includingadescriptionofthechairinwhichhehadsat,anda
descriptionoftheprofessorwhohadinducedthetrance.Thiswasfollowedbya
comparableresponsetothewriter'srequestthathedescribeinasorderlyandas
comprehensiveafashionaspossiblehisrecollectionoftheactualsuggestionsgiven
himatthattimeandtheresponseshemadetothem.

Slowly,thoughtfully,thesubjectdescribedaneyeclosuretechniquewithsuggestions
ofrelaxation,fatigue,andsleep.Asheprogressedinverbalizinghisrecollections,his
eyesslowlyclosed,hisbodyrelaxed,hisspeechbecameslowerandmorehesitant;he
requiredincreasinglymorepromptinguntilitbecameevidentthathewasinatrance
state.Thereupon,hewasaskedtostatewherehewasandwhowaspresent:Henamed
thepreviousuniversityandtheformerprofessor.Immediately,hewasaskedtolisten
carefullytowhatthewriterhadtosayalso,andhewasthenemployedtodemonstrate
thephenomenaofthedeeptrance.

Thejuniorauthorhasfoundthatquestionsfocusingonmemoriescanbeareliable
meansofassessingthepatient'savailabilityfortranceandfrequentlyafinemeansof
facilitatingtheactualinductionoftrance.Whenonewomanwasaskedabouther
earliestmemory,forexample,shefirstrespondedwithonethatwaslongfamiliarto
her.Whenshewasencouragedtoexplorefurther,shepausedforafewmoments,
manifestingthatinnerfocuswecallthecommoneverydaytrance,andthenquietly
remarkedhowsheseemedtobelookingupatabrightlight,withnothingelsein
focus.Amomentlaterherleftlegbeganlevitating,whiletherestofherbody
remainedimmobilebutnoticeablyrelaxed.Shethenreportedthatshefeltascream
buildingupinherthroat.Withthatshesuddenlyshookherhead,shuffledherbody,
andobviouslyreorientedtotheawakestate.Inherinnersearchforanearliermemory
shehadspontaneouslyfallenintoatranceandmomentarilyexperiencedagenuineage

regressiontoinfancy,whenhervisualfieldandherbodywereapparentlynotentirely
undervoluntarycontrol,andshefeltherselfabouttocryasaninfantmight.That
frightenedher,soshespontaneouslyreorientedtotheawakestate.

Althoughwedonotoftengetresponsesasdramaticasthis,wefrequentlyfindthat
questionsfocusingpatientsonaninnerreviewoftheirlivesandactivitiesfacilitate
thatinnersearchandtheunconsciousprocessesinamannerthatleadstoa
recognizablytherapeutictrance.

4.UtilizingthePatient'sResistances

Theunfortunatedominancesubmissionviewofhypnosisisprobablythebasisof
muchofthesocalledresistancetohypnosis.Becauseofthistheseniorauthor
developedmanyutilizationapproachesandindirectformsofsuggestiontocopewith
thisresistance.Hisapproachisessentiallythesameasthatoutlinedintheearlier

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

67/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

section,wherehefirstrecognizesandacceptsthepatient'smanifestbehaviorasa
foundationforestablishingrapport,andthengraduallyfocusesthepatientinward.

Manytimes,theapparentlyactiveresistanceencounteredinsubjectsisnomorethan
anunconsciousmeasureoftestingthehypnotist'swillingnesstomeetthemhalfway
insteadoftryingtoforcethemtoactentirelyinaccordwithhisideas.Thus,one
subject,whohadbeenworkedwithunsuccessfullybyseveralhypnotists,volunteered
toactasademonstrationsubject.Whenherofferwasaccepted,sheseatedherselfon
thechairfacingtheaudienceinastifflyupright,challengingposition.Thisapparently
unpropitiousbehaviorwasmetbyacasual,conversationalremarktotheaudiencethat
hypnosiswasnotnecessarilydependentuponcompleterelaxationorautomatism,but
thathypnosiscouldbeinducedinawillingsubjectifthehypnotistwaswillingto
fullyacceptthesubject'sbehavior.Thesubjectrespondedtothisbyrisingandasking
ifshecouldbehypnotizedstandingup.Herinquirywascounteredbythesuggestion,
Whynotdemonstratethatitcanbe?Aseriesofsuggestionsresultedintherapid
developmentofadeeptrance.Inquiriesbytheaudiencerevealedthatshehadread
extensivelyonhypnosisandobjectedstrenuouslytothefrequentlyencountered
misconceptionofthehypnotizedpersonasapassivelyresponsiveautomaton,
incapableofselfexpression.Sheexplainedfurtherthatitshouldbemadeclearthat
spontaneousbehaviorwasfullyasfeasibleasresponsiveactivityandthatutilization
ofhypnosiscouldbeeffectedbyrecognitionofthisfact.

Itshouldbenotedthatthereply,Whynotdemonstratethatitcanbe?constitutedan
absoluteacceptanceofherbehavior,committedherfullytotheexperienceofbeing
hypnotized,andensuredherfullcooperationinachievingherownpurposesaswellas
thoseofthehypnotist.

Throughoutthedemonstration,shefrequentlyofferedsuggestionstotheauthorabout
whathemightnextaskhertodemonstrate,sometimesactuallyalteringthesuggested
task.Atothertimes,shewascompletelypassiveinherresponses.

AgainweseehowanapparentlysimplequestionwithanegativeWhynot
demonstratethatitcanbe?immediatelyacceptsandutilizesthepatient'sresistance,
whileinitiatingherintoaninnersearchthatevokespartiallyconsciousandpartially

unconsciousprocessesleadingtohypnoticresponses.Wecanseethathersocalled
resistanceisreallynotaresistancesomuchasitisaperfectlyreasonablereaction
againsttheerroneousdominancesubmissionviewofhypnosis.

Webelievethatmostsocalledresistanceshavesomereasonablebasiswithinthe
patient'sownframeofreference.Resistanceisusuallyanexpressionofthepatient's
individuality!Thetherapist'staskistounderstand,accept,andutilizethat
individualitytohelppatientsbypasstheirlearnedlimitationstoachievetheirown
goals.Thisexampleisaparticularlyclearillustrationofhowapatientisreallyin
control,whilethetherapistissimplyaproviderofusefulstimuliandframesof
referencethathelpapatientexperienceandexpressnewpotentialities.Weseehowit
canbeperfectlyappropriateforthepatienttorejectormodifythetherapist's
suggestionsinordertomoreadequatelymeetthepatient'sneeds.

Inthefollowingexampletheseniorauthormakesextensiveuseoftheindirectforms
ofsuggestiontoutilizethepatient'sresistanceinordertofacilitatetranceand

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

68/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

hypnoticresponsiveness.Itisanunusuallyclearillustrationofthatcuriousblendof
bothleadingandfollowingthepatientthatissocharacteristicoftheseniorauthor's
approach.

Oneoftenreadsintheliteratureaboutsubjectresistanceandthetechniquesemployed
tocircumventorovercomeit.Intheauthor'sexperience,themostsatisfactory
procedureisthatofacceptingandutilizingtheresistanceaswellasanyothertypeof
behavior,sinceproperlyusedtheycanallfavorthedevelopmentofhypnosis.This
canbedonebywordingsuggestionsinsuchafashionthatapositiveoranegative
response,oranabsenceofresponse,arealldefinedasresponsivebehavior.For
example,aresistivesubjectwhoisnotreceptivetosuggestionsforhandlevitationcan
betold,Shortlyyourrighthand,oritmaybeyourlefthand,willbegintoliftup,orit
maypressdown,oritmaynotmoveatall,butwewillwaittoseejustwhathappens.
Maybethethumbwillbefirst,oryoumayfeelsomethinghappeninginyourlittle
finger,butthereallyimportantthingisnotwhetheryourhandliftsuporpressesdown
orjustremainsstill;rather,itisyourabilitytosensefullywhateverfeelingsmay
developinyourhand.

Withsuchwordingabsenceofmotion,liftingup,andpressingdownareallcovered,
andanyofthepossibilitiesconstitutesresponsivebehavior.Thusasituationiscreated
inwhichthesubjectcanexpresshisresistanceinaconstructive,cooperativefashion;
manifestationofresistancebyasubjectisbestutilizedbydevelopingasituationin
whichresistanceservesapurpose.Hypnosiscannotberesistedifthereisnohypnosis
attempted.Thehypnotist,recognizingthis,shouldsodevelopthesituationthatany
opportunitytomanifestresistancebecomescontingentuponhypnoticresponseswith
alocalizationofallresistanceuponirrelevantpossibilities.Thesubjectwhose
resistanceismanifestedbyfailuretolevitatehishandcanbegivensuggestionsthat
hisrighthandwilllevitate,hislefthandwillnot.Toresistsuccessfully,contrary
behaviormustbemanifested.Theresultisthatthesubjectfindshimselfrespondingto
suggestion,buttohisownsatisfaction.Inthescoresofinstanceswherethismeasure
hasbeenemployed,lessthanahalfdozensubjectsrealizedthatasituationhadbeen
createdinwhichtheirambivalencehadbeenresolved.Onewriteronhypnosisnaively
employedasimilarprocedureinwhichheaskedsubjectstoresistgoingintoatrance
inanefforttodemonstratethattheycouldnotresisthypnoticsuggestion.Thesubjects

cooperativelyandwillinglyprovedthattheycouldreadilyacceptsuggestionstoprove
thattheycouldnot.Thestudywaspublishedinentireinnocenceofitsactualmeaning.

Whateverthebehaviorofferedbythesubject,itshouldbeacceptedandutilizedto
developfurtherresponsivebehavior.Anyattempttocorrectoralterthesubject's
behavior,ortoforcehimtodothingsheisnotinterestedin,militatesagainsttrance
inductionandcertainlyagainstdeeptranceexperience.Theveryfactthatasubject
volunteerstobehypnotizedandthenoffersresistanceindicatesanambivalence
which,whenrecognized,canbeutilizedtoservesuccessfullythepurposesofboththe
subjectandthehypnotist.Suchrecognitionofandconcessiontotheneedsofthe
subjectandtheutilizationofhisbehaviordonotconstitute,assomeauthorshave
declared,anunorthodoxtechniquebaseduponclinicalintuition;instead,suchan
approachconstitutesasimplerecognitionofexistingconditions,baseduponfull
respectforthesubjectasauniquelyfunctioningpersonality.

Thereaderwillrecognizetheuseofmanyindirectformsofsuggestionsuchas

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

69/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

coveringallpossibilitiesofaclassofresponses,contingencysuggestions,anddouble
bindsintheabove.Theseapproachesareintegratedbytheseniorauthorinthe
followingexampleofamorecomprehensiveapproachthatcanbeadaptedto
practicallyanysituation.

AnothercomparableUtilizationTechniquehasbeenemployedexperimentallyand
clinicallyonbothnaiveandexperiencedsubjects.Ithasbeenusedasameansof
circumventingresistances,asamethodofinitialtranceinduction,andasatrance
reinductionprocedure.Itisatechniquebaseduponanimmediateanddirectelicitation
ofmeaningfulbutunconsciouslyexecutedbehaviorwhichisseparateandapartfrom
consciouslydirectedactivityexceptthatofinterestedattention.Theprocedureisas
follows:

Dependinguponthesubject'seducationalbackground,asuitablecasualexplanationis
givenrelatinggeneralconceptsoftheconsciousandoftheunconsciousor
subconsciousminds.Similarly,acasualthoughcarefullyinstructiveexplanationis
givenofideomotoractivitywithacitingoffamiliarexamples,includinghand
levitation.

Then,withuttersimplicity,thesubjectistoldtositquietly,toresthishandspalm
downonhisthighs,andtolistencarefullytoaquestionthatwillbeasked.This
question,itisexplained,canbeansweredonlybyhisunconsciousmind,notbyhis
consciousmind.Hecan,itisadded,offeraconsciousreply,butsuchareplywillbe
onlyaconsciousstatementandnotanactualreplytothequestion.Asforthequestion
itself,itcanbeanyofseveralpertinentquestions,anditisofnoparticular
significancetotheperson.Itsonlypurposeistogivetheunconsciousmindan
opportunitytomanifestitselfintheanswergiven.Thefurtherexplanationisoffered
thattheanswertothequestionaskedtheunconsciousmindwillbeanideomotor
responseofoneortheotherhandliftingupward,thatoftheleftsignifyingno,and
thatoftherightsignifyingyes.

Thequestionisthenpresented:Doesyourunconsciousmindthinkthatyoucango
intoatrance?Furthercollaborationisoffered:Consciouslyyoucannotknowwhat
yourunconsciousmindthinksorknows.Butyourunconsciousmindcanletyour

consciousminddiscoverwhatitthinksorunderstandsbythesimpleprocessof
causingalevitationofeithertherightorthelefthand.Thusyourunconsciousmind
cancommunicateinavisiblyrecognizablewaywithyourconsciousmind.Nowjust
watchyourhandsandseewhattheansweris.NeitheryounorIknowwhatyour
unconsciousmindthinks,butasyouseeoneortheotherofyourhandslifting,you
willknow.

Ifthereismuchdelay,additionalsuggestionscanbegiven:Oneofyourhandsis
lifting.Trytonoticetheslightestmovement,trytofeelandtoseeit,toenjoythe
sensationofitsliftingandbepleasedtolearnwhatyourunconsciousthinks.

Regardlessofwhichhandlevitates,atrancestatefrequentlyofthesomnambulistic
typesupervenessimultaneously.Usually,itisadvisabletoutilize,ratherthantotest,
thetranceimmediatelysincethesubjecttendstoarousepromptly.Thisisoftenbest
donebyremarkingsimplyandcasually.Itisverypleasingtodiscoverthatyour
unconsciouscancommunicatewithyourconsciousmindinthisway.Therearemany

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

70/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

otherthingsthatyourunconsciouscanlearntodo.Forexample,nowthatithas
learnedthatitcandevelopatrancestateandtodosoremarkablywell,itcanlearn
varioustrancephenomena.Forinstance,youmightbeinterestedin.Theneedsof
thesituationcanthenbemet.

Thistechniquecentersaroundtheutilizationofthesubject'sinterestinhisown
unconsciousactivity.Ayesornosituationisoutlinedconcerningthinking,with
actioncontingentuponthatthinkingandconstitutinganovertunconscious
communication,amanifestationbasicto,andanintegralpartofahypnotictrance.In
otherwords,itisnecessaryforthesubjecttogointoatranceinordertodiscoverthe
answertothequestion.

Experiencedsubjectsapproachedwiththistechniquehaverecognizedthesituation
immediately:Howinteresting!Nomatterwhichansweryougive,youhavetogointo
atrancefirst.

Willingsubjectsdisclosetheirunaffectedinterestfromthebeginning.Resistant
subjectsmanifesttheirattitudesbydifficultyinunderstandingthepreliminary
explanations,byaskingrepeatedlyforinstructions,andthenbyananticipationof
handlevitationbyliftingthelefthandvoluntarily.Thosesubjectswhoobjecttotrance
inductioninthismannertendtoawakenatthefirstefforttotestortoutilizethe
trance.Mostofthem,however,willreadilygobackintothetrancewhentold,And
youcangointoatrancejustaseasilyandquicklyasyourunconsciousansweredthat
questionjustbycontinuingtowatchasyourunconsciousmindcontinuestomove
yourhanduptowardyourface.Asyourhandmovesup,youreyeswillclose,andyou
willgointoadeeptrance.Innearlyallinstances,thesubjectthendevelopsatrance
state.

Anessentialcomponentofthistechniqueisanattitudeofutterexpectancy,
casualness,andsimplicityonthepartoftheoperator,whichplacestheresponsibility
foranydevelopmentsentirelyuponthesubjects.

Theseniorauthorbeginsbycarefullyassessingthepatient'sbackgroundandthen
usesconceptsthatfitthepatient'sframesofreference.Heusesaprocessofindirect

associativefocusingashediscussestheconceptsoftheconsciousandunconsciousto
layafoundationforhislateruseoftheconsciousunconsciousdoublebind.Patients'
expectationsarethenheightenedastheyareaskedtoprepareforaquestionthat
initiatesaninnersearchforunconsciousprocessesthatwillleadtoanideomotoror
ideosensoryresponse.Thereisanemphasisonthepleasureoflearninganda
continualutilizationofeachpatient'sareasofinterest.Theconsciousunconscious
doublebindisstructuredsothatanyresponsemadeiscontingentonthedevelopment
oftrance.Thisfirstsuccessfulexperiencewithideomotoractivityisthengeneralized
intoarecognizabletranceinductionwithanimplieddirective,Asyourhandmoves
up,youreyeswillclose,andyouwillgointoadeeptrance.

Anexamplethatdramaticallyillustrateshowtrancebehaviorcanbemanifest,even
whenthepatientresiststheideaofbeinginatrance,wasrecordedduringaworkshop
oftheAmericanSocietyofClinicalHypnosisin1960.Theseniorauthorwasgivinga
talkonthedynamicsofhypnosis.Duringsuchatalkthereisampleopportunityto
interspersemanyideodynamicsuggestionsthatcannothelpbutactivatethedescribed

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

71/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ideodynamicprocessatleastpartiallywithinmostmembersoftheaudience.After
givingademonstrationofhandlevitation,hedescribesthefollowingoccurrence:

Oneofthesubjectsfeltvery,verystronglythatshewasnotagoodsubject.AsI
observedthatintenselyraptattention(responseattentiveness)shewasgivingme,
however,Icouldfeelverystronglythatshewasagoodsubject.SoIaskedherto
'Giveyourunconsciousmindtheprivilegeofmanifestinginsomewaythatyouarea
goodhypnoticsubjectbutthatyouwillnotconsciouslyrecognizeit.Atthesametime
youcancontinuetofunctionwellattheconsciouslevel.Imightaddthatthe
manifestationmightbeobvioustotheaudiencebutnottoyou.'Evenasshecontinued
tofocuscloselyonmeandnottheaudienceoranythingelse,shesaid,Tmnotagood
subject,andIdon'tbelieveyoucanconvinceme.

AtthispointIwasutilizingherresistancetoletherthinkshewasawakeandnotina
somnambulistictrance.Buttheveryintensityofherabsorptioninwatchingmyevery
moveandfollowingeverythingIsaidwasacluetohersomnambulisticcondition.

IaskedheragainifIcouldputherintoatrance,butsheshookherhead'no,'she
wouldn'tcooperate.Atthatmomentherlefthandbeganlevitating,butshedidnotsee
itbecauseshewaslookingovertowardmeontheright.

Shelaughedandjokedwiththedoctorsintheaudienceandsaidshedidnotliketo
feelshewasbeinguncooperative,butshedidfeelshecouldn'tgointoatrance.
Remember,Itoldhertofunctionverywellattheconsciouslevelandverywellatthe
unconsciouslevel.Andthereshewastalkingtomeandtalkingtotheaudienceinthis
fashion.Iindicatedtooneofthedoctorsintheaudiencethatheshouldcomeupand
pinchherlevitatedlefthand.Hefoundthatshehadatotalanesthesiainthatlefthand,
thatshewaswillingtosweartothegroupthatshewaswideawakeandthatshe
couldn'tpossiblybeinatrance.Thedoctorthencamearoundandpinchedherright
hand,andshesaid,'Ouch,thathurts!NaturallyIwouldfeelapinch.'Shewaspinched
againonthelefthandbutdidnotfeelit.

WhatIwantedtodemonstratetothedoctorsthere,andwhatIwanttostresstoyou,is
theseparationoffunctioningthatgoesonallthetimeinthehumanbody,separation

atanintellectuallevel,separationatanemotionallevel,separationatasensorylevel,
justasyouhaveforgottentheshoesonyourfeetatthismomentandtheglasseson
yourface.

Thisdramaticexampleillustratestheimportanceofthehypnotherapist'slearningto
recognizethatstateofraptresponseattentivenesswhenthepatientis,forallpractical
purposes,alreadyinatrancestatefixatedonthetherapist,nomatterwhatmaybesaid
tothecontrary.Whentheseniorauthorobservesthisstateofintenseabsorptionon
himself,heofferspatientsoneormoreformsofindirectsuggestionthatprovides
themwithanopportunityforahypnoticresponse.Inthiscaseheusedaformofthe
consciousunconsciousdoublebindthatenabledherunconscioustoselectahypnotic
manifestation(handlevitatingthatshehadalreadybeenprimedforbywatching
others),whileallowingherconsciousmindtokeepitsusualpatternsoffunctioning.
Shewasthusabletokeepherresistancewhilemanifestinggoodhypnotic
responsiveness.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

72/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Thefollowingisanotherillustrationwhereintrancewasinducedevenunderthemost
resistantconditions,wherethesubjectwasaprofessionalactorattemptingtosimulate
hypnosis.Unknowntotheseniorauthor,atalecturedemonstrationbeforeamedical
group,oneofthesubjectswasatrainedactor.Hewatchedtheothersubjectscarefully
andthen,inaccordwithprevioussecretarrangementswithseveralpeopleinthe
audience,hesimulatedhypnosisanddemonstratedanesthesia,negativeandpositive
auditoryandvisualhallucinations,anddevelopeduncontrollablesneezingupon
hallucinatinggoldenrodinbloom,attherequestofoneoftheconspirators,relayed
throughtheseniorauthor.However,theseniorauthornotedthattheactor's
manifestationofcatalepsywasfaulty,andhistimerelationshipswerewrong.Minor
startlereflexeswerenoted,too,andthesubjectwasobservedtobecontrollingthe
involuntarytendencytoturnhisheadtowardtheauthorwhenaddressedfromtheside.
Accordingly,hewasaskedtodemonstratehandlevitationinresponsetocarefully
givensuggestions.Theactordidnotshowtheusualtimelaginresponseto
suggestionsofasuddenlittlejerkorquiver.Thisservedtoconvincetheseniorauthor
thathewasbeinghoaxed.

Accordingly,thesubjectwasfurnishedwithpencilandpaperandinstructedtodo
automaticwritingandtodothisautomaticwritinginthecorrectstyleoftrue
automaticwriting.Theactorhadneverwitnessedautomaticwriting;however,ashe
beganwriting,suggestionswereofferedofwritingslowlyandbetterandbetter,
writingautomaticallythesentence,'ThisisabeautifuldayinJune.'Thewordthis"
wasrepeatedfourtimeswithstrongintonationstofixateconsciousnessonit,while
therestofthesentencewassaidmoresoftlyandswiftly,sothatitwouldtendtobe
missedbyconsciousnessandfallintotheunconscious.Thewordthiswaswrittenin
hisordinaryscript,buttherestofthesentencewaswritteninthecharacteristicscript
ofautomaticwriting.Theactorsubjectwasnowbeginningtoexperiencesome
genuinetrancebehaviorwithoutrealizingit.Ashefinishedwriting,thepaperand
pencilwereremovedfromhissightandhewasaskedtoawakenwithanamnesiafor
tranceevents.Herousedimmediatelyandwasaskedtodiscusshypnosisforthe
audience.Withgreatsatisfactionheproceededtoexposethehoaxperpetratedupon
theseniorauthortotheamazementoftheaudienceingeneralandthegleeofthe
conspirators.Thesubjecttalkedfreelyofwhathehaddoneanddemonstratedhis
abilitytosneezeatwill.

Afterhehadrecountedeverythingexcepttheautomaticwriting,thiswasshownto
himandhewasaskedwhathethoughtofit.Hereadthesentencealoud,statedthatit
wasjustasimplestatementwithnoparticularrelevancy.Askedaboutthescript,he
observedthatitappearedtobesomewhatlaboredandjuvenile.Itsoonbecame
apparenttoeveryonethathehadatotalamnesiaforthewriting,thathewasgenuinely
curiousaboutthewritingandwhyhewasbeingquestionedaboutit.Whenhis
amnesiahadbeenadequatelydemonstrated,hewasaskedtoduplicatethatwriting
exactly,Heagreedreadily,butashetookthepencilandsetittothepaper,itwasat
onceobviousthathehaddevelopedatrancestateagain(repeatingtrancebehavior
tendsbyassociationtoreinducetrance).Afterhehadwrittenthesentencethissecond
time,hewasarousedwithinstructionsforanamnesiafortranceevents.Ashe
aroused,heresumedhismockeryoftheauthorforbeingsoeasilydeceived.Againhe
wasshownthewriting.Herecognizedthathehadseentheonesentenceafew
momentsago,buttherewasasecondsentencethathehadnotseenbefore.

Hewasallowedtoretaintheamnesiaforaweek.Inthemeantimethosephysicians

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

73/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

whohadarrangedforthehoaxsoughtouttheseniorauthorandrelatedthewholeplan
todeceivehimandtodetermineifhypnoticphenomenacouldbedeliberatelyand
successfullyimitated.Theyalsostatedthattheyhadtriedtoconvincetheactorthathe
haddonetheautomaticwritingbuthadfailedintheirefforts.Theyaddedthatthey
hadarrangedfortheactortomeettheseniorauthoragainsothatthehypnoticamnesia
couldberemoved.

Theirrequestwasmettotheirsatisfactionandtotheamazementoftheactor,who
summarizedtheentirematterbythesimplestatement,Well,itisobvioustomenow
thatthebestwaytofakehypnosisistogointoatrance.

5.UtilizingthePatient'sNegativeAffectsand
Confusion

Mosttherapistsarewaryofapatient'snegativeaffects,doubts,andconfusion.
Negativeaffectsareusuallyseenassomethingthatmustbecircumvented.The
followingisanillustrationbytheseniorauthorofhownegativeaffectscanbeutilized
toinducetranceandtofacilitatetherapeuticchange.

Apatient'smisunderstandings,doubts,anduncertaintiesmayalsobeutilizedasthe
techniqueofinduction.Exemplifyingthisapproacharetheinstancesoftwopatients,
bothcollegetrainedwomen,oneinherlate30's,theotherinherearly40's.One
patientexpressedextremedoubtanduncertaintyaboutthevalidityofhypnotic
phenomenaasappliedtoherself,butexplainedthatherdesperateneedforhelp
compelledhertotryhypnosisasaremotelypossiblemeansoftherapy.

Theotherdeclaredherconvictionthathypnosisandphysiologicalsleepwereidentical
andthatshecouldnotpossiblygointoatrancewithoutfirstdevelopingphysiological
sleep.This,sheexplained,wouldprecludetherapy;yetshefeltthathypnosisoffered
theonlypossible,howeverquestionable,meansofpsychotherapyforher,provided
thatthehypnotherapywassoconductedastoprecludephysiologicalsleep.Thatthis
waspossible,shedisbelievedcompletely.

Effortsatexplanationwerefutileandservedonlytoincreasetheanxietyandtension
ofbothpatients.Thereforeanapproachutilizingtheirmisapprehensionswasused.
Thetechnique,exceptfortheemphasisemployed,wasessentiallythesameforboth
patients.Eachpatientwasinstructedthatdeephypnosiswouldbeinduced.Theywere
tocooperateingoingintoadeeptrancebyassessing,appraising,evaluating,and
examiningthevalidityandgenuinenessofeachitemofrealityandeachitemof
subjectiveexperiencethatwasmentioned.Insodoing,thewomenweretofeelunder
obligationtodiscreditandrejectanythingthatseemedatalluncertainorquestionable.
Fortheone,emphasiswasplacedprimarilyuponsubjectivesensationsandreactions
withaninterspersedcommentaryuponrealityobjects.Fortheother,attentivenessto
realityobjectsasproofofwakefulnesswasemphasizedwithaninterspersingof
suggestionsforsubjectiveresponses.Inthismanner,therewaseffectedforeacha
progressivenarrowingofthefieldofawarenessandacorrespondingincreaseina
dependenceuponandaresponsivenesstothewriter.Itbecamepossibletoinducein
eachasomnambulistictrancebyemployingasimpleeyeclosureprogressive
relaxationtechniqueslightlyparaphrasedtomeetthespecialneedsofeachofthetwo
patients.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

74/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Thefollowingsampleofutterances,inwhichtheemphasisisapproximatelyevenly
dividedbetweensubjectiveaspectsandrealityobjects,isofferedtoillustratethe
actualverbalizationemployed.

Asyousitcomfortablyinthatchair,youcanfeeltheweightofyourarmsrestingon
thearmsofthechair.Andyoureyesareopenandyoucanseethedeskandthereis
onlytheordinaryblinkingoftheeyelids,whichyoumayormaynotnotice,justas
onemaynoticethefeelingoftheshoesonone'sfeetandthenagainforgetaboutit.
Andyoureallyknowthatyoucanseethebookcaseandyoucanwonderifyour
unconscioushasnotedanyparticularbooktitle.Butnowagainyoucannotethe
feelingoftheshoesonyourfeetastheyrestonthefloor,andatthesametimeyou
canbecomeawareoftheloweringofyoureyelidsasyoudirectyourgazeuponthe
floor.Andyourarmsarestillrestingtheirweightonthearmsofthechair,andall
thesethingsarerealandyoucanbeattentivetothemandsensethem.Andifyoulook
atyourwristandthenlookatthecorneroftheroom,perhapsyoucanfeelorsense
thechangeinyourvisualfocus.Perhapsyoucanrememberwhen,asachild,youmay
haveplayedwiththeexperienceoflookingatanobjectasifitwerefaroffandthen
closeby.Andasassociatedmemoriesofyourchildhoodpassthroughyourmind,they
canrangefromsimplememoriestotiredfeelingsbecausememoriesarereal.Theyare
things,eventhoughabstract,asrealasthechairandthedesk,andthetiredfeeling
thatcomesfromsittingwithoutmoving,andforwhichonecancompensateby
relaxingthemusclesandsensingtheweightofthebody,justasonecanfeelso
vividlythewearinessoftheeyelidsasfatigueandrelaxationdevelopmoreandmore.
Andallthathasbeensaidisrealandyourattentiontoitisrealandyoucanfeeland
sensemoreandmoreasyougiveyourattentiontoyourhandortoyourfootorthe
deskoryourbreathingortothememoryofthefeelingofcomfortsometimewhen
youclosedyoureyestorestyourgaze.Andyouknowthatdreamsarereal,thatone
seeschairsandtreesandpeopleandhearsandfeelsvariousthingsindreamsandthat
visualandauditoryimagesareasrealaschairsanddesksandbookcasesthatbecome
visualimages.Inthisway,withincreasingfrequency,thewriter'sutterancesbecame
simple,directsuggestionsforsubjectiveresponses.

Thistechniqueofutilizingdoubtsandmisunderstandingshasbeenusedwithother
patientsandwithexperimentalsubjects.Itiswellsuitedtotheuseofhandlevitation
asafinaldevelopment,sinceideomotoractivitywithinthevisualrangeoffers
opportunityforexcellentobjectiveandsubjectiverealities.

Theaboveisanexcellentillustrationoftheinterspersalapproachtointroduce
patientstotheirownsubjectiveresponsesgraduallyandinamannerthatfocuses
attentioninwardfortrance.Associatingtheirinnerrealitieswithouterobjects,
throughwhichtheycouldvalidatetheirexperiences;enabledthemtoacceptthe
formertoagreaterandgreaterdegree.Theseniorauthorthenusesaseriesofopen
endedsuggestionsinaverygeneraldiscussionofsensations,feelings,memories,
dreams,andvisualimagesasameansofindirectassociativeandideodynamic
focusingtodeepentheirinvolvementwithwhateversubjectiverealitiesweremost
availabletothem.Theutilizationofdoubtandmisunderstandingintheexample
servesasanintroductiontoamoregeneralunderstandingofnegativeaffectsas
indicatorsofpersonalitychange.

Theexperienceofanxiety,confusion,doubt,uncertainty,anddepressionis
characteristicofmostpatientsinvolvedinaprocessofgrowthandpersonalitychange

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

75/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

(Rossi,1967,1968,1971,1972a,1972b,1973;Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).
Thuswhilethepatientisuncomfortablewiththesemanifestations,thetherapistcan
recognizeinthemthehopefulindicationsofamuchneededprocessofpersonality
transformationthatistakingplacewithinthepatient.Wecouldevenconceptualize
thatthetypicalstatesofdepressionanduncertaintywithwhichmostpeopleenter
therapyareactuallyspontaneousmanifestationsofthesecondandthirdstages
(depotentiatinghabitualconscioussetsandunconscioussearch)ofourgeneral
paradigmoftranceinductionandsuggestion.Theyareentirelynormalandnecessary
stagesinthenaturalprocessofpersonalitygrowthandtransformation(Rossi,1972a).
Depressionanduncertaintyonlytakepathologicalformswhenaproblemisso
overwhelmingthatonecannotworkthroughtheseuncomfortableaffectsonone's
own.Inhelpingpatientscopewiththesestateswecanagainrecognizehow
hypnotherapycanbeunderstoodasafacilitatorofnaturalprocessesinherentin
psychologicalgrowth.

6.UtilizingthePatient'sSymptoms

Sincethepatient'ssymptomisusuallyamajorfocusofattention,wecansometimes
utilizeittofacilitatetranceinductionandrapidlyresolvetheproblem.Withthis
approachweareagainutilizingeachpatient'sinnerrealitiesdominantframesof
referenceandfixedbelieftoinducetranceandfacilitatetherapy.Unusuallyelegant
examplesofthisapproacharethefollowing,drawnfromtheseniorauthor'sworkin
teachingdentists:

Amaninhisthirtiesbecameinterestedinhypnosisandvolunteeredtoactasasubject
forsomeexperimentalstudiesatauniversity.Inthefirsthypnoticsessionhe
discoveredthathewasanexcellenthypnoticsubject,butlosthisinterestinany
furtherexperimentalstudies.

Severalyearslaterhedecidedtohavehypnosisemployedbyhisdentist,sincehe
neededextensivedentalworkandfearedgreatlythepossibilityofpain.

Heenteredatrancestateforhisdentistreadily,developedanexcellentanesthesiaof
thehanduponsuggestion,butfailedtobeabletotransferthisanesthesiaorevenan
analgesiatohismouthinanydegree.Instead,heseemedtobecomeevenmore
sensitiveorally.Effortstodeveloporalanesthesiaoranalgesiadirectlyalsofailed.

Furtherbutunsuccessfuleffortswerepainstakinglymadebythedentistanda
colleaguetoteachthispatientbyvarioustechniqueshowtodevelopanesthesiaor
analgesia.Hecouldrespondinthiswayonlyinpartsofthebodyotherthanthe
mouth.Hewasthenbroughttothiswriterasaspecialproblem.

Atrancestatewasinducedreadilyandthepatientwascasuallyremindedofhiswish
forcomfortinthedentalchair.Thereupon,hewasinstructedtobeattentivetothe
instructionsgivenhimandtoexecutethemfully.

Suggestionswerethengivenhimthathislefthandwouldbecomeexceedingly
sensitivetoallstimuli,infactpainfullyso.Thishyperestheticstatewouldcontinue
untilhereceivedinstructionstothecontrary.Throughoutitsduration,however,
adequatecarewouldbeexercisedtoprotecthishandfrompainfulcontacts.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

76/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Thepatientmadeafullandadequateresponsetothesesuggestions.Inadditiontothe
hyperesthesiaofthehand,andentirelywithoutanysuggestiontothateffect,he
spontaneouslydevelopedananesthesiaofhismouth,permittingfulldentalworkwith
nootheranestheticagent.

Eveninsubsequenteffortsanesthesiaoranalgesiacouldnotbeinduceddirectlyor
purposelyexceptasapartofthehyperesthesiaanesthesiapatternpeculiartothat
patient.However,thisisnotasingleinstanceofthistypeofbehavior.Other
comparablecaseshavebeenencounteredfromtimetotime.

Apparently,psychologically,thepatient'sfixedunderstandingwasthatthedental
workmustabsolutelybeassociatedwithhypersensitivity.Whenthisrigid
understandingwasmet,dentalanesthesiacouldbeachievedinafashionanalogousto
therelaxationofonemusclepermittingthecontractionofanother.

Hypnosishadbeenattemptedrepeatedlyandunsuccessfullyonadentist'swifebyher
husbandandseveralofhiscolleagues.Eachtime,shestated,shebecameabsolutely
scaredstiff,soIjustcouldn'tmoveandthenI'dstartcrying.Ijustcouldn'tdo
anythingtheyasked.Icouldn'trelax,Icouldn'tdohandlevitation.Icouldn'tshutmy
eyes;allIcoulddowasbescaredsillyandcry.

Anaturalisticapproachemployingsynergismwasutilized.Ageneralsummaryofher
situationwasofferedtoherinthefollowingwords:

Youwishtohavehypnosisutilizedinconnectionwithyourdentalwork.Your
husbandandhiscolleagueswishthesame,buteachtimehypnosiswasattempted,you
havefailedtogointoatrance.Yougotscaredstiffandyoucried.Itwouldreallybe
enoughjusttogetstiffwithoutcrying.Nowyouwantmetotreatyoupsychiatrically,

ifnecessary,butIdon'tbelieveitis.Instead,Iwilljustputyouinatrancesothatyou
canhavehypnosisforyourdentistry.

Shereplied,ButI'lljustgetscaredstiffandcry.

Shewasansweredwith,No,youwillfirstgetstiff.Thatisthefirstthingtodoanddo
itnow.Justgetmoreandmorestiff,yourarms,yourlegs,yourbody,yourneck
completelystiffevenstifferthanyouwerewithyourhusband.

Nowcloseyoureyesandletthelidsgetstiff,sostiffthatyoucan'topenthem.

Herresponsesweremostadequate.

Nowthenextthingyouhavetodoistogetscaredsillyandthentocry.Ofcourse,
youdon'twanttodothis,butyouhavetobecauseyoulearnedto,butdon'tdoitjust
yet.

Itwouldbesomucheasiertotakeadeepbreathandrelaxalloverandtosleep
deeply.

Whydon'tyoutrythis,insteadofgoingontogettingscaredsillyandcrying?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

77/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Herresponsetothisalternativesuggestionwasimmediateandremarkablygood.

Thenextsuggestionwas,Ofcourseyoucancontinuetosleepdeeperanddeeperin
thetrancestateandberelaxedandcomfortable.Butanytimeyouwish,youcanstart
togetscaredstiffandsillyandtocry.Butmaybenowthatyouknowhowtodoso,
youwilljustkeeponbeingcomfortableinthetrancesothatanydentalormedical
workyouneedcanbedonecomfortablyforyou.

Asimpleposthypnoticsuggestiontoenabletheinductionoffuturetranceswasthen
given.

Inbothoftheseexamplesthetherapistacceptsthepatient'sdominantframeof
reference(hypersensitivityinthefirstcaseandscaredstiffinthesecond)andthen
utilizesittointroduceandfacilitatetherapeuticresponses.Heencouragesthepatients
todowhattheyalreadyknowtheycandoandthendisplaces,transforms,oraddstoit
somethingtheyneedtodo.Heusesquestions,contingentsuggestions,and
associationalnetworkstocarrythepatientsfromtheirwellrehearsedbutmaladaptive
behaviorstothedesiredtherapeuticresponses.Otherinstructiveexamplesthat
illustratehowthisapproachrapidlyachievestherapeuticgoalsareasfollows.

Anothertypeofcaseinwhichthissamegeneralapproachwasutilizedconcernsa
brideofaweek,whodesiredaconsummationofhermarriagebutdevelopedastateof
extremepanicwithherlegsinthescissorspositionateveryattemptorofferofan
attempt.

Sheenteredtheofficewithherhusband,haltinglygaveherstory,andexplainedthat
somethinghadtobedone,sinceshewasbeingthreatenedwithanannulment.Her
husbandconfirmedherstoryandaddedotherdescriptivedetails.

Thetechniqueusedwasessentiallythesameasthatutilizedinahalfdozensimilar
instances.

Shewasaskedifshewerewillingtohaveanyreasonableprocedureemployedto
correctherproblem.Heranswerwas,Yes,anythingexceptthatImustn'tbetouched,
becauseIjustgocrazyifI'mtouched.Thisstatementherhusbandcorroborated.

Shewasinstructedthathypnosiswouldbeemployed.Sheconsentedhesitantly,but
againdemandedthatnoeffortbemadetotouchher.

Shewastoldthatherhusbandwouldsitcontinuouslyinthechairontheothersideof
theofficeandthatthewriterwouldalsositbesideherhusband.She,however,was
personallytomoveherchairtothefarsideoftheroom,tositdownthereandwatch
herhusbandcontinuously.Shouldeitherheorthewriteratanytimeleavetheirchairs,
shewastoleavetheroomimmediately,sinceshewassittingnexttotheofficedoor.

Thenshewastosprawloutinherchair,leaningfarbackwithherlegsextended,her
feetcrossed,andallthemusclesfullytensed.Shewastolookatherhusbandfixedly
untilallshecouldseewouldbehim,withjustaviewofthewriteroutofthecornerof
hereye.Herarmsweretobecrossedinfrontofherandherfistsweretobetightly
clenched.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

78/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Obedientlyshebeganthistask.Asshedidso,shewastoldtosleepdeeperand
deeper,seeingnothingbutherhusbandandthewriter.Asshesleptmoreandmore
deeply,shewouldbecomescaredandpanicky,unabletomoveortodoanything
excepttowatchbothandtosleepmoreandmoredeeplyinthetrance,indirect
proportiontoherpanicstate.

Thispanicstate,shewasinstructed,woulddeepenhertrance,andatthesametime
holdherrigidlyimmobileinthechair.

Thengradually,shewastold,shewouldbegintofeelherhusbandtouchingher
intimately,caressingly,eventhoughshewouldcontinuetoseehimstillontheother
sideoftheroom.Shewasaskedifshewerewillingtoexperiencesuchsensationsand
shewasinformedthatherexistingbodyrigiditywouldrelaxjustsufficientlytopermit
hertonodortoshakeherheadinreply,andthatanhonestanswerwastobegiven
slowlyandthoughtfully.

Slowlyshenoddedherheadaffirmatively.

Shewasaskedtonotethatbothherhusbandandthewriterwereturningtheirheads
awayfromher,becauseshewouldnowbegintofeelaprogressivelymoreintimate
caressingofherbodybyherhusband,untilfinallyshefeltentirelypleased,happyand
relaxed.

Approximatelyfiveminuteslatersheaddressedthewriter,

Pleasedon'tlookaround.I'msoembarrassed.Maywegohomenow,becauseI'mall
right?

Shewasdismissedfromtheofficeandherhusbandwasinstructedtotakeherhome
andpassivelyawaitdevelopments.

Twohourslaterajointtelephonecallwasreceivedexplainingsimply,Everythingis
allright.

Acheckuptelephonecallaweeklaterdisclosedalltobewell.Approximately15
monthslatertheybroughttheirfirstborninwithgreatestofpride.

Anotherexampleisthatofanenureticeightyearoldboy,halfcarried,halfdragged
intotheofficebyhisparents.Theyhadpreviouslysolicitedtheaidoftheneighbors
onhisbehalf,andhehadbeenprayedforpubliclyinchurch.Nowhewasbeing
broughttoacrazydoctorasthelastresortwithapromiseofahoteldinner,tobe
providedfollowingtheinterview.

Hisresentmentandhostilitytowardallwerefullyapparent.

TheapproachwasmadebydeclaringYou'remadandyou'regoingtokeeprighton
beingmad,andyouthinkthereisn'tathingyoucandoaboutit,butthereis.Youdon't
liketoseea'crazydoctor,'butyouarehereand.youwouldliketodosomething,but
youdon'tknowwhat.Yourparentsbroughtyouhere,madeyoucome.Well,youcan
makethemgetoutoftheoffice.Infact,webothcancomeon,let'stellthemtogoon
out.Atthispointtheparentswereunobtrusivelygivenadismissalsignal,towhich

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

79/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

theyreadilyresponded,totheboy'simmediate,almoststartled,satisfaction.

Thewriterthencontinued,Butyou'restillmadandsoamI,becausetheyorderedme
tocureyourbedwetting.Buttheycan'tgivemeordersliketheygiveyou.Butbefore
wefixthemforthatwithaslow,elaborate,attentioncompelling,pointinggesture
lookatthosepuppiesrightthere.Ilikethebrownonebest,butIsupposeyoulikethe
blackandwhiteone,becauseitsfrontpawsarewhite.Ifyouareverycareful,youcan
petmine,too.Ilikepuppies,don'tyou?

Herethechild,takencompletelybysurprise,readilydevelopedasomnambulistic
trance,walkedover,andwentthroughthemotionsofpettingtwopuppies,onemore
thantheother.Whenfinallyhelookedupatthewriter,thestatementwasmadeto
him,I'mgladyou'renotmadatmeanymoreandIdon'tthinkthatyouorIhaveto
tellyourparentsanything.Infact,maybeitwouldservethemjustrightfortheway
theybroughtyouhereifyouwaiteduntiltheschoolyearwasalmostover.Butone
thingiscertain.Youcanjustbetthatafteryou'vehadadrybedforamonth,theywill
getyouapuppyjustaboutlikelittleSpottythere,evenifyouneversayawordto
themaboutit.They'vejustgotto.Nowcloseyoureyes,takeadeepbreath,sleep
deeply,andwakeupawfulhungry.

Thechilddidasinstructedandwasdismissedinthecareofhisparents,whohadbeen
giveninstructionsprivately.

Twoweekslaterhewasusedasademonstrationsubjectforagroupofphysicians.No
therapywasdone.

Duringthelastmonthoftheschoolyear,theboyeachmorningdramaticallycrossed
offthecurrentcalendarday.

Towardthelastfewdaysofthemonthheremarkedcrypticallytohismother,You
bettergetready.

Onthe31stday,hismothertoldhimtherewasasurpriseforhim.Hisreplywas,It
betterbeblackandwhite.Atthatmomenthisfathercameinwithapuppy.Inthe
boy'sexcitedpleasureheforgottoaskquestions.

Eighteenmonthslatertheboy'sbedwasstillcontinuouslydry.

Acarefulstudyoftheseexamplesrevealsthesamepattern.Ineachcasethesenior
authorassociates(1)whatpatientscandowellwith(2)trancebehaviorinwhich(3)
theycannowexperiencewhattheywantinahallucinatedinnerreality.Thisbinds
theirrealbehavioralcapacitiestohallucinatedwishessothatthewishescanbecome
actualized.Therapeutictranceisthebindingglue,thestateofconcentrationorthe
mediuminwhichfantasiesandwishesareassociatedandboundtobehavioral
capacitiessothatwhatisdesiredcanbeactualizedinrealbehavior.In
hypnotherapeuticpracticewearecontinuallybuildingbridgesbetweenwhatpatients
candoandwhattheywanttodo.Thiswillbecomemoreandmoreevidentinthenext
chapteronposthypnoticsuggestionandinpracticallyallthecasestudiesthatfollow.

Exercises

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

80/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

1.Listentotaperecordingsofyourtherapysessionsanddeterminetowhatdegree
youareutilizingthepatients'ownbehaviors,interests,andpersonalitycharacteristics
tofacilitatetheirtherapeuticwork.

2.Asyoustudytheserecordings,considerwhereyoumighthaveintroduced
alternativeremarksandsuggestionsthatcouldutilizethepatient'srepositoryoflife
experiencesandmorehighlydevelopedfunctionstofacilitatetherapeuticprogress.
Explorethoseformsofindirectsuggestionsthatfiteasilywithinyourownverbal
repertorysothatyoucanutilizethemmosteffectivelytofacilitatethepatient'sinner
searchesandunconsciousprocessesevenwithouttheformalinductionoftrance.

3.Studyvideorecordingsofyourtherapysessionstodiscoverthosemomentsofrapt
responseattentivenesswhenyourpatientwasmostfocusedonyou.Howwelldidyou
utilizethesemomentstointroducetherapeuticremarks?

4.Planhowyoucouldusethesemomentsofresponseattentivenesstointroduce
indirectformsofsuggestionsthatcouldfacilitatefreeassociationrelatedto
therapeuticissues.Somesimpleexamplesareasfollows.

Doyoureyesfeellikerestingandclosingforamomentwhileyourunconscious
mindexploresthat[whatever]?

Iwantyoutobequietforamoment,andasyouthinkthatoverwewillseewhat
elseyourunconsciousmindbringsupaboutit.Andyoudon'thavetotalkuntil
youreallyfeelcomfortableaboutit.

Therapistsmustfindthecombinationofwordsthatisnaturaltothemandtheir
patientsinordertofacilitatetheinnersearchandunconsciousprocessesinacasual
andcomfortablemanner.

5.Theaboveapproacheasilylendsitselftoindirectformsoftranceinduction.During
thosemomentsofcommoneverydaytrancewhenthepatientsmaybeapparently
absorbedwithinthemselves,lookingoutawindow,staringattheirhands,thefloor,
theceiling,orwhatever,therapistscanintroduceoptionsfortranceviaindirectforms,
suchasthefollowing:

Youareabsorbedinsomethingnow,andifyourunconsciousagreesthatthisisa
comfortablemomentforyoutoentertrance,youwillfindthatyoureyeswill
seemtocloseallbythemselves.

Doesyourunconsciouswantthoseeyestoclosesoyoucanjustcontinueasyou
areevenmorecomfortably?

Justletyourselfcontinueasyouareandyourbodywon'tevenhavetomove
untilyourunconscioushasasurprisingsolutiontothat,eventhoughyour
consciousmindmaynotyetknowwhatitis,exactly.

Duringamomentofraptresponseattentiveness,whenthepatient'sattentionis
focusedonthetherapist,trancecouldbeintroducedasfollows:

Iknowyouarenotentirelyawareofit,butI'mnoticingsomethingaboutyou

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

81/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thatindicatesyoumaybereadytoentertrance.Andifyourunconsciousreally
wantsto,you'llfindthoseeyelidsclosing[handlifting,orwhatever],

6.Absolutelyrefusetopermityourselftouseanyritualizedandmechanicalformof
hypnoticinductionuntilyouhavenoticedhalfadozenormoreofthepatient's
patternsofmanifestbehavior,interests,abilities,innerlifeexperiences,framesof
reference,resistances,orsymptomsthatyoucanincorporateintotheinduction
procedure.Thenpracticetheprocessofintegratingeachpatient'sindividualityintoall
thestandardformsoftranceinductionsuchaseyefixation,handlevitation,andsoon.

7.Studythepatient'smanifestbehaviorandsymptomstodeterminehowtheycanbe
channeledintotherapeuticresponses.Practicebuildingassociativebridgesbetween
theknownandpossibletotheunknownanddesired.

8.Furtherstudyintheloreofhypnoticinductioncomesfrommanyunexpected
quarters.Avolumeonhypnoticpoetry(Snyder,1930),forexample,presentsthe
thesisthattherearetwobasictypesofpoetry:hypnotic(spellweaving)and
intellectualistic.Theformertendstoinducetrance,whilethelatterappealsmoreto
theintellect.Theauthordiscussesmanyoftheliterarydevicesthatmayinducea
hypnoticeffect,suchas(1)aperfectpatternofsoundandstress,withheavyvocal
stressfallingathalfsecondintervals;(2)absenceofabruptchangesorintellectual

challenges;(3)vaguenessofimagery,permittingeachindividual'spersonal
unconscioustofillinthedetails;(4)fatigueforwhatwewouldcalldepotentiating
habitualmentalframeworks;(5)theuseofrepetitionorrefrain;and(6)givingan
unusuallyclearanddirectsuggestionorposthypnoticsuggestiononlyafterlullingthe
listenerintoanagreeablestatewiththeforegoing.Hegoesontopointouthowpoetic
inspirationandperhapsartisticcreationingeneralalwaysinvolveanautohypnotic
state.Acarefulstudyofthepoemshepresentsgivesthehypnotherapistabroader
conceptionofthecreativeworkinvolvedineveryhypnoticinduction.

9.Classicalstudiesliketheabovelendcredencetothemanycurrenteffortsto
understandtranceasafunctionofthespecializedactivitiesandinteractionpatternsof
theleftandrightcerebralhemispheres(Ornstein,1972,1973;HilgardandHilgard,
1975;BandlerandGrinder,1975;Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976;Rossi,1977).
Analyzetheinductionsinthisandtheremainingchaptersofthisvolumefortheir
relativeappealtotheleftandrighthemisphere.Wehaveintroducedanumberof
speculationsinthisareainourcommentariesonCase12inChapter9.

CHAPTER4

PosthypnoticSuggestion

Traditionally,posthypnoticsuggestionhasbeenusedtoassesstheeffectivenessof
tranceandtoreinforceatherapeuticprocess.Itwasbelievedthatapersonwho
receivesasuggestionduringtranceandthencarriesitoutafterwardprovesbythat
veryfactthataneffectivetrancewasexperienced.Trancewasconceptualizedasa

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

82/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

blankstateduringwhichanindividualwaseasilyprogrammedjustasonemightwrite
uponablankslate.Wenowrecognizethatthisblankslateandprogrammingmodelof
hypnosisismisleadingforpsychotherapeuticwork.Individualsretaintheirown
personalitydynamicsduringtrance.Therapeutictranceisameansoffocusing
attentionandutilizingpersonalitydynamicsinamannerthatpermitsunconscious
processestomediateresponsesthatareofclinicalvalue.Inthebroadestsensewecan
speakofposthypnoticsuggestionwheneverweintroduceanideaduringamomentof
receptivitythatislateractualizedinbehavior.Thatmomentofreceptivitycanoccur
duringaformallyinducedtranceorduringthecommoneverydaytranceinwhich
attentionisfixedandabsorbedinamatterofgreatinterest.

1.AssociatingPosthypnoticSuggestionswith
BehavioralInevitabilities

Thetraditionalapproachtodirectposthypnoticsuggestionusuallytakestheform,
Afteryouawakenfromtrance,youwilldo[orexperience]suchandsuch.Indirect
posthypnoticsuggestion,bycontrast,involvestheuseoftheindirectformsof
suggestiontogetherwithanumberofotherprocessesfoundineverydaylifeaswellas
clinicalpractice.Themostusefulofthesearecontingencysuggestionsand
associationalnetworks,wherebywetietheposthypnoticsuggestiontoinevitable
patternsofbehaviorthatthepatientwillexperienceinthefuture.Theseinevitable
behaviorpatternsfunctionascuesorvehiclesfortheexecutionoftheposthypnotic
suggestion.Thepatient'sownassociations,lifeexperience,personalitydynamics,and
futureprospectsareallutilizedtobuildtheposthypnoticsuggestionintothepatient's
naturallifestructure.Anexamplefromtheseniorauthor'sownfamilylifecan
introduceustothisconceptofindirectposthypnoticsuggestioninitsbroadestsense.

ThefirsttimeanorthodontistworkedonadaughterofmineIsaidtoher,Youknow,
allofthatbalingwireinyourmouthismiserablyuncomfortable.Whyshouldn'tItell
herthetruth?Sheknewit,shewascertainofit.Ithensaidtoher,Thatmouthfulof
hardwarethatyou'vegotwithallthoserubberbandsiswretchedlymiserable,andit's
goingtobeadeuceofajobtogetusedtoit.Well,whatdidIsuggest?Youwillget
usedtoit.Gettingusedtoitwastheindirectsuggestion.Sheheardmeagreeingwith
hermisery,butherunconsciousalsoheardtherestofthesentence.Alwaysknowhow
inclusive,howcomprehensiveyourstatementis.Itisadeuceofajobtogetusedtoit.
Whenyouputitthatway,sheacceptsbothpartsofthesentence,thoughshedoesn't
knowshehasacceptedthesecondpart.ThenItoldher,Youareonlyalittlegirlnow,
butwhatkindofasmiledoyouthinkyouwillhaveinyourweddingpicture?Mrs.
EricksonandIkeptthatposthypnoticsuggestioninmindforalongtimeuntilshewas
married.Wenevereverbetrayeditbytalkingaboutitortellinganyone.Whenour

daughtergotmarriedtenyearslaterandsawherweddingpictures,shesaid,Daddy,
thisismyfavoriteone.Lookatthesmile.Thatwasanindirectposthypnotic
suggestionthatworkedoveraperiodoftenyearseventhoughshecouldnotrecognize
itassuch.Whenshefirstwenttotheorthodontist,marriagewasthefarthestthing
fromhermind.Shewasn'tthinkingofmarriageatall,butshedidknowthatwomen
getmarriedandtherewastheremotepossibilitythatshewasmakingthebeautiful
smileshewouldhaveinherweddingpicture.That'swhatgoesintothemosteffective
posthypnotictherapeuticsuggestion.Whenyouofferaposthypnoticsuggestioninthe
formofahopefulprognosistoapatient,tieittoareasonablefuturecontingency.
Marriagewasareasonableexpectationforustoentertainregardingourdaughter.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

83/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Thisexampleillustratesanumberofbasicprinciplesforofferingposthypnotic
suggestion.Theprocesswasinitiated,asalways,byfirstrecognizingandfully
acknowledgingtheindividual'scurrentongoingexperience.Thedaughter'sattention
wasimmediatelyfixatedwhenherfathergaveexpressiontothecurrentrealityby
acknowledginghermiseryoverherneworthodontictreatment.Hethenutilizeda
compoundstatementtotiehisindirectsuggestiongettingusedtoittoherongoingand
undeniablereality.Hethenreinforcedthesuggestionevenfurtherbyassociatingit
withareasonablefuturecontingency,whengettingusedtoitwouldberewardedwith
abeautifulsmileonherweddingday.Fourmajorfactorsfacilitatingthisposthypnotic
suggestioncanbelistedasfollows:

1.1.1.Fixingattentionandopeningayessetbyrecognizingandacknowledging
currentexperience.

2.2.2.Associatingasuggestionwiththiscurrentexperiencebywayofan
indirecthypnoticform(compoundsuggestion).

3.3.3.Utilizingtheperson'sownpersonalitydynamics(needforanicesmileon
herweddingday)asavehicleforthesuggestion.

4.4.4.Associatingthesuggestionwithareasonablefuturecontingency(her
futurewedding).

Anumberofotherillustrationsofposthypnoticsuggestionsassociatedwith
behavioralinevitabilitiesareasfollows.Thesuggestionproperisinitalics:

Shortlyafteryouawaken,I'mgoingtosaysomethingtoyou.I'mgoingtoarouse
youandputyoubackintotrance.Inspiteofanythinkingyoudo,whatIsaywill
betrue.

2.SerialPosthypnoticSuggestions

Itismostinstructivetorealizethatitismoredifficulttorejecttwoormore
suggestionsgiventogetherinanassociationalnetworkthanitistorejectasingle
suggestionstandingalone.Considerthefollowingexamplebytheseniorauthor
(EricksonandErickson,1941),whichutilizesafiveyearoldgirl'sinterestinher
favoritedoll.

Afiveyearoldchildwhohadneverwitnessedahypnotictrancewasseenaloneby
thehypnotist.Shewasplacedinachairandrepeatedlytoldtogotosleep,andto
sleepverysoundly,"whileholdingherfavoritedoll.Noothersuggestionofanysort

wasgivenheruntilaftershehadapparentlysleptsoundlyforsometime.Thenshe
wastold,asaposthypnoticsuggestion,thatsomeotherdaythehypnotistwouldask
heraboutherdoll,whereuponshewasto(a)placeitinachair,(b)sitdownnearit,
and(c)waitforittogotosleep.Afterseveralrepetitionsoftheseinstructions,she
wastoldtoawakenandtocontinueherplay.Thisthreefoldformofposthypnotic
suggestionwasemployed,sinceobediencetoitwouldleadprogressivelytoan
essentiallystaticsituationforthesubject.Particularlydidthelastitemofbehavior
requireanindefinitelyprolongedandpassiveformofresponse,whichcouldbebest

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

84/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

achievedbyacontinuationofthespontaneousposthypnotictrance.Severaldayslater
shewasseenwhileatplay,andacasualinquiryaboutherdollwasmade.Securing
thedollfromitscradle,sheexhibiteditproudlyandthenexplainedthatthedollwas
tiredandwantedtogotosleep,placingitasshespokeintheproperchairandsitting
downquietlybesideittowatch.Shesoongavetheappearanceofbeinginatrance
state,althoughhereyeswerestillopen.Whenaskedwhatshewasdoing,shereplied,
Waiting,andnoddedherheadagreeablywhentoldinsistently,Stayjustlikeyouare
andkeeponwaiting.Systematicinvestigation,withanavoidanceofanymeasurethat
mightcauseapurelyresponsivemanifestationtoaspecificbutunintentionalhypnotic
suggestion,ledtothediscoveryofawidevarietyofthephenomenatypicalofthe
ordinarilyinducedtrance.

Aseriesofsubtleposthypnoticsuggestionssuitableforfacilitatingthetrancetraining
andthereinductionoftranceforadultsmightrunsomewhatasfollows.

1.

1.

1.

Whenyouawaken,youwillopenyoureyes...

2.

2.

2.

Moveandperhapsstretchabit...

3.

3.

3.

Youcantalkabitaboutwhatinterestsyouinyourexperience..

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

85/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

4.

4.

4.

Andforgetalltherest...

5.

5.

5.

UntilIaskyoutogobackintotrance...

6.

6.

6.

Soyoucanexperienceandremembersomethingmore.

Thefirstthreelinesoftheaboveareaseriesoftruismsthattogetherforman
associationalnetworkofbehaviorsthatareinevitabilities.Sincetheyareinevitable,
theytendtoinitiateayessetwithinthepatient,whoprobablywon'tevenrecognize
line4asasubtlesuggestionforhypnoticamnesia.Line5isafairlydirect
posthypnoticsuggestiontoreentertrancethatcontainsanimportantcontingencywith
theworduntil.Untilmeansthatonreenteringtrancethepatientwillremember
somethingforgottenduetoahypnoticamnesiawhenhewasawake.Line6continues
theassociationalnetworkbindingafuturetrancewiththecurrentexperience,andit
alsocontainsasubtleambiguity:Willthepatientmerelyexperienceandrecallwhat
waslostintheamnesia,orwilltherebeanewexperiencethatwillthenberecalled?
Willitberecalledonlyduringtranceoraftertranceaswell?Thetherapistusually
doesnotknowtheanswerstothesequestionstheyareameansofexploringthe
patient'suniquesystemofresponding.Ifitisfoundthatsignificantamnesiasare
presentthatcanbeliftedbyfurthersuggestion,thetherapistmaydecidetoutilizethis
abilitytherapeutically.Ifnewexperienceisforthcomingwitheachtrance,thismay
becometheidealtherapeuticmodalityforhelpingpatientsexploretheirinnerworlds.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

86/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

3.UnconsciousConditioningasPosthypnotic
Suggestion

Mosttherapistsautomaticallyalterthetoneandcadenceoftheirvoiceduringtrance
work.Thepatients,inturn,becomeautomaticallyandusuallyunconsciously
conditionedtoexperiencetranceinresponsetothesevocalalterations.Ifthetherapist
adoptsthesevocalchangesduringanordinaryconversation,thepatientwill
frequentlybegintoexperiencepartialaspectsoftrancewithoutquiteknowingwhy.
Sincetheseminimalcuesbypassthepatient'sconsciousframesofreference,theyare
oftensurprisinglyeffective.Whentherapistsnoticethesebeginningmanifestationsof
trance(e.g.,eyeblinking,minimalmovements,blocking,someconfusion,andsoon),
theycanreinforcethemwithothernonverbalorverbalcuestheytypicallyuseduring
theinitialstagesoftranceinduction.Forexample,whenthepatientislookingdirectly
attheseniorauthorduringtranceinduction,hewillfrequentlylookdirectlyatthe
patient'sfacebutfocushiseyesatadistancebeyond.Whenhelaterdoesthisduring
anordinaryconversation,thepatientinitiallyfeelsabitdisconcerted,thenbeginsto
experienceadisorientationthatcanonlyberesolvedbygoingintotrance(Erickson,
Rossi,andRossi,1976).Atsuchmomentstheseniorauthormayreinforcetheprocess
withalookofhappyexpectationanddoublebindquestionssuchasthefollowing:

Iwonderjusthowawakeyouarenow?

Justhowmuchtranceareyoubeginningtoexperience?

Isthatatranceyou'rebeginningtoexperience?

It'scomfortabletojustletthathappen,isn'tit?

Youdon'thavetotalk,doyou?It'snicejusttoletyourselfbe.

Whenwebegintolookintothematter,werealizethatthereareinnumerablepatterns
ofunconsciousconditioningthataretakingplacebetweentherapistandpatientallthe
time.Manypatientsbecomeconditionedunconsciouslyandautomaticallytobegin
theprocessoftranceexperienceassoonastheyenterthetherapist'swaitingroom.
Theobservanttherapistneednotengineersuchpatternsofunconsciousconditioning
orsetthemupintentionally.Itisfarmoreeffectivesimplytoobservethemasthey
occurnaturallyandthentoutilizethemasimportantindicatorsofunconscious
processes.Somepatients,forexample,positiontheirbodiesincertaincharacteristic
waysduringtrance.Later,duringanordinarytherapeuticsession,thetherapistmay
noticeaspectsofthattrancepositiondeveloping.Perhapsahead,arm,leg,hand,or
fingerfallsintotranceposition.Thismaybeanonverbalandunconsciousbodysignal
thatthepatientisreexperiencinganassociationtotranceonsomelevelandnow
needstodotrancework.Whentherapistsrecognizethesebodycues,theycan
facilitatetheprocesswithanexpectantlookandquestionssomewhatlikethe
following:

Areyouawareofwhat'shappeningtoyounow?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

87/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Pauseforamoment.Canyousensewhat'stakingplacewithinyou?

Doyoufeelyouarereallycompletelyawake?

Howmuchtranceareyoubeginningtoexperience?

Whenthepatient'sbodylanguageis,indeed,asignalthattranceworkneedstobe
done,thepatientwillfrequentlyusetheinnersearchinitiatedbythesequestionsto
entermoredeeplyintotrance.Ifthebodylanguagemeantsomethingelse(suchasan
importantassociationtoprevioustranceexperiencethatnowneedstobetalked
about),thetherapist'squestionprovidesanopportunityforittobeexpressedinthe
awakestateorperhapsinalighttrancestatethatisdifficulttodistinguishfromthe
awakestate.

4.InitiatedExpectationsResolvedPosthypnotically

Amosteffectiveapproachtoposthypnoticsuggestionistoinitiateexpectations,
tensions,orpatternsofbehaviorthatcanonlybecompletedorresolvedaftertranceis
formallyterminated.Thisapproachhasexperimentalvalidationinnumerousstudies
oftheZeigarniceffect(WoodwormandSchlosberg,1954),whichdemonstratehow
childrenwillreturntoanuncompletedtaskafteraninterruptionbecauseofthetension
ordisequilibriumarousedbytheirsetforclosure.Intheprevioussectionwesawhow
unconsciousconditioningcouldinitiatepartialaspectsoftrancethatcouldonlybe
resolvedbythepatientactuallygoingintotranceorthatcouldonlyberesolvedafter
trancebysometherapeuticbehavioralchange.Ourfivestageparadigmofthe
dynamicsoftranceinductionandsuggestioninFigure1isparticularlyevidentinthis
approach(seepage4).

Theseniorauthorfrequentlyusesthisapproachwithpatientsexperiencingtrancefor
thefirsttime.Duringtheirfirsttrancehewillcasuallyremarkhowinterestingand
therapeuticitcanbetoexperienceapleasantsurprise.Hethenobtainstheir
willingnesstoexperienceapleasantsurpriseaftertheyawaken.Apleasant
expectationisthussetupwithinthepatientsthatcanberesolvedbyatherapeutic
shockorsurpriseaftertheyawaken.Thisexpectationisanunresolvedtensionthat
heightenstheirsensitivitytothetherapeuticsurprisethatthetherapisthasplanned.
Theexpectationofapleasantsurprisetendstosuspendpatients'habitualsetsand
attitudesandtoinitiateunconscioussearchesandprocessesforthepromisedpleasant
surprise.

Afterthepatienthasbeenawakeforawhile,theseniorauthorguidesthepatient's
handandarmupwardwithalookofbemusedexpectation.Thepatient'sarmusually
remainssuspendedinmidairbecauseithasbeengivensubtlebutdirectivetactilecues
toremainso(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).Patientsusuallydonotrecognize
thesetactilecuesonaconsciouslevel,however,sotheyareindeedsurprisedatthe
apparentlypeculiarbehavioroftheirarms.Theseniorauthorwillreinforcethis
surpriseandimplythatitmeansthepatientsareenteringtranceinfulfillmentofthe
posthypnoticsuggestionhegavepreviouslywithremarkssuchasthefollowing:

Surprising,isn'tit?

Doesyourhandalwaysremainupwhensomeonetouchesit?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

88/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Anditcanbeapleasantsurprisetofindyourselfgoingbackintotrancewithout
anyeffort.

Areyoureyesbeginningtoclose?

Andthathandwon'tgodownuntiltheotherhandgoesup.

Thepatient'ssurpriseandpuzzlementaboutwhatishappeningisessentiallya
confusionapproachtodepotentiatinghabitualconscioussetsandframeworkssothat
analteredstateisfacilitated.Inthefollowingsectionwewillfurtherelaborateour
conceptionofthisuseofsurpriseandexpectationtofacilitatetheexecutionof
therapeuticposthypnoticsuggestions.

5.SurpriseasaPosthypnoticSuggestion

Surpriseinaposthypnoticsuggestionheightensexpectancywhileprovidingafail
safechannelfortheexpressionofthepatient'sindividualityafterawakening.
Considerthefollowingposthypnoticsuggestion,whichismostappropriatelyoffered
attheendofaperiodofsuccessfultranceworkduringwhichthepatientisina
positivemoodandexperiencingayesset.

Wouldyouliketoexperienceapleasantsurpriseafteryouawaken?

Apatientwhorespondsintheaffirmativetothisquestion(byheadnodding,finger
signaling,verbalresponse,smiling,andsoon)isinthefollowingsituation:

1.1.1.Thepositiveyessetofthetranceworkiscarriedoverintothe
posthypnoticperiod.

2.2.2.Awakeningisaccompaniedbyasenseofheightenedexpectationand
positivemotivationtoexperiencesomethingnew.

3.3.3.Thepatient'susualconscioussetsdonotknowwhatthesurprise,thenew,
willbe.Thepatient'shabitualconsciousandlimitingsetsaretherefore
depotentiatedinfavorofsomethingnewthatcanonlycomefromthepatient's
ownunconscious.Thesuggestionforapleasantsurprisehasbeengiveninthe
formofaquestionwhichinitselfinitiatesanunconscioussearchthatmay
uncoverandpermitanewpotentialoranotheraspectofthepatient'sindividuality
tobecomemanifest.

4.4.4.Thesuggestiontendstobefailsafebecausewhateverpatientsexperience
orreportafteraperiodofsuccessfultranceworkcanbeacceptedasapleasant
surprise.Ifpatientsarehappilyexcited,thatcanbeapleasantsurprise.Ifpatients
aremorethoughtfulandappeartolapsebackintobodyimmobilityastheyreflect
ontheirtranceexperiences,thetherapistcanfacilitateasurprisewithasuggestion
suchas,Asyounoticehowquietyourbodyis,itmaybesurprisinghoweasily
youreyescancloseasyougobackintotrancetoreachacompleteunderstanding
ofthat.Thetherapistmaynotknowwhatthatis,butwhateveritiscanbe
facilitated.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

89/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

5.5.5.Whenthepatientexperiencesasurpriseinsomeformaftertrance,a
therapist'sfinalcommentsuchasAndthatwasapleasantsurprise,wasn'tit?tends
toratifythetherapeuticworkthathasjusttakenplaceaswellasthevalueof
tranceasavalidapproachtosolvingproblems.

Anumberofexamplesillustratingthissurpriseformofposthypnoticsuggestionwill
befoundinthecasesofthisbook.

Exercises

1.Associatingtherapeuticsuggestionswithbehavioralinevitabilitiescanbepractical
ineverydaylifeaswellasintheconsultingroom.Itisanapproachparticularly
suitableforusewithchildrenprovidedtheadultavoidssermonizing.

2.Theserialposthypnoticsuggestionsrequiremuchthoughtandplanning.Together
withcontingencysuggestions,associationalnetworks,anddoublebindstheycan
constituteanalmostimpenetrablethicketforsnaggingpracticallyanyrandom
associationorbehavioralpotentialthepatientmayhaveandholdingitfasttothe
therapeuticendeavor.Itbecomesafascinatingexercisetointerpenetrateeach
individualpatient'sbehavioralinevitabilitieswithaserialpatternofsuggestionsso
theymutuallyreinforceeachotherand,itishoped,displacethepatient'ssymptom.

3.Unconsciousconditioningasposthypnoticsuggestionrequiresacarefulobservation
ofpatients'patternsofbehaviorandresponsivenesswhenevertheycomeintothe
therapist'spresenceafterhavinghadasuccessfulhypnoticexperience.Thetherapist
mustthenlearntofollowupsuchcarefulobservationswiththetypeofquestionsthat
canfacilitateinnersearchanddeepeningtranceinvolvement.Thebeginnerinthis
areamayfinditdifficulttobelieveandtolearntoseethosespontaneousand
conditionedpatternsoftrancebehaviorthatdevelopinmostpatientswhentheymeet
thetherapistagainafterasuccessfultranceexperience.Becauseofthisitmaybe
instructivetoquestioneverypatientroutinelyonthatnextmeetinginthemanner
suggestedinthischapter.Ifideomotorsignalinghasalreadybeendeveloped,itisvery
easytoaskwithinthefirstfewminutesofthatnextmeeting,Nowifyouarealready
beginningtoexperiencesometrance,yourrighthandwilllift(oryoureyeswillclose,
andsoon).Itisimportanttoassessthepatient'sstatewithinthefirstfewminutesof
thenextmeeting,becauseafterthat,theinitialconditionedresponseoftrancemaybe
rapidlyextinguished,sinceitisdisplacedbytheconventionalitiesofconsciously
relatingtothetherapeuticsituation.

4.Initiatedexpectationsresolvedposthypnoticallywithsurpriseisaskillthat
developsalongwiththeuseofcontingentsuggestionsandassociationalnetworks.
Theycanbemosteasilylearnedbyexpressingthesimpleexpectationoffeeling
restedandcomfortableuponawakening.Thisisgenerallyfailsafe,sincesuch
responsesalmostinevitable.Totheseinevitabilitiesonecangraduallyaddsuggestions
particularlysuitedtothepatient'sneedsandfittingthepatient'sexpectationsofwhat
shouldbeexperienced.

CHAPTER5

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

90/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

AlteringSensoryPerceptualFunctioning:The
ProblemofPainandComfort

Recentclinical(Lassner,1964;MelzackandPerry,1975)andexperimentalresearch
(HilgardandHilgard,1975)hasvalidatedanewcenturiesofexperiencewiththe
hypnoticalterationofsensoryperceptualfunctioningforcopingwithpainand
facilitatingcomfort.Hypnotherapeuticapproacheshavebeensuccessfulinreducing
painfromobvioussomaticsources(suchasaccidentalphysicaltrauma,surgery,
dentistry,obstetrics,cancer,andsoon)aswellaspsychosomaticproblems.Ithas
beenestablishedonanexperimentalbasisthathypnoticpainreliefisdueto
somethingmorethantheplaceboeffect(McGlashan,Evans,andOrne,1969)or
anxietyreduction(HilgardandHilgard,1975).Sincetheusefulnessofhypnosisin
thisareahasbeensowellestablished,wewillfocusourattentiononthepractical
approachesthathavebeendevelopedbytheseniorauthorinclinicalsituations.

Introduction

[Thefollowingmaterialwaswrittenbytheseniorauthor,andoriginallyappearedintheProceedin
gsoftheInternational
CongressforHypnosisandPsychosomaticMedicine.J.Lassner,(ed.)1967.]

Hypnosisisessentiallyacommunicationtoapatientofideasandunderstandingsin
suchafashionthathewillbemostreceptivetothepresentedideasandthereby
motivatedtoexplorehisownbodypotentialsforthecontrolofhispsychologicaland
physiologicalresponsesandbehavior.Theaveragepersonisunawareofhiscapacities
foraccomplishmentwhichhavebeenlearnedthroughtheexperimentalconditionings
ofhisbodybehaviorthroughouthislifeexperiences.Totheaveragepersoninhis
thinking,painisanimmediatesubjectiveexperience,allencompassingofhis
attention,distressing,andtothebestofhisbeliefandunderstanding,anexperience
uncontrollablebythepersonhimself.Yetasaresultofexperientialeventsofhispast
life,therehasbeenbuiltupwithinhisbody,althoughallunrecognized,certain
psychological,physiological,andneurologicallearnings,associations,and
conditioningsthatrenderitpossibleforpaintobecontrolledandevenabolished.One
needonlytothinkofextremelycrucialsituationsoftensionandanxietytorealizethat
theseverestamountofpainvanisheswhenthefocusingofthesufferer'sawarenessis
compelledbyotherstimuliofamoreimmediate,intense,orlifethreateningnature.
Fromcommonexperience,onecanthinkofamothersufferingextremelyseverepain
andallabsorbedinherpainexperience.Yetsheforgetsitwithouteffortorintention
whensheseesherinfantdangerouslythreatenedorseriouslyhurt.Onecanthinkof
menincombatwhohavebeenseriouslywounded,butdonotdiscovertheirinjuries
untillater.Numeroussuchcomparableexamplesarecommontomedicalexperience.
Suchabolitionofpainoccursindailylifesituationswherepainistakenoutof
awarenessbymorecompellingstimuliofanothercharacter.Thesimplestexampleof
allisthetoothacheforgottenonthewaytothedentist'soffice,ortheheadachelostin
thesuspensefuldramaportrayedatthecinema.Bysuchexperiencesastheseinthe
courseofalifetime,betheymajororminor,thebodylearnsawealthofunconscious
psychological,emotional,neurologicalandphysiologicalassociationsand
conditionings.Theseunconsciouslearningsrepeatedlyreinforcedbyadditionallife

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

91/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

experiencesconstitutethesourceofthepotentialsthatcanbeemployedthrough
hypnosistocontrolpainintentionallywithoutresortingtodrugs.

ConsiderationsConcerningPain

Whilepainisasubjectiveexperiencewithcertainobjectivemanifestationsand
accompaniments,itisnotnecessarilyorsolelyaconsciousexperience.Itoccurs
withoutconsciousawarenessinstatesofsleep,innarcosis,andevenundercertain
typesofchemoanesthesiaasevidencedbyobjectiveaccompanimentsandashasbeen
demonstratedbyexperimentalhypnoticexplorationofpastexperiencesofpatients.
Butbecausepainisprimarilyaconscioussubjectivephenomenon,withallmannerof
unpleasant,threatening,evenvitallydangerousemotionalandpsychological
significancesandmeanings,anapproachtotheproblemcanbemadefrequently
throughtheuseofhypnosis,sometimeseasily,sometimeswithgreatdifficulty.
Furthermore,theextentofthepainisnotnecessarilyafactor.

Inordertomakeuseofhypnosisindealingwithpain,oneneedstolookuponpainin
amostanalyticalfashion.Painisnotasimpleuncomplicatednoxiousstimulus.Ithas
certaintemporal,emotional,psychological,andsomaticsignificances.Itisa
compellingmotivationalforceinlife'sexperience.Itisabasicreasonforseeking
medicalaid.

Painisacomplex,aconstruct,composedofpastrememberedpain,ofpresentpain
experience,andofanticipatedpaininthefuture.Thus,immediatepainisaugmented
bypastpainandenhancedbythefuturepossibilitiesofpain.Theimmediatestimuli
areonlyacentralthirdoftheentireexperience.Nothingsomuchintensifiespainas
thefearthatitwillbepresentonthemorrow.Itislikewiseincreasedbythe
realizationthatthesameorsimilarpainwasexperiencedinthepast,andthisandthe
immediatepainrenderthefutureevenmorethreatening.Converselytherealization
thatthepresentpainisasingleeventwhichwilldefinitelycometoapleasantending
servesgreatlytodiminishit.Becausepainisaconstruct,itismorereadilyvulnerable
tohypnosisasasuccessfultreatmentmodalitythanitwouldbewereitsimplyan
experienceofthepresent.

Painasanexperienceisalsorenderedmoresusceptibletohypnosisbecauseitvaries
initsnatureandintensityandhence,throughlifeexperiences,itacquiressecondary
meaningsresultinginvaryinginterpretationsofthepain.Thusthepatientmayregard
hispainintemporalterms,suchastransient,recurrent,persistent,acute,orchronic.
Thesespecialqualitieseachoffervaryingpossibilitiesofhypnoticapproaches.

Painalsohascertainemotionalattributes.Itmaybeirritating,allcompelling,
troublesome,incapacitating,threatening,intractable,orvitallydangerous.Eachof
theseaspectsleadstocertainpsychologicalframesofmindwithvaryingideasand
associations,eachofferingspecialopportunitiesforhypnoticintervention.

Onemustfurtherbearinmindcertainotherveryspecialconsiderations.Long
continuedpaininanareaofthebodymayresultinahabitofinterpretingall
sensationsinthatareaasautomaticallypainful.Theoriginalpainmaybelongsince

gone,buttherecurrenceofthatpainexperiencehasbeenconducivetoahabit
formationthatmayinturnleadtoactualsomaticdisorderspainfulincharacter.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

92/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Inasomewhatsimilarcategoryareiatrogenicdisordersanddiseasearisingfroma
physician'spoorlyconcealedconcernanddistressoverhispatient.Iatrogenicillness
hasamosttremendoussignificancebecauseinemphasizingthattherecanbe
psychosomaticdiseaseofiatrogenicorigin,itsconversecannotbeoverlooked:that
iatrogenichealthisfullyaspossibleandoffargreaterimportancetothepatient.And
sinceiatrogenicpaincanbeproducedbyfear,tensions,andanxiety,socanfreedom
fromitbeproducedbytheiatrogenichealththatmaybesuggestedhypnotically.

PainasaprotectivesomaticmechanismshouldnotbedisregardedassuchIt
motivatesthepatienttoprotectthepainfulareas,toavoidnoxiousstimuliandtoseek
aid.Butbecauseofthesubjectivecharacterofthepain,theredeveloppsychological
andemotionalreactionstoitthateventuallyresultinpsychomaticdisturbancesfrom
undulyprolongedprotectivemechanisms.Thesepsychologicalandemotional
reactionsareamenabletomodificationandtreatmentthroughhypnosisinsuch
psychosomaticdisturbances.

Tounderstandpainfurther,onemustthinkofitasaneuropsychophysiological
complexcharacterizedbyvariousunderstandingsoftremendoussignificancetothe
sufferer.Oneneedonlyaskthepatienttodescribehispaintohearitvariously
describedasdull,heavy,dragging,sharp,cutting,twisting,burning,nagging,
stabbing,lancinating,biting,cold,hard,grinding,throbbing,gnawing,andawealthof
othersuchadjectivalterms.

Thesevariousdescriptiveinterpretationsofthepainexperienceareofmarked
importanceinthehypnoticapproachtothepatient.Thepatientwhointerpretshis
subjectivepainexperienceintermsofvariousqualitiesofdifferingsensationsis
therebyofferingamultitudeofopportunitiestothehypnotherapisttodealwiththe
pain.Toconsideratotalapproachispossible.Butmorefeasibleistheutilizationof
hypnosisinrelationfirsttominoraspectsofthetotalpaincomplexandthentoits
increasinglysevereanddistressingqualities.Thus,minorsuccesseswilllaya
foundationformajorsuccessesinrelationtothemoredistressingattributesofthe
neuropsychophysiologicalcomplexofpain,andtheunderstandingandcooperation
ofthepatientforhypnoticinterventionaremorereadilyelicited.Additionally,any
hypnoticalterationofanysingleinterpretivequalityofthepainsensationservesto
effectanalterationofthetotalpaincomplex.

Anotherimportantconsiderationinthecomprehensionofthepaincomplexisthe
recognitionoftheexperientialsignificancesofvariousattributesorqualitiesof
subjectivesensation,andtheirdifferingrelationshipsinsuchmattersasremembered
pain,pastpain,immediatepain,enduringpain,transientpain,recurrentpain,enduring
persistentpain,intractablepain,unbearablepain,threateningpain,etc.Inapplying
theseconsiderationstovaryingsubjectiveelementsofthepaincomplex,hypnotic
interventionisgreatlyaccelerated.Suchanalysisoffersgreateropportunityfor
hypnoticinterventionatamorecomprehensivelevel.Itbecomeseasierto
communicateideasandunderstandingsthroughhypnosisandtoelicitthe
receptivenessandresponsivenesssovitalinsecuringgoodresponsetohypnotic
intervention.Itisalsoimportanttoacknowledgeadequatelytheunrecognizedforceof

thehumanemotionalneedtodemandtheimmediateabolitionofpain,bothbythe
patienthimselfandbythoseattendinghim.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

93/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

HypnoticProceduresinPainControl

Thehypnoticproceduresforhandlingpainarenumerousincharacter.Thefirstof
thesemostcommonlypracticedbutfrequentlynotgenuinelyapplicableistheuseof
directhypnoticsuggestionfortotalabolitionofpain.Withalimitednumberof
patients,thisisamosteffectiveprocedure.Buttoooftenitfails,servingtodiscourage
thepatientandtopreventfurtheruseofhypnosisinthepatient'streatment.Also,its
effects,whiletheymaybegood,aresometimestoolimitedindurationwhichmay
limittheeffectivenessofthepermissiveindirecthypnoticabolitionofpain.Thisis
oftenmuchmoreeffective,andalthoughessentiallysimilarincharactertodirect
suggestion,itiswordedandofferedinafashionmuchmoreconducivetopatient
receptivenessandresponsiveness.

Athirdprocedureforhypnoticcontrolofpainistheutilizationofamnesia.In
everydaylifeweseetheforgettingofpainwhenevermorethreateningorabsorbing
experiencessecuretheattentionofthesufferer.Anexampleistheinstancealready
citedofthemotherenduringextremepain,seeingherinfantseriouslyinjured,
forgettingherownpainintheanxiousfearsaboutherchild.Thenofquiteopposite
psychologicalcharacteristheforgettingofpainfularthritis,headacheortoothache
whilewatchinganallabsorbingsuspensefuldramaonacinemascreen.

Butamnesiainrelationshiptopaincanbeappliedhypnoticallyinagreatvarietyof
ways.Thusonemayemploypartial,selective,orcompleteamnesiasinrelationshipto
selectedsubjectivequalitiesandattributesofsensationinthepaincomplexas
describedbythepatient,aswellastothetotalpainexperience.

Afourthhypnoticprocedureistheemploymentofhypnoticanalgesia,whichmaybe
partial,complete,orselective.Thus,onemayaddtothepatient'spainexperiencea
certainfeelingofnumbnesswithoutalossoftactileorpressuresensations.Theentire
painexperiencethenbecomesmodifiedanddifferentandgivesthepatientasenseof
reliefandsatisfaction,eveniftheanalgesiaisnotcomplete.Thesensory
modificationsintroducedintothepatient'ssubjectiveexperiencebysuchsensationsas
numbness,anincreaseofwarmthandheaviness,relaxation,etc.servetointensifythe
hypnoticanalgesiatoanincreasinglycompletedegree.

Hypnoticanesthesiaisafifthmethodintreatingpain.Thisisoftendifficultandmay
sometimesbeaccomplisheddirectly,butismoreoftenbestaccomplishedindirectly
bythebuildingofpsychologicalandemotionalsituationsthatarecontradictorytothe
experienceofthepainandwhichservetoestablishananestheticreactiontobe
continuedbyposthypnoticsuggestion.

Asixthhypnoticprocedureusefulinhandlingpainconcernsthematterofsuggestion
toeffectthehypnoticreplacementorsubstitutionofsensations.Forexample,one
cancerpatientsufferingintolerablepainrespondedmostremarkablytothesuggestion
ofanincrediblyannoyingitchonthesoleofherfoot.Herbodyweaknessoccasioned
bythecarcinomatosisandhenceinabilitytoscratchtheitchrenderedthispsychogenic

pruritisallabsorbingofherattention.Thenhypnotically,feelingsofwarmth,of
coolness,ofheavinessandofnumbnessweresystematicallyinducedforvariousparts
ofherbodywhereshesufferedpain.Andthefinalmeasurewasthesuggestionofan

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

94/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

endurablebuthighlyunpleasantandannoyingminorburningitchingsensationatthe
siteofhermastectomy.Thisprocedureofreplacementsubstitutionsufficedforthe
patient'slastsixmonthsofherlife.Theitchofthesoleofherfootgradually
disappearedbuttheannoyingburningitchingsensationatthesiteofhermastectomy
persisted.

Hypnoticdisplacementofpainisaseventhprocedure.Thisistheemploymentofa
suggesteddisplacementofthepainfromoneareaofthebodytoanother.Thiscanbe
wellillustratedbytheinstanceofamandyingfromprostaticmetastalic
carcinomatosisandsufferingwithintractablepaininbothstatesofdrugnarcosisand
deephypnosis,particularlyabdominalpain.Hewasmedicallytrainedandunderstood
theconceptofreferredanddisplacedpain.Inthehypnotictrancehereadilyaccepted
theideathat,whiletheintractablepaininhisabdomenwasthepainthatwould
actuallydestroyhim,hecouldreadilyagreethatequalpaininhislefthandcouldbe
entirelyendurable,sinceinthatlocationitwouldnothaveitsthreatening
significances.Heacceptedtheideaofreferralofhisabdominalpaintohislefthand,
andthusremainedfreeofbodypain,becomingaccustomedinsteadtotheseverepain
inhislefthandwhichheprotectedcarefully.Thishandpaindidnotinterfereinany
waywithhisfamilylifeduringtheremainingthreemonthsofhislife.Itwasdisclosed
thatthedisplacedpaintothelefthandoftengraduallydiminished,butthepainwould
increaseuponincautiousinquiry.

Thispossibilityofdisplacementofpainalsopermitsadisplacementofvarious
attributesofthepainthatcannototherwisebecontrolled.Bythismeasurethese
otherwiseuncontrollableattributesbecomegreatlydiminished.Thusthetotal
complexofpainbecomesgreatlymodifiedandmademoreamenabletohypnotic
intervention.

Hypnoticdissociationcanbeemployedforpaincontrol,andtheusualmosteffective
methodsarethoseoftimeandbodydisorientation.Thepatientwithpainintractableto
bothdrugsandhypnosiscanbehypnoticallyreorientedintimetotheearlierstagesof
hisillnesswhenthepainwasofminorconsideration.Andthedisorientationofthat
timecharacteristicofthepaincanbeallowedtoremainasaposthypnotic
continuationthroughthewakingstate.Thusthepatientstillhashisintractablepain,
butithasbeenrenderedintoaminorconsiderationasithadbeeninitsoriginalstages.

Onemaysometimessuccessfullyreorientthepatientwithintractablepaintoatime
predatinghisillnessand,byposthypnoticsuggestion,effectarestorationofthe
normalsensationsexistingbeforehisillness.However,althoughintractablepainoften
preventsthisasatotalresult,pleasantfeelingspredatingtheillnessmaybeprojected
intothepresenttonullifysomeofthesubjectivequalitiesofhispaincomplex.
Sometimesthiseffectsamajorreductioninpain.

Inthematterofbodydisorientation,thepatientishypnoticallydissociatedand
inducedtoexperiencehimselfasapartfromhisbody.Thusonewomanwiththeonset
ofunendurablepain,inresponsetoposthypnoticsuggestions,woulddevelopatrance
stateandexperienceherselfasbeinginanotherroomwhilehersufferingbody

remainedinhersickbed.Thispatientexplainedtotheauthorwhenhemadeabedside
call,Justbeforeyouarrived,Idevelopedanotherhorribleattackofpain.SoIwent
intoatrance,gotintomywheelchair,cameoutintothelivingroomtowatcha

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

95/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

televisionprogram,andIleftmysufferingbodyinthebedroom.Andshepleasantly
andhappilytoldaboutthefantasizedtelevisionprogramshewaswatching.Another
suchpatientremarkedtohersurgeon,Youknowverywell,Doctor,thatIalwaysfaint
whenyoustartchangingmydressingsbecauseIcan'tendurethepain,soifyoudon't
mindIwillgointoahypnotictranceandtakemyheadandfeetandgointothe
solariumandleavemybodyhereforyoutoworkon.Thepatientfurtherexplained,I
tookapositioninthesolariumwhereIcouldseehim(thesurgeon)bendingovermy
bodybutIcouldnotseewhathewasdoing.ThenIlookedoutthewindowandwhen
Ilookedbackhewasgone,soItookmyheadandfeetandwentbackandjoinedmy
bodyandfeltverycomfortable.Thisparticularpatienthadbeentrainedinhypnosis
bytheauthormanyyearspreviously,hadsubsequentlylearnedautohypnosis,and
thereafterinducedherownautohypnotictrancebythephrase,Youknowverywell,
Doctor.Thiswasaphrasethatshecouldemployverballyormentallyatanytimeand
immediatelygointoatranceforthepsychologicalemotionalexperienceofbeing
elsewhere,awayfromherpainfulbody,theretoenjoyherselfandremainuntilitwas
safetoreturntoherbody.Inthistrancestatewhichsheprotectedverywellfromthe
awarenessofothers,shewouldvisitwithherrelatives,butexperiencethemaswith
herinthisnewsettingwhilenotbetrayingthatpersonalorientation.

Aninthhypnoticprocedureincontrollingbodypain,whichisverysimilarto
replacementorsubstitutionofsensationsishypnoticreinterpretutionofpain
experience.Bythisismeantthereinterpretingforthepatientinhypnosisofa
dragging,gnawing,heavypainintoafeelingofweakness,ofprofoundinertia,and
thenasrelaxationwiththewarmthandcomfortthataccompaniesdeepmuscular
relaxation.Stabbing,lancinatingandbitingpainsmaysometimesbereinterpretedasa
suddenstartlereaction,disturbingincharacter,butmomentaryindurationandnot
painful.Throbbing,nagging,grindingpainhasbeensuccessfullyreinterpretedasthe
unpleasantbutnotdistressingexperienceoftherollingsensationsofaboatduringa
storm,orevenasthethrobbingthatonesooftenexperiencesfromaminorcutonthe
fingertipwithnogreaterdistressingcharacteristics.Fullawarenessofhowthepatient
experienceshispainisrequiredforanadequatehypnoticreinterpretationofthepain
sensation.

Hypnotictimedistortion,firstdescribedbyCooperandthenlaterdevelopedby
CooperandErickson(Cooper,L.,andErickson,M.,TimeDistortioninHypnosis,
Baltimore:WilliamsandWilkins,1959)isoftenamostusefulhypnoticmeasurein
paincontrol.Anexcellentexampleisthatofthepatientwithintractableattacksof
lancinatingpainwhichoccurredapproximatelyeverytwentytothirtyminutes,night
andday,andwhichlastedfromfivetotenminutes.Betweentheattacksthepatient's
frameofmindwasessentiallyoneoffearfuldreadofthenextattack.Byemploying
hypnosisandteachinghimtimedistortion,itwaspossibletoemploy,asisusuallythe
caseineverypainpatient,acombinationofseveralofthemeasuresdescribedhere.In
thetrancestate,thepatientwastaughttodevelopanamnesiaforallpastattacksof
pain.Hewasthentaughttimedistortionsothathecouldexperiencethefivetoten
minutepainepisodesintentotwentyseconds.Hewasgivenposthypnotic
suggestionstotheeffectthateachattackwouldcomeasacompletesurprisetohim,
thatwhentheattackoccurredhewoulddevelopatrancestateoftentotwentyseconds

duration,experienceallofthepainattack,andthencomeoutofthetrancewithno
awarenessthathehadbeeninatranceorthathehadexperiencedpain.Thusthe
patient,intalkingtohisfamily,wouldsuddenlyandobviouslygointothetrancestate

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

96/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

withascreamofpain,andperhapstensecondslatercomeoutofthetrancestate,look
confusedforamoment,andthencontinuehisinterruptedsentence.

Aneleventhhypnoticprocedureisthatofofferinghypnoticsuggestionseffectinga
diminutionofpain,notacompleteremovalofthepain,sinceithadbecomeapparent
thatthepatientwasnotgoingtobefullyresponsive.Thisdiminutionisusuallybest
broughtaboutbysuggestingtothehypnotizedpatientthathispainisgoingto
diminishimperceptiblyhourafterhourwithouthisawarenessthatitisdiminishing
untilperhapsseveraldayshavepassed.Hewillthenbecomeawareofallpainorof
specialpainqualities.Bysuggestingthatthediminutionoccurimperceptibly,the
patientcannotrefusethesuggestion.Hisstateofemotionalhopefulness,despitehis
emotionaldespair,leadshimtoanticipatethatinafewdaystheremaybesome
diminution;particularlythattheremaybeevenamarkeddiminutionofcertain
attributesofhispainexperience.This,initself,servesasanautosuggestiontothe
patient.Incertaininstances,however,thepatientistoldthatthediminutionwillbeto
averyminordegree.OnecanemphasizethisbyUtilizingtheploythataonepercent
diminutionofhispainwouldnotbenoticeable,norwoulda2percent,nora3
percent,nora4percent,nora5percentdiminution,butthatsuchanamountwould
neverthelessbeadiminution.Onecancontinuetheploybystatingthata5percent
diminutionthefirstdayandanadditional2percentthenextdaystillwouldnotbe
perceptible.Andifonthethirddaythereoccurreda3percentdiminution,this,too,
wouldbeimperceptible.Butitwouldtotala10percentdiminutionoftheoriginal
pain.Thissameseriesofsuggestionscanbecontinuedtoareductionofpainto80
percentofitsoriginalintensity,thento70percent,50percent,40percent,and
sometimesevendownto10percent.Inthiswaythepatientmaybeledprogressively
intoanevengreatercontrolofhispain.

However,inallhypnoticproceduresforthecontrolofpainonebearsinmindthe
greaterfeasibilityandacceptabilitytothepatientofindirectascomparedwithdirect
hypnoticsuggestions,andtheneedtoapproachtheproblembyindirectand
permissivemeasuresaswellasbyemployingacombinationofthevarious
methodologicalproceduresdescribedabove.

Summary

Painasasubjectiveexperienceisperhapsthemostsignificantfactorincausing
peopletoseekmedicalaid.Treatmentofpainasusuallyviewedbybothphysician
andpatientisprimarilyamatterofeliminationorabolitionofthesensation.Yetpain
initselfmaybeservingcertainusefulpurposestotheindividual.Itconstitutesa
warning,apersistentwarningoftheneedforhelp.Itbringsaboutphysicalrestriction
ofactivity,thusfrequentlybenefitingthesufferer.Itinstigatesphysiologicalchanges
ofahealingnatureinthebody.Hence,painisnotjustanundesirablesensationtobe
abolished,butratheranexperiencetobesohandledthatthesuffererbenefits.This
maybedoneinavarietyofways,butthereisatendencytooverlookthewealthof
psychoneurophysiologicalsignificancespainhasforthepatient.Painisacomplex,a
constructcomposedofagreatdiversityofsubjectiveinterpretativeandexperiential
valuesforthepatient.Pain,duringlife'sexperience,servestoestablishbody

learnings,associations,andconditioningsthatconstituteasourceofbodypotentials
permittingtheuseofhypnosisforthestudyandcontrolofpain.Hypnoticprocedures,
singlyorincombination,formajororminoreffectsinthecontrolofpaindescribed

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

97/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

fortheirapplicationare:DirectHypnoticSuggestionforTotalAbolitionofPain;
PermissiveIndirectHypnoticAbolitionofPain;Amnesia;HypnoticAnalgesia;
HypnoticAnesthesia;HypnoticReplacementorSubstitutionofSensations;Hypnotic
DisplacementofPain;HypnoticDissociation;ReinterpretationofPainExperience;
HypnoticSuggestionsEffectingaDiminutionofPain.

Case1AConversationalApproachtoAltering
SensoryPerceptualFunctioning:PhantomLimbPain
andTinnitus.

Ourfirstcaseillustratesthesimultaneoustherapyofamarriedcouplewhopresented
twoapparentlydifferentsymptoms:Theseventytwoyearoldhusband(H)suffered
fromphantomlimbpain;hisseventyfiveyearoldwife(W)wasbotheredbytinnitus,
anunpleasantringinginherearsthathadbotheredherconstantlyforyears.The
husbandhadseenErickson(E)forthefirsttimeaweekearlierandhadexperienced
somerelief.EricksonandRossi(R)thenaskedhimandhiswifetojointhemfora
hypnotherapeuticsessionthatwouldbefreeofchargeiftheywerewillingtobetape
recordedforpossiblepublication.Thisofferwasgratefullyreceivedbythem.The
rapportthatEricksonhadalreadyestablishedwiththehusbandwasnowenhanced
sincetheybothappreciatedthetherapyandspecialconsiderationtheywerereceiving.
Theyenteredthetherapyroomwideeyedwithhopefulexpectationandimmediately
focusedtheirentireattentiononErickson.Theirresponseattentivenesswasalreadyat
anideallevel.Ascanbeseenfromthetranscript,theyarebothveryrespectful,
cooperative,andeagerforhelp.Theyhavenoevidentmisconceptionsorresistances
tohypnosis,soEricksoncanintroducethemimmediatelytotheconceptoflearningto
altertheirownsensoryperceptualfunctioningforreliefoftheirsymptoms.Hedoes
thiswitharatherrelaxedandseeminglycasualconversationwhereinhetellsthem
interestingstoriesabouthisyouthandthefascinatingwayspeoplecanlearnto
regulateandaltermanyoftheirbodilyprocesses.Thisenjoyabletalkisactuallya
carefulpreparationduringwhichEricksonisstructuringframesofreferenceabout
theirabilitiestoaltertheirownsensoryperceptualprocesses.Heispreparingthemfor
therelativelybriefperiodoftherapeutictrancethatwillfollow,whenhewilloffer
suggestionstohelpevoketheirrepertoryofsensoryperceptualskillsthatcanbe
utilizedforamelioratingtheirsymptoms.

AConversationalApproachtoAlteringSensoryPerceptual
Functioning:StructuringaTherapeuticFrameofReference

W:Wellthisphantompainifwecouldlickthat,itwouldbewonderful.

E:Allright.NowIamgoingtogiveyouastorysothatyoucanunderstand
better.Welearnthingsinaveryunusualway,awaythatwedon'tknowabout.
InmyfirstyearofcollegeIhappenedtocomeacrossthatsummeraboiler
factory.Thecrewswereworkingontwelveboilersatthesametime,anditwas
threeshiftsofworkmen.Andthosepneumatichammerswerepoundingaway,

drivingrivetsintotheboilers.IheardthatnoiseandIwantedtofindoutwhatit
was.Onlearningthatitwasaboilerfactory,IwentinandIcouldn'thear
anybodytalking.Icouldseethevariousemployeeswereconversing.Icouldsee
theforeman'slipsmoving,butIcouldn'thearwhathesaidtome.Heheardwhat
Isaid.IhadhimcomeoutsidesoIcouldtalktohim.AndIaskedhimfor

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

98/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

permissiontorollupinmyblanketandsleeponthefloorforonenight.He
thoughttherewassomethingwrongwithme.IexplainedthatIwasapremedic
studentandthatIwasinterestedinlearningprocesses.AndheagreedthatI
couldrollupinmyblanketandsleeponthefloor.Heexplainedtoallthemen
andleftanexplanationforthesucceedingshiftofmen.ThenextmorningI
awakened.Icouldheartheworkmentalkingaboutthatdamnfoolkid.Whatin
hellwashesleepingonthefloortherefor?Whatdidhethinkhecouldlearn?
DuringmysleepthatnightIblottedoutallthathorriblenoiseofthetwelveormore
pneumatichammersandIcouldhearvoices.Iknewthatitwaspossibletolearnto
hearonlycertainsoundsifyoutuneyourearsproperly.Youhaveringinginyour
ears,butyouhaven'tthoughtoftuningthemsothatyoudon'theartheringing.

Sincerapportandresponseattentivenesswerealreadyestablishedwiththiscouple,
theseniorauthorwasabletoimmediatelystructureatherapeuticframeofreference
withthisstoryabouthowtheunconsciousautomaticallylearnstoadjustoursensory
perceptualfunctioninginanadaptivemannerevenwhenweareasleep.Hedoesnot
telltheminadirectandintellectualmannerthattheywillhavetolearntoaltertheir
sensoryperceptualfunctioning.Ifhedid,theymightfindsomeissuetoargueabout
or,assocommonlyhappenswithpatientswhohaveexperiencedagreatdealof
failure,theymightimmediatelypleadthattheycouldnotaltertheirfunctioning;they
wouldnotknowhowtodoit,orwouldnotbeabletobelievethatitcouldhappento
them.Hisstoriesabouthimselfandtheillustrationshecontinuestopresentareall
establishedfactsthattogetherstructurethebasicframeofreferencewhichthecouple
willneedfortheirtherapeuticwork.Hecontinuesnowinaratherhumorousvein.

InterspersingTherapeuticSuggestions

E:Nowthismatteroftuningyourself.IspentthreemonthsontheMississippi
RiverandIgotinvitedintoahomeandIfeltsocoopedupafterbeingoutinthe
open.Gettingintoaroom,everywhereyoulook,yourlookscometoanend.
Whenyoureadtheoldtimesailingstories,whereyoulooktotheendofthe
earthwithnothinginterfering.Andtheoldtimestoriesofsailors'claustrophobic
reactions.Fearofclosedspaces.

AlsowhenIgotbackfromthatcanoetrip...haveyouevertriedtosleepona
softbed?Youaremiserable.Ihadlearnedtosleepontheground,inbrushpiles,
insidethecanoe.Myribsfightingwithcanoeribs.

WhenIgothomeandhadamattress,thatwastorture.TheIndiansdidnotlike,
intheearlydays,thewhiteman'sbed.Theywantedthegroundtosleepon.They
wantedcomfort.Justnothingbutsheercomfort.

OntheTribalEyeprogramonKAET.ThosenomadsfromIran.Howcanthey
dresswithallthosepetticoats?Andbecomfortableinthehotsunonthosedesert
plains?Andyoucangetsousedtotheringinginyourearsthatyoudon'thearit.

Igrewuponthefarm.Ihadtobeawayfromthefarmforquitesomeyears
beforeIlearnedthebarnsmellonyourhandswhenyouliveonthefarm.Inever
smelleditwhenIwasonthefarm.Ihadtobeawayfromitforalongtimebefore
Idiscoveredthebarnsmell.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

99/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Iguessthatiswhyitissohardtoconvincesomeonewhodoesn'twashoften
enoughthathehastowashmoreoften.Hedoesn'tsmellhimself!

E:Icantellyouafunnystoryaboutthat.Oneyeartheboyinthenextroomat
theroominghousehadafellowroomerwhocamefromSouthDakota.And
HebbiecamefromMilwaukee.AndHebbietoldLester,''Youstink,gotakea
bath."ItwasthelatterpartofSeptemberandLestersaid,ButItookabathlast
July.Iwon'tneedoneuntilatleastThanksgivingDay.Buthereallystunk,and
Hebbiesaid,YouaregoingtotakeabathifIhavetoputyouinthetubmyself.
Whatpeopledon'tknow,thattheycanlosethatpainandtheydon'tknowtheycan
losethatringingintheears.WhenIdiscoveredthatthatbarnsmellhadcome
back,Icouldreallysmellit.Iwonderedhowlongitwouldtakemethatdayto
loseit?ThenbymidafternoonIcouldn'tsmellit.Allofusgrowupbelievingthat
whenyouhavepain,youmustpayattentiontoitAndbelievingwhenyouhave
ringingoftheearsthatyoumustkeeponhearingit

Astheseniorauthorcontinueswithoneillustrationafteranother,hegraduallybegins
tointerspersetherapeuticsuggestion(initalics)abouthowshecanlearntotuneout
herringingandhecanlosehispain.Becausethesesuggestionsareinterspersedwithin
anetworkofstoriestheyareinterestedinhearing,thepatientstendtoacceptthe
suggestions(withoutevenrealizingthattherapyistakingplace)particularlysincethe
seniorauthormovesquicklyontoanotherinterestinganecdotebeforetheycanprotest
orrejectoreventhinkabouttheinterspersedtherapeuticsuggestions..

AlthoughEricksonhasnotmadeanyefforttoinduceatranceinaformalmanner,itis
evidentthathisstoriesaresoabsorbingthecouple'sattentionthattheyareactuallya
bitentranced.

Theysimplysitquietlywiththeireyesfixeduponhim.Theyareobviouslyrelaxed
andoblivioustoanythingelsethatmightbegoingonaroundthem.Theyare
exhibitingastateofresponseattentivenessthatisideal,forthereceptivitywill
enhancetheirexperienceoftherapeutictrance.

AcceptingtheTherapeuticFrameofReference

E:Now,thepainyoufeel,where?Wheredoyoufeelthepain?

H:Rightatthepresenttime,inmyfoot.

E:Yes.

W:Wherethereisnofoot.
H:Wherethereisnofoot.

E:Allright,IhadafriendnamedJohn.Hewasapsychiatrist,andwewere
visiting.Hereacheddownandscratchedhisankle.Isaid,John,thatreally
itches,doesn'tit?Andhesaid,Yes.Webothknewitwasawoodenleg.

H:MyunderstandingisthatwhenIwasinthehospitaltherewasadouble
amputeeoverthere.Isawhimtwice.IhadseenhimatthehospitalandIhad
seenhimoveratGoodSam'stakingtherapy.Butthenursetakingcareofhimat

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

100/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

St.Joseph,whenhesaidhisfootitched,she'dreachdownandscratchhissheet
andrelieveit.

W:Wherehisfootwouldhavebeen?

H:Wherehisfootwouldhavebeen!Shewouldscratchthesheetdownthereand
saidthatitwouldrelieveit.

Afterlisteningtotheseniorauthorrecounthisanecdotesandstoriesoftherelativity
ofsensationsandphantomlimbpain,thehusbandnowshowsevidenceofaccepting
andjoiningthistherapeuticframeofreferencebytellinghisownanecdoteaboutit.
Hegoesfurtherashenowbeginstomakeanemphaticefforttoconvincehisown
wifewhensheasksadoubtingquestion.

CreatingExpectancybyIntroducingNewResponsePossibilities:
PhantomPleasure

E:LikeIaskedmyfriendJohn,Soyouscratchedit,howdoesyourfootfeel
now?Hesaid,Good.Thatnursewasverywise.Becauseyoucanhavegood
feelingsinthefoot.Notjustpainfulones.

H:Oh,Ihopeso,Doctor.

E:That'swhatisoverlookedintheseamputees.Theyforgetthattheycanalso
havegoodfeelings.

H:Iwasatthelegman'syesterday.Mylegwouldn'tunlock.Iwenttohim.He
hadthreedifferentrooms.No,twodifferentbesidesmine.Ineachonetheywere
talkingaboutwhatcanwedoforthisphantompainthathegot.Hesaid,Itis
drivingmenuts.Ofcourse,Ineveropenedmymouth,becauseIwasinanother
room.Ididn'tsayIwasouthereornothing.IknewIhadhadrelieffromwhat
youdonebefore.

E:Allright.NowIwanttohaveyoutworecordedsothatDr.Rossicould
includeitinthebook.Nowifyouhavephantompaininalimb,youmayalso
havephantomgoodfeelings.Andtheyaredelightful.

H:ThatIhaven'thadyet.

E:That'sright.

H:ThatIhaven'thadyet.

E:Butyoucanlearnthem!

Sincethehusbandobviouslyacceptedthetherapeuticframeofreference,Erickson
immediatelypressedonwithafurthersuggestionofhowhecancopewithphantom
limbpainbyconvertingittophantomlimbpleasure.Ericksonintroducespleasure
onlytentativelyasapossibilityatthispoint.Thepatientcertainlyisnotyetreadyfor

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

101/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

adirectsuggestionaboutexperiencingpleasure.Whenthehusbandadmitshehasnot
experiencedpleasure,Ericksonutilizesthelearningframeofreferencehehasso
carefullydevelopedearlierwithhisstories.Withthisbackgroundofillustrationshe
cannowconfidentlysaytothehusband,Butyoucanlearnthem!Sincethehusband
enjoyedandacceptedallthoseanecdotesaboutlearningtochangesensoryperceptual
experiences,hecannotnowrejectErickson'sdirectsuggestionabouthiseventually
learningalso.

Thus,evenbeforetranceexperienceisformallybeguninthissession,Ericksonhas
structuredthebasictherapeuticframeofreferenceforthehusbandinsuchawaythat
hefindshimselfacceptingit.Itisnowonlyaquestionofwhenhewillbegintoutilize
thattherapeuticframe.Whenthehusbandrespondswith,Oh,Ihopeso,doctor,we
canrecognizethatahighdegreeofexpectancyforatherapeuticresponseisbeing
created.

Autohypnosis:TherapybyGeometricProgression

H:ButIwillsaythis,thatintheafternoonIwilllaydownforanhourandIjust
gointoacompletetranceandIdon'tthinkofnothing.

W:Afterhe[H]cametoyou[E].

H:AfterIcomefromyou,Ithinkofnothing.Anditisnotasleep.IknowIam
notasleep.ButIaminatrance.Ihavenopainwhatsoever.AndwhenIgetup,I
feelsomuchdifferent.

E:Allright.Andyournextproblemislearningtokeepthatgoodfeelingasecond
longer.Andtwosecondslonger.Thenfoursecondslonger.Andsix!Andeight!

H:Youknow,doctor,youtoldme,thebestthatIcanrecall,whenIwasover
heretheothertime,startinattwentyandcountbackward.ThatiswhatIdo
whenIlaydown.NowIdon'trecallallofwhatyousaid,butIremember
somethingyousaidaboutnine,six,andthree.IrememberthatbeforeIwentinto
thistranceorwhateveryoumightcallit.AndItrytothinkofthosenumbers
eachtimethatIlaydownandtrytocountfromtwentybackward.Iemphasize
onthatnine,six,andthree.ButasIsay,Iamnotasleep.Icanlaythere.Itseems
tomeasthoughIcanlaythereforever.Twoorthreehours,butIamnotasleep,
Iaminatrance.Myeyesareclosed.Ihearnothing.Mywifecancomeinthe
roomandIdon'thearher.Butafteracertainlengthoftime,I'mwideawake.

E:Andwehaditdirectlyfromhislips.

R:Yes.Isn'tthatbeautiful.Agooddescriptionoftrance.

H:That'sjustthewayitis.Ithasbeenwithme,andIhaveonlybeenouthere
sincelastMonday,wasn'tit?

W:Ithinkso.

Thehusbandnowacknowledgestheseniorauthor'sbeliefintheabilitytolearnto
alterphantompainsensationsbydescribinghisexperiencesofautohypnosis,which

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

102/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

helearnedjustaweekago.Alreadyhehaslearnedtoeliminatepainduringthe
autohypnotictrance.Ericksonseizesuponthatandseekstoextendcomfortforlonger
periodssecondbysecond.Thisisoneofhisfavoritetherapeuticapproaches
geometricprogression.Itisusuallyquiteeasyforpatientstoexperiencerelieffrom
theirsymptomsduringautohypnosis.Theproblemiswhentheycomeoutofit.The
seniorauthorthenasksthemiftheycanextendtheirsymptomfreeconditionforone
secondaftertrancetoday.Thendoubleittotwosecondstomorrow.Anddoubleit
againtofoursecondsthedayafter.Iftheycontinuedoublingtheamountofsymptom
freetimeinthisgeometricprogressioneveryday,ineighteendaystheywillbe
extendingitformorethantwentyfourhours.

Aninterestingaspectofthehusband'sdescriptionofhisautohypnotictrance
experienceishisemphasison9,6,and3whenheawakens.Ericksonfrequentlytrains
peopletogointotrancebycountingfrom1to20andtoawakenbycounting
backward.Hehadnoconsciousawarenessonthisoccasionofhavingsaidordone
anythingspecialwiththenumbersnine,six,andthree.Thisappearstobeapurely
subjective,idiosyncraticresponseonthehusband'spart.Itisacceptednonethelessas
avalidandworthwhilepartofhispersonalexperienceoftrance.Preciselybecauseit
isapurelysubjectiveexperience,itisperhapsevenmorevaluableinfacilitatinghis
tranceexperience,becauseinsomewayorotheritutilizeshisowninternal
associationsinaconstructivemanner.

Thehusbandandwifegoonnowtodiscusstheircaringrelationshipforeachother.
EricksonutilizesthistotalkabouthisdaughterRoxannawhoisstudyingtobea
nurse.ThepointofhisintroducingRoxannasoonrevealsitselfasyetanotherexample
ofsomeonewhohasdonewellinlifebecauseshewaswillingtolearn.

FacilitatingtheTherapeuticFrameofReference:OpenEnded
Suggestions

H:Ofcoursemywifeisveryconcernedoverme.Shetakescareofmejustlike
shedoesababy,youmightsay.Iamconcernedoverherbecausesheis
concernedoverme.So.Butasshesaidaswecrossedthesestepsouthereawhile
ago,Wearegoingtomakeit,wearegoingtomakeittogether.

E:Well.Itellmywifenottobeconcernedaboutme.I'mjustinawheelchair.
That'sall!Iwanttoputherenergytowardenjoyingthings.

H:Sheusedtobeveryactive.Sheusedtoswim.Shedidn'tlearntoswimtillshe
wasfiftyyearsold.

W:Fiftyfive.

H:Fiftyfive.Sheswamfivemileswithoutstopping.Wonawoman'strophyat
theYWCA.Sheworkswiththeretardedchildren.Andstufflikethat.Thatis
whatIwanthertogetbackinto,insteadofthinkingthatshehastostayathome
totakecareofme.

W:Whenhegetsable,Iwill.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

103/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

H:Well,IthinkIamableenoughforyoutostartit.Ireallydo.

W:WhenIworkedwithalittleretardedchild,itdidmemoregoodthanitdid
him.

E:Where,inSunValley?W:Alittleboyonthepiano.

H:Mywifewouldplayapiece,andhewouldgetdownandlookallroundthat
pianoandeverything.Shewouldputitonhercassette.Whenshewouldget
through,shewouldsay,NowKenny,youplayit.

W:Thepianowouldbeintheauditorium.AndIwouldsay,NowKenny,just
pretendlikeyouareplayingbeforeacrowdofpeople.Closeyoureyesandsmile.
Hewouldclosehiseyesandsmile.Thensitthereandplay.

E:Allright.

H:SheenjoyeditandIenjoyedherdoingthattypeofwork.Itdonehermore
goodthanitdonethechild.Itreallydid.

E:[Givesadetailedaccountofhowhisdaughterputherselfthroughmanywork
andtrainingexperiencesbeforeshewascertainshewantedtobecomeanurse.]
Nowmydaughterwaswillingtolearn.

W:Right!

E:Yourhusbandknowshowhecanfeelpaininthatfoot.Hesawanother
patientlearnhowtogetcomfortablefromanursescratchingasheet.

H:Thathedid.

E:That'scorrect.MyfriendJohnsaid,ItfeelssogoodwhenIscratchmy
woodenleg.HehadhisPh.D.andhisM.D.

R:Scratchingawoodenleg!

W:Soundsfantastic,doesn'tit?

R:Yes,really!Thepowerofthemind!

E:Atruestory.Johnwasmarvelous.AndIdiscussedwithhimtheimportance

ofhavingnicefeelingsinyourwoodenfoot,yourwoodenknee.

H:Youdiscussedwhat,now?

E:Idiscussedwithhimtheimportanceofhavinggoodfeelingsinthewoodenfoot,
thewoodenknee,thewoodenleg.Feelingittobewarm.Cool.Rested.Butmost
patientswithphantomlimbpainjustthinkofonlythepain.Andifyoucanhave
phantompain,youcanhavephantompleasure.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

104/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

H:Oh,boy!

W:Itsoundsgood,dear,Ineverthoughtofit.
H;.Yeah,I'lltakethepleasure.
R:Allright,sir!

E:Andyousawsomeoneelsedemonstratescratchingyoursheet.Itfeltgood.
Andthatnursewasverysuccessful.

Withtheseremarkstheseniorauthorreinforcesthetherapeuticframeofreference
withfurtherexamplesofalteringphantompaintowarmth,coolness,rest,andthe
possibilityofpleasure.Heisintroducingmanytherapeuticpossibilitiesinanopen
endedmanner.AtthispointEricksonstilldoesnotknowwhichoftheseresponse
possibilitiesthehusband'ssystemwillbeabletoutilize.Hewillallowthehusband's
ownindividualitytochoosebetweenthem.Thisisabasicprincipleoftherapeutic
suggestion:Thetherapistofferspossibilities,andthepatient'sunconsciouschooses
andmediatestheactualresponsemodalityoftherapeuticchangeinkeepingwithhis
owncapabilities.Therapeuticsuggestioncannotimposesomethingforeignon
patients;itcanonlyhelppatientstoevokeandtoutilizewhatisalreadypresentwithin
theirownresponserepertory.

Theconversationnowshiftstovisitingnurses,theirmedicaldoctor,andtheheart
pacemakerthatthehusbandhas.Theseniorauthorutilizesthislattertopictogive
furtherillustrationofourabilitytoalterphysiologicalfunctionssuchasheartrateand
bloodpressure.

FurtherStructuringoftheTherapeuticFrameofReference:Altering
HeartRateandBloodPressure

E:Allright.NowadoctorfromMichiganandonefromPennsylvaniawere
visitingme,andmydaughterRoxannawasthentakingbloodpressuresallover
thecity.Sheaskedthemifshecouldtaketheirbloodpressure.Andtheyboth
said,Doyouwantitasitisnormally,orwouldyoulikeittenpointslowerorten
pointshigher?Shesaid,Allthree.Soshegotthenormalreadingandthenthey
toldhershewouldfindoutwhetheritislowerorhigher.Shefoundout.

W:Howcouldtheycontrolit?

E:Bloodpressurechangesaccordingtowherethebloodis.Whenyougotosleep
atnight,yourblooddrainsoutofyourbrainandintoaplexus,acollectionof

bloodvesselsintheabdomen.Youwakeupandbloodpressureisincreasedand
shovesbloodbackintoyourbrain.

H:ThatiswhatIhavetodoeverymorning,firstthingIgoinandshefixesmea
cupofcoffee.Itakemypulseanditaveragesbetweenseventyandseventyone
everymorning.Theytoldmeifitgotbelowsixtyninetocallthem.My
granddaughterlivesupinFlagstaff,andIhaven'tbeenuptheresincethey
boughtabusinessandarebuyingahome.IaskedmydoctorifIcouldgoup
there.Hesaid,Wellgoupthereforanhourandahalfortwohours,butbevery

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

105/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

carefulwithyourheartconditionandthings.Well,Iwentoverthereanhour
andhalf,anditwashardtobreathefromthereondown.Icouldonlybreathe
fromhereonup,youmightsay.Sotheysaidlet'sgethimtotheemergency
hospital,andIsaidno,Ididn'twanttogotoanemergencyhospital.Iwantedto
gohome.Soafterwehitaround3,5004,000footlevel,itbegantocomeback.It
wasdowntofiftynine.Itwasdowntofiftynine.Thenitcameupalittlebit
whenIcameoverSunsetPoint.Thatis5,000footaltitude.IfoundIcan'tgoany
higherthanthataltitude.

W:Ineverfeelit.

E:Nowmyfriendshaveexperimented,andtheycanraisetheheartbeatfor5,000
feetor10,000feetvoluntarily.

W:Really?Imaginethat.

E:AndIwantedyourhusbandtorealizethatthereisalothecandoforhimself.
Afriendofminesaid,Ihaveneverbeenabletoblushinmywholelife.Willyou
helpmetolearntoblush?ItoldhimIwould.Ioftendroppedbythereinvarious
hoursoftheday,andhiswifewasmysecretary.OneeveningIdroppedinwhen
theywereatthetable.WeexchangednewsandallofasuddenIsaid,Bill!What
areyoublushingabout?Heturnedbrightred.Halfanhourlaterhesaid,Please
turnitoff.Myfaceisstillburning.

W:Soundsimpossible,doesn'tit?

E:Butitisn't!Haveyoueverlivedwhereitiscoldweather?
W:Yes.

E:Well,yousitinawarmroomandgointothecold,whathappens?Yournose
getshard.

W:Acompletechange.

E:Yourbloodvesselsinyourfacehavebeenturningonandoff.Youlearned
thatinthewintertime.Yes.Youhavegotthatlearning.Ordinarilypeopledon't
useit.ButthisMichigandoctorandPennsylvaniadoctorhadworkedwithme,
andthentheystartedusingthethingthattheyalreadyknewbuthadnever
thoughtofusing.Yourun,yourbloodpressuregoesup.Yourest,yourblood
pressuregoesdown.Yourheartratecangoup,itcangodown.Youcanthink

aboutincreasingyourheartrateandyoucanspeeditup.Andyoucandoit
comfortablyandeasily.SolongasyouknowthatyoucandoitAndthatiswhyI
amhavingyouheretoday.Justtogiveyoumoreinformationaboutyourself.

Inthesefurtherexamples,theseniorauthorgivesmoresuggestionsaboutcontrolling
physiologicalfunctioning.HedealswiththeimportantproblemofH'scopingwith
minorvariationsinthefunctioningofhispacemaker.Suchvariations,whentheyare
notexpectedandunderstood,canpanicpatientsandworsentheircondition.
Wheneverhedealswithsymptomproblems,Ericksonalwayscasuallymentionshow
amomentaryortemporaryreturnofasymptomcanbeanormalsignalaboutthe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

106/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

body'sfunctioningratherthanthepersistentreturnofthesymptomorillnessperse.
Thisforestallsmanylapsesbackintoillness.InhisexampleofblushingErickson
givesahumorousillustrationofhissurpriseapproachtoalteringphysiological
functioning(Erickson,1964;Rossi,1973;Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).

TranceInduction:ModelingTranceBehavior

E:[ToH]NowIwouldliketohaveyougointoatrance.[ToW]Watchhimnow.

Pauseasthehusbandadjustshisbodycomfortably,closeshiseyes,andgoesintoa
trance.Justatthiscriticalmomentayouthfromthestreetknocksloudlyonthedoor
ofErickson'soffice,opensit,andboldlyinvitesustoattendhisBaptistchurch.Allof
usarestartledbyhissuddenintrusionexceptforH,whoshowsabsolutelynoreaction
ashecontinueswithhistrance.Inaskingthewifewhohasneverexperiencedtrance
towatchherhusbandentertrance,Ericksonisusingoneofhisfavoriteapproachesto
trancetraining.Hesimplyhasthenewsubjectwatchanothermoreexperienced
subjectgointotrance.

FacilitatingNormalVariationsinPhysiologicalFunctioning

E:I'veseenvariationsinbloodpressurealready.Nowhewantstokeeptheheart
rateaboutseventy.Butitisallrightwhensleepingforhisheartratetobeless
thanseventy.Inthewakingstate,yes,seventyisallright,seventytwoisallright.
Ifitdropsbelowsixtynineinhissleep,that'sallrighttoo.Ifitdropstosixty
eight,thatisallrighttoo.Thereisnooccasionforalarmbecausetheheart
normallyslowsduringsleep,andIdon'twanthimtokeephisheartatthe
wakinglevelofbeating.Nowtheheartcanslowdownindifferentways.Itcan
beatthesamenumberoftimesperminute,butbeatsoitdoesnotpushaslargea
volumeoffluid.Itcanbeatthesamenumberoftimesbutbeatlessblood
throughtheveins.Heneedslessbloodcirculatinginhisbodywhenheisasleep,
sotheheartdoesnotneedtobeatashardaswhenheisawake.Andhecan
regulatethat.Nowasyousee,hisentirebodyisatrest,andinthetrancehecan
letonearmbeawakewhiletherestofhisbodyisinatrance.Hecanlethisright
leggointoatrancewhiletherestofhisbodyisawake.

TheseniorauthorimmediatelynotesavariationinH'sbloodpressureasheenters
trancefromthevariationsinhispulsethatcanbeseen(usuallysomeplaceonthe
temple,throat,arm,etc)bytherapistswhohavetrainedthemselvestolookforit.His
mentioningthisvariationtendstoratifytranceasanalteredstateandleadinto
therapeuticsuggestionsaboutthenormalvariationstobeexpectedinhisheartrate.

Notetheeasymannerwithwhichtheseniorauthorisopenendedinhissuggestionto
permitthehearttovaryinitsfunctioninginanywaythatisnecessary(numberof
beats,volumeoffluid).Inmentioninghowonepartofthebodycanbeawakeand
movewhiletherestofthebodyisimmobileintrance,heisindirectlysuggestinghow
patientscanspontaneouslyshiftforcomfortnowandthenwithoutfeelingtheyare
therebywakingup.

DissociationTraining

E:[ToW]Hesaidthathecouldbeinatranceandyoucouldcomeinandhe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

107/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

wouldnotknowit.AndDr.RossiknowsthatinatrancestateIhaveasubject
here,oh,sheandIarehere,butheisn't.Shecan'tseehim,shecan'thearhim,
butshecanseeandhearme.Inotherwords,humanbeingscanisolatevarious
partsofthebody.

WiththeseremarksaddressedtothewifeEricksonisgivingindirectsuggestionsto
thehusbandforlearninghowtodissociateone'sattentionorapartofthebody.Such
dissociationsareusefulinfacilitatingtrancedepthaswellascopingwith
symptomaticproblems.

IndirectOpenEndedSuggestions

E:WithenoughexperiencehecangotoFlagstaffandtakewithhimhis
breathinghabitsofPhoenix.Becauseyoucantakehabitswithyou.That'soneof
theproblemsthattheairlinepilotshave.Theyallgrowupwithclockhabits.And
theirsleepcycleisdisturbed.Theyhavetolearnhowtogetachangingsleep
cycle.I'mtalkingtoyouwhilehe[H]islearningsomething.Hedoesn'tknow
whatheislearning,butheislearning.Anditisn'trightformetotellhim,You
learnthisoryoulearnthat!Lethimlearnwhateverhewishes,inwhateverorder
hewishes.

Thisisanotherillustrationoftheseniorauthor'sindirectandopenendedapproachto
offeringtherapeuticsuggestionsthatpermitthepatient'sunconscioustofinditsown
individualmodeofoptimalfunctioning.

FacilitatingUnconsciousSearchandUnconsciousProcesses:Suggestion
bySurpriseandAssociation

E:NowImentionedtheringinginyourears.Imentionedblushing.Imentioned
breathing.Elevatingbloodpressure,loweringit.Youalwayshavetobeaware,
andweknowalotofthingswedon'tknowweknow.MyfriendBillsaidhewanted
toblush.Heneverhad.Iknewthathecouldgetpale.Hecouldgetaredfacein
theheat.Bloodwoulddecreaseinhisfacewhenhewenttosleep.Hehadall
thoselearnings.AllIdidwassaysomethingthattookhimbysurprise.Andhe
reactedthatway.Hedidnotknowhowtoturnitoff.ButIsosurprisedhimthat
theautomaticworkingofhisbodywasn'tingear.AllIsaidwasOK,andhis
bodywentbackintoautomaticgear.

W:Yes

InanindirectmannertheseniorauthorassociatesW'sringingearproblemwiththe
previousillustrationsofsuccessfulcopingwithsymptomsbylearningtoalter
sensoryperceptualandphysiologicalfunctioning.Ifhehaddirectlytoldheratthis
pointthatshewouldhavetolearntocontroltheringinginherears,shewouldalmost
certainlyhavedemurredandprotestedthatshedidnotknowhow.Shewouldberight.
Certainlyherconsciousminddoesnotknowhowtoaltertheringing.Thecontrolshe
willlearnisstillanunconsciouspotentialatthispoint.Byconversationally
associatingtheringingproblemwiththeotheranecdotesofsuccessfulperceptual
alteration,however,theseniorauthorisindirectlycreatinganassociationalnetwork

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

108/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

orbeliefsystemthatwilllaterenableWtoacceptfurthersuggestionsthatwillevoke
andutilizewhateverunconsciousmechanismsshehasavailabletoeffectatherapeutic
transformation.Beforeshehasanychancetodiscussandpossiblyrejecteventhis
mildassociation,Ericksonimmediatelyshiftshisremarkstothehusband.Sincesheis
intenselyinterestedinlearningtrancebywatchingherhusband,thewife'sconscious
attentionisdistractedtohim,andthetherapeuticassociationthatEricksonjustgave
herremainslodgedwithinherunconscious.Thistherapeuticassociationmaynow
automaticallybeginaprocessofunconscioussearchfortheunconsciousprocesses
thatwilleventuateinthetherapeutictransformationtobeexperiencedlaterasa
hypnoticresponse.

DirectSuggestionsinTrance

E:[ToH]Nowlistentomebecauseyoucanlistentome.Youcanhavenice
feelingsinbothfeet,inbothlegs.Youcanenjoyhavingyourheartbeatstrongly
andgently.Youcanlearnthefeelingsofbreathing,thefeelingsofbreathingthat
youhaveinPhoenix.Ifyourwifedidn'tlearnswimminguntilshewasfiftyfive,I
cantellheronethingshelearnedassoonasshegotintothewater.Firsttimeshe
wentintothewateruptoherneck,shefounditdifficulttobreathe.

W:Ihadtolearntorelax.

E:Andsmallchildrenwadingintothewaterfindtheirbreathinggetschoked.
Andthatscaresthem.Afterawhiletheylearntobreathewiththatwater
pressureagainsttheirchest.Andwhentheylearntodothat,thentheydon'tuse
thatlearningoutsidethepool.Assoonastheygetbackinthepool,theyusethat
waterpressurelearningsotheybreathenormally.Nowhepaysattentioninthe
backofhismindtohisPhoenixbreathingpatterns,habits,andwhenhegoesto
Flagstaff,hecankeeponusingthosesamemusclepatterns,musclehabits.Nowin
medschoolwhenyougotintoanairchamberwithdecreasedairpressureand
younoticehowyourbreathingchanges,youpaycloseattentiontoit.Whenyou
comeout,younoticethechange.Youcangobackintheairchamberand
breathecomfortablybecauseyoustartusingyournewbreathingpatterns.

Ericksonhascarefullystructuredatherapeuticframeofreferenceaboutourabilityto
alterbodyfunctionsbeforeandduringtheinitialstagesoftrance.H'sresponsehas
beensopositivethatEricksonnowjudgesthatitisappropriatetodropafewdirect
suggestionsintothattherapeuticframe.Evennow,however,heelaboratesthedirect
suggestionswithafurtherillustrationaboutlearningtoalterbodyfunctioningwhile
swimming.Hischoiceofthisparticularexampleisveryaptbecauseitisvery
meaningfultobothHandW;bothhaverecentlyspokenofit.Bychoosingsuch

illustrationsclosetothepatients'personallifeexperiences,thetherapistcanmakea
sounderbondofcontactwithpatients'innerlivesandrealpotentialities.

TranceInductionandFacilitatingUnconsciousProcesses

E:[ToW]Nowsupposeyouleanbackanduncrossyourlegs.Lookatthatspot
there.Don'ttalk.Don'tmove.Thereisnothingreallyimportanttodo,exceptgo
intoatrance.Youhaveseenyourhusbanddoit.Anditisanicefeeling.Your
bloodpressureisalreadychanging.Youmaycloseyoureyesnow[pauseasW

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

109/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

closeshereyesandvisiblyrelaxesherfacialmuscles]andgodeeperanddeeper
intothetrance.Youdonothavetotryhardtodoanything.Youjustletit
happen.Andyouthinkback;thereareagoodlynumberoftimesthisafternoon
whenyoustoppedhearingtheringing.Itishardtorememberthingsthatdon't
occur.Buttheringingdidstop.Butbecausetherewasnothingthere,youdon't
rememberit.

Havingpreparedherfortranceinductionbyusingherhusbandasamodel,thesenior
authornowinducestrancewithafewinstructionsthathavethreeobjectives:tofixate
attention(lookatthatspot),todepotentiateherhabitualframesofreferences(Don't
talk.Don'tmove.Thereisnothingreallyimportanttodo),andtogivefreereignto
herunconscious(gointoatrance).

Hethenstatesacommonthoughlittlerecognizedfactabouttheexperienceof
symptoms.Symptomsmayseemconstantandunchanging.Yetinvariablythereare
momentswhenwearesodistractedthattheyareoutsidethecentralfocusofour
awareness.Thisautomaticmentalmechanismthatshiftsourattentionandthereby
attenuatesandusuallycompletelyobliteratestheexperienceofthesymptomisevoked
astheseniorauthordescribesit.Thislittlerecognizedfactisusuallyreceivedwitha
senseofsurprisebypatientsasurprisethatfurtherdepotentiatestheiroldsymptom
ladenframeofreferenceandinitiatesasearchonanunconsciouslevelforthose
unconsciousprocessesthatmaynowbeutilizedforsymptomrelief.

RelyinguponUnconsciousLearning:TheConditionsforDirect
Suggestion

E:Nowtheimportantthingistoforgetabouttheringingandtorememberthe
timeswhentherewasnoringing.Andthatisaprocessyoulearn.Ilearnedinone
night'stimenottohearthepneumatichammersintheboilerfactoryandto
hearaconversationIcouldn'thearthepreviousday.ThemenhadbeentoldI
hadcomeinthepreviousevening,andItalkedtothemandtheykepttryingto
tellme,Butyoucan'thearus,youhaven'tgottenusedtoit.Andtheycouldn't
understand.TheyknewIhaveonlybeenthereashorttimeonenightandthey
knewhowlongithadtakenthemtolearntohearconversations.Theyputtheir
emphasisuponlearninggradually.Iknewwhatthebodycandoautomatically.
[Pause]Nowrelyuponyourbody.Trustit.Believeinit.Andknowthatitwillserve
youwell.

Theseniorauthornowstronglyemphasizesthatsymptomchangeswilltakeplacevia
anunconsciousprocess.Itisimportantfortheconsciousmindtorelyuponyourbody,
trustit,andsoon.Hedropsthedirectsuggestiontoforgetabouttheringing"intothe

frameofreferencehestructuredbeforetranceinductioninhisstoryaboutlearningnot
tohearthepneumatichammersinhissleepattheboilerfactory.Thuswhendirect
suggestionsareused,theyarealwaysplacedlikeakeyinthelockofaframeof
referencethatwaspreviouslystructuredbythetherapistandacceptedbythepatient.

Wecansummarizetherequisiteconditionsforthesuccessfuluseofdirectsuggestion
asfollows:

1.1.creatingframesofreferenceasaninternalenvironmentorbelief

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

110/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

systemthatcanacceptthedirectsuggestion.

2.2.patient'srelianceonunconsciousprocessestoautomaticallymediate
thesuggestionandnewlearningthatisneeded.

3.3.therapist'spartiallyevokingandtherebyfacilitatingtheutilizationof
suchunconsciousprocessesbyillustratingtheminwaysthatarepersonally
meaningfulinthepatient'sactuallifeexperience.

FurtherSuggestionsandIllustrations:SymptomSubstitution;
Synesthesia

E:Anotherpatientofminewithringingoftheears,awomanofthirty,saidthat
shehadworkedatawarplantwheretherewasmusicalldaylong,

andshewishedshecouldhavethatmusicinsteadoftheringing.Iaskedherhow
wellsherememberedthatmusic.Andshenamedagreatnumberoftunes.SoI
toldher,usethatringingtoplaythosetunessoftlyandgently.Fiveyearslater
shesaid,Istillhavethatsoftgentlemusicinmyears.

SheworkedatawarplantinMichigan.Youdescribedalittleboyandpiano
playingandthecassette,andyoudemonstratedwithyourhandsthe

wayhemovedhisfingers.Partofthepleasureofseeinghim,hearinghim,
becameapartofyourfingermovements.

[Pause]

Andyoucanputthatpartofpleasurewithyourfingermovementsintoyourears.
Andyoucandoitsoeasily,sogently,withouttrying,withoutevennoticing.And
youcanreallyenjoygoodfeelings,goodsounds,andgoodquiet

[Pause]

Andyoubothcanbreatheforus,andneitherofyouneedtobeconcernedabout
theother.Youneedtoenjoyknowingeachother.Andenjoyingwhatyoucando
asmeaningfultoyou.

Bynowthereadercaneasilyrecognizehowtheseniorauthorisofferingfurther
suggestionsandillustrationsofthesortofsensoryperceptualtransformationsthat
mayeffectsymptomrelief.Aswewillseelater,bytheendofthissession,Wwas
actuallyabletoutilizeoneoftheseillustrationssuccessfullyforsymptomrelief.
Noticeagainhowcarefullytheseniorauthorintersperseshissuggestionswiththe

woman'sownrelevantlifeexperiencesinpretendingtoteachtheretardedchildto
playthepiano.Insuggesting,Youcanputthatpartofpleasurewithyourfinger
movementsintoyourears,heisactuallytryingtoevokeandutilizeunconscious
processesofsynesthesiawherebypleasurefromonesensemodality(kinestheticor
proprioceptivesensationsfromthefingers)couldbeshiftedtoanother(herauditory
perceptions).

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

111/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

AwakeningfromTrance:FacilitatingUnconsciousProcessesby
LearningandUtilizingHypnoticPainControlWithoutAwareness

E:Yougointoatrance,Isuggest,bycountingto20,andawakenbycounting
backwardfromtwentytoone,buteachpersonshouldgointoatranceintheway
helearnsnaturallybyhimself,andyouhavelearnedanexcellentwayandit's
yourwayandbepleasedwithitandbepleasedwithextendingusefulnessofthat
tranceinmanydifferentways.Youbothcanlearnfromeachotherwithout
tryingtolearn.Therearesomanythingswelearnfromothers,andwedon't
knowwearelearning.Andourmain,verydifficultlearningsweachievewithout
knowingthatweareachievingthoselearnings.Andyoubothareveryresponsive
people.Whichinlesstechnicallanguagemeansyoubothcanlearneasilythings
aboutyourselfandlearnthemwithoutneedingtoknowthatyouhavelearnedthem.
Thatyoucanusethoselearningswithoutneedingtoknowthatyouknowthose
learnings.Iamgoingtoaskbothofyoutoawakengentlyandcomfortably.

Inthisawakeningproceduretheseniorauthorincorporatesmanydirectsuggestionsto
emphasizelearningwithoutawareness.Ideally,learningtoalterandtransformthe
sensoryperceptualaspectsofphysicalsymptomsisanunconsciousprocessthat
proceedsonanunconsciouslevel.Consciousnessusuallydoesnotknowhowtocope
withthesetransformationsandisbesteliminatedfromtheprocess.Erickson'slast
suggestion,Thatyoucanusethoselearningswithout,needingtoknowthatyouknow
thoselearnings,containssomesubtleimplications.Thepatientscanlearntousepain
transformingmechanismsonanunconsciousleveltosuchanautomaticdegreethat
theyneednotevenknowtheyaresuccessfullydealingwithpain.Sinceconsciousness
isnotevenawareoftheautomaticoperationofthesenewlylearnedpaincontrol
processes,consciousnessneednotknowaboutthepresenceofcurrentandfuturepain.
Theseniorauthorhasemphasizedthatpainhasthreecomponents:(1)memoriesof
pastpain,(2)currentpain,and(3)anticipationoffuturepain.Hislastsuggestioncan
beunderstoodasameansofcopingwiththelattertwowithoutgivingconsciousness
anopportunitytodwellontheprocessandpossiblyinterferewithit.Thisapproachis
tobeusedwithappropriateclinicalcaution.Withthiscouplethepaindidnotserve
anyusefulfunctionasasignalaboutbodymalfunctionthattheirphysicianneededto
know.Thustheirpaincouldbeeliminatedcompletelyforoptimalrelief.Whenpainis
animportantsignalaboutabodyprocessthatthephysicianneedstoknowabout,then
thepresenceofpainshouldcertainlynotbeeliminatedfromconsciousnessentirely.
Insuchcasesthepaincanbetransformedintoawarmth,coolness,itch,numbness,
andothersymptoms.Theaversivequalityofpainistherebyeliminated,butitssignal
valueismaintained.

FacilitatingAmnesiabyStructuringanAssociativeGapandDistraction

[Pauseastheybothreorienttotheirbodiesbyblinking,stretching,yawning,and
soon.]

E:MydaughterspentthreeyearsinAfrica.SheismarriedtoanAirForce
officer.AndhewasassignedtoEthiopia.ShortlyafterherarrivalinEthiopia,
sheremarkedtoherhusband,Youseethatstatue?Thatisjustexactlywhatmy
Daddylikes.Yes,sheknewIwouldlikeit.Itwasastatueofawoman,andhow
canyoudescribeit?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

112/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

[Showsstatuetothegroup]

R:It'sveryunique.

E:Itisaweirdlookingthing.

W:Sheknewyouwouldlikeit?

E:SheknewIwouldlikeit!IwasdelightedwhenIsawit.Andmysonpicked
outthatlittlerugrightthereonthefloor.Hemailedittomeforabirthday
presenttenyearsago.HeknewIwouldlikeit.WhenIunrolledit,mytwoyoung
daughtersingradeschoolcommented,ThatisnotNorthAmericanIndian?Isit
SouthAmericanIndian?Mywifesaid,Itisn'tIndian!Isaid,ItisHindu

Theseniorauthordemonstratestwomeansoffacilitatinghypnoticamnesiainthese
fewremarksmadeimmediatelyupontheawakeningfromtrance.Hefirstreturnstoa
topicofconversationabouthisdaughterthatcamejustbeforetranceinduction.By
pickingupanassociativethreadfromthisperiod,thetranceeventsareplacedintoan
associativegap.Tranceeventsandassociationscoheretogether,butthereareno
associativebridgestothepatient'smentalframework(aconversationaboutErickson's
daughterinthiscase)whichoccurimmediatelybeforeoraftertrance.Becauseofthe
relativelackofassociativebridges,tranceeventstendtoremaindissociatedfromthe
patient'shabitualframeworksandmaythusbecomeamnesic.Thefollowingdiagram
mayclarifythematter(Erickson,Haley,andWeakland,1959),wheretheupperlineis
aconsciousmemorylinewithonlyasmallgapthattendstocoverthelowerlineof
tranceevents.

Theseniorauthor'ssecondapproachtofacilitatingamnesiaistodistractthepatient
fromtranceassociationsbyintroducingtopicsofconversationthatarefardistantfrom
thetranceworkthathasjustbeencompleted(inthiscasegifts,rugs,Indians.)These
distractingtopicsalsotendtopreventthedevelopmentofassociativebridgesbetween
thecontentsoftranceandthecontentsoftheawakestate,therebyfacilitatingan
amnesiafortranceevents.Thisamnesiaisoftentherapeuticallyvaluable,sinceit

preventsthepatient'slimitedandmaladaptivebeliefsystemsfromlaterworkingand
possiblyundoingthesuggestionsacceptedduringtrance.Theamnesiaalsotendsto
vividlyratifytranceasanalteredstateforthepatient.

SpontaneousAcknowledgmentofTherapeuticChange

H:Well,doctor,I'llsaythis.Thishasdoneasmuchgoodasthatotheronehas
done.Thisisgoingtobewonderful.

E:You'llbesurprisedatallthenewlearningsthatbothofyouwilldevelop.

W:Good,Good.

E:Wewillcallitaday.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

113/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

[Thesessionisended,butjustbeforesheleavesthewomancommentsasfollows]

W:WhenIthinkoftheringinginmyearsnow,I'mbeginningtothinkofa
melodythatIplay.OneofseveralthatIlikeverymuch.Nowtheringingisstill
therebutthemelodyistherealso.

Thisacknowledgmentofanimmediateexperienceoftherapeuticchangecame
spontaneouslyfrombothpatients.Thisistheidealsituation,wherethetherapistdoes
nothavetoaskaboutthechangeandbydoingsopossiblydistortthechangeprocess
itself.Somepatientsmighttakesuchaquestionasimplyingadoubtinthetherapist's
mind,whileotherswouldtendeithertoexaggerateortounderestimatetheamountof
changeexperienced.

Thehusbandexpressesanimportantandvaluableexpectationofpresentandfuture
therapeuticgains(thisisgoingtobewonderful),whilethewife,moreanalytically,
describeshowamelodyisbeingaddedtoherringing.Itishopedthatfuturework
mayentirelyreplacetheringingwiththemelody.Sincebothspontaneously
acknowledgeasatisfactorytherapeuticchange,therewasnoneedforthesenior
authortoendthissessionwithanyfurtherevaluationandratificationoftherapeutic
change.(Thisfinalstageofevaluationandratificationwillbewellillustratedinour
nextcase.)

Case2ShockandSurpriseforAlteringSensory
PerceptualFunctioning:IntractableBackPain

ThisisanothercasewhereEricksonworkedsimultaneouslywithhusbandandwife.
Thiscouplewasintheirearlytwenties,however,andtheycametotherapyinavery
negativisticanddoubtingmood.BecauseoftheirextremedoubtsEricksonuseda
verydramaticapproachtoestablishrapport,responseattentiveness,andtrance
induction.

ArchieandAnniewerehighschoolsweethearts.Theywereidealistswhowentahead
withtheirplanstobemarriedevenafterArchie'sbackwasbrokenandhisspine
severedintheVietNamwar.Archiehadreturnedtocivilianlifepermanentlyina

wheelchairwithintractablebackpain.Hisphysicianssaidhewouldhavetolearnto
livewithit.Theyhadwarnedhimagainstanysortofblackmagicwithhypnosis,
whichwascertainlynotworthhistime.ArchieandAnnieneverthelesswantedtotry,
althoughbythetimetheycametotheirfirstinterviewtheywereinahostile,negative,
anddoubtingmoodregardingtheirprospects.

Theseniorauthor'sfirsttaskwastorecognizeandaccepttheirhostilityanddoubtand,
ifpossible,actuallytoutilizeitinsomemanner.Hehadtoaccepttheirnegativeframe
ofreferenceandyetintroducehisownbeliefinthepotentialvalueofhypnotherapy.
EricksonwatchedafewofArchie'sspasmsofpainandrecognizedthattheywereof
psychogenicorigin,muchlikethatofphantomlimbpain.Afterlisteningtotheoutline
oftheirstory,hedecidedtodemonstrateadramaticformoftranceinductionwith
AnnieinordertoorientArchietothegenuinetherapeuticpotentialofhypnosis.

TranceInduction:DisplacingandDischargingHostilityandDoubt

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

114/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

EricksonfirstaskedAnnietostandinthemiddleofasmallIndianrugaboutayardin
diameterthatwasonhisofficefloor.Hethenproceededwithanunusualtrance
induction.

E:Annie,youarenottomoveoffthatcarpet.Andyouarenotgoingtolikewhat
Iamdoing.Itwillbeoffensivetoyou.ItwillbeoffensivetoArchie.Nowhereisa
strongoakcane,Archie.Youcanholditandyoucanclobbermeatanymoment
thatyouthinkIamdoingwrong.Youwon'tlikewhatI'mgoingtodo,Archie,
butwatchmecarefullyandclobbermejustassoonasyouthinkitisnecessary.

NowI'mgoingtotakethisothercaneandyouwatchwhatI'mdoing.Youwill
feelwhatI'mdoingAnnie.ArchiewillseewhatI'mdoing.Iwillstopassoonas
youcloseyoureyesandgointoadeeptrance.

Theseniorauthorgentlyandtentativelytouchedaboutherupperchestareawiththe
tipofhiscaneandthenbegantogingerlypushtheupperpartofherdressapart,asif
toexposeherbreasts.Sheclosedhereyes,remainedrigidlyimmobile,andapparently
wentintoadeeptrance.Shehadtoescapetheunpleasantrealityofthatcane.Assoon
assheclosedhereyesandmanifestedatrancestate,Archiewassosurprisedhe
almostdroppedhiscane.

Whatarethedynamicsofsuchaninduction?Withhisapparentlyshamelesspoking
aboutAnnie'sdress,Ericksonwaschannelingtheirveryevidenthostilityandvague
doubtsabouthypnosisingeneralintoaveryspecificrejectionofErickson'sinitial
behavior.Anniewassoconstitutedpsychologicallythatshehadnoalternativeinthe
situation.

Thepokingcanecertainlyfixatedherattention,andtheshockofitallcertainly
depotentiatedwhateverconventionalmentalframeworkshehadabouthowdoctors
behaveandwhathypnosiswasabout.Asshestoodthere,desperatelyuncertainabout
whatwashappening,shewassentonanunconscioussearchforthetranceinducing
processeswithinherownmindthatwouldreleaseherfromherembarrassment.The
seniorauthorsaidhewouldstoponlywhenshewentintotrance.Shecouldonly
escapetheunpleasantpokingbygoingintotrance.Sheneednotrejectthewhole

situationoutright,because,afterall,herhusbandwasrighttherewithastoutcane
supposedlyprotectingher.BygivingArchiethecane,theseniorauthorwasvery
carefullygivinghimachannelthroughwhichhecouldfocushishostility.Hewas
alsofixingArchie'sattentionsointentlythattheyoungmanwasinthatstateof
intenseresponse;attentivenesscharacteristicoftherapeutictranceashewatchedthe
unorthodoxproceedingswithdisbelief.Thushisgeneraldoubtanddisbeliefabout
hypnosiscouldnowbechanneled,displaced,anddischargedontotheapparently
ridiculousbehaviorhewaswitnessing.Withoutquiterealizingit,healsobecame
convincedthatEricksoncouldperformtheunspeakable,theunorthodox,and,by
implication,anunusualcure.

ATwoLevelPosthypnoticSuggestiontoUtilizeandDepotentiatea
DoubtingConsciousFramework

E:Annie,whenyouawaken,youcansitinyourchair,andnomatterwhatyou

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

115/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

think,whateverIsayistrue.Doyouagreetothat?

[Annienodsherheadyesrepetitiouslyintheslightandslowmanner
characteristicoftheperseverativebehavioroftrance.]

WhateverIsayistrue,nomatterwhatyouthink.

Thiswasacarefullyformulatedtwolevelsuggestion:(1)Nomatterwhatyouthinkis
aphraserecognizingherconsciousdoubtsthatenablesEricksontofocusherattention
byutilizingherownmentalframeworkofdoubtandresistance.Shecouldthink
whatevershelikedwithinthisdoubtfulframe.Atthesametime(2)onanunconscious
levelshewastomaketrueorrealwhateverEricksonwastolatersuggest.Wecould
alsosaythattworealitiesorbeliefsystemswerepermittedtocoexistsidebysideina
moreorlessdissociatedmanner:(1)Theconsciousbeliefsystemofdoubtand
resistancetohypnosisthatshebroughttothetherapysituation,and(2)thenewreality
ofhypnosisEricksonwasintroducinginsuchasuddenlyshockingmannerthat
neithershenorherhusbandcouldproperlyevaluateandunderstandit.Shewas
permittedtoindulgeinherpreviousbeliefsystemevenwhileErickson'srealitywas
beingintroducedinamannerthatshecouldnotavoidorresist.Whateverthedoubts
orresistancesofherpreviousbeliefs,shewascertainlynotpreparedtocopewitha
caneprobingherdresswhileherhusbandstoodpoisedwithanotherheavycaneready
toclobberthecrippleddoctor.Sinceherconsciousmentalframeworkcouldnotcope
withthesituation,herunconscioushadtointervenewiththeappropriateresponsesof
goingintotranceandacceptingErickson'ssuggestions.

Theseniorauthorassessedanddeepenedhertrancebyobtainingherpositiveresponse
tohistwolevelposthypnoticsuggestion.Hethenaskedhertoawakenandsitdown.
Shesatdownwithalookofexpectation,doubt,andhostility.Hethenaddressedher
asfollows.

Truisms,Implication,andNotKnowingtoInitiateanUnconscious
Search

E:Nowyouareawake,Annie.Youdon'tknowwhathashappened.Youcan
thinkthatyouwishyouknew,butyoudon'tknow.

Withthistheseniorauthorwasstatingtheobvious.CertainlyAnniedidhave
questionsonhermindaboutwhat,ifanything,hadhappened.Thusthetruthofthe
firstpartofthestatement,Youcanthinkthatyouwishyouknewopenedayesor
acceptancesetforthecriticalsuggestionthatfollows,butyoudon'tknow.This
suggestioniscriticalbecauseitimpliesthatsomethingimportantdidhappen,butshe
doesnotknowwhat.Theimplicationthatsomethinghappenedmeansshemayno
longerbewhatshehasalwaysexperiencedherselfasbeing.Thesomethingthat
happenedmaybehypnosis;itmaymeanshenowwillbeabletoexperiencewhatever
realityEricksonisgoingtosuggest.Thenotknowingthusopensagapinherbelief
systemthatinitiatesanunconscioussearchfortheinternalresources(unconscious
processes)thatwillbeneededtocarryoutErickson'sfurthersuggestions.Not
knowingthusfacilitatestheutilizationofinnerresourcesthatshehadneverbeenable
tocontactpreviouslyinavoluntarymanner.

SurpriseQuestionforNotDoing

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

116/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Aren'tyousurprisedyoucan'tstandup?

Withthissuggestionintheformofaquestion,Anniedidindeedexperience
amazementatnotbeingabletostandup.Theseniorauthorsaidshewouldbe
surprised,andshecertainlywas.Hisquestionquicklyfilledthegapandexpectation
thathadbeenopenedinherbeliefsystembysettingintooperationmentalprocesses
thatsomehowpreventedherfromstandingup.Annieprobablydidnotknowwhyshe
didnotstandup.Neitherwassheawarethattheseniorauthorhadalsoprescribedher
reactionof"surpriseatnotbeingabletostandup.Certainlyitwastruethatshewould
besurprisedatnotbeingabletostandup.Hisquestionwasthusanotherobvious
truismthatanyonewouldhavetoaccept.Evenwithoutthepreviousgaphavingbeen
openedinherbeliefsystem,thisquestionofsurprisecouldstandasbeguilingly
effectivesuggestionthatanyonewouldhavetoacceptastrue.Andmostwouldalso
experienceitsimplicationoftheinvoluntarybehaviorofnotbeingabletostand.

SelfTestforAnesthesia

E:NomatterhowhardIstruckyouwiththiscane,youwouldnotfeelit.And
supposeyoutakeyourhandandhityourselfhardonthethigh.It'sdifficultforme
tocomeoveranddoitmyself,sogoahead.Hityourselfashardasyoucanonyour
thigh.Itwon'thurt!

WiththisAnniedidindeedstrikeanumbthighandwasstartledattheeffect.She
replied,IfeltitinmyhandbutIdidn'tfeelanythinginmyleg.Havingsuccessfully
experiencedonefairlyeasyhypnoticphenomenoninnotbeingabletostand,Erickson
judgedthatshewasnowreadytoexperiencethereallyimportantphenomenonof
anesthesia.Hemadeaveiledthreatwiththethoughtofstrikingherwithhisfearsome
cane,sothatshecannothelpbutfeelsomereliefatbeingpermittedtotestthe
anesthesiabyherself.Ericksonthenoffersfurtherreliefwiththefactthathereally
cannotcomeovertoher(sinceheiscrippled)andthusreinforcesherfurtherfora
successfulselftestofanesthesia.Erickson(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976)has

stated,Theunconsciousalwaysprotectstheconscious.CertainlyAnniedidfeela
needforprotectionatthismoment.Theprotectioncamefromherunconscious,which
effectivelymediatedtheneuropsychologicalmechanismsthatpermittedhertosayshe
hadindeedexperiencedananesthesiainherleg.Pressingon,theseniorauthornow
extendstheanesthesiafurther.

GeneralizingAnesthesia

E:NowAnnie,youcanhityourthighagainbutwon'tfeelitineitheryourthighor
yourhand.

Theseniorauthornowgeneralizeshersuccessfulanesthesiaofthethightoherhand
byassociatingthemtogetherinthisstrongdirectsuggestion.Anniethenslappedher
thighagainandexclaimed,Iheardthatslap,butIdidn'tfeelitinmyhandormy
thigh.ThusAnniespontaneouslyconfirmedtherealityoftheanesthesiatoher
husband.HecoulddoubtErickson'sexplanations,buthecouldnotdoubthiswife's
reactions.Hencethenegativeattitudeinducedbyhisphysicianwasnotdisputedby
hiswitnessingAnnie'sexperienceitwasdepotentiated.Thatis,hewasnow

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

117/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

experiencingasuspensionofhispreviouslydoubtfulanddisbelievingframeof
reference.Beforehecouldreasserthisdoubt,Ericksonquicklyintroducedhimtoa
formallylabeledtrance.

CompoundSuggestionIntroducingTrance

E:Youheardthat,Archie,youcangointotrancenow.

Annie'sexperiencewasaneffectiveuseofmodelinghypnoticbehaviorforhermore
resistanthusband.Theseniorauthorthenformallyinducedtrancewithacompound
statement.Youheardthatwasanundeniabletruththatopenedanacceptancesetfor
thesuggestion,Archie,youcangointotrancenow.Archiecouldnotdenythereality
ofhissensesregardinghiswife'sexperience,andthushadtoacceptErickson's
suggestedrealityoftrance.

UtilizingPreviousSenseMemoriestoReplacePain:APun

E:Now,Archie,you'vehadmanylongyearsofhappyfeelings.Whynotget
thosehappyfeelingsback?You'vehadallthepainyouneed.

WithsuchsuggestionstheseniorauthorbegantoevokeArchie'ssensememoriesof
previousyearsofgoodbodyfeelingsbeforehisbackinjury.Thesememoriesofgood
bodyfeelingswillbeutilizedtoreplacehiscurrentpain.Noticethetherapeuticpun
containedinthephrasehappyfeelingsback.WithoutrealizingitArchiewasreceiving
associationsofhappyfeelingswithhisinjuredback.

RealisticExpectationsofPainReliefandBoosterShots

E:Icannotguaranteeyouagainstallfuturepain,butIcantellyoutousepainas
awarning.

WithsuchsuggestionsArchiewasabletoexperienceconsiderablerelieffrompain.A
fewmonthslaterhecaughtthefluandtelephonedEricksonforaboostershot,since
withtheflutherewasarecurrenceofbackpain.

R:Whywastherearecurrenceofbackpainwiththeflu?Werehisbodyand
minddebilitatedsohecouldnolongermaintainthehypnoticsuggestionofgood
feelings?Isitthesamesituationaswithyou,Dr.Erickson,thatwhenyougoto
sleepyousometimesloseyourownhypnoticcontroloveryourbodypain?[E's
painisduetoconstantlyatrophiatingmusclesassociatedwithhissecondbout
withanteriorpoliomyelitis.]Ishypnosisbeingmediatedonthehighestcortical
levelswhicharesensitivetobodyillnessaswellassleep?

E:Yes,justasIinduceatranceonthehighestcorticallevel.

R:Peoplereallyarenotasleepintrance;infact,thereisahighdegreeofmental
activity.Perhapsthosewhosayeveryonecannotexperiencetrancemeansyou
cannotputeveryoneinasleeplikestateofbeinganautomatonresponding
indiscriminatelytoeverythingthatissuggested.

E:Yes,youcannotputeveryoneintosuchapassiveorsubmissivestate.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

118/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Byhypnosisandtranceyoumeanfocusedconcentration,focusedattention.
Youcertainlycanfacilitatethatwithanyonewhosemotivationsandneedsyou
understand.

E:Therapeutictranceisfocusedattentiondirectedinthebestmannerpossible
toachievethepatient'sgoals.

Case3ShiftingFramesofReferenceforAnesthesia
andAnalgesia

E:WhenIwantapatienttodevelopananalgesia,I'mverylikelynottomentionthis
questionofanalgesia.I'mverywillingtoletthepatienttellmeallaboutthatpainuntil
IcanseefromtheexpressiononhisfacethathethinksIunderstand.I'mnotaverseto
sayingafewthings,littlethingsthatmakesthepatientthinkIdounderstand.And
thenI'mverylikelytoaskhimsomesimplequestionthattakeshimfarawayfrom
thisquestionofthepain:Wheredidyouspendlastsummer?Thepatientcanberather
surprisedatthatquestionaboutlastsummer.Lastsummerhedidn'thavethatpain.
Wecangointothequestionofthepleasuresandjoysandsatisfactionoflastsummer.
Emphasizecomfort,physicalease,joys,andsatisfactions,andpointouttothepatient
howniceitistocontinuetorememberthejoysandsatisfactionsoflastsummer,the
physicaleaseoflastsummer.Whenthepatientseemstobegettingjustalittlebit
edgy,Iremindhimofwhenhewasrowingtheboatandgotthatblisteronhishand.It
hurtquiteabitbutfortunatelyhealedup.

Ihaven'tbeenafraidtomentionhurtorpainordistress,butitisfarawayfromthat
backachethepatientstartedtellingmeabout.I'vementionedpainfromablisterdueto
rowingaboatlastsummerandIhaven'tbeenshockedbythatuneasyexpressionon
hisface.Becauseyouseeinhypnosisyourtaskistoguidethethinkingandthe

associationofideasthatthepatienthasalongtherapeuticchannels.Youknowvery
wellthatyoucanhaveapainfulspotonyourbodyandgotoasuspensefulmovieand
loseyourselfintheactiononthescreenandforgetallaboutthatpaininyourlegor
thepaininyourarm,achingtoothorwherever.Youknowthat,sowhynotdoexactly
thesamesortofthingwithyourpatient?Ifyouareoperatingonapatientinyour
officeandyouareawareofthefactthatitcancausepain,youcandirectyour
patient'sthinkingtoanareafarremovedfromthepainsituation.

I'mthinkingofapatientofminewhosaid,I'mafraidtogotothedentist,Iagonizeso
much,Iperspiresofrightfully,I'minabsolutemisery.Iaskedthepatient
immediately,Didyoudothatasachild?

Iwaslisteningtohercomplaintaboutpain,anxiety,distress,andIaskedherwhatshe
didinherchildhood.Imadegoodcontactwithherbytalkingofthedistressshewas
interestedin,butIshiftedtoanotherframeofreferencechildhood.Shenowtalked
aboutherchildhooddistress,butthatwassofarawaythatitwaslessdisturbingand
shefeltabitmorecomfortable.Mynextstepwastoaskherwhatherfavorite
pleasurewasasachild.Now,howdoyougetfrompain,anxiety,distress,topleasure
asachild?Inthiscaseittookonlytwoassociativesteps.Itwassodelightfultoswitch
anddiscusswithmeafavoriteactivityofherchildhood.Nowshediscussedthis
pleasureinimmediateconnectionwithmyfirstquestionofherexperienceofdistress

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

119/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

inchildhood.BythatimmediatesuccessionofquestionsItiedthetwotogether
distressandfavoriteactivity.

Aftershetoldmeallaboutherfavoritepleasuresasachild,oneinparticular,I
suggestedthatwhenshewenttothedentist'soffice,sheshouldreallysettleinthe
dentalchair.Asshereallysquirmedaroundinthechairandreallyfeltherseatonthe
chairseat,herbackonthebackofthechair,herarmsonthearmsofthechair,andher
headontheheadrest,shewouldhaveanoverwhelmingrecollectionofherfavorite
childhoodactivitythatwouldabsolutelydominatetheentiresituation.Now,whathad
Idone?Ihadtakenthepainfulrealitiesofthedentalchair,squirmingaroundtryingto
getanicecomfortableseat(andIwiggledaroundinmyseattoroleplaythewayI
wantedhertofindherselfinthatdentalchair),andassociateditwithoneofher
favoritechildhoodactivities.Thethingthatsherememberedwasplayingintheleaves
onthelawn.Intheautumnyoucanbuildgreatbighousesoutoftheleaves,nice
pathwaysthroughpilesofleaves,youcouldburyyourselfintheleaves.Youcould
squirmaroundandgetniceandcomfortableinthoseleavesandtherestofthereal
worldwouldseemfaraway.

Withthatshesimplywentintoaveryniceanesthetictranceinthedentist'soffice
withoutanydirectsuggestionsforanesthesia.Nowandthenthedentistwouldaskher
somestupidquestionwhenshereallywantedtothinkabouttheleaves.Thedentist
thoughtthatshewasanawfullycooperativepatient.Mentallyshewouldnoticethat
herewassomestupidpersontryingtotalktoherwhenshewasburyingherselfinthe
leaves,probablysomegrownupyellingather,butshewasmoreinterestedinthe
leaves.Shecouldhavedentalsurgerydoneandnotbebotheredbyit.

Youcanachieveanesthesiaindirectlybyshiftingtheperson'sframesofreference.In
thiscasethecriticalshiftwasto,Whatwasyourfavoriteactivityasachild?Andthen
Icouldreallyelaborateonthat.Inotherwords,youverycarefullyraiseaquestion.

Youraiseitinsuchawaythatyoucanslidepastthedifficultyandstartupanother
trainofmentalactivity,ofemotionalactivity,thatprecludesthepossibilityoffeeling
pain.Someofmysophisticatedsubjectswithtraininginclinicalpsychologyand
psychiatry,thatIhaveusedassubjects,willpickapartthetechniquethatIhaveused
onthem.Theythenrecognizethevalidityofitfromtheirownexperiences.Theywill
havemeemploypreciselythesametechniquesonthemagainbecausetheyknowthat
theyarehumanandthatyoucandothesamethingwithpleasure,overandoveragain.

Ithinkitisanerrortoalwaysstrivetogetananesthesiaorananalgesiadirectly.I
thinkyoushouldbewillingtoaccomplishthemindirectlybecauseeverytimeyouask
somebodyForgetthatthisisawatch,you'reaskingthemtodoaspecificthingto
forgettoforgetwhat?Awatch.Now,remember,forgetthatwatch.That'swhat
you'resayingwhenyousay,"Forgetthewatch.Butyoucanaskthemtolookatthis,
aninterestingthing.Itratheramusesme.It'sratherfascinatinghowyoucanlookat
somethingandbecometremendouslyfascinatedwithit,andthenthetopicof
conversationchanges,andyoudriftfarawaytothattripyouhadinEurope.Now
whatwasitIcameupherefor?Youdriftedfar,farawayfromyouroriginal
preoccupationbecauseyoustartedfollowingyourdifferenttrainsofthought.

Nowthenextthingthatyoushouldbearinmindisthatwhenyoutakeawaythesense
offeeling,anesthesiaoranalgesia,you'veaskedyourpatienttomakeadifferentkind

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

120/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ofarealityorientation.InsomeofmyearliestexperimentalworkIaskedstudentsto
discoverwhatthementalprocesseswereinpickingupanimaginaryappleandputting
itonaconcreterealitytableinfrontofthem(Erickson,1964).Whatarethemental
processes?Agoodlynumberofthestudentscomplainedoffeelingfunnyalloverand
gaveupthetask;theyleftwithoutcompletingtheexperimentalsituation.Theywere
losingtheircontactwithreality.Therefore,theyfeltfunny.Nowwhenyouinducean
analgesia,youareaskingyourpatientstoloseacertainamountoftheirreality
contact.Youareaskingthemtoalterit.Thentheybegintofeelfunnytheymay
recognizeitortheymaynot.Buttheycanreacttothatbygettingoutofthesituation
becauseitisstrangeanduncomfortable.Therefore,wheneveryouinduceananalgesia
orananesthesia,youmustseetoitthatyourpatientsdon'tgetfrightenedinoneway
ortheotherbythelossoftheirusualrealityrelationship.Iletthosestudentsfeel
funnyalloverandletthemrunoutonmebecauseitwasanimportantexperimental
findingthatIwantedtostudy.

Inworkingwithpatientsintheoffice,whentheygetafunnyfeeling,whetherthey
recognizeitasafunnyfeelingortheyjustexperienceitasdiscomfort,theywantto
runout,too.Buttheycan'taffordit,andneithercanyou.Therefore,itisyour
obligationtotellthemthatoneoftheastonishingthingsisthatastheybegintofeel
morecomfortableortheygetmoreandmoreinterestedinthisorthat,perhapsthey
willnoticethelightintheofficeisofasofterhue.QuiteoftenIhavetoldpatientsin
myoffice,Ihopeyoudon'tmindhereaswecontinueourworkifthelight
automaticallydimsandbecomessofterorlighter."Whenevertheirrealityorientations
arealtered,Iknowpatientsaregoingtotellmetheofficeisgettinglighterordarker,
orgettingwarmerorcolder,ortheyfeelafraid,orthattheyfeeltheofficeisgetting
biggerorsmaller,thattheyarefeelingtallerorshorter.Theygetallmannerof
changesintheirsenseofrealitywheneverweexploreanesthesiaoranalgesia.These
spontaneoussensoryperceptualalterationsareallindicationsthatthepatients'reality
orientationsarealtered;tranceisdevelopingwhetheraformalhypnoticinductionhas

beencarriedoutornot.Aspatientslearntobemorecomfortablewiththese
spontaneousalterations,theycanallowthemselvestogodeeperintotrance.They
learntogiveupmoreandmoreoftheirgeneralizedrealityorientation(Shor,1959),
andtheybecomemorecapableofexperiencingalltheclassicalhypnoticphenomena
aswellasachievingtheirowntherapeuticgoals.

Case4UtilizingthePatient'sOwnPersonalityand
AbilitiesforPainRelief

E:Iwantedtoproduceananesthesia,areliefofterminalcancerpainforCathy.She
wassufferingintolerablepainthatcouldnotberelievedbymorphine,Demerol,or
anythingelse.Shewasinadesperatelydebilitatedstateofmindinwhichshejust
repeated,Don'thurtme,don'tscareme,don'thurtme,don'tscareme,don'thurtme,
don'thurtme.Acontinuous,monotonous,urgentcryingoutofthosetwoparticular
sentences.Myopportunityofintrudinguponherwasrathersmall.WhatcouldIdoin
ordertobringaboutareliefofthepain?IhadtouseCathy'sownlearnings.Ihadto
usemyownthinking,andmythinking,ofcourse,wouldnotbeinaccordwiththe
thinkingofthishighschoolgraduatewhoknewshehadonlyacoupleofmonthsleft
tolive.Shewasthirtysixyearsoldwiththreechildren;theoldestwaselevenyears
old.Therefore,herthinkingwouldbetotallydifferent,herdesireswouldbesototally
different,allofherunderstandingswouldbetotallydifferentfrommine,andmytask

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

121/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

was,ofcourse,tobringaboutahypnoticstateinwhichIcouldstimulatehertodo
somethingwithherownpastlearnings.Ididn'twanttotrytostruggleinafutileway
whenthewomanhadalreadylearnedmorphinehadnoeffectonher,whenDemerol,
nomatterhowlargethedose,seemedtohavenoeffectonher.Ididn'twanttotryto
strugglewithherandtellhersheshouldgointoatrance,becausethatwouldbea
ratherfutilething.Therefore,Iaskedhertodosomethingthatshecouldunderstandin
herownrealityorientations.Iaskedhertostaywideawakefromtheneckup.That
wassomethingshecouldunderstand.Itoldhertoletherbodygotosleep.Inherpast
understandingsasachild,asayouth,asayoungwomanshehadhadtheexperience
ofaleggoingtosleep,ofanarmgoingtosleep.Shehadhadthefeelingofherbody
beingasleepinthathypnagogicstateofarousinginthemorningwhenyouarehalf
awake,halfasleep.Iwasveryverycertainthewomanhadsomeunderstandingofher
bodybeingasleep.Thusthewomancoulduseherownpastlearnings.Justwhatthat
meanttoher,Idon'tknow.AllIwantedtodowastostartatrainofthinkingand
understandingthatwouldallowthewomantocalluponthepastexperiential
learningsofherbody.

Ididnotaskhertocontendwithmeaboutgoingintoatrance,becausethat,Ithought,
wasfutile.Ididnotaskhertotryherlevelbesttocooperatewithmeingoingintoa
trance,becauseshedidn'tknowwhatatrancewas.Butshedidknowwhatbeingwide
awakewas.Shedidknowwhatabodybeingasleepwas,becauseshehadalifelong
experienceofbothstates.ThenextthingIaskedhertodoafterherbodywasasleep
wastodevelopanitchonthesolesofherfeet.Howmanypeoplehavehaditcheson
variouspartsoftheirbodies?Miserableitches,uncontrollableitches,distressing
itches.Weallhavehadthatsortofexperience,thereforeIwasagainsuggesting
somethingtoherthatwaswellwithinherexperience,withinherphysiological,
psychological,neurologicalexperience;withinhertotalbodyoflearnings.Iwas
askinghertodosomethingforwhichshehadmemories,understandings,andpast

experience.Iwasvery,veryurgentaboutthisdevelopmentofanitch.Thewoman
shortlyreportedtomethatshewasawfullysorryshecouldnotdevelopanitch.All
thatshecoulddowastodevelopanumbfeelingonthedorsumofthefoot.Inother
wordsthewomanwasunableinherstateofpaintoaddtoherstateofpain.Shedid
theexactopposite.Shedevelopedafeelingofnumbness,notonthesoleofthefoot,
butonthedorsumofthefoot.

Now,whatwasmypurposeinseeingher?Thatisthethingthatallofyoushouldkeep
inmindindealingwithpatients.Youareseekingtoaltertheirbodyexperiences;their
bodyawareness;theirbodyunderstandings;theirbodyresponses.Everychangethat
developsshouldbegristforyourmill,becauseitmeansthatthepatientisresponding.
WhenCathytoldmeshehadthenumbnessonthedorsumofthefoot,Iacceptedthat
asamostdesirablethingandIexpressedregret,politely,thatshehadnotbeenableto
developanitch.WhydidIexpressapolite,courteousregretthatshehadnot
developedanitch?WhyshouldIcriticizeorfindfaultwithmypatient'sresponses?I
shouldbegraciousaboutit,becauseCathyhadalifelonghistoryofexperiencewith
peoplewhohadbeencourteous,whohadexpressedregret,andwhotherebyputherat
easesinceearliestchildhoodinvarioussituations.Cathyhadabackgroundof
experienceintowhichmycourteousregretcouldfit.

NowthepointIamtryingtoestablishisthis:Whenyoutalktopatients,talktothem
toconveyideasandunderstandingsinsuchawaythatyourremarksfitintothetotal

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

122/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

situationwithwhichyouaredealing.Youtrytoelicitaneverwideningresponseon
thepatients'partsothattheyrespondmoreandmorewiththeirexperientiallearnings,
withtheirpastmemoriesandunderstanding.Cathycouldacceptmyapologyandfeel
obligated.Sinceshefailedmeinoneregard,shecouldfeelobligatedtoputforth
moreandmoreeffortonthethingthatIaccepted.WhileacceptingCathy'snumbness
onthedorsumofherfoot,/alsoutilizedherownbackgroundandpersonalityto
intensifyhereffortstopleaseme.SinceIhadbeensograciousinacceptingherfailure
toproducetheitch,Iintensifiedhermotivationtocooperatewithmeinanyfurther
tasks.

ThenextthingIdidwastosuggestthatthenumbnessextendnotonlyoverthe
dorsumofthefootbutperhapstothesoleofthefootandtheankle.Well,ofcourse,in
suggestingthesoleofthefootwhereCathyhadfailedtoputanitch,shewouldbeall
themoreeagertoproducethenumbness.Assurelyasshedidthat,shewouldbe
obligatedtodevelopanumbnessoftheankle.OfcourseCathyhadhadplentyof
experiencebeingunawareofthesoleofherfoot,unawareofherankle.Cathyknew
whatnumbnesswas,andshehadbodylearningsofthosethings.Therefore,whenI
askedhertodothosethings,shecouldmakearesponse.NowCathywasnotpaying
anyattentiontoherbed,tothepicturesonthewall,tothepresenceoftheother
physicianwithme,tothetaperecorderthatwasinfullview.Cathywasdirectingher
mentalattentiontoherbodylearnings.Intheuseofhypnosisyouneedtobeawareof
thetotalunimportanceofexternalreality.NowasCathydevelopedthenumbnessin
thesoleofherfootandthenumbnessinherankle,shewithdrewmoreandmore
completelyfromtherealityoftheroom.Shewasgivingherrealityorientationtoher
body,notintermsofcancerpainbutintermsofbodylearningsofnumbness.Cathy
becameverygreatlyinterestedinlettingthenumbnessprogressfromheranklestothe
calf,totheknee,tothelowerthirdofthethigh,themiddlethird,theupperthird,
havingitcrossovertotheothersideofherpelvisandgodowntheotherlegsothat

shehadanumbnessfromtheumbilicusdown.NowthatinterestedCathy.Atthat
moment,ofwhatinterestwastheceiling,thebed,thedoctor,thewalls,oranything
else?Cathy'sinterestwasdirectedtothatstateofnumbnessjustasdentalpatients
shouldbesofascinatedbythethoughtofthecontrolofcapillarycirculation,bythe
thoughtofdentalanesthesia,bythethoughtoflearninghowtochewtheirfoodwitha
differentkindofbitesothattheywon'thavetemporalmandibularpain.Thethingthat
intereststhepatients,thereasontheyareinyouroffice,shouldbethepointof
orientation.

WithCathyorientedtothenumbnessofherlegandpelvisitwasasimplematterto
extendthenumbnessuptoherneck.Cathyhadmetastasesthroughouthertorso,she
hadlungmetastases,metastasesinthebonesinthespineaswellasthebonesofthe
pelvis.Whenyouconsiderthatsortofthing,youmakeeveryefforttoextendthe
numbness.Hereisapatientwhoknowsthatsheisgoingtodiewithinafewmonths.
Shehasbeenassuredofthatbyphysicianswhomshetrustsandbelieves,sodeathis
anabsolutereality,whilethewallsoftheroom,thebeditselfmightnotbean
importantpartofreality.Thismatterofimpendingdeath,thismatterofherfamily,
wasanunforgettablereality,andsoindealingwithherexperienceofpainitwas
necessarytoincludesomeoftheordinaryrealityofherdailyexistence.Cathyhadhad
thatcancerforaboutayear.IfIwanttohelpCathy,Ihavetoorganizeanyhypnotic
suggestionsthatIgiveherinsuchafashionthattheyincorporatesomeofCathy's
ownthinking,someofCathy'sownunderstanding.ThefirstthingIdidforCathyin

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

123/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thematterofnumbnessofthechestwastomentionthathercancerfirststartedinher
rightbreastandthentomentionthattherewasstillanareaofulcerationatthesiteof
thesurgeryandthatthatulceratedareawaspainful.Thatisabitofexternalrealitybut
itisalsoabitofbodyreality,becauseCathycouldlookdownatthatulceratedarea,
whichmadeitexternaltoherbecauseitwassomethingshewaslookingat.Thepain
wasapersonalexperiencewithinherbody.Thevisualthingwasexternaland
unpleasantanddisagreeable,andthatexternalvisioncouldthreatenherlife.Thepain
anddistresswasaninternalexperiencesofarasCathywasconcerned.Therefore,I
madeCathyawareofsomeoftheexternalenvironment.Shewasalreadyawareofthe
internalenvironment,soImerelymadecertaintoincludeexternalenvironment,but
animportantpartofexternalenvironment.Thewallsinherbedroom,thepillowson
herbed,weren'timportantpartsofexternalreality,buthervisualimpressionofthat
ulceratedareawasamostimportantpartofherexternalorientation,andsoIdirected
herattentiontothat.

Cathyhadexpressedregretbecauseshehadnotbeenabletodevelopanitchonthe
soleofherfoot.WhatshouldIdo?Now,toomanyoperators,toomanypeoplewho
usehypnosistrytobeperfectionists,theytrytoaccomplishtoomuch.Thatisoneof
thereasonsforfailureinmanyinstancestheeffecttotrytoaccomplishtoomuch.
Anystudentinhighschoolorcollegewilltellyou:certainlyIcan'tmake100,1might
make95,orImightmake90,1can'tdobetterthanan85,1amluckytogetan80.We
havethatsortofanorientation.Eventheexpertmarksmansays:Ihopetoget10out
of10,butIamnotatallcertainofthat.Expertbowlerswouldliketomakeacertain
score,buttheyneverreallyhonestlyexpectineverygametohaveaperfectscore;
theyexpectacertainamountoffailure.Thosewhousehypnosishadbetterbearin
mindthatthepatientstheyareworkingonhavealifetimeofexperienceinexpecting
acertainamountoffailure.You,asthetherapist,oughttoutilize,yououghttogo
alongwith,thepatients,andyououghttobetheonethatpicksouttheareaoffailure.

ItwastremendouslyimportantthatCathyberelievedofthatpain,butshehadan
experienceofgoingtohighschoolCathyknewbyvirtueofalifetimeofexperience
thatshecouldnotachieveperfectioninherperformances.Therefore,insuggesting
reliefIwasveryverycarefultoensureacertainpercentageoffailure.Whathadfailed
Cathyinthefirstplace?Herfirstfailurewasinthatrightbreast,thatiswherethe
cancerstarted,thatiswhereshehadherfirstsenseofpersonalfailure.Herrightbreast
hadletherdown.Herrightbreasthaddoomedher.Thereisnowayofgettingaround
thatunderstandingonCathy'spart.Thatrightbreasthaddoomedher.SonowI
expressmysorrow,myregretthatIcouldn'ttakeawaythepainatthesiteofthat
awfululceratedareaonherchest.IrecognizedaloudtoCathythatthatwasaminor
pain,aminordistress,andIwasawfullysorrythatIfailed.NowCathycouldagree
withme,andshecouldagreewithmewhenIwishedthatIcouldproducethesame
numbnesstherethatIhadproducedelsewhereinherbody.InotherwordsImadeuse
ofthedoublebind:Aslongasshehaddistressatthebreastarea,shehadtohave
numbnesselsewhereinherbody.ThusIhadallofCathy'sgeneralexperience
substantiatingthenumbnessofmostofherbody.

Now,thereisnothingmagicalaboutwhatIdiditwasarecognitionofthethinking
thatCathywoulddo...thethinkingandtheunderstandingthatwouldderiveoutof
Cathy'sordinarylife.Awomanwhogrewupinthisculture,inthisage,wouldhave
certainlearningsasaresultofjustbeingalive.Now,whenIleftthatminorpain,that
minordistress,itprovedthatIwasnotGod.ItjustgaveCathyanothergoaltostrive

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

124/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

for,eventhoughshehadthefeelingthatshewouldfailasfarasthisminorpainwas
concerned.CathylivedfromFebruary,whenIsawher,untilAugust.Shelapsedinto
comaanddiedrathersuddenly.Butduringthatlengthoftime,Cathywasfreeofpain
exceptinthisoneparticulararea,butasCathysaid,shedidn'tholdmyfailureagainst
me.Whyshouldshe?Bylettingherkeepthatminorpain,Iensuredthesuccessofthe
rest.

Weneedtounderstandthewaywebehaveemotionally.Wecantakeonlysomuch,
butthereisalwaysonelaststraw.Intheuseofhypnosiswemakeuseofthat
particularlearning:Wegetridofeverythingbutleavethatlaststrawasadistraction
becauseitisaminorthing.Iremovedthemajorpartofherpainbutjustleftthatlast
strawwhichCathycouldconsiderunimportant.NowIhavestressedthisbecauseI
wanttoimpressuponyouthetremendousimportanceinofferingyoursuggestionsnot
asthethingthepatientistodobutasthestimulustoelicitpatientbehaviorinaccord
withindividualbodylearnings,individualpsychologicalexperiences.Isuggestedan
itchonthefoot,whichwouldbeaddingtoherpain.Mypurposewasnotreallyto
produceanitchonthesaleofherfoot.Mypurposeinsuggestingthatwasmerelyto
startCathyfunctioningwithinherselftostartCathyusingherownbodylearnings
andtousethemaccordingtoherownpatternofresponse.ThenwhenCathy
developedthenumbnessonthedorsumofthefootandexpressedherregret,Iused
thatregretandnumbness.Icoulduseitintelligentlytobringaboutthereliefofpain
thatwouldmeetCathy'sneeds.WhenIfirstapproachedCathy,Ihadno
understandingatallabouthowIcouldproduceareliefofpainforher,becauseI
didn'tknowher.Iknewnothingreallyabouttheuniquenessofherownindividual
learning.MyinitialtaskwastosaysomethingthatwouldgetCathy'sattentionand
allowhertomakeherownpersonalresponses.Ithenutilizedthoseresponses.Inthe
useofhypnosisinmedicine,dentistry,andpsychologythereisaneedtoexplorethe
kindofthinkingandrespondingthatischaracteristicoftheindividualpatient.We

needtorecognizetheactualunimportanceofwhatwesayasbeingthegoaltobe
achieved.Theimportanceofwhatwesayliesinitsbeingastimulusfortheelicitation
ofresponsespeculiartothepatient.Wethenhelpthepatientsutilizetheseresponses
innewwaystoachievetheirtherapeuticgoals.

SelectedShorterCases:ExercisesforAnalysis

Inthissectionaresummariesofcasesbytheseniorauthorandothersillustratingthe
basicprincipleswehaveexplained.Somearereportedhereforthefirsttime;others
havebeenpublishedelsewhere.Thestudentwoulddowelltoanalyzethedynamicsof
theireffectivenessintermsoftheconceptsintroducedinthisandprecedingschapters.
Someguidesforthisanalysisareplacedinitalicsattheendofeachcase.

ATigerUndertheBed

AwomandyingofterminalcancerwasbroughttoErickson'sofficeinanambulance.
Shewasindesperatepain,anddrugsnolongerdiminishedit.Shewasfrankly
skepticalofhypnosisandimmediatelytoldEricksonofherdoubtsuponenteringhis
office.Heproceededimpressivelyasfollows:Madam,IthinkIcanconvinceyou.
Andyouknowhowmuchpainyouaresuffering,howuncontrollableitis.Ifyousaw
ahungrytigerwalkingthroughthatdoorway,lickingitschopsandlookingatyou,
howmuchpainwouldyoufeel?Shewasapparentlystunnedbythisunexpected

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

125/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

questionandsaid,Notabit.Infact,I'mnotfeelinganypainnoweither.Ericksonthen
replied,Isitagreeabletoyoutokeepthathungrytigeraround?Shesaid,Itcertainlyis
!Alltheassociationstohungrytigerhadsofocusedherattentionthatshewasina
walkingtrance,fromwhichsheneednotbeawakened.Shepresentedtheentire
appearanceofbeingawakeinallotherrespects.Yetshecouldseeandexperiencethe
presenceofthattigeratanytime,dayornight.Thehypnotherapistsimplyevokes
surprisingsetsofemotional,cognitive,orbehavioralresponsestointerferewiththe
symptomsheneedstoalter.

Theseniorauthorthentoldherthatherdoctorsandnursesmightnotbelieveit,but
shenowexperiencedthetruthofpainrelief.And,indeed,herphysiciansandnurses
didnotunderstand.Whenevertheycametoofferheraninjectionforpainrelief,the
womanrespondedwithawarmsmile,No,thankyou,Idon'tneedany.Ihavea
hungrytigerundermybed.Theysuspectedshewashallucinatingandperhapslosing
contactwithreality,butinthoselastmonthsofherlifeshelivedinapparentcomfort
withouttheuseofnarcoticsortranquillizingmedication.Herfamilythoughtshewas
justfine,however.

Shock;Surprise;Fixationofattention;Commoneverydaytrance;Distracting
associations;Alteredframesofreference;Posthypnoticsuggestiontoprotectthe
therapeuticwork

ChinonaChair

Theseniorauthorhashadtodealwithpersonalpainproblemsallhislifebecauseof
poliomyelitis.Heusuallycancontrolpaineffectivelyduringthedaytimebysimply
goingintoautohypnotictrance.Whenhegetsverytiredorgoestosleepatnight,
however,thepainsometimesreturnsandwakeshimup.Hethenhastorearrangehis

musclesandmentalcomposuretogetridofthepainagain.Sometimesinthemiddle
ofthenightthisisjustnoteasy.Onsuchoccasionsheconfessestohavingsometimes
pulledachairtothesideofhisbed,hookinghischinoverthebackofthechair,and
pressingdownuntilhecouldnolongerstandthepainheproducedvoluntarily
(EricksonandRossi,1977).

Hypnoticsuggestionasahighlydevelopedcognitiveframeofreferencethatcan
sometimesfailduringsleep;Distractinginvoluntarypainwithvoluntarycontrolover
pain

ShaggyDogStories

Thentherewasthepatientwithparalysisfromthelevelofthetwelfththoracic
vertebrawhohadsevererecurringattacksofpainassociatedwithanacutecystitisand
poliomyelitis.Hewouldendurehispainuntilhecouldnolongercontrolhisoutcries.
Sincehisgeneralconditionwaschronic,narcoticswereinadvisable.Becausehewas
anearnest,sincere,considerate,sociallymindedman,buttotallylackinganysenseof
humororcapacitytounderstandwordplaysandpuns,hispainwashandledbythe
simpleprocedureofinstructingthenursestotellhimshaggydogstories,especially
thoseemployingwordplaysandpuns.Hewouldlistenearnestly,appreciativeofthe
sociabilityofthenurse,andstruggleabsorbedlyintryingtomakesenseofher
narrative.Astimewentonthepatientspontaneouslywouldsummonanurseandstate

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

126/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thathispainwasstartingupcouldshespareaminuteortwoofhertimetotalkto
him,andhewouldtrytounderstandherstory.

Fixationofattention;Distraction;Unconscioussearchandprocesses
HeadandShouldertotheSolarium

Inacaseofterminalillnesspaininawomanwithayoungdaughtertheseniorauthor
addressedtheyoungdaughterasfollows:Nowyourmotherwantstobeconvinced
thatshecanbefreefrompain.Thatiswhatyouaregoingtodoconvinceyour
mother.Nowjustsitinthischairhere,andwhileyou'resittinginthatchair,gointoa
tranceandgoovertotheothersideoftheroom.AndIwantyoutoloseallsenseof
feelingeverywhere.Youwillbewithoutfeelinginadeeptrance.Youaresittinghere,
butyou'reoverthereontheothersideoftheroomandyouarewatchingyourself
there....Nowyouwatch,mother.Yourdaughterisinadeeptrance.Shethinksshe's
ontheothersideoftheroom.NowkeepyoureyeonmebecauseI'mgoingtodo
somethingthatnomotherwouldeverwantdone.Irolledthegirl'sskirtuptoexpose
herbarethighs.ThemotherlookedoninhorrorasIdidthat.IraisedmyhandandI
broughtitdownonherthighwithaterrificslap.Thegirlwaswatchingherselfonthe
othersideoftheroom.NowIcan'tslapagirlontheothersideoftheroom,canI?
Themotherwasaghastthattherewasnotasinglewinceoutofthegirl.ThenI
slappedtheotherthigh.Thegirlwasstillcomfortable.

ThismotherwashighlyaddictedtotelevisionsoIeventuallytaughtherthatwhenever
shehadapainshecouldnottolerate,shewastoleaveherbodythereinbedandtake
herheadandshouldersoutintothelivingroomandwatchT.V.

Thisdissociativeapproachtopainreliefwasoneoftheseniorauthor'sfavorites.In
hospitalpracticehewouldfrequentlyhavepatientstaketheirheadandshouldersout
tothesolariumwhiletheirsurgeondidthenecessaryworkontheirbodiesinthe
operatingroom.

Shock;Surprise;Modelinghypnoticbehavior;Dissociation
NumbwithConversation

Theconversationalapproachtofixatingandholdingthepatient'sattentioncanbevery
usefulintraumaticstituations.TherewasanautomobileaccidentinPortland,Oregon,
andamanskiddedonhisfaceonagravelroadforaboutthirtyfeet.Agraveldirt
road.Hewasbroughtintothehospitalasanemergencycase.Oneofthemembersof
theAmericanSocietyofClinicalHypnosiswewillcallhimDanwhodoesagreat
dealofplasticsurgeryandoralsurgerywasonemergencycallthatnight.Hewentin
andfoundthatthemanwasconsciousandsufferingagreatdealofpain.Thoseofyou
whoknowDanknowwhatamarveloustalkerheis.Hehasasteadystreamofwords,
ofhumor,ofinterest,ofinformation,atremendouswealthofknowledgeandhumor.
Dansaid,Youreallyfilledyourfacefullofgravelandyouknowwhatkindofajob
thatmakesforme.I'vegottotaketweezersandpickouteveryconfoundedlittle
granuleofsandanddirtandIamreallygoingtohaveajobandI'vereallygottomop
upthatfaceandgethalfthehideoffitandyouhavebeensufferingpainandyouwant
somehelpoutofitandyoureallyoughttogetsomekindofpainreliefandthesooner
youstartfeelinglesspainthebetterandIdon'tknowwhatyououghttodowhile
you'rewaitingforthenursetobringsomethingtoinjectinyourarmbutyoureally
oughttolistentomewhileIamtalkingtoyouandexplainingtoyouthatIhavetodo

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

127/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

certainthingsaboutyourface.Youknowthereisagashhere,thatmusthavebeena
prettysharpstonethatcutthatone,buthereisashortoneandhereisabadbruiseand
Ireallyoughttomopitoffwithalcohol.Itwillhurtatfirstalittle,butafteritisdone
afewtimesthestingwilldeadenthetipofthenervesthatareexposedandyoustop
feelingthestingofthealcohol,anddidyouevertrytomakeaviolin?Youknowyou
canmakeviolinsoutofmyrtlewood,youcanmakethemoutofsprucewood.Did
youevertrymakingoneoutofoak?Danhadwonanationalawardforthebesttone
violinthathehimselfbuiltoutofmyrtlewood,andDankeptuphissteadystream.
Nowandthenhediscussedthetremendousdifficultyofreallymoppingupthatface
andputtinginthestitchesandwonderingwhenthenursewouldgetaroundtothe
hypodermic.Allthewhile,behindhim,thenursewaspassingDantherightsortof
instrument,therightsortofsuture,therightsortofswab,andsoon.Danjustkeptup
thatsteadystreamandthepatientsaid,Youareawfullygabby,aren'tyou?Dansaid,
Youhaven'theardmeatmybestIcantalkwithastillgreaterrateofspeedjustgive
meachanceandI'llreallygetintohigh.ThenDanstartedgettingintohigh,You
knowIthinkfasttooanddidyoueverhearanybodysingtheBumbleBee?I'dbetter
humittoyou.SoDanhummedtheBumbleBeeandfinallyhesaid,Youknowthatis
aboutall.Thepatientsaid,Whatdoyoumeanaboutall?Dansaid,Here'samirror,
takealook.Thepatientlookedandhesaid,Whendidyouputinthosesutures?When
didyoucleanmyface?WhendidIgetaninjection?Ithoughtyouwerejusttalkingto
me,justgettingready.Dansaid,I'vebeenworkinghardforoveracoupleofhours,
abouttwoandahalfhours.Thepatientsaid,Youdidn't.You'vebeentalkingabout
fiveortenminutes.Dansaid,No,takealook,countthosestitchesifyouwantto,and
howdoesyourfacefeel?Thepatientsaid,Myfaceisnumb.

Conversationalapproach;Fixationofattention;Distraction;Interspersalof
suggestions;Timedistortion

CallousedNerves

RecentlyIhadapatientsenttomewithchronichippain.Veryseriouspain.Iknew
betterthantotrytoinduceadirecttranceinthepatient.WhatdidIneedtodo?
EverythingIsaidtothatpatient,Ithink,washorriblyunscientific,butthepatient
wantedcertainunderstandingsthatshecouldaccept,thatcouldjustifythatchronic
uncontrollablehippain.Iacceptedthepatient'sabsolutestatementsofuncontrollable
pain.Iacceptedeveryoneofherstatements,sosheknewthatIbelievedandthought
thewayshedid.ThenIbegananentirelyspeciousexplanationofhowthatpaincame
about,sothatthepatientcouldunderstanditintermsofherownframesofreference.
1explainedhowthathypodermicshotofpenicillinorwhateveritwas,probablyhada
needlewitharaggedpointandinbeingstuckinthehip,hitthesciaticnerve.I
explainedhowthetipoftheneedlecouldtearnervefibers,andIgavealong
dissertationonthestructureofanerve.Itisnotjustonesinglefiber;itismadeupof
manymanyfibers.Igaveadissertationonthedifferentkindsofsensationsthattravel
overthefibers.Yougetheattravelingononefiberandcoldonanother,andatouch
onanother,andpressureonanother,untilthatpatientthoughtthatIwasrather
erudite.Finally,whenshewasratherboredwiththisincreasinghodgepodgeof
information,Ithrewinasuggestionhereandthereaboutpainwearingout,ofthe
bodybecomingaccommodated.Alaborerwithtenderhandssuchasminewouldhave
blistersverypromptlyusingthepickandshovel.Butwiththepickandshovel
wieldedahalfminuteoneday,aminutethenextday,aminuteandahalfthethird
day,andagradualprogressioninthelengthoftime,therewouldbeacallous

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

128/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

formationuntilthepickandshovelcouldbehandledalldaylong.Ithrewinallsorts
ofapparentlysensibleanalogies.Ipointedoutthatcallousformationscanbetheskin
ofyourhandandthatonecanalsobecomeusedtoemotionaldeprivation.Inother
wordsonecanformemotionalcallouses,onecanformintellectualcallouses,dermal
callouses,nervecallousesallthatsortofthing,untilthepatientlisteningtome
beganacceptingallofthosesuggestionsandbeganonherowntoseekawaytouse
themtohelpherselflosepain.EveryoneofthosethingsthatIsaidaboutcallous
formationhadtheeffectofthepatient'sthinking:Yes,Iknowwhatcallousis.IwishI
couldhaveacallousatthenerveinmyhipwhereallthatpainis.Howniceitwould
be.HowwouldmylegfeelifIhadacallousthere?Itwouldfeelthiscomfortable,as
comfortableasmyotherlegdoes.Ipresentedideasthatthepatientcouldfind
acceptable,butIwasn'taskinghertoacceptthoseideas.Iwasmerelyexplaining
possibilities,explainingtheminsuchawaythatthepatienthadtoreachoutandpull
inwhateverideassheneededtofacilitatehercomfort.Nowwhatisthissuggestion?I
thinkthatthiswomanwithhippainwasinthekindoftrancethatwaseffectivefor
her.Ididnotdareattempttoinduceaformaltrancethatshecouldrecognize,because
IknewshewouldthenthinkthecallousednerveswasjustmyideathatIwastryingto
forceonher.

Yesset;Specioussuggestionfittingthepatient'sframeofreference;Boredom
depotentiatingconscioussets;Interspersedsuggestionsinitiatingunconscious
searchesandprocesses;Indirectassociativefocusing:Indirectideodynamicfocusing;
Openendedsuggestions

CHAPTER6

SymptomResolution

Thebasicviewofmodernpsychosomaticmedicineisthatsymptomsareformsof
communication.Assuch,symptomsarefrequentlyimportantsignsorcuesof
developmentalproblemsthatareintheprocessofbecomingconscious.Whatpatients
cannotyetclearlyexpressintheformofacognitiveoremotionalinsightwillfind
somaticexpressionasabodysymptom.Theconventionalpsychoanalyticapproachto
suchproblemsistofacilitateinsightsothatthelanguageofbodysymptomsis
translatedintopatternsofcognitionandemotionalunderstanding.Itissometimes
foundthatwhenpatientscantalkabouttheirproblemswithemotionalinsight,theyno
longerneedtoexperiencetheirbodysymptoms.

Hypnosishasbeenanimportanttoolintheevolutionofthisbasicviewof
psychosomaticmedicine(ZilboorgandHenry,1941;Tinterow,1970),andcontinues
todayasanimportantmodalityfortheresolutionofsymptomaticbehavior.Thesenior
author'smajorcontributioninthisareaisthediscoverythatwhileemotionalinsightis
usuallyaverydesirableapproachinresolvingpsychosomaticproblems,itisbyno
meanstheonlyroute.Hehasdevelopedwaysofresolvingsymptomaticbehavior
directlyonanunconsciouslevel."Thatis,symptomsmayberesolvedbyworking
withapatient'spsychodynamicsinsuchamannerthatconsciousnessdoesnotknow
whythebodysymptomdisappears.Moreover,thedevelopmentalproblemthatwas
expressedinthesymptomisalsoresolvedinanapparentlyspontaneousmanner.
Patientsareusuallypleasantlysurprisedbythis.Theysaytheydidnotevenrealize

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

129/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thetherapistwasworkingontheirsexualproblems,theireducationalproblems,or
whatever.

Twolevelcommunicationisourbasicapproachtoworkingdirectlywiththe
unconscious.Weusewordswithmanyconnotationsandimplications,sothatwhile
thepatients'consciousframesofreferencearereceivingcommunicationononelevel,
theirunconsciousisprocessingotherpatternsofmeaningcontainedinthewords.The
seniorauthorlikestopointoutthatheusesfolklanguage"orintimatelanguage"to
reachdeepsourceswithinthepatient.Heusessuchmythopoeticprocesses(Rossi,
1972b)asanalogy,metaphor,puns,riddles,jokes,andallsortsofverbalandimagistic
playtocommunicateinwaysthatbypassorsupplementthepatient'susualframesof
reference(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).

Whyaresuchprocesseseffective?Webelievetheyworkbecausetheyutilizethe
patient'sownlifeexperiencesandpreviouspatternsoflearninginatherapeutic
manner.Apunorajokecanbypassanerroneousandlimitingconsciousframework
andeffectivelymobilizeunconsciousprocessesinwaysthatthepatient'sconscious
intentionalitycouldnot.

Recentresearchinhemisphericfunctioning(Gazzaniga,1967;Sperry,1968;Galin,
1974;Rossi,1977)suggeststhattheeffectivenessoftheseapproachesmaybeintheir
appealtotheright,ornondominant,hemisphericfunctioning.Whiletheleft,or
dominant,hemisphereisproficientinprocessingverbalcommunicationsofan
intellectualorabstractnature,therighthemisphereismoreadeptinprocessingdataof
avisuospatial,kinesthetic,imagistic,ormythopoeticnature.Sincetheright
hemisphereisalsomorecloselyassociatedwithemotionalprocessesandthebody
image(Luria,1973;Galin,1974),theviewhasdevelopedthatitisalsoresponsible
fortheformationofpsychosomaticsymptoms.Thesesymptomsareexpressionsinthe
languageoftherighthemisphere.Ouruseofmythopoeticlanguagemaythusbea
meansofcommunicatingdirectlywiththerighthemisphereinitsownlanguage.This
isincontrasttotheconventionalpsychoanalyticapproachoffirsttranslatingtheright
hemisphere'sbodylanguageintotheabstractpatternsofcognitionoftheleft
hemisphere,whichmustthensomehowoperatebackupontherighthemisphereto
changethesymptom.Thatapproachsometimesworks,butitisobviously
cumbersomeandtimeconsuming.Alltoooftenthepatientdevelopsmarvelous
patternsofintellectualinsight,yetthebodysymptomremains.Eveniftheintellectual
insighttothelefthemisphereiscorrect,itmayremainisolatedfromtheright
hemisphere'ssourcesofsymptomformationandmaintenance.Thus,whilethesenior
authordevelopedthetwolevelcommunicationapproachlongbeforeourcurrent
understandingofleftandrighthemisphericpatternsofspecializations,wenow
believethatthisworkingdirectlywiththeunconsciousmaybeameansof
communicatingdirectlywiththeright,ornondominant,hemisphere,whichis
probablyresponsibleforpsychosomaticsymptoms.

Case5AGeneralApproachtoSymptomatic
Behavior

MissX,whohadplanstobecomeaprofessionalharpist,consultedtheseniorauthor
forhelpwithherproblemofsweatingpalmsandfingers.Herhandswereusually
damp,andwhenshetriedtoplayinfrontofanaudience,theperspirationwassogreat
thatherfingerswouldslipoffthestrings.Thenumerousmedicaldoctorsshe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

130/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

consultedwerebothamazedandamusedthatshecouldholdonehandextendedand
soonformapuddleontheflooroftheperspirationdrippingsteadilyfromherhand.
Theyrecommendedasympathectomybutcouldnotbesureeventhatwouldsolvethe
problem.

Asalientfeatureofthisinitialsessionwastheseniorauthor'sindirectexplorationof
thepossiblerelationbetweenthesymptomofsweatingandsexuality.Hisclinical
experiencehasbeenthatthissymptomisusuallyassociatedwithaprobleminsexual
adjustment.SinceMissXpresentedsweatingasheronlyproblem,however,his
clinicaljudgmentwastoexplorethepossiblerelationbetweentheexcessivesweating
andhersexualityindirectlybytwolevelcommunication.Hedidthisbyutilizing
puns,certainwords,andturnsofphrasewithdoublemeaning,intonations,andpauses
thatmayevokesexualassociationswithinMissXiftheyareinfactassociatedwith
herproblem.Ratherthandirectlyconfrontherwithaclearstatementaboutsexual
problemsinamannerthatmightarouseresistances,hesimplyprovidescontexts,
implications,andassociationpatternsthatwillenablehertobringupthesexual
problembyherself.Ifhehappenstobewronginhisclinicalhypothesisaboutthe

sexualetiologyofhersymptom,nothingislost;MissXsimplywillnotpickupand
utilizethesexualassociations.

Thereisacertaindifficultyinpresentingthismaterialinaconvincingmannerin
writtenform,becausesomanyofthepossiblesexualassociationsarecuedby
intonationofvoice,pauses,acertainsmileorglance,etc.Tofacilitatethereader's
understanding,wordsandphrasesthatcouldarouselatentsexualassociationsifthey
are,infact,presentinthelistenerwillbeitalicized.

Inthefirstpartoftheinterviewtheseniorauthorisinvolvedintheprocessof
preparation.Apositiverapportandresponseattentivenessareestablished,andhe
beginstoassesswhichofherabilitiesmaybeutilized.Hefacilitatestherapeutic
framesofreferenceandheightensherexpectancyofreceivinghelp.Heinitiatesa
processoftwolevelcommunicationwherebyheexploresthepossiblesexualetiology
ofherproblemandutilizesherspecialinterestinmusictoenhanceherfirst
experienceoftherapeutictrance.Wewitnessmanyofhisapproachesto
depotentiatinglimitationsinherconsciousframesofreferenceandaninteresting
approachtosymptomdynamicsduringwhatappearsonthesurfacetobeasimple
processofhandlevitation.

Inthesecondpartofthisinterviewheleadsherintoadeeperexperienceoftrance,
duringwhichsheisveryevidentlyengrossedininnerwork.Bythethirdandfinalpart
ofthisinterviewheisusingideomotorsignalingtoevaluateandratifytheprocessof
therapeuticchangethathasalreadytakenplace.Duringthisinterviewwewitnesswith
unusualclaritythelogicofhisgeneralapproachtosymptomaticbehavior:

1.1.1.Heestablishesrapportandfocusesattentionintoatherapeuticframe
ofreference.

2.2.2.Hedemonstrateswiththepatients'ownexperiencehowtheir
unconsciouscontrolstheirbehavior.Thisisameansofdepotentiatingtheir
habitualframeworkandbeliefsystemssohecanthenassignthelocusof
therapeuticchangetothepatients'unconscious.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

131/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

3.3.3.Heutilizestheindirectformsofsuggestion(inthiscaseparticularly
twolevelcommunication)toevokesearchesandprocessesonanunconscious
levelthatmayinitiateachangeinthedynamicsofsymptomformation.

4.4.4.Hethendemonstratestheresultingtherapeuticchangeviaideomotor
signalsand/orthepatient'sobviousreleasefromsymptomaticbehavior.

5.5.5.Hethenallowsthepatienttofullyrecognizeandappreciatethe
significanceofthepsychodynamicinsightsaboutthesourceandmeaningof
thesymptomthatfrequentlycomeupspontaneouslyatthistime.Ideasand
attitudesfacilitatingageneralenhancementofthepatient'stotallife
experiencewithoutthesymptomareexploredandintegrated.

Aswillbeseen,thefirstthreestepsmayappearinvaryingorder.Theymayappear
almostsimultaneouslyorinsequence,withvaryingdegreesofrepetitiondepending
ontheneedsandresponsesoftheindividualpatient.Thesuccessfuldemonstrationof
therapeuticchangeinStep4,togetherwithposthypnoticsuggestionsforthe
maintenanceofthischange,usuallysetsthestageforthebroaderpatternsofnew
understandingandlifereorganizationthatfrequentlytakeplaceinStep5.

Togetherthesefivestepsconstituteaparadigmofourgeneralapproachtosymptom
resolution.Withinthisparadigmthetherapistmayexploreoneormore
psychodynamichypothesesaboutthesourceandmaintenanceofthesymptom.The
seniorauthor'sexplorationwithinthetwosessionsofthiscasewassoindirect,
however,thatwewerenotabletoascertainwhetherhishypothesisaboutthesexual
etiologyofMissX'sproblemwascorrect.Itwasn'tuntilhereceivedaletterthree
monthsaftertheterminationoftherapy,whereinMissXconfirmedthatsweatingwas
nolongeraproblemandthatshehadsimultaneouslyresolvedanimportantsexual
difficulty,thatwehadconfirmationthathistwolevelapproachwascorrectand
therapeutic.

Thiscasethusarousesfascinatingquestionsaboutthepossibilitiesofahypnotherapy
basedontheutilizationofapatient'sowncreativepotentialsratherthantheolder
traditionofhypnosisasaformofdirectsuggestion.Weobservethatitispossibleto
releaseapatient'screativepotentialsinsuchawaythataproblemcanactuallybe
resolvedwithoutpatientortherapistreallyknowingtheexactwhyordynamicsof
cure.Inthesecondsession,however,theseniorauthordoessupportthesymptom
removalworkofthefirstsessionbyfacilitatingthegrowthofMissX'sinsight
regardingtheetiologyofherexcessivesweatingandrelatedproblemsof
claustrophobia,fearsofflying,andhergenerallifeorientation.Itwillbeseeninthis
secondsessionthattheideaofsimplesymptomremovalisagrossoversimplification
ofwhatsoundhypnotherapycanbe.Thehypnotherapistismoreappropriately
involvedinthebroaderprogramoffacilitatingacreativereorganizationofthe
patient'sinnerpsychodynamicssothatlifeexperienceisenhancedandsymptom
formationisnolongernecessary.

SESSIONONE

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

132/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

PartOne:PreparationandInitialTranceWork

TranceInductionwithanIndirectExplorationofSexualAssociations
byTwoLevelCommunication

E:Nowthefirststep,ofcourse,istountangleyourlegs.Anduntangleyour
hands.NowwhatdoyouthinkIshoulddo?

X:Well,tobeperfectlyhonestwithyou,IguessIprobablyfeelthat.yououghtto
hypnotizeme.Inthatifyoudon%Imightbeawareofwhatyouaredoing,andthat
wouldwreckit.

E:Allright,nowwhatisyoureducation?
X:Ihaveamaster'sdegreeinsocialwork.

E:Untangleyourlegs,ofcourse,hassexualassociations.Untangleyourhandsmeans
nomoreresistance.

R:Thesesimplechangesofbodypositiontendtolowerresistanceimmediately.

E:WhatshouldIdo?Evermakelovetoagirl?Recognizethesexualconnotationin
that?Itispleasingtoagirltolethermakethedecisions.Buttheseimplicationsneed
notbeconsciouslyrecognized.ShefeelsIoughtto,butsheisnottellingmeIhaveto.
Tohypnotizeherwouldbetheproperthing.Ifyoudon't,Imightbeawareofwhat
youaredoing,maybeatwolevelcommunicationimplyingarecognitionofsexual
connotationsrightfromherunconscious.

R:Itcanbeatwolevelcommunicationevenifshedoesn'trecognizeitonaconscious
level.Thisthenisyourfirstuseoftwolevelcommunicationtoexplorethepossible
sexualetiologyofherproblem.

FacilitatingaTherapeuticFrameofReference:SeparatingConscious
fromUnconscious

E:Thenyouknowsomethingabouttheconsciousmindandtheunconscious.

X:Yes.

R:Hereyoubegintheprocessofintroducingaveryimportanttherapeuticframeof
reference,distinguishingbetweentheconsciousandunconsciousmind.Oncepatients
cometorealizeandaccepttherealityofanautonomousandpotentiallycreative
unconscioussystemthatisdifferentfromtheirconscioussystem(whichisbogged
downwithaproblem),theyareimmediatelywithinamoretherapeuticframeof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

133/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

reference,becausetheynowhavearationaleforgivingupsomeoftheirolderwaysof
doingthingsandaremoreopentonewexperiencewithinthemselves.Evenforthose
readerswhothinkoftheunconsciousasameremetaphor,however,itisusefulto
makethisseparationbetweenconsciousandunconsciousbecauseofthetherapeutic
doublebindsyoucanlatersetupwiththisdivision.

ThePauseasanIndirectFormofHypnoticSuggestion

E:Andwhenyoudreamatnight,whatpartofyourmindareyouusing?

(thesebreaksinthetranscriptionapproximatethenaturalpausesintheseniorauthor'sspeech.)

X:Theunconscious?

E:Yes,andthatdoesnotpreventyoufromknowingthenextdaywhatyou
dreamedabout,doesit?

X:That'sright,sometimes.

E:Yes.Theconsciousmindisusuallyprettybusywithitself,butitcanbeaware
oftheunconsciousmind.

E:Whenyoudreamatnight,yourimaginationisunfettered.

R:Therefore,thepauseafterthewordnightallowsthatfirstphaseofthesentenceto
bemomentarilyassociatedwithsexualconnotations.Thepausethatisolatesaphrase

withitsownimplicationsandconnotationsisthusanotherindirectformofhypnotic
suggestion.

E:ThetoneofmyvoiceinsayingWhatyoudreamedabout,doesit?alsocarries
sexualconnotations.

IndirectSexualAssociationsInterspersedinTrance
Preparation

E:Allright,sothateliminatesthisquestionofpreventingyoufromknowingwhat
I'mdoing.YoucanknowwhatI'mdoing,butIcanalsodosomethingsyoudon't
knowabout.Allright,whatisyourfavoritepieceofmusic?

X:Myfavoritepieceofmusic?Ithink,uh,Y'sHarpConcertoinFMinor.

E:Doyouknowwhattonedeafnessis?

X:Yes.

E:Iamtonedeaf.

X:Iknow.Inoticedyouarewearingpurple.

E:Thefirstsentenceinasuggestivetoneofvoicereinforcestheearliersexual

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

134/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

connotations.Musichassexualassociations,aswhenyouturnonsoftmusictomake
love.Favoritepiecealsohassexualconnotationsforsome.

R:Sothisisactuallyanassociationontwolevels:Totheconsciousminditisan
inquiryaboutherinterestinmusic;totheunconscious,however,therearethesexual
associationstomusic.

E:Allthismaterialisontwolevels.

R:Ontheconsciouslevelyouaretalkingaboutpreparationfortranceandher
interests.Therearemanyimplicationsandconnotationstotheparticularphrasesyou
usethatcanarousesexualassociationsonanunconsciouslevel,however.

RationaleoftheIndirectApproachtoSexualAssociations

E:Iamalsopartlycolorblind.leanenjoypurple.Andhowwellcanyouenjoy
thatpieceofmusic?

X:Immensely.

E:Youaresureofthat?Leanbackinyourchair.Icandaydreamabout
thingsnotreallylookingatanything.Notreallylisteningtoanything.AndI
canlistentothewhisperingofthewindinthewoods.Andyouareinposition
tostartlisteningtosomepartofthatpieceofmusic.

E:Purpleloveisacolloquialtermforwifeswapping.I'mputtingtogethermy
enjoyment(purple)withherenjoyment(music)andmakingthemcomparable.

R:Ontheconsciouslevelitisaconversationaboutthingsyouenjoy.Onthe
unconsciouslevel,however,thereareimportantsexualassociationswhichpurpleand
musichaveincommon.

E:That'sagoodpositionhasobvioussexualassociations.Whenyoukissagirl,sheis
notreallylookingatanything.Whenyoulookatmanyofthesewordsandphrases
fromasexualpointofview,youcanseetheyarereallyloaded.

TranceInductionUtilizingInternalMusic

E:Justlistenslowlytoit.Andyoureallydon'tneedyoureyesopen.Andreally
thoroughlyenjoythatpieceofmusic.And

therewasatimewhenyoudidnotknowthatpieceofmusic.A

timewhenyouwerelearningitandatimewhenyoubeganenjoying

itfullyandmorefully.

R:Yourtranceinductionisnowwellonitswaywithacomfortablebodyposition,a
fixationofherattentionofherowninnermusic,andthecasualsuggestionthatshe
doesnotneedtokeephereyesopen.Tranceinductionisthusacomfortableprocess
thatdevelopsalmostimperceptiblyoutofaconversationaboutherinterestinmusic.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

135/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

SoontoIntroduceSuggestions

E:Andsoonyourealizeyouareinatrance.

Itisaverycomfortablewaytobe.

E:Soonistheundefinedfuture.

R:Soyouarealwayssafewhenyougiveasuggestionintroducedwithsoon.
HallucinationTraining

E:Andnotonlydoyouwanttobeinatrance,butyouwanttohearthatmusic
continueoverandoveragainandthenanotherpieceofmusiccomesto
mind.

E:Thereisnomusicinthisroom.

R:Butthissuggestionreinforcesthehallucinatoryaspectsofherinnermusic.She
couldbecomesopreoccupiedwithitthatshemayhearitasfillingtheroomlikea
tonehallucination.Thisisactuallythefirststepintraininghertoexperiencean
auditoryhallucination.

E:Overandoveragainhassexualconnotations.

SuggestionsBypassingResistance:TheConsciousUnconsciousDouble
Bind

E:Andyoudon'treallyhavetopayattentiontome.Yougiveyourattentionto
themusic,butyourunconsciousmindwillunderstandwhatIsayand
understandthingsthatyoucan'tunderstand.Firstofall,Iwantyour
unconsciousmindtogivetoyoutogivetoyouamostcomfortablefeeling
allover.[Pause]

R:Thisisyourtypicalapproachtobypassingconscioussetsandresistanceto
suggestions.Whileherconsciousattentionisfocusedonherinnermusic,anotherpart
ofhermindisregisteringwhatyouaresayingwithoutcommentorresistance.

E:Yes.

R:Isthisalsoanexampleoftheconsciousunconsciousdoublebind?Becauseshe
doesnotknowwhatherunconsciousmindcandoorisdoing(becauseitis
unconscious),shecanonlyagreewithyou.Shehasnobasisfordenyingwhatyou
say.

E:Yes.

R:Her'unconsciousunderstandingwhatherconsciouscannotisanotherdoublebind
thatdepotentiatesconsciousnessbygreatlylimitingthesphereinwhichitcan
understandandmakejudgments.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

136/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Relievingconsciousnessoftheneedforaction.

DoubleTasksandConfusionforBypassingConsciousAttention

E:AndthenextthingIwantisforyourunconsciousmindtoknowthat
thereisaverysignificantpurposeforittolistentome.Andwhileyour
unconsciousmindislisteningtome,yourconsciousmindwillbeverybusy
listeningtomusicofallkinds.Particularlyphrasesofmusicfromhere,from
there,contrasting.Butyourunconsciousmindisgoingtobelistening
toanythingthatIsaytoit.Anditisverymeaningfultoyourunconscious
mind.[Pause]Nowyourunconsciousmindknowsthatyoucanconsciously
liftyourhandsandmovethem.

R:Youcreateasharpdivisionbetweenthecomfortablefeelingherconsciousmind
canrecognizeandastrongrequestforattentionfromtheunconscious.Sheisthus
poisedbetweencomfortononelevelandtensiononanother.

E:Yes.Itisanurgentsolicitationforherunconsciousthroughherconsciousmind.

R:Yetthaturgentsolicitationmustreachherunconsciousthroughherconscious
mind?

E:Herconsciousmindwillnotpayattention;itwon'tevenbothertoremember,
becauseI'veassignedthemusictoherconsciousmind.Youcanuseadoubletaskto
depotentiateconsciousness.Confusionaswellasassigninganabsorbingtaskareboth
waysofgettingconsciousnessoutoftheway.

R:Youstructurethisevenfurtherwithacompoundsentencethatbeginswiththe
suggestionyourunconsciousmindislisteningtome.Theunconsciouslisteningis
thenreinforcedbythesecondhalfofthesentence,yourconsciousmindwillbevery
busywithlisteningtomusicofallkindswhenshedoes,infact,getengagedwithher
innermusic.Recentresearch(Smith,Chu,andEdmonston,1977)hasestablishedthat
itispossibletosooccupyonecerebralhemispherewithmusicthattheactivityofthe
otherisfacilitated.

Youseemtobesospecificwhenyoubeginasentencewiththewordparticularly,but
thenyouendwiththemostgeneralmusicfromhere,fromthere,sonomatterwhat
shehears,itwillbewithinyoursuggestion.Thenevenwhiletheconsciousmindmay
bebusycontrastingdifferentphrasesofmusic,yousuggestherunconsciouswillbe
listeningtoyou.Youestablishedwithinyourownscientificresearchandclinical
experiencethatthemindcanbesooccupiedwithtwotasksatonce.Itiswell
illustratedinyour1941paperonTheNatureandCharacterofPosthypnoticBehavior.

E:Yes.

DoubleNegativetoDepotentiateConsciousSets

E:Butyourunconsciousmindknowsthatyoudon'tknowthatitcanliftyour
hands.

R:Thisisatruismindoublenegativeform,thenotconscious(theunconscious)

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

137/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

knowsthatyoudon'tknow,whichtendstoconfuseandfurtherdepotentiateher
conscioussets.

AssociatingSymptomswiththeUnconscious

E:Yourunconsciousmindknowsthatitcanproducesweating,butIthink
yourunconsciousmindshouldknowmorethanthat.[Pause]AndIwant
yourunconsciousmindtobewillingtolearnanything,justanythingthatI
instructyourunconsciousmindtolearn.[Pause]Thatisverynice
consciouslytobebusywithmusicandvariousmemoriesfromwaybackthen
tothefutureofyourdreams.

R:Inyourfirstmentionofherproblemofsweatingyouimmediatelyassociateitwith
herunconscious.She,ofcourse,knowsitisrelatedtoherunconscious,sinceshe
cannotcontrolit.Whatshedoesnotrealizeisthatyouhavebeendevelopinga
relationshiptoherunconsciousthatsheherselfdoesnothave.Thisimpliesthatyou
willhavetherapeuticcontroloverhersymptomthroughyourrelationtoher
unconscious.

E:Yes.Imentionthesymptomandremoveit[fromtherealmofherconsciousmind's
responsibility]toherunconsciousmindandaddanythingtoit.

R:Youhaveassignedthesymptomtoherunconsciousmind?

E:Verydefinitely,andIhaveassignedthesymptomtoanythingwhichhassexual
connotationswhenexpressedwithcertainundertones.

R:Thisisratherremarkable:Youhaveassociatedhersymptomwithitsunconscious
etiologywithoutherrealizingwhatyouweredoing.

E:Andifthatassociationwasinappropriate,hermindwouldsimplynotregisterit.I
saidtolearnwithaslightsexualconnotationinmyvoiceandthenthatisverynice
withthesameconnotation.

LimitingConsciousUnderstanding

E:AndyourunconsciousmindisfreetolimititselftothingsthatIsay.
[Pause]Iwanttoteachyousomethingverymuch.Yourhandsarerestingon
yourthighs,andyourconsciousmindisgoingtoleavethemdownthere.

R:Inthiscompoundstatementyourpausesaresospacedtofirstexpressatruism:
Yourunconsciousmindisfree.Thisinitiatesanacceptanceoryessetthatopensthe
mindtoaccepttheimportantsuggestionthatfollows,tolimititselftothingsthatIsay.

E:ThephrasetothingsthatIsayalsolimiteditselftoconsciousmemoriesand
consciousunderstandings.

R:Herunconsciousislimitedtothethingsyousay,butwhydoyoubringinthe
conscious?

E:Idon'twanthertoknowhowfreelyIhavebeentalkingaboutsex.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

138/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Byshuttingofftheconsciousmindyouobviatethatpossibility.

E:Yes,itcanlimititself.ThethingsIsayareconsciouslyheardbutareunderstoodon
anunconsciouslevelonly.Buttheunconsciouscankeepthosesexualconnotationsto
itself.Youdon'tallowthe[conscious]selftobecomeawareofit.

R:Youthenutilizethesexualconnotationsofthighs.

E:Yes.Thighandthere;downthere.

DemonstratingUnconsciousControlofBehavior

E:Butvourunconsciousmindisgoingtoliftoneortheotherorboth.I
reallydon'tknowhowyourunconsciousmindwantstolearn.

R:Hereyounamemanypossibilitiesofhandliftingtoassureyoursuggestionwillbe
actedoninsomemannerorother.

E:Maybeit[theunconscious]isnotgoingtoliftupthehandsbecauseitwantsto
learnsomethingdownthere.

R:Ifthereisafailureinhandlevitation,canhavepsychodynamicsignificance;in
thiscasesexual.

ThreatandEnlistingCooperationoftheUnconscious

E:ButIamgoingtofindoutasrapidlyasyourunconsciousmindwishesme
tolearn.Oneortheotherorbothofyourhandsaregoingtoliftupfrom
yourthighveryslowly.

E:ButI'mgoingtofindoutisathreat.Asrapidlyasyourunconsciouswishesmeto
enliststhecooperationofherunconscious.

R:Youfirstraiseatensionandthenstatethattheconditionfortheresolutionofthe
tensionisthecooperationofherunconscious.Isthisawayofactivatingher
unconscious?

E:Yes,whenyouofferathreatandthenofferreliefbycooperation,youhavereally
enlistedtheunconscious.

SeparatingConsciousandUnconscious:NotKnowingtoDepotentiate
ConsciousSets

E:Unconsciousmusclemovementisdifferentfromthatoftheconsciousmind.
Andyouarenotgoingtoknowwhichhandisgoingtolift.Youwillhaveto
waitandsee,butyou'llbeuncertain.Themeretendency,firstonehand
andthentheother,perhapsboth,thenone,thentheother,perhaps
both.Soonerorlateranelbowisgoingtobendabit,awristisgoingtolift
up,ahandiscomingup.[Pause]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

139/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:I'magainseparatingtheconsciousfromtheunconsciousbypointingouthowbody
movementsaredifferentwitheach.Notknowingwhichhandisgoingtolift
depotentiatesconscioussetsbecauseitremoveshandlevitationfromher
intentionality.Thisensurestheinvoluntaryliftingofthehand.Itsetstheconscious
mindoverintheotherchair.

R:Whereitcanwatchbutnotnecessarilydirectorcontrol.
E:Yes.

TwoLevelCommunication

E:Anditisgoingtobeverypleasanttowait.Andyou'vegotalottolearnabout
yourhands.Itiswellworththetime,too.Andyourunconsciousmindis
alreadybeginningtoexplore.That'sright.It'slifting.Abitmore.Andsooner
orlaterbeginsaminorjerk.[X'shandsbeginminorjerkingmovementupoff
herthigh.Muchfacialfrowningisevident.]

E:Itisverypleasanttowaitalsohassexualconnotations.Youjustkeepinmindall
theseploysfromeverydayexperience.

R:Youuseverbalploysfromeverydaylifetofacilitatehypnoticsuggestion.You
simplyinterspersewordsandphraseshavingcertainconnotations.Ononelevelyou
aretalkingabouttheprocessofhandlevitation,andonanotheryouareevoking
sexualassociations.Thiswouldbeanexampleoftwolevelcommunication(Erickson
andRossi,1976)

E:Yes.Liftingallbyitselfaswellasjerkalsohavesexualconnotationsonanother
level.

ConfusionandMentalFluxtoMaintainOpenFramesofReference

E:That'sright[X'srighthandbeginsmomentarilytolifthigher.]Itdoesn't
necessarilymeanitisthathand.Itmaybetheother.Itisstilltoosoonfor
youtoknow.Upitcomes.That'sright.That'sabeautifulunconscious
movement.[X'shandsareliftingwiththeslow,veryslight,andapparently
spontaneousbobbingandupwardjerkingmovementthatenablesanexperienced
observertodistinguishitfromthesmoothliftingthatismorecharacteristicof
consciousvoluntarymovements.]That'sanotherandanother.You'rereally
learning.That'sright.Andthewrist,andtheelbow.That'sbeautiful.
Andnowtherighthand,indicatingthatitwantstojointhelefthand.Idon't
knowifitwill.That'sright.Uptowardyourface.Elbowsbending.And
thereisabitofaccommodationbetweenthehands.

R:Yoursuggestionsdonotpermiteitherhandtoachieveacleardominanceinlifting.
Thistendstomaintainherconsciousmindinastateofconfusionandcreativeflux.
Sheisbeingmaintainedinastateofexplorationandexpectationratherthanbeing
prematurelyfixatedinthesimpleconvictionthatonehandislifting.Youare
preventingherfromformingafinalandclosedframeofreferencearoundwhichhand
islifting.Shedoesnotrealizeit,butyouaregivingheranexperienceinmaintaininga
stateofopen,creativeflux.Thisopenstatetendstofacilitatethepossibilityof
creativemomentswhereinshemaybreakoutofheroldsymptomboundframeof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

140/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

referencetoachieveamoreadequateandtherapeuticmeansofexperiencingherself.

E:Acommonphraseinlanguageis"nottoletyourrighthandknowwhatyourleft
handisdoing.

R:Soyouareutilizingthisformofdissociationtofreeherfromconsciousframesof
referencethatmaybeasourceofherproblem.

UtilizingCompetitiontoFacilitateHandLevitation

E:Whichonewillreachyourfacefirst?Uefthandbeganfirst.Ismoving
faster.

E:HereI'mintroducingcompetitionbetweenthehands.Youworkatathingjustso
long,thenyoutakeabreak.Shehasbeenworkinghard,soshecannowtakeabreak
bydoingsomethingelse.

R:Shehasbeenworkinghardathandlevitation,sonowyougiveherabreakby
changingthetaskslightlytooneofcompetition.Thesamegoaloflevitationisbeing
achieved,butwithanewattitudeandsourceofmotivation.

E:Yes,youaretransformingonetaskintoanother.Youalterthetension.[Thesenior
authorgivesclinicalexamplesillustratinghowheutilizespatients'competitivenessto
facilitatehypnoticexperiencesratherthanhavethepatients'usingtheir
competitivenesstoopposethetherapist.Itisabasicprincipleofutilizationtheoryto
useapatient'spersonalitycharacteristicstofacilitatehypnoticexperience.]

TwoLevelCommunication

E:Butwilltherighthandsuddenlyincreaseitsspeedandliftup?That'sit.
[Pause]Andyoucantakeprideinthat.Yourunconsciousisreallytakingover
somecontrol.Andyouarereallybeginningtolearnthattheunconsciouscan
control.Anditshouldbeapleasingthingtonotehowyourhandmoves,
andyouareaharpist,andfingermovementsareveryimportant,andyour
unconsciousislettingyouknowthat.Andevenifthelefthandgetshalfway
toyourfacefirst,thatdoesn'tmeanthattherighthandcan'tcatchuptoit.
[Pause]Itmaybetherightelbowneedstoberemindedthatitcanbend.Of
course,therighthandcanalwayshavetheunconsciouschangeitsmindaboutthe
righthandmovement.

R:Hereyouaregivingherunconsciousalotofapparentfreedombydescribing
differentpossibilitiesofresponse;actuallyyouaregropingtofindwhateverresponse
tendenciesshehaswithinher,andyouthenutilizethemtofacilitatethehypnotic
experienceofhandlevitation.

E:Andutilizingalltheploysoffolklanguage:andliftuphasasexualconnotation.
Whowillmakethefirstmove[inloveplay]?Youwanttomakeagirlblush?Talk
aboutfingermovements.

R:Ithasconnotationsofmasturbation.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

141/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Right.Yetnoonereadingthiswouldeverthinkofthat.Ihavedeliberatelytested
thatoutbyaskingpatients,Tellmeaboutyourfingermovements.Theflushintheir
facesindicatesthequestionhasasexualconnotation.

R:Sothisisanotherclearexampleofcommunicationontwolevels:Onthesurface
youareapparentlyutilizingherfingermovementsasaharpisttofacilitatehand
levitation;onanotherlevelyouareactivatingpossiblesexualassociationsthatwill
enablehertodiscussordosomethingabouthersexualproblems.

ImpliedDirectiveforDeepTrance

E:Nowyourlefthandisapproachingyourface,butthenicethingaboutitis
thatyourunconsciousmindwon'tletyourlefthandtouchyourfaceuntilyou
arereallyreadytogoverydeeplyintranceandtodoeverythingthatneeds
tobedone.Everything,eventhoughyoudon'tknowwhateverythingis.

R:Thisisanimplieddirectivethatfacilitatesdeeptrance:Herunconsciouswon'tlet
herhandtouchherfaceuntilsheisreadytogointoadeeptrance.Youarerelyingon
thepatient'sownunconscioustodeterminethemomentforenteringdeeptrance;you
areutilizingthepatient'sowninternal,autonomousmentalmechanismstofacilitate
deeptrance.Youhavealsomadethesuggestiontoenterdeeptrancecontingentonan
inevitability:Herhandisgoingtotouchherfacefromthewayitismoving.The
phraseanddoeverythingthatneedstobedoneisaveryimportantallinclusive
suggestionthatishitchhikedontotheaboveintheformofacompoundsuggestion.
Eventhoughyoudon'tknowwhateverythingisdepotentiatesconsciousnessfurther,
sothattheunconsciouscanworkinitsownwaywithoutthelimitingpreconceptions
ofherconscioussets.

TheNegativetoDisplaceandDischargeResistance

E:Andyetyourlefthandismovinguptowardyourfaceirresistibly,butit
won'ttouchyourfaceuntilyourunconsciousmindisreallyready.And
irresistiblyitmovescloserandcloser.[Pause]Andeventhoughyourleft
handisveryclosetoyourface,thatdoesn'tmeantherighthandcannotbeatit
toyourface.[Pause]Ameretwoinchestogo,andIstilldon'tknowif
yourunconsciousisgoingtoliftyourrighthandtotouchyourfacefirst.And
thatlefthandlessthantwoinchesaway.Andnowyourunconsciousmindis
showingadesirethatyoudon'tknowyouhave.That'sright.

R:Theuseofthenegativebutitwon'ttouchyourfaceuntilyourunconsciousmindis
reallyreadyisveryinteresting.Ifshehasanyresistanceyouruseofwon'tmaypick
uphersandredirectitinaconstructivemanner.Youruseofthenegativetendsto
displaceanddischargethepatient'sresistance.

InnerWorkastheEssenceofTherapy

[DeepfrowningandmuchgrimacingbyX.]

E:Yourunconsciousmindsaystherearesomedoubts,butyoudon'tknow
whatthedoubtsare.[Pause]Andisn'titsurprisingtoknowhowdesperately
urgentitseemstobe.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

142/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Whatisthemeaningofsuchfrowningandgrimacing?Isinnerworkbeingdone?

E:Innerworkisbeingdonewithoutherknowledgejustasaschoolboygoestobedat
nightwithouthavingbeenabletoworkoutthatarithmeticproblem.Heworksitover
andoverinhismind.Thenextmorninghenotesthewrongdigitandcorrectsthe
problem.

R:Hediditinhissleepwithoutbeingawareofit.Sosheisworkingonproblems
withoutbeingawareofthem.

E:Thatiswhatsheisdoing:Allthetherapyoccurswithinthepatient,notbetweenthe
therapistandpatient.Desperatelyurgent"meanssheisgoingtobeworkingonsome
importantpersonalproblem.

ImpliedDirectiveasanIdeomotorSignal

E:AndnowIknowthatyourlefthandisgoingtotouchyourfacesoon,and
thatwillsignifythatyouwillbeinasufficientlydeeptrance.Thatyouwill
hearandunderstandeverywordunconsciouslythatIwantyouto.[Pause]
That'sdelightfultoseethosedoubts.[Pause]Asintheirresistibleforcethatis
movingyourhand,andthat'sarelief.[Herlefthandtouchesherface.]

R:Thisisanotheruseoftheimplieddirectivethatallowsherownunconscious
internalguidancesystemtoworkitswaysintothetherapeuticprocess.You'reusing
herhandtouchingherfaceasanideomotorsignalthatsheisinasufficientlydeep
trance."Doesyourphraseyouwillhearandunderstandeverywordunconsciously
thatIwantyouto,allowhertointerpretyourwordsonanunconsciouslevelinthe
wayyouwanthertowiththeirsexualconnotations?

E:Yes.

R:Herfrowningsuggestssheisexperiencingdoubts,soyouutilizethatdoubtby
definingitasdelightful,whichimpliesthatitissomehowallrightinthecontextof
theinnerpsychologicalworksheisundergoing.Youthenreinforceherfordoingthis
innerworkbymentioningthatitisareliefwhenherhandfinallytouchesherface.

PreparationforTherapeuticResults:TwoLevelCommunicationand
theCerebralHemispheres

E:Andnowyoucanbegintofeelasenseofcompetenceandsurenessthat
youhaven'thadforalongtime.[Pause]Andyourhandfeelssocomfortable
there.Socomfortableyou'llhavetotakeacoupleofminutestorealizehow
comfortableitisthere.[Pause]

E:Tellinghershecanhaveasenseofcompetenceandsurenesspreparesherforthe
therapeuticresult.

R:Evenbeforeyoudealwithit?

E:Ihavedealtwithit!Sheisfrowningoverit.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

143/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Howhaveyoudealtwithachievingthetherapeuticresult?

E:Bymytwolevelsuggestionsrelatedtosexuality.

R:Isee!Byyouruseoftwolevelsuggestionyouhavemadeherworkonthesexual
problemtothepointwhereshewasfrowningeventhoughshewasnotawareofit.
Thatwastheessenceofyourtherapeuticapproach,andnowyouaretellingherthat
shewillbewelleventhoughshemaynotknowwhy.Thisisreallyamazing!Under
theguiseofinducingtrancebyhandlevitation,youwereactuallygivingtwolevel
suggestionstoachieveatherapeuticgoal.Inoticeyoualwaysseemtobedoingtwo
thingsatonce.Yourtwolevelcommunicationmaybeselectivelybeaming
suggestionstotheleft(conscious)andright(unconscious)hemispheresatthesame
time.

RewardandPosthypnoticSuggestion

E:AndIamgoingtogiveyouaspecialrewardafteryouawakenfromthe
trance,andyoucanwonderwhatthatis.Butyoucangointoatranceany
timethereisagoodreasonforit.Youcangoinbycountingfromoneto
twenty,orifIcountfromonetotwenty,goingonetwentiethofthewayeach
time.Youcancomeoutofthetranceatthecountoftwentytoone,coming
outonetwentiethatatime.Andyoucanallwaysgointoadeeptrance.
Andyoudon'tneedtoknowanymorethanthatyoucanallwaysgointoa
trancewhenit'spurposefulandmeaningful.

R:Hereyouarefacilitatingaposthypnoticsuggestionbyarousingexpectancyand
motivationbymentioningareward.Wonderisalsoaspecialwordthattendsto
initiateanunconscioussearchandunconsciousprocessesthatmaybeuseful.You
thengiveyourtypicalinstructionsforenteringandawakeningfromtranceby
countingfromonetotwenty.Yougiveaninterlockingposthypnoticsuggestionina
verycasualmannerthattendstodepotentiateconsciousness[youdon'tneedtoknow.
]Yoursuggestionsaremadehighlyacceptabletohersincetheyaresoprotectiveand
respectful,permittinghertogointotrancewhenitispurposefulandmeaningful.

E:Allwaysgointoadeeptranceisatwolevelsuggestion:Ononelevelshehears
youcanalwaysgointoatrance;onasecondarylevelitmeansyoucangointoa
tranceallways,thatis,inmanydifferentways.Thisisaposthypnoticsuggestion
thatshewillgointotrancewithwhateverapproachtoinductionyouuse.The
secondarylevelsuggestiondependsupontheliteralismoftheunconscious.

IndirectSuggestionsforAmnesia,Hyperamnesia,andPosthypnotic
Suggestion

E:Andnow,afteryouawaken,Iwantabitofmusicthatyouhaven't
thoughtaboutorrememberedforalongtimetocomesuddenlyinyourmind
whenyouseemeplainly.Andyoucanbegincounting,mentally,silently
backwardfromtwentytoonebeginningthecountnow.[LongpauseasX
reorientstoherbodyandawakens.]

R:Thisisaposthypnoticsuggestionthatutilizesherownwelldevelopedinternal

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

144/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

programsaboutmusic.Sinceyouarerequestingmusicthathasnotbeenthoughtofor
rememberedforsometime,youarealsoattemptingtoliftanamnesia.Inthissimple
wayyouaretestinghercapacityforhyperamnesiaaswellasposthypnoticsuggestion.
Youtietheposthypnoticsuggestiontoaninevitablebehavior,whenyouseeme
plainly,soshewillhaveaclearcuetoexecutetheposthypnoticbehavior.

E:Yes,andI'malsotyinginthefirstpartoftrance[wheremusicisalsomentioned].

R:Withonesentenceyouaredoinganumberofthings:Youareprobingforthe
possibilityofahyperamnesiainrecallingabitofmusicfromchildhood;atthesame
timeyouarestructuringanamnesiafortheactualcontentofhertranceexperienceby
tyingtheendtothebeginning,soallinbetweentendstofallintoalacunaan
amnesicgap.Whenyouadministerposthypnoticsuggestions,youtypicallyusea
buckshotapproach,testingformanypossibilitiesinordertoassesswhathypnotic

talentsapatientmayhave.Butyouusuallyadministerthesesuggestionsinan
indirect,failsafemanner.

E:AnditisallsodisguisedthateventheintelligentonlookerdoesnotrealizewhatI
amdoing.

EvaluatingTherapeuticTranceforIndicationsofChange:Questions
EvokingPosthypnoticResponses;ShiftingTensestoFacilitateAge
Regression

E:Isitpretty?Canyoutellusaboutit?
X:Themusic?
E:Yes.[Pause]
X:Itchanged.

E:Telluswhatthechangewas.

X:Fromharptoanorchestra.
[Pause]

E:Whenwasthat?
[Pause]

X:WhenIwasseven.
E:Wherewereyou?
X:Athome.
E:Whoisintheroom?

X:Who?[Longpause]Mywholefamily,Ithink.

E:Toyourrightorleft?

X:Tomyrightorleft?Tomyleft.

R:Yourquestionutteredamomentaftershefocuseshergazeonyouimmediately
reinforcestheposthypnoticsuggestionaboutmusicshehasnotheardforalongtime.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

145/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Thewordprettyischildhoodlanguagetoevokechildhoodassociations.Whenshe
asks,Themusic?itimpliestherewereotherthingsinhermind.

E:Fromharp,whichisasolitaryactivity,toanorchestra,whichincludesothers.So
sheissaying[onanotherlevel]thatthechangeincludesothers.

R:Themusicchangingtosomethingsheknewattheageofsevenindicatesthe
successofyourposthypnoticsuggestion.Youthencarefullyquestionheraboutthe
circumstancessurroundingthemusictofurtherextendthehypermnesia?

E:Yes.Butalsototalkaboutsafethings.Wearenotgoingtorisktalkingaboutthe
others.Therearetwomeaningstorightandtwomeaningstoleft.Theyareloaded
words.I'musingpurposelydoublebarreledwords.

R:Herconsciousmindhearsyouquestioningaboutthedetailsofplacementtothe
rightorleft.ButonanotherlevelyouarestillonthetrackofIssomethingrightor
wrong?

E:Yes,andI'mdirectingitalltoher.NoticehowatacriticalpointIshifttensefrom
thepast(Whenwasthat?Wherewereyou?)tothepresent(Whoisintheroom?).
Thisshiftintenseisanimportantapproachtofacilitatinganactualageregression.
Noticehowherresponsesafterthatshifttendtoimplysheisreexperiencingthepast.

PartTwo:TherapeuticTranceasIntenseInnerWork

Inthisfirstsessiontheseniorauthorhascompletedabasicunitofpsychological
work.Hehasestablishedrapportandagoodworkingrelationshipwiththepatient.He
hasmadeapreliminarysurveyoftheproblemandhasintroducedhertoherfirst
tranceexperience.Mostsurprisinglyhehasalsomadehisfirsttherapeuticapproach
viatwolevelcommunicationwithoutthepatient'sevenrealizingwhathewasdoing.

ThisisanillustrationofoneofErickson'sbasicapproachestohypnotherapy.Hefirst
setsupatherapeuticframeofreferencebyemphasizingandlettingpatientshavean
experienceofthedifferencebetweentheconsciousandunconsciousmind.Withthe
processofhandlevitationsheisabletoexperiencethedifferencebetweenthe
voluntaryliftingofthehandandtheinvoluntarymovementsoftheunconscious.
Whilesheisopentounconsciousexperience,heinitiatesaprocessoftwolevel
communication:Ononelevelhetalksabouthandlevitation,whileonanotherlevelhe
isusingassociationswithsexualconnotations.Ifherproblemhasasexualetiology,
theseconnotationswilltendtoactivateherownsexualassociationsandleadhertothe
sourceofherproblem.

Atthispointanumberofalternativesarepossible.
1.TheUnconsciousResolutionofaProblem.

Theactivatedsexualassociationsmayremainatanunconsciouslevel,whereduring
trancetheyareturnedovertoeffectanapparentlyautonomousresolutionofthe
patient'sproblem.Itispossiblethathypnotherapycantakeplaceentirelyatan
unconsciouslevelwithoutthepatient(andsometimeseventhetherapist)knowingthe
whyofthecure.Thepatientonlyknowsaproblemhasbeenresolved.Noinsightin

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

146/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

theconventionalpsychoanalyticsenseisinvolved.Thisisprobablythemeansby
whichthemiraclesoffaithhealingtakeplace.Somehoworothersomethinginthe
faithframeofreferencetouchesofftherelevantunconsciousassociationstoeffectan
autonomousinnerresolutionofaproblem.Ofthemanywhoapplythemselvesfor

suchfaithcures,however,relativelyfewexperiencethesehappyaccidents.Theyare,
indeed,sorarethattheyarecalledmiracles.

Withthetwolevelcommunicationapproach,however,theseniorauthorisincreasing
theoddsofahappyaccidentbymakinganeducatedguessaboutthesexualetiology
oftheproblem.Ifheisright,thenmerelyactivatingsexualassociationsduringthe
relativelyfreeandcreativeperiodoftrancewillincreasethelikelihoodofa
therapeuticinteractionthatcanleadtoanapparentlyspontaneousresolutionofa
problemonanunconsciouslevel.Thefactthatthepatientisinatherapeutic
environmentwherecuresaresomehoweffectedbyanottoowellunderstoodprocess
oftrancetendstodepotentiateherlimitedanderroneousconsciousframeofreference
andenablesherunconscioustoresolvetheproblem.Thisassumesthatatherapeutic
potentialalreadypresentinthepatientwasblockedbythepatient'serroneousframes
ofreference.Therapeutictranceisarelativelyfreeperiodwhereinpatientscan
sometimesbypasstheselimitationssotheirowntherapeuticpotentialscanoperate
withoutinterference.

Onitsmostbasiclevelhypnotherapycanbeeffectivesimplybyprovidingpatients
withaperiodoftherapeutictrancesotheirownunconsciousresourcescanresolvethe
problem.Ifthetherapisthassomeunderstandingoftheetiologyanddynamicsofthe
problem,thenhemayhelpfocusthepatient'sunconsciousresourcesbytwolevel
communication.Ifthetherapistiswronginhisassumptions,twolevel
communicationisasubtleprocessthatsimplywillnotbepickeduporacteduponby
thepatient'sunconscious.Itisthussomethingofafailsafeprocedure.Thetherapistis
notlikelytoantagonizeorborethepatientwitherroneousandirrelevantideasthat
maysoundfineinatextbookbuthavelittleapplicationtothatpatient.

2.TheActivationandExpressionofRelevantAssociationstotheProblem:Insight
Therapy

Aperiodoftherapeutictrancewithorwithoutthehelpoftwolevelcommunication
maystimulateassociationstoaproblemthatthepatientwantstotalkabout.This
routenaturallyleadstoinsighttherapy.Afteraninitialexperienceoftrancethe
therapistmaysimplywaitforthepatienttobringuprelevantassociations.Ifnoneare
forthcoming,thetherapistmayagainreviewthenatureandpossiblesourcesofthe
problemtoascertainifthepatientnowhasmoreaccesstorelevantassociations.This
wasthecoursethattheseniorauthorbegantoexplorebyaskingtheharpistthedetails
ofherinnerexperiencewithmusic.Notmuchwasforthcoming,andhefeltthe
materialwasstilltoothreateningforhertodiscussitwiththeobserverspresent;
therefore,heagainstructurestheconsciousunconscioustherapeuticframeof
referenceandanotherexperienceoftrance.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

147/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

SESSIONONE

PartTwo:TherapeuticTranceasIntenseInnerWork

StructuringtheTherapeuticConsciousUnconsciousFrameof
Reference

E:Bytheway,areyourighthanded?
X:AmIrighthanded?Yes.
E:Areyourightorleftthumbed?
X:Right.

E:Putbothhandsaboveyourheadlikethis.Uphigherandinterlaceyour
fingers.Lowerhands.Lowerthemdown.Isyourrightthumbontop?

X:No,it'smyleftthumb.

E:Nowyouhaveknownthatsinceyouwereatinytot.
X:ThatIwasleftthumbed?

E:Yes.See,nowthatwasyourunconsciousknowledge.

R:Hereyoudoyourrightorleftthumbedroutinetoagainasserttheimportanceof
herunconscious.

E:Yes,I'millustratingthattherearethingsinherunconsciousthatshehasknownfor
alongtimeanddidnotknowit.Further,Icanproveitwithherownbehavior!

SpontaneousIdeomotorResponsesRevealingUnconsciousKnowledge
E:Areyouarightofleftkisser?

X:[Xlookspuzzledandthenalmostimperceptiblytipsherheadtotheright
withaslightquiver.]Left?

E:Oh,no!Didanyofyouseeher?

R:I'mnotsureIknowwhatyouarelookingfor.

E:Nowagain.Areyouarightorleftkisser?

X:[Shenowwithmoreawarenesstipsherheadslightlytotheright.]Right!
E:Whatdidyoudothefirsttime?

R:Shetiltedtotherightveryslightlyanddidnotevenknowit.

E:Sothatprovessheisarightkisser.Itisstartlinghowmuchwearelearning
aboutyou.Whattimedoyouthinkitis?Don'tlookatyourwatch.

X:Twentyminutesofone.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

148/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Nowlookatyourwatch.

X:Notbad.

R:Onlytenminutesoff.

E:Toexplainthat:Amusicianhasatremendoussenseoftime.
R:Yes.Soshewouldnotshowsomuchtimedistortion.
E:Howlongdidittakeyoutowakeup?
X:Twominutes?

R:Youusethisapproachwithkissingtodemonstratethesuperiorknowledgeofthe
unconscious,butyouarebringingitclosertothesexualarea.

E:Yes,butharmlessly.

R:Asyouaskthesequestions,youwatchherheadandlipmovementsverycarefully
todetecttheminor,unconsciouslydeterminedmotormovementsthatwillbetraythe
answer.AsItriedtoanswerthatquestionaboutbeingaleftorrightkisserformyself,
InoticedthatIspontaneouslymadeaslighttiltwithmyhead.Thattiltwasan
ideomotormovementthatprovidedakinestheticcueIneededtoanswerthequestion.
Youaskquestionsthatcanonlybeansweredbythekinestheticknowledgeofthe
bodyandpointouthowsuchknowledgebelongedintheunconsciousbeforeyou
broughtittoconsciousattention.Thisinitiatesaprocessofideomotorsignalingthatis
frequentlyunrecognizedbythepatient.

E:Nowthisisanawfullythreateningsituation.

R:That'swhyyouimmediatelyshifttothetimequestion.You'vemadeyourpoint
aboutthepotencyofunconsciousknowledge,andyounowreinforceitwiththe
questionaboutpossibletimedistortionduringherprevioustrance.Whentime
distortionispresent,ittendstoratifytherealityoftranceasanalteredstate.

TranceReinducedbyCatalepsy

[Theseniorauthorreachesoverandgentlytouchestheundersideofherleft
hand.Shetakesthiscue,andherlefthandliftsslowly.Itremainssuspended
catalepticallyinmidair.]

E:Doyoualwaysleaveyourhandsuspendedinmidairwhenastrangertouches
yourhand?

X:Dotheyalways?

E:Yes.Dotheyremainsuspendedinmidairwhenastrangertouchesthem?
X:No,notusually.

E:Allwaysofgoingintoatrance.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

149/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Yourearlierposthypnoticsuggestiontoentertranceinallwaysisnoweffectivein
reinducingtrancebyevokingacatalepsyofherhand.

RatifyingTrance:DemonstratingUnconsciousControloverBehavior
E:Wereyouinatrance?
X:Iguessso.

E:Whatmakesyouthinkso?
[Pause]

X:Iwasawareofnothavingcontrolovermyhands.

E:Whohadcontroloverthem?

X:Idon'tknow.Itwasn'tme.Itseemslikeyoudid.

E:Idon'tknowhowtocontractyourmuscles.

X:Maybeitdidn'tseemasifIhavecontrol.

E:Umhum.Howcanyoudevelopanothertrance?

X:Byrecallingthesamemusic?

E:Allright.NowI'mnotwastingyourtime,normyown.Iamlayinga
backgroundforthedevelopmentofyourownconsciousunderstanding.Now
Iamgoingtodosomething.

R:Youaskthesequestionsonlyaftershehashadenoughevidenceofunusual
behaviorsoshemustacknowledgethatsomethinginherexperienceisdifferent:She
experiencedanalteredstatethatwenowlabelastrance.Youareachievingan
importantaspectofyourhypnotherapeuticparadigm.Youaredemonstratingtoher
consciousmindthattheunconsciouscancontrolherbehavior.Thistendsto
depotentiateherhabitual,everydayframesofreference.Yourquestionsaredirected
tohelpingherrealizethatheregoislimitedinitscontrol,butherunconscioushas
potentialforcontrolandeventuallycure.

E:Herresponse,Idon'tknow.Itwasn'tme,isclearprooftoherandtheobservers.

R:Byaskingherhowshecandevelopanothertranceyouarebyimplicationlabeling
herpreviousexperienceastrance.Sheacknowledgesyourratificationofhertrance
whenshethensuggestsshecandevelopatrancebyrecallingmusicagain.Inavery
subtleandindirectmannershecomestoacceptherexperienceasagenuinetranceina
waythatbypassesanycriticaldoubtsshemayhavehad.Withyourfinalstatement
aboutthedevelopmentofherunconsciousunderstandingyouagainemphasizethe
importanceoftheunconsciousandheightenherexpectancyofwhatistocome.

E:Yes.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

150/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

TranceReinductionbyaQuestion:InitiatinganUnconsciousSearch

E:DoyouknowthatyouwillbeinadeeptrancewhenItouchyourface?[The
seniorauthortoucheshishandtoherface.Shecloseshereyesandremains
immobile.]Nowrestveryquietly.Andenjoyably.

R:Youareagainmakinguseofyourearlierposthypnoticsuggestionthatshecouldgo
intotranceallways.Thistimeyoureinducetrancebysuggestingacue[touchingher
face]intheformofaquestion.Suchquestioninductionsareparticularlyeffective
becausequestionsareamarvelousmeansoffixingandfocusingattentioninward.In
thiscasethequestionobviouslyinitiatedanunconscioussearchandtherequisite
unconsciousprocesstoleadtothedesiredhypnoticresponseoftrance.Oneofyour
mosteffectiveformsofhypnoticsuggestionistoaskquestionsthatcannotbe
answeredbythepatient'sordinaryconsciousframesofreference.Questionsthatask
foranautonomousresponse[suchasideomotorsignaling]onanunconsciouslevel
usuallydepotentiateconsciousnessandleadtotranceexperience.

AssigningtheLocusofTherapeuticChangeasTakingPlaceinthe
Unconscious

E:Andyou'rebeginningtounderstandthatyourunconsciousmindcan
developcontrolandtakechargeofsomanythings.NowinawakeningI
wantyoutodoiteasilyandcomfortablyinyourownway.

R:Youareagainemphasizinganddemonstratingunconsciouscontroloverbehavior
andmakingdirectstatementsaboutit,soshewillhaveaclearunderstandingofitas
themeansofyourtherapeuticapproach.

E:Isaysomanythingstoemphasizetheplural.

R:Thatimpliestheunconsciouscanalsotakecontroloverhersymptom,too.
TwoLevelCommunication

E:Inawaythatmeetsyourneeds.ButIwantyourunconsciousmindto
continuetolistentomeandtounderstandwhatIsayeventhoughyour
consciousmindmayhearsomethingdifferent.Nowtakeiteasilyand
awaken.[Twominutepause]Now.[Longpauseforatleastfiveminutes
duringwhichXdoesnotawaken.Thefingersofherlefthandmoveasifplaying
theharp,shegrimacesandfrownsandhastheappearanceofbeinginastateof
intenseinnerconcentration.]

E:Thepluralhereagainwithmeetsyourneeds.I'mactuallytalkingabouttwolevel
communicationwithoutreallyexplainingit.

R:Thatopensthewayfortwolevelcommunication?E:ThattellsherIamtalkingon
twolevels.

R:Thattheconsciousmindcanunderstandonethingwhiletheunconsciouscan

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

151/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

elaboratemanyotherassociations.Theunconsciouscanelaboratewhatever
associationsarenecessaryandpertinenttoherparticularproblem.Youareagain
usinggeneralwordsthatcanbeinterpretedinasmanydifferentspecificandpersonal
waysaspossiblerelevanttoparticularproblems.Thesuccessofthisapproachis
suggestedbythefactthatherinnerabsorptionwassodeepatthispointthatittook
heratleastsevenminutestoawaken.Theactivityofherfaceindicatesthatinnerwork
wascertainlybeingdone.Shewasnotasleep!

UnconsciousWorkDuringTrance:UnconsciousProblemSolving

E:Gorightahead[Pause]andsharethatwithyourconsciousmind.
[AnotherlongpauseasXremainsinintenseconcentration]Shareitwithyour
consciousmind.[Anotherlongpause]Thisstruggleishelpingyou.Even
thoughyoudon'tknowconsciouslyallofthestruggle,thatisallright.

R:Thiswasarelativelyrareinstancewhenasubjectdidnotawakenimmediately
afteryougavesuggestionstoawaken.

E:Herunconsciousmindunderstoodsomethingdifferentfromthewordawaken.
Whatdoesawakenmean?Wakeuptoyouropportunities!

R:Wakeuptoyouropportunitytodoinnerwork?

E:Whenthehellareyougoingtowakeup?iscommonfolklanguage.

R:Thatisfolklanguagefor:Whenareyougoingtorealizewhatishappeningtoyou?

E:Itoldhertolookforthedoublemeaning,andherunconsciousisdoingthat.

R:Thatisadoublebind:Youareforcinghertoworkonanunconsciousleveleven
thoughshecannotrecognizeitonaconsciouslevel.

E:Yes.IsetheruptoplaceunconsciousunderstandingsonwhateverIsay.Theywill
beherunconsciousunderstandings.

R:Thisisbeautiful!Nomatterwhattheproblemis,nomatterwhatthetherapist's
hypothesesare,youareencouragingthepatienttodoherownwork,innerworkthat
isvalidforherunconscious.

E:Sheisnotlimitedorbiasedbymyideas.

R:Sothisisamostgeneralwayoffacilitatingproblemsolving.

E:Idon'tneedtoknowwhatyourproblemisforyoutocorrectit.

R:Validhypnotherapycanbedonewithouteitherthepatientortherapistknowing
whattheproblemwas.

E:That'sright.NotethestrategyhereofthepauseafterGorightahead,"andthenthe
longerpauses.Thatmeansthereisnohurry,itcantakeplacetoday,tomorrow,
sometime.Doitatyourleisure,inotherwords.Onlyyouhaven'tsaid,Doitatyour

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

152/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

leisure.Butthatistheunderstandingthepatientgets.

E:Itallowsthepatienttorelaxsoinnerworkcanbedone.

E:I'mtellingheritisastruggle.ThenIgivereassurancewiththat'sallrightabout
somethingaboutwhichsheknowsnothing.

TherapeuticTranceasIntenseInnerWork

E:[Anotherlongpauseastheintenseinnerconcentrationwithwrinkledbrow,
frowning,andtautfacecontinues.]

Nowyoucanleavethestruggleatthispoint.Butyoucanreturntothispoint.
Andtherecanbeaninterludeofconsciousawareness.Youcancomerightback
tothispointanytime.

R:Ismoreeffectivetherapydonewhenapatientisobviouslyengagedinintenseinner
concentration,asisthecasehere,orwhenthepatientappearsmorerelaxed,passive,
andasleep?Whatstatedoyoupreferindoingtherapeuticwork?

E:IliketoseethisthatweseeinMissX.

R:Thisisthemoreeffectivetypeoftrancefordoinginnerwork.Sinceshewas
frowning,didshehaveaconsciousawarenessofwhatwasgoingonwithinher?

E:Sheknewshewasdoingsomethinking,butshedidn'tknowwhatitwas.[The
seniorauthorgivesanalogousinstanceswherecertainwirepuzzlescanfrequentlybe
solvedbytakingthemapartbehindone'sbackorwitheyesclosedbecausevisual
interferencewithkinestheticcuesiseliminated.Inasimilarmannermanyemotional
problemscanbesolvedmoreeasilywithoutconsciousthinking.]Itellhershecan
leavethestrugglebecauseshedoesnothavetofightthatbattleeveryday,every
night.Shecanalwaysreturnandfightanotherday.

R:Hereyoucarefullybreakintowhateverinnerworkwasbeingdoneandlether
knowshecanreturntoitafteraninterludeofconsciousawareness.Thisisanother
formofposthypnoticsuggestionthatassuresthatshewillreturntotranceand
continueherimportantinnerworkwhenyougivethesignal.

TwoLevelCommunicationandTranceDepth

E:Onmysignal?AndIamgoingtoaskyounow,andImeantoawaken.
Rightnow![Xfinallyopenshereyes]Youwanttotellmeanything?[Pause
asshecontinuesawakeningbyreorientingtoherbody.]

X:DidyousaythingsthatIdidn'thear?

E:Thatisaninterestingquestion.Whydoyouaskthat?[Pause]

X:Idon'tknow.Ijusthavethefeelingthatyouweretalkingtome,orsomebody
was,andIcouldn'thear.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

153/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Whowastalkingtoyou?Takeaguess.[Pause]
X:Idon'tknow.

E:Itwassomeoneyouknew,andeverybodyhereisastranger.

X:WasitsomebodyneworIknew?Didyousay,orwasitastranger?

E:Everybodyhereisastranger.Somebodyyouknew?Canyoutellus?
[Pause]

X:Itmustbeme.Ican'tthinkofwhoelseitwouldbe.

E:Someoneyouknowverywell.Thereisabondbetweenyou.Doyouwant
todisclosethat?

X:I'mshakingmyheadno,butIdon'tknowifIcoulddiscloseit.

E:Doyouknowwhothepersonis?[Pause]Yourunconsciousdoesn'twant
yourconsciousmindtoknow.

X:ThatiswhyIcan'ttellyou?

E:Umhum.

E:Whoisthesomeoneelse?Shehasasexualproblem.Anotherpersonisinvolved.

R:Herthreeyearfollowupprovesyouwerecorrectinyourassumptionthattherewas
someoneelseinvolved.Howdidyouknow,sinceshegaveyounohintsofitinyour
interviewthusfar?

E:Someoneelseinthatcontextcouldbearealpersonoranotherpartofher
personality.Xcamein.Igottheleastpossibleamountofinformation,knowledge,to
understandsomething.ThenIimprovisedthereafter.ButIknewwhatIwasdoing.I
laideachstepcarefully.Iplannedtosaythewordmusic,andIplannedtoreturntoit.

R:Yes,toproduceastructuredamnesia.

E:Iimpliedsex,andthenIreturnedwiththereissomeoneelse.

R:Youcontinuedwiththesexualtheme.

E:ButIsaidthereissomeoneelsetoyou,nottoher!

R:Thatmadeitamorepotentindirectsuggestion.Thatishowyouuseanaudience,
togiveindirectsuggestionstoapatient.Underthepretenseofgivingadidactic
lectureonhypnosis,youareactuallyadministeringindirectsuggestions.

E:That'sright.IfIdon'thaveanaudiencepresent,Icanelicitsomememoryofhers
andmakeafewremarksaboutthatharmlessmemory.Andthatismyaudience.Ican
commentonhertriptoChicago,whichhasnothingtodowiththeproblemathand,
butincommentingonthattripIcanputindoublemeanings.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

154/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Theaudienceisactuallyanotherpatternofassociationsinhermind.Thisis
anotherwayoftalkingontwolevels.

ConsciousandUnconsciousHeadSignaling:TheUnconscious
Personality

[Xshakesherheadnoinanabsentmindedmanner.]

E:AndtherewasanIdon'tknowheadmovementconfirmed.NowIam
talkingtosomeoneelse,andshedoesn'tknowto

whom,onlyIknow.[Totheaudience]Wasn'tthatbeautiful?

E:Nowwhensheshakesherhead,thatwasanabsentmindedwithdrawaltoatrance
state.Ifyourecall,shewasshakingitnoveryslowly.

R:Averyslowheadmovementisfromtheunconscious,whileafastheadmovement
isfromtheconscious.

E:Yes,andtheunconsciousresponsecomesafteradelay,whiletheconscious
responsecomesimmediately.I'mtalkingtoherunconsciouspersonality.

R:Intalkingtosomeoneelse,herunconsciouspersonality,youarefurther
depotentiatinghereverydayframesofreferenceaboutherselfsothatanunconscious
searchisinitiatedforthisotheraspectofherpersonality.Thisis,ofcourse,an
excellentapproachforevokingmultiplepersonalitiesormorerepressedaspectsof
one'spersonality.

FacilitatingAmnesia:WorkingwithAssociations
E:Andnowwherewereyouborn?
X:Arizona

E:HowlonghaveyoubeeninMemphis?
X:NineYears.

E:Anddoingsocialwork,where?
X:St.Joseph'sHomeforChildren.

E:ThereisachildguidanceclinicsomewhereinMemphis.

X:Yes.

E:Mynameeverbeenmentionedthere?

X:Wouldyournameeverbementionedthere?

E:Hasitbeen?

E:Onmysignal?answersthepatient'sinnerquestions,Shouldhealonesignalme,or
canIsignalmyself?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

155/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Herquestionsaboutnothearingorwhowasspeakingareveryinteresting.Would
yousayherremarksareanindicationofdeeptranceinspiteofalltheother
indicationsoftensionandfrowning,etc.?

E:Yes.

R:Doesherremarkaboutnothearingproveherconsciousnesswasdepotentiated
sinceshehasnoconsciousawarenessofwhatyousaid?

E:That'sright.Idideffectivelytalkontwolevels.
HypnoticAmnesia

E:Whatdoyousupposewassaid?[Pause]
X:Idon'tknow.

E:Allright.Withoutlooking,whattimedoyouthinkitis?

X:Around1:00.

R:Aboutquartertoone.[Pause]

R:Issheexperiencinganamnesia,orwasshesodeepintrancethatshejustwasnot
receiving,simplydidnothearorrecordwhatyousaidevenonanunconsciouslevel?

E:Sheissaying,I,theconsciousme,doesnotknow.

R:Howwouldyouprovethat?Youcouldaskforideomotorsignalsfromthe
unconscioustodetermineifitwasreceivingthingstheconsciousmindcouldnot
recall.

E:Yes.

VariationinTranceDepth:TherapeuticSuggestionsBridging
ConsciousandUnconscious

E:Howdeeplyinatrancewereyou?

X:Howcanyoutell?

E:WhatdoyouthinkisallIwanttoknow.[Pause]

X:Likehowwelldoneisthesteakmediumtodeepormediumtowelldone?

E:[ToR]Sheillustratesverynicelyhowasecondtranceverygreatlydeepened.
Andshefurtherillustratesthewealthofactivitythatisreallycutofffromher
consciousknowledge.

R:Ihavehadthedifficultyofputtingpeoplesodeeplyintoapassivesortoftrance
thatIamnotsuretheyarereceivingwhatIsayevenonanunconsciouslevelbecause
theydonotrespondtoposthypnoticsuggestions.HowcanIbesurepatientsare

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

156/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

actuallyreceivingwhatIsay?

E:Youcanputpeopleverydeep,butyoutalksothereareislandswhichtheycanuse
asahighway.Theyareonthebottomofthedeepocean.Theyneedtocomeupand
jumpfromthisislandtothenext.

R:Therearevariationsintrancedepthfromdeepoceantoconsciousislandthatyou
utilizetogivesuggestions.

E:Yousaysomethingtheycanhearindeeptrancethattheycanrelatetoconsciously.
Forexample,abitearlierIsaid,Andthere,canbeaninterludeofconscious
awareness.

R:Thatsuggestionbroughtupanislandofconsciousawareness?
E:Yes,somethingthatcanbeseizedupon.

R:Howdoesthathelpthemfollowaposthypnoticsuggestion?Itraisesthem
momentarilytoconsciousnesswheretheycanreceivethesuggestion?

E:Itleadsintoconsciousness.

R:Areyoubuildinganassociativebridgefromtheunconscioustotheconscious?

E:Yes,itbuildsabridgebetweenthestruggletakingplaceonbothconsciousand
unconsciouslevels.

R:Indeeptranceitispossibletoplacesuggestionssodeeplythatthereisnobridgeto
consciousnesswheretheycanbeexpressed.Thosesuggestionscannotbe
therapeuticallyeffective.

E:ThatiswhyIbuildbridges.

TwoLevelCommunicationUtilizinganAudienceorMemories

E:[ToRJ]Andtherewerethoughtsofsomeoneelse,andverysensitive
thoughts.NowshallIcontinuedescribingwhatIsaw:[ToX]

X:Idon'tknow.Iamonlyfamiliarwithitbyname.Ihaveneverbeenthere.I
havebeeninside,butIamnotreallyfamiliarwithit.

E:Ilecturedthereanumberofyearsago.NowIamengagedinsocialchitchat
forthepassageoftime.

X:Iwasjustthinkingthat.

E:Withthatfirstquestionsheisbackataninfancylevel.[Theseniorauthorgives
personalexamplesillustratinghowsuchquestionsinvariablyevokeimportantearly
memoriesandassociations.]Whenyouask,Wherewereyouborn?youarereally
massivelychangingthetrainofconversation.Youaremassivelyaugmentingany
amnesias.I'mtakingherfarbacktoMemphis,farfromthisroom,thusaugmenting
amnesiasforwhathashappenedhere.Then,byhavinghersearchherMemphis

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

157/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

memoriesaboutwhethermynamewasmentionedthere,I'mkeepingherinMemphis.

R:Thisclearlyillustrateshowyouarealwaysworkingwiththepatient'sassociative
processputtingithereandthere.Youappeartobemakingcasualconversation,but
youareactuallydoingsomethingwiththepatientallthetime.

E:ThenIidentifywhatI'mdoingassocialchitchat.Iwasjustthinkingthatshewas
anintelligentgirl.

R:Soyouacknowledgeherintelligencebytellingherwhatyouaredoing.
TrainingforDeeperTrance

E:[ToR]Nowyouarewitnessingthattrainingforadeeperanddeepertrance.

R:Whatdoyoumeanbyyourremarkaboutdeeptrancetraining?

E:You'vejustseenmewaltzherfromPhoenixtoMemphis.NowI'vewaltzedher
backwiththisremarktoyou!Whenshesays,Iwasjustthinkingthat,sheisreally
talkingontwolevels.Sheistheobserver.I'vewaltzedherfrombeingonthe
subjective[immersedinhersubjectivememoriesofMemphis]tobeingtheobserver.

R:Whyisthattrainingfordeepertrance?

E:WhenyoucanwaltzapersonaboutlikethatfromPhoenixtoMemphis,from
subjectivetoobjective,youhavechangedherwhereaboutsandstatusverysimply.

R:Thatistrainingherfordeepertranceinthesensethatyouaretraininghertofollow
you?Anythingthatcausesthepatienttofollowthetherapist,oranyapproachthat
enablesthetherapisttochangethepatient'smentalstatus,istrainingfordeeper
trance?

E:Yes.

R:Thishasnothingtodowiththetrancestateperse;itistheskillwithwhichthe
therapistchangesthepatient'sassociativeprocesses.Thisisabasicskillanytherapist
shouldhavequiteapartfromanyuseofhypnosis.

E:That'sright.

RatifyingTranceandTwoLevelCommunication

E:Andyouarewitnessingthetrainingforatwolevelcommunication.
[Pause]

E:AsIsaythistoyou,sheisalsobeingtheobserver,sincesheisbeingtalkedabout.
Itreinforceswhathappenedbefore.

R:Bytalkingabouttrainingforadeeperanddeepertrance,"youareratifyingthefact
thatshehasexperiencedsometrance.Withthisremarkabouttwolevel

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

158/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

communicationyouareratifyingthattwolevelcommunicationhastakenplace.But
why?

E:BecauseIdon'twantherunconsciousmindtoeverthink,Hedidn'tmeanthose
sexualallusions.

R:Youareratifyingthetwolevelcommunication.

E:AnditcanberelatedtothiswaltzingfromPhoenixtoMemphisandbackto
Phoenix.Andfrompatienttoobserver.

R:HerthreeyearfollowupdoesindicatethatthechangesfromPhoenixtoMemphis
arerelatedtothesomeoneelseandthesexualproblemalludedtoinyourtwolevel
communication.ItishardtobelievethatyouwerenotusingsomeformofESP.

E:Ihadnowayofknowingthat,butIcansuspectitwithmyknowledgeofhuman
beings.

QuestioningforUnconsciousIdeomotorHeadSignaling

E:Nowdoyoumindthinking,justthinkingaboutsomethinghighly
emotional?

X:Thinkingabout?

E:Umhum.Now,myquestionwas,Doyoumindthinkingaboutahighly
emotionalmatter?

X:Ahighlyemotionalwhat?

E:Matter.

[X'sheadbobsaboutuncertainlyandapparentlyabsentmindedly.]

E:Andyourheadmovementswerenotreallyunderstandable.Inresponseto
myquestion,Doyoumindthinkingaboutahighlyemotionalmatter?yourhead
movesyes,no,Idon'tknow,maybe.

X:That'sright.

E:MayIaskyoutothinkofahighlyemotionalmatter?
X:Anythinginparticular?

E:[ToR]Wewilljustdiscussthat.Iaskaspecificquestion,andshesaid,
anythinginparticular?Nowwhatdoesthatmean?Therearesomethings
thatshechoosesnottotalkabout,nottothinkabout,andsomeshecan.[ToX]
Yousee,Idon'tneedtoknowthem.Butyouneedtoknowthem.

X:I'dratheryouknewthem.

E:You'dratherIknewthem?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

159/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

[ToR]Well,Ididn'taskhertoconfideinme,buttheeffectiswhat?
R:Shewouldratheryouknow.

E:Shetoldmeshewaswillingtoconfideinme.Thatismuchbetterthan
pressingapatienttogiveyouinformation.I'mexplainingatechniqueofdealing
withpatients.Andletthemhaveeveryrightthattheyoughttohave.The
mainpurposeistohelpthepatient.Nottosatisfyone'scuriosity.AndIwas
justshowing,illustrating,thewayoneputsquestionsthatgivesthepatientthe
righttochoosewhetherornottoconfide.

[ToX]Howdoyoufeelaboutmyusingyouforademonstration?[Long
pause]

E:Thesearesolderingquestions.Intheprevioustrancethereweresexualallusions.
NowI'mgettinginthewordshighlyemotional.

R:Youarenowbindingsexualallusionstohighlyemotional.

E:ThenIreassureherthatIdon'tknow.

R:Thatischaracteristicofyourapproach.Youbuilduphightensionwithsome
provocativeremarksthatsendthepatientonsomefranticunconscioussearch,and
thenyoureassureandlowertensionsothattheunconsciousprocessthusinitiatedcan
proceedinpeaceonitsown.

E:WhenIaskaspecificquestionandsherespondswithanythinginparticular?sheis
indicatingthatthereisaparticularthing.

R:Butevidentlyshedoesnotwanttorevealit.

E:ThenIreassureheragainwith,Idon'tneedtoknowthem.

R:Andyouputtheresponsibilityonherbysaying,Butyouneedtoknowthem.

DissociationandRapport

X:IguessIfeelkindof,sortofseparate,eventhoughitdoesn'tbothermethatI
amawareof.

E:No,youandIaretogether,andthosepeopleareoutside.Itisaveryniceway
ofillustratingthatwearehereand[ToR]youfellowsareoverthere.

R:Yes.

E:Andyoudidthatsonicely,[ToR]andIdidn'ttellhertodothat.

R:Hersenseofseparationisaformofdissociationwhichindicatesshehasa
separateanddifferentrelationwithyouthantheobservers?Shehasaspecial
rapportwithyouthattendstoexcludeothers.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

160/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Yes.

FacilitatingHypnoticPhenomena:DoubleBindandQuestionstoEvoke
ImmobilityandCaudalAnesthesia

E:NowIamgoingtosaysomethingtoyou.Youarenotgoingtounderstandit
consciously.Doesn'titsurpriseyouthatyoucan'tstandup?[PauseasXlooks
surprised]

X:CanItry?

E:Oh,youcouldtry.

[PauseasXmakesaslightforwardmovementinherchairwiththeupperpart
ofherbodyonlyandthenstops]Itdoessurpriseyou,doesn'tit?Someday
whenyougetmarriedandarehavingababy,youcanusethesamemeasure.

X:Oh,really?

E:Umhum.Ijustgaveyouacaudalanesthesiaoraspinalanesthesia.
X:[Nervouslaughter]

E:/don'tlayonhands,Ilayonideas.Thatiskindofasurprisetoknowthatyou
can'tstandup.

X:LetmeknowwhenIcan.

E:Iwillalwaysletyouknowwhenyoucan't.I'llalwaysletyouknowwhen
youcan.[Toaudience]Nowwhenacaudalanesthesialikethatcanbeinduced,
youknowyou'vegotaperfectlygoodsubject.

R:Itisabeautifuldoublebindwhenyousayyouaregoingtosaysomethingtoher
thatsheisnotgoingtounderstandconsciously:Sheisboundtolisten,butsinceshe
cannotunderstandconsciously,shemustrespondonanunconsciouslevel.

E:Yes.

R:Youinitiateahypnoticphenomenonwithaquestion.Itisusuallybettertoevokea
hypnoticphenomenonwithaquestionthanadirectsuggestion?Itisafailsafe
approach.

E:Yes.

R:Whatcuesdoyouusetoknowwhentoattemptsuchaquestiontoinitiatea
hypnoticphenomenon?

E:Youalwaysgivepraisetotheunconscious.

R:Justprevioustothisquestionyoudidgiveherunconsciouspraisewhenyou
remarked,Andyoudidthatsonicely,andIdidn'ttellhertodothat.Thewayyousay
thewordtrywithasubtle,dubioustoneinyourvoiceimpliesshecantrybutwillfail.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

161/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Yes.

R:Werethereanyothercuesyouusedtoknowwhentoevokethisimmobility?Did
younoticethatshewasalreadymanifestingsignsofbeinginatrance,sloweyelid
movements,etc.?

E:Ipraisedherunconscious,andifshehaspickedupsomesexualallusions,Icanbe
prettysurethesexualallusionshere[gettingmarried,havingababy]willbeinvolved.

R:Soyousuggestahypnoticphenomenonwhereshecanbeinvolved.Thatiswhy
youusedthishypnoticphenomenonratherthansomethingelse?

E:Yes,itwasaspecificapplicationforher.

R:Becauseyouwerebuildingupsexualassociations.

E:IneededtoseeifIcouldconfirmit.

R:Sinceshesucceededinexperiencingthishypnoticphenomenon,wouldyoutakeit
asaconfirmationthatyoursexualassociationswerepickedup?

E:Yes,withaminimumofwordsIinducedaspinalanesthesia.IfIwasrightinall
mydoubletalk,sheisgoingtodevelopcaudalanesthesia.Sinceshehasstudied[a
medicalspecialty],sheknowswhatacaudalanesthesiais.I'mliterallyaskingher,

Doesmytalkontwolevelsaboutsexhavemeaning?Shesays,Itdid.Nodirectwords
havebeensaid.Nobodylisteningcanknowit.ButherunconsciousandIcanknowit.

R:Soyouhavebeenpreparingherforsometimetoexperiencethishypnotic
phenomenonofcaudalanesthesia.Itisnotjustacasualintrusion.Thisremindsmeof
yourpreparationforhavingapatientexperiencevisualhallucinations:Youusually
activatemanytrainsofassociationregardingthesubjectofthehallucinationbefore
youtrytoevokeit.

E:Yes.Hypnotictechniqueisgivingthestimulithatcanberesolvedbythesubject
intothehypnoticexperienceyouwishhertohave.

DepotentiatingtheClinicalProblem

E:Andthenextquestionisshe'sgotadefiniteandlimitedproblem.Andthat
hasinterferedwithherasapersonalityverymuch.Nowisthatpersonal
problemaseriousemotionalproblem,orisitasuperficialemotionalproblem?
Icanthinkofaseriouscaseofclaustrophobia.Thesolutionwassomebody
walkingrapidlyacrosstheflooranddownthesteps,clickinghershoesateach
step.Whenshewasalittlegirl,hermotherpunishedherbyputtingherinthe
closetandthenwalkingnoisilyoutofthehouseanddownthesteps.

R:Um.Soreallyaverysuperficialthing.

E:Averysuperficial.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

162/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Notadeepemotionaldisturbance.

E:Notadeepemotionalexperience.Nowyoursweatingmaybecausedby
somesuperficialthing,oritmaybeaverydramaticthing.Bytheway,
howmanydoctorshaveyouseenaboutyoursweating?[Pause]

X:Alltoldaboutten.EversinceIwaslittle,IaskedeverydoctorIhappenedto
runinto.

E:Andyoursweatinghasbeensufficientsoyoucouldholdyourhandsout
allowingapuddletoformonthefloor.Haveyoubeenabletoletapuddledripon
thefloor?Haveyouseenotherdoctorsanddidyoupuddle?Howhaveyou
donehere?

X:What?

E:Howmuchsweatinghaveyouhadhere?
X:Oh,notapuddle.

E:Yourhandsweremoistwhenyoucamein.Butyouhaven'tpuddled.

R:Inthissectionyoulimitanddepotentiatethesweatingsymptomwithdirect
remarksaswellasclinicalcasesfromyourexperience.

E:Thiswasanactualcaseofclaustrophobia.

R:Youtellsuchactualcasestodevelopapositiveexpectancyinthepatient.

E:WhenItellherthesweatingcanhaveasuperficialorigin,I'mtellingherthather
sweatingisnotthescarythingshethinksitis.

R:Thisisawayyoudepotentiateherpreviousrigidsetsandfearsaboutherproblem.
E:Whatdoesababydo?

R:Puddleonthefloor.Ithassexualassociationswhenyoutalkaboutpuddlingonthe
floor?

E:Yes,I'mstillkeepingthesexualassociationsinthere.

R:Youcontinuetodepotentiatehersymptomframeofreferencebydowngradingit
withyourcasualbutconcretecommentsabouthowlittlesweatingshe'shadhere.

PunstoInitiateUnconsciousSearchandCreativeMoments

E:TothelastpuddlerIsawIsaid,Youreallyareambitious,youdon't
likethepuddleyouarein.Itpayswell.Youhatetogiveupallthatpay.As
longasyoucanleadabandinLasVegas,youwillhavepuddles.Youcan
giveupLasVegas.GotoNewYork.Livebyyourselfinanapartment.
Writemusicandarrangements.You'llbefree.Ayearlaterhewasturning
outalotofmusicandarrangementsandfreeofhispuddling.Nowyouweren't

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

163/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

embarrassedbymytalkingaboutyou,wereyou?

R:Youdon'tlikethepuddleyouareinisactuallyapunrelatingsymptom(sweating)
topersonalityproblem(ambition).Suchpunsmayseemfunnyandevensuperficialto
somereaders,yetinonestroketheycanfixateapatient'sattention,depotentiate
erroneousframeworks,initiateanunconscioussearch,andfacilitateacreative
moment(Rossi,1972b)whereinstartlinginsightmaybeachieved.

AssigningtheUnconsciousasLocusofTherapeuticChange

X:Ididn'tknowyouweretalkingaboutme.

E:HaveItalkedaboutyou?[Pause]

X:Ithinkso.

E:Youdon'thavetobeconcerned.

[EricksonnowengagesMissXinafiveminuteperiodofchitchatabouther
familyandhergeneralinterests.Heisapparentlytakingabreak,allowingherto
relaxfromtheveryintenseperiodoftrancework.Suchalternationsinthe
rhythmandintensityofconsciousandunconsciousworkareimportant.Thereis
anaturalninetyminutebiorhythmofrestandactivity,fantasy,intensity,and

appetitethatweallexperiencecontinuously(Kripke,1974).Itsometimesseems
asifEricksonrecognizesthatnaturalvariationinthepatient'sbiologicalclock
andadjustshisrhythmofalternatingtranceandconsciousworktocoincidewith
it.]

E:SheoughttothinkI'vebeentalkingabouther.Shereallyhasgotalotofamnesias
whenshemakesremarkslike,Ididn'tknowyouweretalkingaboutme.

R:Inotherwords,herconsciousmindisconfusedhere,andasaresultsheisopento
therapeuticworkonanunconsciouslevelsinceherconsciouslimitationsarein
disarray.

E:Shedoesn'thavetobeconcernedsinceherunconsciousdoesallthelistening.

R:Thatisright,youaregivingpotencytoherunconsciousbecausethatiswherethe
importantworkisgoingtobedone.

SESSIONONE

PartThree:EvaluationandRatificationofTherapeuticChange

Intheprevioussectiontheseniorauthorcontinuedstructuringtheconscious
unconsciousdoublebindandhistwolevelcommunicationapproach.Heassignedthe
locusoftherapeuticchangetotheunconsciousandletthepatienthaveaveryintense
tranceexperienceduringwhichtherapeuticchangecouldtakeplace.Hedepotentiates
hersymptomandthennotesthatshehasnot,infact,beenmanifestinghersymptom
duringthissession.Theentireprocedurehasbeensocasualthatshedoesnotyet

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

164/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

realizeconsciouslyjusthowmuchtherapyhasbeentakingplace.Thestageis
thereforesetforanevaluationandratificationofthetherapeuticchange.

DemonstratingaTherapeuticChange:TheDoubleBindinTryRelated
toHemisphericSpecialization

E:Doyouthinkyoucouldmakeapuddlewithyourhandsnow?Tryit.

X:Try?Ididmakeapuddleforsomedoctorsonce.Thisdoctortoldmeitwas
theworsthehadeverseenandhewentandgotabowl.Fourotherdoctorscame
aroundtowatchmemakeapuddle.

[Xplacesherhandinpositiontocreateapuddle,butnosignificantmoisture
appears.]

E:Isaidtryit!Youarebeginningtohavesomedoubts?
X:Aboutapuddle,yeah.Icouldgiveyoualittlestream.
E:Tryit.Justalittlepuddlingstream.

[Pause]

Lookslikeyourpoorestperformanceontherecord.
X:Ican'tunderstandit.

R:Rightafterashortperiodofchitchatyouaskaverychallengingquestionto
demonstrateatherapeuticchange:Hersweatinghasdecreased.

E:Isaid,tryit,implyingsheistomakeaneffortandatthesametimetonegateit.

R:Youhadherinadoublebind,didn'tyou?

E:Yes.

R:Thewordtryevokesadoublebindsituationwhenitissaidwiththeappropriate
inflectionanddubioustoneofvoice.Thewordtrymeansmakeaneffort.Thedubious
toneofvoicesays,Donotsucceedinthateffort.Sheisthusplacedinabindwhere
nothinghappens.Eventhesymptomisturnedoff.Isometimeswonderifsuchdouble
bindsthatfunctionintwomodalitiesarerelatedtothedifferencesincerebral
hemisphericfunctioning(DiamondandBeaumont,1974;Rossi,1977).Thecognitive
meaningoftrywouldbeprocessedbythelefthemisphere,whiletheemotionally
ladentoneinwhichitissaidwouldcertainlybeprocessedbytherighthemisphere.
Sincepsychosomaticsymptomsarenowthoughttobemediatedprimarilybytheright
hemisphere(Galin,1974),yournegativetonepfvoicewouldbeabletoblockthe
symptomatitsrighthemisphericsource.Muchresearchcertainlyneedstobedonein
thisarea(e.g.,Smith,Chu,andEdmonston,1977).

Whenyounextsaytryitwithemphasis,youimmediatelydoublebinditwiththe
negation,Youarebeginningtohavesomedoubts.Whenyousaytryitthethirdtime,
youimmediatelydoublebinditwiththejokingtonewithwhichyousayjustalittle

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

165/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

puddlingstreamandyourpoorestperformanceontherecord.Herfinalresponseof
notunderstandingwhyshedoesnotexperiencethesymptomindicatesthather
consciousmindispuzzledandratherdepotentiated.Ithasbeencaughtinthedouble
bindthatmadehersymptomaticbehaviorimpossible,butshedoesnotknowwhy.It
isimportantthatconsciousnessbedepotentiatedwhenyouchallengethesymptom,
sincethatallowsittodropintotheunconsciouswhichyouhavepreparedasthelocus
oftherapeuticchange.

APunAssociatingSymptomCurewithAppropriatePsychodynamics

E:Doyousupposeyourhandsareunfoldingforyoutobecomeadriedupold
maid?

[PauseasXcontinuestotrybutwithnosuccess]

E:Whoisadriedupoldmaid?Someonewithoutasexlife.

R:Itisanotherpuntofacilitateacreativemoment:"driedup"meanssymptomcure,
andonanotherlevelitrelatestosexualactivity.Againyouaretyingsymptomcureto
asexualassociation.Youarenotdealingwithasimplesymptomremovalbydirect

suggestion.Youareassociatingsymptomcurewiththeappropriatepsychodynamics
thatarerelatedtoit.

E:Oldmaidisthequestion.

R:Yourquestionwithapuncatchesherattentiononmanylevels;itassociates
symptomchangewiththeappropriatesexualpsychodynamicsunderlyingthe
symptomanddirectsherunconscioustoworkonthatassociation.Herfollowupletter
does,infact,indicatethatshewaswellonherwaytobecomingadriedupoldmaidif
shedidnotdealdecisivelywithherromanticlifeatthistime.Asherfollowupletter
indicates,however,shewaslaterabletodealeffectivelywithherlovelife.

DepotentiatingConsciousDoubtsAboutSymptomChange:
DepotentiatingtheSymptom

E:Discouraging,isn'tit?
[Pause]

X:Yesitis.

[Pausewithmorefutiletrying]

Toobadwedidn'thaveaharphere,soIcouldplay.

E:Doyoutype?

X:Alittlebit.

E:Doyourhandsdriponthetypewriter?[ToR]Doyouhaveatypewriterwith
you?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

166/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:No,Idon't,unfortunately.

E:DoyousupposeifIgotatypewriterforyou,youcouldfeelyourfingers
gettingwetter?Doyoureallysupposeyoucould?

X:Idon't,Idon'tthinktheyaregoingtogetanywetterthanthis.
[Pausewithmorefutiletrying]
Idon'tknow.

E:Bysaying,Discouraging,isn'tit?I'mmakinglightofitanddepotentiatingthe
symptom.Whenshesaysit'stoobadwedon'thaveaharp,itindicatesthatsheison
mysidenowandwantstodemonstratesymptomcurebyactuallyplayingtheharp.

R:Youthenbyimplicationgeneralizethesymptomcurefromharptotypewriter.Itis
importanttodemonstratesymptomcureconcretelyinthehereandnow.

E:Yes,andwithoutreassurance.ReassuranceonlyimpliesYoucanfail.Ifyousay,
Youcangetoverthis,thatimpliesyouhaveit.

IdeomotorSignalingtoRatifySymptomCure:TheFirstRound

E:Liftingyourrighthandmeansyes,liftingyourlefthandmeansno.Doesyour
unconsciousmindthinkthatyoucanmakeapuddlewith

yourhands?Whichonewilllift?Waitandsee.

[Pause]

Youcanevenwatchtoseewhichoneisgoingtolift.
X:Icanwatch?
E:Yes.

[Pauseasherrighthandliftsabit,thenherlefthandliftsabittoo.Shehasbeen
lookingatherrighthand.]

E:[ToR]Thefixationofhergazeshowsherconsciousaction.Sheonlyshows
oneslightlookattheotherhand.Weknowwhatherconsciousansweris.She
doesn'tknowwhatherunconsciousansweris.[ToX]Butyourunconsciouswill
suddenlygiveyouacorrectanswer.[Herrighthandliftsmorestrongly.]

R:Youarenowusingideomotorsignalingasafurtherdemonstrationofsymptom
cure?Youaretryingtoeliminateanyfurtherdoubtsabouthersymptomcure?

E:Yes,andIcreateastateofuncertaintybyasking,Whichonewilllift?

R:Thatuncertaintytendstodepotentiateherconscious(andproblematic)framesof
referencesoherunconscioushasanopportunitytorespond.

E:Whereapersonlooksinfingerorhandsignalingindicatestheirconscious
expectation.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

167/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Ifyouhavenoconcretewayofdemonstratingsymptomcureinthetherapy
situationitself,thenthissortofideomotorsignalingisagoodsubstitute(Cheekand
LeCron,1968).Shefinallyliftsherrighthandmorestrongly,indicatingthather
unconsciousbelievesshecanpuddleherhands.Yetshecannotactuallydoit.Howdo
youexplainthisdiscrepancy?

E:Sheknowsfromlongexperiencethatshecanpuddle.Ihaven'ttakenanything
awayfromher.

R:Byliftingbothhandssheissayingthatyouhaven'ttakenanything(hersymptom)
awayfromher;thecapacityforthesymptonisstillthere.

E:Yes,thecapacityisthere,butthereisnolongerfear.

DepotentiatingConsciousDoubtsAboutSymptomCure:TheDouble
Bind

E:Andnowyouareseeingademonstrationofwhatitmeanswhenpeoplesayit
ishardtobelieve.Allpastexperiencesmadeonlyoneanswer

possible.Buttheunconsciousisgoingtogiveaforcibleanswer.

[Pause]

Itisdifficulttochangeone'ssetframeofreference.
[Pause]

Andyouareafraidtoknowtheanswer.
[Pause]

Itisperfectlyallrighttothinkonethingconsciouslyandtoknowexactlythe
oppositeunconsciously.

[Pause]

Anddoesitputastrainuponyou?Andyetthereisnosweatinginspiteofthe
strain.Sonowyouwillhavemorecourage.

[Pause]

Thatreallytakesagreatdealofcourage.

E:I'musingfolklanguagetoexpresswhatpeoplefeel.

R:Itishardforapatienttoreallybelievealongtermsymptomcandisappearso
quickly.Bygivingvoicetothisinnerdoubtyouaredepotentiatingit.

E:Yes.Itisdifficulttobelievethesechangeshavebeenmade.

R:Sheisafraidtoknowthechangehasreallybeenmade,lestshebedisappointed.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

168/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:That'sright.

R:Hereyouareallowingroomforconsciousdoubts,butreinforcingthefactthatthe
unconsciousrecognizestherehasbeensymptomchange.Thisisanotheruseofthe
consciousunconsciousdoublebind.Then,eventhoughtheideomotorsignalofthe
righthandliftingmeansshestillhasthecapacityforsweating,youpointoutthatat
presentthereisnosweatinginspiteofthestrain.Youthengivestrongegosupportfor
thecouragetobelieve,butyoudon'tactuallysaybelieve,sincethatwouldimply
doubt.

PosthypnoticSuggestion

E:Iamgoingtoaskyoutoawaken,andI'mgoingtotellyouanapparently
meaninglessstory.Butyourunconsciousmindwillunderstand.Nowawaken

now.one,two,etc.totwenty,nineteen,eighteen,seventeen,sixteen,
fifteen,thirteen,

nine,eight,seven,six,five,four,three,two,one.Awaken.

R:Thisisaninterestingformofposthypnoticsuggestionwherebyyouareableto
latergiveherunconsciousamessagethatwillnotbemeaningfultoherconscious
mind.Inthiswayyoumaybeabletobypassthelimitationsordoubtstheconscious
mindmayhave.

Until:PosthypnoticSuggestionforaContinuationof
PsychotherapeuticWorkonSymptomCure

E:YouknowthecomicstripofMuttandJeff?Doyouknowthem?

X:Yes.

E:OnedayJeffwassearchinghispocketsdesperately,andMuttwaswatching.
OverandoveragainJeffsearchedhispockets.And

Muttaskedhimwhy.Andhesaid,IlostmywalletandIlookedinallmy
pocketsexceptone.Ican'tfindit.AndMuttaskedhim,Whydon't

youlookinthatone?Jeffanswered,Becauseifitain'tthere,I'lldropdead.

[Pause]

WhendidyoudecideIwouldbethelasthope?

X:Iknowmyunconsciousknowswhatthatstorymeans.

R:Thisisoneofyourfavoriteanecdotestodealwiththepatients'consciousdoubts
aboutsymptomcure.Youdepotentiatetheirconsciousdoubtswithbitsofhumorand
simpleacknowledgmentofthedoubt.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

169/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Yes,thatisaperfectexample.I'vealsosaidtopatients,Andyouaregoingtodoubt
itallthewayhomeuntil.

R:Whydoyouendthesentencewithuntil?

E:Nowyouwanttoknowtheendofthesentence,don'tyou?Thepatientswhodoubt
symptomremovalwilldoubtallthewayhome,andthentheystartlookingforthe
until.Untilsomethinghappens,yousee.Theystartlookingforwhatitisthatwilltell
methatitisgone.Theyareexpecting.

R:Youhavethemlookingforandexpectingaconfirmationofsymptomcure.
E:Yes,I'msettingthemupforthat.

R:Sowhenthepatientwalksoutoftheofficeheisstilldoingpsychotherapeutic
work.Thisisaformofposthypnoticsuggestiontosearchforconvincingproofof
symptomremoval.

E:Allthewayhomeuntiltheyknow.

RatifyingSymptomChange

E:AndwhendidyoudecideIwasyourlasthope?

[Pause]

X:WhenIwasreadingthisbook[Haley'sUncommonTherapy.]
E:AssoonasIgetshutofyou,thebetter.
X:Assoonaswhat?

E:Igetshutofyou,getridofyou,thebetter,whichisn'tcomplimentary,isit?
Orisit?

[Pause]

X:Youmeancomplimentarytoyou?
E:Toyou.

X:Tome.Oh!Yeah,IguessIdohaveafeelingthat,yeah.

E:ThesoonerIcangetridofyou,thehappierI'llbeandthehappieryou'llbe.
Whichraisesthequestioninmymind,whendoyouleave?

X:Saturdayafternoon,late.

E:HowareyoutravellingtoCalifornia?

X:Flying.

E:Didyoudoanypuddlingontheplane?

X:Idon'tthinkactualpuddles,butsomestreams.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

170/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Andyoucameinherewithonlyafaintmist.

X:Yes.

E:Thisquestionreinforcesherhopeandmakesitrealinanotherway.Iwasherlast
hope.Iwasherrealityhope;Iwasahopemadeintoareality.I'mratifyingherhope
andmakingitreal.

R:Yourquestionthenwasanotherwayofratifyingthatwehavedoneourtherapeutic
hope.Suchremarksmadeinahumorousveintendtospeedupthetherapeuticprocess
andfurtherratifythattherapyisbeingdone.

E:I'mderogatingthesymptomasawayofdepotentiatingitwithmycommentabout
onlyafaintmist.

IndirectPosthypnoticSuggestionviaaMomentaryCommonEveryday
Trance

E:Holdingontome,aren'tyou?

Howsoonwillyouforgetme?

X:Tobeperfectlyhonest,Idon'tthinkIwill.

E:Toholdontomemeanskeepingmeinsomeway;itmeanskeepingwhatIdidfor
her,notliterallykeepingme.Holdingontome,aren'tyou?andHowsoonwillyou
forgetme?arebothposthypnoticsuggestions.Forgetmeandholdingontomearetwo
oppositethings.Holdingontomeisholdingontotherapy.Forgettingmeisforgetting
mepersonally.

R:Thecarefulappositionofoppositesisoneofyourwaysoffocusingbehavior,but
whatmakesthemposthypnoticsuggestions?

E:Theyarequestions;theyfixateattentionandcalluponthoughtsandassociations
thatareinevitableinherfuture.

R:Fixatingattentionandinitiatinganunconscioussearchwithindefinethose
questionsashypnotic.Evenwithoutinducingtranceinalengthyandformalway,you
cansofixateattentionwithaquestionthatyouinitiateamomentaryformofthe
commoneverydaytrance.Sinceshewillinevitablyhavethoughtsabouthertherapy
withyouinthefuture,thesequestionswilltendtobindherfutureassociationstothis
momentintherapywhenyouareactivelydepotentiatinghersymptom.

DistractiontoProtectSuggestions

E:[ToR]Andhowdoyoulikethatforaposthypnoticsuggestion?
[Pause]

[ToX]Howdoyoulikethiskindoftherapy?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

171/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

X:Idon'tlikeanykindoftherapy.Youmeantodoitorbeontheotherend?
E:Howdoyoulikemywayofdoingtherapy?
X:Ilikeyourway.

E:Andyoupromisenottoforgetit.
X:Umhum.

E:[ToR]Reinforcingtheposthypnoticbutitcertainlydoesn'tlooklikeitor
soundlikeit.

[ToX]Nowwhydoyouinsistonreferringtopaststreams?

X:Thepast?

E:Streaminginthepast.

X:Youmeanstreamsinsteadofpuddles?

E:Umhum.

X:TwothingsIthink.IguessIobjecttotheword.Theotherthingisthatmist,
stream,orpuddles,theyarealljustasbadforme.

E:HereIamdefiningitasposthypnotictohavemoreeffectonherattheconscious
level.Withanalteredtoneofvoicethisquestionaboutthiskindoftherapynow
makesthesituationapersonalkindofthingandafriendlyrelationship.

R:Youarealsoimmediatelydistractingherfromtheposthypnoticsuggestionsyou
havejustgiven,lestherconsciousmindstartstoargueorinterferewiththem.Thisis
highlycharacteristicofyourapproachyoumakeasuggestionandthenimmediately
distractbeforeconsciousnesscantakeissuewithit.

E:Myremark,Andpromisenottoforgetitrefersbacktomyearlierquestion,How
soonwillyouforgetme?

R:Thattendstoreinforcetheearliersuggestionwhilestructuringanamnesiaforall
thattookplacebetweenthetwostatements.

DepotentiatingConsciousDoubtsAboutSymptomCurewithDramatic
HypnoticExperience

X:Iamawareofwantingtogetridofit,butontheotherhandIguessIfeel
hopelessaboutit,aboutbeingabletochange.

E:Iknowthat.Youalsohopeyouwillalwaysbeabletostandup,don'tyou?
X:Yes.

E:Andbeforeyoumetme,youbelievedthatyoucouldalwaysstandup,andyou
foundoutthattherearetimeswhenyoucan'tstandup.Justtryit.

[PauseasXagaintriesunsuccessfullytostandup]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

172/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

YoucandoanythingItellyoutodo,can'tyou?

X:Itseemslikeit.

E:Thenyoucanstandup.

X:CanI?

E:Yes.

[Shedoesstandup]
X:Yep.

E:Standupagain.

[Whilesheisstanding,theseniorauthorcontinuesasfollows]
Trytositdown.

[Shestandswithkneesslightlybentbutimmobilized,andshecannotsitdown]
[Pause]

X:Ithinkmylegsaremadeoutofsteel.
E:Nowyoucansitdown.
[Shesitsdown.]

NowdoyouknowthatyoucandoanythingthatItellyoutodo?

Doyousupposethatcomestohavingdryhands?

X:Couldyoumakemehavedryhands?

E:Umhum.

X:Maybeyoucan.

E:Maybe?Whatisyourrelationshipwiththisfellowthatcameinwithyou?
X:I'mnotsure.

E:I'mallowinghertoexpressherhopelessness,thenIproceedtodemolishitwith
thisdemonstration.

R:Youuseadramatichypnoticexperience(notbeingabletostandup)to
depotentiatehernegative,doubting,consciousframeworkofhopelessnessabout
beingabletogiveupherlongstandingsymptom.Thatisamajorpurposeinevoking

hypnoticexperience:toeffectivelydemonstratethatsomethingcanchange,to
depotentiatetheerroneousrigiditiesofapatient'sconsciousframework.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

173/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Idemonstratethatthereissomethingelsebesideshernegativethoughts.Itis
furtherdemolishmentwhenshecannotsitdownbecauseshehasknownforalong
timethatshecanstandupandshecansitdown.Iamnotpreventingher,itisa
hypnoticexperience:Sheisusingsomethingshedidn'tknowshehad.Whensheasks
ifIcanmakeherhandsdry,myumhumisnotforcefulbutcasual.

R:Itisallthemoreconvincingbybeingsoft.

E:ButIdon'tlethergetawaywithmaybe.Idepotentiateitbyrepeatingmaybe?with
adoubtingtoneandthenimmediatelydistractherfromanyremainingdoubtsby
referencetoherboyfriend.

DevelopingtheObjectiveObserver

E:Alongtimefriend?

X:Wewerecolleagues,notreally.Iguessyouwouldsayheismyboyfriend.
E:DoyoumindifIaskhimnow?

[Ericksonaskshimaseriesofgeneralinformationquestionsforafewmoments,
andthenreturnstoMissXasfollows]

Tellme,anyspecialthingthatcausesyoustagefrightorembarrassment?
X:Myhands.

E:Now?

X:Now?No,becausewearetalkingaboutthem.

E:I'malsostillexploringthesextheme.Ifirstletherdefinehim.ThenIlethim
definehimself.Thisalsoallowshertositbackandseehimobjectively.

R:Thatdevelopstheobjectiveobserverinthepatient.Yourincredulousresponse
Now?againdepotentiatesthementalframeworkthatmakeshersymptompossible.

DepotentiatingtheSymptom'sHabitualFramework:Jokesand
UnconsciousValues

E:Let'sremainsilent.Thenwilltheycauseembarrassment?

X:No.Everybodyintheroomknowswhatmyproblemis,soIdon't.

E:Isorwas?[Pause]

X:Is.

E:Let'sseethosestreamsthen.
X:Theyarejustmisty.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

174/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Youcouldn'tirrigateanythingwithamist.Theonlyusefulpurposeforamist
isonthehouseplants.

X:Butyoucan'tplaytheharpwithhouseplantseither.

E:Thereforeyoureservethemistforthehouseplants.
[Pause]

Strugglingtobelieveisverydifficult,isn'tit?
R:Yes.

X:Ihavealwayshadthefeelingthatiftheycouldreallydryup,itwouldnever
happenagain.

E:Well,let'scorrectthat.

E:Nowwearetransformingthesymptomtothesituationoftalkingaboutherhands.I
amshiftingthecauseofthesymptom:before,harpplayingcausedthesymptom;now,
talkingcausesit.

R:Thisisanotherwayofgainingcontroloverthesymptomanddepotentiatingit:
Youtakethesymptomoutofitsusualcontextandshiftittoanewframeworkwhere
youcandealwithitmoreeasilyinthiscasesimplybyusingsilence.Youthen
successfullychallengethesymptom,andshefindsshecanonlyproduceamist.

E:I'mnotabolishingthemist,I'mgivingthatmistavalueremovedfromtheharp.

R:Youaredisplacingthesymptomfromadisturbingplacetoausefulone.The
consciousmindmaytakeyourremarkabouttheusefulnessofmisttoplantsasakind
ofabsurdjokeinthiscontext,butyouareaccomplishingsomethingveryimportanton
theunconsciouslevel.Fortheunconscious,symptomshaveanimportantvalue.You
arelettingtheunconsciousretainthevalueofthesymptom(nowdiminishedtoa
mist)bydisplacingthatvaluetoanotherconcretefunction:Amistisgoodforhouse
plants.Thiskindofdisplacementworksintheliteralandconcreteunconscious,even
thoughitisabsurdfromaconsciousrationalframeofreference.

Reversals,Implications,andthePositiveValuesInherentinSymptoms

E:Yourhandscandryup,butdoyouwantthemtohavethefreedomtogetwet
again?Isn'tthatright?

X:Umhum.

E:Wetnotonlyfromputtingtheminwaterbutbyperspiration.
Sodon'ttrytorobyourhandsofrightfulperspiration.
[Pause]

Yourhandshavebeenoverperspiringforalongtime.

Let'sgivethematleasttwohourstolearntherightamount.Andyoucan

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

175/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

alreadyseethattheyhavebeendoingalotoflearning.

[Longpause]

R:Isitadoublebindwhenyouaskifshewantsthefreedomtoletherhandsgetwet
again?Itisapeculiarreversalwhenyoutellhershecangetwethands.

E:I'mgivingherfreedomeventogetwethands!

R:Butifsheisfreetogetwethands,thatmustimplyshehasdryhands.Soyou've
usedimplicationtogiveherasuggestionfordryhands.

E:Sincethereisnorestrictiononwethands,italsomeansthereisnorestrictionon
dryhands.Sheisnotputintoanyrigidsituationtherearesituationswherewethands
areacceptable.Untilshemetme,allwethandswerehorrifying.

R:Youaregivingapositivevaluetosomethingthatwasallnegativebefore.Youare
helpingherrecognizethepositivevalueofthephysiologicalfunctionthatwas
formerlyonlyanegativesymptom.

DepotentiatingFutureResistance:BeinginaTranceWithoutKnowing
It

E:Bytheway,howmanytimeshaveyoubeeninatrancetoday?

X:Iwasjusttryingtofigurethatout.
[Pause]

Idon'tknow.I'mnotsure.
E:Morethanonce?
X:Yes.

E:Morethantwice:

X:Yes.Ithinkso.

E:Morethanthreetimes?

X:I'mnotsosure.

E:Morethanfour?

X:No,Idon'tthinkso.

E:Morethanfive?

X:No.

E:Canyoustandup?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

176/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

[Shestands.]

R:Whydoyouaskhowmanytimesshehasbeenintrancetoday?

E:Shecannotknowforacertaintywhetherthisideacamewhileshewasawakeorin
atrancestate.Ifyouaregoingtohuntadeer,youhadbetterknowwhichfielditisin,
becauseyoucan'tkillitinafielditisnotin.Shecan'tdirectanyresistancetoany
ideauntilsheknowswhetheritwasintranceorwakingstate.

R:Soyouareagaindepotentiatinganypossibleexpressionofresistancehere.

E:Futureresistance!Toresistanyideashefirsthastodefineitastranceor
unconscious.

R:Soyouaremakingitdifficulttodeterminewhethertheimportantsuggestionswere
placedintheconsciousortrancestate.Youareessentiallyusingaconfusion
techniquetoprotectyoursuggestionsfromherconsciousresistance.Askingherthis
questionaboutthenumberoftimesshehasbeenintrancecanputherinadoubtful
positionaboutherunconsciousness.Thusitisveryvaluabletherapeuticallyifpatients
donotknowwhetherornottheywereintrance.Thatconfusionstopsthemfrom
holdingontotherapeuticsuggestionsinawaythatallowsthemtorepudiatethem.

E:Yes,itisveryvaluable.

HypnoticImmobilityConditionedtoTry

E:Trytositdown.

X:Ican't.

E:Areyouinatrance?

X:Idon'tknow.

E:Youdon'tknow.

That'sright.Youdon'tknow.

That'swhyyoudon'tknowhowmanytimesyouhavebeeninatrance.
Nowyoucansitdown.

[Shesitsdown]

X:Oh,Isee.

R:Beinginatrancewithoutknowingit?

E:Yes.Ifitwereaboyfriendwhotoldyouyoucouldnotsitdown,youwould
wonderifhewasinhisrightmind,wouldn'tyou?

X:Yes.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

177/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Isthisinabilitytositdownduetoamomentarytrance?

E:IfIcanputatranceinherhips,shehastorecognizeIcanputatranceinherhands.

R:Butwhywereyouabletoputitinherhips?Shewasinthenormalawakestate
whenyouaskedherthequestion.

E:'Trytositdown.

R:Thewordtryutteredinthatsoftanddoubtingwayyouhaveisacuethatshecould
not.Youhadconditionedhertoimmobilitywhenyouusethewordtryinthatway.

E:Yes,thehypnoticresponsehitsherhipsorherhands,andsheknowsthat.Ihave
alsogottenacrosstheideathatshedoesnotknowwhethersheisinatranceornot.

R:Whatisyouractualbeliefaboutbeinginoroutofatrancewithoutknowingit?If
wehadamachinethatcoulddetecttrance,doyoubelieveshewouldbegoinginand
outoftrancethroughoutthesession?

E:Yes.

DynamicsofIndirectSuggestion:DemonstratingUnconsciousControl
ofBehavior

E:Andyouarereallybecomingawareofhoweffectivelyyourunconsciousmind
cancontrolyou.

R:Allthesedemonstrationsoftheeffectivenessoftheunconscioustocontrol
behavioraretoconvinceherconsciousmindthatherunconsciouscanalsocontrolher
symptom?Thisisyourbasicapproachtodealingwithsymptomsbyhypnotherapy.
Youdon'tdirectlysuggestsymptomsoutofexistence.Youarrangeaseriesof
experiencesthatdemonstratethepotencyofthepatients'unconscious.Yougivethem
anopportunitytowitnessthetherapeuticcontroltheirunconsciousmindshaveover
theirsymptomandthenleaveittotheirunconscioustocontinueitstherapeutic
regulation.Therapythuscomesfromanadjustedinterplayofpsychodynamicswithin
patientsratherthanthepatientstryingtoaccommodatethemselvestoatherapist's
directsuggestionfromtheoutside.Thesearetheactualdynamicsofindirect
suggestion.

E:Yes.

OpenEndedSuggestiontoCopewithProblems

E:Nowthinkofafewmoreofthethingsthatyouwouldliketohaveyour
unconscioustakechargeof.

X:Shortofmyhands?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

178/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Otherthanyourhands.

[Acomfortablechatnowtakesplaceaboutfamilymattersandapparently
unrelatedtopicsforabouttenminutes.Heisgivingheranotherrest.]

E:HereI'mgettingatanyotherproblemsshemayhave.

R:Thisisanopenendedsuggestiontoletherunconsciousresolveotherproblemsthe
therapistmaynotevenknowabout.

IdeomotorSignalingtoEvaluateandRatifySymptomCure:The
SecondRound

E:Now,beforeIaskedyouwhatyourunconsciousanswerwasabout
sweating,Itoldyouaboutyourhands.
Yourrightmeansyes,yourleftmeansno.

Yes"youwouldhavesweating,nothatyouwouldnothavesweating.Watch
yourhandsandseeiftheywillsignalyesorno.
Restthemonyourthighs.Whichisgoingtolift?

[Afteraminuteortwoofwaiting,X'slefthandbeginstolifteversoslightlyand
very,veryslowlywithminorjerks.]

Yourconfidenceisgrowing.
Growingmorepowerful.

[Therighthandalsobeginstolift,butthelefthandremainshigher.]
Youcancloseyoureyesnow.

Yourunconsciouscanknowtheanswer,butyoudon'thavetoknowtheanswer.
Allright.Nowdropyourhandsinyourlap.Thequestionhasbeenanswered.
Nowyoucanfeelveryrestedandverycomfortable.Nowwhatisthatsmile
for?

[Pause]

R:Thisisthesecondtimeyouhaveutilizedideomotorsignalingtoratifysymptom
cure.Thefirsttimesheliftedherrighthand,indicatingshefeltthesymptomwasstill
present.Youthereforebackupanddofurtherwork,(1)depotentiatingherconscious
doubtsaboutsymptomcure,and(2)depotentiatingthehabitualmentalframeworkin
whichhersymptomoccurred.(3)Youratifyyourtherapeuticworkwithvarious
formsofindirectsuggestionandprotectthesesuggestionsbydistraction,etc.(4)You
letherexperienceotherdramatichypnoticphenomena,suchasbeingunabletostand
uporsitdown,toopenotherchannelsfortherapeuticchangethatcouldbypassthe
erroneoussymptomproducingstructuresofherego.(5)Yougiveherabreathing
spell,andnowyoufeelreadyforanotherideomotortestofthedegreetowhichsheis
willingtogiveuphersweating.Achangetowardcureisevident,thoughthesituation
isstillunclear:Shedoesliftherlefthandslightly,indicatingthesymptomisgoing,
butthenherrighthandlifts,indicatingitisstillpresenttosomedegree.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

179/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Therighthandliftingwasatokenanswerforanyremainingconsciousdoubtsthat
shehad.

R:Thistimethelefthandliftshigher,indicatingtheanswerhasshiftedmoretoward
anacknowledgmentofasignificantsymptomchange.Youthentellhertocloseher
eyesandherconsciousmindneednotknowtheanswer.Why?

E:[Theseniorauthorillustrateswithastoryindicatingthattheconsciousmind
interfereswiththerapeuticwork.]

RatificationofSymptomChange

E:Thosedoubtscomeintoyourmind,don'tthey?

X:Yes,theydo.

E:Itisnicetowatchgrowth.

R:Yes,absolutely.

E:NowIamgoingtotellyouanotherstory.

[Theseniorauthornowtellsaclinicalcasehistoryofhowhehelpedaneleven
yearoldcontrolherbedwetting.Amajorpointofthecasewasthatsymptom
controlconiesaboutgradually.Hethencontinues.]

R:Younowacknowledgeherconsciousdoubtsandbringthemoutintotheopen.You
openlyacknowledgethetruthaboutherinnersituation.Sherespondswithan
affirmativeyes.Youhavethusalsoopenedupayesset.Sheisinanaffirmative
mood.Youthenimmediatelyfollowupwith,Itisnicetowatchgrowth,whichisa
directreinforcementofthefactthatherlefthanddidgoup,thatsheischangingand
intheprocessofgivingupthesymptom.

E:Withwhatpartofthebodydoesshewet?

R:Yourstoryofthebedwetterwasparticularlyappropriatebecausethesymptomof
wetnessandanumberofdetailsweresimilar.Youareagainbringinginsexual
connotations.

E:Yes,wetgenitalsandwethands.
UtilizingTimeandFailureforCure

E:Giveyourselfplentyoftime.Nowyourhandshavefizzledoutfortoday.
Theycanhavesomewetnesstomorrow,thenextday.Andyouwillbe
surprisedattheincreaseinlengthofdrytimes.

[Pause]

Afterawhileyouwillhaveadroughtonyourhands.Nowandthenitrains

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

180/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

eveninthedesert.

R:Youareutilizingtimeforsymptomcure.

E:Yes,andgivingherpermissionforfailures.Allthefailureswillprovean
improvement.

R:Thefailureswillprovetheimprovementbecausetheycomeafterincreasing
lengthsofdrytimes.

IdeomotorQuestioningtoRatifySymptomCure:TheThirdRound

E:Dropyourhands.Nowlet'ssee,whichhandisgoingtomoveup.[Theleft
handliftsonly.Shefrownswhileitlifts.]Thewrist,too.Andtheelbowwill
bend.Cometowardyourface.Higher,higher,up,well,thatisreallyhard
tobelieve,isn'tit?Thatyourunconscioussays:Sweatingisnotforyourfuture.
Andyourunconsciousknowsthat.Yourunconsciousknowsthatyouwillhave
agradualgrowingconsciousrealizationofthat,thatonlyatthespeedthat
yourconsciousmindcantolerate.Closeyoureyes.

R:Youtestathirdtime,andfinallyonlythelefthandlifts,indicatingthatthe
sweatinghasbeeneffectivelydealtwith.Thisisaclearcaseillustratinghowyou
returnagainandagaintodealwithherdoubtsandinternalresistanceuntilyougeta
clearideomotorresponseofsymptomcure.

E:Yes.

R:Younowextendtheideomotorresponseand,byimplication,thecurebyhaving
herwholehandlevitatehigherandhigher.

E:Agradualgrowingconsciousrealizationmeansthatshecanlearnasrapidlyoras
slowlyashewantsto.

TranceResttoReinforceTherapeuticChange

E:Godeeplyintrance.Andnowawakenatyourconvenience.(Xclosesher
eyes,visiblyrelaxesforafewmoments,andthenawakens.)

R:Afterthesuccessfulideomotorindicationofsymptomchangeyougivehera
periodoftrancerest.Shehadbeenunderanevidentstrain(frowning)duringthe
ideomotorsignaling,soyounowletherhaveafewmomentsoftherapeutictranceas
awayofrewardingherinnerworkwithrelaxationandinnerfreedom.

HumortoFacilitateUnconsciousPsychodynamics
E:Nowforabitofflippancy.

X:Yes.

E:IembarrassedDr.BerthaRodgerinNewYork.Iwaslecturingthereata
banquetinmyhonor.SomeoneaskedmewhereIwasgoingtosleepthat

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

181/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

night.IsaidwithBertha.AndIthinkyouareverymuchsurprisedtofindout
howoftenyousleepwithme.Youareconstantlygoingtosleepwithme,aren't
you?Rathershameless,aren'tyou?

X:No,Idon'tthinkI'mshameless.

E:ItonlyseemsasifI'mrelatingapersonalnarrative.

R:Butinfactyouareindirectlybringingsexinagain.Butwhatisthepurposeofthis
directsexualconfrontationhere?

E:Itellhersheisgoingtosleepwithme.Consciouslysheknowssheisnot.
R:Sheknowstheabsurdityofthat.

E:ButIhavesaiditsoconvincingly.Ihavebeenveryconvincingtoherunconscious
soherunconscioussays,He'snotreallytalkingaboutsleepingwithhim,he'stalking
aboutsleepingwithsomeoneelse!I'mnakedlyhammeringonthesexualaspects.

R:Youareusingflippancyandhumortofacilitatetheinnerresolutionofthesexual
psychodynamicsofherproblem.Humordependsforitseffectonengaging
unconsciousprocesses.Youusehumorheretoinitiateanunconscioussearchand
facilitatetheunconsciousprocessesintimatelyrelatedtothepsychodynamicsourceof
hersymptomreaction.

RatifyingTherapeuticWork

E:Wehavedonealottogether,haven'twe?

X:Yes.

E:Wehavedonealottogether.Youhavebeenheretwoandaquarterhours.Do
youbelieveme?

X:Yes.

E:Why,justbecauseIsaidit?
X:No.Iknowthattoo.

E:Nowcanyoucomebacktomorrow?Youhavealotofrestingtodo.

X:Hereorathome?

E:PreferablyinPhoenix.

X:DoyouwantmetorestovernightsoIcansleepwithyouagaintomorrow?

E:TomorrowbecauseIwantyoutogetsomegoodphsysiologicalrest.You
havedonealotofwork.Farmorethanyouknow.Youhavealteredalotof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

182/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

yourbrainpathways.Youhavesetupnewones.Youneedtosleep.You
aregoingtothinkaboutyourhandsinadifferentway.

R:Younowdirectlyhelpheracknowledgethatalotoftherapeuticworkhasbeen
done.Youendthissessionwiththesemarvelouswakingsuggestionsthatwill
facilitateconsciousrestandfurthertherapeuticworkonanunconsciouslevel
throughouthersleep.Herattemptatextendingyourjokebyasking,Doyouwantme
torestovernightsoIcansleepwithyouagaintomorrow?actuallyplacessexwhereit
belongsinthecontextofdoingfurthertherapeuticworkwithyou;sheisbeginningto
associatesexualitywiththerapywithoutquiterealizingit.

SESSIONTWO:

InsightandWorkingThroughRelatedProblems

ThenextdayXreturnedforanothertwohoursessionwithErickson.HerfriendLis
presentasanobserver.Thesessionbeginswiththespontaneousadmissionofher
enduringfeelingsofconfusionaboutyesterday'stherapy.Suchconfusionis
characteristicofthepatient'smentalstateduringtheinitialandmiddlestagesof
therapywithErickson.Confusionisanindicationthatthepatient'shabitualframesof
referenceandgeneralizedrealityorientationhavebeenloosenedsothattheir
psychodynamicsarenowinanunstableequilibrium.Aprocessofdeautomatizationis
takingplacewhereinmanyofthepatient'serroneoussetsthathavebeenresponsible
forsymptomsandmaladaptivebehaviorareloosenedtothepointwherenew
associationsandmentalframeworkscanbeformulatedtoachievetherapeuticgoals.

Recognizingthatagreatdealofinsighttherapyneedstobedoneinthissession,
Ericksonbeginsbygivinghersomementalwarmupexercises:Herequeststhatshe
recallinexactdetailthefurnitureoftheplaceshesleptthenightbeforeandthenall
thethingsshesawonashoppingtouryesterday.Allofthismayseemirrelevanttothe
patient,butEricksonistherebywarmingupsearchoperationsinhermindwith
nonthreateningmaterial.Thesesearchoperationswillbeusedlaterinthesession,
whenshewillneedtoseekandexpressinsights.

Theseniorauthortheninducestrancewithanideosensoryapproach(Howsoonwill
youwarmupyourhands?)thatisuniquelysuitedtoXbecausethesensationof
warmth"istiedtothethemeofsexualitythattouchesoneofherbasicunconscious
complexes.Hethenembarksontheworkofundoingrepressionsinavarietyofways.
Hisobject,asalways,istohelpthepatientloosentherigidmentalframeworksthat
areresponsibleforsymptomformation,sothattheunconsciouscanrestructurea
betterreality.Heutilizesideomotorsignaling,analogies,stories,andotherdevicesto
moveherassociativeprocessescontinuallytowardintrospectionincriticalareas.Here
wewitnessEricksonathisbestasatherapistfacilitatingtheprocessofinsight.He
continuallyoffersoneapproachafteranother,likealocksmithtryingdifferentkeys
untilthepatientfinallyunlocksherownrepressions.Afteragreatdealofinitial
resistance,Xexperiencesafloodofinsightsaboutherfamilydynamicsandthe
reasonsforhersymptoms.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

183/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Theseniorauthorthenclosestheinterviewandeffectivelyterminatestherapyby
workingthroughmanyofherconsciousdoubtsaboutsymptomremoval(her
claustrophobiaandfearofplanesaswellassweating).Inarespectfulwayhethen
finallydisclosestoXmanyofthetherapeuticapproacheshehasusedwithher.The
mysteriesofhypnosisaredispelledwithasimplestatementoftheUtilizationTheory
ofHypnoticSuggestion:Hehasonlyhelpedherutilizeherownassociationsand
mentalprocessestoachieveherowntherapeuticgoals.

ConfusionasaPreludetoMentalReorganization

E:Whathaveyoudonesinceyesterday?

X:Notverymuch.Iwenttobedrelativelyearly.Mymindseemedconfused.I
wasrecallingsnatchesofthingsthathadbeensaid,wordsmostly.Someof
yourstories.Ididn'twanttogotothebathroominthemiddleofthenight.I
don'tknowifthathadanythingtodowithwhatyouweretellingusyesterday,
butIdidn'twanttogoswimminglastnighteither.Ididn'twanttogointhe
water.Ijustgenerallyfeltconfused.Ihaven'tbeenabletostopthinking
aboutyesterday.

E:Whatparticularthinkinghaveyoudone?

X:Well,I'mkindofamazedatthefeelingthatthereissortofanotherentity
insidethatcouldlistenandcouldunderstandthingsthatIdon't,andismaybe
morehopefulthanIamconsciously.

E:Whereareyoustaying?

X:WithasocialworkerfriendofmineinTempee.

R:Whenshesays,Mymindseemedconfused,yourecognizeitasatypicaleffectof
theinitialstageofyourtherapy.Itisagoodsign,sinceitmeansthatherconscious
framesofreferencehavebeendepotentiatedandherunconscioushashadan
opportunitytoreorganizeitselfalongtherapeuticpathways.

E:Yes.

R:Herconsciousmindisconfused,butsinceshehasnotbeenabletostopthinking
aboutyesterday,itmustmeanthatherunconscioushasbeenveryactivelyatwork.

E:Shefeelsthereissortofanotherentityinside,andthengivesherprognosis.

R:Clearlyindicatingyouhavebeenontherighttrackinguidinghertomakecontact
withthisinnersourcethatcouldunderstandmoreandbemoreoptimisticthanher
consciousmind.

TraininginThoroughMentalExamination
E:Nametheitemsoffurnitureinthehouse.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

184/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

X:Well,inthelivingroomtherearegiantpillowsinsteadoffurniture,butthere
isarockingchairthere,too.Thereisacouchinthekitchen.Therearetall
barstoolsinthekitchen.Therearethreebedrooms,sotherearethreebeds.
Tworegularandonewaterbed.Therearethreedressers.Ithinkthat'sall.

E:Nootherobjects?Youhaven'tnamedatableyet.

X:OK,thereisatableandfourchairsinthekitchen,etcetera.

E:Now,anyspecialthingyoudidyesterday?

X:Iwentshoppingbymyselfforaboutanhourandwassortofwandering
aroundinadaze,justtakingmytime.Otherthanthat,no.

E:Wheredidyoushop?

X:Alittleplace,wellnotlittle.Itisagiantconglomeratedepartmentstore.
E:Whatobjectsdidyoulookat?

X:Food,cheese,meats,flourtortillas,wine,tomatoes,beans,pants.
E:Anyotherthings?
X:No.

X:ThepantsthatIboughtweremen'spants,butIlookedatapantssuitthat
wouldbeforawoman.

R:What'sthepurposeofthisseeminglyirrelevantquestionabouthousefurniture?

E:Whenyouthinkaboutathingyouthinkinclusively;don'texcludeanything.

R:Oh,that'stheimplication!Byhavingherthinkinextremedetailaboutherfriend's
housefurniture,youaretrainingherunconscioustogointosomethingvery
thoroughlywithouttellingherconsciousmindwhatyouaredoing.Youdon'tdirectly
say,Iwantyoutothoroughlyexploreyourproblems.Insteadyouputherthrough
anothertaskinathoroughmanner.Youthenexpectthatprocessofthorough
examinationtoautomaticallygeneralizetoherownselfexaminationofherpersonal
problems.

E:Shecametomewithaproblem,andItellhersheisgoingtohavetodosome
thinking.AndthenIdemonstratetoherexactlythekindofthinking.

R:Youthendothesamethingbyrequestingshemakeadetailedexaminationofher
shopping.

E:Shemakesaremarkablelisting:sheendsupwithpants.
R:Oh,thesexualimplicationofpants?!

E:Yes!Itisputinsobeautifully.Whywouldshebuymen'spants?Itislikechoosing
aman.

DevelopingInsight

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

185/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

X:OnceyouaskedmeabouthowsoonIwouldforgetyou.Ididn'tquite
understandwhatyoumeantbythat,butIthinkmyresponsewasthatIdidn't
thinkIwould,andLwasgivingbisexplanationofwhathethoughtitmeant.

E:Andwhatwashisexplanation?

X:Twopartsofit,Ithink.OnethatIshouldnotletyougetinthewayofme
usingmyselforsomething.Youareusingyourselfassortofametaphortosort
ofassistmetodowhatIneedtodoformyself.Isthatright?

E:Heissharperthanarazor.

X:Yes,heis.

E:Anythingelse?[Pause]Onlythosethingsthatyoucansaytothegroup.

X:Well,againIwassurprisedthatitseemedasifmyownconsciousmindwasa
separatekindofthing,andIkeptaskingLifhethoughtthatmyunconscious
couldunderstandwhatmyconsciousmindcouldn't.Thenhesortoflaughedand
explained,ofcourse,thatwouldbetrue.Youruseofthewordcouragesortof
fitforme,partlybecauseIthinkIfoundmyselfjustrecentlyovercominga
verydifficultsituationinmyworkbysomesortofsupremeexerciseofmywill
andcourage,too.Ithink.Oh,Iknowsomethingelsetoo.Aboutthelittlegirl
withblondhair[Xhasblondhairandisherereferringtoachildhoodmemory]
whowaslayingdownonthestairs,andIthinkLsaidsomethingabouther
havingclaustrophobia,andmyresponsewas,HowdoesheknowIhave
claustrophobia?

E:Doyoureallyhaveclaustrophobia?
X:Umhum.

E:Howsureareyouofthat?

X:Well,I'massumingthatitisamatterofdegree.OncewhenIwasupinthe
armoftheStatueofLiberty,whichisaverynarrowpassage,Iblackedout
becauseitwasaverysmallarea,andIdon'tlikeplanesforthesamereason.I
alwaysthoughtifsomebodyreallywantedtotortureme,alltheyhadtodowas
tolockmeinthecloset.

E:Whereaboutsintheplanedoyouhavethestrongestfeelings?

X:WhenIamsittingbythewindowandlookout.Iguessthatthatistheworst.

E:Howmuchplanetravelingdoyoudo?

X:Iflytothewestcoastabouttwiceayear.

E:Nowwhatkindofstoresdidyoupassyesterday?

X:Adepartmentstore,aBroadway,asupermarket,bakeries,liquorstores,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

186/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

sportinggoods,hubcaps,dunebuggies,drugstores,waterbedstoreum
tropicalfish.

E:Didyoupassanyplacesofbusinessthatyoudidn'tlike?

X:Theonlythingthatcomestomind,andI'mnotsureIdidn'tlikeit,butwhat
cametomindwasapurplenudedancingplaceonacornerthatwepassed.

E:Whatinparticulardidyouseeinthatplace?

X:WhatdidIsee?Itlookedlikeabuildingmadeofcementbricksthathad
justbeenwashedinpurple.Andtherewerenudewomenpaintedalloverthe
outsideofthebuilding,andIthinkitsaidtopless.

E:Sheisstartingtopickupmydoublemeaningswhenshebeginstowonderabout
myquestionofhowsoonshewouldforgetme.Sheisrightaboutthefactthatshe
shouldnotletmegetinthewayofherusingherself.

R:Sheisgaininginsightintoherclaustrophobia,herfearofheights,andtheoperation
ofherownconsciousunconscioussystem.Herfinalcommentaboutnoticingthe
purplenudedancingplaceisnotelaborated,butitishardtobelievethatshedoesnot
realizeitspossibleconnectionwiththefactthatyoualwayswearpurpleclothing[The
seniorauthorispartiallycolorblind,buthecandistinguishshadesofpurple]andthe
sexualconnotationsinyourremarks.Inanycaseitstronglysuggestsherunconscious
ispickingupthesexualassociationspresentinyourtwolevelcommunication.You
areevidentlystillconcernedaboutherreadinesstodealwiththesexualissues,soyou
donotusethispossibleopeningtotalkaboutsexualmatters.

IdeosensoryInductionUtilizingaPsychodynamicComplex

E:Howareyourhands?

X:Misty.

E:Mustbeyouhaveawarmheart.Howsoonwillyouwarmupyourhands?
[Pause]

X:Theyaregettingwarmer.[Pause]

E:Closeyoureyes.[Pause]Leanbackinyourchair.[Pause]Andjust
keepsleepingdeeperanddeeper.

R:Hereyoudeliberatelyassociatehersweatingwithwarmheartand,byimplication,
sex.Then,beforeshecanrespondorinterfereinanywaywiththisassociation,you
immediatelybeginanideosensoryinductiontotrancebyaskinghowsoonwillher

handswarmup.Thatquestionistranceinducingbecausetofeelanadequateresponse
ofwarmth,shemustfirstgointotrance.Sinceyouhavealreadyassociatedwarmth
withheart,sex,andsweating,thischoiceofinductionreinforcesandextendsthese
associations.Yourinitialassociationofmistyandwarmheartputheronaninner
searchforyourmeaning.Thatinnersearchischaracteristicoftheeverydaytrance

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

187/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

whenpeoplepauseforamoment'sreflectionoverapuzzlingquestionortask.You
thenimmediatelymakeuseofthismomentaryinnerfocustoinitiateatrance
inductionthatalsoutilizestheinnerassociations(warmth)thatareoccupyingherat
thatprecisesecond.Wecouldsummarizethewholeprocessasfollows.Yougaveher
twotranceinducingtaskssimultaneously:(1)Theassociationbetweensymptom
(misty)andwarmth(sex)putsheronaninnersearch,and(2)thequestionabout
warmingupherhandsrequirestranceforanadequateresponse.Thesetwo
approachesareinterlockingandmutuallyreinforcingbecausetheyhavethecommon
themeofwarmth.Thiscommonthemeisitselftranceinducingbecauseyoutieditto
acentralpsychodynamiccomplex(warmth,sex,sweating)thatispresentinher
unconscious.Wheneverwetouchuponaperson'scomplexes,ofcourse,thereisa
spontaneousabaissementduniveaumentale(aloweringofconsciousness)thatalso
facilitatestrance.Nowonder,then,thatsheimmediatelyrespondswiththe
ideosensoryresponseofwarmthandenterstrance.

AutonomousTranceTraining

E:Whileyouaresleepingmoreandmoredeeply,Iamgoingtomakesome
calls.[Edialsandmakessometelephonecallsofaprofessionalnature,discusses
settingupfutureappointmentswithR,etc.Afteraboutfiveminuteshereturns
toX].

R:Intheinitialstagesoftrancetrainingyousometimesgivethepatientafreeperiod
tolearntogodeeperintotranceinanautonomousmanner,bywhatevermeansthey
haveattheirdisposal(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976).

ExploratoryIdeomotorQuestioning

E:Breatheverydeeply,X.Andeithernodorshakeyourheadgently
inanswertomyquestion.Doyoumindbeingwithme?[Shenodsherhead
yes.]Youdomind.Istheresomebodyelseyouwantwithus?[Pause,no
response]Allright,Iwillrepeatmyquestion.Areyouwillingtobealone
withme?[Shakesheadno.]Doyouknowwhy?[Pause,noresponse]
Allright,anotherquestion.Doyouknowwhyyouhavewhatyoucall
claustrophobia?[Shakesheadno]Doyouknowwhenyoursweatingfirst
began?[Shakesheadno]Doyouknowwhenyou'llapproachtheharpto
play?[Nodsyes]

R:Afterfiveminutesofautonomoustrancedeepeningyoujudgeherreadytorespond
tosomeexploratoryideomotorsignaling.Youusuallyliketouseheadnoddingor
shakingbecausethatutilizeswelllearnedandautomaticmovementsthatpeople
frequentlycarryoutwithoutrealizingitineverydaylife.Patients,therefore,maytend
tobemoreamnesicforheadsignalingthattheycannotwatchversusfingerorhand
signaling,whichtheycanwitnesswhentheireyesareopen.

E:WhenIbeginbyaskingaboutbeingalonewithme,I'mtryingtoaffirmthesexual
associationsofthefirstsession.I'mlettinghergointohersexualdynamics.

PosthypnoticSuggestions:ConsciousnessNeedNotControl;Undoing
RepressionsinCentralPsychodynamics

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

188/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Later,afteryouareawake,youwillsuddenlybutnotimmediately
givemethedateandplace,doingsooutofcontextofthegeneralconversation.
Doyouunderstandme?[Nodsyes]Thatis,wecouldbetalkingabout
gourmetfoods,Minnesotaasagopherstate,andyouwillsuddenly
intrudeuponthatconversationthedateandplace,andafterhavinguttered
thosethings,youwillrealizethatisthetimeandplacewhenyouwillapproach
aharp.Nowdoyouunderstand?[Nodsyes]

R:Whydoyouusethisapproachtobreakingthroughheramnesiaaboutwhenher
sweatingbegan?Areyougivingtheunconscioustheopportunitytointrudeitselfwith
thehelpofanychanceassociationthatmayberelatedtothesignificantmaterial?

E:Intrainingarifleteamfortheinternationalshoot,Itoldthemtoletthesight
wanderbackandforth,upanddown,alloverthetarget.Youdon'tknowjustwhen
you'llsqueezethetrigger.

R:Theconsciousmindwillnotknowjustwhen,sotheunconsciouswillhavean
opportunitytointrudeandsqueezethetriggeratjusttherightmoment.Youaretaking
pressureofftheconsciousmindandgivingresponsibilitytotheunconscious.Didyou
explainthattotheriflemen?

E:Ididnotexplainittothem.Isaidtothemtheymightnotevenknowwhentheir
fingersqueezedthetrigger.Ittakesallthepressureoffbecauseitisnotnecessaryfor
themtoknow.Theonlynecessarythingisforthebullettohitthetarget.

R:Theconsciousmindneednotknowtheprecisemoment.Youareallowingthe
unconscioustoplayabiggerpartintheresponse.

E:Andtheconsciousmindcanbemorecomfortablebecauseitisn'tpressuredtodoit
atanexactmoment.Asmallchildalwaysasks,CanIdoitwhenIwantto?The
feelingofcomfortandfreedomisveryimportant.Youdon'thavetoknowtheexact
time.

R:Youallowthisfreedomfortheunconscioustomakeitsownresponseinitsown
wayinitsowntime.Youdepotentiatetheerroneoussetsofthepatient'sconscious
mindthatpresumestocontroleverythingandtherebyopenfreedomforthe
individual'screativeunconscious.

StructuredAmnesia

E:Anotherquestion:Areyouwillingtobealonewithmebriefly?
[Nodsyes]Thatisnice.Nowwouldyouwithinyourownmindthink
aboutthehappiesteventinyourlife.Justthinkaboutit.Youdon'tneed

totellme.Alsothinkaboutthemostwretchedmomentofyourlife.
Andyoudon'tneedtotellme.[Longpause]

R:Aftergivingheranimportantposthypnoticsuggestion,youreturnagaintothe
questionofherwillingnesstobewithyou.Itcontinuesthesexualconnotation,but
placedhereittendstostructureanamnesiafortheposthypnoticsuggestionthatcame
betweenthetwoformsofthesamequestion.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

189/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Yes,allthisthroughherehassexualconnotations[happiestandmostwretched
moments].

R:Animmediateabsorptionintosexualpreoccupationswouldserveasadistraction
thatmightalsofacilitateanamnesiafortheprecedingposthypnoticsuggestion.

SerialPosthypnoticSuggestionforaNegativeHallucinationTraining

E:Shortlyyouwillawaken,wonderingwheretheothershavegone.
[Pause]Itwillrathersurpriseyou.Whydidtheyleave?Wasthere
anypurpose?Nowslowlyawaken.[Pauseassheopenshereyesand
reorientstoherbodyabit]

R:Youfeelitisusuallymoreeffectivetogiveaposthypnoticsuggestioninaserial
formwheretheposthypnoticbehaviorisintegratedwithongoingwakingbehavioror
typicalpatternsofwakingbehavior(EricksonandErickson,1941).Inthiscaseyou
don'tdirectlysuggestshewon'tseetheotherswhensheawakens.Onlytheverybest
hypnoticsubjectswouldbecapableofsuchastrongnegativehallucinationthisearly
intheirtraining.Yougiveamoresubtleformofsuggestionthatcanutilizemany
alreadyexistingmentalpatternslikesurprise,andquestionsaboutwhytheyleft,etc.

TranceAwakeningwithAmnesiabyDistraction

E:Whatdoyouthinkismyfavoritegourmetfood?

X:Chicken?

E:Takeasliceofbread,butteritgenerouslywithpeanutbutter,thencoverit
withathicklayerofcheese.Putitunderthebroileruntilthecheeseismelted.
Butteritwithpeanutbutter,coveritwithathicklayerofcheese,putitback
underthebroileruntilthecheeseismelted.

X:TryingtorememberifIeverhadcheeseandpeanutbutter.

E:HereIbeginwithabreathingspellaboutmyfavoritefood.

R:Thisalsoservesasanotherdistractionwhichtendstorendertheprecedingtrance
materialamnesic.

ConfusionandUnconsciousSearch:DepotentiatingConsciousControl

X:Idon'tknowwhatyouareabout?

E:WhatdoyouthinkIamabout?
[Longpause]

X:Idon'tknowrightnow.
E:Whatdon'tyouknow?

X:Well,likeyesterday,IthoughtIknewwhatyouwereabout,oh,insome

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

190/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ways.

E:Howdoyoufeelaboutcontaininganotherentity?

X:Mixed.Ifeelrelievedinsomewaysandfrightenedinothers.

E:Whatshouldyoubefrightenedabout?

X:Iguessitisalackofcontrol.Ifthereisanotherentity,thentherearethings
overwhichIdon'thavecontrol.

E:Whymustyouhavecontrol?[Pause]

X:Well,itisveryfrighteningformetobeoutofcontrol.

E:Howmuchisitfrightenedless?

X:Formetobeoutofcontrol?Quiteabit,Ithink.

E:Nowletmeclarifythatforyou.Inthisroomyouhaverelinquishedcontrol
tome.Outofthisroomyouwillhaveallyourowncontrol,andyouhave
relinquisheditinthisroomtoenablemetohelpyou,that'sall.Myfirst
daughterinlawwasamarveloushypnoticsubject.Itookhertoastudygroupin
Phoenixtodemonstrateanddiscusshypnosis.IintendedtouseherandI
couldn'tgetasingleresponsefromher.Afterwegotbackhome,shesaid,
Willyouforgiveme,Dad,IhadtofindoutifIhadcontrol.Ihavehadthat
happenonseveraloccasions.Theyhadtofindoutiftheyhadfullcontrol.

R:Shetriesbutcannotfigureouttherelevanceofthisconversationforhertherapy
whenshesaysshedoesn'tknowwhatyouareabout.Yourefforttogivehera
breathingspellactuallyconfusesherandsendsheronanunconscioussearch.That
sortofinnerexplorationisactuallythekindofmentalsetyoutrytoenhancefor
trancework.Youthereforeimmediatelyreturntotherapyworkwithyourquestion
aboutcontaininganotherentity.Shethenconfirmsthebasicproblemofmany
patients:Theyareusuallyafraidtogiveupconsciouscontrol,theydonottrusttheir
ownunconscioustofindsolutionsandnewwaysofcoping.

E:WiththeexampleofmydaughterinlawIgiveheranotherbreathingspell.I'm
alsoassuringherthatshedoeshavecontrol,that'sallright.Butyoureallydohaveit.I
wanthertobeabsolutelyconfidentaboutherself.

ParadoxicalSuggestionandDistraction

E:Nowwhatyouwantismorecontrolofyourself.Ifyourelinquishcontrol
inrelationshiptoyourhands,youhaverelinquishedcontrolinyourrelationship
towhatyoucallclaustrophobia.Butyoucannowhavefullcontrol.You
didn'teventellmetogotohell.

E:Yougiveaseeminglyparadoxicalsetofsuggestionswhenyoutellhershecan

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

191/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

havecontrol,andyetifsherelinquishescontrolofherhands,sherelinquishescontrol
ofherclaustrophobia.Youmeanthatifsheallowsherunconscioustodealwithher
handproblem,itwillalsodealwiththeclaustrophobia.Butyoudon'tstateitina
clear,rationalwayforlefthemisphericunderstanding,asIhavehere.Youpresentit
asaseemingparadoxofhavingcontrolyetrelinquishingcontrol.Suchaparadoxical
presentationwillmomentarilyjamhercriticalfacultiessoherunconsciousagainwill
haveanopportunitytointerfere.Then,beforeshecanrecoverhercriticalfaculties,
youareoffwithanotherprovocativestatementabouttellingyoutogotohell.This
nowdistractsherfurther,soyoursuggestionabouttheconnectionbetweensweating
andclaustrophobiacannotbedealtwithconsciouslyandmustremainwithin,where
onlyherunconsciouscanreceiveandworkwithit.

TranceInductionbyDepotentiatingConsciousSets:Evaluating
PosthypnoticCapacity

[Xisimmobilewithatrancelikestare.]

E:Isthereanybodyelsehere?

X:Inthisroom?[Longpause]Ican'tgiveyouasimpleanswer.
E:Thengivemeacomplexone.

X:Welltherearethreeorfourotherpeoplehere,buttheyarenot.

E:Theyarenotwhat?

X:Notimpingingorsomething.

E:Notimpinging.[ToR]Wouldyouliketoaskaquestiononthatpoint?
R:Howareyourhandsfeelingrightnow?
X:Wetandwarm.

E:Theyarewarmer.Let'sletthemkeeponbeingwarmerandwarmer.

R:Theeffectofyourdoubledepotentiationofherunconscioussetswithparadoxand
immediatedistractionisthatsheissentonsuchanintenseinnersearchthatsheis,for
allpracticalpurposes,inatrance.Yourecognizethisandaskaquestionaboutthe

presenceofotherstoevaluatehercapacitytofollowyoursubtleposthypnotic
suggestionaboutwonderingwheretheothershavegone.

E:Sheissaying,I'minatrancebutIdon'tknowit.Realityisn'treality.Sheis
denning:Idonotknowmyconsciousstate,Idoknowmytrancestate,my
unconsciousstate.

R:Heransweraboutpeoplenotimpingingorsomethingisabitlikethetrancelogic
whenasubjectseesahallucinatedpersonseatedinachairbutalsoseesthechairasif
thehallucinationweretransparent[Orne,1962].Sheisawareyetnotaware;sheis
followingyournegativehallucinationsuggestiontoamilddegree.Youtherefore
deepenhertranceinvolvementbyrequestingideosensorybehaviorthatcanonlybe
accomplishedbytheunconscious:sheistoallowherhandstogetwarmer.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

192/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

HypnoticEnhancementofPsychodynamicComplexes

E:Whereareyougoingtoputyourhotlittlehands?Answer.[Pause]

X:Onmyface?

E:Thatwasn'tyourfirstthought.Doyouknownow?Youdon'thaveto
buryyourthoughts,doyou?Eventhoughsomeareunfamiliar.

Howsoonwouldyouhavethosehotlittlehands?

X:HowsoonwouldIhavethem?

E:Umhum.

X:WhereIwasthinkingofputtingthem?

E:No,howsoonwhenyoucanhavehotlittlehandstoputsomewhere.
X:Theyarehotnow.

E:Itisperfectlysociallyacceptabletotellhertoletherhandsgetwarmerandto
speakofhotlittlehands,butnowweallknow!

R:Youareactuallygettinghersexualpsychodynamicsinvolvedinthisapparently
innocentideosensoryexercise.Thisisagaintwolevelcommunicationtodealwith
issuesyouarenotsureherconsciousmindisreadytocopewith.

E:WhenIaskhowsoonshewouldhavethosehotlittlehands,I'masking,Howsoon
willshegetdowntothesex?

R:Whensherespondswith,WhereIwasthinkingofputtingthem!sheappearstobe
gettingclosertothenakedsexualquestion.

UndoingRepressionsfacilitatingInnerDialoguebyDoubleBind
Questions

E:Quickly,withoutthinking,quicklywithoutthinking,givemeadate.
X:March17.
E:Year?
X:1958

E:Nowwhathappenedthen?

X:ThatwouldbeSt.Patrick'sDay.[Longpause]Myboyfrienddyedhis
hairgreen.

E:Allright.Nowtherearealotofthingsthatyouarewillingformetoknow.

E:Howmanythingsarethereaboutyouthatyoudon'twantmetoknow?
[Pause]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

193/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

X:Quiteafew.

E:Doyouknowthereasonwhy?[Pause]
X:Iwouldbeembarrassed.

E:Nowtheimportantthing.Whatdoyouknowaboutyouthatyoudon'twant
toknow?Don'ttellit.Youdon'twanttoknowit.Howmanythingsarethere
aboutyouthatyoudon'twanttoknow?[Longpause]

X:Howmany?[Longpause]Two.

E:Allright.Dothosetwoincludesomethingaboutaharp?Dothosetwo
includesomethingaboutyourhands?Andyoudon'twanttoknow,doyou?

X:Idon'twanttoknow.

E:Why?

X:ItwouldforcemetolookatsomethingIdon'twanttolookat.
E:Doyouthinkitisawfulbad?
X:Prettybad.

E:Anddon'tyouwanttoknowallthegoodandallthebadaboutyou?Itis
onlyyourknowledgeofit.

X:Itistoomuch.

E:Whatareyoumostafraidof?Don'ttellme,tellyourselfwhatyouare
afraidof.Haveyoudonethat?

Canyoushareitwithme?[Longpause]Don'tanswerthatquestion.Can
youshareitwithothershere?

X:Umhum.

E:Doyouwantto?[Pause]Isitasbadasitfirststartedouttobe?
X:No.

E:[ToR]YouseewhatIdid.Iprotectedherallalongtheline,anditreduced
theseriousnessofit.

R:Yes.

E:Haveyourrememberedsomethingbad?

R:Thisquestion,ofcourse,isdesignedtobringupinhermindallthemostintimate
associationssheisnotyetreadytotalkabout.Butbysimplybringingthemupinher
ownassociativeprocess,itisanincrementtowardeventualexpression.Thisis
anotherformofparadoxicalordoublebindapproach(EricksonandRossi,1975).By
askingapersonaboutwhattheyarenotwillingtotalkabout,youbringthemcloserto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

194/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

talkingaboutit.Aftershehashadanopportunitytoturnitoverinherownmind,you
againaskifitispossibletotalkaboutit.Herinnerassociationsarebynowprimedfor
expressionsincetheyhavebeenbroughttotheforeofherawareness.Sincethereisa
longpause,however,yourealizesheisnotyetreadytospeak,soyoufinallytellher
nottoanswerthequestion.Youarealwayscarefullywatchingpatientsandaccepting
wheretheyare.Youtryoneapproachafteranothertofacilitatetheirinnerwork,but
youalwaysacceptwhateverresponsestheymake.

DesensitizationbyIndirectSuggestion

E:[TurningtoL,whohashadsometraininginpsychology]Whatdoyouthink
aboutdesensitization?[Pause]

L:Isthataquestion?Ijustheardtheword.

E:Haveyouseenit?

L:Yes,itisagoodwaytodoit.

R:Yougiveheraresthereasyouaskherboyfriend,L,abouttheprocessof
desensitizationyouhavejustbeeninvolvedwith.YouhavebeendesensitizingXto
herfearsaboutrevealingherself.ThisisalsoanindirectsuggestiontoXthatletsher
knowsheisdesensitizedandmaybereadyformoreselfrevelation.

ControlandFearofSelfRevelation

E:[ToX]Isthereanythingunspoken?Thatyoucandosafely?
[Pause]

X:I'mafraidthatmyhandsaregoingtobethiswayfortherestofmylife.E:
Andwhatwayisthat?

X:Misty.

E:Whatisbadaboutthat?[Longpause]

X:Well,itisrevealingofme.Andveryuncomfortable.Itisrevealing
becauseinotherwaysIseemtohavesomuchcontrol,andthenthereisthisway
inwhichIhaveabsolutelynone.Itisasifatanymomentthissortofsign
emergesthatIamnotwhatIseemorsomethinglikethat.

E:Thatyouarenotwhatyouseem.Andwhatexactlyisthatbiglie?Doyou
knowit?Haveyouadmitteditfullytoyourself?

X:Iguessnot.

E:Doyouwantto?

X:No.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

195/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:InthissectionXclearlyrevealsherneedforcontrolandherfearofrevealing
herself.Thereissometimesatendencyforthehypnotherapisttoerrinthedirectionof
uncoveringunconsciousmaterialtooquickly.Youcarefullyavoidthisdangerby
emphasizingthatpatientsneednottelluntiltheyarereadytodosowithafeelingof
comfortandsafety.

GivingupConsciousControl

E:Soyouwanttohavealackofcontrolinthatregard.Andearliertodayyou
saidyouwantedfullcontrol.Whatareyougoingtodoaboutthat?[Pause]

X:Iwanttosaygiveitup,butitdoesn'tmaketoomuchsense.

R:Youalwayshavethisapparentlypeculiartendencytopointouthowpatientsdonot
wantcontrolevenwhentheythoughttheydid.Youareagaintryingtoreleasethe
rigidgripoftheirconsciousmindovertheirunconscious.

E:Ipointoutthatcontradiction.Nowwhendoesagirlwanttohavealackofcontrol?
R:Duringorgasm.
AutomaticWriting

E:Icanonlyrememberthegirl'slastnamewhenIwasteachinginMichigan
StateUniversityinaclassofpsychologistsworkingfortheirPh.D.'s.Inone
classagirlnamedErickson,norelationtomeatall,said,Ihavesomehideous

secretandIdon'twanttoknowitbutIoughttoknowit.Canyoudoanything
aboutit?

Isaid,yes,easily.Isaidtakeapencilandwhileyouarelookingatme,letyour
handwriteautomaticallythatbigtroublesomesecret.

HerhandwroteitandIsawhertakethepieceofpaperandshefoldeditand
refoldeditandrefoldeditandsheslippeditintoherpurse.Somemonthslater
shesaid,WhyamItellingyouthissecret?Ibrokemyengagement.Isaid,
Well,youhavebrokenyourengagement.Whyareyoutellingme?Ibetanything
thereissomethinginyourpursethatwilltellyou.Shesaid,Youareridiculous.
Isaid,Itisfuntoberidiculous.Sheverycarefullyemptiedoutherpurse.
Shesaid,Wheredidthispieceofpapercomefrom?Sheunfoldeditandit
read,YouarenotgoingtomarryMel,youaregoingtomarryJoe.Andshe
did.ButshewasengagedtoMel.Ithinkitwasimportantforhertoknowher
secret.Allkindsofsecrets.

E:Itellthisseeminglyirrelevantstoryaboutautomaticwriting,butitillustratesan
identicalpsychicsituationofhavingahideoussecretIdon'twanttoknow.

R:Theincredibleaspectofyourtellingthisstoryasanillustrationisthatinher
followupletterwrittenthreemonthsafterthissession,shereportsalmosttheidentical
situation:Shegaveuponeboyfriendtomarryanother.IalmostfeelESPisoperating
inyou,butyoudenythat.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

196/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Ibelievedshewasinasexconflict,andyoucan'thaveaconflictwithouttwo
opposingobjects.WhenIsaid,'Allkindsofsecrets,'ImadeitapplytoXaswell.

WorkingThroughConsciousResistance

E:Arecentpatientofminetoldmeshewasafraidtoflyonaplane.Anddo
youreallyknowyourfear?Thisgreatbiglieyouaretellingyourself.
Don'tyouthinkyououghttoknowallofit?Whendoyouthinkyouwillhave
enoughcouragetoknowit?[Pause]

X:Later.

E:Howmuchlater?[Pause]
X:Tomorrow.

E:Allright,nowtellme.Jeffsearchingthroughhispocketsallexceptforthelast
one.Hedidn'tdarelookinthelastpocketforfearhewoulddropdead.Do
youunderstandhowJefffelt?Doyoureallythinkyouwilldropdeadifyou
knowit?[Pause]Itjustseemsthatway.Howmuchtimedoyouneedto
reachintothatotherpocket?

X:IguessIcandoit.

E:Justguess.

X:Icandoit.

E:Doyousupposeyoucouldenjoyfindingoutjustwhatthatgreatbiglittlefear
is?

X:MaybeIcould.Maybe.

R:YounowtellanotherstorywhichhasrelevanceforherbecauseXalsohasafear
ofplanes.Themainpurposeofthisstoryisgettingthecouragetoknowaboutall
one'sfears.YouthenreturntoXandherfears.Youdon'taccepttomorrow,butyou
don'ttellherthat.Insteadyourecountastorywiththemessage,Youwon'treallydrop
dead.Thatis,youremotivatehertoworkthroughherconsciousresistancesbytelling
herthehumorousMuttandJeffstoryaboutourexaggeratedfearsofselfrevelation.

RelocatingDentalPain

E:AfortyyearoldmancametomeandsaidthatIwasagoodhypnoticsubject
incollege.Ihaveadentalphobia.Iknowyousufferendlesspain,
excruciatingpainwhenyougotothedentist.AndIhaveneglectedmyteeth,
theyareinbadshape,andIhavegottohavedentalworkdone,andgoingtoa
dentalofficemeanspain.Canyouhypnotizeme?IsaidWhynotletthe
dentistwhowillbedoingtheworkonyou,doit?HesawtwodentistsIhad
trained,andtheyworkedonhimseparatelyandjointly.Theycouldn'tinducea
trance.SoIhadthembringhimtoastudygroup.Itoldhimforthetimebeing

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

197/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

tokeephisfears,keephispain,buttogointoatrance.InthetranceItoldhimto
keephispain,allhisbeliefinpain,andtogotothedentistandknowthatallhis
painwasinhislefthand,andholditawayfromhim.Andtellthedentistbyno
meanstotouchthatlefthand.Theslightestbreathonhislefthandwouldbe
excruciatinglypainful.Throughoutallhisdentalworkthepainwasoutthere.
Ifheevergoestoanewdentist,thenewdentistwillwonderwhy.Thisthing
youdon'twanttoknow,hasitanythingtodowithyourhandsorharp?
[Pause]

R:Shecontinuestopause,soyoutellheryetanotherstory.

E:Iamgivingherabreathingspellbutatthesametimeitisgivingherinstruction.I
toldthedentalpatienttolocatehispaininhishand.Shecanhaveallthepainofself
realization,butshecouldknowwhatshereallywantedinspiteofthepain.

UtilizingExplosivenesstoReachtheUnconscious

E:Allright,nowanswerthisquestionexplosively.[ToR]Wouldyousayaword
explosively.

R:Damnit!

E:Canyou[X]sayawordexplosively?

X:No!

E:Howdoyouknowthemeaningofthatword?Youknowyoudon'twantto
tellthemeaningofthatword,doyou?Answerthisquestionexplosively.
Shouldyoutellthemeaningofthat?

X:No!

E:Answerthis,oughtyou?

X:Yes!

E:Areyou?

X:Yes!

E:When?

X:Later!

E:Howmuchlater?[Pause]

X:Infifteenminutes.

E:Allright,butyoucansayitexplosively.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

198/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

X:Fifteenminutes!

[Theseniorauthornowoccupiesherinsmalltalkaboutherhomeandfamilyfor
fifteenminutes.Withoutherrealizingit,heisactuallyutilizingmanyfemaleand
sexualsymbolsfish,box,thingscoveted,etc.conversationthatwillkeepher
unconsciousprimedtothetaskathand.]

E:Explosivenessisasuddenwellingupoftheunconsciousandeveryonehashadthat
experience.NowI'maskinghertohaveherunconsciousmindexplodenew
understandings.

ComfortableSelfRevelation:AlteringaLifetimeIdentity

E:Nowwillthedisclosurebeinconnectionwithharp,yourhands,orsomething
else?

X:Withtheharpandmyhands.

E:Fifteenminuteshasnotyetgoneby.Howreadyareyou?

X:I'mready.

E:Youwantto,now?

X:Itisnotgoingtoseemsobad.

E:Thatistoobad,isn'tit?

X:ShouldIsayit?
E:Sure.

X:Ineverdidwanttobeaharpist.
[Pause]

E:Whatdoyouwanttodoinrelationshiptotheharp?
X:Playjustformyself.

E:Andwhoseideawasitthatyoubeaconcertharpist?

X:IalwaysblamedmyDad,butitmighthavebeenmine.Ithinkoriginallyit
musthavebeenDad's.

E:Nowwhydidyouhavewethands?

X:Iknowwhy.SoIwouldn'thavetoplay.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

199/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Asanexcuse.

R:Whenherselfrevelationdoescome,itissurprisinglyfreeofemotionaltrauma.
Notwantingtobeaconcertharpistseemstobesuchasimplepragmaticfact,yetfor
heritisgivingupanidentitybuiltupoveralifetime.Oneofhermajormental
frameworksaboutherselfhasbeenaltered.

InsightTherapytoSupporttheReorganizationoftheSymptom
Complex

[AfifteenminuteconversationtakesplacewhereinXnowexperiencesafloodof
insightsaboutherfamily'spsychodynamicsandhersymptomofsweating.]

R:Nowbeginsafloodofinsightandconvictionaboutthesourceandnatureofher
problemsinherfamily.Youarehereutilizingtheclassicalmeansofinsighttherapy
tosupportthereorganizationofherpsychiceconomysothatsymptomformationisno
longernecessary.

IdeomotorSignalingtoFacilitateFurtherInsight

E:Nowwhydoyouthinkyouhaveclaustrophobiaontheplane?Letyour
unconsciousmindanswerthisquestion,andyoujustwaitifyoudon'tknow
theanswer.Yourunconsciousmindwillanswerwithaheadmovementafterit
hasdigestedmyquestion.Canyouinanywaysayanythingtoindicatewhy
youhaveclaustrophobiaontheairplane?[LongpauseasXcloseshereyes]
Eitheranodorshakeoftheheadinvoluntarily.Doyouknowwhatitwas?

Doesyourunconsciousmindknowit?
Doyouconsciouslyknowit?

X:Yes.

[Pauseasherheadnodsyesveryslowly]

E:Whatwasit?

X:WhenmybrotherandIwerelittle,wefoughtlikecatsanddogs,andoneday
whenIcamehomefromschoolIwasangrywithhimaboutsomethingandtorea
pageoutofhisstampcollectionbook.Hehauledmeintoaclosetandnailedit
shutwithacatinsidewithme.Idon'tlikecatseither.ItwasonSt.Patrick's
Day.

E:Thereisnothingbadaboutknowingit,isthere?

X:No,I'llbeatthehelloutofmybrotherwhenIgohome[laughs].

E:Ithinkitisdelightfultoknowallthegoodandthebad.Combyour

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

200/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

memory,seeifthereisanythingmoreyououghttoknowaboutyourself.Iwas
returningfromsomewhereinNewYorkstatebyplaneinabadblizzard.[E.now
tellsanamusingstoryaboutanuncomfortableplanetripheoncehad.Heis
evidentlytappingintoherassociationsaboutairplanestogiveheran
opportunitytobringupherfearofflying.Shedoesnotpickupthehint,
however,sohehasherreviewallherpsychodynamicinsightsandthecritical
traumaofMarch17,1958,whenherbrothernailedherinacloset,which
Ericksonbelievesmayalsoaccountforherfearofflying.]

R:Youdonotrestcontentwiththatmajorfloodofinsightabouthersweating.Now
thatsheisopenedtodoingcreativeinnerwork,youtakeadvantageofheravailability
andpressontoherclaustrophobiawithanideomotorapproachtofacilitatetheflow
fromunconscioustoconscious.

ReviewofPsychodynamicInsights:ResolvingtheAirplanePhobia

E:Youreallyconcentratedonnotknowing.Youhavehadlotsofpracticehaving
sweating.Nowyoucanhaveaheadofyoualittlepracticeofbeingdryhanded
andhothanded.Nowisthereanymorehelpthatyouwant?

X:No,rightnowIhaveacompellingneedtoruntotheairportandcatchthe
firstplaneout.

E:Itisanicefeeling,isn'tit?Areyougoingtobecompletelyopenand
truthfultoyourselffromnowon?

X:Probablynot.

E:Well,wearen'tperfectyouknow,butlet'smakeselfconcealmentsassmallas
possibleandnotdisabling.Howdoyoufeelaboutitintwodays'time
learningallthisaboutyourself?

X:IguessIkindoffeelasifIwasonthevergeofdecidingaboutit,about
knowingaboutitforawhile.Iamsomewhatrelievedthatitisoutintheopen
now.

E:Anyangeratmeforuncomfortness?

R:Hereyouhaveherreviewallhernewlyacquiredinsightssotheycanbeintegrated
onaconsciouslevel.Youarealsoexploringthepossibilitythatherfearofflyingmay
berelatedsomehow.Asafinaltouchyougivealotofpermissivenessregarding
sexualityintheformofatwolevelcommunicationabouthothands.Shethenreveals
anapparentlyspontaneousresolutionofherairplanephobiawhenshesaysshefeelsa
compellingneedtoruntotheairportandcatchthefirstplaneout.

GradualnessofSymptomDiminution:CreativeReorganizationof
Psychodynamics

E:Youareawarethatitwilltakeawhilebeforeyouwillgetdryhands.
X:Umhum.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

201/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Thatisn'tsoembarrassingtoyounow,isit?
X:No.

R:Youagainmakesuresheknowsthatthesymptomwilldisappeargraduallyover
sometime.Youtherebygivehersystemafairchancetoreorganizeitselfandforestall
herfearsoffailure.Thusyouarenotinvolvedinthesimplisticnotionofremovinga
symptom,youaredoingvastlymore:Youarefacilitatingacreativereorganizationof
herpsychodynamicssothatasymptomisnolongernecessary.Timeisneededfor
thatcontinuingprocessofinneradjustment.

TheUtilizationTheoryofHypnoticSuggestion

E:Ihopeyouhaveenjoyedthisandyouareawareofthefactthatyouareagood
hypnoticsubject?

X:Idon'twanttotaketoomuchcreditformyselfbeingagoodsubject.

E:Youcantakeallthecredit.AllIhavedoneissaywordsandinsodoingI
havestimulatedmemories,ideasthatyoualreadyhad,andthenyouacted
onthosememories.Youhavememoriesofthetimewhenyoudidn'tevenknow
yourhandwasyourown.Andyoudon'tevenknowwhenyoufirstknew
whereyourearswere.Andyoudon'tknowhowyoufinallylocatedyourears.
Parentsliketohaveachildpointtothehair,forehead,eyes,nose,mouth,chin,
andears.Butwhendidyoureallyknowwhereyourearswere?

X:Idon'tknow.

[Ericksondemonstratesknowledgeofearlocationbytouchingtherightearby
reachingwiththelefthandbehindthehead.]

E:Onetimeyoudidn'tknowthosewereyourhands,soyoutriedtopickupyour
righthandwithyourrighthand.Ittookyoualongtimetolearntopickupyour
lefthandwithyourrightandyourrighthandwithyourlefthand.Soyouhave
awholebankfullofmemoriesandunderstandings,andallIdoissaysomething
thattouchesuponthosememories.YesterdaywhenIsaid,'Trytostandup,
Itappedintoyourmemorybanktoatimewhenyoucouldn'tstandup.And
therewasatimewhenyoucouldn'tsitdownbecauseyoudidn'tknowwhatsit
downmeant.

Therewasevenatimewhenyoudidn'tknowyouwereapeople.AllIneededto
dowastapintoyourmemorybankandyoucouldn'ttalk.

R:Thatisourtheoryofhypnoticphenomena.

E:Umhum.[Pause]

R:Intheseclosingremarksyouareactuallygivingaclearoutlineofourutilization
theoryofhypnoticsuggestion.Suggestionisnotputtingsomethingintothesubject;
suggestionistheprocessofstimulatingmemoriesandideasthatyoualreadyhadthat

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

202/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

canbeactedonbythesubject.Suggestionissimplytheprocessofevokingthe
subjects'owninternalassociationsandhelpingthemutilizetheseassociationsfornew
purposes.Allsocalledhypnoticphenomenaareactuallydissociatedbitsandpiecesof
behaviorthatwereoncenormalinearlierstagesofdevelopmentandtheinitialstages
oflearning.

E:Knowingthingsandnotknowingthematthesametime.[Ericksontellsanotherof
hisfavoritestoriesabouthisdaughterChristie,whoscreamedandcarriedonforseven
daysuntilshefinallystoodupandtook142consecutivestepsthefirsttimeshe
walked.Shejustknewshewasapeopleandthushadtoproveit.]

FullDisclosureAboutHypnoticPhenomena:Control,Freedom,and
BehavioralFlexibility

E:Nowyoudon'tneedtoeverletanybodyhypnotizeyouunlessitisforyour
purposes.Andnobodycancontrolyou,andyoucandefymeanytimeyou
wantto,oranybodyelse.Youareafreecitizen,andbefreewithyourself.
Itishell,isn'tit,tobetiedtheretosweatingandtohaveunpleasantfeelingson
theplane.

[Ericksonnowtellsanamusingstoryofhowheovercamealifetimeaversionto
carawaybysimplychewingenoughofituntilhebeganlikingit.Hethusproved
tohimselfthathecouldchangehistastesifhewantedto.]Ididneedtoknow
thatIcouldaltermybehavior,andyoucandothesamewithyoursweating.Is
thereanythingmore?Ihavetalkedtoyousoextensively.ShouldIcharge
you?

X:No!!!

E:Thatiswonderful!Thatisreallywonderful!
E:NowwillyousendmeaChristmascard?
X:OK.

E:Ithasbeenvery,verypleasingtoknowyou.
X:Itisverypleasingtoknowyoutoo.

E:Haveagoodtimein...andIhopeIseeyouonthewayback.

R:I'vefrequentlywitnessedhowattheendofatherapyprocessyougivefull
disclosuretoyourpatientsaboutthenatureofhypnosis.Inparticular,youemphasize
thattheyactuallyhavecontrolovertheprocessandtheycanuseitforany
constructivepurpose.Youdispelanylingeringmisconceptionsabouttheprocessof
controlbygivingcontrolandfreedomtothepatient.Itisridiculousforthetherapistto
believethatsecretsmustbekeptfromthepatient.Afullunderstandingofhypnotic
phenomenaandthemethodsofhypnotherapycanonlyhelpthepublicandindividuals
seekinghelp.Withthisfinalstoryofhowyouovercameyourdistasteforcaraway,
yousendheroffwithagoodmodelofselfchangeandbehavioralflexibility.

E:HerNo!inresponsetomyquestionaboutafeewashighlyexplosive....Ifshe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

203/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

couldbeexplosivewithrne,shecanbeexplosivewithanybody.

R:Hereyougaveherasocialopportunitytousehernewlyacquiredselfassertiveness
andatthesametime,bynotchargingherforthesessions,youcompensateherfor
allowingustotapehersessionsandpublishthem.TherequestforaChristmascard
servesasasimplefollowupdevice.

ANoteontheCreativeNatureofPsychotherapy

[Thefollowingisaneditedversionofoneoftheseniorauthor'seffortstoformulateanoverview
ofahalfacenturyof
hypnotherapeuticexplorations.]

Althoughwehavemadeanefforttogeneralizetheprinciplesinvolvedinthiscase,we
mustacknowledgethateachpsychotherapeuticencounterisunique.Erickson
continuallycommentsonthethemethateveryhypnotherapeuticendeavorisa
creativeexploration.Thisissobecausebehavior,whetherintheordinarywakingstate
orinhypnotherapeutictrance,isnotnecessarilylogical,wellordered,properly
pertinent,orevenreasonablyappropriatetothesituationorconditionsevokingit.It
maybelogical,illogical,meaningless,irrelevant,random,misdirected,nonsensical,
metaphorical,humorousorwhatever.Itisusuallyimpossibletopredictwithprecision
justwhatanindividual'sresponsewillbeinanytherapeuticencounterbecausethe
simplicitiesandcomplexitiesofbehavioranditsreasonablenessandidiosyncracy
derivefrommanypermutationsofunknownexperientialfactorsintheperson's
lifetimeoflearnings.Attheverymost,onlybroadgeneralizationscanbemade.All
toooften,however,thesegeneralizationsbreakdownorarelostinamazeof
complexitieswhenaparticulartherapistfacesaparticularpatientataparticulartime
andplace.

Hence,whentheproblemsofdistressed,disturbed,andabnormalbehaviorare
encountered,anytreatmentapproachmustintegratetheindividualityofboththe
therapistandpatient.Thereisnorigidlycontrolledorscientificmethodofeliciting
thesamebehaviorfromoneormorepatientsunderthesameconditionsatdifferent
times.Evenwhentherangeofresponsesseemstobegreatlylimited,totally
unpredictablebehaviorsmayoccur.Thuswhilegeneralscientificprinciplesof
psychotherapycertainlyexist(thisprincipleofitsessentiallycreativecharacterbeing
one),theutilizationoftheseprinciplesrequiresacontinualappreciationoftheunique
andexploratorynatureofallpsychotherapeuticwork.Psychotherapistscannotdepend
upongeneralroutinesorstandardizedprocedurestobeappliedindiscriminatelytoall
theirpatients.Psychotherapyisnotthemereapplicationoftruthsandprinciples
supposedlydiscoveredbyacademiciansincontrolledlaboratoryexperiments.Each
psychotherapeuticencounterisuniqueandrequiresfreshcreativeeffortonthepartof
boththerapistandpatienttodiscovertheprinciplesandmeansofachievinga
therapeuticoutcome.

Thisindividualizedandcreativeapproachisparticularlyimportantinhypnosis.In
sevenyearsofstudyingtheseniorauthor'sapproach,forexample,thejuniorauthor
hasfrequentlyrequestedthedemonstrationofaparticularhypnoticphenomenonwith
aparticularpatientduringanongoingtherapysession.Muchofthetimethesenior
authorrejectedsuchrequestswithhumorousscornbecausehefeltthejuniorauthor
shouldhaverealizedthattherequestwasinappropriateorimpossibleforthat

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

204/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

particularpatientatthattime.Wheneverheundertooktherequesteddemonstration,
however,theseniorauthorwasusuallysuccessfulinevokingmostofthehypnotic
phenomenonassociatedwithclinicalworksuchasideomotoraction,catalepsy,
dissociations,amnesia,hyperamnesia,timedistortion,thealterationofcognition,
emotions,and,ofcourse,themodificationandtransformationofsymptomatic
behaviorthatweseeinthiscase.

Themostcommonreasontheseniorauthorgaveforbothhissuccessesandfailures
wasthedegreetowhichhewasabletoevokeandutilizetheparticularpatient's
motivationandrepertoryofexperientiallearning.Themostremarkablehypnotic
effectscouldbeevokedbecauseofthenatureofthetransferencerelationshipandthe
importanceofthesehypnoticresponsesforthepatient'smuchdesiredtherapeutic
outcome.Thefailures,particularlythoseinvolvingthehypnoticeffectsthatthesenior
authorwasmostexperiencedinevokinginexperimentalsettings,werelikewise
accountedforbytheirapparentirrelevancetothepatient'srealneeds.Althoughthe
seniorauthorusedsomestandardroutinesinsettinguphypnoticexperiences,hewas
perpetuallytuningintoandutilizingthepatient'sownmentalframeworksand
idiosyncraticassociationpatterns.

AThreeYearFollowup

OnthenextthreeChristmasholidays,XsenttheseniorauthoraChristmascardwitha
bitoffamilynewsandsomepicturesofhernewbornchildren.Eachmessage
confirmedherfreedomfromsymptoms,hernewlifeorientationwithhergrowing
family,andherpleasurablecultivationofmusicforherself.

Case6DemonstratingPsychosomaticAsthmawith
ShocktoFacilitateSymptomResolutionandInsight

Abasichypnotherapeuticapproachtopsychosomaticsymptomsistodemonstrate
clearlyandunequivocablyhowtheyarecontrolledandmaintainedbypsychological
processes.Suchademonstrationbreaksthroughlimitingpreconceptionsaboutthe
organicnatureoftheproblemandusuallyputsthepatientintouchwiththe
psychodynamicsoftheproblem.Ifitiscorrectthatpsychosomaticsymptomsare
morecloselyassociatedwithrighthemisphericfunctioning(Galin,1974),anhypnotic
demonstrationofthepsychogeniccontroloftheproblemmaybemakingcontactwith
theactualhemisphericsourcesofthesymptom,sincetranceitselfisconsideredtobe
arighthemisphericactivity(Bakan,1969;HilgardandHilgard,1975).Thishelpsus
understandwhyitisthatspontaneousinsightintothesourcesandpsychodynamicsof
theproblemfrequentlyfollowscloselyuponademonstrationofthepsychological
controlofthesymptom.Thetranceexperienceopensupcommonpathwaysbetween
thepsychodynamicsandthesourcesofcontrolofthesymptom.Thefollowingcase,
writtenbytheseniorauthor,isatypicalexampleofhowthisapproachcanbeused.

PsychosomaticAsthma

Mrs.G.,agedthirtyfive,marriedtenyears,withonechildagednine,soughta
psychiatricconsultation.Thiswasinprotesttotherepeateddiagnosisshehad
receivedfromahalfdozendifferentallergiststotheeffectthatherchronicasthma,
lastingfromNovemberthroughApril,oftenyearsduration,waslargely
psychological.Thepertinenthistoryobtainedwasthattheexcitementofherwedding

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

205/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

hadbeenfollowedwithintwodaysbythelongexpecteddeathofherbedridden
mother.Themotherhadleftnowillbut,asaweddingpresentforherdaughter,had
extractedfromthefatherasolemnswornpromisethat,whenshedied,hewould
disposeofthefarm,givethedaughterhalfoftheproceeds,andthen,ifhewished,he
couldretireonhishalf.

Afterthefuneralthefathertoldherthathispromisetothemotherwasmeaningless
andthatshewouldreceiveonlyhalftheyearlyincomeuntilhedied,whenshewould
inheriteverything.Sheandherhusbandangrilytooktheirdeparturetoliveinanother
sectionofthecountry.Withintwomonthsthecouplebecamereconciledtothe
father'sactionsandinitiatedafriendlycorrespondenceinlateOctober.Thefather
replied,andhisfirstletterfoundherinbedwithaseverecold.Herrecoverywasslow,
andthiswasattributedtoapulmonaryreactiontoatmosphericimpuritiesresulting
fromtheminingindustryinthattown.Asthmadevelopedasacomplication,butwith
theadventofwarmweatherthisvanished.InJunetheymovedtotheSanFernando
Valley,butinNovember,presumablybecauseofthesmog,sheagaindeveloped
asthma,whichpersisteduntilMay.InJunetheymovedtoSanFrancisco,butthe
followingNovembertheasthmareappearedandpersisteduntilMay.Furthermoves
wereunavailing.Wherevertheywent,theasthmaredevelopedinNovemberand
endedinMay.

Inquiryaboutthefatherdisclosedthathehadcontinuedfarmingbutinapeculiarpart
timefashion.Heplantedthecrops,cultivatedthem,andharvestedthem.Thisdone,he
turnedtheentiremanagementovertoanemployeeandspentthewinterina

somewhatdistantcityineaseandcomfort.Withtheadventofspring,hereturnedto
thefarmandworkedharduntilthelastharvestwascompleted.Immediateinquiry
aboutthefrequencyofherfather'slettersdisclosedthatinthesummerhewasalways
toobusytowriteandthathereservedhisweeklyletterwritingfortheleisureofhis
winterlife.Thepatientfailedtorecognizeanypossibleconnectionbetweenher
asthmaandherfather'sweeklyletters.

Shewasaskedifshewerewillingtohavethewriterprovedefinitelythatherasthma
waseitherpsychogenicororganic.Sheemphaticallyrepliedthat,ineithercase,she
wouldbetremendouslyrelieved,butaddedthatitwasunquestionablyorganicsinceit
hadbegunwithacold,hadbeenaggravatedbytheatmosphericimpuritiesofthe
miningtown,andonlyoccurredduringcoldweather.Furthermoreitalways
disappearedwiththeadventofwarmweather.Also,ithadtobeorganic,sinceinten
yearsshehadneverhadasingleattackinthesummer,andshewasthesameperson
psychologicallyinbothcoldandwarmweather.Shewastoldthathypnosiswouldbe
usefulasadiagnosticaid,andsheconsentedreadilytobehypnotized.

Sheprovedtobeanexcellentsubject,developingadeeptranceeasily.Shewasgiven
rapidtraininginposthypnoticsuggestions.Shewastheninstructedduringtrancethat
ataspecifiedcue(whenthewritertappedhispencilthreetimes)shewouldbegivena
memorytask,amostimportantmemorytask,whichwouldbedefinedattheproper
time.Sheagreedtofollowallinstructionand,also,togotosleepwheneveranother
specificcuewasgiven(whenhiscigarettelighterwasdroppedintohisashtray).She
wasawakenedwithacomprehensiveamnesiaforthetranceexperience.Afterafew
casualremarks,furtherinquirywasmadeaboutthepossibilityofsummerattacksof
asthma.Shewasmostpositiveinherdenials.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

206/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Mentionwasmadethattheclockindicatedthetimeas2:17P.M.,andshewas
remindedthatitwasaveryhotJuly8thinPhoenix,Arizona.Thenshewasaskedif
shethoughtshecoulddevelopasevereattackofasthmaexactlyat2:37P.M.She
declaredtheideatobemostridiculous.Shewasassuredthatifherasthmawere
psychogenic,itwasbothpossibleandprobable.However,ifitwereorganic,sheneed
havenofears.Somewhatpuzzled,shewaitedforfurtherelaboration,butthewriter
merelydirectedherattentionsilentlytotheclock.

At2:25P.M.shewasaskedifshefeltcomfortable.Sherepliedthatshewasmerely
puzzled,becausewatchingaclockcertainlycoulddonothingtoher.At2:34the
commentwasofferedthatonlythreeminutesremainedbeforeshewouldorwouldnot
developanasthmaticattack.Sheonlysmiledinreply.At2:37sheturnedexpectantly
tothewriter.Immediatelythewritertappedhispencilonthetablethreetimes(this
wasacuefortheposthypnoticsuggestiontoremember)andsaid,Rememberfully,
completely,justasifyouwerereadingit,thecontentofanyletteryourfatherhas
writtentoyou.Aviolentasthmaticattackensued.

Duringitshewastold,Thedayishot.It'sthe8thofJuly.Itissummertime.Thereare
nofumesordustorcold.Youhavenotarecentlunginfection.Youarehavinga
severeasthmaticattack.Itbeganat2:37,twentyminutesafterIsaiditwould,ifit
werepsychogenic.ItwillstopwhenIsayso.Itispsychogenic!ShallIremoveitat
2:45or2:47,becauseIcan.Doyouseethiscigarettelighter?That'sallitis.Itis
neithermedicinenormagic.ButwhenIdoacertainthingwithit,yourasthmawill

disappear.Watchitcarefully.Besureyouknow,reallyknow,thatyourasthmais
psychogenic.Nowwatch.Immediatelythelighterwasdroppedintoanashtray.A
deeptrancestateensued,andshewastoldtosleepdeeply,comfortably,andto
awakenfreeofherasthmaandwithafullrecollectionofeverything.Thisshewas
thentorelatetothewriter.

Sherespondedfully,anduponawakeningshebegantoverbalizefreelyand
comprehendingly.Herrecollectionsmaybesummarizedasfollows:Hermotherhad
longbeenbedriddenbecauseofparalysis,cardiacdisease,andaccompanying
respiratorydistress.Herfatherhadnevertreatedhermotherorherverykindly,andhe
wastremendouslyguiltridden.Shortlybeforeherfirstattackofasthma,shehad
receivedaletterfromafriend,hintingstronglyaboutherfather'sundueinterestina
womanknowntobepromiscuous.Herasthmaticattackfollowedherfather'sfirst
letter.Thereaftershedreadedfromweektoweekhisnextletter,butfeltdutyboundto
answereachletter.Hisreturntothefarmeachspringgaveherasenseofrelief
becausesheknewhewouldbetoobusytoengageinundesirableactivitiesortowrite
toher.

Whenshehadcompletedhersummation,shewasaskedwhatsheintendedtodo.Her
replywasthatshewouldthinkmattersoverthoroughlyanddecideonacourseof
action.Subsequentreportsdisclosedthatshehadvisitedherfather,discussedthe
situationwithhim,engagedalawyer,andintimidatedherfatherintoexecutinglegal
instrumentsensuringhercontroloverandeventualownershipofhershareofthe
farm,andgivinghimhisfreedomtodoashewishedwithhisshare.Sincethenthe
fatherhashandledherpropertywell,buthehasbeenslowlydissipatinghisshare.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

207/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Hestillwritesregularlyeachwinter,butthepatienthashadnofurtherasthmatic
attackssincetheoneinducedintheofficeonJuly8,1949.Shewaslastseencasually
inlateJune1954.

Itwillbeinformativetocloselyexaminethestagesofhowthiscaseprogressed.The
fivestagesofourgeneralapproachoutlinedearlierwillbenumberedandemphasized
initalics,togetherwiththeseniorauthor'suseofshockandsurprisetofacilitatea
reorganizationofherunderstanding.

Thereisaninitialperiodduringwhichthepatientconsultsanumberofphysiciansfor
theorganictreatmentoftheproblem.Sincethisrepeatedlyfailsorresultsinonly
shorttermplaceboeffects,thepatientisreluctantlytoldthatitmustbepsychological.

Thepatientarrivesatthepsychotherapist'sofficewithmuchinnerconfusionand
tension,stillprotestingthatitcannotbepsychological.Inspiteoftheseprotests
confusionisanindicationthatthepatient'soriginalframeofreferenceoftheorganic
natureoftheproblemhasbeenshakenanddepotentiatedatleastinpart.Confusion
isasignofbeinglostbetweenhavingtogiveuptheorganicframeworkandnotyet
reallyunderstandingthenewpsychologicalframework.Confusionisthusan
importantpsychologicalprerequisitefortherapeuticchange;itsignalspatient
readinessforchangeeventhoughtheydonotalwaysrecognizeit.

Thetherapistinhisinitialsurveyoftheproblemascertainsforhimselftherelevant
factsandpossiblepsychodynamicsofthesymptom.Inthiscasetheseniorauthor

rapidlyfoundthepossiblepsychogenicsourcesfromtheobviousmotivefora
problem:(a)thepatient'scloudedinheritanceundertheparticularlytrying
circumstancesofhermarriageandalmostsimultaneousdeathofhermother;(b)The
regularassociationbetweenthepatient'ssymptomsandherfather'sletters.Whenthe
patientfailedtorecognizeanypossibleconnectionbetweenherasthmaandher
father'sletters,theseniorauthorrecognizedapossibleblockordissociationthatcould
beafactorintheformationofthepsychosomaticsymptom.Atthispoint,whenallthe
factsareclarified,somepatientsdorecognizetheconnection.Theygaininsightsand
workthemthroughwiththetherapist'shelptoafinalresolutionoftheproblem.No
hypnotherapeuticinterventionisnecessary.

Althoughthispatientcouldnotgraspthepsychologicalassociationsoutlinedbythe
factsandcircumstancesofherlife,thisinitialinquirydidestablish(I)rapportanda
therapeuticframeofreferenceonaconsciouslevel.Itnowremainedforunconscious
dynamicsandexperientialsourcesofrecognitionandknowingtobeactivated.

Theseniorauthorapproachestheseunrecognizedsourcesofthesymptomwitha
hypnoticdemonstrationofthepsychologicalcontroloftheasthma.Hefirsttrainsher
toexperiencetranceeffectsandtofollowposthypnoticsuggestions.Asistypicalof
hisgeneralapproachtosymptomproblemshe(2)demonstrateswithherown
experiencehowherunconsciouscancontrolherbehaviorandtherebyindicatesthat
thelocusoftherapeuticchangewillbewithinherunconscious.

Duringtrancesheisgivencarefulsuggestionstorespondwithanimportantmemory
whengivenaspecificcue.Sheisnottoldwhatthememoryistobeabout,sincethat
mightonlyarousefurtherconsciousresistance.Herunconscious,however,will

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

208/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

probablyrespondtotheobviousimplicationthatitwillhavesomethingtodowithher
asthmabyactivatingitsrelevantunconscioussearchprogramsinthatarea.
Implicationisamosteffectivemeansof(3)evokingsearchesandprocessesonan
unconsciouslevelthatcanbeprecipitatedintoconsciousnesswhengivenaspecific
cue.

Beforepreceedingtheseniorauthoraddedasafetymeasure.Aftergivinghertraining
infollowingposthypnoticsuggestions,heinstructshertogotosleepthatis,toenter
trancewheneveraspecificcueisgiven.Thusanybehaviororsymptomatic
processesthatthreatentogetoutofhandcouldbeimmediatelyattenuatedbyhaving
herentertrance.

Hethengivesherunconscioustime,from2:17P.M.to2:37,toalignitselftoproduce
anasthmaticattackoncueiftheasthmaisinfactpsychogenic.Theunconsciousdoes
notworkbymagic.Timeisrequiredforittodoitsownwork.Theseniorauthor
judgeditwouldtakeatleasttwentyminutestoworkthroughtheinhibitinglimitations
ofthepatient'sconscioussets,whichdeclaredtheideatobemostridiculous.An
expectationwasgivenforanasthmaticattackat2:37.

Theseniorauthorthenallowsexpectancyandtensiontobuildfortwentyminutes.At
theappointedtime,2:37,sheturns(1)expectantlytohim;herreadinessisapparent.
Hethengivestheexpectedposthypnoticcue(tappinghispencilthreetimes)andgives
herthecriticalmemorytaskofrecallingthecontentofanyletteryourfatherhas
writtentoyou.Aviolentpsychogenicasthmaticattackensues.Sheisthusprecipitated

intoa(2)stateofshockduringwhichherhabitualmentalframeworksandpatternsof
defensearemomentarilydepotentiated.

Duringthiscriticalperiodtheseniorauthorsimplystatesalltheobviousfacts
regardingthepsychogenicnatureofherasthma.Whenone'shabitualmental
frameworks(thegeneralizedrealityorientation)aresoshakenby(3)shockand
surprise,onetendstograspontoanysuggestionsorbeliefsystemthatwillreestablish
securityandcomfort.Thefactsaboutthepsychogenicnatureofherasthmaarethen
reinforcedthroughthesecurityandcomfortthatfollowfromtheposthypnoticcue
(lighterashtray)toenteradeepandcomfortabletrancestatefromwhichshecan
awakenfreefromherasthmawithafullrecognitionofeverything.Theseniorauthor
thereby(4)demonstratesherreleasefromsymptomaticbehaviorwhileopeningthe
possibilityof(5)hergaininginsightintothesourcesandpsychodynamicsofher
problem.Shegainstheseinsightsandmakesherownplansabouthowtosettleher
problems.

Case7SymptomResolutionwithCatharsis
FacilitatingPersonalityMaturation:An
AuthoritarianApproach

Thiscaseillustrateshowhypnosiscanbeusedeffectivelyevenwhenthepatientisa
difficultandunresponsivehypnoticsubjectwithwhomonlyalighttrancestateis
possible.Threetwohoursessionswererequiredtoachieveeventhatlighttrance,but
itwasenoughtopresentthebasicsuggestion:Yourunconsciouswillknowwhattodo
andhowtodoit.Youwillabsolutelyyieldtothatneedandgivefullexpressionto
me.Whenfinallythathasbeendonecompletely,youcanthenrecoverfromyour

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

209/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

presentproblem.Althoughtheseniorauthorcouldnotevokeanyoftheclassical
hypnoticphenomenawiththispatient,theabovesuggestionwasenoughtoassignthe
locusoftherapeuticchangetohisunconscious.Thepatient'sunconsciouswasgiven
timetoincubateuntilthenextsession,whenhisusualconsciousframeworkswere
suddenlydepotentiatedwiththeshockinglyauthoritariandemandto,Shutupwith
yourconsciousmindanditsfoolishrequestsformedicine,andletyourunconscious
mindattendtoitstask!

Thatwasenoughtoprecipitateanunusuallyviolentandprolongedcatharsisthat
provedtobethevehiclefortheresolutionofthepatient'spsychosomaticsymptom
andastrikingchangeandmaturationofthetotalpersonality.Theperiodsofthe
patient'sintensecatharsiscouldbelookeduponasalteredstatesinwhichpersonality
reorganizationcouldtakeplace.Butscientificconceptionscannotdojusticetothis
happening;itisessentiallyalovestory.Itispresentedaswrittenbytheseniorauthor
morethanagenerationago.

NoneofYourLip!

Pietro,inhismidtwenties,hadbeenforcedtogiveuphispositioninasymphony
orchestrabecauseofaninexplicableswollenlowerlip.Thishaddevelopedsuddenly
afteranaltercationwiththeorchestraconductor.Theswellingwassoseverethathis
lipwasafulltwoinchesthick.Duringthethreeyearsthatthisswellinghadpersisted,

hehadbeentreatedbymorethanonehundreddoctors,andthemeasuresemployed
rangedfromphysiotherapy,hotcompresses,medication,andbedresttoinfraredand
Xraytherapy.Nobenefitwasderived.

Hewasfinallysenttoageneralpsychiatrist,whopromptlyreferredhimtothewriter
forhypnotherapy.Thesalientpointsinhishistoryareasfollows:Hewasbornin
Italy,buthisfamilyemigratedtotheUnitedStateswhenhewasfouryearsold.His
father,ahardworkingbakerbytrade,hadanoverwhelmingambitionforhisson.
Sincetheboyhadshownveryearlyakeeninterestinmusic,thefatherhad
determinedtomakeafamousmusicianofhim.Accordingly,theboy'strainingstarted
attheageofthreeonthepiano,whilethefatherexploredthefieldofmusical
instrumentstodeterminetheproperchoiceofaninstrument.Hefinallyselectedthe
flute.

Tounderstandthetrainingtheboyreceived,abriefstatementconcerningthefatheris
necessary.Hewasadomineeringpatriarch,whoruledthefamilyinanincredibly
rigidfashion.Heatefirst,thechoicestportions,andhiswifeandchildrenstood
silentlyathand,readytoobeyhisslightestwish.Sinceheownedhisownbakery,he
workedontheaverageoftwelvehoursdaily,sevendaysaweek.Homeconversation
wasessentiallyaseriesofreportsonthedailyactivitiesofeachmemberofthefamily.
Hiswifereportedonherhousework,shopping,andtheactivitiesofthepreschool
children.Afterthechildrenenteredschool,theyreportedontheirdailywork,and
duringvacation,ontheirday'sactivities.Helistenedintently,discussedtheirreports
authoritatively,waslavishinhispraiseandencouragementforgood
accomplishments,andequallylavishinhiscondemnationoffoolishness.Sincehis
educationwaslimited,whentheolderchildrenenteredschool,theyhadtositin
judgmentuponeachotherconcerningthosemattersforwhichthefatherfeltthathe
lackedknowledge.Asforhimself,hetoogaveadailyreportinwhichhediscussed

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

210/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

hisownaccomplishmentsandhisownshortcomings.Thefatherwasneverwrongin
anythingunless,unaided,hehimselfreachedthatconclusionindependently.Hehad
earlylearnedtheexpressionNoneofyourlipanditsvariations,andithadbecomea
standarddailycliche.Nobodyevergamehimanylip,aconstantboastthat
characterizedeveryreportthatwasgivenofthefamily'sdailyactivitiesand
relationships.Hetreatedhisemployeesinacomparablefashionbutwassoeminently
fairthathehadtheirloyalty.

Allhomeactivitieswereconductedbyruleandonatimebasis,whichhewouldalter
magnanimouslyashesawfit.Thusshoeswerepolishedinsomanyminutespershoe,
andthelawnwasmowedinanexactlengthoftimeatasethour.Theadventofarain
disruptingthisschedulewasmetbyhimwithadissertationontheneedformeeting
realitybyadjustmenttowhateversituationarosethroughschedulealterationandno
sacrificeofobligations.Thus,thetimegainedbyarainthatrenderedunnecessarythe
wateringoftheflowerbedhadtobeutilizedinspecialtasksreservedforsuch
contingencies.Playwasregardedasanessentialpartofliving,butitsdurationand
characterwerepredetermined.Thus,theboysplayedballandthegirlsplayedwith
dollsforregularperiods.Allwasorderly,constructive,andsystematic.

SincePietrowastobecomeafamousmusician,aspecialsetofruleswasestablished
forhim.Calisthenicsratherthanplay,biographiesofmusiciansratherthanfairytales,
etc.becamehislot.Schoolworkhadtobeaverage,sincetherehadtobea

conservationofenergyforhisdailyafterschoolmusicpractice.Theotherchildren
wererequiredtohaveexcellentgrades.Nexttothefather,Pietroreceivedthemore
choiceportionsatthetable.Atfirstthefathersupervisedtheson'smusicaltraining,
andhewasahighlyintelligentmanwithanexcellentearformusic.Somanyhoursa
daywerespentplayingthepiano,nottoplaymusicbuttoestablishnimblenessofthe
fingers,dexterity,andabsoluteprecisionofmovement.Thenateacherwasengaged
toteachhimtoplaycompositionssothathewouldlearnmusic.Sincethefatherwas
profoundlyappreciativeofmusicandwoulddiscussithappilyandenthusiastically,he
succeededininspiringhissonwithequalenthusiasmandlove.Thefirstlessonswith
thefluteweresupervisedbythefather,andtheircharacterisbestsummarizedbythe
father'sexplanation,Youmustafeeladaflutebeforeyouplayadaflute.

Takingtheflute,anexpensiveinstrument,outofitscaseandputtingitback,liftingit
tothemouth,loweringitandagainraisingit,measuringitslengthanddiameterby
fingermovements,learningtobalanceitwithutteraccuracyandlearningtheexact
distancefromhisliptoplaceit,constitutedthoseinitiallessons,practicedendlessly
untilthefatherwassatisfied.Alwaysthefather'spraisewaslavishandhispatience
unlimited,therebyrenderinghisotherwiseunbearabledemandsendurable.Thenthe
learningofonenoteatatime,onekeyatatime,andtheincreaseanddecreaseof
volumefollowedinthesamerigorousfashion.Alongwithallthisthepianopractice
continued,somanyhoursatthepiano,somanyhoursontheflute,somuchtimefor
calisthenics,somuchtimeforrest,somuchtimeindiscussiontolearnadasoulada
music.Thislatter,ofcourse,wasthesalvationofthepatient,andwhenhewasin
therapy,itwasathrilling,inspiringexperiencetohavehimdiscussthesoulofmusic.
Thenanexcellentteacherwasengaged,whostipulatedthelengthandfrequencyand
typesoflessons,whilethefatherrestrictedhimselftothestipulationoftheamountof
interveningpracticeandotheressentialactivities.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

211/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Aftergraduatingfromhighschool,Pietrospenttwelvehoursadayfortwoyears
perfectinghimselfasaflutist.Thenhewasallowedbyhisfathertoseekanaudition
attheageoftwenty.Hisfirstapplicationresultedinhisengagementbyawellknown
symphonyorchestraasfirstflutist.Hisfather'sambitionwassatisfiedexceptfor
certainrefinements.Hisson'spositioninthemusicalworldhadbeenachieved,but
thereremainedcertainadditionalachievementsofapersonalnature.Hissonmust
nowfallinlove,marry,andfatherchildren,sothathewouldlearnadafeela,da
sweetness,dalovedawoman,dabeauty,dalaughadabambino.

Theson,asalways,acquiesced,andaprocessionofgirlswasparadedthroughthe
home,butunfortunately,ataconcerthemetthegirlofhischoice.Hisfatherwasin
deepdespair.ThegirlwasYugoslavianandnotItalian.Thesonwasadamantbutdid
yieldsomewhatbyagreeingtopostponemarriage.Partiallyconsolingtothefather
wasthefactthatthegirlcamefromanartisticfamily,wasacollegestudent,atrained
singer,couldpaintexcellently,andhadabrotherwhowasasculptorofnotein
Yugoslavia.

Forovertwoyearsheplayedinthesymphonyorchestra.Thenanewconductorwas
engaged,whopromptlybecameatsword'spointswithmostoftheorchestramembers
becauseofhisharshlycritical,dictatorialmanner.Atapracticesessionheaccusedthe
patientofanerror,andwhenthepatientattemptedtoprotest,hetoldthepatientthat
nolipwaswantedoutofhim.Atthenextrehearsalthepatient'slowerlipwasslightly

swollenandhisplayingwasfaulty.Whenheattemptedtoexplain,theconductor
harshlytoldhimagain,Idon'twantanymorelipoutofyouoryoucanresign.His
resentmenttowardthiswastremendous,andhedarednotexpressitinanyway.
Neitherdidhedaretotellhisfather.Withinamonthhislipwassoswollenthathe
wasforcedtoresign,andheexplainedthesituationtohisfathersolelyonthebasisof
hislipcondition.

Thenbeganthefranticsearchformedicalhelp,whileinaddition,hepracticedplaying
thepianoandfingeringthefluteneverlessthanninehoursdaily.Duringthesethree
yearsthefatherwatchedtheswollenlipwithincreasinganxietyandimpatienceand
finallyexpressedhisfeelingswithlong,bitterdenunciationsofthemedicalprofession
anddemandsthathissonseekamorecompetentphysician.Atlasthelapsedinto
bitter,frustratedsilenceonthesubject.TheromancewiththeYugoslaviangirlwas
terminated.Sheleftthestatetocompletehercollegestudiesandtotakeadditional
traininginsingingandpainting.

ClinicalCourse

Thefirstfewinterviewsweredevotedtothesecuringoftheabovehistory.Hedidnot
likethisandsuddenlydemandedthathistorytakingbedispensedwithandhypnosis
employedwithoutdelay.

Atthefifthinterviewaneffortwasmadetohypnotizehim,butheprovedtobea
difficult,unresponsivesubject.However,afterthreesessionsoftwoormorehours'
duration,alighttrancewasinduced.Thiswasutilizedtosuggest,asemphaticallyand
asauthoritativelyaspossible,thathisswollenlipwasofpsychologicalorigin,thatit
couldbecured,thatitwasanexternalmanifestationofaprofoundandcompelling
needforhisunconsciousmindtomanifestandtoexpressbehaviorwhichhadbeen

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

212/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

repressed,ignored,overlooked,andconsciouslyforbiddenovertheyears.Hewastold
thathisunconsciousmustexpressitselfcompletely,howeverterrifyingorirrational
suchexpressionmightseem.Furthermore,hisunconsciouswouldknowwhattodo
andhowtodoit,andhewouldabsolutelyyieldtothatneedandgivefullexpression
tothewriter.Whenthathadbeendonecompletely,hecouldthenrecoverfromhis
presentproblem.Theseposthypnoticsuggestionsweregivenwithmuchemphasisand
repetitionandinthemostauthoritative,dictatorialmannerpossible.Atthecloseof
thesessionhewascurtlytoldtoasknoquestions,togohome,tolethisunconscious
mindprepareforitstask,andthen,atthenextappointment,hewastoappear
promptlyattheexacthourandtolethisunconsciousbeginitstaskwithoutdelayor
anyconsciousinterference.Thisextremelyauthoritarianapproachwasdeemed
appropriatebecauseitutilizedthepatient'spreviouslifeexperienceandcurrent
expectationthateffectiveguidancealwayscameinanauthoritarianform.Thesenior
authorwassimplyutilizinghisauthoritarianexpectation.

Atthenextinterviewheenteredtheofficeasinstructedbutimmediatelyaskedfor
somemedicineforhislip.Hewastoldemphatically,Shutupwithyourconscious
mindanditsfoolishrequestsformedicine,andletyourunconsciousmindattendtoits
task!Hisreactionwasoneofintense,violentanger.Heleaptoutofhischairand
loudlyandbitterlydenouncedthewriterasawretchedexampleofanincompetent,
lowlyprofession,sparingneitherprofanitynorobscenitytoexpresshisopinion.The
entirehourwasspentinthisvituperativeattack.Exactlyatthecloseofthehourhe

wastoldsternly,Yourunconsciouscannowshutup,andatthenexthouritwill
continue,exactlyontime,anddoamorethoroughandbetterjob.Leavetheofficeat
once.

Heappearedexactlyontimeforthenextappointmentandlaunchedintoanother
diatribe,evenasheclosedthedoorbehindhim.Theinterviewwasterminatedinthe
samemannerasthepreviousone,andthispatternwasfollowedessentially
throughoutthecourseoftherapy.Forninemonths,twohourseachweek,this
procedurewasfollowed,exceptthataboutonceamonthhewouldarbitrarilybetold
thatthenextimmediateappointmentwouldbedifferent,butnofurtherinformation
wouldbegiven.However,asheenteredtheofficeonsuchoccasions,hewouldbe
greetedwiththedemandthathegiveagooddiscussionofsuchseparatetopicsasthe
meaningfulnessofmusic,howthemembersofanorchestrafeelandsenseduringand
afteraconcert,howtheindividualexpresseshisemotionsandhislifeexperiences,
hopesandfears,inhisownplaying.Thepatiententeredintothesesessionswiththe
sameintensityandenthusiasmmanifestedinthehostilebehavior,andhewastruly
inspiringinhisdiscussions.

Atfirstthedenunciationswereprimarilyofthewriterasamemberofthemedical
professionandthenasamedicalmaninaspecificfield.Thisledtoadenunciationof
thewriterasamemberofthehumanrace,particularlyasadescendantofthe
Norsemen,whoravagedandpillagedeverylandtowhichtheycouldsailtheirships.
HeseasonedthesevituperativecommentswithmanychoiceItalianphrases,whichhe
kindlytranslatedforthewriter.Thisdevelopedthenintoavituperativedescription
andvilification,bothcollectivelyandindividually,ofallofthewriter'sprogenitors,
withtheexceptionofthewriter'sparentsandgrandparents,backtothebeginningof
time.Shouldhisdiscussionbebrokenoffinthemidstofasentenceatthecloseofthe
hour,thenexthourwouldbemarkedbyacompletionofthatsentenceanda

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

213/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

continuationofthetopic.Also,histripshomeonthebuswereusuallydevotedtoa
studyofwhatbetterinsultshecouldofferatthenextinterview.Fromthewriter's
progenitorsheturnedtothetopicofthewriterasaman,firstasaphysiological
creature.Whenthiswasexhausted,heturnedtothetopicofthewriterasamemberof
societyingeneralbutwithaninheritanceonlyofpillageandrapine.Havingtreated
thistopicexhaustively,heprogressedtothewriterasafamilyman.Ashedeveloped
thistopic,thereoccurredamarkedchangeinhismotorbehavior.Previouslyhehad
pacedtheflooragitatedlyandgesticulatedviolently.Upondevelopingthistopic,he
addedtohismotorbehaviorbyleapingatthewritertoshakehisfistunderneaththe
writer'snose,andexplainedhowhewouldliketostrikeandhurtthewriterandto
inflictallmannerofmayhemuponthewriter'sbody.Ateachdemonstrationhe
demandedthewriter'scloseattentionwhilehepantomimedhowhewouldliketo
gougeoutthewriter'srighteye,hislefteye,etc.Additionally,hegaveemphasistohis
utterancesbyexpellingflatus,belchingandspitting.

Ashedevelopedthetopicofthewriterasafamilyman,hetookup,itembyitem,the
variousthingshehadtoldaboutindescribinghisfather'shome.Thusthewriter's
tablebehavior,hisattitudetowardeachofhischildren,hisdemandsregardinghome
activitiesandwork,andotherhabitsandcharacteristicswerespeculatedupon
extensively,unfavorably,andwithintensebitternessandhatred.Hourafterhourwas
spentonthisgeneraltopicwithanincreasingoutpouringofhatredsandresentments
andextravagantdeclarations.Finallyoneday,neartheendofthehour,hemadethe

firstmentionofhisfatherinanyofhistiradesbydeclaring,Ifyouweremyfather...
Immediatelyhepausedinafrightenedfashion,satdownweakly,andgasped,Butyou
aren'tmyfather,youaren'tmyfather,youaren'tmyfather.Inafriendlytoneofvoice,
hewastold,No,I'mnotyourfather.Yourunconscioushasbeentalkingtome,saying
thingsthatwouldhelpyoutounderstandyourfeelingstowardyourfather.Nowthat
youhavesaidallthethingsthathavepiledupinyouforyearsandyears,yourlipcan
getwell.Youhavegivenmeallthelipyoudidnoteverdaretogiveanyone,and
whichyoukepttoyourself.Youarefree,yourlipwillnowheal.Theonlythingyou
needtodoistolookatyourfatherandseehimasonemanlookingatanother.You
aregrownupnow.Tellyourfathersimplywhatyouwantandfeelandwish,limiting
yourselfonlytothosethingshecanunderstand.Thingshecan'tunderstanddonot
needtobesaid.Hisreplywas,I'llhavetothink.I'lltalktohimtonight.

Hisreportatthenextinterviewwasthatthatevening,attheusualgatheringforthe
day'sreport,hehadtoldhisfatherineffectthathewasaman,thatheknewwhatwas
rightandgood,thatthenceforthhewouldbeanswerableonlytohimself,andthathe
wasnowceasingtotakeparentalorders.Tothisheaddedthathislipwouldbehealed
shortly.Hisfather'sresponsewastypical.Afteralong,thoughtfulsilencethefather
arose,walkedovertothepatient,shookhandswithhim,andinItaliansaidsimply,
Myson,I'manoldman.Iforgotthatyouaregrownup.Pleaseforgiveme.

Withinamonththepatient'slipwasnormal.Whilehepracticeddaily,therewereno
longerninehourstints.Heannouncedhisintentiontohisfatherofgoingeasttosome
largecity,andhechosetheonewherehisformerfianceewasstudying.Hesecured
employmentasawaiteruntilanopportunityaroseafewmonthslaterforanaudition.
Hewasengagedasaflutistinalargesymphonyorchestra.Herenewedhis
engagementandsenthisfianceeonavisittohisparentsandthewriter.Shewasa
mostcharminggirlbutmostunhappyaboutthegrowingunrestinEurope.Shetoldof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

214/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

herplanstoreturntoYugoslaviatoseeherfamily.Shewasnotseenagainuntil1947.
TheoutbreakofWorldWarIIhadtrappedherinhernativeland.Shehadjoineda
guerillaforceandfoughttheNazisundermostdifficultconditionsthroughoutmostof
thewar.Thenshehadbeencapturedandputinaforcedlaborbattalionandbrutally
treated.FinallyshehadescapedandmanagedtogetbacktotheUnitedStates.She
wasnolongeracharminggirl.Shewasanaged,stooped,grayhairedwoman,scarred
badlyontheface,arms,andlegs.SheinquiredaboutPietro,butcouldonlybetold
that,althoughhehadwrittenrepeatedenthusiasticletterstothewriter,theentranceof
theUnitedStatesintothewarhadendedthecorrespondence.Also,hisfatherhad
givenupthebakeryandhadgoneintowarindustry,andthusallcontacthadbeenlost.
Sheacceptedthisinformationresignedlyandbadethewriterfarewell.

Case8SexualDysfunction:SomnambulisticTraining
inaRapidHypnotherapeuticApproach

Aretiredprofessionalmanwhogreatlyrespectedtheseniorauthor'sreputation
telephonedforaninterviewtodealwithapersonalproblem.Inthefirstpartofthis
single,onehourinterviewtheseniorauthorillustrateshistypicalapproachin
facilitatingsomnambulisticbehavior.Heestablishesatherapeuticframeofreference
andthendeftlyutilizesmanyoftheindirectformsofsuggestionandaseriesof
posthypnoticsuggestionstoinitiatethecloserapportandfollowingbehaviorthatis

characteristicofsomnambulism.Heillustrateshowtwolevelcommunicationanda
continualdischarginganddisplacementofresistanceareofprimaryimportance.

Inthesecondpartofthissessionheillustrateshowaclassicalhandlevitation
approachtotranceinductioncanbeusedasarichcontextforintroducingmany
therapeuticsuggestionsinasymbolicaswellasadirectform.Therapeutic
suggestionsareintroducedduringthosefirstmomentsofinitiatingtranceexperience
whenpatients'attentionandexpectancyarefrequentlyattheirhighestpitch.Inthis
unusuallyrapidapproachthepatientsreceivetherapeuticsuggestionsbeforethey
realizewhatishappening.Theirconsciousnesscanbesofixatedonthenovel
experienceofhandlevitationthattheydonotnoticethetherapeuticsuggestions.The
therapeuticsuggestionsare,therefore,receivedbytheunconsciousinawaythat
bypasssomeofthepatients'conscious,habitualattitudesandlearnedlimitations.

Ifwetranslatethetermsconsciousandunconsciousintodominantandnondominant
hemispheres,wemayhavetheneuropsychologicalbasisfordescribinganew
hypnotherapeuticapproach.Occupyingthedominanthemispherewithatrance
inductionsuchashandlevitationwhichcanbeeasilylateralizedcanreleasethe
nondominanthemispheretoreceivetherapeuticsuggestionsphrasedinthesymbolic
languageofthenondominanthemisphere.PartTwoofthissessionisademonstration
ofthisapproachwhichutilizeshemisphericinteractionintranceinductionand
suggestioninanunusuallyclearform.

PartOne:FacilitatingSomnambulisticBehavior

E:Tellmewhatyourproblemis.

P.Ilostmywifeafewyearsago.Shehadbeenillforacoupleofyears.We
alwayshadanormalsexlife.Butaftershedied,Iseemedtobeabsolutely

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

215/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

impotentandIcouldn'tgetanerection.ThatdidnotbothermebecauseIdidnot
plantoremarry.NowI'vemetawomanIwantverymuch.Iwanttomarryher.
Ididallthepushing.Shethoughtweshouldwaitlonger.Icouldhavelivedwith
her,butIdidn'twantto.Iwanttomarryher.ButIfoundinthelovemaking
processwithherthatIdidn'tgetthesexualfeelingsthatIknewIhad.Irealize
I'molderandthosethingsdon'thappensofrequently.I'msixtyeight.SinceI
calledyouafewdaysago,thishaschanged.Ihaven'thadintercourse,butI've
haderectionsduringthelovemaking.Ijustwanttofeelsecureinthis.Weare
planningtomarryinaboutfiveweeks.Iwanttofeelsecureforheraswellasfor
myself.

E:Haveyouaninterestinarcheology?
P:No,notverymuch.

E:YouknowthatseedsfoundwithEgyptianmummieshavesproutedafter5,000
years.

P:Yes,Iknowthat.

E:Nowisthereanyreasonforyoutothinkthatyourpenislocatedinavagina
won'tbecometumescent?

P:No,notnowthereisn't.It'schangedinthelastfewdays,butthatwasmy
worrywhenIcalledyou.

E:Whyshouldyoueverworryaboutyourheartfunctionoryourpancreas
function,yoursalivaryglands?

P:Well,Ineverworryaboutthosethings,butthiswasapersonalrelationship.
Thatwasthethingthatworriedme.Iwantedtobesure.AndIthinkshewanted
tobesure,too.

E:Allright,fromthephysiologicalpointofviewyoureallyshouldn'thavea
worry.

P:Idon'tthinkso.

E:Youdon'tthinkso?

P:No,IshouldsayI'msure.

E:Fromthepsychologicaloremotionalpointofviewyoucanhaveaworry.
P:Yes.

E:Doyouthinkfromanemotionalandpsychologicalpointofviewthatyoucan
haveanydoubtwhensheisnude?

P:No,Idon'tthinksonow,butthreeorfourdaysagoIdid.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

216/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Youneverforgettheproblemathand,butyoutranslateitintomanyotheravenues
ofthepatient'sexperience.Youutilizetheirotherexperientiallearningstodealwith
theircurrentproblem.

R:That'swhatyoudorightinthebeginningofthisinterview.Hestateshisproblem
andyouimmediatelyaskabouthisinterestinarcheology.Thisenablesyoutobring
uptheideaofseedssproutingafter5,000yearswhich,ofcourse,itahumorousbut
meaningfulanalogywithhisproblem.You'reimmediatelyusinganothermodalityof
hisknowledgetoestablishthatitispossibletoregainalifefunctionthathasbeen
unusedforsometime.Thisisyourfirstapproachtofacilitatingatherapeuticframeof
reference.Youthenaskaquestionaboutthefunctioningoftheheart,pancreas,and
salivaryglandswhichleadstotheimplicationthathedoesnothavetoworryabout
peniserectionbecausethat'salsoanautomaticfunction.You'retherebyintroducing
anothertherapeuticframeofreference:Unconsciousprocesseswithinthebodywill
regulatepeniserectionsjustastheydootherfunctionsoncehegivesupthelimiting
andinhibitingeffectsofhisconsciousworryaboutit.Thepatientobjectsbysayinga
personalrelationshipisinvolved.Youthenutilizethistoconfirmthatfromthe
physiologicalpointofviewyoureallyshouldn'thaveaworry.Thisresolvesthe
physiologicalaspectoftheproblemandenablesyoutodefinetheproblemsas

psychologicaloremotionalinamannerthathecaneasilyaccept.Thenwithyour
hypotheticalquestionaboutanydoubtwhensheisnudeyouhelphimacknowledge
thateventhispsychologicalaspectoftheproblemisresolvable.Thusinthefirstfew
minutesoftheinterviewyouhavefacilitatedseriesofacknowledgmentsfromthe
patientthatstructureaverystrongtherapeuticframeofreferenceforthehypnotic
workthatwillfollow.Inhislastremarkthepatientisalreadyplacingtheprobleminto
thepast.Heapproachestrancewithaveryhighexpectationthathisnowverylimited
problemcanberesolvedwithease.

TranceInduction:TheEarlyLearningSet

E:Nowsitwithyourhandsonyourthighslikethis.Andjustlookatone

spotthere.Andjustlookatitcontinuously.

Youdonotneedtotalk.

Youdonotneedtomove.

Youactuallydonotneedtomove.

Justlookatthatonespot.

Andmanyyearsago

youwenttokindergarten,

firstgrade.

Andyouwereconfronted

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

217/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

withwhatseemedthen

aninsurmountabletask

oflearningthelettersofthealphabet

inalltheirmanyforms.

Anditseemedaninsurmountabletask.

Butyoudidformmentalimages

foreveryletterofthealphabet.

Andyouformedmentalimages

ofthenumbers.

Andyouformedthosementalimages

toremainwithyoufortherestofyourlife.

R:Hereyouinducetrancewithoutanyinitialintroductoryremarksbecausethis
professionalmanalreadyknowsitstherapeuticpossibilitiesandhehasapositive
expectationaboutit.Thisearlylearningsetinduction(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,
1976)tendstofacilitateageregressionbyindirectideodynamicfocusingthatevokes
earlylearningexperiences.Thisactivationofearlylearningexperiencesisa
foundationforthehypnoticphenomenayouwilllaterevoke.

RatifyingTrance:BodyLanguageinTrance

WhileIhavebeentalkingtoyou
yourrespirationhaschanged,
yourpulsehaschanged.
CloseyoureyesN...O...W.

[Pauseasthepatient'seyescloseandhisheadbowsdownveryslowly,bitbybit,
untilitalmosttoucheshischest]

Yougodeeplyintoatrance
andenjoythefeelingofcomfort
andsatisfactionallover.

[Pauseaspatient'sbodytipsforwardabitprecariously]
Youcanleanbackinthechair.

[Pauseaspatient'sbodyreorientsbackcomfortablyinthechair]

R:YoubeginyourprocessofvocalconditioningwithyourslowdrawnoutN...O..
.Wandthenemphasizethatinadeeptranceonecanenjoyfeelingcomfortand
satisfactionallover.Thisisaformofindirectsuggestionbecauseweknowthatsuch

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

218/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

comfortisacharacteristicoftrance.

E:Myemphasisonsatisfactionalloverincludeshisscalp,nose,buttocks,andpenis.

R:Thepatientdoesnotrecognizethisasanindirectsuggestionbygeneralization:
Sincehispenisistheproblemhisunconsciouswilltendtoautomaticallyfocussome
ofthatsuggestedsatisfactionthere.

E:Thefactthathisbodytipsforwardmaybeanindicationthatheisleaningtoward
thelightoflove;hehadbeenleaningawayfromitafterhiswifedied.

R:Leaningforwardmaybeanindicationofapositiverapport.Doesthatmeanthata
leaningbackwardorpullinginadirectionawayfromthetherapistisanindicationof
anegativetransferencereactionoraproblembetweentherapistandpatient?

E:Itcanindicateadifficultywiththeideasbeingpresented.

PosthypnoticSuggestionsInitiatingSomnambulisticTraining:Beingin
TranceWithoutKnowingIt

AndnowIwantyou

torealizesomething.

Shortlyafteryouawaken

I'mgoingtosaysomethingtoyou.

R:Thisposthypnoticsuggestionisawayofinitiatingsomnambulistictraining.Itisa
veryeasysuggestiontoacceptbecauseafterapatientawakenshenaturallyexpects
youwillsaysomething.Hedoesn'trealize,however,thatwhenyoudosaysomething,
you'reactuallygivingaposthypnoticcuethatwillinitiateanothertrance.Yourearlier
research(EricksonandErickson,1941)indicatedthatsubjectsreentertrancewhen
receivingposthypnoticcuesandcarryingoutposthypnoticsuggestions.Whenyou
begintosaysomethingaftertrance,theywilltendtoreentertranceeventhoughtheir
eyesmaybeopenandtheymayactasiftheyareawake.Thisisyourdefinitionofthe
somnambulisticstate:Apersonactingasifheisawakebutcapableoffollowingthe
therapist'shypnoticsuggestions.

E:Yes,withhypnotictrainingyouwantthemtobecontentwiththethoughtthatthey
areawake.

R:Eventhoughtheyarereallynot.Doyoudefinethatasthesomnambulisticstate?
Thepatientthinksheisawake,butheisfollowingyousocloselyandisthereby
capableofcarryingoutsomanyhypnoticresponsesthatwesayhe'sactuallyinan
alteredstatecalledtrance.Heisnotcriticalandinitiatinghisownbehavioral
directions;heiswaitingforyoursuggestions.Heisintrancewithoutbeingawareof
it.

E:Ioncetoldasubjecttoactasifhewasawakewithallofuswhowereintheroom.
Butwhenatotallyunexpectedpersoncameintheroom,thesubjectcouldnotrespond

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

219/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

tohispresence.Heneverheardthenewcomerspeakingtohim.

R:Indicatingthattherewasaspecialrapportwiththosealreadypresentintheroom
thatexcludedanystrangers.Suchanintensestateofrapportischaracteristicof
somnambulistictrance.I'mbeginningtobelievethatpatientsarefrequentlyin
somnambulistictrancewithoutthehypnotherapistrecognizingitorknowinghowto
useit.

E:Icertainlyagree!Mosthavesuchfixedandrigidideasofwhatsomnambulistic
behavioris.[Theseniorauthorgoesontopointouthowsubtlechangesinbehavior
thatindicatethepresenceoftherapeutictrancearefrequentlymissedbymany
therapists.SeeErickson,RossiRossi,1976.]

UtilizingPatients'MotivationtoReinforceSuggestions

Andyoucanbesurprised

thatyoueverreallyhavedoubted

yourself.

[Pause]

R:Youthrowinatherapeuticsuggestionhere?

E:Toreinforcetheprecedingposthypnoticsuggestion.

R:Youutilizethepatients'ownmotivationfortherapytoreinforceyoursuggestions.

E:Allyoursuggestionsintherapyshouldbeaconnectedwhole.

HypnoticAmnesiaFacilitatingSomnambulisticState

Nowitisn'tnecessaryforyoutoremember

whatIsaytoyouinthetrancestate.

Butyourunconsciousmind

willremember.

Butallofusknowverylittle

aboutwhattheunconsciousmindknows.

R:Thisisapermissivesuggestionforamnesia.Youdon'tcommandamnesiathat
mightonlyarouseconsciousresistance.Youareapparentlylettingthepatientdo
somethingeasy:Itisn'tnecessaryforyoutoremember.Thisimpliesthatit'stoohard
toremember(asweallwellknowfrommanyexperiencesineverydaylife.)

E:Ifyoutellanyonetheyhavetodosomething,theyinvariablycomebackwiththey

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

220/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

don't.

R:YouthenadmitYourunconsciousmindwillremember.Butallofusknowvery
littleaboutwhattheunconsciousmindknows.Thistendstoreinforceamnesiaandthe
roleoftheunconsciouswhiledepotentiatingtheimportanceofhismorelimited
consciousmentalsets.Thisemphasisonconsciousamnesiaandthesignificanceof
unconsciousfunctioningisanotherwayoffacilitatingthesomnambulisticstate.

DeepeningTrancebyRehearsal

I'mgoingtoarouseyou
andputyoubackintotrance.

E:Awakeningandputtingapatientbackintotrancerepeatedlyisawayofdeepening
trance(Erickson,1952).

R:Isitalsoawayoffurtherdepotentiatinghisconsciousorientation,asortof
confusionapproachtosomnambulistictraining?

E:Yes,you'retrainingthepatienttorespondinatherapeuticway.

R:You'retraininghimtorespondtoyou.

E:Andyoubaseyourtherapeuticsuggestionsonhisownpatternsofbehaving.

R:Bydeeptranceyoumeanthatthepatientisfollowingyouverycloselyinaccord
withhisneeds.

QuestionsasDirectSuggestioninaPermissiveManner

AndyouaregoingtodoeverythingIaskyoutodo.
Canyoubesurprised
atyourability

tomaketruewhateverIsay?
[Pause]

R:Yourfirstsentencehereseemstobeashockingauthoritariandemandfor
obedience.

E:EverythingIaskyoutodo.Ididnotsay,DowhatItellyoutodo.

R:Whenyouask,youareactuallymakingapermissiverequestthatthepatientcould
refuse.Thenyoufollowitupwithaveryinnocuoussoundingbutstronglyreinforcing
questionaboutbeingsurprisedatyourabilitytomaketruewhateverIsay?

E:Eveninfantslikesurprises.

R:Asurprisealsoimpliesthattheunconsciouswillbeactiveandsurprisethe
consciousmind.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

221/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Toomanytherapiststelltheirpatientstodothisorthatratherthanask.That'san
ironhandcoveredwithalotofvelvet.

DischargingandDisplacingResistance:UseoftheNegative

AndyouwillmaketruewhateverIsay,
willyounot?

E:Youwill,willyounot?Ifanybodyisgoingtousethenegative,ithadbetterbeme.

R:Ifthepatienthasaresistanceintheformofanowithin,thenyouruseofwillyou
not?tendstodisplaceanddischargetheno.Beginningstudentsinhypnosisare
usuallytrainedtoexpresssuggestionsinapositivemanner.Thatisavalidapproach.
Youassume,however,thatresistanceintheformofcontrarytrendsisalwayspresent.
Youthereforeusenegativesinthisrathercuriouslyconcretewaytopickupthe
patient'snegativeandconvertitintoaconstructivedirection.Thisdoesnotmake
sensefromarational,lefthemisphericpointofview,butitmaybeeffectivebecause
tranceisarighthemispherephenomenon,wheresuchconcretetransformationsare
easilypossible.

HypnoticPoetryBypassingConsciousResistance

Inspiteofanythinkingyoudo,
whatIsaywillbetrue.

R:Thispoeticcoupletisanotherwayofdealingwithresistance.Manypatientsfear
thatiftheyhavecontrarythoughtsduringtrance,thetherapeuticsuggestionscannot
beeffective.Yourcoupletreassuresthemonthispoint.Thesmoothpatternofsound
andstressinthiscoupletsuggestsitmaybeanexampleofSnyder'sHypnoticPoetry
(1930),whichbypassesthecritical,intellectualisticlefthemispheresoitcanbe
acceptedbytheright.

E:I'mbondingmytherapeuticsuggestiontowhateverresistancehemayhavewithin.

R:Inthiscaseyoudon'tnecessarilyeliminateresistancebutratheraddyour
therapeuticsuggestionstoit.It'sawayofutilizingthepatients'resistancesothat
whenevertheyexpressittothemselves,theyfindthemselvesalsoexpressingthe
therapeuticsuggestion.Thisisespeciallyimportantforthistypeofpatient,whoseems
socooperativeinhismanifestbehavior.Sinceheissocooperativeontheoutside,his
resistancesmustbehiddenwithin.Youthereforeutilizethisinnerresistanceby

addingaconstructivesuggestiontoitwithoutevenhavingtobringitupwiththe
patient.

ApparentTranceAwakeningandSpontaneousReinduction:Individual
CharacteristicsofSomnambulism

Takeyourtime

andmentally,silently,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

222/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

countbackwardfromtwentytoone.

Awakeningonetwentiethofthewayateachcount.

Andbeginthecountnow.

[PauseasPappearstoawakeninaboutoneminute]
Prettyhardtoawakenwasn'tit?
P:Umhum.

[Eanswersthephone,andashedoessoPcloseshiseyesandevidentlygoesback
intotrance.]

E:Andit'shardtoawaken,
butyoucanawakenagain.

[PauseasPopenshiseyesslowly.Hedoesnotreorientmuchtohisbody,
however,sowemaypresumeheisstillintrance.]

Andawakenwithaverycomfortablefeeling.

P:Ifeelcomfortable.

E:Whydidyougobackintotrancethesecondtime?
[PauseasPlooksperplexed]

Yourunconsciousmindunderstandsalotmorethanyoudo.

R:It'sanindicationofhisintensesomnambulisticrapportwithyouthathecloseshis
eyesandgoesbackintotrancewhenyouremoveyourattentionfromhimby
answeringthephone.Heisnowfollowingyourearlierposthypnoticsuggestionsthat
hewouldgobackintotranceafterawakening.Ifhewerereallyawake,hemighthave
movedaboutabitorrelatedtomesinceIwasrightnexttohim.Buthecompletely
ignoresmeandalltherecordingequipment.Deeptrancedoesnotmeanapatientis
stuporousorunconscious;itdoesmeanthatapatient'sattentionisintenselyfocused
onwhatisrelevant,sothateverythingelseisignored.Youaskhimtoawakenagain,
butheonlyopenshiseyes.Whenyoutellhimtoawakenwithaverycomfortable
feeling,herespondsinanalmostexactparaphrase,Iamcomfortable.Thisexact
followingofyourwordsisanotherindicationofthesomnambulisticstate.Whyishe
perplexedwhenyouaskhimwhyhewentintotrancethesecondtime?

E:Thereisaretardationofintellectualprocessesthateasilyleadstoperplexityinthe
somnambulisticstate.

R:Soherewehavethreecharacteristicsofsomnambulism:(1)theintenserapport;(2)
theexactfollowingofthetherapist'sremarksthatareinaccordwiththepatient'sown
needs;and(3)thelackofmentalinitiative.Thesomnambulisticstatedoesnotmean
thepatientisanautomatonbutthatheisextraordinarilywellrelatedtothetherapist.

E:It'shisconsciousmindthatisperplexed.Iverifythatbyaddingthathis
unconsciousunderstandsalotmorethanhedoes.Ikeepoutofthesituation;don'tsay,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

223/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Iknowwhat'sgoingon.Isay,Yourunconsciousknows.

R:Arethereanygeneralcharacteristicsofsomnambulism,ordowehavetopick
themoutashighlyindividualizedmanifestationsineachperson?

E:Youhavetopickthemoutforeachindividual;theywillvarydependinguponthe
purposesofthepatient.

R:Thispatientshowedlittleinitiativeinhissomnambulisticstate,butotherpersons
mightshowalotexpressingtheirfantasies,etc.Isthereageneraldifferencebetween
anactiveandpassivesomnambulism?

E:Thispatientdidnotlikewhathewasreceivingfromhimself,thereforeheremained
passiveinordertogetwhathecouldfromme.That'swhyIworkedforamnesiaand
perplexitytodepotentiatehisconscioussets.

R:Thosewerewaysofdepotentiatinghishabitualconsciousattitudessothatan
unconscioussearchandprocesscouldbeinitiatedtofacilitateatherapeuticresponse.
Thus,evenwhenthepatientisinaverypassiveandreceptivestate,youdonotresort
todirectlyprogramminghimwithwhatheistodo.Ratheryoumakeanefforttohelp
himsidestephisownconsciouslimitationssohisunconsciouspotentialscanbecome
manifest.

E:Thepatienthadbetterbelieveinhisownunconscious.

HypnoticPhenomenaasEarlyPatternsofBehavior:Implication
EvokingEarlyPsychomotorPatterns?TwoLevelCommunicationfor
TherapeuticSuggestionviaMetaphor

E:Andallofyourlife

sincetheageofone

youhaveknownyoucouldstandup.

Right?

P:Umhum.

E:Andnowyouknowyoucan't.

Tryit.Youcan't[Saidveryquicklyandsoftly]

[Pauseasthepatientmakesafewslightabortivemovementswiththeupperpart
ofhisbodyandlooksabout,abitdistressed]

E:Sincetheageofoneyouhaveknownyoucouldstandupimpliesthatbeforethe
ageofoneyoucouldnot.Atthesametimethisisatwolevelcommunicationdealing
withhisprobleminametaphoricalway:Notbeingabletostandupislikenotbeing
abletogetanerection.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

224/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Youchooseahypnoticphenomenonthathasanunconsciousconnectionwithhis
psychologicalproblem,sothatwhenyoulaterresolvethehypnoticphenomenon
(allowhimtostandup)youmayalsoberesolvinghissexualimpotencetosome
degree.Thisisanunusuallyclearexampleofindirecttherapybeingdoneonan
unconsciouslevel.Thisalsoappearstobeanunusuallyclearexampleofyour
utilizationapproachtohypnoticphenomena.Doyoubelievethatyouareactually
evokinganearlypsychomotorlevelofnotbeingabletowalkandthenutilizingitas
thebasisofthishypnoticphenomenon?Hypnosisisnotjustimagination;itisbased
ontheactivationoftherelevantneurologicalcircuitsveryoftenthosefrominfancy
andearlychildhood.

E:Yes.Thoseinfantileandearlychildhoodpatternshavealonghistory

R:Becauseoftheirlonghistorytheyhaveacertainprepotencywithinus;theyhave
neverbeenreallyextinguished,andwhenproperlyactivatedtheycanbeexpressedin
behavior.Itisusuallymoreeffectivetoactivatesuchearlypsychomotorpatternsby
indirectmeanssuchasimplication,becauseadirectcommandcouldevokethe
doubtingattitudesofconsciousnessthatinturnblockthehypnoticresponse.

E:Youdealwiththepatientasatotalhistoricalbeing.Youcanrelyonthose
neurologicaltracksandmemoriesoflongdurationmuchmorethanyoucanonthe
veryrecentones.

R:Itwouldbewellforthehypnotherapisttostudyearlychildhooddevelopmentto
gainamoreadequateunderstandingofthetypeofphenomenahecanevokeaswellas
hintsabouthowtheymaybeevoked.Mostifnotallhypnoticphenomenaareactually
earlypatternsoffunctioning.Thisisadistinctiveaspectofyourwork:youbelieve
youareevokingrealmentalmechanismsandunconsciousprocessesinhypnotic
phenomena.Itistheutilizationofanindividual'searlyexperientiallearningrather
thanhypersuggestibilityorimaginationpersethatisthebasisofhypnotic
phenomena.

E:Patientscanonlyrespondoutoftheirownlifeexperiences.

TheCreativeProcessofTherapeuticAnalogy

E:Andnowyoutrulyknow

howanideacantakepossessionofyou.

[Pcloseshiseyesandappearstolapsedeeperintotrance]

E:Inmentioningthathenowtrulyknowshowanideacantakepossessionofone,
youarebyanalogyreferring,ofcourse,tohisproblem:Justasanideacanprevent
himfromstandingup,socananideapreventhispenisfromstandingup.

R:Heprobablyclosedhiseyesagainbecauseofasuddenrealizationofstandingup
havingthosedifferentmeanings?

E:Closinghiseyesprobablycorrespondedtotheinnersearchandunconscious
processesthatactuallycreatethatmeaning.Tograspsuchananalogyrequiresa

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

225/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

creativeeffortonhispart.Becauseitishisowncreativeeffort,heislesslikelyto
rejectitthanifitwassimplythrustuponhimasadirectstatement.

TwoLevelCommunication:FurtherSomnambulisticTraining

E:Androuseagain

andfeelverycomfortableallover.

[PauseasPopenshiseyesagain]

Howdoyoufeelaboutnotbeingabletostandup?

P:Well,itdidn'tbotherme.Ididn'twanttostandup.

E:Andnowyoucan'tremainseated.

[Plooksaroundandstandsup,seeminglyabitembarrassedforamomentor
two]

Nowyoucansitdown
[Psits].

E:Whenhesaidhedidn'twanttostandup,thatimpliedhehadachoice.Onan
unconsciouslevelitalsomeanshehaschoiceabouthispenisnotstandingup.

R:Iseehemaywanttomakethatchoiceattimes.Hemaybeusingtwolevel
communicationherewithoutquiterealizingit.Thefurthersuggestionthathecan't
remainseatedinthiscontextnowhasthesymbolicmeaningofnotbeingabletokeep
hispenisdownandmayaccountforhisapparentembarrassmentatthispoint.Itis
alsoameansoffurthertraininginsomnambulisticbehaviorwhereinhefollowsyour
hypnoticsuggestionsevenwhileactingasifhe'sawake.

E:Tosaythathecan'tremainseatedistherapeuticonanunconsciouslevel.Notice
thatIcarefullyavoidedsayingYouhavetostandup.Iwantedtoavoidthestandup
issuebecausehehadsuchdifficultywithhispenisstandingupthatitcouldhave
defeatedthehypnoticsuggestiononanunconsciouslevel.

PartTwo:ARapidHypnotherapeuticApproach
UtilizingTherapeuticSymbolismwithHand

Levitation:HemisphericInteractioninTrance
InductionandSuggestion

E:Iwantyoutoenjoythisexperience.

Oneortheotherorbothofyourhandswillliftuptowardyourface.Andno
matterhowhardyoutrytopressdown,it'sgoingtoliftuptowardyourface.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

226/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

[Fingersofthepatient'srighthandlifttentatively,andthenthewholehandlifts
withagentle,bobbingmotion]

Andyoucan'tstopit.

[PauseasP'srighthandslowlyapproacheshisface]
Andthereisnothingyoucandotostopit.
[PauseasthehandbobsuptowardP'shairline]
Alittlebithigher.

Thereisnothingyoucandotostopyourhandfromfeelinghair.
[P'shandapproachesandfinallytouchesthehaironhishead]
Thefeelingofhair,

andyoucan'tstopyourhandfromdoingthat.

Andnowyouknow

thatwheneveryouwish

yourpeniscanstandupandfeelhair.

[Pause]

R:Younowundertakeaclassicalhandlevitation,butyourwordshaveanotherlevel
ofmeaningwherehandlevitationbecomesequivalenttopenislevitation.Several
timesyoumentionYoucan'tstopit.Areyoutherebyattemptingtosymbolically
depotentiatehisconsciousmind'sabilitytostopapeniserection?

E:Yes.

R:Itisfascinatingtohypothesizethathislefthemispheremaybesopreoccupiedwith
levitatinghisrighthandthatitleaveshisrighthemispheremoreavailabletoaccept
andactuponyourtherapeuticsuggestionsgiveninthesymboliclanguageoftheright
hemisphere.Recentresearch(Smith,Chu,andEdmonston,1977;Diamondand
Beaumont,1974;KinsbourneandSmith,1974)indicatesthatpreoccupyingthe
dominantcerebralhemispherewithoneactivitydoestendtoleavetheother
hemispherefreetodealwithotherdata.Thismaybetheneuropsychologicalbasisof
yourcommonpracticeofinterspersingtherapeuticsuggestionsinthesymbolic
languageoftheunconscious(ornondominanthemisphere)alongwithhandlevitation
oranyotherapproachtoinductionthatoccupiestheattentionofthedominantcerebral
hemisphere.Agreatdealofsystematicresearchisnowrequiredtotestthishypothesis

ofhemisphericinteractionintranceinductionandsuggestioninordertoascertainthe
parametersunderwhichthistherapeuticapproachcouldbemaximized.

PosthypnoticSuggestionContingentonInevitabilities

E:Andyoucanenjoyit.
Itwon'tbeyourhair.
Itwon'tbeyourhair.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

227/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Itwillbethefeelingofhers.
Andyoucan'tloweryourhand
untilyou'veenjoyed
sensingthefeelingofhair
sensingawarmbody.

[Pause]

Andnothingcantellyou

thatyourpeniswon'tstandup.

Nothingcantellyouthat.

[Pause]

Andnothingcanpreventitfromfeelinghairandavaginaforaslongasyou
want.

[Pause]

AndIwantyoutonotice

yourhanddoesn'tfeelasifit'stouchingyourhair,
itfeelsasifit'stouching
thatlady'shair.

[Pause]

E:Iinitiatedtheprocessofliftingtowardhisfaceandhair.Oncethatwaswellunder
wayandcouldnotbestopped,thenIcouldshiftittotheissueofvaginaandpubic
hair.

R:Havingacceptedtheinitialcondition,heiscarriedonbyitsmomentumto
acceptingthetherapeuticsuggestion.

E:Nowhecan'tavoidsensingawarmbodywhenheiswithher;that'sinevitableand
I'vesymbolicallytiedanerectpenistoherwarmbodywhenIsayYoucan'tlower
yourhanduntilyou'veenjoyed...warmbody.

R:Thisisabasicprincipleofposthypnoticsuggestionwhereinyoualwaysmakea
suggestedbehaviorcontingentonaninevitability.

FurtherPosthypnoticSuggestion

AndIwantyoutohavethesurpriseofyourlife
becausesometimetoday
ortomorrow

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

228/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

yourhandwilltouchthehaironherhead,
andyou'llfind

whatyourpeniswillinsistondoing.
Andyou'regoingtoletthatbeasurprise
areyounot?

[Pnodshisheadyes]

[Pause]

Andyou'regoingtobesodelighted
withtheforcefulnessofyourdesire.
Butyouwillnotoffendthelady.
Butyouwillbepleased
withtheveryforcefulnessofthedesire.

[Pause]

Andphilosophers

ofoldhavesaid,

Asamanthinketh,heis.

Andyou'llneverforgetthat,willyou?

Andnowthinkthisquestionoverwell,

areyouwillingtotellussomethingaboutthelady?

[Pnodsheadyes]

E:Sometimetodayortomorrowactuallymeansanytime.Itcouldbenextmonthand
stillfallwithinthegeneralizedtimerangeofthissuggestion.

R:Hereyouagainmakeaposthypnoticsuggestionaboutpeniserectioncontingenton
anotherinevitability(touchingherhair).

E:Howdoyouoffendthelady?Byeitherbeingtooforcefulornotforcefulenough.
I'vecoveredbothpossibilitiesthereforcefulnessofvourdesire.WhenIthenaskhim
ifhewantstotellussomethingaboutthelady,itimplieshehaschoice,andifhetells
ussomethinghealsohastherighttoholdbackotherthings.Therighttoholdthings
backgiveshimpotencyandpower.

PreparationforAwakening

Allright,takeyourtimeandawaken

andjustspontaneouslytellussomethingabouther.

[PauseasPopenshiseyesandfocusesasifheisawake.Hishandremainsathis
head,however,andhedoesnotreorientanyotherpartofhisbody]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

229/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

P:Well,sheisbeautiful.
SheisthesameageasIam.

AndIneverlovedanyonelikethisbeforeinmylife.

E:I'vejustgivenhimtheimpliedposthypnoticsuggestiontoholdbackandhe
respondswiththegeneralizationWell,sheisbeautiful.Heisactuallyholdingback.
He'sfollowingaposthypnoticsuggestionwithoutevenrealizingit.

R:Inhavinghimholdbackyou'rereturninghimtohisnormallyawakeegocontrols
andaretherebypreparinghimforafullawakening.

E:Yes,whenheadmitslovinghermorethananyoneelseinhislife,heis
volunteeringthatonamoreconsciousawakelevel.

SymbolicallyDisplacingandDischargingaLackofConfidence

E:Whatdidyoujustlearnaboutyourself?

P:Moreconfidence,foronething.

E:Thereissomethinglackinginyourconfidence?

P:Yes,therewasdoubt.

E:Thereissomethingnowlackinginyourconfidence.I'lltellyouwhatitis.
Youcan'tputyourhanddown.

P:Hum!?

E:Whenhetalksaboutconfidencehere,he'simplyingalackofconfidence,soI
displaceitontothehand.Putthelackofconfidenceinaharmlessplace.

R:Thisisawayofdisplacinganddischargingalackofconfidenceinasymbolic
manner.

TwolevelCommunicationwithTrueTranceAwakening

E:Andyoucan'tpushitdownuntilyouhaveafeelingofintense
satisfaction.

[LongpauseasPcloseshiseyes.Hefinallyopensthemagain,putshishand
down,andadjustshiswholebodyslightly,asischaracteristicofpatients
awakeningfromtrance.]

P:Yeah,Ifeelprettygoodnow!

E:Andwhatareyougoingtoneed?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

230/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

P:Uh?

E:Youdon'thavetotellus.

P:No.

E:Butyouthinkitover.
She'sgottwobeautifultwins,
andbothdeserveaname.

[Pause]

P:Yeah.

E:Afterapleasantsexualintercoursewhathappens?

R:Yourelaxandyourpenisgoesdown.Soyoursuggestionthathecan'tputhishand
downuntilhehasafeelingofintensesatisfactionisanotherbitoftwolevel
communicationthathereceivesjustasheiswakingup.Thistendstobuildabridge
betweenthetherapeuticsuggestionontheunconsciousandconsciouslevels.

E:Hethenrespondswith,Yeah,Ifeelprettygoodnow!Atwolevelresponsewithout
hisquiterealizingit.Inowcontinuewithremarksabouthertwobeautifultwins,
whichherecognizesasareferencetoherbreasts.Ifheistomakelovetoher,hehad
betterappreciateherbreasts.

IndirectIdeodynamicFocusing

E:Someonewholikedmountainclimbingwasaskedonasocialoccasion,Doyou
intendtodoanymountainclimbingthisweekend?Andhesaid,Oh,yes,buthe
didn'tnamethemountain.Thatwasasecretbetweenhimandhiswife.And
everycoupleshouldhavealanguageoflove.

[Pause]

P:Ifeelbetternow.

E:Andanotherfriendofmine

wasaskedatthedinnertable,

Wouldyouliketohaveacupofsoup?

Heanswered,Yes,Ialwayslikeacupful.

Whathereallymeantwas,Yes,Ialwayslikeacupfulloflife.

P:Yeah.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

231/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:You'rehereemphasizingthetwolevelcommunicationaboutloveplayineveryday
life.

E:Yes,thesetwolevelcommunicationsarelikethesecretlanguageofchildhood.

R:Sincetheycomefromchildhood,theyarerichinthesortofideodynamic
responseshewillneedinhisnewlovelife.Youarethusactivatingtheseprocessesby

talkingaboutthem.Thisisanotherexampleofindirectideodynamicfocusingfora
therapeuticresponse.

TherapeuticRestructuringofaFormerSymptom
E:Now,Ialwaystellyoungmen,

Sometimeinyourlifetimeyou'regoingtoloseyourerection.
Andwhatyoudon'tknow
isthatyourunconsciousmind

istellingyouthatthebeautyofyourwife'sbodyisoverwhelming.
Andtoenjoythatfact.

Becausethat'sthegreatestpossiblecomplimentyoubothcanreceive.

Ifonsomeoccasionunexpectedlyyouloseyourerection,

it'saveryprofoundcompliment,

becauseassoonasyourealizeyou

havecomplimentedherinthemostultimatefashion,

thenyourerectioncomesback.

[Pause]

R:Doyouactuallybelievethatalossoferectioncouldreallybeacompliment,oris
thisjustarationalizationyou'reofferinghim?

E:He'splacedabadinterpretationonalossoferection.Whyshouldhekeepthat
foreverandever?Lifeismuchbetterifsometimesitrainsandsometimesitdoesn't.
I'veseenmanycaseswhereitreallywasacompliment.

FurtherTherapeuticAnalogies

E:HowlongdidyoupracticeinXcity?

P:SinceY.Iretiredafewyearsago.[Ageneralconversationnowtakesplace
aboutP'smedicalpracticeandhisuseofhypnosisonhispatients.]

E:HowmanyGinkgotreesarethereinX?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

232/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

P:Idon'tknow.

E:IwasgivenadrivethroughXandpassedanintersectionandIsaidtomy
friendwhowasdriving,''Didn'twejustpassaGinkgotreeupthatsidestreet?
I'veneverseenone,butI'msureitwasaGinkgotree.Hesaid,You'reright.
LaterheshowedmesomepetrifiedGinkgowood.

P:Oh!

E:[ToR]DoyouknowtheGinkgotree?

R:Ohyes,verywell!Theyhavelivemotilesperm!

P:Yes.

E:OnetimewhenIwasinX,Iorderedoysters.Thewaitersaid,You'relucky,
wehavejusttwoordersleft.Isaid,I'lltakethemboth.

[Aroundoflaughterattheimpliedassociationbetweeneatingoystersandsexual
potency.TheconversationthendriftstoseafoodingeneralandP'shobbies,one
ofwhichhastodowithworkingwithfinegrainsandtexturesofwood.]

Whatmorewouldyouliketosaytome?

P:Idon'tthinkthereisanything.Ijustfeelentirelydifferent.Ifeelasifaload
hasbeenliftedoffmyshoulders.IjustfeelthatIhaveconfidenceinmyselfthatI
didnothavebefore.

E:NowI'mnotabletotravel,butwillyousendmeaweddinginvitation?P:Yes,
I'lldothat.It'sawonderfulfeeling.It'sagoodfeeling.E:Howdoyoulikethis?

[TheseniorauthorshowsPafinesculptureofabirdemergingfromabranchof
wood.Thefrontpartofthebirdiscarvedverysimplyandelegantly,whilethe
latterpartofitsbodyisnotsculpturedatall;itsimplymergesintothenatural
formofthewood.]

P:I'veneverseenanythinglikeit.

E:Likeabutterflyemergingfromacocoon.Onlythistimeit'sabird.
P:Didyoucarveit?

E:No,Iusedtocarve.Doyoulikewoodcarving?
P:I'veneverdoneany,butIlikeit.

E:Wouldyouliketoseetheworld'slargestprivatecollectionofironwood
carvings?

[ThetherapysessionthusendswithPbeingshowntheseniorauthorscollection

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

233/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ofironwoodcarvingsmadebytheIndiansofCentralMexico.]

R:Youterminatetheinterviewwiththesefurthertherapeuticanalogiesthatnowshift
therelationshipfromdoctorpatienttofriendsasyouinvitehimintoyourhometo
lookatyourcollectionofcarvings.

E:HeknowsIlikeoystersandhelikeswoodcarvingsandsodoI.Wesharelikings.

R:Sinceyoulikesexuality,thenhemustlikeit,too.Thisaspectofyourworkis
essentiallyatransferencecureaswellasawayofresolvingthetransference,since
youbecomejustanotherhumanbeingwithyourpersonaltastes,etc.

Case9AnorexiaNervosaParadoxandDoubleBind

[Theseniorauthororiginallywrotethiscase;thejuniorauthorhasaddedcommentariesforitscu
rrentpublication.]

E:InallcasesIhaveknownofanorexianervosainchildren(aboutfifty,andallgirls
fromagesninetofifteen)therehasalwaysbeenapeculiaremotionalrelationship
betweentheparentsandthepatient.Itisoneofconcealed,repressedanger,
resentment,andextremefrustrationtogetherwithanxiety,concern,andfearonthe
partoftheparents.Forthepatienttheemotionalbehaviorismostdifficulttodescribe.
Thereappearstobeanunderlyingstateoffearofallemotionalinvolvement
manifestedbyasubmissivepassivity,totallackofselfconcern,therejectionoffood
tothepointofdeathbystarvation,aconcealedfearoftheparents,particularlyofthe
mother,andrepressionofhungerfeelingsandallautocriticalfaculties.Underlyingall
ofthisisavaguelyconceptualizedreligiositysuggestiveofapoorlyformedandoften
notverbalizedidentificationwithamessiahoramessianicpurpose.

Theproblemofanorexianervosa,tothebestofmyknowledgeandexperience,is
emotionalincharacterwithresultingphysicalsymptomatology.AnapproachIused
effectivelyinashortperiod(February11toMarch13)isasfollows.Isawthe
fourteenyearoldpatientwithhermotherduringthefirsttwointerviews.Asistypical
ofmanymothersofanorexianervosapatients,sheansweredallquestionsputtothe
daughterinaprotectivefashion.Havingsecuredathoroughdemonstrationofthe
mother'sinterest,Itoldthemotherpolitelybutemphatically,Shutupandletyour
daughteranswerthequestions.Ithenproceededtogetgeneralinformationfromthe
girl.ThenItoldhermostemphaticallythatherparentssenthertometohavemetell
hertoeat,butIhadnointentionofdoingso;eatingwasherownproblem,andshe
coulddoasshepleased.

R:Inthisinitialapproachyouimmediatelyestablishrapportwiththepatientby
tellinghermothertoshutup.Youthenfacilitatethedevelopingofayessetby
adaptingyourselftothepatient'sownframeofreference,asyoutellheryouhaveno
intentionoftellinghertoeat.Youthenplacethelocusoftherapeuticcontrolwithin
thepatientbysayingthateatingwasherownproblemandshecoulddoasshe
pleased.Youapparentlyallowthepatienttokeepherresistancesandyouseetoitthat
shehasnoneedtodefendherselfagainstyou.Thereisaparadoxinallthisanda
subtledoublebind.Theparadoxisthatyouareapparentlyonhersideanddoingthe
oppositeofwhatyou'resupposedtobedoingmakinghereat.Thesubtledoublebind
isthatbytheveryapproachofnottryingtocontrolherbehavior,youareactually

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

234/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

establishingarapportandrelationshipthatwilleventuallybindhertotherapeutic
workyouwillsoonsuggest.Theparadoxanddoublebindtogetherundoubtedlyhave
theeffectofdepotentiatingsomeoftheconsciousframesofreferencesothatsheis
nowmoreavailableforwhateveryousuggest.

DistractingConsciousFramesofReference

E:IthenpointedoutthatasamedicalmanIcouldgiveproperandcompetentadvice
aboutoralhygiene.Iexplainedtothegirlthatregardlessofwhetheroneeatsordoes
noteat,usingthetoothbrushontheteethandonthegumsisimportant,andthatina
propermethodoforalhygieneyouuseatoothpastewithfluoridewiththe
understandingthatthereshouldneverbeswallowingofanyofthepaste.Afterthe
childagreedtothis,Ipointedoutthattherewasfurtheroralhygienewhich,asa
medicalman,Iwasentitledtoprescribe.Thiswastheuseofamouthwashtobeused
beforebrushingtheteethtoloosenthedetritusontheteeth,andthebrushingofthe
teethshouldbefollowedbyasecondapplicationofmouthwashwithabsolute

instructionsthatthereshouldbenoswallowingofanyofthemouthwash.Iexacteda
promisefromthechildthatmyinstructionsaboutoralhygienewouldbefollowed.

R:Younowfurtherdetractherconsciousframesofreferencesbythisindirect
approachoffocusingattentiononwhatisactuallyanirrelevantproblemoral
hygiene.Youutilizehercharacterstructureofpassiveobediencetogethertofollow
someratherabsurdandpracticallyimpossiblesuggestions.

DepotentiatingaMessianicComplex

E:Inpatientswithanorexianervosa,themessianiccomplexandtheirownreligious
demandscompelthemtokeepthepromisesmade.Iprescribedasamouthwashcod
liveroil,emphasizingthatnotasingledropbeswallowed.Thechildrebelledby
whimperingatnightandkeepingthemotherawake.Afterthishappenedafewtimes,
Ideliveredadispassionatesermononthewrongnessofoffensesagainstothers.I
describeditasbadbehaviorrequiringpunishment,andsincethebadbehaviorwasnot
againstme,butagainstthemotherthemotherbeingtheoffendedpersonshehad
therighttoprescribethepunishment.ThechildagreedandprivatelyItoldthemother
thatnocturnalwhimperingisnotdesirable,andmightbepunishedinanywaythatshe
chosesolongasitwasreasonable.Themotherdecidedthatscrambledeggscouldbe
usedaspunishment.Thatremovedfoodfromtheareaofnonacceptabilityoftheself
imposedritualofrejectionoffood.Also,herbodyreceivednourishment,which,
coupledwiththetasteofthecodliveroil,createdadisruptivesituationforherself
imposedpassiveselfdestruction.Herpassivitycompelledhertoacceptfoodas
punishment,andhermessianiccomplexalsorequiredhertodoso.Additionally,the
badtasteofthecodliveroilarousedstrongemotionsofrevulsionwithconsequent
temptationtoavoidusingit,somethinghermessianiccomplexandpassivity
precluded.Heronlyrecoursewastorationalizeortoforgetsomethingthatwouldgive
herbothsatisfactionandguilt,allofwhichweredestructiveofherpassivityand
messianiccomplex.

Shewasqueriedjustonceabouthavingsecuredthecodliveroilandheruseofit.The
motherhadbeeninstructedtooverseeonlythefirstoccasionofitsuse,andIasked
aboutitonlyonce.Themotherwasinstructedtoremindthegirlonlyonce,andthat

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

235/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

wasonthefirstovernightsightseeingtripinArizona,tobesuretopackhercodliver
oil,thatitshouldnotbeforgottenforthetrip.

Neartheendofthetreatmentprivateinquiryofthemotherdisclosedthatshehad
reluctantlypurchased,inthecompanyofherdaughter,onlyasmallbottleofcodliver
oil(under16ounces),thatshehadbecomenauseatedwatchingherdaughter'sfirstuse
ofit,andthatafterthefirsttwodaysthecontentlevelofthebottlechangedverylittle;
sometimelaterthebottledisappeared.

R:Youaccomplishedanumberoffascinatingpsychodynamicalterationsatthispoint.
Yourpracticallyimpossibledemandofusingcodliveroilwasacceptedbyher
becauseherpassive,messianiccomplexrequiredthatsheacceptunpleasant
suggestionstoassuageherguilt.Yet,sinceshecouldnotfollowthecodliveroil
suggestion,theegosyntonicaspectsofthemessianiccomplexareshattered(Rossi,
1973b).Shecanonlyfollowthecodliveroilsuggestionsminimally,andthen
apparentlysheengagesinanoutrightdeceitbymakingthebottleofcodliveroil

disappear.Indoingthisshehastogiveuphermessianicallgoodandobedient"
identificationandbegintomobilizeherownwilltosurvivethroughdifferentpatterns
ofbehavior.Theimpossibletaskthusshatteredhermessianiccomplex(depotentiated
thatframeofreference)andinitiatedherintoanunconscioussearchfornewand
potentiallytherapeuticresponses.Theothermarveloustwistinallthisisthatyou
managetokeepthemotherasthedispenserofpunishmentyoustillremainthe
patient'ssympatheticsupporter.Shehasbeendisobedientandrequirespunishment.
Food,whichwasformerlyareward,isnowchangedintoapunishmentthatshehasto
accept.ThisisallsodifficulttofollowthatIalmostgetvertigoeventryingto
untanglethepsychodynamicsinanobjectivefashion.Icanimaginehowconfused
andhelplessthepatient'sconsciousmindmusthavefelttryingtosortitallout.
Obviouslyitcouldnot,soshewassimplyopentofollowyoursuggestions.

DepotentiatingConsciousSetsandUnconsciousSearch

E:Thentomeetthechild'semotionalneedsfurther,Iproceededtotalktoher,telling
interestingthings,boringthings,excitingthings,mildlyoffensivethings,ridiculous
things,highlyintriguingthings.Ibombardedthechildwithagreatwealthof
opportunitiestoreacttoonanemotionallevel.Asonedoctorwhosatinononesuch
interviewremarkedafteritwasover,Youranthatpoorgirlupanddownthewhole
gamutofemotions,andsofarasshecouldsee,youwerejusttalkingaboutthingsof
interesttoyou.

R:Youareengagedinoneofyourtypicalapproachesoffixingherattentionwith
yourtalkofinterestingandintriguingthings.Youtherebyalsofurtherdepotentiate
herownframesofreferenceandprovideherviaindirectassociativefocusingwith
manyopportunitiesforunconscioussearchesandprocessestostirheremotionallife.
Hopefully,thiswillenablehertorealignherinnerpsychodynamicssothatshecan
comeupwithanew,moreadequateframeofreferenceforabetterselfidentityand
morefulfillingbehavior.Youdon'tknowwhatthismoreadequateframeandpattern
ofresponsewillbeatthispoint.Youaresimplyshakingupherpsychodynamicswith
theexpectationthatherunconsciouswillfinditsownway.

ATherapeuticDoubleBind

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

236/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Nowthemotherofthisparticularanorexianervosapatientlikedtotravel,andIhad
herseeasmuchofArizonaaspossiblesothatintheperiodofFebruary11toMarch
131sawthechildforonlyatotaloftwentyhours.Duringthefirsttwoweeksshe
gainedthreepounds,lostone,andgainedoneback.Shehadlostfivepoundsinthe
monththatshehadbeeninthehospital,andherweightwhenshearrivedwassixty
onepounds.Otherwiseshewasawellbuiltfourteenyearoldgirl.Aftershehad
gainedthethreepounds,themother,whosimplycouldnotunderstandmyhandlingof
thechild,wastoldtostandupandtotellmeherheight,herweightandage,andthe
numberofherchildren.Shetoldmeshewaspastforty,motheroffivechildrenandan
M.D.,thatshewasmarriedtoanM.D.,andthatherheightwasfivefeetsixinches
andherweightwas118lbs.,evenasithadbeenwhenshehadmarriedherhusband
nineteenyearspreviously.Iputonafairlygoodsemblanceofshockather
underweightstate.(Actuallyherheightappearedtobearoundfivefeeteightornine
inches,butIdidnotdisputethisstatement.)Ipointedoutquiteemphaticallythata
motheroffiveatthatheightandthatageshouldweigh130pounds;anddidshenot

considerherbehaviorshamefulinbringingherdaughtertomeinastateof
malnutritionwhensheherselfwasundernourished?Itoldthepatient,Iwantyouto
seetoitthatyourmothergainsweight,andIwantyoutotellmeofanyfailureby
yourmothertoeatadequately.

R:Sincethemothermayhavebeenabouttointerferewithherdaughter'stherapy,you
begintoinvolvethemotherwithwhatmayhavebeenanindirectinductionof
therapeutictrance.Byaskinghertostandupandansweraseriesofstandardmedical
questionsyouwereactuallyfocusingherattentionveryfixedlyonherself.Shewas
naturallyinastateofwonderment,confusion,andperhapsabitofshockaboutthis
ratherunusualtreatmentatthisstageofthegamebyafellowphysician.Herhabitual
mentalsetswerethereforedepotentiated,andyourseriesofquestionsevokedasetof
manyproblemsofunconscioussearch.Yourquestionswerealleasilyanswered,so
youtherebyveryindirectlyevokedayesset.Shecouldeasilyansweryourquestions
evenifshewasmystifiedaboutwhyyouwereaskingthem.Sheisthusinamoodof
heightenedandpositiveexpectancyaboutwhatistocomenext.Yourdenouementis
swiftintheformofadoublebindoperatingsimultaneouslyonmotheranddaughter.

Thedoublebindisoperativeinthedaughterasfollows:1)certainlyshewouldliketo
controlhermotherforachange;2)yetasshecontrolshermotherbyseeingtoitthat
sheeatsadequately,thedaughteristherebysettingintomotionasimilarpatternof
adequateeatinginherselfonanunconsciouslevelbyaprocessofindirect
ideodynamicfocusing;wantingmothertoeatadequatelysetsupaninvoluntary
processofeatingadequatelythatcannothelpbutbecomeactivatedwithinthe
daughter.

Themothermayalsoexperiencesomethingofadoublebindinthissituation:1)she
wantsherdaughtertogetwellbut2)thedaughtercanonlygetwellifthemother
givesupherpathologicalovercontrolofthedaughter.Sincethemother'shabitual
attitudesaredepotentiated,atthismomentshetendstoyieldtoyourapparently
paradoxicalsuggestionbecauseshesimplydoesn'tknowhowtocopeotherwise.But
youarenotcontentwithonlythis,soyouaddmoretooverloadthesituationfurther.

EmotionalCatharsis

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

237/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Thenextimportantprocedurewastoinsultthegirlthoroughlybyaccusingherof
beingaliarandacoward,andassertingmyabilitytoproveit.Naturallythegirl
protestedmyaccusations,whereuponItoldher,Hitmeonthearm.Shewas
obviouslyangry,andshetappedmyarmlightly.Itookhertotaskforgivingmyarm
alighttapandimplyingittobeablow.Itoldherthatshewasacowardifshedidn't
hitmeandthatshewasaliarwhenshetriedtomakemebelievethatagentletapwas
reallyablow.Thegirldidindeedbecomeangryandactuallydidhitme,though
lightly,onthearm,butimmediatelyturnedandrushedintothewaitingroomand
shortlyreturned,dryfacedanddryeyed,andtookherseat.Iaccusedheragainof
beingacowardandaliar,myproofbeingthatsheranawayfromtheconsequencesof
strikingmeandwentintothewaitingroombecauseshedidnotwantmetoseethe
tearsinhereyes,andthatshewasaliarbyreturningdryeyedandwithatearlessface
sinceIsawhertearsasshelefttheroom.ThereuponIcontinuedtorunherupand
downthegamutofemotions,andIdidtellherinteresting,pleasing,andintriguing
thingsalso.

R:Youareagainattackinghermessianiccomplexwithyouraccusationsandproofs
thatevokeemotionalturmoilandconflictsthatmakeevidentthecontradictions
containedinthealltoopiousandpassiveviewshehasofherself.Youhavecertainly
focusedherattentionanddepotentiatedthefalsepersonashehastriedtomaintain.It
isacceptabletoherbecauseit'sactuallyinterspersedwithinthepositivecontextof
interesting,pleasingandintriguingthingswhichkeepsheropenwithayessetand
permitsanemotionalcatharsis.

ReversalsDepotentiatingtheSymptomComplex

E:Ononeoccasionthemotherfailedtoeatallofherhamburgerandhadwrapped
partofitinanapkin,explainingtoherdaughterthatshewasgoingtomakeita
midnightsnack.Thepatientdidnotreporthermother'smisbehavioruntiltwodays
later.Itookthemothertotaskforsettingabadexampleforherdaughterandtoldthe
motherthatshehadoffendedagainstmeinnotobeyingmymedicalorders.Itoldthe
girlshehadoffendedmebyshirkingherdutytoreporthermother'sbehavior,and
therefore,sinceIwastheoneoffended,Iwouldpunishbothofthem,andIwould
choosethewayIwouldpunishthem.Itheninstructedthemothertobringbreadand
cheesetomyhouse(whichadjoinstheoffice),andshewouldputalayerofcheeseon
topoftwoslicesofbread,placethemunderthebroiler,andmeltthecheese.Shewas
towithdrawthebread,turntheslicesover,covertheothersidewithcheese,and
replacethemunderthebroiler.Theneachwouldeatacheesesandwichundermy
watchfuleye.

R:Nowbothmotheranddaughterareonthehotseat.Bothareguiltyandtherefore
opentoyoursurprisingpunishmentofmakingthemeat.Sincefoodisapunishment
ratherthanareward,theycannoweattoassuagetheirmutualguilt.Sinceit'ssuchan
oddandfunnysortofcheesetreat,theycanalsoacceptitwithgoodhumor.They
werebothcaughtinnotobeyingmedicalordersandarenowpartnersincrime.This
bringsmotheranddaughtertogetherwithacommonenemy,whichtheynowtransfer
ontoyou.Motheranddaughterarenolongerstrugglingagainsteachother;therefore
thebasicpsychodynamicsunderlyingthesymptomofanorexianervosaare
depotentiated.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

238/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

TherapeuticBindsandParadox

E:IthentookupwithmypatientthefactthatIdidn'tmindseeinghernowandthen,
butthatIreallythoughtshewouldmuchprefertoreturntoherhome2,000miles
fromArizona.IalsotoldherthatImightwanthertoweigh85poundswhenshe
returnedhome,butthatshemightwanttoweighonly75pounds.IalsostatedthatI
thoughtthemothershouldweigh130pounds,butthatthemothermightwantto
weigh125.1thenexplainedaboutthedailyweightvarianceofapoundandahalf,and
thatwhiletheycouldchoosetheirdepartureweights,theybetterbesurethoseweights
wereatleastapoundandahalfmorethanthechosenweight.Ialsostipulatedtothe
girlthataftershewenthome,shehadtogainfivepoundsinthefirstmonth.Ithen
turnedtothemotherandsaid,Ifshedoesnotgainfiveadditionalpoundsinthefirst
monthsheishome,youwillbringherbacktomeinPhoenixwhereIwillfurther
superviseher.

R:Younowplacetheminanumberofsimplebindsthatallowthemtochoosetheir
ownweightbutalwaysinatherapeuticdirection.Youthenunashamedlyusea
paradoxicalbitofnegativereinforcementinyourthreatofhavingthedaughter
broughtbackifshedidnotgainanadditionalfivepoundsthefirstmonthathome.

ShockandUtilizinganEthicalValueSystem

E:Themotherhadkeptinconstanttelephonecommunicationwithherhusband,and
hetoocametoArizonawiththeotherfourchildren,twoofwhomwereolderthanmy
patient.Aftermeetinghim,inaseparateinterviewIdemandedtoknowwhatageand
weighthewas,andhestatedthathewasprobablyfivepoundsunderweightasa
preventivemeasureagainstdiabetesmellitus.Iaskedhimiftherewereanyfamily
historyofdiabetesandhesaid,No,itissimplyapreventivemeasure.Theninan
impersonal,denunciativefashionIreadtheriotacttothefatherforgamblinghis
daughter'slifebysettinganexampleofbeingunderweight.Itoldhimhecouldnot
leaveArizonauntilhegainedfivepounds,advisinghimtomakeallowanceforweight
variance.

Ithenhadaseparateinterviewwiththeseventeenyearoldbrotherandsixteenyear
oldsister.Iaskedthemhowlongtheyhadbeenawarethattheirsisterhadnotbeen
eatingenoughandwhattheyhaddoneaboutit.Theyexplainedthatthelossofweight
hadbeennoticeablefornearlyayear.Theyhadalwaysofferedherfood,candy,and
fruit,buttheirsisterhadalwaysrefusedit,saying,Keepitforyourself.Idon'tdeserve
it.Ithenreadtheriotacttothebrotherandsisterfordeprivingmypatientofher
constitutionalrights,therighttoreceivepresentsfromhersiblings.Theywereso
takenabackbymyimpersonalriotactthattheyhadnoopportunitytorecognizeits
speciouscharacter.Afterdismissingthem,Icalledmypatientinforabriefinterview
andreadamostemphaticriotacttoheraboutdeprivinghersiblingsandherparents
oftheirconstitutionalrightstogiveherpresentsofanykindtheywished.

R:Thefather,brother,andsisterarealltakenabackbyyourimpersonalriotacts,
whichsoshockedthemthattheirhabitualmentalsetsweredepotentiatedandtheyhad
tosearchfornewandmoreadequateresponses,whichyousupplywithyourdirect
suggestionaboutconstitutionalrights.Youareactuallyutilizingtheirhighlyethical
valuesysteminawaythatshocksthemandinitiatesatherapeuticchangeintheir
behavior.Iftheydidnotallhaveatightlyorganizedandrigidvaluesystem,yourriot

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

239/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

actwouldsimplynotwork.

ConscienceasaMetalevel

E:Themotherandmypatientattendedmydaughter'swedding,andmypatienthelped
herselftoapieceofweddingcake,althoughImadesurethatshedidnotthinkthatI
knewaboutit.

Onthedayofdeparturethemotherweighed126M>andmypatient,76M>pounds.
Beforetheyleft,mypatientaskedifIwouldpermitherbrothertotakeapictureofher
sittingonmylapinmywheelchair.Iagreedtothis,andthebrothertooktwoPolaroid
pictures.Shortlyafterherreturnhomeshehadherfatherenlargeoneofthosepictures
intoaposterforherbedroom.IthenreiteratedtomypatientthatIwasorderingher
mothertobringherbacktoArizonaifshedidnotincreaseherweightbyfivepounds

inthefirstmonththatshewashome.AsapartinggiftIgavethegirlarecipefor
cinnamonpie,whichmymotherhadinventedyearsbeforeIwasbornwhilerunninga
boardinghouseforaminingcampintheSierraNevadamountains.Whenmypatient
reachedhome,shefoundaletterfrommestatingthatIwouldliketohaveacopyof
herschoolpicturenextSeptember.Therewasalsoaveryconcisebutemphatic
statementthatthequestionofherweightwasonethatbelongedproperlytoherand
herconscience,andnobodyelseneedknowit.

R:Whenthepatientrequestedaphotoofherselfsittingonyourlap,thenatureofher
parentaltransferenceontoyoubecomesobvious.Temporarilyyoubecomeparentto
thisentirefamily.Yourpartinggiftofarecipeforcinnamonpieisactuallyakindof
posthypnoticsuggestionforacontinuationofthepleasuresineating.Yourimmediate
lettertoherwhenshereturnedhomerequestingherschoolpicturenextSeptemberis
anobviouswayofextendingyourtherapeuticinfluenceoverherforamoreextended
periodoftime,toreinforceherneweatingbehavior.Atthesametimeyouplaceher
inadoublebindbytellingherthatherweightwasamatterofherconscience,and
nobodyelseneedknowherweight.Youareagainutilizingherstrongconscienceasa
metalevelcontrollingherownbehavior,eventhoughyouhavehadahandininitiating
it.

SixMonthFoliowup

E:IreceivedtheschoolpictureinSeptember,andshewasareasonablywell
nourishedfourteenyearoldgirl.IreceivedaPolaroidpictureofherinabathingsuit,
vacationingintheBahamasatChristmastime,andsheappearedtobeavery
attractive,wellnourished,strong,athleticgirl.Istillreceivelong,wellwrittenletters
frommypatient,andthereisalwaysanindirectmentionmadeofsomethingediblein
herletters.Onthelastoccasionshestatedthatshethoughtmyideaofhavingfriends
plantatreeasawayofnotingmyseventyfifthbirthdaywasanexcellentone,and
thatshewasgoingtoplantaplumtreeinthefamilygardeninhonorofmyseventy
fifthbirthday.

Inthesummerof1974shewrotealong,detailedaccountofthefamily'smonthlong
triparoundEurope,andshesentmeaChristmaspackageofcookieswhichshesaid
wastraditionalinherfamily.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

240/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Iknowofnootherwayoftreatinganorexianervosapatientssatisfactorilyandrapidly.
Myfirstmeasure,ofcourse,istomakecleartothemotherorfather,orboth,thatthe
therapyisgoingtobesociallyoriented,thattheemotionalandsocialneedswillbethe
primeconsideration,andthatwhileImaybeseeminglyoffensive,thereisaworthy
principleinvolved.

Toinitiatethistypeoftherapyyouhavetobeyourselfasaperson.Youcannot
imitatesomebodyelse,butyouhavetodoitinyourownway.

SelectedShorterCases:ExercisesforAnalysisAnItchforLife

R:Ihaveapatientwhoappearstobeadeeptrancesubject.AssoonasIbeginan
induction,heimmediatelyfallsintoadeeptrancesodeepthathedroolsandshows
noevidenceofbeingabletogiveideomotorsignalsuntilIbegintowakehimup.He

hasanitchingproblem.Heisaverysuccessfulyoungattorneywhojustwantsto
resolvethatonepsychosomaticcomplaint.Hewantsfasttherapy.Hedoesnotwantto
foolaroundwithalotofinsight,hesays.

E:Hegoessodeeplyinatrancethatyoucan'tdoanythingwithhim.Sowhatpartof
theitchdoeshewanttokeep?

R:Youfeelthepatientisafraidtoomuchwillbetakenaway?

E:Yes,heisprotectinghimselfbygoingsodeeplyintotrance.Soyoumustnotmake
themistakeoftryingtotaketoomuchaway.He'scometoyouwiththeproblemof
hisitch,buthedoesnotwantitallremoved.

R:Howwouldyouapproachthisproblem,then?Bylettinghimhaveasmalleritch
overamorecircumscribedpartofhisbodyoralessbothersomeitch?

E:I'dsay,You'retroubledbythisitch.NaturallyIdon'tknowexactlywhatitis.I'm
certainthatyouwantyouritchforaccomplishmenttobekept.Youritchtodothings
canbekept.Infact,thereareanumberofitchesthatyouwanttokeep.Anyitchthat
youwanttokeepbesuretokeepit!Alsolet'sbesurethatyougetridofanyitchyou
arewillingtolosebutnomorethanyouarewillingtolose.

R:Whatitchescouldhepossiblywanttokeep?

E:Anitchforpoliticalpower,politicalposition,forwealth,forsex!Itchisafolk
wordwithmanyconnotationsabouthumandesiresandmotivations.

R:Isee!IfItrytotakeawayhisitch,itcouldbetakingawayanimportantaspectof
hispersonality.Heisadynamowhoworkssixteenhoursaday!

E:Hehasabigitch!Neverforgetfolklanguage!Youshouldalwaysrecognizehow
thefolklanguageisrelatedtosymptomformation.

R:That'sfascinating.Hewasactuallyreferredtomebyhisgirlfriend,whomI'malso
treatingforasimilarproblemofitching.Sheisadynamotypealso.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

241/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Shemustbeanotheritchhehas.

R:Itmaybethatthefolklanguageofitchistreatedliterallybytherighthemisphere,
whichthentranslatesitintoapsychosomaticprocess.

Folklanguageandtheunconscious;Needforanindividualizedpatientcentered
approach;Structuringatherapeuticframeofreference.

SymptomResolutionWithintheSelf

Atenyearoldgirlwasbroughttoalecturethattheseniorauthorwastopresenttoa
medicalgroup.Theparentsrequestedthatheuseherasademonstrationsubjectfor
hypnosis,sincethatwastheonlywayshewouldagreetoseeaphysician.Notingthat
thegirlwasexcessivelyclothedandthatshewaswearingglovesoverhergloves,the

seniorauthoraskedthisgirlifherparentshadstatedmatterscorrectly.Shestaredat
himintentlyforsomemomentsandthennoddedherhead.Shewastoldthatthesenior
authordidnotunderstandthesituation.Herexplanationwasmostinformativeofher
attitude:I'mafraid.Idon'twantyoutoknowwhatI'mafraidof.IfIgotoadoctor's
office,hewilltrytomakemetellorhewillmakemyparentstell.I'mnotevergoing
toletanybodyknow.Shewasinstructed,Withouttellingmewhat,justtellmehow,
soIwillknowifyouareafraidofsomethingyousee,orhear,orthinkorwhatever
youcantellme.Aftersomethoughtsheansweredbriefly:Idon'twanttogetdirty.
Thegeneralassumptionwasthattheproblemconcernedafearofcontaminationora
misophobia.

Becauseofsuchguardedbehavioronherparttheconclusionwasreachedthatit
wouldbewelltoinquireinwhatmannershewouldbewillingtoaccepttherapy.On
that,too,shehadremarkablyrestrictedideas.Herdemandwasthattherapybedone
byhypnosis(whateverthatwordmeanttoher),thattheseniorauthorwasinnoway
toknowtheinformativedetailsofherproblem,thattherapyhadtobedoneinsuch
mannerthatitwouldnotberecognizableastherapythatis,therewouldbenotalk
likeadoctorwhotake'scareofcrazypeople,justtalklikewhenyouvisitandthatto
ensurethisshewouldactasademonstrationsubjectbecauseagooddoctordoesn't
tellpeopleanythingaboutpatients,noteventhatsomeoneisapatient."(Therewasno
opportunitytoascertainhowshehaddevisedherplanorwhatideashadbeen
presentedtoherbeforemeetingtheseniorauthor.)Herparentsdidexplaininher
presencethatshehadforbiddenthemtogiveanyinformation.Shewasaskedhowthis
helpcouldbepossible,dressedasshewas,socarefully.Mostearnestlysheanswered
thatshewouldgoimmediatelytoherhotelroomanddressappropriatelyforapublic
appearanceiftheseniorauthoragreedthatshecouldhaveachairthathadnotbeensat
onthatdayandifheagreednottotouchherdress.Shewastoldthatherwisheswould
berespected.

Atthetimeofthelectureshecametothespeaker'splatformdemurely,withherarms
ratherawkwardlyheldsothatherhandsdidnottouchherdress.Notingthis,an
availablearmchairwasindicatedtoher,andshesatdownandfacedtheaudiencewith
herarmsrestingonthearmsofthechair.Adiscussionofhypnosisforchildrenwas
presented,andthentheseniorauthorturnedtohertoinducehypnosis.Thetechnique
employedwasexceedinglysimple.Thelectureandtheaudienceprovideda
backgroundofprestigeforher.Shewastoldtoextendherleftarmatshoulderlevel,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

242/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

withaslightdorsiflexionofherhandsothatshecouldseeherthumbnail.Shewas
instructedtofixatehergazeonit,toseeitseemtogetbiggerandbiggeruntilitfilled
hervisualfield,andthen,asitgrewinsize,shewastobendherelbowvery,very
slowly,bringingherhandeverclosertoherface.Asherhandcamecloserandcloser,
shewasprogressivelytogointoadeeperanddeepersleepuntilfinally,whenher
handorfingerstouchedanypartofherface,shewastobecompletelysoundasleep
withhereyesopen,seeingnothing,feelingnothing,hearingnothing,exceptthesenior
author.

Withinafewminutesshedevelopedaprofoundsomnambulistictrancestate,andthe
variousphenomenaofdeephypnosisweresystematicallydemonstrated.

Duringtheentiretimeafterfirstseeingthegirl,beforetheluncheonandduringthe
lecture,theseniorauthorhadbeenfranticallysearchingmentallyforsomekindofa

therapeuticapproach.SincethemonthwasSeptember,thethoughtofThanksgiving,
Christmas,andNewYear'sDaycametomind,andthesesuggestedthepossibilityof
abirthday.Hence,asshesatbeforetheaudienceinadeeptrance,shewasaskedifshe
wouldbewillingtotelltheseniorauthorherbirthday.Shenoddedherhead
affirmativelyandsaid,Yes.Shewasaskedtonameherbirthday,andshegavethe
dateasDecember29th.Thisdateimmediatelysuggestedafeasibleplan.

Thesimplestatementwasmadethatwhileshemighthavehopes,shedidnot,atso
earlyatimeasSeptember,knowwhatbirthdaygiftsshewouldreceive.Shecould
hopeandhope,itwasconceded,butshecouldnotpossiblyknowwhatherbirthday
presentsreallywouldbe.Yettherecouldbesomethingawfullynice,justwonderful,
somethingthatshewantedverybadly,somethingthatwouldbeveryspecial,eventoo
importantforherasapersontobejustaChristmasgift.Itwouldhavetobeabirthday
gift.Ofcourseshemightnotgetitbecauseshewouldhavetodoalotofawfulgood
thinkingsoshewouldknowwhatshesurelywantedmostofall.Andwhatmightthis
presentreallybe?Itmightbesomethingshecoulddoherself,thatshecouldlearn,
likethebestmarksofallthestudentsinherschool,orlearningsoslowlyand
carefullytoknitawholedressforherself,orhowtosewacompletedressforherself.
Butitcouldbeanyspecial,specialthingthatshewanted,wantedawfulbad.Certainly
theseniorauthorcouldn'tknowinfact,allthatheknewwasthathewasverycertain
thatherbirthdaywouldbehereleventhandthatshewouldbeleavingthelittlegirls
andbecomingthekindofabiggirlshewantedtobe.

Then,undertheguiseofmerelypresentingtotheaudiencethetopicsofhypnotic
amnesiaandposthypnoticsuggestions,aseriesofstatementswasmadetotheeffect
thatposthypnoticsuggestions,iftherewereapurposetobeserved,couldbegivento
asubjecttoeffectatotalamnesiaforalltranceeventsandexperiences;thatonecould
tellthesubjectwhowishedtoachievesomeparticulargoalofpsychologicalor
emotionalimportancethattherecouldbeaneverincreasingfeelingofconviction,of
certaintythatthedesiredachievementwouldcometopass;thatdaybyday,week
afterweek,therecouldbeamountingfeelingofunidentifiedexpectancy,afeelingof
intense,pleasurabletensiontotheeffectthatsomechangewasslowly,progressively
takingplacewithintheselfwhichwouldbecomeknownandfullyrealizedatany
chosentimeorontheoccasionofsomespecialevent.Allofthesestatementswere
presentedasseeminglyexplanatoryremarkstotheaudience,buttothesubject'sears
theywereposthypnoticsuggestions.Yetevenherfather,aprofessionalman,andher

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

243/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

mother,acollegegraduate,sittingintheaudienceexpectantlyawaitingsomedefinite
therapeuticsuggestions,didnotgraspthepointednessfortheirdaughterofwhatwas
beingsaid.Afterthelecture,withmuchconcern,thefatherintheabsenceofhis
daughter,whohadbeenratherquicklydismissedfollowingtheremarksonamnesia
andposthypnoticsuggestionandwhohadlefttheauditoriuminthecompanyofher
motheraskedworriedlywhentheseniorauthorproposedtodothetherapy.Hewas
urgentlyadmonishedthatthetherapyhadbeendone,thathemustwarnhiswifenotto
discussanythingatallaboutthelectureorthemeetingoftheseniorauthorbythe
daughter.Insteadtheyweretofollowaprogramofsilent,watchfulwaiting.

Aswaslearnedlater,onemonthafterherbirthday,thegirlgaveherfatherpermission
towritetotheseniorauthortotellhimthatshewasnolongerafraid,thatafterthe
lectureshegotafunnyfeelingeverytimeshewasafraidthatsomethingnicewas
goingtohappentoher.Thisfeelinggrewprogressivelystrongeruntilherbirthdayon

whichdaysheawakenedearlyandarousedtheentirehouseholdwithalmost
hystericalshoutsofIt'sgone,it'sgone,whereuponshehadputherselftotestinagreat
varietyofways.Hewentontoexplainthatshehadforbiddenhimtowritethenewsto
theseniorauthorbutthatwhenamonthhadelapsed,shegavepermissionbutforbade
himtogiveanydescriptionofherproblem.Sheinsistedthat,sinceitwasoverwith,
allgone,therewasnoreasoneventothinkaboutit,thattheonlyimportantitemof
newswasthefactofherrecovery.Hepleadedwithhertolethimwritemorebutshe
wasadamantuntilheraisedthequestionoftellingtheseniorauthorabitabouther
behaviorfromSeptembertoherbirthday.Afterconsiderablethoughtsheagreedbut
statedshewouldwanttoseetheaccountbeforeitwasmailed.Hebeganwiththe
aboveaccount,statingthatheandhiswifehadnotedaslowprogressivechangeinthe
girl'sbehavior.Herdepressivebehavior,heroutburstsofanger,hergeneral
impatienceandhertenseanxietiesprogressivelydiminished.Shebegancryingless
untilbyDecembershehadceasedentirelytocryatfrequentunexpectedintervals.Her
extremecautionaboutclothesdiminishedandshebeganrunningtothedoorevery
timethedoorbellrangorthepostmancameasifsheexpectedsomething.Theyalso
notedthatmoreandmorefrequentlyshewouldpickupchaircushionsandlookunder
them,feelbehindthebooksinthebookcaseasiflookingforsomething.Whenever
shewasaskedbyhersiblingswhatshewasdoing,shewouldanswer,Ohnothing,I
justthoughtmaybesomethingwasthere.

Herschoolbehavioralsochangedprogressively.Shenolongerhadviolentemotional
outburstsiftheotherchildrenaccidentallyviolatedhertaboostheyhadlearnedto
avoidherthroughdistressingexperienceeversincethesuddenonsetofhertrouble,
whichhadbeeninApriloftheyeartheseniorauthorsawher.

Threeyearslaterapertyoungladyapproachedtheseniorauthoratamedicalmeeting
andasked,Doyoureallythinkyoucanhypnotizeme?Thereplywasmade,Ithink
youcanlearntogointoatrance.Tothissheanswered,That'sjustaboutwhatyoutold
mebefore,andlaughedmerrilyastheseniorauthorscrutinizedherfaceunrecogniz
ingly.Thensheadded,IonlywearonepairofglovesnowwhenIdoweargloves.
Nowyouknowme.Theseniorauthorimmediatelyagreedandinquiredabouther
fatherandmotherandwaitedhopefullyandsilently.Shestudiedhisface,then
remarkedsoberly,No,really,Ican'ttellyouexcepttosayit'sallgoneandmany,
manythanks.Sheseemedgenuinelyregretfulnottobemoreinformative.Herfather
wasencounteredand,aftergreetings,shookhishead,statingthatthetabooof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

244/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

disclosurestillheld,butthatherrecoveryremainedapleasurablefact.

Interspersalapproach;Indirectideodynamicfocusing;Initiatingunconscious
searchesandprocesses;Expectancy;Hypnotherapywithoutthetherapistknowingthe
patient'sdynamics;Indirecthypnoticamnesiaandposthypnoticsuggestion;
associatingfearswithpositiveexpectation;Progressivetherapeuticchange.

CHAPTER7

MemoryRevivication

Case10ResolvingaTraumaticExperience

PartOne:SomnambulisticTraining,Autohypnosis,andHypnotic
Anesthesia

Mrs.F.gavebirthtoherfirstchildwithcaudalanesthesiasothatshecouldparticipate
asconsciouslyandasactivelyaspossible.Shefelt,however,thatshehadstillmissed
animportantaspectofparticipationinthebirthprocess.Forsomereasonshecould
notremembermuchofwhathadhappened.Threemonthsafterthechildwasbornshe
cametoDr.Ericksonwitharequestthatheusehypnosistohelpherrecoverher
memoriesofgivingbirthtoherchild.Dr.MarionMoore(M)wasaparticipant
observerinthissession.Theseniorauthorbeginsthisfirstsessionbyfacilitatinga
therapeuticframeofreferenceformemoryrecallasfollows.

SuggestionsforRecoveringMemories:TruismsCoveringMany
PossibilitiesofResponse

E:Touncoverthatmemoryandreturnittoyouisnotlikelytooccurallatonce.
Whatislikelytohappenisthatyou'llrememberalittlebithereandnextweeka
littlebitthere.Thefollowingweeksomemoreofthefirstpart.Thefollowing
weekitslowlybuildsupinaregularfashion.Andthensomedaythewholething
willstraightenout.

R:Youbeginwithaseriesofpsychologicaltruismsabouthowwedoinfacttendto
recovermemoriespiecebypieceovertime.Thesesuggestions,givenintheformof
educationaldirections,areactuallysogeneralthattheycovermanypossibilitiesof
response.Youaregivingherunconsciousthefreedomtoworkinitsownoptimal
manner,

F:Couldyouexplainsimplywhythemindworkslikethat?

E:It'slikeotherlearningprocesses.Whyisitthatbabiestendtolearncertain
wordsfirst,yettheyalwayslearnotherwordsindifferentorders?Inyourown
experience:Whyaretherealwayscertainsentencesinachapterthatyouclearly
rememberafterthefirstreading?Youselectcertainthings.Nexttimeyoureadit
yougetalotmore,butyourfirstreadingwashighlyselective.Youcan'tknow
andIcan'tknownobodycanknowjusthowyouaregoingtorememberany
one.[Theseniorauthorgivesanumberofexamplesofthedisorderlywaypeople

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

245/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

goaboutrecallingmemoriesineverydaylife.Heillustratesthisfurtherbyasking
hertorecallwhatshehadfordinnerlastnight,thusvalidatingwithinherown
immediateexperiencethefactthatherrecallcomesoutinapiecemeal,outof
sequenceorder.]

R:Youanswerherquestionaboutwhythemindworkslikethatwithwhatappearsto
beastraightforwardlectureabouttheprocessoflearning.Youcarefullyinserta
rhetoricalquestionortwoaboutherownearlylearningandmemoryprocessesto
evokeherownunconsciousassociations,andthenaddaseriesofexamplesofhow
memoryworksinothers.Youarenotmakinganydemandonheratthistime.You
are,rather,engagedinaprocessofideodynamicfocusing.Yourgeneraldiscussion
aboutearlylearningandmemoryisautomaticallyevokingideodynamicresponses
withinheronanunconsciouslevel.Someoftheseideodynamicprocessesmaybe
alreadyintrudingintoherconsciousnessintheformofherearlymemories,orthey
mayremainonanunconsciouslevelatthispoint.Yoursimplediscussionofthese
processes,however,tendstoevokeorprimethemforavividconsciousexperienceif
youaskforthemlaterduringtrance.Otherwise,asyouhavealreadysuggested,the
memoriesshewantsmayappearpiecebypieceovertime.

E:Yes,I'memphasizingherownnaturalmemorypatterns,ratherthanhavingher
relyonsomewayofrememberingshewasartificiallytaughtwhenIsayshecan't
knowandIcan'tknow.Noticetheinterspersedsuggestion,youaregoingto
remember."Consciouslyshedoesnothearthatdirectsuggestionbecauseher
consciousmindisfocusedonthehowthatprecedesthedirectsuggestion,youare
goingtoremember.

IndirectHypnoticFormsPreparingforTranceInduction

E:Allright,howdoyouthinkIwillinduceatranceinyou?

F:Well,Iknowthereisawaybycountingonetoten,Ibelieve.Iknowverylittle
aboutit.

R:Youbeginthistranceinductionwithanindirectformofsuggestion:thequestion,
howdoyouthinkIwillinduceatranceinyou?Thisquestionalreadyimpliesthatyou
willinducetrance;it'snowonlyaquestionofhow.Thequestiontendstoevoke
whateverunderstandingshemayhaveoftranceinductionsoyoucouldpossibly
utilizeit.Thequestionalsorespectsherlifeexperienceandindividuality;shehasan
opportunitytoexpressherknowledgeandpossiblepreferences.Assuch,thisquestion
tendstomobilizehergoodwillandanacceptancesetforwhateverfollows.

TranceInductionvianotKnowingandnotDoing:TheEarlyLearning
SetInduction:UnconsciousConditioning

E:Willyousitbackinyourchairwithyourfeetflatonthefloorandyourhands

onyourthighs.Thehandsnottouchingeachother,andjustlookat

onesinglespothere.

Youdon'tneedtotalk.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

246/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Youdon'tneedtomove.

Youdon'tevenneedtolistentome.

Yourunconsciousmindiscloseenoughtome

tohearme.

Andthat'stheonlyimportantthing.

Nowtherearevariouschanges

thattakeplaceinyou.

Yourheartisbeatingatadifferentrate.

Yourbreathinghaschanged.

Yourreflexeshavealtered.

Andyouaredoingthesamething

nowthatyoudidwhenyoufirstwenttoschool.

Youlookedatlettersof

thealphabet.

Theyseemedimpossibletolearn.

Butyoudidlearnthem.

Andyoudevelopedamentalimage

oftheletters

andthenumerals.

Andyoudevelopedamentalimageofeachoftheminvariousformsthat
stayedwithyoufortherestofyourlife.

Youhavelookedatthatonespotlongenoughsoyouhaveamentalimage,
andyoudonotknowwhereitisinyourmind.
Youcancloseyoureyes
N...O...W

E:Whensherespondsinitiallybysittingbackinherchairwithfeetflatonthefloor,
sheissayingtoherselfthatshewillgointotrance.Theseinitialadjustmentsallowher
tomakethatimportantsuggestiontoherselfratherthanmytellingher.It'salways
muchbettertohavepatientsmaketheimportantsuggestionstothemselves.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

247/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Younowembarkuponyourfavoriteformoftranceinductionviaeyefixationand
anumberofindirecthypnoticformsthatareeffectivepreciselybecausenoonecould
reallyarguewithanythingyousay.Thepatientislulledintonotknowingandnot
doing(neednottalk,move,orevenlisten)todepotentiateherconscioussets.A
dissociationisfacilitatedbyyouremphasisonherunconsciousfunctioningasasubtle
formoftheconsciousunconsciousdoublebind.

E:Notneedingtolistentomeisanindirectwayofemphasizingthatit'sherown
personalexperience,notmine.

R:Youthenratifytheprocessoftranceexperienceasanalteredstatebypointingout
howphysiologicalchangeshavetakenplace(heartbeat,breathing,andreflexes).You
concludethisinitialstageoftranceinductionwiththeearlylearningset(Erickson,
Rossi,andRossi,1976)thattendstoevokeideodynamicaspectsofearlychildhood
learning,whensomuchwasabsorbedonanautonomousorunconsciouslevel.These
earlylearningpatternsmaynowbeactivatedforlearningtranceexperience,which
mustalsoproceedonasmuchofanautonomouslevelaspossible.Youthen
precipitateeyeclosurewiththedirectsuggestiontoclosehereyesN...O...Wsaid
inaslowbutquietlyemphaticandinsistentmanner.Thisparticularvocalemphasis
nowacquiresthevalueofanunconsciousconditionedstimulus.Thenexttimeyouuse
thatlowtoneofvoicewithsimilaremphasisandinsistence,shewilltendtoenter
trancebutnotreallyknowwhy.Ifyoulaterusethewordnowtoawakenher,youwill
useaclear,quick,bright,andloudertoneofvoicethatwillacquirethevalueofa
conditionedstimulusforawakening.

TranceDeepeningviaContingencySuggestion:PauseasanIndirect
Suggestion

E:Andwitheachbreathyougodeeperandsounderinthedeep
hypnoticsleep.

[Pause]

Nowyouknowwhy

youwanttogointoatrance.

Youdonotfullyunderstandwhysomeofthatmemoryescapedyou.
[Pause]

R:Youareusingacontingencysuggestionwhenyounowfacilitatetrancedeepening
byassociatingdeepertrancewithaninevitablebehaviorbreathing.

E:Ipauseaftertellinghertogodeeperandsounder"becausethatdoestaketime.The
pauseitselfisanindirectsuggestiontodothatnow.

R:Youthenfurthermotivateherfordeepeningtrancebyremindingherofher
purposeinseekinghypnosis.Youthusutilizeherownmotivationfordeepening
trance.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

248/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

AnAssociationalNetworkFacilitatinganUnconsciousSearchforLost
Memories

E:Butthementalimagesthatyouformed

inkindergarten

arestillwithinyourmind.

Thingslongforgotten

stillhave

theirmentalimagesinyourmind.

Youcanloselearningsbythelossofbraincells.

Butyouhaven'tlostthebraincellsconcernedwithyourdelivery.

[Pause]

Andthosementalimagesbelongtoyou,

andyoucanenjoygettingthemback.

AndIthinkthebestwayofgettingthemback

isdoingsobygettingonesmalloneandbeingcompletelydelightedbyit.

Notaskingformore,

butjustenjoyingthepleasure

anddelightofthatonelittlememory.

Andthenextthingyouknow

you'llgetanotherlittlememorythatwillgiveyouagreatdealofpleasure

anddelight.

Anddoingitthisway

youwillbuildupyourpleasureandcomfortandease
veryrapidly.

Notrapidlyintimebutrapidlyinforce,
instrength.

Andthensomedayyou'llrealize

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

249/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

youreallydohaveallofit.

Andwhenoneusestheunconsciousmind,

onedoesit

attherateofspeedthatbelongstotheunconscious.
Yourunconsciousknowshowfastitcanwork,
howfastyourconsciousmindworks.

Andyourunconsciouswillknowhowtofeedthatmemorybacktoyou.

E:Inowfollowuponmyearlierremarkaboutthatmemoryescapedyoubypointing
outhowevenearliermentalimagesarestillwithinyourmind.Thisimpliesthatthe
escapedmemoryisstillwithinandavailabletoher.

R:Youarenowbuildingupanassociationalnetworkwhereinyouutilizetheearly
learningsetyouevokedearlierasananalogyorideodynamicprocessthatcould
facilitateherconsciousminddoesnotknowhowtodoit(that'swhyshecameto
therapy).Analogyand/orideodynamicprocessesthusfunctionhereasindirect
hypnoticformstofacilitatethatsearchonanunconsciouslevel.Youthenleaveitto
herunconscioustomediatetheprocessinamannerthatismostsuitedtoitsown
functioning(fastorslow,alotatonceoralittle,andsoon).

E:Iadmittoherthatthereisawayoflosingmemoriesbyalossofbraincells,butI
affirmthatisnotthecasewithher.

R:Youtherebypickupsomedoubtsshemighthaveaboutbeingabletorecoverher
memories,anddepotentiatethem.

E:WhenIaffirmthatthementalimagesbelongtoyouandyoucanenjoygetting
themback,I'mreferringbacktomyearlierremarkabouthowtheyescapedyouand
theimplicationthatshedeservestogetbackwhatbelongstoher.Ithenemphasizethe
delightonelittlememorycangiveher.

R:Thatcanreinforcehersothatshewilltendtohavemoreandfinallyachainof
recoveredmemories.

E:Somedayyou'llrealizeyouhaveallofitimpliesanoncriticalacceptanceofeach
smallbitofmemoryasitcomes.I'mattemptingtoruleoutselfcriticism.

R:Thatconsciousselfcriticismcansolimitthespontaneouscreativityofthe
unconscious.

E:Yes,Isayitbelongstotheunconsciousandtheunconsciousknowshowfastit
works.Ithencontrastthatwithhowfastyourconsciousmindworks,thereby
separatingtheconsciousandunconscious.

R:Youemphasizetheseparationofconsciousandunconscioustomakesureshe
leavesittotheunconsciousratherthantrytoworkonitwiththemorelimitedmeans
ofherconsciousprocesses.Thatistheessenceofyourhypnoticapproach:

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

250/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

depotentiatingtheconsciousmind'slimitedmeansandreinforcingunconscious
processeswiththeirgreaterpotentialities.

E:Yes,andtheseparationisstatedinsuchawaythatithastobeacceptedbecause
whatI'msayingistrue.

R:Hypnosisisnotameansofdirectlyprogrammingpeopletodothingsinoneway.
Withbillionsofneurologicalconnectionsintheminditisterriblypresumptuoustotry
toprogrampeople.

E:Itisaveryuninformedway.

R:Weareallowingtheinfinitediversityoftheunconscioustocomeforthratherthan
tryingtoprogramoneidioticideaorpointofviewwemayhave.Thereareinfinite
patternsoflearningandwaysofdoingthings.Ourapproachhelpspeopleunlearn
theirlearnedlimitations.

SurpriseandPleasuretoReinforceUnconsciousFunctioning:Safety
Suggestions

E:Manytimesinthepastyouhavebeentakenbysurprise.
Andbeforeyoucouldthinkofwhattodo,
youjustdidit

becauseyourunconsciousknew
beforeyoudid.

[Pause]

Andthisisasituationforyou

tobewillingtoletyourunconsciousmind

returnthatmemorytoyou

inthewayitknowsyoushouldgetitback.

Thereisnohurry.

Butthereisapleasureawaitingyou.
[Pause]

R:Youusesurpriseasanotherindirecthypnoticformthatwilltendtodepotentiate
thelimitationsofherconscioussetsandhabitualattitudesthatmaybeblockingher
memories.Youreinforcethisbyagainemphasizingthecentralroleofthe
unconsciousbeingallowedtoworkinitsown.Youcontinuallysuggestthatpleasure
andenjoymentwillaccompanytheunconscioussearchandprocesses.Thisisinpart
atruismandinpartameansofmotivatingherfurther.Itwouldbeasignificant
researchproblemtodetermineif,infact,suchsuggestionsforpleasureare
ideodynamicallymediatingfurtherreinforcementbyactivatingthepositivereward
centersofthelimbicsystem.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

251/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Ifthereareanyresistancesorhiddentraumaassociatedwiththesememories,I'm
usingasafetyfactorbysuggestingthatherunconsciouswillreturnthatmemoryto
youinthewayitknowsyoushouldgetitback.Ithenbalanceanegativeanda
positiveinthenextsuggestion,Thereisnohurry...thereisapleasureawaitingyou.
Thenegativeemphasizesthepositive.

SeparatingConsciousandUnconsciousProcesses:TranceAwakening
andRatification:TraininginPosthypnoticSuggestion

E:I'mgoingtohaveyouawakenshortly
foralesson

inenjoyingwhatyourunconsciouscandoforyou.
WhenIawakenyou,

Iwantyoutohaveaveryprofoundfeelingofcomfort,asifyouhadbeen
sleepingforeighthours.
Iwantyoutoenjoythat.

[Pause]

Nowyoucanstartthinking

aboutcountingbackwardfromtwentytoone,

wakinguponetwentiethofthewayateachcount.

Andyoucanbegincountingbackwardfromtwentytoone,awakeningatone.
Andbeginthecountingnow\

[PauseasMrs.Fsilentlycountstoherselfandopenshereyesandbeginsbody
reorientationintwentyseconds]

E:IemphasizethatIamgoingtoawakenherbecauseIdon'twantherunconsciousto
awakenher.It'sthejobofherunconscioustoturnupthosememories.It'smyjobin
associationwithherconsciousmindtoawakenher.Icarefullyseparatetheconscious
andunconsciousandkeepthemseparate.

R:Youbegintheprocessofawakeningherwithasubtleposthypnoticsuggestionthat
isveryeasytoaccept.Hertranceexperienceuptonowhasgiveneveryappearanceof
thedeeplycomfortable,receptivesortthatissometimesdifficulttodistinguishfrom
sleep.Youthereforeutilizethistoratifyhertranceonawakening.Whateverbehavior
thepatientsmanifestduringtrance(concentration,restlessness,emotions,etc.)canbe
usedtoratifytrancewithaposthypnoticsuggestionthatallowsthemtorespondwith
someexpressionaboutituponawakening.Thisisyourinitialapproachintrainingher
tofollowposthypnoticsuggestions.Youfinallyawakenherwiththatnow!saidinthat
brightandalerttonethatwillbecomeanunconsciouslyconditionedstimulusfor
awakening.

PosthypnoticSuggestionRatifyingTrance:ThePatient'sExperienceas
theFocusofAttention

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

252/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

F:Hi!HowwasI?Oh,IfeltlikeIwenttosleep!Youknow?LikeIwenttosleep.
Thatwasstrange.

E:Abeautifuldemonstration.

F:DidIgointoatrancelikeIshouldhave?
E:Howdoyoufeel?

F:Itwassleepyetitwasn'tsleep.Itwaslikeaborderlinetosleep.
E:Howdoyoufeelphysicallynow?

F:Muchmorerelaxed.Muchmoreatpeace.Ifeelmuchmorewithit.Iheard
yourvoice,anditbecamealittlefainter,butitwasthereinthebackground.

E:Butyouceasedtohearindividualwordsandsentences?

F:Yes,justavoice.

E:Didyouhearmycassetterecorderstartandstop?
F:No,Ididnothearanyotherthing.

R:Herfirstwordsonawakeningareanobviousresponsetoyourposthypnotic
suggestiontofeelasifshe'shadeighthoursofsleep.Sheisalsoratifyingtranceatthe
sametime.Shedescribesthecomfortable,quiet,andreceptivetypeoftrancewhere
noconsciouseffortisbeingmadeinanydirection.Thisisinsharpcontrastwiththe
deeplysearching,concentrated,andfurrowedbrowthatwascharacteristicofX's
trance(sweatingcase).ThedissociationwhereinFcouldhearthetherapist'svoicein
thebackgroundbutnottheindividualwordsandsentencesisverycharacteristicof
trance.

E:MyvoiceinthebackgroundiswhereIwantittobe.It'sinthebackgroundofher
experience.Herownexperienceisinthefocusofattention.

R:Youevokethepatients'owninnerexperiencesasthetherapeuticfactorsothatthey
don'thearirrelevantthings(suchasthecassetterecorder).Thisistheoppositeofso
manytherapistswhoinsistthatthepatientsfocusonthetherapist'swordsandviews.

E:Iaskedher,HowdoyoufeellbecauseIdidnotwantherthinking.

R:Itcanbeentirelyvalidtofeelasifshehadeighthoursofsleep,butitwouldbea
falsehoodtoaskhertoreallythinkshehadhadeighthoursofsleepwhenyouboth
knowshehasnot.Youarealwayscarefultoavoidanythingthatwouldcausedisbelief
andalossoffaithinthevalidityofwhateveryousay.

E:Ialwaysdistinguishbetweenthinkingandfeeling:Thinkingcanbevalidbutit's
limited;afeelingcanbeanythingeventhoughit'sanillusionfromarationalpointof
view.

SomnambulisticTraining:IndirectPosthypnoticSuggestionforTrance

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

253/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

InductionbyCatalepsy

E:Wouldyoulikeasurprise?

F:OKwhatisit?

[Theseniorauthorsilentlyreachesoverandtouchesherrighthandwithavery
slightguidingmotion.Herhandliftsandremainscataleptic,suspendedin
midair.]

E:Closeyoureyesandgotosleep.
Andyoucanreallyfeelpleased,
andhappy,
andrested.

E:InherfirsttranceImentionedhowshe'dbeentakenbysurprisemanytimesinthe
pastwhenherunconsciousknewsomethingbeforeshedid.Thatwasanunrecognized
posthypnoticsuggestionthatisnowbeingusedtoinducethissecondtrancewitha
surprise.

R:Thistranceinductionbycatalepsy(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi,1976)isalsoaway
ofdeepeningherhypnoticinvolvementwithanonverbalapproach.Youthendeepen
thetrancebyutilizingthesleep...happy...andrestedexperience,whichyounow
knowsheisverycapableofexperiencing.Youarebeginningsomnambulistictraining
bygivinghermanyexperiencesofenteringandawakeningfromtrance.Whatother
meanshaveyouforfacilitatingthesomnambulisticstate?

E:It'slikelearninganythingelseinlife.Thefirsttimeyoureadatextbook,youmay
notunderstandmuch;afteryou'vereadittwoorthreetimes,itbeginstomakesense.
Rehearsaloftrance,posthypnoticsuggestion,andfurtherhypnotictrainingareall
beinggivenatthesametimetodevelopsomnambulisticbehavior.

TranceAwakeningwithOpenEndedPosthypnoticSuggestion

E:Andifyouwish,

youcanleaveyourrightarmwhereitis
afteryouawaken.

Andyoucanbegincountingbackwardfromtwentytoone,awakeningatone.
Andstartthecountingnow\

[Mrs.Fawakenswithherarmremainingcatalepticinmidair.]

R:Younowgiveaveryopenendedposthypnoticsuggestiontoleaveherhandthere
ifshewishes.Thisopenendedapproachisfailsafeandtendstoevokeanacceptance
setbyallowingthepatienttoexpressherownindividuality.Itisalsoameansof
furtherassessingtowhatdegreesheiswillingandreadytoexperiencefurther
hypnoticphenomena.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

254/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

TranceRatificationviathePatient'sOwnExperience

F:Umm.Whatismyarmdoingthere?Whatisthis?[Shewithdrawsherarm
fromitscatalepticpose.]Whywasthatupintheair?

E:Doyourealizeyou'velearnedhowtogointoatrance?

F:IwasthinkingaboutthatandjustwonderingifIhavegraspedenoughtodo
thismyself.I'llgohomeandtryitunlessyou'dratherInot.

E:Idon'tanswerherquestiondirectlybutaskheraquestionthatwouldevokeher
ownexperientiallearning.

R:Yourquestionisanindirecthypnoticformthatmakeshersearchwithinand
answerherownquestionaboutherhandinamannerthattendstoratifyher
experienceoftrance.Herhanddoesnotusuallyactthatway;thereforeshemusthave
beenintrance.Herresponseofwantingtodoitathomeisnowadirect
acknowledgmentofhavingexperiencedtrance.

ThirdTrance:InductionandPosthypnoticSuggestionforLearning

E:Youneverwasteagoodskillonunimportantthings.Youuseitonlyon
importantthings.Youwouldnotusehypnoticanesthesiaforapinprick,butyou
woulduseitforchildbirth,surgery,forthepainofabrokenleg.
Nowdoyouwanttoseewhatyouhavelearned?

[Theseniorauthoragaininducesanarmcatalepsybyguidingherarmupward.
Mrs.Fblinksandcloseshereyesandevidentlygoesintoatrance.]

Andyoucanleaveyourarmthereandrecognizewhatyouhavelearned
afteryouawaken.

Andyoucanawakenbystartingcountingnow.
[Fawakenswithherarmstillcataleptic]
F:Thatis...oh!
[Fputsherarmdown.]

R:Yourespondtoherrequestforwhatamountstoautohypnotictrainingbyfirst
cautioninghertousetranceonlyonimportantthings.Why?

E:I'mforbiddinganyunimportantexperimentation.Theimportantthingistogether
memorybacknottoseeifshecanlevitateherhand.

R:Trivialexperimentationtendstoblurthedistinctionbetweenthetranceandawake
stateandlessenthedissociationbetweenthem,whichinturnlessenstheeffectiveness
oftrance.Afterinducingthecatalepsy,yougiveanimportantposthypnotic
suggestionthatshecanleaveherarmthereandrecognizewhatshelearnedafter
awakening.Shedoesinfactawakenwiththearmstillcatalepticandthenapparently
hassomeinnerrealizationandonlythenputsherarmdown.Presumablyshe'slearned
anassociationbetweenhandlevitationandtrance.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

255/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

FourthTrance:AutohypnoticTrainingviaTrainingandExpectancy

E:Nowsupposeyouraiseyourhand.

[Fliftsherhanduntilitremainsposedinbalancedtonicity(catalepsy).She
closeshereyesandevidentlyenterstrance.]

R:Inaskinghertoliftherownhandthistime,areyouplacingtranceinductionmore
underherowncontrolasastageinautohypnotictrainingl

E:Ididnottellhertogointotrance.Whenyoutellsomeonetoraiseorextendthe
hand,theyaregoingtoexpectsomething.You'reusingthatexpectancylearnedin
everydaylife.

R:Andwhatelseistheretoexpectinthissituationexcepttrance?Youhavebuiltan
associationbetweenhandlevitationandtrancesothatshecanexpectanddoes,in
fact,gointotranceentirelyonherown.Thismaylooksuperficiallylikeaprocessof
conditioning(anditmaybeinpart),butit'stheelementofexpectancyaswellasher
ownmotivationfortrancethatleadshertoexperienceithere.

E:Ididn'tdefineitastrance.Iletherownexperiencedefineit.

ImpliedDirectivetoRatifyTrance:TheCarefulStudyof
CommunicationbytheTherapist

E:Andwhenyouhaverecognizedthatyouareinagoodtrance,youcantell
yourselfaboutawakening.

[AfterafewmomentsFawakensandreorientsallonherown.]
F:Um!Myword!I'mtakensortofbysurprisebyallofthis.
E:Apleasantsurprise.

F:Themindisanunbelievableorgan,isn'tit!Thisiswonderful.

E:Allright.Nowyouknowyoucanliftyourhandandgointotrance,andwhen
youhavebeeninatrancesufficiently,yourunconsciousmindcantellyouto
awaken.

Nowyouknowyoucandothat.Youhavejusthadthatexperience.
F:Yes.

R:Younowusetheimplieddirectiveasameansofhavingherrecognize,explore,
andvalidateherowntranceexperience.Itisveryimportantinautohypnotictraining
togivethepatientsanopportunitytorecognizeandratifytheirowntrance
experiences.

E:Whenshesays,I'mtaken...bysurprise,youknowshe'sfollowingmy
pqsthypnoticsuggestionforasurprise.Thevalidityoftheexperienceisexpressedin
herownwords,Themindisanunbelievableorgan...Thisiswonderful,notmine.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

256/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Aboveall,hypnosisisexperientiallearningratherthanintellectualorabstract
knowing.

E:Iwantyoutonoticehowconnectedeverythingiseventhoughit'sallimpromptu.It

isalanguageI'velearned,acarefulstudy.IknowallthearticlesofspeechandI
knowthemeaningsofallthewords.BecauseIlearneditcarefully,Icanspeakit
easily.

R:Itseemscasualbutit'swellrehearsedinyourmind.

GeneralizingSuccessfulHypnoticExperienceForProblemSolving

E:Youcanalsoknownowthatyourunconsciouscandowhatisnecessaryabout
thatmemory.Andyoucantrustittodoitintherightway.

F:Yes.Isthereeverasituationwhenyou'reinthetranceandcannotcomeout
ofit?Likethedoorclosesandyoucannotgetitopen.[Ericksongivesexamples
illustratingthatanindividualintrancecanawakenatwillforanygoodreason.]

R:Youillustratethepotencyofherunconsciousinaconcreteway(viaenteringand
comingoutoftrance)andthenmakethisimportantgeneralizationthather
unconsciouscanalsofacilitatememoryrecall.Thatis,youimmediatelyutilizeher
successfultranceexperienceasamodelofhowtheunconsciouscancontributetoher
behaviorandhowitcanfacilitateasolutiontoherproblem.

UnconsciousProtectingtheIndividual

E:Yourunconsciousknowshowtoprotectyou.

F:Thereissomeprotection?Ithoughttheunconsciouswascompletelyopen?

[Egivesexamplesofhowtheunconsciouscanprotecttheindividual.]

E:Yourunconsciousmindknowswhatisrightandwhatisgood.Whenyouneed
protection,itwillprotectyou.

R:Itisoneofthemostcommonmisconceptionsofhypnosisthatyouloseallyour
controlandfaculties.Hypnosisisactuallyaveryselectiveformofattention.

R:Inoneofyourearliestresearchprogramsyoudemonstratedthatitwasnotpossible
toforcepeopleintodestructivebehaviorwithhypnosis(Erickson,1932).Doyoustill
believethatisso?Doestheunconsciousalwaysprotecttheperson?

E:Yes,butofteninwaysthattheconsciousminddoesnotunderstand.

SurpriseandIndirectSuggestionsforCaudalAnesthesia

[Ageneraldiscussionaboutchildbirthwithhypnosistakesplace.Inasurprise

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

257/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

moveEricksonsuddenlysuggeststhepossibilityofMrs.Fexperiencingacaudal
anesthesiaasfollows.]

E:Bytheway,didyouknowthatyoucouldproduceyourowncaudalN...O..
.W.

F:Well,thatwouldtakealotmoretimethough,wouldn'tit?

R:Thegeneraldiscussionaboutchildbirthseemsinnocentenough,butit'sactuallya
meansofstructuringanewmentalframeworkthroughindirectideodynamicfocusing;
bydiscussingchildbirthinthemostgeneraltermsherunconsciouswillautomatically
initiatemanyideodynamicprocessessheactuallyexperiencedinherrecentchildbirth
experience.Theseinclude,ofcourse,acaudalanesthesiainducedbychemicalmeans.
Herunconscioushasarecordofthisexperience,andwhenyouaskherthequestion,
didyouknowthatyoucouldproduceyourowncaudalN...O...W?youareusing
twoindirecthypnoticformstoinducetranceandinitiateanunconscioussearchand
processthatmayhelpherreexperiencehercaudalanesthesiaasahypnoticresponse:
1)N...O...Wspokenintheslow,low,insistentmannertendstoreinducetrance
asanunconsciouslyconditionedresponse;2)thequestioninitiatestheunconscious
searchandprocessesfortheideodynamicmemoriesofherchemicalcaudal
anesthesia.Thisallhappensautomatically(hypnotically)eventhoughhermind
doubts,thatwouldtakealotmoretimethough,wouldn'tit?

E:Youdidnotrecognizetheelementofsurpriseasathirdfactor.

SurpriseandVocalCuesforReinforcingAnesthesia

E:Nowyoulistentomebecauseyouaregoingtobeverysurprisedbecauseyou
can'tstandup.

[Mrs.Flooksabitstartled,andherbodyremainsperfectlystillforaboutfifteen
secondsastheseniorauthorcontinues.]

E:Youdon'tknowhowtostandup,doyou?

F:WellIdidwhenIcameinhere.

E:You'vegotacaudal!

R:Sinceshedidexpresssomedoubt,youthenreinforceyoursuggestionswithmore
emphasisonthesurpriseaspectofunconsciousfunctioning(particularlysinceshe
earlierappearedtolikethissurpriseaspect),andyourslow,low,insistentvocalcues
(initalics)whicharebynowwellassociatedwithhypnoticresponsiveness.

RemovalandRatificationofHypnoticResponse

[PauseasMrs.Fremainsmotionlessforanotherfifteenseconds,thenErickson
removesitasfollows.]

E:Nowyoucanmove!

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

258/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

F:[Shelooksabitincredulousandfinallyshiftsherlowerbodyalittle.]Isthisa
jokeoristhisreal?BecausewiththecaudaltheonlythingIcouldmovewasmy
bigtoe.

E:That'sright.Yousee,Iknowwhatacaudalis,andwhenIgiveahypnotic
suggestionthatyoucannotstandup,youlosetheabilitytouseyourlegmuscles.

F:Oh,boy!WhataneducationI'vegottentoday!

R:Youletherremainimmobileforonlyeighteenseconds.Isthatbecauseyousensed
shedoubtedherhypnoticresponseandmayhavebrokenoutofitbytestingittoo
much?

E:Youdevelopasenseforthesethings.IdoknowthatIwantedtostayawayfrom
anydisputeaboutherbigtoe.

ProtectingandFurtherRatifyingHypnoticResponsiveness:
UnrecognizedPosthypnoticSuggestionViaGeneralization

E:Nowdon'ttrytoexplainyourlearningstoanybody.Theybelongtoyouand
theyarespecial,andwhenyourchildstartsgrowingupandhurtshisarm,you
canrememberhowItoldyougently,Youcan'tstandup.Andyoucouldn't.You
cantellyourchildheisgoingtofeelallrightnow.Yousayitandyoumeanit.
Yoursincerityandyourexpectancywillcausethatchildtoacceptthesuggestion,
andhisarmwon'thurt.[Theseniorauthornowtellsastoryabouthowhetaught
aphysiciantousethesurprisetechniqueofanesthesia.]

Afarmercameintotheemergencyroomwithaseriouswound,shoutingover
andoverinastateofpanic,Doctor,you'vegottohelpme!Doctor,you'vegotto
help!Thenursetriedtogetthefarmerseated,buthejustkeptpacingbackand
forthandshouting.Finallythedoctorsaid,Shutup!Sitdown!Stophurting!I
hadtoldthedoctorhecoulddothat,andhetrieditout.Ordinarilyyoudon't
talktoapatientthatway.Thefarmerwassosurprisedthathedidsitdownand
stoppedhurting.Thatisthesurprisetechnique.

R:Youthenprotectherhypnoticlearningbycautioningheraboutlisteningtoany
doubtingviewsfromothers?

E:Yes.WhenIassociatehercurrenthypnoticlearningwithinevitablethingsthatwill
happentoherchild,I'mextendingtheselearningsintoherfutureasanunrecognized
posthypnoticsuggestion.

R:You'retherebygeneralizingherhypnoticlearningtofuturelifesituations.

E:InowgeneralizeitfurtherwiththisotherstoryofhowItaughtaphysicianthe
surprisetechniqueofanesthesia.

R:Thestoryalsotendstofurtherresolveanyinnerdoubtsshemayhaveofher
hypnoticresponseandthusratifiesitfurther.

SurprisetoInitiateAnotherUnconsciousSearch

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

259/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

M:MightIaddonethingtohermemory,asitisgoingtocomeinthepicture.
Sheisgoingtohaveoneadditionalthingthatwillbeaverydelightfulsurprise
whensherecallsit.Itwillhavesomethingtodowiththetimeofrotation(ofthe
baby'sheadduringthebirthprocess).I'lljustleaveitatthat.Itwillbethelittle
flowerontheicingofthecake.

R:Dr.Moore'ssuggestionthatthepatientwillhaveanotheradditional...very
delightfulsurpriseisafurthermeansofmotivatingherforathoroughunconscious
searchforthememoriesshewishestorecover.Wewillseethetruththissuggestion
bringsforthinthenextsession.

ConcludingDirectivesfortheUnconsciousSearch:Focusonthe
Patient'sExperience

E:Onethingmore:Yourreturningmemorieswillstart.Whattunedidyousay
thewaterbagbroke?

F:About6:40A.M.

E:Thememorieswillstartbyasuddenrecoveryofthatmemory,veryintense,
andthenyoucangoontotherest.Yousee,youweren'taskingforthebreaking
ofthewaterbag.Youareaskingforsomethinghourslater.Yourunconscious
willprobablypickoutthebreakingofthewaterandthengoon.

F:Becausethatwasthestartoftheevent?

E:Yes.

F:Irememberthatveryclearly.

[Mrs.Fnowrecountsthecircumstancesofhowherwaterbagbrokeandthe
unexpectedsuddennessofherchild'sbirth.]

E:You'vealreadyoutlinedtomeamemoryyoudidn'tknowyouhad.Andyou
aregoingtofinditout.

F:Thememoryisgoingtocomebackinpieces?

E:Idon'tknowhowyouaregoingtodoit.Youmaygetitbackhionepiece,you
maygetitbackbackwardandnottillitisalltherewillyoustraightenitout.

M:Youmightrememberthenicethingsfirst.

R:Whydidyougiveherthesefinalveryspecificsuggestionsforrecoveringher
memories?

E:I'mgivingherabasewithinherownexperience.Sheremembers6:40verywell,
andthatcanserveasafoundationfortherecallofmorememories.It'samarker
aroundwhichshecanorganizehermemories.Whenshelosthermemories,shenever
reallytriedtorestructureherrecallasI'mnowsuggesting.Whenshenowbeginsto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

260/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

recountthecircumstancesofhowherwaterbagbroke,sheisfollowingmyimplied
suggestionwhereI'vebeentellingherallalong,Thisisyourexperience.Itbelongsto
you.I'monlyabackground.Yourownexperienceistheforeground.

PartTwo:ReorganizingTraumaticLifeExperience
andMemoryRevivication

TwoweeksaftertheprecedingsessionMrs.Freturnstoreportasfollows:

F:Ihadtwoitemsthatcametomeconcerningthebirthofmychild.Inthat
twilightstatebetweenbeingawakeandasleepIrecoveredavivid,detailed
memoryIhadforgottenofbeinginthedoctor'soffice.WhyitcameupIcannot
tellyou,butitdid.Thedoctorcameinthedoorandasked,Haveyoufeltlife?
andIsaid,Yes,sinceyesterday.Thedoctorsaid,That'snormal,that'swhenyou
shouldbegintofeellife.Ithenwokeupandthought,that'sstrange,Iwonder
whyIrememberedthat?Mymindseemedtopullitoutofitsmemorybank.

[Freportsthatafewdaysaftertheaboveshehadamoreextensiverecoveryof
memorieswhileinanothertwilightstatebetweenbeingawakeandasleep.She
recallsbeinginthedeliveryroomandherdoctorbeinggownedinpreparation
forthedeliveryofherchild.Aneditedversionofherreportcontinuesas
follows.]

F:Allthedetailsofthatparticulartimeframecametome.Slowlythishasbeen
averyslowprocesslikeyousaiditwouldbe,itwasn'tovernight.Veryslowlythe
wholesequenceofthedeliverycamemoreandmoretotheforeofmyconscious
mind.Itwasveryslowoverquiteafewdays.Alittlemoresharperandalittle
moresharper.Anditallseemedtohingeontwodayswhenmyminddecidedto
pulloutcertainmemoriesorthoughtssomehow.How,Idon'tknow.Iwas
surprised.Especiallyrememberingsharplythepartaboutthedelivery.Itwasall
relatedtotherecoveryofthatearliermemoryofthevisittothedoctor'soffice,
whereheaskedaboutfeelinglife.That'swhatwasimportanttomymind.

InoticedalsoI'mmoreabletoputintoorderthethingsthatIcanvividlyrecall.
Icanputtheminorderinsteadofahodgepodgewithnothingfittingasitshould.
That'swhat'stranspiredsincethelasttimeIsawyou.

E:Andwasthereanyoneorfewmomentsduringthedeliverythatbecamevery
vivid?

F:Themostvividmemorywasofthosegreenlegcoveringsthatthedoctorwore.
Iknowmymindexaggeratedthem.Theywerehuge!

[Easkspointedquestions,whichelicitatrainofassociationssuggestingthatF's
memoryoflifeinthedoctor'sofficewasveryimportanttoherandassociated

withhermemoriesinthedeliveryroombecauselifewasastrongreassurance
againstmanynegativeandfearfulstoriesshehadbeentoldaboutthedangersof
childbirth.Thesenegativeexpectationshadbeenunfortunatelyreinforcedjust
momentsbeforethedeliveryofherchildbecausesheheardthepainfulcriesof
anotherwomanwhohadjustgivenbirthtoastillbornchild.Shecontinuesto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

261/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

recountwithindignationanumberofthehospital'sunnaturalprocedures,such
astyingherhandsdownduringthedeliveryasifsheweresomekindofwild
animalwithoutanysense,andnotpreparingherfortheepisiotomy.Shewas
shockedtohearthesnipofthedoctor'sinstrumentscuttingherfleshduringthe
episiotomy.]

SpontaneousPersonalityMaturationwithMemoryRecall

E:Doyouwanttofindifyoucanrememberbetterinthetrancethaninthe
wakingstate?

F:IthinkIwould.

E:Haveyounoticedanychangeinyourselfasapersonsincewelastsawyou?

F:Lessanxietyineveryway.Themoreuptightyoubecome,thelesswellyou
remember,anditbecomesaviciouscircle.

E:Howmucholderdoyoufeel?

F:Ifeelmyage.SometimesIfeelfifty,butusuallyIfeelprettygood.That'sa
strangequestion,isn'tit?

E:Youappearslightlyoldernow.Notinlooksbutinthesoundofyourspeech
andmanner.Thearrangementofyourideasisslightlyolder.

F:Howcome?HowcouldIageinaweek?

E:Becausethatmemorywasimportanttoyou,andyouweresouptightthat
youdidnotallowallthematuringpossibletotakeplacefromchildbirth.And
that,Ijudge,constitutessomeofthereasonforyouranxiety.

F:Oh,nowIsee.

R:Havingthatamnesiacouldretardanaturalprocessofmaturation.Someplace
withinhersheunderstoodthat,andthusherconcerntorecoverthosememories
inasclearaformaspossibletofacilitatehernaturalgrowthprocess.

E:Herunconsciousknewsomethingthatshecouldnotevendreamandreceive
consciously.NowyouseewhatImeanbyunconsciouswisdom?

F:Whichissmarter,theconsciousortheunconscious?

E:Theunconsciousismuchsmarter,wiser,andquicker.Itunderstandsbetter.

F:That'sjustfabulousisn'tit!

R:Youbeginwithaquestionaboutwhethershewouldliketofindoutifshecan
rememberbetterintrance,youobtainherassent,andthenbounceontothisother
questionabouthermorematuremanner.Youevidentlysawsomebehavioral
resistancetotranceatthispoint,soyoudelaytranceinductiontilllater.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

262/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:[Theseniorauthorrecountsclinicalexamplesofhowthenaturalprocessof
personalitymaturationcanbeblockedbytraumaticexperiencesthatresultin
amnesias,sincethelifeexperiencehasnotbeenintegrated.Thedeepermeaningof
herrequesttorecoverherlostmemoriesisnowevident:Thesememoriesare
importantforhercurrentandfuturepersonalitygrowthandmaturation.]

BodyLanguageinTranceResistance

E:Whatisyourreluctanceaboutgoingintoatrancetoday?[EnoticedthatF
hadherlegscrossed]

F:DidIshowthattoyou?Ihavenoreluctance.
E:Youhaveaminorreluctance.

F:Well,boy,youmustbeextremelyperceptive.Idon't,Whatisitthatmakes
youfeelthisway?

E:I'mnotgoingtopromptyourconsciousmind.Ipreferwhatyourunconscious
tellsme.

F:Ididnotnoticeanyreluctanceatall.Isitthemannerofspeech,mannerisms?

E:Don'ttrytoguessit.Yourunconsciousisdoingabeautifuljob.Itwillletyou
know.DOYOUWANTTOGOINTOATRANCETODAY?

F:Yes.

E:N...O...W?
F:Okay.

E:[ToR]You'veseentheanswer,haven'tyou?
R:Yes,IthinkIdo.

E:Ididn'tsay.[ToF]Uncrossyourlegsplease.[Pauseassheuncrossesherlegs
andadoptsthemoretypicalposturefortranceinduction]
N...O...W.

[PauseasF'seyesflutterandthenclose]

Gowaydeepintothetrance.

[Pause]

E:AttheendofthelastsessionDr.Mooresuggestedshewouldremembersomething
thatwouldbethelittleflowerontheicingofthecake,butshemakesnoreferenceto
itinthisinitialaccount.Sinceshehasnottriedtoidentifyit,shemaybereluctantto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

263/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

entertrancewhereshemaybefacedwithit.

R:Inoticeshealsohadherlegscrossed,whichistheoppositeofwhatyouadvise
duringtranceinduction.Shekeepsthemcrossedduringyourinitialeffortwiththe
conditionalN...O...Wanddoesn'tentertranceuntilyouaskhertouncrossthem.
ThenyourN...O...Wiseffective.

PatientDeepeningTrancewithHandLevitation

E:Andentirelyforyourself

inanobjectivefashion

revieweverythingthatyoutoldme,

toldus.

Reviewitslowly,carefully,objectively.
Andifyounoticeanyminordeficiencies,
it'sallrighttocorrectthem.

It'salsoallrightforyoutocorrectthemandnottoknowthatyouhavecorrected
them.

[PauseasF'srighthandbeginstolevitateupwardveryslowlyinabarely
perceptiblemanner]

E:Shenowdeepenshertrancebyraisingherownhandsothatshecanverbalizeit
withoutknowingit.Shetakescareofthatbymakingcertainthatshegoesdeeper.

R:Sheisprotectingherconsciousmindbygoingdeeperintotrance.Youoffered
someprotectionwithyoursuggestionthatshecouldcorrectminordeficiencies
withoutknowingit.

SelfProtectiveMechanismsoftheUnconscious

E:ButIdowantyoutoappreciatetheabilityofyourunconsciousmind.

[Pause]

Theabilityofyourunconsciousmindtoperceivethings.

Andtoreleasethemtotheconsciousmindin

whateverdetail

theunconsciousconsiders

best.

[Pause]

AndnowthereisaquestionIaskedyou.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

264/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

AndI'mgoingtotryforananswernow.

Beforetheepisiotomy,

perhapssubsequenttoit.

ButIwonderifbeforetheepisiotomy

youhadsomeoverlooked,forgottenfeelinginyourbreasts.

Youdon'tneedtotellme.

[Longpauseasherhandnowlevitatestoabouttwoinchesaboveherthighvery,
veryslowly]

Yourunconsciousseemstobe
tellingme,

notlettingyouknow.

[Longpauseashandcontinueslevitatingveryslowly]

E:AsIgetclosertoanxietyproducingmaterialdealingwiththeepisiotomyherhand
levitatesmoreasaprotectivedevicebydeepeningtrance.

R:Thisappearstobeaclearexampleoftheselfprotectiveaspectoftheunconscious
thatyoufrequentlytalkabout.Theunconsciousisdeepeningthetrancetoprotectthe
consciousmindfromknowledgeit'snotyetreadytoreceive.

E:Yes.

ACautiousOpenendedExplorationoftheTraumaticAspectsof
Memory

E:Beforeyouwentintothetrance,

yourunconsciousendeavoredtotellmethesamething.

[Longpause]

AndasfarasIcanjudge,

yourunconscioushasnotyetmadeupitsmind

whetheryoushouldknowornot.

[Pause]

AsItoldyoulasttime,

recordsaremadewiththebraincells.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

265/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Theonlywaytolosethoserecordsistolosethebraincells.

Andwhetheryoufindallthememoriesnow

orlater,

itisnotimportant.

Theonlyimportantthingis

foryourunconscioustoseetoitthatyoureally

feelcomfortable

withallthememoriesyoudohave.

[Pauseasherhandcontinuestolift,butherheadandbodyslopedownward]

Ithinkitwasasurprisetoyou

tofindout

thatyouslowedup

maturation

inyourneed

foramorevividmemory.

Yourunconscioushasdoneabeautifuljob

ofgivingyouthatmaturity.

[Pauseasherheadandbodyslopefurtherdown]

Nowslowlyliftupyourhead.
Stillhigher.

Andslowlytensethemusclesofyourback

untilyou'refinallysittingupstraightinthechair.

[Pauseassheslowlyrealignsherbody,withherhandlevitatingstillhigher]

It'sperfectlyallrightnottoknow
thataboutyourbreasts.
It'salsoperfectlyallright

torecoveritlater.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

266/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

It'sperfectlyallrightformetobemistaken.
[Pause]

Andyoucanlook
withcomfort
uponthat
shock

connectedwiththeepisiotomyandtheforceps.
Youneedhavenoregretsaboutthat.
Infact,itisdelightfultoknow

thatyoucouldhaveshock,

surprise,

andresentment

aboutyourhandsbeingtieddown.

E:I'mtakingalltheresentmentawayfromaparticularthing(theepisiotomy)andI'm
focusingitonherhandsbeingtieddown.

R:You'regivingherunconsciousaseriesofcautious,openendedsuggestionsto
permitthememoriesandunderstandingofhersituationtoproceedintheirownway
andtime.Youalsoprotectherfromanymisconceptionsyoumayhavewithyour
remarkaboutitsbeingallrightifyouaremistaken.You'regivingherownsystemthe
authoritytodeclarewhatisvalidforherownexperience.

FacilitatingnewFramesofReference
E:Andyouneedknow

thatwhateverinterpretationswereplacedbyothersupon
yourbehavior,

youknowwhatyourbehaviorreallywas.

Andthatiftheymadeaninterpretation

youwerefightingtogetaway,

you'repsychologicallyaltering

yourpsychosomaticposition

toincludeforceps

andthealteredview

ofanepisiotomy,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

267/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Andyouaresocorrectinsaying

youheardthesnip.

Whenusingthewordsnip,

let'snotdismissitwiththatword.

Youheardthecutting

likeyouhearthecuttingofcloth,

andit'saverysimilarsound,

cuttingofthickclothwithalargeshears.

R:Shewastraumatizedbynotbeingtoldaboutthepossibilityofanepisiotomyand
thusnotbeingpreparedforitemotionally.You'reheregivingaseriesofsuggestions
abouthowshecannowreorganizeherperceptionsandunderstandingofher
experience.Youdon'ttellherexactlyhow,butleaveitfairlyopenended,todevelop
analteredviewofanepisiotomy;whensheusedthewordsnipearlier,itsounded
veryfrightening.Yourreassociationofthewordtothefairlyinnocuoussoundof
cuttingcloth,whichisintherangeofpleasantexperienceformostwomen,mayhelp
herreinterpretthatsnipintoamorepleasantframeofreference.Butit'sonlyamost
generalexample.Yourbasicsuggestionisforherunconscioustoreorganizeand
reassociatethatshockingexperienceintoamorepalatableframeofreference.

DimmingIrrelevanciesandTraumaticExperience

E:Nowyourunconscious
caneliminate
theintrusion

oftheotherwoman'ssounds.

Andletthembecome

thedimsounds,

thedimmedmemories.

Yourmemorieshavethat

pleasantandbeautifulvividness

thatbelongstoyou.

Andyouneedtorealize

ineachfirstexperience,

notknowing

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

268/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

preventsusfromnoticing
eventhoughwedorecord.

[Pause]

R:You'reheregivinginterestingsuggestionsfordimmingtheirrelevancyoftheother
woman'ssoundsandwiththemthetraumaticaspectofherownfearsofthedangersof
childbirth,goingbacktotheunhappystoriesofherchildhood.Thatis,youmaybe
indirectlydimmingthosefearfulimagesofherchildhoodsothathermindcannowbe
freetodealwiththerealitiesofhercurrentadultexperience.Youthenmakean
interestingstatementofwhatmaybetheessenceofpsychologicaltrauma:Themind
recordingsomethingitdoesnotorcannotorganizebecauseit'safirstexperiencethat
isoverwhelminginsomeway.

E:Yes.

ACarefulAwakeningwithPosthypnoticSuggestionsofComfort

E:Nowstraightenupstillsomemore.

Stillmore.Stillmore.

Stillmore.Stillmore.

Evenmore.Evenmore.

Letyourheadbeslowlyuprightfully.

Andnow,

asyouslowlyawaken,
Iwantyou,
asyou

awakenabitatatime,
toincrease
abitatatime
yoursenseofcomfort
andpleasure.
Enjoylife.

[Pauseasherheadliftsandsheawakens,reorientingtoherbody]

E:Allthisratherslowandelaborateawakeningprocedureistogetherawayfromany
traumaticunconsciousmaterialthatherconsciousmindisnotyetreadytohandle.

R:Yes,andyouprotectherfurtherwithyourcasualposthypnoticsuggestionsfor
comfort...pleasure...enjoylife.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

269/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

TheReorganizationofTraumaticExperiences

F:Yousaidsomethingthatreallyhithome!Thefirstexperience!Becauseyou've
neverexperienceditbefore,youdon'tknow.It'sunknowneventhoughyour
mindrecordsthings,it'sstillunknowntoyou.Anditunfoldstoyou.Andthat's
howacertainmildshockofafirstunknownexperience.Idon'tknowwhy.
Thatreallyhithome.Thatreallystoodoutjustlikethat!Idon'tknowwhether
youintendedthis,butIsawacalendarthathasalltheimportantdatesflipping
backwardandbackward.ItflippedthroughrealfastalltheitemswhichIwould
consideradayathome.ThereallofasuddenIwasatmylivingroomtable.And

thereweremoredetailsthathadhappened.Youknow,smallthings,
conversationscametome.Morestuff(forgottenmemories)cameout.

E:That'sfine.

F:That'sweird,whydidthathappen?

E:Imerelysaidtherightwordswhichyoucouldunderstand,butunderstandin
yourway.

F:Also,allthischaosandthat'sexactlywhatitwas,chaos.Ifyoucanimagine
it,therewasonlyonenurseforthatwholeobstetricalfloor.Andshehadmeto
careforandmydoctorandthehysteriagoingonnextdoor(thestillbirth).Back
andforth,I'mtellingyou!Thephoneringing!Absolutechaos!Nowthat's
dimmed,allthatturmoil.That'swhatitwasturmoilandnoisesandIdon't
knowwhatallwasgoingonovernextdoor.That'ssortofdimmed.That'ssortof
takensecondplace.

R:Secondplacetoyourownexperiences.

F:Right.Andtheawarenessofwhatwashappeningtomeisheightened.
E:[ToR]Nowyouseeit,don'tyou?

R:Wow,that'sfantastic!Isthatcharacteristicofthisapproach:The
backgroundfadesintothebackgroundandtherelevantmatterstakeasharper
focus?

E:That'sright.Andpsychotherapywouldbemucheasierifeverybodyrealized
that.

R:Amajorfunctionofpsychotherapyistoletunimportantthingsfadeintothe
backgroundandonlytherelevantthingscometotheforeground.That'swhat
hypnotherapydoesparexcellence.

E:That'sright.AndIdidn'ttakeholdofallthesebackgroundthings.R:Youlet
thembebackground.

E:Iletherrenderthemintothebackground.Shedidn'tknowwhyithappened,
shejustknewIsaidsomethingthatreallyhitthepoint.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

270/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Thereisarecordingconsciousnessthatisindependentofaknowingand
understanding.

E:Yes.

R:Shedescribesverywelltheabsolutechaosthatledtohertraumaticexperienceand
theeffectofyoursuggestionsindimmingthatchaossoshecannowfocusona
heightenedawarenessofwhatwashappeningtoher.Thisisanexcellentexampleof

yourbasicthesisthathypnotherapycanleadtoaresynthesisandreorganizationof
unfortunatelifeexperience.

ThePersoninthePhysiologicalProcess

F:I'mcuriousandtriedtodosomeanalyzingonmyown.Whatrelationshipis
theretoyourquestionaboutfeelinginmybreasts?

E:It'snicetoknowwhatyoudounderstand.

F:[Fagainrecitesthetraumaticaspectofbeingunpreparedintellectuallyforthe
episiotomyandforceps,sothatshefeltherselfshakingbythetimeitwasover.
Theshakingactuallycontinuedforhoursbeforeitsubsidedcompletely.]

E:Dr.Moorementionedthat.Doyouwantmetotellyoutherestofthemeaning
ofthatshaking?

F:Well,thedoctorsaiditwasnormal.Idon'tknow.Youtellme,goahead.
E:Yousaid,Idon'tknow.Youtellme.

F:Well,Ijustknowwhatthedoctorsaiditwasnormal.Hesaiditwasarelease
ofallthenervoussystem.

E:Hedoesn'tevenknow!Youaredescribingitwellwithoutevenknowingwhat
youaredescribing.I'mverygladyouhadtheoriginalshaking.I'mverygladyou
repeatedit.

R:ThisiswhatDr.Moorewasreferringtoattheendofourlastsessionasthe
icingonthecake.

E:Yes.

F:Thereisamindinvolvedinallthis!

[Foutlinesherexperienceofhowhermind(thought,feelings,etc.)wasvery
muchinvolvedwiththebirthexperience.Eventhoughthecaudalanesthesiacut
offcertainsensations,therewasmuchpressureandrhythmiccontractionsshe
couldexperience.Shederidesheryoungdoctor'sviewthatitwasalljusta
physiologicalprocess.]

E:Thereisapersoninvolvedinit.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

271/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

F:Right!Apersonality,soIthinkthatallhassomethingtodowithit.It'sthe
releaseofeverything.

E:Youwantmetotellyouhowthepersonisinvolved?F:Yes.

R:Shegivesusanexcellentstatementoftheimportanceofthepersonandthetotal
personalitythatissooftenignoredinmodernmedicine.

E:It'ssodifficulttogetmanyphysicianstounderstandthis.

TheOrgasmintheBirthProcess:IndividualPatternsofKnowingand
theResolutionofTraumaticExperience

E:Thinkitoverjustalittlebit.YougotsoclosetoitthatDr.Rossihereknows
exactlywhatDr.Mooremeant.

F:[Fnowlaunchesintoanotherdetailedsetofrecoveredmemoriesofthe
dynamicsofthebirthprocess:thewaythedoctormanipulatedthebaby'sbody,
thefearsandsensationssheexperienced,andsoon.Shedescribeshowthebaby
finallycameverysuddenlyasfollows.]Whentheinfantcameout,itwaslikean
explosion!Iwasneverpreparedforthat.Ijustwasn'tprepared!Itwasaweird
feelinglikeanexplosion.Iwasdazed!Iwasabsolutelydazed!Really,that
explainsit,Iwasdazed!

E:[Etellsstoriesaboutthejoyfulshakingpeoplehaveexperiencedwhenthey
haveaccomplishedanimportantgoal.]Andthemostbeautifulorgasmawoman
canhaveiswhenshegivesbirthtoababy.

F:That'swhatIwasthinking!That'swhatIwasthinking!Itisreally!The
similarities,I'mnotkiddingyou.Thesimilaritiesbetweenthetwoarequitethe

sameandtheygohandinhandThecryofthebabywaslikemusic...Iwas

dazed,Icouldn'tbelieveit.[Fnowrecallsmanymorememoriesofhowshehad
toeducateheryoungobstetricianabouttheprocessofcarryingababy,whenit
wouldbedue,howmuchitwouldweigh,thesexofthechild,andotherfactorsin
childbirth.]Iwasalwaysonestepaheadofthatman.

E:Theunconsciousmindisverybrilliant.

F:Wasitmyunconscioustellingmethosethings?

E:That'sright.Thereareacertainnumberofwomenwhoreallydoknowthose
things,includingwhatthesexofthechildwillbe.

F:Why,myunconsciousismoretunedin,orwhat?

E:Apparentlyyouweretrainedinabeyourselfway.Youreducationnever
limitedyourbehavior.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

272/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

F:Well,it'sadowntoearthattitude.R:Thatallowsyournaturalselftobe.F:
Nopretentiousnessthatgetsinthewayofthings.

E:Suchwomenseenoneedforblockingoutfromthemselves.Sooftenyouhear
peoplesay,Iwouldn'teventhinkaboutthat,andtheydon't.

R:Suchpeopleonlylearntolimittheirperceptionsandunderstandings.

F:[Fagainlaunchesintoagoodnaturedtiradeofevenmoreindignant
memoriesabouthowshewantedtoexperienceamorenaturalchildbirthbutwas

overwhelmedbythemoderntechnologyofthehospitaldelivery.Thissession
finallyendswithageneraldiscussionoftheinterestingnaturalstagesinan
infant'sgrowththatamothercanlookforwardto.]

R:Thegoodnaturedqualityofhercriticalremarksisnowverydifferentfromthe
fearfulandtearfulfeelingsshehadwhenshefirsthintedattheminthebeginningof
hertherapy.Shehasnotonlygainedthecompletesetofmemoriesshewantedinher
originalrequestfortherapy,butshehasalsoradicallyreorganizedherperceptionand
understandingofthem.Shehaseffectivelydealtwithapsychologicaltraumathatwas
atthesourceofhermemoryproblem,andhasevenresolvedsomeoftheearly
childhoodexperiencesthatgaveher,inpart,apredispositiontothistrauma.Insteadof
beingbitteratheryoungdoctor,shecannowunderstandhimasavictimofhisown
limitededucation.Shecertainlyhasanenhancedsenseoftheworthofherown
perceptions,feelings,andthoughtsandaprofoundrespectforherownunconscious
processes.

CHAPTER8

EmotionalCoping

Case11ResolvingAffectandPhobiawithNew
FramesofReference

PartOne:DisplacingaPhobicSymptom

Mrs.Awasahighlyintelligent,attractivecomputerprogrammer,recentlymarried,
whorequestedtherapyforanairplanephobia.Shereportedthatshehadbeenina
minorairplaneaccidentinvolvingalandingthatshookherupabit.Thefrightfrom
thisexperiencequicklygeneralizedtoanyformofairturbulenceorvibrationwhena
planewasintheair.Shewasabletoenteranairplaneandeventaxialongtherunway
withnofear.Herphobia"actuallybeganthemomenttheplaneliftedofftherunway.
Shewasingreatdistresswhileairborne,butwascomfortableagainassoonasthe
planetouchedground.

Shewaseagertoexperiencehypnosisandprovedtobeaveryresponsivesubject.
BecauseofthistheseniorauthorfelthecouldrequestastrongcommitmentfromMrs.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

273/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Ainherveryfirsttherapysession.

CommitmentonaConsciousandUnconsciousLevel

E:IrequestedanabsolutecommitmentfromMrs.Athatshemustagreetodo
anythingIasked.ImadeherverbalizeapromisetodoanythingIaskedgoodorbad,
theworstorthebest.YouareawomanandIamaman.EventhoughI'mconfinedto
awheelchair,weareoftheoppositesex.If.youonlyknewhowgrudginglyshegave
thatpromise;shedidnotenjoygivingit,butshegaveit.Shethoughtaboutitfor
sevenoreightminutesandfinallysaid,nomatterwhatyoudotome,itcouldn'tbe
worsethanthatawfulfear.ThenIputherinatranceandwentthroughthewhole
thingagainuntilIgotthesamepromisewhenshewasinatrance.

R:Whydidyouhavetogetthesamecommitmentwhileawakeandintrance?

E:Unconsciouslyyoudon'thavetodowhatyouconsciouslysayyouwill.In
everydaylife,youmayacceptaninvitationfordinner,andlateryourunconsciouslets
youforgetit.

R:Sothisisanexampleofamentalmechanismineverydaylifethatcaninterfere
withtherapyunlessyoumakeprovisionforitasyoudohere.Youarousedquitean
emotionalstorminher;shewasreallyaffectedbyyourdemandforanabsolute
obedience,whichisratherunusualinmodernpsychotherapy.

E:Yes.Ittookanawfullotofcourageonherpart.NowwhydidIaskthatkindof
promise?Shesaidshehadanairplanephobia,butIknewshedidn'tbecauseitwas
onlywhentheplanewasintheairandshehadnocontroloveranythingthatshehad

fear.Aslongastheplanewasontheground,thereexistedapossibilityofgettingout.
Butupintheairshewasinastateofabsolutecommitment.

R:Soherproblemwasingivingacommitment?

E:Yes,andImadehergive,acommitment,atotalcommitment.Thethingis,you
couldn'tdotherapywithherexceptwiththeactualproblempresent.Youcan'tremove
awartunlessthepatientbringsthewartintothetherapyroom.

R:That'sthedynamicsofthesituation;youhadherreifyherfearsandbringthem
intothetherapysession.

E:That'sright,madeherfearsarealityIcouldworkon,arealityIcouldthenputin
thatchairshewassittinginandleavethere.

R:Bymakinghergiveyouatotalcommitment,youbroughtherfearoftotal
commitmentintothetherapysituation.Byhintingaboutsexbetweenyou,thetherapy
situationbecameasfearfulasherphobia.

E:That'sright,therewasabodythreatinboth.Ihadtomakeitsothatitmightall
turnoutterrible.Icouldnotgetacommitmentbyjustaskinghertoimagineherselfin
alockedroom.Ithadtobethisroom,somethingthatwouldbetrulyhorrible.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

274/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Shemighthavebeenstuckwithadirtyoldman.

E:That'sright.

R:Youhavegutstopulloffthesethings.

E:ShehadtohaveherpsychologicalproblemwithheratthetimethatItreatedher.
Shethenwentintoatrancequiteeasily.Shewasactuallycommitedtodoanything.
Shehadnofreedomofanykind.Shewasinastateoftotalcommitment.Onceinthe
trancestateIhadherboardaplaneandridethroughastorminherimagination.Itwas
sickeningtosee;sheactuallywentthroughakindofconvulsion.Itwashorribleto
watch.

ConcreteDisplacementofaSymptomOutward

E:Ilethergothroughthatplanetripwithgreatairturbulence,andthenItoldherthat
shewouldsoonfeelcomfortableandatease.Shewouldthensuddenlyfindthatall
herfearshadslidoffherontothechairshewassittingon.Shewasthenawakened.
Sheimmediatelyleapedoutofthatchair!Icalledinmywifeandtoldhertositinthe
chair.Asshestartedtothepatientyelled,No,no,don't!andphysicallypreventedmy
wifefromsitting.

R:Youweretestingthepatient?

E:No,Igaveheranopportunitytovalidatethatthechaircontainedthefears.

R:Isee!Itwasactuallyawayofhelpingherrecognizeandratifyherowntherapeutic
responseofconcretelydisplacingherfearsontothechair.

PosthypnoticSuggestionwithSupportiveCues

E:Ithengaveheradirectposthypnoticsuggestionthatshewastoactuallytakea
planetripinrealitytoDallas.Shehadgivenmeherabsolutepromise.Ithentoldher
itwouldn'tbenecessarytoseeheragainuntilaftershereturnedfromDallas.You'll
takeaplanefromthePhoenixairport.Ofcourse,you'llhavesomequestionaboutit.
WhenyougetbacktoPhoenixfromDallas,youwillhavediscoveredhowbeautifulit
istorideaplane.Youwillreallyenjoyit.WhenyoureachPhoenixairportonyour
return,callmeupandtellmehowyouenjoyedit.

Beforeterminatingthattrance,Igaveherotherposthypnoticsuggestionsasfollows:
Youhavelostyourphobiaforplanes.Infact,allyourfearsandanxietiesandhorror
aresittinginthatchairwhereyouaresitting.It'suptoyoutodecidehowlongyou
wanttosittherewiththosefears.Youshouldhaveseenhowshejumpedoutofthat
chair!

R:That'showyouawakenedher.Youdisplacedallherfearsontothechair.That's
whyshesuddenlyjumpedoutofthechair.Suchanimmediateandvividresponsewas
alsothekindoffeedbackyouneeded,toknowthatshewouldfollowyourother
posthypnoticsuggestiontoactuallytakeaplanetoDallas.

E:IthenwonderedwhatIshoulddotobesureoftheeffectivenessofthatsingle

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

275/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

trance.Ihadmydaughtertakethreepicturesofthatchaironepictureoverexposed,
onethatwasunderexposed,andonethatwasnormallyexposed.Ilabeledtheonethat
wasunderexposed,Whereyourphobiaandtroublesrestandaredissipatinginto
nothingness.Theoverexposedphoto,whereonlytheoutlineofthechairwasdarkly
visible,Ilabeled,Whereyourproblemsaresinkingintothegloomoftotaldoom.The
normalexposurewaslabeledThepermanentrestingplaceofyourproblem.Isenther
thosephotoseachinseparateenvelopes.TheyareherSt.Christopher'smedal.

R:Youmeanshecarriesthemwithherwhenshegoesonaplane?

E:Yes.Idon'tcarehoweducatedpeopleare,theystillbelieveingoodluckpieces.
Thosephotographswerehergoodluckpieces;it'sapartofeverydayliving.

R:Thosephotographsweresupportivecuesthatshecouldtakeoutofthetherapy
situationtoreinforcetheposthypnoticsuggestion.Posthypnoticsuggestiondoesnot
necessarilyfunctionbecauseanideaisdeeplyimprintedinthemindduringtrance.
Rather,posthypnoticsuggestionsarealwaysindynamicprocessandassuchrequire
outerandinnerstimuliandcuestoevokeandreinforcethem.That'swhyit'ssouseful
toassociateposthypnoticsuggestionswithsomeinevitablepatternedbehaviorthe
patientwillexperienceaftertrance.

E:Shefollowedthoseposthypnoticsuggestions,andwhenshereturnedandcalled
me,shesaidinanebullienttoneofvoice,Itwasutterlyfantastic.Thecloudbed
belowlookedsobeautifulIwishedIhadacamera.Monthslater,whenshehad

occasiontoreturntothesameroom,itwasridiculoushowsheavoidedthatchairand
preventedothersfromsittinginit.

PartTwo:ResolvinganEarlyLifeTraumaatthe
SourceofaPhobia

Theseniorauthordevelopedanumberofusefulapproachestodealingwithemotional
traumaandfacilitatinganappropriatebalancebetweenintellectualandemotional
experiencing.Themostbasicoftheseappearstobeaseparateexperienceofeach
beforetheirfinalintegration.

R:Howandwhydoyouseparatetheemotionalandintellectualaspectsofalife
experienceasatherapeuticapproach?

E:Youseparatetheemotionalandintellectualcontentbecausesooftenpeoplecannot
facethemeaningfulnessofanexperience.Peoplecryanddonotknowwhytheycry,
theyfeelsuddenlyelatedandknownotwhy.Inusingregressiontherapeuticallyyou
firstrecovertheemotionsintrancetohelpthepatientrecognizethem.Thenputthe
patientbackinatrance;thistimeleavetheemotionsburiedandlettheintellectual
contentberecognized.Thenputthembackinatranceathirdtimeandputthe
cognitiveandemotionalaspectstogetherandthenhavethemcomeoutoftrancewith
acompletememory.

R:Youhavethemexperienceemotionsandintellectseparatelyandthenputthem
togethertointegratethenowtotallyrecoveredmemory.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

276/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

SeparatingEmotionandIntellect

ToillustratethisapproachtheauthorsdecidedtocalluponMrs.A,whoseairplane
phobiawasdiscussedinPartOne.Whiletheseniorauthor'sunusualmeansof
dissociatinganddisplacingherfearshadindeedapparentlyresolvedherphobia(it
wasnowtwoyearsafterthetherapy),itwasfeltthatamoreadequateresolutioncould
beachievedbyhelpingherdevelopgreaterunderstandingofherself.Mrs.Areadily
agreedtotheideaoffurtherhypnoticworkbecauseshewasveryinterestedinthe
experienceandwaswillingtopermittaperecordingandanumberofobservers.As
thegroupassembledinErickson'sofficeaveryfriendlyandpositivelyoptimistic
moodwasgeneratedaswewereallintroducedandafewstoriesweretoldabouthow
Ericksonhadhelpedoneoranotherofuswithhypnosis.Rapport,response
attentiveness,andaninterestingtherapeuticframeofreferencewerethusfacilitatedin
Mrs.Aasshebaskedinthelightofhightherapeuticexpectation,Thiswasan
illustrationofhowEricksonlikestouseanaudiencetogenerateatherapeuticmilieu.
Ahushgraduallyfellovertheroomasallofourattentionwasdirectedtowardher.
Ericksonbeginswiththecountinginductionwithwhichhehadpreviouslytrained
Mrs.A.

TranceInductionandFacilitatingPosthypnoticSuggestion
E:One,five,ten,fifteen,twenty!

[Pause]

Verydeeplyintrance.

[PauseasMrs.Acloseshereyesandbecomesquietlyimmobilewitharelaxed
face.Sheevidentlyhasenteredadeeptranceveryquickly.]

E:NowA,afteryouawakenIwillaskyou

casually,

Areyouawake?

Inamomentyouwillsayyes,

andasyousayyes,

therewillcomeoveryou

allthehorriblefeelingthatyouexperienced

Sometime

beforetheageoften,
feelingsaboutsomething
thatyoucantalkabout
tostrangers,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

277/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

but

you'llhavejustthefeelings.

Youwon'tknowwhatthethingis

thatcausedthosefeelings.

Youwilljustfeelfeelings,

andyouwon'tknowwhatismakingyou

feelsomiserable.

Andyouwilltellus

howmiserableyoufeel.

[Pause]

Getafirmgriponthosehorriblefeelings.
Youwon'tknowaboutthemuntilafter
Iaskifyouareawake
andyousay,yes,

andatthatmomentthosefeelingswillhityouhard.
Doyouunderstandnow?

A:Umhum.

E:Allright,twenty,fifteen,ten,nine,eight,seven,six,five,four,three,two,one.

R:Thisisabasicapproachforfacilitatingposthypnoticsuggestion.Yourequesta
simpleresponseliketheansweryesthatisalmostinevitableinresponsetoyour
question,Areyouawake?Youthenassociatethatveryeasyresponsewithanother,
vastlymorecomplexanddifficultposthypnoticsuggestiontoreexperiencehorrible
feelingsbeforetheageoftenwithoutanyawarenessofthecauseofthefeelings.You
arefacilitatingtherelivingofanoldemotionbydissociatingitfromanawarenessof
thecauseoftheemotion.Theeasyyesresponsetendstoinitiateanacceptanceset

(Erickson,Rossi,andRossi1976)forcarryingoutthemoredifficultposthypnotic
suggestionthatistofollow.Ifyouhadnoticedthataparticularpatienttendedtonod
herheadyesineverydaylife,youwouldutilizethatheadnoddingasavehicleto
facilitatethemoredifficultposthypnoticsuggestion.Byrequestingresponsesthatare
alreadyhighinapatient'sresponsehierarchy,itismorelikelythatyouwillbe
successfulinfacilitatinganinitialposthypnoticresponse,andmostimportantly,you
therebyinitiateanacceptancesetforthemoredifficultposthypnoticsuggestions
associatedwithit.

E:Yes,that'sabeautifulwording.NoticeIemphasizethatsheistogetafirmgripon
thosefeelings.ThenwhenIcountdownIskipfromtwentytofifteentoten,butthen

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

278/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

giveanimpressivecountdownfromtentoonebysingledigitsasshegetsagripon
thefeelingsthataretoemerge.

TranceReinductionWhenCarryingOutPosthypnoticSuggestions
A:Oh,Ilikeit.Itissorestful.Ididn'twantyoutocount.
E:Areyouawakenow?
A:Yes.

[Mrs.Alooksabitstartledandbecomesquietlyselfpreoccupiedforamoment
ortwo.Herfacefrowns,andsheobviouslybeginstoexperiencesomeinternal
stress.]

R:Herslightstartleandquietselfpreoccupationareactuallyindicationsofthe
momentarydevelopmentofanothertranceasshebeginstocarryouttheposthypnotic
suggestion(EricksonandErickson,1941).Althoughtalkingandactingasifshewere
awake,sheisprobablyinwhatyoudefineasasomnambulisticstateasshe
experiencesthefearfulemotionsrecordedinthenextsection.

EmotionalExperienceWithoutIntellectualInsight

E:What'sthematter,A?

A:Idon'tknow,Idon'twanttolook.ThereissomethingIdon'twanttosee.
Idon'tknowwhat,butIdon'tknowwhattotellyou.

E:Talkaboutyourfeeling.Tellmewhatyouarefeeling.

A:No,I'mafraid.ThereissomethingtherethatIdon'twanttosee,andIdon't
wanttolook.I'mafraidofwhatitis,andifIlook..Idon'twanttolook.

E:Youdon'tneedtolook.Justtalktomeaboutit.

A:Itisjustfear.I,Iwanttoforget.ItwillgoawayifIdon'tlook,OK?

E:Idon'tthinkthefeelingswillgoaway.

A:Yeah,because...becauseI'mjustafraid.ThereissomethingI...Idon't
knowwhattotellyouaboutit,butIamafraid,I'mafraid.

R:Mrs.Aisgenuinelyfrightenedandonlyapparentlyawakefollowingyour
posthypnoticsuggestiontoexperienceahorriblefeelingwithoutknowingwhysheis
experiencingit.Youhavethusaccomplishedtheinitialpartofthishypnotherapeutic
approachbyhavingherfirstexperiencethesefeelingsseparatefromtheirsourceand
intellectualcontent.Younowreleaseherbycountingtotwentyagaintoreestablisha
comfortablestateoftrance.

ReinducingTranceComfortWithPosthypnoticSuggestionfor
IntellectualInsight:ProtectingPatientsinTrance:AFeelingApproach

E:One,five,ten,fifteen,twenty.
Nowyoufeelcomfortable.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

279/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

[Pause]

Andyouwillagain,
now,

can'tyou?

A:I'mbeginningto.

E:That'sright.

[Pause]

NowthenexttimeIawakenyou,A,Ihaveadifferentkindoftaskforyou.
WhennextIaskyoucasuallyifyouareawake,
youwillsay'yes,'
andthen

therewillcometoyourmind
somethingthatcouldhavescaredyou
yearsago.

Butyouwon'tfeelanyemotionsatall,
isthatallright?

Itwon'tscareyou,isthatallright?

A:Iwillremember,butIwon'tbeafraid?

E:You'lljustremember,Yes,whenIwasalittlekidIwasscared.That'sthe
wayyou'llrememberit.Youwillbeabletolaughaboutitandtakeanadult
person'sview.I'llbecautious,

A,

tomakecertain

whetherornotyoushould

identifyit,

OK?

A:Allright.

E:IaskforherapprovaltoviewthepastwhenIask,Isthatallright?Idescribewhat
sheistodoandgetheragreement.Eachpauseinmyfinalsentenceisanindependent
messagesayingthatIwillprotecther.Eachpartisaseparatereassurance.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

280/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Eachphraseisareassuringsuggestioninitselfwithintheoverallsentenceabout
beingcautiousforhersake.

R:AfterherpreviousexperienceofanuncomfortableemotionMrs.Aisrather
hesitantaboutgoingon.It'sthereforeimportantthatyoureassureherbylettingher
knowshewillbeabletolaughatitfromanadultperson'spointofview.Most
patientsarevulnerableintrance;theyneedthetherapist'sprotection.Thereforeyou
letherknowthatyouwillbecautiousandmakecertainitwillbeOKforherto
identifyherexperience.Ifitwasabouttobecometraumatic,ornotthesortofmaterial
shecouldsharewithstrangers,forexample,youcouldeasilyshutitoffbydistracting
her,tellinghertostop,orgivingherthecountingsignaltoreentertrance.

E:Myapproachisverycasualevenwiththisdifficultmaterial,andthatmakesit
easierforher.It'shardtosaynotoacasualeasygoingapproach.

R:Thisillustrateshowyouoftenworkonafeelinglevel:Intellectuallyapersonmight
wanttosayno,butthatseemsridiculousonafeelinglevelwhereyouaresocasual,
warm,andpermissive.Itfeelswrongtosayno!

TranceAwakeningwithIntellectualInsight:TheTransformationof
PainfulAffect:AGenuineAgeRegressionwithAdultPerspective

E:Twenty,fifteen,ten,five,four,three,two,one.
Notarestfultrance.

A:Notasrestfulasbefore.

E:No?

A:No.I,Ifeelanapprehension.Idon'tknowwhy,andIdon'tknowwhatis
causingit,butIfeelapprehensive.

E:WanttoaskDr.Rossi?Areyouawakeyet?

A:Yes.

[PauseasMrs.Alooksabitpuzzled.Sheisagainapparentlyexperiencinga
momentarytranceasshebeginstocarryouttheposthypnoticsuggestionfor
recallwithoutemotions]

E:Woulditbeallrighttotellus?

A:Whatisinmymindisavoid.Itis,um,avoid,Idon'tknowhowtodescribeit,
butitislikelookingat,un...

Oh...yes!Fantastic!Iknowwhatitis!ShallIdescribethescenetoyou?
E:Oh,yes!

A:Oh,yes,itisabridge.DoyourememberwhenItoldyoubeforeIwasafraid
ofbridges?Thesceneiscomingupabridge...asyoucomeupyouseenothing

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

281/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ofreference,butavoid.ThecarorwhateverIamin,anditmustbeacar,I'm
sittinginitinsuchawaythatIseenothing.Idon'tseethesuperstructureofa
bridgeifthereisany,orthehoodofacar.Iamlookingoutandseenothingallof
asudden.WhereIwaslookingatbeforeandseeingtreesorgrassorsomething,
pasture,thatIcanrelateto.AllofasuddenthereisavoidandIseenothingto
givereference.Anditisabridge.Iknowwherethebridgeis.Iamawareof
wherethisbridgeis.Ican'trelatetohowoldIamorwhomIamwithor
anythinglikethat.But,yeah,OK.

E:Tellmesomethingaboutthebridge.

A:Whereisit?Well,itisonthewaytomygrandparentsinnorthernCalifornia.
Anditisabridgethathasaverysteepinclinesothatasyouaredrivingup,you
thenreachthetopandyoubreakoversothatasyouaregoingup,youarenot
awareofanything,thereisn'tanything.Youcan'tseeanythingtorelatetounless
youarelookingoutattheside,butifyouarelookingstraightahead,thereis
nothinguntilyoubreakoverontothetopofthebridge.

E:Howsoondoyouthinkyouwilldiscoveryourage?

A:Idon'tknowbecauseIhavegoneonthatbridgemany,manytimesasachild.
Eightcomesintomymind,butIdon'tknowwhyeight.BecauseIcouldhave
beenanyage,goingoverthebridgesomanytimes,notjustonetime.

E:Isthatsufficient,Ernie[R]?

R:Yes,Ithinkso.

R:Whereasbeforeshewasgreatlydistressedwiththeemotionalcomponentofthe
experience,shenowappearstobefascinatedandevenabitelated(Fantastic!)when
sherecallsthescenewithintellectualinsight.Affectisthusnotcompletelyeliminated
inthissecondphase,whenyousupposedlyhavethepatientdiscovertheintellectual
componentoftheexperiencealone.Ailnegativeaffecthascertainlybeendissociated
fromthememory,however,andshedoesindeedexperienceitwithanadultperson's
view,asyousuggested.Thefearandanxietysheexperiencedasachildhavebeen
replacedbythecuriosityandfascinationshecanfeelabouttheexperienceasanadult.

E:InmyprevioussessionwithherIsaidtheviewfromaplanewouldbefantastic,
andsheusesthatwordhere.

R:Thissuggeststhatthereisatransformativeaspectinherhypnoticworkthatis
restructuringapreviouslypainfulaffectintoanewframeofreferencewhereitcanbe
experiencedasfantastic!

E:Whenshespeaksofcar...Iamin...I'msittinginitinsuchawaythatIsee
nothing...itisinthepresenttense,whichindicatessheisreallythere.

R:Thataspectwasagenuineageregressioninwhichshewasactuallyrelivingan
earlylifeexperienceratherthansimplyrememberingit.

E:ThenIaskhertotellmeaboutthebridge,andsheexperiencesatransformationof

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

282/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thetraumaintoamoreadultrecollection.Firstshewasanadultbeingachildreliving
apastexperience,thensheisanadultandunderstandsit.Sheisintwoidentities
simultaneously;childandadultareworkingtogether,becomingintegrated.

TranceReinductionandComfort

E:One,five,ten,fifteen,twenty.

Nowyouhavedonebeautifulworksofartoday,A.Verygoodwork.Now
thistime

Iamgoingtoawakenyou,andIwantyoutofeelreallycomfortable,very

rested,veryrelaxed,

feelingasifyouhadeighthoursofrest.

Youwillbesurprisedwhenyoulookattheclockandnoticethetime.
AndagainI'llaskifyouareawake.
Immediatelyafter
Youwillsayyes.

R:Younowprepareherforthefinaltaskofintegratingtheemotionalandintellectual
aspectsoftheexperiencebysuggestingthatshewillfirstfeelcomfortableandrelaxed
asifshe'shadeighthoursofrest.Thisisanotherexampleofgivinganeasyandmuch
desiredposthypnoticsuggestiontoinitiateanacceptancesetforthemoredifficult
posthypnoticsuggestionyouwillassociatewithit.It'salsoawayofrewardingand
reinforcingherfortheworkshe'salreadydonewhenyoutellhershe'sdonebeautiful
worksofartoday,A.Verygoodwork.

E:Suggestingeighthoursofrestalsoutilizeswhatweexperienceineverydaylife:
Youfrequentlysleeponsomethinginordertodealwithit.

PosthypnoticSuggestionforIntegratingEmotionsandIntellect,Child
andAdult

E:Theentireepisodewillflashinyourmind
withutter...

withutterandcompletevividness.
Nowdidyouunderstandmywords,A?

[Pause]

A:Um?

E:Yourfirstlookattheclock.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

283/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

You'llprobablybeastonishedthatitisnotlater,

alotlater,

thanthis.

Youcanfeelsorested.Tellhowrestedandcomfortableyoufeel,howmuch

youenjoyedthistrancestate.

AndthenIaskyou

ifyouareawake,

andyouwillsayyes,

thenimmediately

thisentireepisode

willflash

intoyourmindveryvividly.
Isthatallright?

[Pause]

A:Um.Lasttime

yousaidcomplete.

Yousaidcompleteandvividly.

E:That'sright.
Completely,

intellectuallyandemotionally
complete.

Sothatyouwillknowwhatyourfeelingswerethen
and

everythingabouthowyoufeltthen,
evenknowingyourselfthen.

A:I'mconfused.

E:Itisperfectlyallright,A.

A:Iwillknowmyfeelings,orIwillfeelmyfeelings?
E:Youwillrecallyourfeelings.[Pause]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

284/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Justaslongagoandbarefootonthefirstdayofspring,Ifeltsogoodtobe
barefoot,Ijumpedandlandedonsomebrokenglass.Icanrecallmyagonized
shriekofpainandmybitterfeelingofdisappointmentthatitwouldbeaweek
beforeIcouldgobarefootagain.ButIcanbeamusedbythatnow.Itdidhurt
andIrecallhowithurt.Icanfeelitinmyheelrightnow,myrightheel.
Icanlaughaboutit,andthatbitterfeelingdisappears.Icangobarefoot
tomorrowandIjustpersuadedmymothertoletmegobarefootthatevening.
Icanbeamusedbyitnow.Youwillrecallyourepisode,youcandescribeitfully
anddescribethefeelingsyouhadthen.Nowdoyouunderstand?

A:Umhum.

R:You'renowmakinganefforttohelpherintegrateemotionsandintellect,childand
adult.Whydoyouresorttogivingherapersonalexampleofwhatyoumean?

E:IcanalwaysshowyouwhatImeanratherthanexplainit.Canyoudescribeafishy
handshake?

R:Iwonder,too,ifsuchconcrete,imagisticillustrationsmakebettercontactwiththe
righthemisphere,wheresuchpersonalityintegrationsmaybetakingplace(Rossi,
1977).Suchconcreteillustrationsalsoevokeideodynamicprocessesmuchmore
readilythanabstractandintellectualformulations.Fromthispointofviewitcanbe
regardedasmultiplelevelcommunication.

IntegratingEmotionalandIntellectualExperiencefromanAdult's
Perspective:ReassociatingandReorganizingInnerExperience

E:Allright.

Twenty,fifteen,ten,five,four,three,two,one.
Feelingcomfortable?

A:Um?

E:Feelingcomfortable?

A:IfeellikeIamwakingup.

E:Howmuchdoyoufeelyouhaveslept?

A:IfeellikeIhavebeenasleepforalongtime.Likeitistimetogetup.Oh,
dear!

E:Areyouawakenow?
A:Yes.Um.Um.

[PauseasMrs.Aappearslostinthought.Sheisagainapparentlyexperiencinga
momentarytranceasshebeginstocarryouttheposthypnoticsuggestion.]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

285/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Whatarethoseurn'sabout?Tellitfast.

A:Oh,therearesomanythingstotell!ItisacloudydayandIaminacarwith
myparentsandmysister.Idon'tknowwheremybrotheris.I'mwearing,Ican't
thinkofwhatIamwearing.I'mwearingacottonpinaforelikedress,butIdon't
understandwhyIamwearingthatdresswhenitissocloudyoutside.Wewere
goingtomygrandmother'sandmygrandfather'sanditis,howdidIknowit
wasSunday?It'sSunday,howcouldItell?

Iguessbecausemyfatherisnotworking,buthedoesworkonSaturdays,butit
isSunday.ItisSundayafternoon.Wearegoingovertomygrandmother'sand

grandfather'sandmygrandmotherhaspromisedmechickennoodlesoupfor
lunch.Andweareinabluecar.Iwonderifmyparentshadabluecar?They
musthave.Thisislikeanewsreelinmymind.Eventsarehappeninginmymind.

Wearedrivingdowntheroad,andit'stheSacramentoRiverBridge.Mymother
isunhappyaboutsomething,andsheaskedmetositbackintheseat.Idon't
knowwhy,maybeDianeandIwereplaying.I'msittingbackintheseatandI'm
lookingoutstraightahead.No,Ihadgottenupagainandamholdingontothe
backoftheseat,lookingoutthefrontwindow,andwearedrivingandthereis
nothing.

AndIclosemyeyesbecauseIcouldn'tseeanything,Iwasn'tawareofanything
torelateto.Iwasawareofbouncingoverandknowingthatifwemadethenext
bumpI'dseesomething.Andthat'sall.

It'slikeanewsreelinmymind.IfIjustwaitlongenough,somemorewill
happen.Iopenedmyeyeswhenwewentoverthesecondbump.

E:Howoldareyou?

A:Iseemtobeeight.Forsomereasoneightcomesintomymind.Ifeeleightbut
Ican'tbeeight,butthedressthatIamwearingwouldbeadressthatIwould
wearatthatage,Ithink.ButIdon'tseemybrother.Idon'tknowwheremy
brotheris.IfIameight,mybrothershouldbefive,butIdon'tknowwheremy
brotheris,butmysisteristhere.

Eightcomestomymind,butIcan'ttellyouwhy.MaybebecauseIsaiditearlier,
thatIfelteight,butIdon'tknowwhy.Thereisnofear,though.Iamnotafraid
ofanything.

E:Howwasit?

R:Itseemsveryfine.

A:Howwaswhat?

R:Yourworkindealingwiththeseexperiences.

A:It'snotfrighteninganymore.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

286/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Thereisn'tthefear.

E:Nowitwillbeallrightforyoutorememberthefear.
Youjustshowedittousafewminutesago.

A:Oh,itseemsveryinnocentnow.ThereisnothingthatIamafraidof.
E:Afewminutesago,howdidyoufeel?

A:WhywasIafraid?NowI'mnot,itdoesn'tfrightenmeintheleast.Itwasjust
anincidentasachild.

Iwasafraid,though,Iremember,andthat'swhyIwasveryafraid.
E:Whathappenedtoherfear?
R:IwishIknew.

R:Integratingtheemotionalandintellectualaspectsoftheexperiencefromanadult's
perspectivenowenableshertorelivetheexperiencewithoutthechild'sfear.Thisis
anemotionallycorrectiveapproachthathelpsthepatientreassociateandreorganize
herinnerexperienceinatherapeuticmanner.Onceacertainamountofcatharsisof
thetraumaticaspectsoftheexperiencetakesplace(inthefirstphaseofthe
reexperiencingtheemotionswithouttheintellectualcomponent),theentire
experiencecanbeintegratedandworkedthroughfromanewadultperspectivein
anotherrelativelybrieftrance.It'sinterestingthatunderthisthirdtrancecondition,
wheresheistoreexperienceboththeemotionalandintellectualaspectsofthe
experience,sherecallsmuchmoredetailthanwitheitheralone.Thatthisissomething
morethanasimplerecallofalostmemoryisindicatedbythefactthatshereportsit
asanewsreelinmymind,whereinitseemedtocometoherautonomouslyasan
unconsciousprocessunfoldingitselfspontaneously,ratherthanalaboredeffortofthe
consciousmindtoremember.

E:Shewasabletorestructureherearlylifeexperiencetoremovethepainassociated
withit.Eventhoughshedidrestructurethisearlylifeexperience,youcanalways,
again,separatethatlifeexperienceintoitsemotionalandintellectualcomponentsand
haveherreexperiencethechild'spainfulemotion.

R:Whatdoyoufeelisactuallyinvolvedwhenyouspeakofrestructuringalife
experience?Dowesimplygiveitnewassociativeconnectionssoitisnotisolatedina
pathogenicmanner?Whatisrestructured?

E:[Theseniorauthorgivestheexampleofapatientovercominghisfearof
swimming.Thepatientreportedthatifhejustwadeshalfwayintothewater,ashe
usedto,hecanfeeltheoldfearsomewhatwithin.Whenhetakeshisnewpositionand
swims,however,theoldfeardisappears.Apotentialfortheoldfearremains,butnew
activitiescangenerateemotionsthatcanreplaceorrestructureitinmodificationsof
theoldsituation.]

R:Inrestructuringanoldlifeexperiencewearedevelopingnewassociative
pathways,facilitatingnewresponsestotheoldfearprovokinglifesituation.Theold
memoriesandpathwaysarestillthere.Theywillalwaysbethere.

E:Wearegivingthepatientnewpossibilitiesandwearetakingawaytheundesirable

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

287/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

qualities.Usuallyit'sbesttohavepatientsexperiencetheemotionfirstandlaterthe
intellectual,becauseaftertheyhaveexperiencedtheemotionssostrongly,theyhavea
needtogettheintellectualsideofit.

R:Isee,thisdissociativeapproachenablesemotiontosurfacemoreeasilyandthen
stronglymotivatesthemtogettheintellectual.Doyouhaveanyothermeansof
dissociatingexperienceotherthanthisseparationofemotionsandintellect?

E:Yes.Youcanhavethepatientrecallonesinglefacetoftheemotionalexperience
thenanunrelatedintellectualfacet,likeajigsawpuzzle.Theentireexperiencecanbe
recovered,thewholemeaningcanbeputtogether,onlywhenthelastpieceisputinto
place.

PartThree:FacilitatingLearning:DevelopingNew
FramesofReference

AfteraleisurelydiscussionoftheforegoingeventsbythegroupMrs.Adescribed
someofhercurrentproblemswithacourseofacademicstudythatmadegreat
demandsuponhertime.Theseniorauthornowdecidestoutilizehermotivationfor
moreefficientstudyhabitstofacilitateherlearningprocesses.Heinduceshypnosisin
hisusualfashionwithherandcontinues.

TheUtilizationApproach

E:ThealterationsI'mgoingtosuggest,thefirstisthis:

homeworkistedious,tiring,exhausting.Ithink

homework

carrieswithit

asenseofsomething

welldone,wellaccomplished,

andthefeeling

itisgoingtobedone,

isbeingdone,

andhasbeencompletedwillcarrywithit

averypartialfeeling

thatwillenableyouto

concentratebetter,

learnmorerapidly,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

288/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

andenjoytheentireprocess.

[Mrs.Anodsherheadyesintherapid,abbreviatedmannerthatischaracteristic
ofaconsciousintentionalprocess]

Youthinkitover,

don'tnodorshakeyourheadyet,

thinkitover.

E:Youdon'twantthepatienttoagreewithyoutoosoon.It'snicetothinkitover
beforeyoubuyahouse.

R:Asishighlycharacteristicofyourstyle,youbeginbyfirstacceptingherown
frameofreference,homeworkistedious.Thisopensanacceptanceset.Youthenadd
yourinitialsuggestion,homeworkcarrieswithitasenseofsomethingwelldone."

Yoursuggestionisatruismanyonewouldhavetoagreewithitandthatfurther
establishestheacceptanceset.Tothisyoufinallyaddtheeasytoacceptsuggestion,a
verypartialfeelingthatwillenableyoutoconcentratebetter,learnmorerapidly,and
enjoytheentireprocess.Youdon'tdirectlycommandher,yousimplystatetruisms
aboutbetterlearningandassociatethemwithherowninnerexperienceinsuchaway
thatshecannotdenythem.Sheacceptsthemasvalidforherownexperienceandthus
shereceivesandacceptsyoursuggestions.Youdonotaddanythingnewwiththese
suggestions.Ratheryouevokeandutilizeherownreallifeexperience;anyonewho
hasever,atanytime,donetheirhomework(oranyotherkindoflearning)usuallyhas
hadafeelingofaccomplishment,andthisisinvariablyassociatedwithaverypartial
feelingthattheycanlearnevenbettersometimeorother.Yoursuggestionsabout
betterconcentrationandmorerapidlearningthusreinforceaspectsofherown
experiencewhichyouhaveevoked.You(1)establishanacceptancesetandthen(2)
evokeaspectsofherlifeexperiencethatyoucanthen(3)utilizetohelpresolveher
currentproblem.Thisisatypicalexampleofyourutilizationapproachtotherapeutic
suggestion.Sheacceptsthissoquicklywithanoddingofherheadthatyoumusttell
hertothinkitover.Youwanttoletherunconscioushaveenoughtimeforathorough
searchoftherelevantinnerprocessesthatcanimplementthesesuggestions.

E:Iletherhavealittletasteofagoodthingwithaverypartialfeeling,soshewill
soontellherselfthatshewantsthewholething.It'sacommonlifeexperiencetotake
atasteandthenwantthewholething.Amothersays,Justtakealittlebite.Butour
patientdidn'tevenhearmesay,Justtakealittlebite."

GeneralizingaLearningFrameofReferencetoRestructureaPhobic
Problem

E:Theotheralterationis

thisquestionofflying.

Theinitialapprehension

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

289/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thatcanbe

transformedpossibly

into

asense

ofthetask,

theresponsibility

ofdoingthetask.

Onecanalwaysbeapprehensive

aboutatask.

Youalwaysknowthatyoucanfail,
thenyouarehooked
andrealize

you'vedonethissortofthingbefore.Youhaveenjoyeditbeforeandyoucan
actuallyenjoystartingoutonnewassignments.Insteadofboredomthereisa
time

whenyouenjoybeingwithinyourbody,
afeelingofresting,
feelingofcomfort
whileyourmind'seye

isexploring

thethingsthatreallygiveyoupleasure.
[Pause]

R:Younowgeneralizethelearningframeofreferenceyou'vejustdevelopedtohelp
restructureherunderstandingofherfearofflyingwhichyouhelpedherwithsome
timeago.Thisissomethingofasurprise;shecouldnothaveknownyouweregoing
tobringupthisoldproblemagainforanewandmoreadequateresolution.

E:Yes,I'mnowtransformingthephobiaproblembyplacingitintoaframeof
referenceofdealingwithintellectualtasks,wheresheisreallyanexpert.

R:Althoughshe'saskingforhelpasastudent,sheis,relativelyspeaking,anexpertin
solvingintellectualtasks.

E:Shehasaverystrongdesiretodogoodwork.Sheisstrongthere,soI'musingthat
motivationtodealwiththeplacewheresheisweakherairplanephobia.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

290/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

IllustratingOpenandFlexibleFramesofReference

E:IknowflyingtoFrance
atnight,

theplanewascrowded

Iwasphysicallyratheruncomfortableatthetime.

Iknewwe'darriveinFranceatbreakfasttime,

andwe'dbarelygetourdinnereaten

beforewewerehandedourbreakfast.

Butthroughoutthatflight

Ikeptthinkingabout

myboyhoodconcepts

ofwhattheoceanwas.

Itsunlimitedspan,

andhowthatcontrasts

withmycurrentunderstanding.

Ithoughtaboutallofmydaydreamsasaboy

andhowtheyhadevolved.

[Pause]

R:Younowintroduceapairofillustrationsabouthowonecanmaintainopenand
flexibleframesofreferencetobecomemoreadaptabletounusuallifecontingencies.
Thesecondillustrationfromyourboyhoodhasparticularrelevanceforherbecause
yourconceptionofanunlimitedspanoftheoceancorrespondswithherearlyfearof
thevoidoverthebridge.Youareattemptingtohelpherrestructuresomeofherearly
fearfulchildhoodassociationstovoidwithamoreadultperspective.

AssociatingTherapeuticThemes

E:Ingoingbacktothefirstchange,

asenseofaccomplishingsomething,

ofknowingthatyouhaveagoodjobtodo,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

291/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

thatyouaredoingagoodjob,

thatyouarereachingin,

thatyouhaveconcludedwithajoyfulsenseofaccomplishment.

R:Younowreturntotheproblemofacademiclearning.Byassociatingthisacademic
problemwiththephobiaproblemyouareimplyingthattheycanbothberesolvedby
thesameprocessoflearningtoadoptandmaintainmoreopenandadaptableframes
ofreference.

RestructuringSensoryExperience:TranslatingTherapist'sWordsinto
thePatient's

E:Afarmerknowshehasdoneagoodday'sworkbecausehisbackis

comfortablyverytired.

Andsoyoucanaccomplishhomework

withprofoundfeelingofaccomplishment

andtheknowledgethatyoucangotosleepandsleepsoundly,

yourhomeworkisdone,

andthattheoverallpicture

ofyourhomeworkis

agoodthingandalsoagoodthingtohaveinthepast,
andthenicefeelingcomesduringtheprocess.
Sothat

thewholeisworthwhileand

isnotgoingtodistressyou.

Isthatallright?

Andnowthetransformation,

thealterationthatIhavesuggested

inregardtoflyingIhavesuggestedone

way.

ButIexpectyoutotranslateeverythingIhavesaid,

bothconnections,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

292/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

intoyourwords,

yourphrases,

sothatthealterations

aresetinyourterms,

notmine.

AndIdon'tneedtoknowthose.
Youdo.

[Pause]

E:Whatdoescomfortablyverytiredmean?

R:Thefarmer'stiredbackishiscuethathecanbecomfortableknowinghe'sdonea
goodday'swork.

E:Themindrestructuresthetiredfeelingintoacomfortablefeeling.Youdon'thave
tohaveaPh.Dtodoit!

R:Youendthissectionwithanimportantsuggestionwhereinyouencourageyour
patienttotranslateyourwordsintoherown.Yoursuggestionsarethereforereceived
inanopenendedmannerthatallowsthepatient'sownindividualitytoutilizethemin
anoptimalandpersonalway.

PatientFeedbackandFurtherTherapeuticIllustrations

E:Ihavea

formeralcoholicasapatient.
Lasttime
hesawme

hesaid,Let'sgooutandhaveagooddrink.

ThewifeandIwentwithhimtohaveagooddrink.

Wehaddaiquirisandhehadaglassofmilk.

Nowallthreeofushadagooddrink.

NowIwassuggesting

averynicefeeling

foryou

inyourdefinition

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

293/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ofanicefeeling
intworegards:
homework
andtravel
Relaxed?Allright.

A:Umhum.Inthecaseofhomeworktheendresultiswhatyousay,itbecomesa
senseofaccomplishmentandpleasure.Itistheprocessofafteraharddayof
concentratingonalecture,thatittakesalotofconcentrationanddisciplinetosit
andthenstudyanotherthreeorfourhoursatnight.Afterbeingtiredallday,the
onlythingthatpushesmetodothatisthefactthatIknowthatIwillbehappy
whenitisdoneandwillfeelbetter.Andwhenit'sdoneIwillsleepbetter.So
thosearethereasonsfordoingit.Theproblemisnotrealizingtheendresult.I
dorealizewhatIwanttheendresulttobe,whichitis.Theproblemisthe
concentrationandthedisciplinenecessarytodothat.

E:Allright,nowI'llexplainfurther.

Iworkedoutthisplan.

Iborrowedsixnovelsfromthelibrary.

Igrewupinahomewherethereweren'tmanybooksandIknew

myknowledgeofliteraturewasverypoor,

andsoIwouldsitdownandreadfiftypagesofonenovel,

studyhardinchemistry

fortwentyminutes,

shiftintoanothersetofgearsandstudy
physicsfortwentyminutes,

andanotherfifteenminutesonmyEnglishassignment,
readpartofthenextnovel,

andkeepgoingaround
fromnoveltotextbook,
perhapsanothernovel,
anothertextbook,allshiftinggears.

Becauseeverytimeyoushiftfromonepatternofphysicalactivity,yourestfrom
thepreviousactivity.

OnthefarmIlearnedtopitchhayrighthandedlyandlefthandedly.

Whenmyrightarmgottired,Iresteditbyusingmylefthand.

Inchoppingwoodrightandlefthanded.Alwaysrestingfirstonearmandthen

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

294/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

theother.

Alternatinginhoeinginthegarden,Ididthesamething.

Instudying

chemistry,

itissodifferentthanreadinganovel.

Readinganovelisonekindofanexercise,andachapterfromapsychologybook
isanotherkindofexercise,

soIwasalwaysworkingattopspeedateachofthethingsthatIwasdoingand
restingfromalltheotherthings.

Nowworkingalldaytiresyou.Studyingyourhomeworkatnightisalsotiring.
But

tountensethatpartofyourbodyfatiguedbytheday'swork

andworkwiththerestofyouonhomework.

Listeningtolecturesisonething,

doingpaidworkisanotherthing,

andstudyingisathirdtype

ofexercise.

Youalternatethemandunderstandthatyoucanrest
thelecturereceivingapparatus
whileyou'redoinghomework,

andrestfromhomeworkactivitywhenyouaredoingofficework.
Becauseitallrequiresdifferentsetsofpatternsoffunctioning.
Doyouunderstand?

A:Umhum.

E:Nowyoucanelaboratethatinyourownunderstanding?
Whenafriendenteredmedicalschool,

sheheardlecturesfromeightinthemorninguntilfiveatnight.Andthenfrom
sixtoelevenshewasinthelaboratory.

Ittookherawhiletodiscoverthatshecouldusedifferentpartsofherselfforthe
lecturesinthedayanddifferentpartsofherselfinthelaboratoryatnight.When
shegotbacktoherroom
sherestedallofherself.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

295/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Shehasbeenratherstartledtoseehowneatlyandpreciselyshecandivide
herselfupinaccordancewithherneeds.Andshehasaddedtothatcrocheting
shawlsandbabyblanketsandafghans.Itissorestfulwhensheisstartingto
crochetanafghan.AndthejoyofcrochetinganafghanforhersisterinEthiopia
reallysoaksupthefatigueofstudying.
Inaverydelightfulwayofdoingit,

inacareful

unconsciousthinkingitout,
youcandevise

amasteryofyourownfunctions

sothatyoucan
workoutpatterns
offunction.

Doyouthinkyouunderstandmenow?
A:Yes.

E:Youcanthinkaboutthosethingsatyourownconvenience.Youcandecide

whetherornottoacceptthesealterations.

Ithinktheyaregood,

perhapsyoucanfindthemgood.

Butit'syouradvantage,

yourcomfort

inyoureaseinstudying

andhearinglectures,

inunderstandinghomework

thatIreally

wanttopromote.

AndIwant

yourwork

whileyou'reoverseasmentally

tocarrywithitsomethingenjoyable,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

296/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

overtonesandundertones.

Overhillstograndmother'splace

isverynice,

appealing,

toeverybody.,

Thenjinglebells

alltheway,

overtonesandundertones.

Idon'tknowwhatyouracquaintanceiswith

sleighsandjinglebells,

youundoubtedlyknowthesong,

Therearesomanythingsthathave

overtones,undertonesofenjoyment.

Icanthinkofhowmucheasieritwastochurnbutter

formygrandmotherthanitwastodoitathome.

Samejob

butinadifferentsetting.
Anyquestion,A?

A:Notreally,I'mfine.

E:Now

becausewhatyoucandocanbeyourown

insomefuturetime,youmightliketotalkaboutit.

R:InthissectionMrs.Agivesyousomevaluablefeedbackonhowsheisreceiving
yoursuggestions,soyouareabletoadjustyourorientationtofitherneedsmore
exactly.Yougivehermoreillustrationsofhowtofacilitateherownlearning
processesandcontinuallyofferyoursuggestionsinanopenendedmannersothatshe
hastodocontinualinnerworkinorganizingyourwordsintoherownterms.Thisisa
stateofveryactivetrancelearning.Sheisnotatallpassive.Thereisanintense
rapportbetweenyou;it'salmostasiftherewasakindofdirectmindtransferbetween
you.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

297/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

ConfusionandNewLearning
A:I'mhavingtrouble.

Iunderstandaboutstudyingandhomework,andthatmakessensetome,but
I'mconfusedaboutflying

andaboutwhatyousaidearlieraboutdoingthetasksthatIface.
E:It'sokay,A.

Recognizingthatthetaskaheadofyou
hassufficientproportions
tomeanagreatdeal.

Youlookatyourworkthewayasurgeonlooksatanoperation.
Itisasimpleappendectomy,butifyouareagoodsurgeon,
youknow

thatintheUnitedStates,
quiteunexpectedly,

acertainnumberofsimpleappendectomiesdie

fromsurgery.

Therefore,

youknowthereisn'tsuchathingasasimpleappendectomy.
Soyousetabout
makingit

asimpleappendectomy.
Takingcaretoomit
nothingthatisimportant.
Andhavethegoodfeelingthis

isgoingtobeasimpleappendectomybecauseyouaredoingit.
Averygoodsurgeonfeels

justasimpleoperationanditisgoingtoturnoutrightbecause

heisnotgoingtoomitanythingandheisgoingtoenjoydoingit

andthepatientisgoingtoenjoyhavinghaditdone.

Yougivetheproperamountofrespect

tothetaskinhand,

realizing

thattherearehazardsinanyhumanperformance,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

298/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

whichhavetobemet

byeachfunctioninghumanbeing,

andthen

theenjoyment

oflookingforwardtodoingit,asimpleactofappendectomytomorrow,
lookingforwardtoenjoyingthatflighttomorrow,
lookingforwardtotheenjoymentofpreparing
whateveritis.

Andlettingthattakeoverboredom.

Boredomnarrowsyourvision

andrestrictsthefreedomofyourmindtothink.

A:Howaboutenjoyinganticipationofbadweather?

E:Thereisnothingmorepleasant

thanthesoundofraindropsontheroof

whenyouarelyingonthehayinthebarn,

knowingatleastyouwon'tbeoutinthehotsunpitchinghay.

Andknowingthatyouhaveafewgoodmealsunderyourbelt

beforeyougetoutinthefield,

andthentherain.

Mostbadweatherforthefarmeris

inregardtocuttinghay.

Well,itcertainlyisn'tablizzard.

Ifitwereablizzard,

ablizzardisterrible

insomanydifferentways.

Andbadweather,

30,000,35,000feetupis

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

299/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

adifferentkindofweatherthanat

zerofeet.

Ioftenwonder,

whenIwasat30,000feetabovesealevel,
whatwoulditbelikeif
Icouldsense

howaplanewasdealingwiththatair
atthatspeed.

A:Ido,Idothat.Idotwothingsthatyousuggested.Itrytothinkofandenjoy
theclearairturbulencethatwasn'texpected.Itrytothinkofallthefeelingsof
whetheritwasarollercoasterfeelingorabumpycarfeeling.Whatkindof
feelingitwas.

R:InthissectionMrs.Aclearlyillustratestheutilizationoftranceasastateofactive
learning.Sheisconfusedabouthowtogeneralizeheracceptanceofamoreadequate
approachtoacademiclearningtoherphobiaforflying.Herconfusion,ofcourse,is
itselfproofthatsheisintheprocessofgivingupanold,lessadequateframeof
referenceforanewonethatshedoesnotyetunderstand.Younowtakeadvantageof
thissituationtofacilitatemoreopennessinherframesofreferenceinthefollowing
sections.

DepotentiatingHabitualMentalSets:FacilitatingFlexibleFramesof
Reference

E:Butyouhadnoframeofreference.

A:ThenItrytothinkaboutwhatwashappeningtotheaircraftintermsof
structuralstressandknowingthatthestructuralspecificationsallowedforstress
ofthismagnitude.ButIwasuncomfortableandquiterelievedwhenitwasall
over.

E:Allright,Iwillgiveyouanexample
thatshowswhatIhavedoneforyoubefore.

Couldyouplanttentreesinfivestraightrowswithfourtreesineachrow?
A:Tentreesinfivestraightrows,fourtreesineachrow?

[Afteranumberoffutileattempts,theseniorauthorshowsherthefollowing
starshapeddiagramasasolutiontotheproblem.]

A:Oh,Ididn'tthinkthat.Iwastryingtorelateittoairturbulence.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

300/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Youcan'tunderstandairturbulence,canyou?

Youcan'tunderstanditintermsofairturbulenceontheground.

A:Icanunderstanditintellectuallyintermsofwhathappensatmospherically.
Howitformsandhowitaffectsbodiesandthatsortofthing.Ican'tunderstand
myresponseemotionally.

E:Allright,andhowcanyouunderstand

youhavetworesponses;intellectualandemotional?

A:Oh,yes,that'sforsure.

E:Nowsometimesyoucanhaveintellectualknowledgeofit,andyoumaybe
emotionallybehindit.

A:Ican'tseparatetheemotionalinthiscase.IntellectuallyIcanunderstanda
lotofthingsthatIfearinthiscaseairturbulence.Butalotoffearasitwas
before,isanuncomfortableness.

[Pause]

E:Nowthatpuzzlethere,
fivestraightrows,
fourtreesineachrow,

onlytentrees.Whatyoudidwasyoudraggedintomypresentationthedefinition
ofarow,

andastraightline,asecondrow.
A:Yes,Idid.

E:Itwouldbeniceifthispuzzlecouldbeawayoftreatingairturbulence
becauseyoucanonlyunderstanditincertainframesofreference.

A:I'mnotrelatingthistoairturbulence.Iunderstandintellectuallyair
turbulance.

[HereEricksondistractsherbyostentatiouslytearingupthesheetofpaperon
whichhehadshownherthetreeproblem.Hethenshowsheranotherofhisset
breakingproblems.Hewritesthenumber710andasksMrs.Atoreaditinall
possibleways.Mostpeoplearenotabletobreakthenumbersetsufficientlyto
readitasOILwhentheyturnitupsidedown.Ericksontypicallyrevealsthe
answerbyfirstaskingthepatientstomakeanSneartheupsidedown710.If
theystilldon'tgetit,hehasthemmaketheSrightinfrontoftheupsidedown
710soitreadsSOIL.Atthatpointmostpeoplesucceedinshiftingfromthe
numbertotheletterset]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

301/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Thiswasatypicalexampleofanotherofyourapproachesfordepotentiatinga
patient'shabitualmentalsetstointroducethepossibilityofexperiencingmoreflexible
framesofreference.Withthetreesand710problems,youhavepatientsexperience
therigidityoftheirownmentalsetsandyougivethemabitoftrainingindeveloping
moreflexibleframesofreference.

E:Youalwayshavepatientsexperienceasmuchofthemselvesandtheirlimiting
mentalsetsaspossiblewithintherapy.Themostimportantthingintherapyistobreak
upthepatients'rigidandlimitingmentalsets(Rossi,1973).

PhobiaasaLimitedFrameofReference

E:Youcanhaveanumericalframeofreference.

A:WhichIdefinitelydo.

E:Iknow,youworkonacomputer.Now,whatistheproperframeofreference
forairturbulenceat30,000feetup?Isitwordsornumbers?

A:It'sfeelings,really.

E:Thefeelingsthatyoulearnedontheground?

A:No.I'mnotawareoffeelings,havingthatfeelingontheground.

E:Youlearnedcertainfeelingsoffearontheground,andyoucarriedthemaloft
withyou.Knowwhatrightfeelingsyoushouldhaveupthere.

A:SoareyousayingthatwhenIfearanairturbulence,Ithinkonlyinafear
frameofreferenceinsteadofalogicalframeofreference?

E:Neitherlogicalnorfear.Thereisanewframeofreferenceforyoutodiscover.
A:YoumeanhowIshouldthinkofit?

E:Yes.Aframeofreferencethatisreallyatotallynewanddifferentfeeling

unrelatedtoanyfeelingsyouhavehad.

Stoptoconsider,whatdidtheastronautsencounterinspace?

A:Totalunknowns.

E:Totalunknowns!NowwhatI'mtellingyouisthatairturbulencecan'tbe
understoodintermsofgroundexperience,justastheastronautsfoundoutthey
couldn'tunderstandtheabsenceofgravity.Theycouldpourwaterup,they
couldpourwaterdown,orpouritsideways,andIdon'tknowhowtheycould
spit.

A:SohowdoIdothat?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

302/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Idon'tknowhowtheastronautslearnedaboutnogravity,buttheydid.

E:Shelearnedfearofheightsonthegroundandshecarrieditaloftonaplanewhere
groundfearsareinappropriate.Inaplaneyoucanhitanairpocketandfallhundreds
offeetanditcanbeadelightfulexperience.Whatfeelingsshouldyouhavewhen
you'reintheair?Notgroundfeelings!

R:Onthegrounditcouldbeadisastertofallonlyafewfeet.

E:I'maskinghertoadoptaframeofreferencethatistotallynewanddifferent.

R:Yougenuinelydon'tknowhowshewillexperiencethenewframeofreference.
Herconsciousminddoesnotknoweither.Yourjobasatherapististopointoutand
possiblydepotentiatesomeofthelimitingandbiasingsetsofherconsciousmindso
herunconsciousmayhaveabetteropportunityforbecomingmanifestwiththenew.
Thiscaseillustratestheessenceofatheoryofphobia.Phobicbehaviorcomesabout
fromtheproblemofusinganoldframeofreferenceinappropriatelyinanew
situation.Theoldframeofreferencereallydoesn'tfit,andthislackoffitgivesriseto
theanxiety,negativeaffect,andavoidancebehaviorsocharacteristicofphobia.The
anxietyandavoidancebehaviorisactuallyanaccuratesignalindicatingthatthe
patient'soldframesofreferenceneedtochange.Whenthepatientdoesnotrecognize
thesignalaspectoftheanxiety,itisexperiencedasanegativeaffectwithoutany
appropriateintellectualcomponent:Thepatientexperiencesanxietyandfearwithout
knowingwhy;shehasaphobia.Wecaninferthatwhenaphobiadevelopsina
apparentlyfamiliarsituation(suchasschoolphobia,agoraphobia,etc.),itmeans
somethinghaschangedinthepatient'srelationtothatsituation,butthischangeisnot

recognizedandtheappropriateinneradjustments(modifyingoldframesofreference
orcreatingnewones)havenotbeenmade.Phobiaisduetoatoolimitedframeof
reference.Itspermanentresolutionrequiresinsightandexpandedframesofreference.
Thisisessentiallyanewtheoryofphobiathatisinherentinyourwork,andyoudidn't
knowit,didyou?

E:TherearealotofthingsthatIknowIdon'tknow.

FurtherIllustrationsofGrowthviaNewFramesofReference

E:Youknowthemeasurementsshowthattheastronautsgrewoneinchinspace,
andtheylostthatinchverypromptlyafterreachingtheearth.Whenchildren
experienceasuddenspurtofgrowth,whenachildmeasureshimselfagainsthis
mother,

youknowwhathappens:
HowtallIam!

Everybodyinthehouseknowsit.

A:Hebumpedintothings.

E:Hewasbumpingintothings!
Strikingthingswithhishands.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

303/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Theawkwardstageisthegrowingstage.
Andhehad

tofigureouthowlonghisarmswere,
howfarhestepped.

Hehadtobuildanewsetofmeasurementsforhimself.
Nowwhatsetofmeasurementswillyouformforturbulence?

[Pause]

Youhaveanopportunitytheretofindout.

[Theseniorauthornowgivesotherexamplesofnewlifeexperiencesrequiring
theformationofnewframesofreference,notmerelytheuseofanoldframe
inappropriatelyinanewsituation.]

E:Thegrowingageistheawkwardage;growingpains.

R:Yes,awkwardnessshouldbeapplaudedasasignofgrowthandnewlearning.

E:Yougivemanyexamplessothatpatientsaremorelikelytofindonethat's
personallyconvincingandactuallyhelpsaltertheirbehavior.TheonlythingsthatI
saytoyouthatclingarethosethattouchuponyourexperienceinsomeway.You
alwaysstudyyourpatientsforevidencethattheyareacceptingwhatyousay.

AutohypnosistoFacilitateTherapeuticChange:FlexibilityinMental
Functioning

A:Iamsatisfiedwithnotbeingterrifiedofflying.Tofinditenjoyable,thatis
askingalot,Ithink.YouthinkIwill?

E:Theastronautsdidn'tknowwhatonearthitwasliketobeinspace.

A:Thereisadifference.Icanbeapprehensiveaboutsomethingunknown,
knowingthatitisgoingtoturnoutOKattheend.Thatkindofapprehension.
ButthereisnowaythatIcanlogicallyrelatetobeingafraid.Ijustam.Logically
IknowIshouldn'tbeandIknowthatthereisnothingtoworryaboutandIcan
reciteallthesestatisticsand

E:AndyouknowhowveryeasilyIcanputyouinastateofterror.
A:Yeah.

E:Andwipeitoutjustasquickly,right?
A:Yeah,theterror.

E:Andwipeoutyourhappyfeeling,too.
A:Yeah.

E:Thatis,yourfearoryourpleasurecanberemovedandreassumed.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

304/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

A:CanIdoitinadvance?ItriedhypnotizingmyselfinasituationandIcan't
concentrate.Likewhenwehitturbulence.

E:Trytocountfromonetotwenty.

A:Rightnow?

Fromonetotwenty?[Mrs.Acloseshereyesandevidentlygoesintotrance
momentarily.Shethenopenshereyes,shiftsherbody,andisobviouslyawake
again.]

E:Youdidn'tgetallthewaytotwentydidyou?
A:No.

E:That'sright.
[Pause]

Andnowfutureaccomplishmentsarefutureaccomplishments.
[Pause]

Andtheycanbeenjoyed.[Pause]

A:Iwasjustthinking.Ican'twaittogetoutofhereandfly.

E:Wellyouareatlibertytoleaveatanytimeyouwantto,orstay.
A:That'sfantastic.Ican'twaittogetonanairplane!

E:IfacilitateacertainflexibilityinmentalfunctioningwhenIremindherhoweasily
herpleasureandfearcanberemovedandreassumed.

R:Herresidualfearsaboutflyingareapparentlyresolvedwhenyougiveherthetool
ofautohypnosiswithwhichtohelpherself.Iftranceisconceptualizedasanaltered
stateorshiftinframesofreference,wecanunderstandhowautohypnosiscanbe
particularlyusefulforphobiaoranysituationwherethepatientneedstocopewith
difficultemotions.Hermomentaryautohypnoticexperienceherewasenoughtolet
herknowthatfromwithinsheisexperiencingahighdegreeoftherapeuticexpectancy
somuchsothatshecan'twaittogetonaplane!

SelectedShorterCases:ExercisesforAnalysis

UncoveringTechniques:DissociatingIntellectandEmotionstoUncover
TraumaticMemories

E:InthismatterofuncoveringtechniquesIthinkoneofthemostimportantthingsis
torecognizethatifyourpatienthassomethingcoveredup,she'sgotitcoveredupfor
averygoodreason,andyou'dbetterrespectthatfact.Youaskthepatientstorespect
thefactthatyoupersonallydonotthinkitneedstobecoveredupbutthatyouare
goingtoabidebytheirneeds,theiractualneeds.Nowyou'vetoldthemyouwillabide
bytheirneeds,buttheydon'thearyouqualifyittotheiractualneeds.

R:Thisisanexampleofindirectsuggestionthroughtwolevelcommunication.The

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

305/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

firstportionofyourstatementaboutabidingbytheirneedsisreadilyacceptedbya
patient'sconsciousmindandtendstoopenayesoracceptancesetforthe
qualificationthatfollowsregardingtheiractualneeds,whichmaybeverydifferent
fromwhattheythinktheyare.Theunconsciousdoespickupthisqualification(which
maybesubtlyemphasizedwithaslightvocalintonationorgesture),however,and
usesittoinitiateaninnerprocessofsearchforactualneeds.Thissearchonan
unconsciouslevelmayfinallyresultinnewinsightsthatwilldepotentiatethepatient's
previouslylimitedframesofreferenceandthusfacilitatetherapy.

E:Yes.Youactuallyhavetwoissueshere:Doesitneedtobecoveredup?Canitbe
uncovered?Youthenpointouttoapatientthattherearevariouswaysof
rememberingthings.Undoubtedly,whenwecoverupamemory,weusuallycoverup
alotmorethanthememoryitself.Thatis,traumaofashavedheadmightbecovered
upasanuncomfortablememory,butalongwiththatwouldbecovereduptheroomin
whichitwasdone,perhapstheaddressofthatparticularplace,andotherthingsthat
happenedthatyear.Doestheyearneedtobecoveredup?Alltheotherthingsthat
happenedthatyear?Youthusemphasizethatthepatientundoubtedlycoveredup
manythingsthatdidn'tneedtobecoveredup.Sowhynotuncovereveryoneofthose
thingsthatarenotsafetouncoverandbesuretokeepcoveredupthethingsthatare
notsafetouncover?Youthendefinethesituationasonefromwhichthepatientcan
withdrawatanytime.Youpointout,Supposeyoudidaccidentallyuncover

somethingyoudidn'twantuncovered.Howlongdoyouthinkitwouldtakeyouto
coveritupagain?Thatisthelittlebitofassurancethatyoualwaysgiveyourpatient.

Youthenpointouttoapatientthatitisperfectlypossibletoremembertheintellectual
factsofsomethingbutnottheemotionalcontent,andviceversa.Youpointoutthat
once,whenyoufeltdownheartedandblue,youcouldn'tforthelifeofyoufigureout
why,buttheremusthavebeenareasoninthebackofyourmind.Youexperienced
theemotionsbutyoudidn'thaveintellectualcontent.Inrecoveringatraumatic
memoryyoucanuncoverdeepemotionsandnotintellectualcontent.Ifyouwantto,
youcanremembertheactualintellectualcontent;youneednotrememberwhether
youfeltsad,mad,orglad.Itwillbejustamemory,asifithappenedtosomebody
else.

Anexampleofthiswaswithoneofmymedicalstudentswhowasgoingtoflunkout
ofmedicalschool,heabsolutelyandirrationallyrefusedtoattendthelecturesandthe
clinicsondermatology.Hewouldn'topenhisbookondermatology.Hewaswarned
andcalledupbeforethedeanandtold,You'reeithergoingtoattenddermatology
lecturesandclinicsandstudyitoryou'llflunkoutofmedicalschool.Wecan'tpass
anybodywhoarbitrarilyrefusestotakeoneofthecourses,Bobsaid,Ican't.Thedean
said,Whatdoyoumean,youcan't,you'regoingto!Bobmeantit,however,he
couldn't.

Bobcametomeveryworriedaboutit.IknewBobwasaverygoodhypnoticsubject
andIaskedhimifIcouldusehimasademonstrationsubjecttothemedicalclass.He
said,Yes.Itoldhimthattherehadtobesomeexplanationforhispeculiarbehavior
aboutdermatology.Iaskedhimtospendthenextweektryingtorememberwhatit
washehadforgotten.

Bobspentaweektryingtorememberandthencametotheclass.InclassIasked,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

306/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Bob,didyourememberwhatyouhadforgottenalongtimeago?Bobsaid,Howon
earthdoyougoaboutrememberingsomethingyouforgotalongtimeago?Youdon't
evenknowwheretolook!You'veforgottenit!It'sunavailable,it'sunreachable,it's
untouchable!It'sforgottenit'sgone!IagreedandsenthimoutoftheroomsoIcould
raisethequestionwiththeclass.Theyallagreeditwouldbeanawfullyblindsortof
thingtotrytofindsuchamemory.ThenIcalledBobbackandinducedadeeptrance.
Itoldhim,Youknowwhyyouarehere.You'vebeenthinkingforawholeweekabout
rememberingsomethingthatyou'dforgotten.Haveyourememberedit?Bobsaid,No.
Isaid,Allright,youareinadeeptrance.Iwouldliketoexplainafewthingstoyou.
Youknowwhatajigsawpuzzleis?Youcanputajigsawpuzzletogetherintwoways:
Youputittogetherrightsideup,andthenyouwillknowwhatthepictureis;youcan
putittogetherreversesideup,andthereyouhavejustthebackofthejigsawpuzzle.
Nopictureonitjustblanknessandnomeaning,butthepuzzlewouldbetogether.
Thepictureofthejigsawpuzzleistheintellectualcontentthemeaningfulcontentof
therepressedmemory.Thebackofitistheemotionalfoundation,andthatwillbe
withoutanypicture.Itisgoingtobejustthefoundation.Nowyoucanputthatjigsaw
puzzletogetherbyputtingtwopiecesononecornertogether,twopiecesinthemiddle
together,twopiecesinanothercornertogether,twopiecesinathirdcorner,two
piecesinafourthcorner,andthen,hereandthere,youcanputtwoorthreepieces
together.Youcanputsomeofthepiecestogetherfaceup,somepiecestogetherface

down.Youcanputthemalltogetherfacedown,putthemalltogetherfaceup,butyou
dowhatyouwanttodo.

Whatdidhewanttodo?Ididn'tknow,butthatquestionlefttheburdenofthe
responsibilityuponBobnamely,thathehadajigsawpuzzleofarepressedmemory
thatheneededtorecoverandputtogethermeaningfully.IaskedBob,Well,youdon't
reallyknowwhattodo.Supposeyouhauloutfromyourunconsciousjustafewlittle
piecesofthatunpleasantmemory.Bobthoughtaminuteandthenperspirationbegan
toformonhisforehead.Iasked,WhatisitBob?Hesaid,I'mfeelingsickinafunny
sortofway.Idon'tknowwhatkindofaway.Isaid,That'sfine,soyou'refeelingsick
inafunnysortofway;youdon'tknowinwhatkindofaway.Allright,forgetabout
it.WiththatBobdevelopedanamnesiaforthematerialthatwasmakinghimfeel
funny.Ithencontinued,Supposeyoureachdownintoyourrepressionsandbringupa
fewpiecesofthepicture.Bobdidessentiallythatandsaid,Well,thereiswaterand
thereissomethinggreen.Isupposethatisgrass,butthatgreenisn'tgrass.Isaid,That
isfine,nowyoushovethatdown.Nowbringupsomemorepiecesofemotion.Bob
broughtupsomemoreemotionandthensaid,I'mscared,I'mscared.Iwanttorun,
andhewasreallyperspiringandtrembling.Isaid,Shoveitdownagain.Let'sbringup
afewotherpicturepieces.

Wealternatedinthatfashionforawhile;gettingafewassociationsandthen
repressingthemwhentheemotionbecametoothreatening.Aswegotmoreandmore
material,BobbegandiggingupbiggerandbiggerpiecesofemotionsothatIwould
havetobringhimoutofthetranceandlethimrest.Bobwouldtakeadeepbreathand
say,I'mallwornout.Idon'tknowwhatishappeningtome.I'mawake,myshirtisall
wet,mytrousersarewetwithperspiration.Whathasbeengoingonhere?Iassured
himthatthemedicalstudentsintheclasswerejustaboutassickashewasofseeing
thatperspirationspurtoutonBob'sforeheadeachtimehe'dexperienceanemotion.

FinallyIsuggested,Let'sputalltheblanksidestogetheragainanddoacomplete

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

307/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

overhaul.Soheputittogetheragain,andyoushouldhaveseenhimtremblingand
perspiring.Hewasactuallyshivering,soperiodicallyIgavehimasuggestiontoblank
itoutandrest:Takeanotherdeepbreathandlookatthatblankreversesideofthe
jigsawpuzzlewiththeamnesictraumaticexperience.Hesaid,Whateverisonthe
othersideofthatissomethingawfulit'sjustawful.Ithentoldhimtoforgetthe
entireemotionalside.We'dturnthejigsawpuzzleoverandseeitintellectuallyonly,
withoutemotions.Hedescribed,Twolittleboys,abouteightornineyearsold,they
lookedlikecousinsthey'replayinginabarn,theyarewrestling.Oh!Oh!Oneis
gettingmadwiththeother.Nowtheyarehittingateachother.Nowtheygrabbed
someforks,theystartstabbingateachother.Oh!Oh!Oneofthemstabbedtheother
intheleg.Thatoneisrunningintothehousetotell.Theonethatstabbedhimisa
littlebitafraid.Herunsalong,too.Theboy'sfatherisn'tmad;themotherisn'tmad;
theyarecallingthedoctor.Theboy'sfathermakeshimsitonachairtowait.Thereis
thedoctordrivingin.Thedoctorisgoingtosticksomethingintheboy.Oh,my
goodness,whatafunnything.Lookatthatboy'sface.Heislyingthere.

Hisfaceisswellingup,hiseyesareswellingshut,hisskinisturningafunnycolor,
histongueissothick,andthedoctorisscared.Heisgettingsomethingelse.He'sgot
itlookslikeaneedleorapumpofsomekind,andheispumpingsomethingintothe
boy,andnowthatswellingintheboy'sfaceisgettingless,histongueisgetting

smaller,heisopeninghiseyes,andeverybodyisbreathingdeeply.Thefathergrabs
theotherboyandtakeshimdowntothehorsetrough.Thefathersitsonthehorse
trough,haulstheboyoverhislap,andstartsspankinghim,andheisreallyspanking
himhard.Theboyislookingdownintothehorsetroughandheseesthatgreenslime
onthewaterandheiscrying.Thereissomethingawfulbadaboutthis,andIdon't
knowwhatitis.Thereissomethingawfulbad.Isaid,Wellletonecorneroftheback
ofitsoakthrough,andthenanothercorner,letthebackofitsoakthrough,soak
through,soakthrough.YoushouldhaveseenpoorBobashebeganunitingthe
ideationalcontentwiththeaffect.Shuddering,trembling,cryingout,horrified,hesaid
Ican'tstandit.

Iagaintoldhimtodevelopacompleteamnesia.TakearestBob.Youhavealittle
moreworktodo.Maybeifyourestfiveminutes,we'llhaveenoughstrengthtodoa
littlemoreofthework.ThenaboutfiveminuteslaterIaskedhimtocontinue.He
droppedtheamnesiauntilhecouldn'tstanditanylonger,andthenanotheramnesia,a
rest,andthenagainanotherrecovery,untilfinallyhesaid,Thatlittleboythatstabbed
theotheroneisme.That'smycousin,andthatwastheforkweusedforcleaningout
thebarn,andthedoctorcomesandgiveshimanantitetanusshot.Hegetsan
anaphylacticreactionwithallthatedema,andeverybodyexpectshimtodieincluding
me.Thenthedoctorgavehimadrenalinandherecovered,andthenmyfathertookme
downtothehorsetroughandspankedme.Icouldn'tevenstandthewaymycousin
looked,andtherewasmyfatherspankingmeandthatnastygreenslimeonthewater
inthetroughthathorriblegreenslimeandthathorriblecolorofmycousin'sface.No
wonderIcouldn'tstudymydermatology.Thatwastheendofthat.Nowonderhe
didn'tlikedermatology.

Toomanytherapiststrytorecoverthetotalexperienceallatonce.Ineverydaylifewe
frequentlynoticepeoplewithanattitudeofindifference.Theymayhavean
intellectualappreciationoftheirpositionbutanemotionalindifference.Well,Ithink
thatinhypnotherapyweneedtorecognizethetremendousimportanceofindifference,

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

308/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

detachment,andthepossibilityofextractingonlyonefragmenthereandanother
fragmentthere.ItwassufficientthatBobrecoversomethingandthendevelopan
amnesia,becausewhenhedevelopedanamnesiaforanypartofit,thatwasatmy
request.Thatwasnothisownspontaneousinvoluntaryamnesiaunderpressure.This
wassomethingwherehewasbeingresponsivetosuggestion,andthereforethe
amnesicbehaviorwasunderhiscontrol.Itwasjustaseffectiveasarepression,butit
allowedthattraumaticmaterialtobeavailableforexaminationandavailablein
varyingdegrees,insmallportionsinrelationtoemotionalhealingandtheideational
content.

TheclassbeganatsixP.M.,andIthinkitwassomewherearoundmidnightwhenI
finishedwithhim.IcautionedtheclasstosayabsolutelynothingtoBobbecauseI
knewtherewasadermatologyclassthenextafternoon.Everybodycooperated,and
whentheywenttodermatologyclass,Bobcameincasually,matteroffactascould
be.Itoldthemjusttogreethimcasuallyandaskhimwhereheisgoingnextbutsay
nothingatallaboutit.YouknowitwasalmostaweekbeforeBobrecalledthathe
wasattendingdermatology.Hejustsimplytookitsomatteroffactlythathedidn't
realizehehadmissedpreviouslecturesandclinics.NowthatisanapproachIhave
usedwithalotofdifferentpatients.

R:Isitnecessarytodevelopadeeptrancestateforthisparticulartypeofthing?

E:ItwaswithBob,butit'snotnecessaryifyougetthatstateofindifferenceandask
thepersontothinkofhimselfmoreorlessasbeinginthenextroomundergoinga
certainexperience.Ofcourseyoucan'tseeit,youcan'thearit,butthinkofyourselfas
undergoingacertainexperiencetheexperienceofrecoveringalosttraumatic
memory,andasyousithereyouarenotreallyinadeeptrance,you'renotreallyina
mediumtrance,youareinalighttrance.Youdon'tfeellikemoving,youdon'treally
feellikedoinganything,butyourmindseemstoberatherfarawayandyouare
thinkingaboutyourselfintheotherroomrememberingsomething,andIwonder
whatpartofthatmemoryyou'reremembering?Thereyouaregettingassociations,
andthepatientcanstartremembering.

R:Yourrequestthatthepatientsimplyimaginehimselfinanotherroomrecoveringa
lostmemoryisitselfanindirectapproachtohypnoticinduction.You(1)fixate
attentionwiththatrequest,andifthepatienttakesyouseriously,youcertainlyhave
temporarily(2)depotentiatedhishabitualconsciousframework.Thepatientisthereby
engagedina(3)searchontheunconsciouslevel,sincetheconsciousmindcertainly
doesn'tknowhowtodoit.Thetranceinductionisfurtheremphasizedwithyour
suggestions,Youdon'tfeellikemoving,youdon'treallyfeellikedoinganything,but
yourmindseemstoberatherfaraway.Youareutilizingindirectsuggestionsinthe
formofnotdoing,andadissociationbetweenthepersonalitysittingwithyouandthe
mindthinkingaboutyourselfintheotherroom.Thepatient'sownassociationsand(4)
unconsciousprocessesthentakeoverandmediatethe(5)hypnoticresponseof
recoveringthelostmemory.

HypnotherapyinExtreme,Sudden,AcuteEmotionalDisturbances

[Previouslyunpublishedpaperwrittenbytheseniorauthorandeditedforpublicationherebythe
juniorauthor]

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

309/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Muchhasbeensaidandwrittenabouttheneedforintensivesearchingintotheremote
pastofpatientstodiscoverthepsychodynamicsunderlyingpersonalityandbehavioral
disturbances.Alarmiststatementshavebeenmadeaboutthedamagethatmightresult
fromemployinghypnosisinsituationsofacuteemotionaldistressanddisturbances
withoutanadequateknowledgeofthepatient'spastexperiencesandpersonality
structure.Tothisauthorsuchalarmiststatementssuggestonlylackofknowledgeand
asenseofpersonalinsecuritywhenfacingproblemsofstressinothers.

Theadaptabilityofhypnosisinmeetingcriticalsituations,theeasewithwhichitcan
beusedwithoutalteringnaturalphysiologicalandpsychologicalprocesses(as
contrastedwithpharmacologicalassaultsandelectricshock),suggestthedesirability
ofitsmorefrequentandreadyuseinsuddenemergencysituations.Followingaretwo
illustrativeaccounts,onegiveningreaterdetailthantheotherbecauseoftheir
essentialsimilarity.Forthereader'sorientationcertaingeneralinformationwillbe
giventhatwasobtainedbytheauthoronlysubsequenttothehandlingoftheacute
emergencies.

Thepatients'presentingproblemswerehandledinthesameemergencyfashionasone
wouldhandleanaccidentcasewithacuteinjuriesandabrokenleg(thatis,firstsplint
thelegandthenundertakecompletelocaltreatmentbeforetakingadetailedhistory.)

Bothofthesepatientswereintheirearlythirtiesandbothmanifestedessentiallythe
samebehavior,thedevelopmentofwhichhad,ineachinstance,beenanintense
quarrelbetweenhusbandandwife.Bothwomenweredefinitelyinsecure,dependent
persons,unstableemotionallyandeasilyrenderedtearful.Neitherwaseverregarded
asevenlatentlypsychotic,butbothwereconsideredtobepassivelydependent,
emotionallyinsecure,mildlypsychoneuroticpersonsmakingreasonablygood
adjustmentsinthechildlessandprotectedenvironmentsinwhichtheylived.

DeconditionaHystericalCatalepsy:CaseReportOne

Thispatientwasathirtythreeyearoldwifeofaninternistwho,withtheaidofhis
partner,practicallycarriedthepatientintotheseniorauthor'sofficeandplacedherin
achair.Shesatthererigidly,staringvacantlyintospace,withfullydilatedpupils,ina
stateofcompleteunresponsivenesstoallstimuli.

Thehusbandexplainedthatshehadbecomehystericalduringaquarrelattheoffice
andthatshehadbeguntoscreamuncontrollably.Thishadresultedinthehusband's
partnercomingintotheofficetoascertainwhatdifficultyhadarisen.Bothhad
franticallytriedtoreassureherbutcouldnotsecureherattention.Indesperationthey
hadagreedthatperhapsitwouldbepossibletobringheroutofitbyasharpslapon
theface.Thishasservedtofreezehercompletelyinthestateshenowpresented.They
hadtriedallmannerofstimulitoattractherattention,buttonoavail.Theywere
alarmedaboutthebilateralfixeddilationofherpupilsbecauseofuneasyfeelings
aboutintracranialinjury,butfeltabitreassuredbecausethepupilswereequally
dilated.Theyhadattemptedtoreducethepupilsbytheuseofanextremelybright
light,butshehadstaredunblinkinglyintothelightwithnochangeinherpupils.

Becauseofthehusband'sstateofemotionaldistress,heandhispartnerwereexcluded
fromtheoffice,andthehusband'srequestforsomesuitableintravenousmedicationto
allowhertosleepitoff,andhisstatementthatifnecessary,Isupposeelectricshock

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

310/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

couldbeused,weredisregarded.Theseniorauthorpreferredapsychological
approachtothepatient'spsychologicalreactioninaperiodofemotionaldistress.A
psychologicalapproachshouldcertainlyberegardedasamethodoffirstchoice,tobe
attemptedbeforeresortingtodrasticassaultsuponthepatient'sbody.

Sincethetwophysicianshad,atthesceneoftheinceptionoftheemotional
disturbance,triedflashingapowerfullightintothepatient'seyes,theauthordecided
tocapitalizeuponthisfact.Securingasmallblinkinglight(achild'stoy),thesenior
authorplaceditattheoppositesideoftheofficesothatitwouldbewithinherfieldof
vision.Seatinghimselfbesideher,hesoftlyrepeatedalongseriesofbrief,gentle
suggestions,synchronizingthemwiththeblinkingofthelight.(Pastexperiencein
researchhadtaughttheseniorauthorthatconditionedresponsescanbeeffectively
establishedevenwhenthesubjectisnotconsciouslyawareofthestimuli.)These
suggestionswere,Offinthedistance,seealight.Nowitcomes,nowitgoes.Offin
thedistance,seealittlelight.Nowitcomes,nowitgoes.Withmonotonousregularity
thesesuggestionswererepeatedforabouttwentyminutes.Aslightquiveringofher
eyelidsledtoachangeinthesuggestionstothetripartitesuggestionofasitcomes
andgoestryhardertosee,synchronizingthefirstandthirdparttotheappearanceof
thelight.

Afteraboutfiveminutesofthistriplesuggestion,hereyelidsbeganquiveringandher
pupilsstartedtocontract.Furthersynchronizedsuggestionsweregivenslightlymore
urgently:Asthelightcomes,yourlidswillclose;asitgoes,theywillclosemore.As
itcomes,yourlidswillclose;asitgoes,theywillclosemore.Withintwominutesthe
suggestionswerechangedto,Asthelightcomes,sotired;asitcomes,sosleepy;asit
comes,eyesclose,sotired;asitcomes,eyesclose,sotired;asitcomes,soonasleep;
asitcomes,soonsoundasleep;andsoundasleepandsounderasleep,andsound
asleepandnowsoundasleep,Therefollowed,sincesherespondedwell,Staying
asleep,restingcomfortably,repeatedanumberoftimes.Shewastheninstructedto
restcomfortably,tosleepdeeply,torelaxsocomfortablyandcompletely,tofeelso
good,somuchatrest,soreadytotelltheseniorauthoranythinghewishedtoknow
about,buttootiredtobeworried,toosleepytobescared,justsoftlytotellthesenior
authorwhateverheasked,anddoingso,justunderstandeverything.

Withinfortyfiveminutesthispatientrelatedaninformativeaccountofherearly
youth,whenshehadseenaneighbor'swifedevelopanapparentlycauseless
screamingepisodethathadterminatedsuddenlyinamute,catatonic,schizophrenic
stuporwithresultingcommitmenttoastatehospital.Sherelatedthisasapast
unhappymemorythatshehadforgottenyearsago.Whenshewasaskedtocontinue,
sheshowedmildemotionaldistressandsomewhathesitantlyrelatedthe
circumstancesofaquarrelwithherhusbandaboutavacationtrip.Thishadcaused
increasingangeronherpart.Thetrip,asshewishedit,wouldhavetakenhertoher
childhoodhome,butherhusbandwishedtogoelsewhere.Realizingthathewould
havehisway,shescreamedinfutilerage,andthenthememoryofthatneighbor's
wifescreamingcametohermind.ShewonderedifIcouldstopscreaming,andthat
scaredmeterriblyandIkeptscreaming.Thensomeonemyhusband,Iguess
slappedme,andthatparalyzedme.Ijustcouldn'tseeandIcouldn'thear.Iwasjust
lookinghelplesslyatnothingness,gettingmorescaredallthetime.Justthinkingabout
itmakesmyskincrawl.Itwon'thappenagain,willit?Shewasreassuredandaskedto
continue.

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

311/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Well,nothinghappenedforeverandeveritseemed,andthenIthoughtIsawalittle
brightlightandIbeganhearingavoice.AtfirstIcouldn'ttellwhatthevoicesaid,but
itseemedthatIbeganlisteningbetter,andsoonIcouldhearbetter,andprettysoonI
heardyoutalkingtome.IknowIdidn'tknowyou,butIwastiredandsleepy,and
somewayIknewyouwouldtakecareofme.Youwill,won'tyou?

Againshewasreassuredandshewasaskedwhatnextshewanted.Tellmyhusband.
Shewasaskedifshedidnotthinksheoughttoremembertheentireepisodewhenshe
awakened.Herreplywastheinquiry,WillIgetscaredagain?Shewasansweredwith,
Notunlessyouwanttobe.Idon't,washerearnestassertion.Accordingly,shewas
arousedand,withnofurtherinstruction,consciouslyretoldthewholestorywith
embarrassmentandsomeslightdistressabouttheextremesofherbehavior.Shewas
thenaskedifitwouldnotbewellforhertorelatetheentirestorytoherhusband.
Herreplywas,Ohyes,orhewillworryaboutme.Shealsoagreedthatherhusband's
partnercouldbepresentwhenshelearnedthathehadparticipatedinthesituation.

Herhusbandasked,Wereyouthinkingaboutthatneighborwhenyouinsistedonthe
vacationtrip,includinggoingtoyouroldhome?Oh,no!Ihaven'tthoughtofherfor
years.It'sjustthatIgotaletterfromAnn[agirlhoodfriend],thatgirlIusedtoknow

thatyoudidn'tlike,andIwantedtogobackandseeher.Furtherconversationand
discussionswerenotsignificantlyinformative.Sufficeittostatethatthevacationtrip
didincludeherdesiredvisitandthatheradjustmentshaveimprovedduringtheyears
thathaveelapsed.Herhusband'scommentonthecorrectionofhiswife'sproblem
was,Well,Isupposeithelpspeopletogetthingsoutoftheirsystem,butI'mnotsure
Iwouldrecommendstartingitthatway.

Theentiretherapeuticprocessforthispatientrequirednotovertwohours,andthe
passageofaboutahalfdozenyearsindicatesthatitwasadequate.

Conditionedresponse;Compoundsuggestionssecuringattentionandinitiatinginner
searchesandresponses.

DeconditioningHystericalCatalepsy:CaseReportTwo

Inthecaseofthesecondwoman,agedthirtyone,withapersonalitystructurevery
similartothatofthefirstpatient,andalsochildless,theimmediateemotional
difficultyhadarisenatthebreakfasttable.Shehadtimidlytoldherhusbandthat,on
returningfromatripthepreviousevening,thecarhadcollidedwiththesideofthe
garage.Shehadbentthefenderslightlyandbrokentheheadlight;becauseofthe
latenessofthehour,shehadnottoldhimbecauseofpossibleunpleasantness.Her
anticipatoryfearswerejustified,asthehusbandexplainedinaccountingforher
condition.Ijustrantedandravedlikeaprizeidiot,andshegotmadderandmadder,
andsodidI.Shefinallygrabbedherpurseandthrewitatme,anditfellopenand
thingsspilledout.Herpocketmirrorslidalongthefloorandstoppedrightwherethe
sunwasshiningonthefloor,andIcouldseehowitreflectedthesunlightsothatithit
herrightintheface.Shefrozeinstantly,justfrozerightlikeshewas,withherfaceall
mad,hereyesglaring,butshejustseemedasblindasabatandasdeafasastone.

Iyelledather,askingwhatwasthematter,butshedidn'tmakeamove.SoIshook
herandfinallyshelimberedupalittleandIbroughtherin.DidImakeherloseher

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

312/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

mind,andcanyouhelpher?

Themanwasreassuredbrieflyanddismissedfromtheoffice.Thewoman,whohad
enteredtheofficewithherhusbandanxiouslypropellingherlikeanautomaton,now
satlistlessly,withhereyesopenbutapparentlyunseeing.

Afterstudyingherappearanceforafewminutesthoughtfully,theseniorauthor
touchedhergentlyontheshouldertoattractherattention.Theeffectwaselectrifying.
Herbodyjerkedtorigidity,andhermouthopenedwidelyasiftoscream.Hereyes
werewideopen,thepupilsfullydilated.

Theseniorauthor,recallingthatshehadbecomefrozenstiffwhenthesunlighthad
flashedintohereyes,decidedtotryatechniqueessentiallycomparabletotheone
usedabove.

Placingthetoyblinkinglightwithinherfieldofvision,butkeepingitobscureduntil
thesuggestionshadbeenphrased,theauthorbegantheuseofatechniqueof
suggestionssimilartotheoneusedwiththefirstpatient.Abipartitesuggestionwas
used,synchronizingthefirstpartwiththeappearanceofthelightandthesecondpart

withthedisappearanceofthelight.Alsothetwopartsweresaidwithdistinctbut
differentemphasis,thefirstpartbeingemphasizedasafact,thesecondpartasa
reassurance.

Foraboutfifteenminutes,inrepetitiousmonotony,theseniorauthorcarefullystated
overandover,Youarefrightened,butfeelingbetter.Astheminutespassed,the
secondpartwasmorefirmlyemphasized,untilfinallyshebegantorelaxphysically.
Thenthesuggestionswereprogressivelychangedinthefollowingfashion:Youare
lessfrightened,youarefeelingbetter;youarelessfrightened,youarefeelingbetter
andrelaxed;youarefeelingstilllessfrightenedandmorerelaxedandbetter;lessand
lessfright,moreandmorerelaxed,better;justalightfright,somuchbetter;fright
going,going,gone,relaxed,comfortable;allbetter,readytorelax;tosleep,torelax,
tosleep;anddeeper,deeperanddeeperanddeeperasleep.

Abouttenminutesofthisgraduatedchangeinsuggestionsresultedinacomfortable,
relaxedstateofdeephypnosis.

Anewsuggestionwasoffered:Andnowyoucanlookbackonlastnightasifitwere
lastweekorevenlastmonthwhoreallycaresnow?Justfeelcomfortableandjustas
ifyouwereanotherperson.Tellmewhathappenedtothatyoungwomaninher
kitchenthatscaredher.

Withverylighturgingandonlyslightemotionaldisplaysheanswered,Lightinher
eyes,scared,shethoughtautomobilegoinghither.Scared,couldn'tmove.Shewas
told,NowIwantyoutounderstandallIsay.Thatyoungwomanwasyou,andyou
werescared,butthat'sallovernow.Youarehere,talkingtomeaboutit.Justtellme
everything.JustrememberIdon'tknowasinglelittlethingaboutit,sobesuretotell
meallevenifyouthinkpartsarenotimportant(theitalicizedwordswereintendedto
minimizethewholeeventwithoutdoingsonoticeably).

Shetoldastoryofabitterquarrelwithherbrotherandofstrikinghimandturningto

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

313/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

run,ofhowsheranintothestreet,ofhowherbrotheryelled,andthenshestartedto
looktowardhim.Itwasevening,andacarwithglowingheadlightswasbearingdown
uponher.Shewastooparalyzedtomove,andshestoodstaringhelplesslyevenafter
thecarswervedbyher.Shewasforciblyhauledoutofthestreetbyheriratefather,
whosoundlyspankedbothherandherbrother.Thisincidenthad,tothebestofher
knowledge,beenlongforgotten,butthequarrelwithherhusbandoveracar,the
associatedheadlight,herassaultbythrowingherhandbagatherhusband,andthe
mirrorflashingsunlightinherfacehadallcombinedtorevivify,inaviolently
emotionalsituation,acomparableemotionalsituationoflongpastexperience.

Thecourseofhandlingwassimilartothatoftheotherpatient.Sheandherhusband
wereseenforanadditionalthreehours,primarilytomeettheircurrentneeds.The
beneficialresultsofthetherapy,briefasitwas,arestillpersistent.

Fixationofattention,compoundsuggestionswithvocalcues;Pun(lightfright);
Dissociationinitiatinginnersearchesandresponses;Twolevelcommunication.

Alittleneedstobesaidabouttheunderlyingexperientialfactorsandconditionings
thatlongafterwardweremanifestedinthehighlydisturbedstatesthatdevelopedin

thesetwowomen.Inthelimitedmeaningsascribedtothetermbyvariousschoolsof
thoughtthesetwoproblemswereclearlypsychodynamicincharacter.Butthatthe
handlingoftheproblemtherapeuticallymustnecessarilybebasedonaritualistic,
orthodox,orclassicalmethodofapproachis,totheseniorauthor,neitherreasonable
norprofitable.Thepatientspresentedaproblemthatneededtobehandledatonce.
Theproblemswereremoteinorigin,recentonlyinmanifestation.Tosearchforthose
remoteoriginswouldhavebeenimpossibleuntilthetraumaticcourseofstressful
emotionaleventsrenderedthepatientsmoreaccessibleandprobablymore
permanentlydamaged.Pastexperiencewithmanysimilarpatientssuggeststhe
importanceofareadyapproachtotheimmediateproblembydealingwithitdirectly.

Onecanspeculateonwhatwouldhavehappenedhadapharmacologicalapproach,
electricshock,orextensivepsychoanalysisbeenemployed.Theseniorauthorhas
seenpatientshebelievedweresimilartothesesotreatedwithadverseconsequences.

Inthetreatmentgiventhesepatientsitisapparentthathypnosisisamodalitythat
offerspossiblemethodsofapproachtopatientsdifficulttoreachbyordinary
interpersonalmethods.Hypnosisalsoofferstheopportunityofdealingwiththe
patientattwolevelsofawareness,sothatthepatientcansafelyapproachacomplete
understandingofatraumaticexperiencethatwaspreviouslyrepressedasintolerably
painfulthatis,atanunconsciouslevelofmentationandthenatalevelofconscious
awareness.

AnInstanceofAggressionTranformation

[Previouslyunpublishedpaperwrittenbytheseniorauthorandeditedforpublicationherebythe
juniorauthor.]

FromalmostthefirstdayinmedicalschoolAnnehadmadeherselfunpopularwith
bothstudentsandprofessors.Shewasalwaysinsightattheclassroomdoorwell
aheadoftime,butsheneverthelessenteredtheclassroomfromfivetotwentyminutes

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

314/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

late.Eachtimeshewouldwalkacrossthefrontoftheroom,downthefarside,and
findaseatintherearoftheroom.Ifshehadtoentertheroomfromtherear,she
walkeddownthesideaisle,crossedthefrontoftheroom,andthensoughtaseatin
therearoftheroom.

Repeatedlyshehadbeenprivatelyandpubliclyrebukedbyherteachers,some
patiently,someirately.Shealwayslistenedcourteously,wouldapologizetothem,and
theninsubsequentclassesshewouldpenalizethemfortherebukebybeinglaterand
moreostentatious.Herclassmatescametoresenther,someofthemintenselyand
rudely.Nothingavailed,andeverybodycontinuedtoresentthisconstantirritationby
Anne.

Anewprofessorwasaddedtothefaculty,andwhenhisstudentmanagementmethods
becameknown,Anne'sreformationwasgleefullypredicted.

Theprofessor'sfirstlectureofthatsemesterofAnne'sattendanceofhisclasseswasat
8:00A.M.Hearrivedat7:40A.M.andwasgreetedcordiallybyalargenumberof
students,includingAnne.Onebyonethestudentsfiledintotheclassroomandtook
theirseatsexpectantly.Annewasnotamongthem.Theprofessorclosedthe
classroomdoorwhichwasatthefrontoftheroom,tookhisplaceonthepodium,and
beganhislecture.AtfifteenminutespastthehourAnneentered.Instantlythe

professorpausedinhislecture,extendedhishandspalmuptotheexpectantstudents,
andsilentlymotionedforthemtostand.ThenheturnedtowardAnneandsilently
salaamed,andsodidthestudents,untilshehadtakenherseat.Thelecturewasthen
continuedasiftherehadbeennointerruption.

Atthecloseofthehourthestudentsrushedouttospreadthenews.Everybodywho
metAnnestudent,secretary,professor,eventhedeansalaamedsilently,andher
entryintoanyclassroomthatdaywasanorgyofsilent,respectfulsalaaming.

Annewasontimeforallclassesthenextdayinfact,shetendedtobethefirstto
arrive.

Severalmonthslatershesoughtouttheprofessortoaskforintensivepsychotherapy
andestablishedexcellentrapportwithhim.

TherationaleforthistreatmentofAnneisrathersimple.Hertardiness,whateverits
remoteorigin,hadbecomeanaggression,wasreceivedassuch,continuedassuch,
andwasuniversallyregardedbyhercolleaguesandinstructorsasanintolerablebut
continuingaffront.TheentiresituationcalledforaneffectiveaggressionagainstAnne
thatwouldeliminate,andthusabolish,heraggression.

Bythesimpleprocessofasilentsalaaming,Anne'saggressionwasinstantly
transformedintoatotallydifferentkindofthingthatofferednotanopportunityfor
aggressiveretaliativeattackbutajoyousparticipationbyallothersinthe
transformationoftheaggression.YetAnnewas,inessence,leftunscathedasa
person,sincetherestillremainedwithherthecontroloftheaggression.Thisshe
promptlymanifestedthenextdaybyherownabolitionofheraggression.

Don'tThinkoftheBaby

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

315/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

Thisreportconcernsaproblemofbriefduration,decidedlyacuteincharacterand
markedbyterrified,obsessional,insistentdemands.

Thepatientswereayoungcoupleintheirearlytwenties.Bothwereattendingcollege,
andtheyhadbeenengaginginsexualrelationsregularlyfornearlyayear.Theyhad
justdiscoveredthatthereexistedapregnancyofabouttwomonths'duration.Both
setsofparentswerefuriousandunforgivingandassertedemphaticallythatItbetterbe
gottenridof,ornomorecollege(onemoreyearofcollegeforeachremained).
Extremeandunreasoningemphasishadbeenplacedupontheshameentailedforall
relativesandfriends.Theyoungcouplehadplannedtomarrybutnotuntilafter
graduationfromcollege.

Thecouplewasseriouslydistressedbytheirsituationandbytheparentalattitudes
thathaddevelopedtoincludenocollegeandnomarriageunlessyouspareusthis
shame.Thefatheroftheyoungmanfurnishedhimsufficientmoneyandadviceon
wheretosecuretheabortion.Afriendoftheyoungman,knowingaboutthesituation
andawareofthehighlydisturbedemotionalstateofthecouple,suggestedthatthey
seetheseniorauthorandgettranquilizedbeforeundertakingtherisksofanillegal
abortion.

Theirdistresswasgreatlyaugmentedwhentheseniorauthoruncompromisingly
discountenancedanabortion.Norwouldtheylistentotheseniorauthor'ssuggestions
ofothermorereasonablepossibilities.Fortwolonghourstheyinsistentlyrepeated
demandsthattheseniorauthorapprovetheabortionandthatheundertakethetask
himselfbyusinghypnosistoinducephysiologicalactivity,therebymakingitlegal,
andthatheprescribetranquilizingdrugstocalmbothofthem.Theyexpressedfear
thattheiroverwroughtemotionalstate,inviewoftheseniorauthor'slackof
cooperation,mightcauseanabortionisttorejectthemastoomuchofarisk,since
neithercouldkeepfromburstingintohystericalsobsatfrequentintervals.

Brief,scatteredbitsofinformationdisclosedthateachwasanonlychild,highly
protectedbyrigid,domineeringparents,andthateachwascompletelydependenton
theirparentsforeverythingincludingeventheiropinionsingeneral.Theywere
genuinelyinloveandwereexpectingtobemarriedwithparentalblessingsupon
beinggraduatedfromcollege.Amongtheplannedweddingpresentswereasecure
positioninthefirmofthefatherinlawtobefortheyoungmanandabeautifulhome
fromtheyoungman'sparents.Nowallofthis,theirentireplannedanddesiredfuture,
wasatstakeunlesstheyabidedbyparentalcommandsandsecuredtheabortion.

Twofullhoursofdesperateendeavorfailedtomaketheslightestimpressionupon
theirinsistent,hysterical,highlyobsessional,repetitionaldemands.

Finallytheseniorauthordecidedtocapitalizeupontheobsessionalfearfulbehavior
theywerebothconstantlymanifestingbyusingthatverybehavioritself.As
everybodyknows,itisimpossibletoholdastopwatchtotimeoneselfandtoavoid
thinkingaboutanelephantforonewholeminute.Thissimple,childishchallenge
seemedtopresentamethodofdealingaffectivelywiththeproblemtheypresented.

Accordingly,theauthoremphaticallydemanded,Allright,allright,quietnow,quiet
ifyouwantthehelpyouask.Quiet,andletmetellyouhowtoensuregettingthe

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

316/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

abortionyouaredesperatelytryingtoprovetomethatyouwant.Youhavetoldme
youwanttheabortion.Youhavetoldmethatthereisnootherchoice.Youhavetold
methat,regardlessofeverything,youaregoingtogoaheadwiththeabortion.You
declaremostemphaticallyandresolutelythatnothingcanstopyou.Nowletmewarn
youaboutonethingthatcanstopyou,thatwillsurelystopyou,againstwhichyou
willbetotallyhelplessifyouarenotwarnedaboutitinadvance.Quietnow!Listen
attentivelybecauseyouneedtoknowthisifyoureallywanttheabortion,ifyoureally
intendtogettheabortion.Nowlistenquietlyandattentively.Areyoulistening?

Bothnoddedtheirheadssilently,expectantly.Theseniorauthorcontinued,Youdo
notknowanimportantthing,avitallyimportantthing.Thatessentialinformationis
this:Youdonotknowwhetherthatbabyisaboyoragirl.Youdonotsee,cannotsee,
thevitalconnectionbetweenthatquestionandtheabortionyouhavetoldmethatyou
want.Yetthatquestionwillpreventyoufromgettingtheabortionsinceyoudon't
knowtheanswer.Yourpersonalities,yourpsychologicalmakeupsmakethatquestion
important.Youdonotknowwhy,butwhoexpectsyoutoknow?Letmeexplain!If
thatbabyweregoingtobekeptbyyou,you,notknowingifitwereaboyoragirl,
wouldhavetothinkofanameforitthatwouldfiteithersex,suchasPat,whichcould
beeitherPatrickorPatricia,orFrancesforagirlorFrancisforaboy.Nowthatisthe
verythingyoumustavoidatallcosts.Undernocircumstances,notevenonce,after

youleavethisoffice,areyoutothinkofapossiblenameforthatbaby,anamethat
wouldfiteithersex.Todosoandtokeepondoingsowouldcompelyou
psychologicallytokeepthebaby,nottogetanabortion.Hence,underno
circumstancesareyoutodaretothinkofanameforthatbaby.Please,pleasedon't,
becausethenyouwon'tgetanabortion.Everytimeyouthinkofaname,thatthinking
willdefinitelydeteryoufromgettinganabortion.Youwillbeforcedintotakingthe
moneyyouhaveandseeingajusticeofthepeaceandgettingmarried.Youwantan
abortion,andyoucan'thaveitifyouthinkofaname,sodon't,justdon't,don'tdon't
thinkofaname,anynameforthebabyafteryouleavethisoffice,becauseifyoudo
youwillkeepit,sodon'tdon'tdon'tthinkofaname,anyname.Nowwithoutanother
word,notoneword,notasingleword,especiallynotababy'sname,leavethisoffice
atonce."Thereupontheseniorauthortookthembyhandandledthemquicklytothe
doortohastentheirdeparture.

Severaldayslatertheyreturnedsmilinginanabashedfashion,stating,Afterwegot
marriedbecausewejustcouldn'thelpthinkingofdozensofnames,andeveryname
madethebabymoreprecioustouswerealizedthatallyoudidwasbringustoour
sensesbeforewedidsomethingawfulfoolishandawfulwrong.Wehadjustlostour
heads,andourparentsdidn'thelpeitherthat'swhyweactedlikesuchawfulfoolsin
youroffice.

Inquirydisclosedthatbothsetsofparentsacceptedtheelopementinsteadofan
abortionwithaprofoundsenseofrelief.Theoriginalplansforsettinguptheyoung
couplewerecarriedoutwhenthehusbandwasgraduated.

Theyoungmotherhadtodelayhergraduationforsometime.Thenthegrandmothers
alternatelybabysatsothattheyoungmothercouldcompletehercollegework.Atthe
presenttimelittleLesliehasseveralyoungsiblings.

Fromtheverybeginningoftheinterviewwiththisdistraughtcoupletheextreme

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

317/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

obsessionalcharacteroftheirbehavior,thought,andemotionswasmostmarked.
Theyseemed,aspersons,tobesound,yetcaughtinasituationtheycouldnothandle.
Hypnosiswasobviouslynotasuitableprocedure,butitwasrealized,asobservation
ofthemcontinued,thathypnotictechniqueofsuggestion,seeminglywordedtofavor
undesirableresults,couldeffectpositiveresultsandthataspeciouspsychological
contingencycouldbesoemphaticallysuggestedtothemthattheirownhysterical,
obsessionalbehaviorwouldmakeiteffectiveinsecuringadesirableendresult.The
presentationoftheproblemsoemphaticallyofnotthinkingofanamebefittingeither
sexoutsideoftheofficeandonlyincidentallymentioningmarriagebyajusticeofthe
peace,withoutactuallysuggestingthattheyresorttoit,precludedanytendencyfor
themtorebelbecausetheyhadbeentoldwhattodo.Thiscreatedafavorableclimate
fortheirvoluntarymarriagebyajusticeofthepeace,sincetheywerenot
recognizablysoinstructed.Fundamentaltothisevolutionofresultswastheirown
senseofguilt,theirowndesireformarriage,theirneedtodosomething,the
unexpressed,unrecognizedangerattheirhithertoloving,permissiveparents,their
outragedfeelingsattherageanddemandsthattheyobeytheirparents'commands,
andthesuggestionofthefriendthattheyseektranquilization.Allthisresultedina
disturbedemotionalstatethatlefttheminanessentiallyirrationalstate.Theauthor
thensimply,deliberately,utilizedtheirownstateofirrationalthinkingtoeffecta
favorableoutcomebytheuseofahypnotictechniqueofthepresentationofideasina

fashionconducivetoacceptancedespitetheiroverwroughtemotionalstate.
Additionally,thattechniqueofsuggestionsubtlytransformedtheproblemfromwe
mustgetanabortiontowemustnotthinkofanameforthebaby.Thiscouldonlybea
losingbattle,andtheverydesperatenessoftheireffortsnottothinkofasuitablename
couldonlyservetobringthemcloserandclosertomarriage,asindeeditdid.

Theuseofnegativity(theymustnotthinkofababy'sname)isofdecisive
significanceinthiscase.Sincetheirwholesituationwaspermeatedwithnegativity
(theirparentswouldnothelpthem,theycouldnotfinishcollege,nothaveababy,not
getmarried,etc.),theseniorauthorwasutilizingadominantmentalsetbyphrasing
hissuggestioninanegativeform.Sincenegativitywasthedominantmentalset,it
wasthemosteffectiveonetoachievethedesiredresults.

Utilizingthepatient'sownpatternsofobsessionalthinkingandaffect;Questions
initiatingunconscioussearchesandprocesses;Negativesuggestion;Posthypnotic
suggestiontiedtobehavioralinevitabilities.

CHAPTER9

FacilitatingPotentials:TransformingIdentity

Case12UtilizingSpontaneousTrance:An
ExplorationIntegratingLeftandRightHemispheric
Activity

SESSION1:SpontaneousTranceandItsUtilization:

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

318/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

SymbolicHealing

Jillwasanattractivethirtyyearoldmotherwhowascollegeeducatedandhighly
talentedasanartist.Shevisitedtheseniorauthortolearnifherspontaneousstatesof
reveriewereactuallyaformofhypnosis.Shereportedthatshewouldsometimes
lapseintospontaneousperiodsofreveriewhenshewaspaintingsuchthatherbody
suddenlybecamecompletelyimmobileinthemiddleofabrushstrokeandshe
experiencedherselfasbeingdeeplyabsorbedinfantasiesandvisionsthatwouldcross
hermindlikeavividdream.Theseperiodsmightlastanywherefromafewminutesto
hours.Shereportedthatsheoftenexperienceddeeplymeaningfulinsightsduring
theseperiods,andatthepresenttimemanyofherinnerexperiencesservedas
inspirationsforherart.

Immediatelyuponenteringtheofficeforthefirsttime,beforeawordwasspoken,Jill
focusedonawoodendolphinthatwasoneofmanyunusualcarvingsontopofa
bookcase.Asshesatwithherattentionstillfixatedonthedolphin,shebegantospeak
inasoft,farawayvoiceaboutthedolphinwhoswamawaytosea,thedolphinislost.
ItwasimmediatelyobvioustobothauthorsthatJillhadlapsedintooneofher
spontaneousperiodsofreverie;fromaclinicalpointofviewsheappeareddelusional.
Afterafewminutesoftalkaboutthedolphin,Jillseeminglyblinkedandcamebackto
therealityoftheofficesituationwithEwatchingherintentlyandRfumblingtoget
thetaperecorderoperating.Dr.X,apsychologistwithacademictrainingin
experimentalhypnosis,wasalsopresent.EfirstquestionedJillpolitelytodetermineif
shehadbeentakinganydrugs,butsheblushedsmilinglyandassuredhimthatshehad
nevertakenanypsychedelicdrugs.Suchbehaviorwasnormalforher.

IndividualDifferencesinTranceBehavior

E:Howfarawaywereyou?

J:Asfarawayastheocean.

E:Allright.WasIthere?

J:No.

E:Youwerealone,Ithoughtso.[ToR]Sheshowedalackofmovementthatwe
allshowintheabsenceofothers.Thedissociationofherrightarmwasacute.
Theleftarmsomewhat.Therewasafailureofheadmovements.Hereyelids
sanktoaonehalflevel.Assheisbehavingrightnow,sheismuchmorein
contact.

R:Sothatwasclassicaltrancebehavior.

E:Sheisevidencinghereherownpatternoftrancebehavior.Thereisnosuchthing
aspuretrancebehavior.

R:Thereisnosuchthingaspureorclassicaltrancebehavior:Everyonemanifests
theirownindividualpattern.Certainbehaviorslikebodyimmobilityandaltered

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

319/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

eyeballbehavioraretypical,however.

SpontaneousTranceEquivalenttoREMSleep?

J:Wouldapersoninsuchastatecallitleavingorwhateveryouwanttocallit
canthattaketheplaceofsleepsometimes?SometimesI'llbeverytiredandI'll
wanttogoandpaintsomething.I'mtired,butI'llmakethedecisiontopaint
anyway.Butwhathappensalotis,thatI'llbepaintingandI'llstillthinkI'm
paintingbutit'slike,I'mnotasleepexactly,butit'slikeI'msomewhereelse.
Totally.It'snotjustathought,likethinkingofsomethingelse.

JusttheothernightIrealizedIdidthis.IdidnotrealizeIdidthisuntil,oh,four
daysago,whenIsawmyhandholdingabrushinthesamepositionforaboutat
leasttwentyminutesorahalfhour.AndIthoughtIwassomewhereelseinthis
kindofimaginativeconversation.AndIthoughtIhadnotsleptforalongtime
andIhadwokenupfromadream.ButIrealizeditwasn't[adream],sincethe
brushwasthere.AndIdidnotfeeltiredanymore.Ipaintedforafewhours
longer,andthenIwassurprisedtoseeitwasevengettingtobemorning.I'ma
littleshyabouttalkingaboutitsinceitisessentiallysuchaprivatekindofthing
thatIdo.

E:Itisaverynicekindofthing.[Pause]

E:Itisastatesimilartothehypnotic,andyoucanrest,youcanbecomfortable.
Youcanpaint.Youcantrustyourunconsciousmind.

E:Shedoesaremarkablejobofexplaining.Howonearthdoyougetacrosstoa
personthatyouhaveexperiencedatotallydifferentfeeling?Sheknowsthatshehas
differentfeelingsintrance,butshereallydoesn'tknowhowtodescribethem,and
neitherdoI.

R:Thefeelingsaresoprivatethatshehasnoexternalreferencestodevelopa
communicationbridge.Herdescriptionofthesespontaneoustrancessuggeststhatfor
her,atleast,thereisanequivalencebetweentranceandtheREMstageofdream
sleep,sinceshecomesoutoftrancerefreshedasifshehadbeenasleep.

NegativeHallucinationinSequentialStages

[JnowevidencesminimalcuesofenteringatranceasshelistenstoE.Hereyes
areinafixedstareathim,andherbodyremainscompletelyimmobile.]

E:Nowyouhaveforgottenthepresenceoftheothers.

[Pause]

Howcompletelyhaveyouforgottenthepresenceofothers?

[Pause]

Howmuch?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

320/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

J:Idon'tknowhowtomeasureit.

E:Buttheywereawfulvaguetoyoujustnow,right?

J:Yes,yes.AlthoughIthinkIwasjustonthesurface.

E:Youloseaknowledgeofthepresenceofothersfirstbylosingthenumberpresent,
thenlosingwhichsex,andonlythenthepositiveidentityoftheperson.Whenyou
loseyouridentityorrecognitionofwhoispresent,thenyoufinallycanlosethe
totalityoftheirpresence.Idon'tknowwhythatis,butitalwaysfollowsthat
progression.Herremarkaboutnotknowinghowtomeasureitisveryrevealing:
Consciousnessdoesnothaveavailablealltheknowledgethatisintheunconscious,
whichactuallygovernsourperceptionsandbehavior.

R:Losingfirstthenumberpresentmakessense,sincenumberisprobablythemost
abstractlefthemisphericfunction.Thelossthenprogressesbydegreesuntilyou
finallyloserecognition,orthemostconcreteperceptualrighthemisphericaspectof
thesituation.

TranceinEverydayLife:RightandLeftHemisphericDissociationin
Trance?

X:Whenyouaskedaboutherattendingtotherestofus,shecameoutofit,her
state.

E:Andyousawhercomeoutofit.
X:Immediately.

E:Andyousawherrecognizeit.Shecamefromsomewheretohere.Nowyou
canusethatforveryconstructivepurposes.Emotionallyconstructive,artistically
constructive,andconstructiveasfarasthoughtisconcerned.

J:Canitbedoneonpurpose?ImeancanIwillit?CanIuseitthatway?
BecauseIknowthatIfeelbetterwhenIamdoingsomepaintingandI,Idon't
knowwhatwordstousetolabelit,whenIgointothat,whenthathappens,when
Iexperiencethat.

E:Yes,youcandoitintentionally.

J:Isthatthesameaswhenyouarelisteningtomusicandyouhavethefeelingof
actuallyenteringthemusic?Orbeinginsideofcolorsinsteadofjustusingthem
ontheoutside?Itisveryfunnytotalkabout,becauseitisnotjustsomethingto
talkabout,exactly.Ifeelalittleshy.

R:Thisslightfallingintotranceorreverieisanormalaspectofeverydaybehavior.
YouandDr.Xaretrainedobserversandcanpickitupimmediately.Youcanusethis
awarenessofthespontaneousbeginningsoftrancetochoosethemostappropriate
momentforinducingorencouragingfurthertrance.Doyouwaitforsuchmomentsto
inducetrance?

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

321/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

E:Theyaregoingtobeinterestedinwhatmakesmethinktheycanbeputintoa
trance.SoImerelymakeuseoftheirinterestandkeepawayfromformaltrance
induction.

R:Howdoyoumakeuseoftheirinterest?Youdirectittotheinnerpartsoftheirown
world?

E:Yes.AndthereIstaywiththem.

R:Hercontinuedemphasisonnotknowingwhatwordstousetolabelit,whenIgo
intothat...stronglysuggeststhereisadissociationbetweentheverbalaspectsofleft
hemisphericfunctioningandtherighthemisphericexperienceoftrance,whereinone
hasthefeelingofenteringthemusicandbeinginsideofcolors.

IndirectInductionofTrancebyFocusingonInnerExperience

E:Don'tbeshy.Awomanwhothinksasanartistattendedoneofmylectures
andtoldmeshecouldnotbehypnotized.Itoldherthatwasallrightandasked
herwhattypeofmusicsheliked.Shesaidshelikedorchestralmusic.Iaskedher
ifshecouldpickoutthesecondviolinistoverthere.Andshepickedhimout.She
describedhisclothes,shefoundaredheadedmusician.Doyouknowthat
orchestrathenplayedallherfavoritepiecesofmusic?Iknewfromthewayshe
talkedthatshecoulddoit,butshedidn'tknowit.Shewentintothatdissociated
stateandheardthemusicandcouldseethepeopleverynicely.Andthatisavery
excellentthingtodo.SarahBernhardtinheractingwashavingaquarrelwith
herhusbandinaplay.Sheunintentionallytookoffherweddingring,andshe
reallytookitoff.

Youdogetinsidethings,andthereisnothingwrongorabnormalaboutit.Every
personwhohasalotoffeelinghashangupsabouthowotherpeoplefeelaboutit.
Nowwhatpleasuresdoyoulike?Doyoulikeswimming?

J:Yes,allthepleasures.Allthepleasures!That'sit![Shenowbeginstocry.]I
trynotto,Idon'twanttobethatway,butIdofeelguiltyaboutenjoyingallthe
thingsIenjoy.Whetheritisdoingmythinginartandreallygoingintoit.That's
whyIcry.

R:Youcaninducetrancemostsubtlyandeasilybysimplylettingapersonfocuson
whatisofmostinteresttothem.Tranceisinitiatedwhentheybecomeabsorbedin
somethingtheyarereallyinterestedin.Thisisthebasisofallindirectinductionof
trance.

E:Yes.Ididnotaskthatwomanifshewantedtoentertrance.Isimplyaskedherif
shecouldpickoutthesecondviolinist.

R:Youfindaninterestareaoftheperson.Anareawheretherearestrongprograms
builtintotheperson,andyoujustfocusonthattoinducetrance.

E:That'sall!

https://archive.org/stream/MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook/Milton%20H%20Erickson%20%20Hypnotherapy%20%20An%20

322/420

12/25/2016

Fulltextof"MiltonHEricksonHypnotherapyAnExploratoryCasebook"

R:Butwhydoyoursubjectsbecomesoabsorbedintheirinterestareasthattrance
behaviorisevident?Wealltalkaboutwhat'sintenselyinterestingtousinnormal
conversationseverydaywithoutfallingintotrance.

E:BecauseIsticktothatonething!

R:Theconversationdoesnotjumptosomethingelse.Youfocusononething,you
intensifythatabsorption,andthat'swhattranceis.

E:Idon'tlettheconversationjumptoanythingelse.Yes,tranceisafocusingonone
thing.Watkinshaswrittenapaperdescribingatranceasdroppingalltheperipheral
fociandnarrowingitdowntoonefocus.Iagreewiththat.

ARapidAgeRegressionandTherapeuticReorientation

E:Ithinkthatisaverynicethingthatyouenjoy.

J:Idotoo.Itisn