Depotentiating Conscious Mental Sets Confusion Mental Flux And Creativity

R You keep patients constantly in flux, slightly off balance, so they will continually grasp onto whatever orientation you provide R That is one of the creative states within hypnosis that state of constant flux wherein the patient grasps the orientations you provide. R This is in contrast to the situation where you allow patients to remain quiet by themselves in a trance (Erickson, 1955) to work out their own solution to a problem in their own way. E When a person goes into a trance, you...

The Conscious And Unconscious In Clinical Hypnosis

Erickson emphasizes certain aspects of the relations between the conscious and unconscious and the many ways of utilizing them for therapeutic purposes in his work with clinical hypnosis. This is a major theme that is introduced in this first commentary and will be discussed further in practically all the following sessions. We believe that consciousness, programmed by the typical attitudes and beliefs of modern rationalistic man, is grievously limited. It has been estimated that, at best, most...

Confusion In The Dynamics Of Trance Induction

R You said earlier that in almost all your induction techniques, confusion is something that breaks up their reality orientation. It breaks their tie to normal awakeness E Yes. You know, ordinarily, what is what about yourself and the other person. When confused, you suddenly become concerned about who you are and the other person seems to be fading. R Confusion is an opening wedge to trance E Yes. If you are uncertain about yourself, you can't be certain about anything else. R Actually they...

Indirect Conditioning Of Trance

Erickson's use of indirect eyelid conditioning in this session is another prime example of his indirect approach. He labels a slow eye blink (associated with trance) with the word odd and a fast eye blink with the word even. The subject did not know the connection between her eye blinks and the words. An association can be made between the rapidity of eye blink and the words odd and even without conscious awareness. Once this association is made, then saying the word odd will tend to evoke slow...

Trance Training and Utilization

S What is the logic of what you do E In a learning situation you have to do your own learning. I want you to learn a lot faster than I did. It took me about 30 years to learn, and there is no sense in that. Now if I were treating you for a problem, I'd stay with you and give you support at different points. But you are in a learning process, getting the feel of everything. S But this way I just trip around till I'm bored and then come out of it. E Are you sure you come out of it because you are...

The Microdynamics Of Suggestion

Once Erickson has fixated and focused a patient's attention with a question or general context of interest (e.g., ideally, the possibility of dealing with the patient's problem), he then introduces a number of approaches designed to depotentiate conscious sets. By this we do not mean there is a loss of awareness in the sense of going to sleep we are not confusing trance with the condition of sleep. In trance there is a reduction of the patient's foci of attention to a few inner realities...

B Approaches to Hypnotic Induction

It is well that we speak of approaches to hypnotic induction rather than methods or techniques. These latter words have connotations of being mechanical, hard-and-fast procedures that one imposes on a person. Erickson imposes nothing. He simply tries to evoke the natural process within patients that will enable them to be receptive to their own inner realities and experience the possibility of new creative inner work being done to resolve a problem. Erickson has developed a bewildering variety...

The Implied Directive

The implied directive is a label we are proposing for a fairly common type of indirect suggestion that is in current use in clinical hypnosis (Cheek and LeCron, 1968). The implied directive usually has three parts (1) a time-binding introduction, (2) the implied (or assumed) suggestion, and (3) a behavioral response to signal when the implied suggestion has been accomplished. We may thus analyze an implied directive from this session as follows (1) A time binding introduction that focuses the...

Exercises with Contingent Suggestions

The value of observing regularities in patients' behavior which was emphasized in chapter 1, will now be apparent. The effectiveness of contingent suggestions depends in great part on their being appropriately timed and associated with regular patterns of ongoing behavior. The more a patient is locked into a certain pattern of behavior, the more powerful a vehicle will it be for the appropriately hitchhiked suggestion. Formulate both simple and complex contingent suggestions that you could...

Indirect Induction by Recapitulation

The indirect approach is a basic theme in Erickson's work and the source of a great deal of his originality. In this session he reveals his beliefs about how a patient learns to experience trance and illustrates many of his indirect approaches to suggestion. The therapist helps the patient learn to experience trance by depotentiating conscious sets and by creating a definite demarcation or dissociation between the trance state and the ordinary awake state. One of the major controversies in the...

Exercises with Not Doing and Not Knowing

Practice changing direct, positive suggestions into indirect suggestions of the you don't have to form. For example, instead of Remain quietly seated with your eyes closed, one may say You don't have to move or even bother keeping your eyes open, or You can just remain comfortable and quiet and not bother with anything.) 2. Formulate suggestions for not doing and not knowing that are appropriate for the induction and maintenance of trance. 3. Formulate suggestions for not doing that will...

The Conscious Unconscious Double Bind

Erickson frequently gives a preinduction talk about the differences between the functioning of the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. This prepares the patient for double binds that rest upon the fact that we cannot consciously control our unconscious. The conscious-unconscious double bind blocks the patient's usual voluntary modes of behavior so that responses must be mediated on a more autonomous or unconscious level. Any response to the following situations, for example, requires that...

Exercises With Ideomotor Signaling

Study the historical aspects of ideomotor signaling in the form of the thought reading experiments of the 19th century (Drayton, 1899), mediumistic phenomena such as table turning and the Ouiji board (Bramwell, 1921), the Chevreul pendulum (Weitzenhoffer, 1957), etc. Much of the so-called occult and psi phenomena may be understood as involuntary muscular movements and ideomotor and ideosensory responses that are unconsciously sent and received. 2. Study all varieties of apparently involuntary...

Exercises Utilizing Questions as Suggestions

Write out a complete induction using only question for the following approaches to trance d. Any other favorite approach such as visualization, etc. 2. Formulate series of questions that will focus a subject's attention and associative processes in such a manner that an experience of each of the classical hypnotic phenomena will be facilitated. 3. Formulate a series of questions that will focus a patient's memories and associations in a manner that will facilitate a therapeutic response. 4. The...

Trance Learning By Association

In this session Erickson again uses a more accomplished subject, Mrs. L., to demonstrate hypnotic responsiveness so that Dr. S can learn by association. Erickson begins with a surprise he asks Dr. S to perform her first hypnotic induction on another person. She does this surprisingly well in a way that is original while still utilizing a number of basic principles of hypnotic induction. The significance of this surprise request is that it prevented Dr. S from rehearsing ahead of time it forced...

As your hand lifts your eyelids will feel heavy

This juxtaposition of lifting and lightness with heavyness utilizes the balance between opponent systems in another way. If we emphasize lightness and levitation, then we are shifting the subject out of equilibrium so there will develop within the subject a countertendency to balance and oppose the lightness with heaviness. This natural countertendency could eventually defeat the levitation suggestions. If we utilize this natural countertendency to heavyness by suggesting another response where...

The Utilization Theory Of Hypnotic Suggestion

We recently outlined the utilization theory of hypnotic suggestion as follows (F.rickson and Rossi, 1975) Trance is a special state that intensifies the therapeutic relationship and focuses the patients attention on a few inner realities trance does not insure the acceptance of suggestions. Erickson depends upon certain communication devices . . . to evoke, mobilize and move a patient's associative processes and mental skills in certain directions to sometimes achieve certain therapeutic goals....

Right And Lefthemispheric Functioning In Trance

In our efforts to conceptualize Erickson's understanding of trance and its facilitation we have used a number of different models 1. The psychodynamic model of the conscious-unconscious system 2. The learning theory model of behavioral psychology 3. A linguistic model utilizing multiple levels of communication. From this session it is finally clear that a neuropsychological model utilizing the differences between right- and left-hemispheric functioning is also implicit in Erickson's work, even...

B Indirect Approaches to Hypnotic Suggestion

Wetterstrand 1902 , who was one of Bernheim's foremost students, described the problem of suggestion in a manner that places Erickson's indirect approaches in proper historical perspective. Suggestion, or rather suggestibility, is composed of two elements ability to receive an impulse from without, and the ideo-plastic faculty. The power that ideas possess to influence physiological conditions. As these are absolutely independent of each other, we must distinguish between them. There are...

Contingent Suggestions And Associational Networks

Another form of compound suggestion is used when Erickson arranges conditions such that a patient's normal flow of voluntary responses is made contingent on the execution of a hypnotic suggestion the contingent suggestion . A hypnotic response that may be low in a patient's behavioral hierarchy is associated with a pattern of responses high on the patient's behavioral repertory and usually already in the process of taking place. Patients find that the momentum of ongoing behavior is too...

Contradictions

Revealing contradictions within patients' minds demonstrates the inadequacy of their usual beliefs and prepares the way for a positive attitude toward an experience with therapeutic trance. Erickson makes something of a game of this as he helps a patient to realize contradictions between thought and feeling and, of course, between the conscious and unconscious. He frequently uses ideomotor movements as a proof of these contradictions. Thus, when a patient protests that an important memory is...

Trance Characteristics

It was kind of hard to think, flashing around in that state. R In the trance it's harder to think S Another thing flashed into my mind when Dr. Erickson mentioned going back and assuming another identity. I used the name Amy for a while in high school because we were all using different names. When you mentioned Ann Margaret, that Amy identity flashed in my mind. S continues to recount other memories of her teen years that she touched upon in trance. E How...

The Apposition of Opposites

That is a facility in behaving that serves many good purposes. And you should enjoy learning to forget not only ideas Purposely forgetting that you know a certain name when you decided you liked a different name and perhaps for a half day you entertained that your name was Darlene or Ann Margaret S appears to renew her slow head nodding at this point in apparent recognition or acceptance of what is being said. E This is a very common game among children and it reminds her of a forgotten game. R...