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 difficult to stop so they simply add the hypnotic suggestion as an acceptable conditional for the completion of the pattern of behavior that is already begun and pressing for completion. The contingent suggestion simply "hitchhikes" onto patients' ongoing flow of behavior. Responses that are inevitable and most likely to occur are made contingent on the execution of the hypnotic response. Erickson thus interlaces his suggestions into the patient's natural flow of responses in a way that causes hardy a ripple of demur.
The simplest form of contingent suggestion may be mother's injunction, "Shut the door on your way out!" as Johnny is running out the door. The already occurring flow of behavior, "on your way out" is made contingent upon "shut the door," since the mother is actually implying, "You can't go out unless you shut the door." Other examples used to systematically deepen trance are as follows:
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