Top 10 Principles of Ericksonian Hypnosis Induction


The Ericksonian Hypnosis and traditional hypnosis use some of the similar ingredients, but are more advanced than traditional hypnosis. Compared to traditional hypnotic fixed treatment scripts, Eric is patient-based and flexible. The cycle of hypnosis guided by Dr. Erickson does not simply relax the patient, but uses a series of principles that allow the patient to enter a special state that responds to his suggestion. Dr. Erickson does not use these principles in a straight line, but will use them according to each of the current needs, so the Ericksonian Hypnosis is compound and multi-layered. The hypnosis guiding principles used by Dr. Erickson are as follows:

(1) Guide attention : 

There are many ways to guide patients’ attention, and there are two main methods.
First, the patient’s attention is directed to the internal experience. For example, during hypnosis guidance, the patient is asked to look at a point on the wall. After a series of guiding processes, the patient closes his eyes and enters the inner world.
Second, focus the patient’s attention on the current experience. Of course, during hypnosis, the patient’s attention can be directed inward or outward according to the needs of the treatment; but usually the patient is confused at the beginning of the treatment, and the attention will be directed to the current inner experience, which will have a stable effect. At the stage of hypnosis guidance, it is often necessary to achieve a work that leads attention.


(2) Build responsiveness :

The hypnotist wants the patient to be as fully responsive to communication as possible. This is not a response to a direct suggestion of hypnotic language, such as asking the patient to do the same when they raise their hand which is a superficial response, not hypnotic. What is to be established is the reaction to indirect suggestion or minimal cues. For example, when the hypnotist talks about raising a raise before a primary school student speaks, when a friend meets a wave of greetings on the road, or mentions a wave called a taxi, the patient will automatically lift the hand. The hypnotist may also use the direction of the voice, the movements of the limbs, and let the patient raise his hand. This is a multi-level reaction of hypnosis.

(3) Guide association :

Dr. Erickson guides the patient’s thought process, often touching on past memories, and when the patient is attracted to past memories, Dr. Erickson reminds the patient that the hypnotic change has occurred.

(4) Utilize confusion to disrupt conscious set :

Jay Haley points out that “every hypnotic guide contains confusion, whether the hypnotist knows it or not.” When the hypnotist causes hypnosis, follow these three steps: pacing the current experience, then using confusion to disrupt the conscious experience, and then re-patterning the new subconscious experience. These three steps are the essence of hypnosis. If you carefully analyze the hypnosis process, you can find these three small steps.

(5) Promote dissociation :

Some hypnosis experts believe that hypnosis is dissociation, and patients can perform many cognitive activities at the same time. Taking the hand-hypnotization guide as an example, the patient experienced that when the arm is raised and the hand is lifted, the movement is different. The feeling is that the arm is lifted by itself. This is an automatic action. The patient knows that the arm is his own, but feels the arm has its own consciousness to complete the action of raising the hand.

(6) Pattern perceptual change :

During hypnosis, the patient experiences a change in sensation that is different from normal. It could be visual, auditory, or physical changes.

(7) Establish regression :

The regression of hypnosis is not the age-degradation of psychoanalysis alone, but also the regression of roles in the treatment relationship. The hypnotic relationship is usually the hypnotist’s strong side to “hypnosis” the patient.

(8) Assess motivation :

The motivation for treatment change is not a direct indication from the therapist to the patient, telling the patient what to do. It is the motivation for the internal self-change of the patient, which is initiated by the patient himself and uses the inner strength as the driving force for change.

(9) Ratify responses as hypnotic :

Confirm that the hypnotic response is not necessarily stated explicitly after hypnosis. Confirmation can adjust the patient’s attitude. After hypnosis is carried out for a period of time, the hypnotist suddenly reminds the patient of the change of experience, notices the change of intuition, let the patient find himself in a different state than usual.

(10) Define the situation as hypnosis :

If the patient’s “yes” response is obtained after the treatment, it is different from the general situation of the treatment relationship, the therapist does not have to clearly point out the occurrence of hypnotic reaction, you can use metaphor to confirm the hypnotic treatment situation, in informal hypnosis During the guiding process, the hypnotist uses a metaphorical way to calibrate the patient’s response to “hypnosis.”

It is not easy for beginners to quickly master the above principles and use them flexibly. However, the accumulation of practical experience will gradually grasp the essence of it.


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