6 Hypnotic Patterns of Ericksonian Indirect Suggestion

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Milton Erickson is the fore father of the permissive hypnosis method. His style of hypnosis creates a communication channel with the Subconscious Mind of the person he wants to hypnotize through indirect suggestion. The following is a list of 6 Ericksonian hypnotic patterns:

1) Non directive suggestion – This is one of the key differences between Erickson’s hypnosis style versus the traditional authoritative hypnosis. The type of direct suggestion appeals more to the Conscious Mind.

A person under direct hypnosis trance is more prone to analyze what is happening around him. This will actually slow down the level of induced trance.

An indirect suggestion resonates with the Unconscious Mind and is less likely to trigger evaluation by the person under hypnosis.

2) Embedded commands – Erickson often use embedded or hidden command in his method of hypnosis. This process works very well because our Unconscious Mind would hear and respond to embedded command.

3) Embedded description – This pattern is very similar to embedded command. The way this is done is by describing in detail what he wants the other person to feel.

To emphasis the way he describes things, Erickson will usually pause and change to a gravelly tone of voice. The tonality of his voice is slightly deeper which might be very attractive to a person’s Unconscious Mind.

4) Affirmative sets – Erickson uses affirmative or “Yes” sets to get the agreement of the person he want to hypnotize.

A Yes set is a series of statement or questions that has a person saying or thinking “Yes, yes, yes”. When it is time to add a crucial instruction, he would then get a positive response.

5) Truisms about sensations – Ericksonian hypnosis method uses the affirmative set of truisms about sensations to lead a statement of what the other person is feeling. Because he is already in an agreeing mood, he is more likely to feel just what that have been suggested.

6) Truisms utilizing time – In this pattern, Erickson would say that something is about to happen and leaving the timing up to the other person. This is suggestive in itself and acts as a convincer when the thing happens.

For example, he would say “Sooner or later, you are going to close your eyes”. As soon as the person under hypnosis closes his eyes, he would say “That’s right”. That will reinforce the suggestive messages.

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