Ericksonian Hypnosis

Ericksonian Hypnosis Technique: Grab It & Slap It Where You Need It

Often, when I’m working with groups, and sometimes when I’m working with individuals, I do a thing — an Ericksonian hypnosis thing.

I call it, “Grab a resource and slap it where you need it.” It works mostly content free, and it’s effective and fast. And it’s client centered.

Resources Applied To Problems

A lot of what we do to help people with NLP and hypnosis, is take a resource from one area, and apply it to another. For instance, if a person has a fear of public speaking, we might grab an anchor for calmness, and fire it off while they’re thinking about speaking in public.

You might do other things as well (use the fast phobia cure to knock down the fear, use the new behavior generator to mentally integrate a role model, etc.). Some of these are ways to decrease negative emotions and others, to put positive emotions in their place.

With hypnosis we can suggest a positive emotion, “And every time you begin to speak in public, calmness automatically flows through every cell of your body.” We could even regress them to a time when they were feeling calmness, and attach that feeling to the public speaking context.

The Process Is…

On a process level (which is a good place to focus), we’re simply finding an appropriate resource emotion, and applying it in a context where it’s needed. A whole bunch of NLP & hypnosis techniques are fancy-pants ways of doing that. Some other therapies, too.

For instance, having an ‘adult you’, comfort a ‘child you’ through a traumatic event, is a way to get adult resources to transform an old event. Reframing is often a way to bring the perspective from one situation to bear on another situation.

And typically, the client comes to us with a specific problem and together, we figure out what resource(s) would help best. The resource emotion(s) might be different for two different people, even for the same presenting problem.

Client-Centered Ericksonian Hypnosis Technique

So, knowing that different people need different things, what do you do, when you’re working with groups? Well, with Ericksonian hypnosis you can simply tell them to put a resource emotion where it’s needed.

“Your unconscious mind can now think of an area that needs improvement. It can pick the area in which improvement would give you the biggest boost in life. You may or may not consciously know what area your unconscious is improving. Now, unconscious mind, think of what emotional or mental state would help in that situation. If you could wave a magic wand and think or feel any way you’re capable of feeling, what feeling or mental state would most help in that situation. Go inside and get that feeling. Allow it to get stronger with each easy, natural, deep breath you take. Now, put that feeling or state, right where it will do the most good. Arrange it so that, whenever you’re in a situation where that feeling is helpful, it automatically happens and you feel that helpful emotion.

Now, each and every time that emotion is useful, it happens automatically, and it gets stronger and more effective each time. In your mind, go to a future situation where, that emotion would be useful. Feel that emotion automatically flow into your body and transform the situation for the better. Notice how well things go for you…”

High Performance States/Strategies

Another way to do it is to bring up something they do well. Have them access that, and then tell them to put those feelings where they would be useful. “Go inside and find something you do well. Apply that to another area where it’s needed.” That’s the short version.

And, of course, reinforce and future pace by mentally put them in several future situations and making sure the high performance state shows up.

Now, take note that you don’t even know what either the problem area, or the resource state is. Their unconscious decides. And that’s the beauty of it 🙂


PS: Of course, you can use this technique with self-hypnosis. Just give yourself instructions to go find something you do well, and apply that state or strategy where it would be most helpful.

About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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