What is Clinical or Therapeutic Hypnosis? Hypnosis is an approach used by licensed and trained clinicians for treating psychological or physical problems. This process typically is started through the use of a hypnotic induction, which creates an altered state of consciousness commonly referred to as trance. During the patient's trance state, their conscious mind is relaxed, allowing the subconscious mind to be accessed. This can allow the therapist to cultivate inner resources, skills, or abilities that may otherwise be unavailable to the conscious mind for one reason or another.
Not sure where to start? The Fundamentals of Hypnosis series has got you covered. From creating inductions, the importance of language in hypnosis, common phenomena to look for in a hypnotic session, to therapeutic techniques that can be enhanced through hypnotic interventions.
Hypnotic induction is the process undertaken by a therapist to establish the state or conditions required for hypnosis to occur. The goal is to put the client into an altered consciousness state commonly referred to as trance. There are a variety of ways to use hypnotic inductions. Milton Erickson was known for the handshake induction.
Hypnosis has a specific grammar designed to elicit phenomenological realizations. Milton Erickson would often use a variety of techniques, including indirect suggestions, metaphors and anecdotes to guide patients towards their goals.
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object, person, or action that it does not literally denote (e.g., the journey of life) for the purpose of creating a forceful analogy. The use of metaphor is commonly used in Ericksonian therapy, especially in conjunction with anecdotes and storytelling. Metaphors can provide vivid visualizations and help simplify complex concepts.
Stories have the ability to engage people emotionally and to move them to change, but telling the right story at the right time to the right person is an art and a skill. Erickson’s use of stories in his conversations gave people of diverse views, using metaphors where they discovered their own ideas. Each anecdote was put in such a way that quite different people thought it was designed precisely for them. One of Erickson’s greatest skills was his ability to influence people indirectly. Erickson would tell the same case example in different ways to different people. While the essentials of the case remained the same, what he emphasized in the complex story would vary with the analogy he was communicating to that particular listener. What Erickson said and did had multiple purposes and he taught in complex analogies.
Still looking for more? Here's a listing of all our hypnosis recordings.