Hypnosis as a way of communicating

In my last post, I talked about one interpretation of hypnosis as being a particular kind of state, one that’s not all that unusual, in fact, seen every day in most people.

Like any other complex, human phenomenon, hypnosis can be viewed through several different lenses, each of which gives it another useful perspective.  One such viewpoint is that of communication and language patterns.

It’s interesting, but I had a client a while ago who, for reasons of religion, didn’t want me to do any formal hypnosis.  During our talk however, she explained how she did sales at her job.  A good portion of her sales abilities were dependent on hypnotic communication patterns! Did she “hypnotize” her customers? Of course not!  However, language IS powerful and the use of special patterns in speaking to someone can determine how well they follow your ideas or consider something that is presented to them.

I remember when I was in college, there was a Brittanica Encyclopedia salesman at the student union.  We talked for a bit, and, considering my own high value on information and its availability (long before the internet), I was really thinking of getting the classic encyclopedia set.  I had, by this time though, already studied hypnotic communication patterns on my own.  The salesman went down the form, talking about how he would fill it in, what each section could be answered and finally, showing me the place that I could put my name on the dotted line to purchase the books.  I noticed how I was being pulled in and recognized the “yes set” of Ericksonian hypnosis!  If you are told enough things in a row, to which the answer is “yes”, your mind moves in a certain direction. That direction can continue for a crucial one or two steps further with something that you MIGHT have said “no” to before.  An example, used hypnotically, would be:

You are sitting there in that chair
You came here to learn something about change
You know that you can learn new things, you’d done it before
You can easily hear me and see me and
You can learn enough today to experience trance.

While that’s not a terribly refined example, it shows how that final statement, which ALSO can’t be argued with (who would doubt their ability to learn something?) leads a person to an obvious direction of thinking.

Many hypnotic patterns of communication are already used in common everyday speech.  Think of the parents who are dealing with a fuzzy child.  It’s important for them to lead the child in the right direction, not cause any resistance to their own directions and get the child to self regulate their own mood.  Not easy? No, but one often used pattern (called, as I recall “another cause”) is: “You are SO tired now!”  If the child buys this statement, (instead of something that would be more confrontational like “You are being a brat now!”) they can be led to a place to take a nap and also learn to see when their mood isn’t working and when they might need to rest.

In the same way, I don’t frequently do a “formal” trance with my clients.  I will, however, use hypnotic patterns to get them to open up to possibilities in their experience or to get parts of them to open to new possibilities (I am currently doing a lot of work with people’s parts).  Because of my long familiarity with trance communication, it is almost hard NOT to use patterns that are intended to open up the mind to more choice.

One final note:  There is an interesting idea out there that hypnotists in fact don’t so much “hypnotize” their clients as “DE-hypnotize” them!  Many times the things that people come in to complain about can be viewed as powerful “self-hypnosis” patterns that people find themselves stuck in!  A certain incident, happening early in life may set a pattern in thinking that, for years to come, may be considered a “post-hypnotic” suggestion, often with commands such as “you aren’t worthy” or “you’ll never get what you want” implied.  When things are implied, the mind has little to do to oppose something but is more often going to simply accept it and those implications can cause us some trouble!

Find out more about me and my own work at http://alansalmi.com

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