Conversational hypnosis is a technique founded by Milton H. Erickson who was born in 1901 and considered to be the most important hypnotherapist. The technique is based on inducing a trance to a subject with the use of language and persuasion and the goal is to accomplish an intimate relationship wherein the hypnotist can motivate the subject to do or think of certain things.
Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening, and that, whether or not the patient was in trance, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence, as long as those suggestions found some resonance at the unconscious level. The patient can be aware of this, or can be completely oblivious that something is happening.
The founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder modeled Erickson’s techniques and came up with the Milton Model, a set of many hypnotic language patterns. The Milton Model allows you to use language that is artfully vague so that clients can give it a meaning that is appropriate for them. The Milton Model can be used to pace and lead a person’s reality, distract and utilize the conscious mind and to access the unconscious and the person’s resources.
From this set I find that the most powerful patterns used in conversational hypnosis are:
1. Pacing Current Experience – Statements that describe ongoing experience
Example: “As your eyes continue reading the words on this page while you’re looking at it and from time to time you may become aware of the thoughts in your mind or those sensations in your hand or down there on the soles of your feet you could also begin to wonder if you could think of how artfully you can pace a person’s ongoing experience and you might even like to give more examples of how to use this pattern.”
2. Double binds – Statements that offer two or more choices that are in fact the same choice
Example: “You can change as quickly or as slowly as you want to now.”
3. Extended Quotes – A statement that contains one or more quotes that are intertwined with each other and with the story so that it becomes ambiguous as to what is quote and what is story
Example: “A friend of mine said that he talked to a colleague of his at a class and that friend told him how his life improved from the moment he learned conversational hypnosis patterns.”
4. Embedded Commands – Statements that include indirect commands embedded within the statement itself
Example: “When people like you, John, read my article, they get excited about how they can make many changes in their lives.”
So, we talked about Milton H. Erickson and I presented 4 of the most powerful patterns you should always use in conversational hypnosis. Now, as you understand how this patterns work you might find yourself wanting to practice by giving your own examples for each pattern or combine them. And that opportunity will help you achieve a new skill that will make pervasive changes in you communication.
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