Why I believe you should use compassionate Ericksonian hypnosis

Ericksonian hypnosis, also known as "conversational hypnosis," is a unique approach to hypnotherapy that emphasises the importance of language and communication in inducing trance states and facilitating therapeutic change.


Developed by the psychiatrist and psychotherapist Milton H. Erickson, this approach to hypnosis is characterised by its flexibility, creativity, and respect for the individuality of each client.

Milton H. Erickson was born in 1901 in the American Midwest, the fourth of nine children. As a child, he contracted polio, which left him partially paralysed and confined to bed for much of his youth. Despite this, Erickson went on to become a prolific writer, researcher, and practitioner of hypnosis and psychotherapy, making significant contributions to both fields over the course of his long and illustrious career.

One of the key innovations of Ericksonian hypnosis is its emphasis on the power of suggestion and metaphor. Erickson believed that every individual has within them the capacity to heal themselves and that the role of the therapist is to facilitate that process by helping the client access their own inner resources and strengths.

To do this, Erickson developed a range of techniques and strategies that focus on the use of language and communication to bypass the conscious mind and reach the deeper, more unconscious levels of the psyche. These techniques include the use of indirect suggestions, metaphorical language, and storytelling, all of which are designed to engage the imagination and create a sense of safety, comfort, and trust.

One of the hallmarks of Ericksonian hypnosis is its focus on the individuality of each client. Unlike more traditional forms of hypnosis, which tend to rely on scripted suggestions and standardised protocols, Ericksonian hypnosis is highly flexible and adaptive, allowing the therapist to tailor their approach to the specific needs, preferences, and personality of each client.

Another key feature of Ericksonian hypnosis is its emphasis on the role of the unconscious mind in promoting healing and growth. According to Erickson, the unconscious mind is a powerful and largely untapped resource that can be harnessed to bring about profound and lasting change.

By using language and communication to engage the unconscious mind and bypass the conscious ego, the therapist is able to create a state of trance in which the client is more open to suggestion, more receptive to new ideas, and more attuned to their own inner resources and strengths.

Although Ericksonian hypnosis is often associated with the field of psychotherapy, it has also been used in a wide range of other contexts, including business, education, and personal development.

In the business world, for example, Ericksonian techniques have been used to improve communication skills, boost creativity and innovation, and enhance leadership abilities. In education, Ericksonian hypnosis has been used to improve learning outcomes, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote self-esteem and confidence.

Overall, the unique approach of Ericksonian hypnosis offers a powerful and effective tool for promoting healing, growth, and transformation in a wide range of contexts. By focusing on the power of language and communication to bypass the conscious mind and reach the deeper levels of the psyche, this approach to hypnotherapy allows individuals to access their own inner resources and strengths, leading to profound and lasting change.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6JL
Written by Neil Jeffery, BA HONS, Dip CEHyp, GQHP, CNCH Reg
Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6JL

Neil Jeffery

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