In the show, Jukebox Paradise, Deloris Keller sings the song Come Home Again. In the story, this song was a big hit during World War II and far away in the thick of the action, a wounded soldier named Fred is listening to the radio and the sound of her voice. It is this song, coming from so far away, that gives Fred the will to survive and to eventually come back home and build a new life.
Recently, I have been doing more past-life regression under hypnosis with several clients who wanted to explore previous existences. This is always a fascinating area. Are these experiences of past lives real or imagined?
I did my first online training over the last three weeks by running a self-hypnosis course using a web-meeting system called AnyMeeting. Naturally, we had glitches along the way in the form of audio problems and other connectivity issues. Still, the power of modern technology
never fails to amaze me. It is now possible to learn pretty much anything that you want as long as you have a decent Internet connection.
Weight management is an issue that seems to be affecting an ever-larger number of people. One reason is of course the availability of cheap high-calorie food wherever we go. Making matters much worse is the incessant advertising of these products by the food industry. Everywhere we go, there seems to be food. Hypnosis has been shown in many studies to be beneficial in weight management. Ironically, one of the reasons that hypnosis is so useful is because people with weight problems have already been “hypnotized” by the food advertising and by the food culture around them. Over the years, thousands of advertisements on television, the Internet, and billboards have been sending highly-designed messages into your unconscious mind. In addition, people around you may have been eating and living in ways that didn’t support health. These messages accumulate in your mind and have a large effect on your habits. While it probably isn’t possible to change the reality of the advertisements and the people around you, what is possible is to change your reaction to these stimuli. Through your hypnosis sessions at Standing in Spirit, you can start to move forward in the right direction by changing your response to food, and step-by-step beginning to introduce healthier habits of exercise and eating into your life. Weight issues tend to have pretty deep roots and may go back a long way in your personal history, so hypnosis can be a very powerful way of dealing with them. After all, it’s your unconscious mind that takes care of both your memories and your habits. If your conscious mind could manage your weight, then you would probably have solved this issue long ago. And one of the powerful things about hypnosis is that we are able to communicate directly with your unconscious mind. If you’re on this site,you’ve probably already tried a lot of other things to manage your weight and have finally reached a point where you really want to take control–that’s a good thing. For weight management, it generally takes a few sessions to get good results and to really get things moving in the right direction. As well as the sessions, I’ll also give you some additional audios that you can listen to at home, and teach you self-hypnosis techniques that will help you to relax deeply and to develop better habits of diet and exercise. Here are the prices: Session (about 90 minutes)：10,000 yen 3 Session Set: 25,000 yen 5 Session Set: 40,000 yen We can carry out the sessions in person in Nagoya city or by Skype. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any more information. All the best, Dr. Brian Cullen
Recently, I have been learning a lot from Stephen’s Gilligan’s book, Generative Trance, and listening to his audios. In addition, I was lucky to take part in two webinars with him recently and have become very interested in his approach. Gilligan’s approach to hypnosis is highly influenced by his training with Erickson and he is well respected in the mainstream Erickson community.
Like most hypnotists, he believes that the Unconscious has much to offer in changing habits, behaviours, and in generating more fun and useful ways to live life. In traditional hypnosis, the conscious mind of the client is often considered to be in the way and standard inductions can be seen as a way of bypassing the critical faculty of the conscious mind. Even Erickson tended to talk primarily to the Unconscious mind.
Gilligan’s model is a little different. He suggests that we have three ‘minds’: A somatic mind, a cognitive mind, and a field mind. Each of these minds can be in three states of consciousness: primitive, ego, or generative. Ideally, we wish to raise all three minds to the level of generative in order to access all of our own resources. I’m not entirely convinced by Gilligan’s model and terminology, especially when he throws around words like quantum consciousness.
I’d prefer to keep the word ‘quantum’ fully in the sphere of physics until (and if) we establish that consciousness somehow does involve quantum mechanics. It may do, and certainly some have suggested (see the Wikipedia article) that quantum mechanics can explain the workings of the brain better than classical mechanics. The ideas in the Wikipedia article are disputed by many, and to me it would seem more pragmatic to leave out words like ‘quantum’ and to simply talk about levels of trance or something similar.
I’ve read through Gilligan’s book several times and continue to use his style of inductions with both myself and others. They work – I don’t really know why – and I’m continuing to try to figure things out a little better. I always find that it’s useful to have a fairly good understanding of why something works because we can then know what to change when it doesn’t work in any particular case. Additionally, when we understand what is going on, we can deliberately tweak things to make them better. I continue to learn!
And as part of that learning journey, I just came across an interesting interview with Stephen Gilligan on YouTube.
There are some lovely lines in the interview including a description of a radical younger John Grinder.
I met John Grinder who was teaching a course called Political Economy of the United States … long enough for him to espouse the radical overthrow of the United States Government by whatever means necessary.
Grinder and Bandler had just gotten together and had written The Structure of Magic. Gregory Bateson sent them out to meet Erickson saying:
If you guys really want to know about patterns of communication, he’s the man.
Grinder and Bandler took up Gregory on his challenge and did indeed learn about the patterns of communication of Milton Erickson. They wrote about them extensively in the two-volume series: The Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson. This is not the most readable book, but it laid the foundation for thousands of NLP practitioners to begin to use the Milton model and to get a quick start into the techniques of effective indirect hypnosis.
When Gilligan heard about when Erickson was doing, he says that it “opened up something inside him like a fire.” This led to a period of 5 years for Gilligan learning from Milton Erickson while he simultaneously studied at Stanford University. Interestingly, he did some of his research with Ernest Hilgard who was developing standards for very traditional forms of hypnosis. Then during the holidays, Gilligan would head out to Erickson’s house and learn the much more indirect forms that Erickson was using.
One formative experience for Stephen Gilligan was a Deep Trance Identification (DTI) with Erickson which was facilitated by Grinder and Bandler. Grinder had read about DTI in hypnosis journals and had learned that artists had dropped into a deep trance and been able to learn to paint like Rembrandt or other masters. Through DTI, their artistic capacity was significantly improved. They induced a deep trance in Stephen Gilligan and led him to have a DTI experience where he ‘became’ Erickson. Gilligan says that it was a “really deep profound experience”. He particularly noticed two things:
1. When I opened my eyes, everything was quiet and it was a very different experience than I had assumed that Erickson had. Because you read all these incredibly clever strategies that his mind must have been buzzing a mile a minute with all sorts of manipulation. But what I experienced was that everything was quiet.
2. When I looked around, everybody was already in a trance and that has been one of the most important experiences. It wasn’t that I had to put them into trance. They were already there. It was a great relief to realize that hypnosis is not something you do to people. It is something that you attune to in people and you just draw it out and bring their attention to it.
Gilligan sees ‘utilization’ as the most important aspect of Ericksonian hypnosis. He also learned that ‘life is to be enjoyed’ – a message that he got strongly from Erickson.
We’ve got this little opportunity and the meter’s running. We could waste it all worrying or trying to be something we’re not and then at the end of our life we would look back and realized what was the point.
Erickson was already old when Gilligan studied with him:
I knew him when he was an old man he had suffered tremendously – he was in absolute pain every day – he usually had to do four or five hours of deep pain control this was a guy who in a very deep real way enjoyed life.
There’s a whole lot to be learned from Milton Erickson and the extensions of his work by Stephen Gilligan and others. I have found that it helps me into deeper states of trance than other methods. I still have no real idea how it is achieving this despite reading Gilligan’s books and notes. I could quote him further and will do so in future posts, but there is something going on that is much deeper than the words. Keep learning!
I’m always interested in learning new stuff or revisiting the same material from different sources, especially when it involves some of my favourite areas like hypnosis and NLP. Over the last few months, I have working through the readings and assignments on the wonderful free online course by Stephen Brooks in Indirect Hypnosis. I highly recommend the course as a way of learning more. Stephen has put together what is probably the finest no-charge resource on the Internet. One thing to keep in mind though – it is time-consuming! They recommend at least three hours per week and that kind of committment over a year is obviously difficult for many folks unless they are highly motivated.
Anyway, to the point… one of the recent questions posed on the online course was the comparison of education and therapy, and I have reproduced my response below.
To what extent can education also be classed as therapy, and to what extent can therapy also be classed as education?
I have been a teacher/educator for many years and I definitely see that a lot of “therapy” work is carried out by teachers. The classroom is a social environment, and many so-called educational problems can better be viewed as social problems. For example, in my EFL language classes in Japan, students are very reluctant to give an answer for fear that they may give a wrong answer. Japanese culture does not in general support people who give wrong answers 😉 As a result, students do not develop their language skills as much as they possibly could because of group pressure. This same group-pressure leads to many other problems for people including high stress, inability to express goals externally, and much more. Things that are addressed and resolved successfully in the classroom can also have a powerful therepeutic effect on other areas of a student’s life. People live in social contexts and therapy does not exist in a vacuum.
Some forms of counseling are purely information based in that they offer the client access to information that will help them make better choices. So is this therapy, or education?
If we are changing the frame – the beliefs and values that support ‘problem behaviours’ – by giving information, then we are certainly engaging in therapy as much as education.
Recently, I have studied a lot of recent neuroscience and within the neural networks of the brain, change in the form of education or change in the form of therapy produces similar enriching effects. The neural networks can extended, the increased myelination increases the speed of certain pathways.
My current thinking is that the difference between words such as learning, growth, or change (or the roughly corresponding Education, Development, Therapy) is a difference of focus and can produce identical changes at the levels of both neurology and of behaviour.
This is a fine collection of five videos (a total of 13 hours) about Ericksonian hypnosis and is recommended for anyone who wants to take their knowledge of Ericksonian hypnosis beyond the Milton Model and to explore the richness of Ericksonian work that has not been integrated into NLP.
There is so much on these videos including inductions, accessing resources, deepening trance, utilizing trance, and so much more. I particularly enjoyed Stephen Langton and Stephen Gilligan’s sections, but it is all highly useful and I will be watching it again from the beginning.
It appears to be still available here and I have reproduced the description below from that website.
This program was presented at the Tenth International Congress on Ericksonian Approaches to Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, December 2-5, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona
Fundamental Hypnosis – Level 1
Stephen Lankton, M.S.W., DAHB
Lecture, demonstration and practice workshop go step-by-step through the phases of trance induction. Differences between well-known methods are explained.
Fundamental Hypnosis – Level 2
Ideodynamic Approaches to Therapeutic Hypnosis
Ernest Rossi, Ph.D.
Group and individual demonstrations of basic ideodynamic approaches to therapeutic hypnosis utilizing Rossi’s innovative activity-dependent work with hand signaling.
Fundamental Hypnosis – Level 3
Getting a Good Trance Going
Betty Alice Erickson, M.S., LPC
Various trance inductions are demonstrated with volunteers. Each induction is discussed with indications for its uses. Differences between formal and conversational trances are demonstrated with rationales for choosing each.
Fundamental Hypnosis – Level 4
Accessing and Contextualizing Resources in Hypnosis
Michael Yapko, Ph.D.
Erickson’s approach typically featured finding hidden personal resources and extending them into situations where they would help the client. This basic but valuable strategy is shown in a video clip of Dr. Erickson. A structured practice session follows.
Fundamental Hypnosis – Level 5
Use of the Therapist’s Self in Hypnotherapy
Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D.
This workshop describes how a therapist can join a client’s reality to hypnotically generate a “therapeutic trance” that includes both the problem and resources, as well as the client’s and the therapist’s perspectives. In this way, a therapeutic trance is one that “transcends yet includes” the client’s problem in a way that allows new freedoms and possibilities.
This is a rather strange book, and that is probably to be expected from Richard Bandler. None of his books are what you would exactly call ‘ordinary’. This book is Bandler’s more open foray into the world of fantasy and metaphor. He says that after writing five books in quick succession, he opened up to his unconscious mind and wrote this book.
And it is best to read this with an open unconscious mind and to send your conscious mind off on a well-deserved holiday somewhere. It’s a short read at 110 pages. The story is about a prince who wants to find himself and finds himself in more ways and through more perspectives than he could ever have imagined. It’s a fun read although (probably deliberately) confusing in many places. It could be used as a bedtime story book for children or a nice break for an adult who needs to get a new perspective on the world.
The book is full of embedded metaphors, Ericksonian language patterns, and other NLP techniques. Well worth a read, and very different to most NLP-related books out there.
This video series by Gerald Kein (Omni Hypnosis Training Center) is an impressive hypnosis training consisting of 18 videos of about two hours each which take the viewer from basics up to a very competent level of hypnosis and its applications. The first 12 videos make up the Beginner-Intermediate section of the course. It starts from the history of hypnosis and moves into induction techniques and utilization of trance for therapeutic purposes. The remaining six videos make up the Advanced section and teach rapid/instant induction techniques, regression, addiction treatment, direct suggestion, recreational regressionand much more in great detail.
Perhaps what will be most useful to many NLP practitioners are the induction techniques which are introduced including the Dave Elman techniques. Ericksonian hypnosis primarily focuses on indirect suggestion, and the more direct techniques in this series will be of great value to many practitioners who want to induce trance more quickly, or who are working with people who are less responsive to indirect techniques.
Some of the other gems in this series are a good section on pendulum use showing how it can not just be a great hypnosis tool, but also a useful marketing tool! There is also an excellent section on self-hypnosis and how to improve your skills at entering a trance quickly.
Kein’s presentation is humourous and entertaining. He engages very well with the people on the course and his methods of creating rapport are another thing that we can learn from. The explanations and demonstrations are extremely practical and Kein is obviously highly experienced. He tells many anecdotes about his own experiences with patients over many years while he ran a large hypnosis practice. He gets to the important points quickly and comes across as genuinely interested in getting hypnosis more widely accepted as a highly effective technique in achieving positive change in people’s lives.
I would recommend this series as a very good addition to the skill set of any NLP practitioner. NLP has been so influenced by Ericksonian hypnosis that practitioners often do not get sufficient exposure to other forms of hypnosis, especially the Dave Ellman techniques which are so powerful. The length of this course may be offputting to some, but this is all highly useful learning material. It is available from Omni Hypnosis Training Center.