SucceSSwork nlp & hypnoSiS
Erickson’s Handshake Induction,
From “Mind-Body Communications,” edited by Ernest Rossi (1986)
Confusion—ambiguous touchMilton Erickson is the other big name in hypnosis for the 20
century (well, there actually are a few others, but for the sake of brevity…). His developed a bewildering variety of different approaches to trance and hypnotic effect, often based on an amazingsensitivity to the change in states of consciousness of his clients. The story behind this induction was that Erickson was lecturing ata university in South America, and was presented with a volunteer who spoke no English. He took the language barrier as a challengeand an opportunity (Erickson’s principle of Utilization, eh?)
:• Take client’s hand• Make eye contact; apply ambiguous touch• Go into trance yourself
Overview of the technique:
This induction is done silently, without talk!
Ideally, client and hypnotist are in some kind of rapport, orat least the client has some expectation of trance. The hypnotist takes the client’s hand firmly and reassuringly, and begins to shakeit slowly and gently up and down, also making firm eye contact at the same time, to capture the client’s attention. The hypnotist
begins to go into trance himself
, maintaining eye contact. The handshake gradually becomes softer and smaller, also gradually loos-ening the grasp, but so slowly that the client can’t gauge whether or not the touch is still there. During the loosening, the hypnotistalso continually varies the pressure and touch of his fingers on different parts of the client’s hand, so that the sensory input to theclient’s hand is
ambiguous and confusing
—the client can’t pin down what they are feeling. The client’s attention is also split betweenthe touch and the eye contact. In this way, they are open to the passive suggestion to trance, which comes via the hypnotist’s owntrance state. The client will be in trance when arm-catalepsy is achieved (along with other trance analogues, like heavy, slow breathing),although they may not close their eyes unless suggested to do so, either verbally or non-verbally.
Bandler’s Handshake Induction,
From “Trance-formations,” by Bandler & Grinder (1981)
Pattern interrupt—confusionRichard Bandler is one of the founders of Neuro Linguistic Programming and one of Erickson’s more famous students. This is a techniqueis described in several of his works, both books and videos. It requires a highly developed sense of physical and verbal timing. The tech-nique is reported to have been developed by Erickson, and modified and popularized by Richard Bandler.
:• Reach forward with right hand to shake• As client is reaching out, expecting to clasp hypnotist’s right hand, the hypnotist takes the back of client’s hand with his(hypnotist’s) left, and brings it rapidly up to client’s face. Hypnotist commands client to focus on his own hand, and whiledoing that, to enter trance.• Hypnotist commands client to allow his own hand to drop only as quickly as he goes into trance.• At the end of the trance experience, hypnotist may reposition the client’s hand in front of his face, and then closes thepattern by resuming the handshake.