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Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

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Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Stress andHealing
Interview with German publicationEsotera:Neues Denken und Handlen, Feb. 1995, p. 18-25Updated on December 28, 1999Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D.
1. What is the difference between traditional and Ericksonian Hypnosis?Rossi: Milton H. Erickson, MD was a remarkably creative individual and animportant transition figure in the history of hypnosis. Traditional hypnosis isusually understood to mean that a hypnotherapist helps a person achieve a state of deep rapport within themselves as well as the doctor so that more effectivecommunication can take place between them. The doctor then uses directsuggestions to heal the patient or facilitate problem solving. While Ericksoncertainly used this direct authoritative approach he was also a genius in what wecalled “The Naturalistic or Utilization Approach” wherein there is a greater focuson helping each individual patient find their own talents for problem solving andhealing in their own unique manner. Ericksonian hypnotherapy emphasizes andfacilitates the patient’s own creative processes.2. Is it possible to make someone do something in trance that they would not dowhile normally awake?Rossi: While there is still controversy on this question, many years ago in 1932,Erickson published his first scientific paper on hypnosis dealing with this issue. Hefound that it is not really possible to consistently manipulate another person’sbehavior against their will. However, I believe there are evil geniuses who at sometime and some place could probably manipulate some types of people against theirwill at least for a short while. Thus we must be ever vigilant against the use of hypnosis by the wrong people who are not trained ethically and professionally.3. What are the advantages of hypnotherapy in comparison with other kinds of psychotherapy?
 
Rossi: Hypnotherapists like to believe they have special skills in observing peopleand helping them achieve their optimal states of consciousness for realizing theirhighest potentials. We now know, for example, that during hypnosis some peopleare able to optimize certain of their brain waves for optimizing performance incertain areas. With the new brain imaging methods like the Pet (positron emissiontomography) scans and MRIs (magnetic resonance images) we can now documentthe reality of the dynamics of the healing process in cognitive therapy andhypnotherapy. Even more significant I believe is the new research on geneexpression with what is now called "DNA Microarray technology. I believe thegrowing edge of research in the new millennium will be to use this new technologyto illustrate the changing patterns of gene expression with psychotherapy ingeneral and hypnotherapy in particular.4. How can Ericksonian Hypnotherapy help people with practical problems likeimproving school and work performance?Rossi: Above all Ericksonian hypnotherapy helps people learn how to betterrecognize their own natural inner resources for problem solving and healing. Eachof us is different and we have to learn what is unique about how we each functionat our best. This knowledge needs to be understood by everyone. It is not to berestricted to any special professional group. As we learn more about the creativeprocess and how to optimize our own healing I believe this knowledge willeventually be taught in the schools along with reading and writing and arithmetic.5. In your book 
The 20 Minute Break: Using the New Science of Ultradian Rhythms
you write about a Basic Rest Activity Cycle that takes place within us thoughoutthe day every 90 minutes or so. How is this related to optimum performance andhealing?Rossi: Ah, at last, I thought you would never ask! Everyone knows that being yourbest in work, play and general health requires that you are well rested. What’sreally new and exciting is to learn that Nature has built a natural rhythm of activity and rest in all of us that runs for about an hour and a half or so throughoutthe day- we call it an ULTRADIAN RHYTHM because it takes place many times aday. Every hour and a half or so you need to take a rest break - if you don't youmay be well on your way to the Ultradian Stress Syndrome: you get tired and loseyour mental focus, you tend to make mistakes and have accidents - If you continueto ignore your need to take a break you can actually get sick.When you learn how to recognize your need to take a 20 minute break you canconvert your stress into what I call THE ULTRADIAN HEALING RESPONSE -Its that wonderful feeling of comfort and well being that you have when you arewell rested and in top form!6. What happens if we do not pay attention to these natural rhythms? How do youuse this knowledge in hypnosis?Rossi: When you do not pay attention to your natural rhythms of activity and restyou are in danger of falling into stress. This is an entirely new way of understanding what stress actually is! STRESS IS NATURE’S SIGNAL THAT
 
WE NEED TO TAKE A BREAK - IF WE DON'T WE FALL INTO THE MANYSYMPTOMS OF THE ULTRADIAN STRESS SYNDROME - making mistakes,having accidents, feeling fatigued, irritable, depressed and uncertain of yourself-maybe even psychosomatic symptoms!Taking a 20 minute healing break allows your mind and body to recover - it morethan just a luxury to feel good! Your mind and body needs a chance to build up itssupplies of available energy -to clear up the backlog of unfinished business andgear up for another hour and a half of good work, play and health. The UltradianHealing Response allows you to optimize your health as well as your performanceand creativity.I believe that hypnosis as well as most other holistic approaches to healing areactually utilizing the ultradian healing response without knowing it. When thehypnotherapist tells you to relax, get comfortable an focus inward to go into ahealing trance, he is actually entraining your natural ultradian healing response.That is one of the most interesting characteristic of these natural mindbodyrhythms of performance and healing - they are very responsive to so-called“psychosocial cues.” Ultradian rhythms are the secret connection between the so-called magic of words and how our body uses the information in words to heal atall levels down to the cellular-genetic level. Ultradian rhythms are highly flexibleand change easily in response to environmental demands. Ultradian rhythms areespecially sensitive and responsive to psychosocial cues. If there is a life emergency,for example, you are immediatly aroused emotionally. This emotional arousalimmediately shifts your ultradian rhythms to a peak of heithtened activity. If someone shouts "emergency" this simple word becomes a psychosocial cue thatcan shift your ultradian rhythms.7. What will you be presenting at the “Visionen Menschlicher Zukuft” in Germanythis year?Rossi: I will be presenting the most recent research data on what I call the processof mind-gene communication and healing. I will be discussing and illustrating withpractical demonstrations how therapists can facilitate such healing with newapproaches to hypnotherapy. I hope to also present this new view of how we can alllearn to use our natural ultradian healing response every hour and a half throughout the day as a very easy form of self-hypnosis. Erickson believed that everyoneexperienced what he called “The Common Everyday Trance.” I believe I amhelping people experience the reality of it in their daily lives at a more profoundlevel than they previously believed possible.8. What is the message for German colleagues and interested laymen?Rossi: Above all Germans have much to be proud of in their long tradition of doingpioneering research in hypnosis. One of my earliest teachers was AndreWeitzenhoffer from Germany who helped develop the modern hypnoticsusceptibility scales that are used for research and clinical work thoughout theworld. Today I would mention the outstanding research that is being done withhypnosis and the immune system by Walter Bongartz, Ph.D. on faculty at theUniversity of Konstanz. I am currently helping Wolf Buntig, MD, the medical

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