Erickson then had them grasp the arms of the chair, ready to receive their shock therapy(expectation is a powerful prelude to hypnosis). Looking at them squarely, he then said:"You have been engaged in marital union with full physiological concomitants to fulfill yourphiloprogenitive desires. Now, why in hell don't you go f**k for fun, and pray to the devil sheisn't knocked up for at least three months! Now please leave!"Three months later, the wife was pregnant.
So what was all that about?
Relax (even if you’re shocked). I’m just illustrating a couple of points, which are:
Hypnosis may not
like ‘hypnosis’. The ‘eyes wide and glassy’ look, lasting only acouple of seconds, may be just as receptive a state for new ideas to take root as itsthirty minute ‘eyes closed in relaxation’ cousin. The door doesn’t need to be openvery long for the wet sponge to hit home.
Once you understand the principle of shock (technically, it fires the brain’s‘orientation response’, instantly increasing suggestibility), you can use it creatively.So here’s a few pointers to help you incorporate surprise as part of your therapeuticapproach.
1. Shocking agreement
Sometimes something new is needed. They’ve heard all the advice, had all the cognitivereframes, sat through all the fancy techniques, been to more therapists than ElizabethTaylor’s had husbands, and know more psychobabble than you
do.What will capture this person’s attention long enough for a genuinely fresh idea to settleundisturbed?Appearing to
with any negative statements your client makes can cause such startledsurprise as to make them temporarily open to new therapeutic ideas.Here’s one I used:“My life isn’t worth living!”“Yes, you are absolutely right! (
)… Your life
worth living…the way you’ve been living it up to now… and that’s why we are going to startmaking positive changes right this instant…”(
2. Confuse first and suggest second