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Hypnosis is essentially a communication of ideas and understandings to a

patient in such a fashion that he will be most receptive to the presented

ideas and thereby motivated to explore his own body potentails for the
control of his psychological and physiological responses and behavior."
M.H.Erickson Vol.IV-1967.

"The hypnotic trance may be defined, for purposes of conceptualization, as

a state of increased awareness and responsiveness to ideas."
M.H.Erickson 1958 Vol.IV Collected Papers.
"Hypnosis is a technique of communication whereby you make available the
vast store of learnings that have been acquired, the usefulness of which
lies primarily in the way of automatic responses. In hypnosis we make a
direct call on these learnings that have been dropped into the area of
automatically available learnings."
In the hypnotic state subjects are open to ideas. They like to examine
ideas in terms of their memories, their conditionings and all of the
various experientail learnings of life. They take your suggestion and
translate that into their own body learnings.
M.H.Erickson - 1960.
It (hypnosis) is not a matter of the operator doing something to subjects
or compelling them to do things or even telling them what to do and how to
do it. When trances are so elicited, they are still the result of ideas,
associations, mental processes and understandings already existing and
merely aroused within the subjects themselves. Yet too many investigators
working in the field regard their activities and their intentions and
desires as the effective forces; and they actually un-critically believe
that their own utterances to the subject elicit, evoke or initiate specific
responses without seeming to realize that what they say or do only serves
as a means to stimulate and arouse in the subjects past learnings,
understandings, and experiential acquisitions, some consciously, some
unconsciously, acquired.
M.H.Erickson - (1964)
Adequate use of hypnosis is not dependant upon patter, verbiage, what the
operator knows, understands, expects, hopes for, wants to do, or the
offering of instruction in accord with the operator's understandings,
hopes, and desires. On the contrary, the proper use of hypnoses lies in the
development of a situation favorable to responses reflecting the subject's
own learnings, understanding, capabilities, and experiences. This can give
the operator the opportunity to determine the proper approach for
responsive behavior by the subject. These considerations have been
increasingly recognized by the author during the past 20 years as basic
requisites in the development of hypnotic techniques and of psychotherapy.
Subject behavior should reflect only the subject himself and not the
teachings, hopes, beliefs, or expectations of the operator.
M.H. Erickson (1973)

Whatever the behaviour offered by the subjects, it should be accepted

and utilized to develop further responsive behaviour. Any attempt
to "correct" or alter the subjects' behaviour, or to force them to do
things they are not interested in, militates against trance induction
and certainly deep trance experience.
M.H.Erickson - 1952
There are patients who prove unresponsive and resistant to the usual
induction techniques, who are actully readily amenable to
hypnosis...These patients are those who are unwilling to accept any
suggested behavior until after their own resistant, contradictory or
opposing behavior has first been met by theoperator.
M.H.Erickson- 1959
Many times, the apparently active resistance encountered in subjects
is no more than an unconscious measure of testing the hypnotist's
willingness to meet them halfway instead of trying to force them to
act entirely in accord with his ideas.
M.H.Erickson 1979
In the induction of an hypnotic trance, one induces suggestions and
primarily gives the suggestions in an indirect fashion. You should
try to avoid as much as possible commanding or dictating to your
patient. If you wish to use hypnosis with the greatest possible
success, you present your idea to patients so that they can accept
and examine it for its inherent value.
M.H.Erickson- 1959
I may mispronounce a potent word besause that is the word I want the
patients to hear. I want that word to echo in their own minds correctly.
If I mispromonounce it slightly, they mentally correct it, but they are the
ones that are saying it, they are making the sugggestion to themselves.
M.H.Erickson 1976
The patient's behavior is a part of the problem brought into the office; it
constitutes the personal environment within which the therapy must take
effect; it may constitute the dominant force in the local patient-doctor
relationship. Since whatever the patient brings into the office is in some
way both part of him and part of his problem, the patient should be viewed
with a sympathetic eye appraising the totality which confronts the
M.H.Erickson - The use of syptoms as an integral part of hypnotherapy.
The art of suggestion depends upon the use of words and the varied meaning
of words. I've spent a great deal of time reading dictionaries. When you
read the various definitions the same word can have, it changes entirely
your conception of that word and how language may be used.
M.H.Erickson - 1981
There are "charged" words and you select words that carry a wealth of
affective meaning and you select them with the greatest of care.
M.H.Erickson - 1980