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Jim Stephens November 1st, 2004 05:54 PM

That dang tomato plant

I've recently read Dr. Erickson's article on "The Interspersal Method..." in which he described using interspersed suggestions separately with two patients and an assistant. He stated that these people were in pain and were already unconsciously prepared to receive suggestions for comfort and ease, so the suggestions were readily accepted by their unconscious minds.

It seems paramount, then, to match our messages to the client's unconscious needs both to do no harm and, better, to do right by our clients. Many clinicians claim to know their clients unconscious minds, however Dr. Erickson seemed to have an uncanny and finely honed ability to accurately put the client's verbal and nonverbal communications together in a particularly helpful and accurate way.

Given that the needs are unconscious, how would (or did) Dr. Erickson "make sense" of the patient's communications in order to get an accurate read on the patient's unconscious needs? In what ways did he, and you, develop this ability beyond intuition and into a reliable method for understanding people of all different sorts?

Jim Stephens

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