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Rachel Zimmerman August 28th, 2005 06:36 PM

Regarding Induction

I wanted to ask a question about an induction that I saw you do at last
year's Erickson conference. You were working with a woman and started
talking about the formation of a person in the womb. I believe that you
talked about the charka coming out of the top of the head that ultimately
developed the personality of the fetus etc. Basically, my question is what
affect would that statement have had on my own beliefs about the development of a person if I was in trance as the client was at that workshop? As a practicing Jew, I believe that God creates us and our personalities, at least until circumstances and events change us once we are here. I would want to keep that belief and would not want someone's suggestion to alter it. I can not help but wonder if your suggestion, as a experienced hypnotist, could have changed my mind if I were your client during that workshop. In other words, would I have started to believe in the version of personality development that you talked about in your induction? I have only began to read about Ericksonian hypnosis and I do understand the philosophy of I guess I might simply ignore the comment you made or changed it to be useful for myself? If you really wanted to, could you alter someone's beliefs against their will? After reviewing some of the literature, I have noticed that most of it focuses on getting people to commit illegal acts. I can understand why hypnosis can not make a person do illegal acts. However, I can see that hypnosis might change a person's beliefs. After all, isn't this why a client might do hypnosis (at least part of it)?

I hope you do not think I am being rude. I really enjoyed your workshop and
watched in awe, frankly, at your ability to work with this client. I also
understand that some view me as a fundamentalist and that is not popular
these days. However, I always try to point out that just like someone else might not want the beliefs that make them who they are from an intrinsic perspective to be altered, neither do I.

Thanks in advance for any comments you might be willing to provide.

Rachel :-)

JustBen August 29th, 2005 10:00 AM

Re: Regarding Induction
Good question, and I look forward to the answer. My guess is that it's going to have something to do with the will. If you can't make someone commit a crime against their will, then you can't make someone change a belief against their will? (Just throwing things out there.)

Stephen Lankton September 14th, 2005 10:23 PM

Re: Regarding Induction
As I recall in the induction I clearly stated that this was the Hindu philosphy that placed the cerebral-spinal cortex as the beginning of the life and soul. I then used it as a metaphor for how she can change her entire personality as in that metaphor the personality grew from it via the chakaras and unconscious, etc. I would not expect anyone to change their religion based on an explaination of any other religions' metaphor. And I'm sure the client didn't take it as "true" - but rather as intended, an interesting concept that parallels how personality comes from our very essense.
You touch on an important myth in stating your fear. Hypnosis does not implant anything, make anything, or do anything to anybody. Instead it is a form of intense concentration where in clients can more easily retrieve and be absorbed in their own experiences. The therapist's words are devoid of experience...the subjects response is rich in their own relevant experiences. Those words facilitated you in thinking about your personal beliefs about the origins of life, soul, personality and the same is true to the subject.
If I had stated that this Hindu philosophy was the truth, the subject would have simply decided I was wrong (unless she held the same belief). And then she would have written me off as not relevant to her.

Stephen Lankton September 14th, 2005 10:31 PM

Re: Regarding Induction
Yes, the perspective you took on this is at the basis of my answer, also. Gee, I hope the people I talk to about Thoreau's version of utopia don't give away all their possessions!

John Simon November 9th, 2005 12:58 AM

Re: Regarding Induction
Mr Lankton,

As you state, from the Ericksonian view hypnosis does not implant, make, or do anything to anyone. Others view hypnosis in a more conventional way where the hypnotist has the control and the client is more passive. From a phenomenological perspective, are these really two different versions of hypnosis (i.e. hypnosis 1 and hypnosis 2). In the most abstract, would it be safe to say that there are really as many versions of hypnosis as there are people who are hypnotized? Is it really possible to generalize about the experience of hypnosis? You have co-created a version of hypnosis that would seem to make people much less apprehensive about participating in it.

Stephen Lankton November 9th, 2005 11:54 PM

Re: Regarding Induction
These are good questions. They are tough questions to answer definitively because, there currently is much confusion about the definition of hypnosis. If it is a state of heightened suggestibility, then perhaps there is one hypnosis. In that case, the state can by used or even exploited by a variety of different interpersonal approaches at any/each level of absorption.

If hypnosis is defined by the induction procedure that may facilitate the state, then you certainly may have an uncountable number of types of hypnosis (depending on how many categories of induction your use to classify them).

But, there is no concensus on how to define it - so the jurry is out - there are valid arguements in both directions (and more). So, it really is, as you say, which version do you want to co-create.

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