The present work is the second in a series of volumes by the authors that began with the publication of Hypnotic Realities (Irvington. 1976). Like that first volume, the present work is essentially the record of the senior author’s efforts to train the junior author in the field of clinical hypnotherapy.
As such, the present work is not of an academic or scholarly nature but rather a practical study of some of the attitudes, orientations, and skills required of the modem hypnotherapist.
In the first chapter we outline the utilization approach to hypnotherapy as the basic orientation to our work. In the second chapter we essay a more systematic presentation of the indirect forms of suggestion, which were originally selected out of the case presentations of our first volume.
We now believe that the utilization approach and the indirect forms of suggestion are the essence of the senior author’s therapeutic innovations over the past fifty years and account for much of his unique skill as a hypnotherapist.
In Chapter Three we illustrate how the utilization approach and the indirect forms of suggestion can be integrated to facilitate the induction of therapeutic trance in a manner that simultaneously orients the patient toward therapeutic change. In our fourth chapter we illustrate the approaches to posthypnotic suggestion that the senior author has found most effective in day-to-day clinical practice.
These first four chapters outline some of the basic principles of the senior author’s approach. We hope this presentation will provide other clinicians with a broad and practical perspective of the senior author’s work and serve as a source of hypotheses about the nature of therapeutic trance that will be tested with more controlled experimental studies by researchers.
At the end of each of these first four chapters we have suggested a number of exercises to facilitate learning the orientation, attitudes, and skills required of anyone who wants to put some of this material into actual practice.
A simple reading and understanding of the material is not enough. An extensive effort to acquire new habits of observation and interpersonal interaction are required. All the suggested exercises have been put into practice as we have sought to hone our own skills and teach others.
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Hypnotherapy : An Exploratory Casebook by Milton H. Erickson (PDF)