Ericksonian Language Pattern: Quotes


Ericksonian Language Pattern: Quotes

One of my favorite beginning patterns to teach is the quotes pattern.

I like it because it is so easy.

I was teaching a class in Neo-Ericksonian Hypnosis over the weekend and we had a lot of fun experimenting with the various language patterns available to impart indirect suggestions in a hypnotic induction. The quotes pattern examples I gave to the class were mostly in the form of quotes attributed to famous people. As an example, you might say something like Milton Erickson always used to tell his patients, “Trust your Unconscious Mind.” By saying that statement to your client, and especially if you shift your tone to a hypnotic command tonality during the actual quote, you are actually saying that to your client quite directly, even though their conscious mind probably thinks you are just telling a story about Milton and his patients.

You can attribute quotes to just about anybody and thus give your client a suggestion very powerfully. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘Try them out in your next trance induction!”

Of course, you can be more subtle about it.

If you are telling a story one character in the story can say something to another character and have the same effect. Here’s an example of that:

It was finally here… Prom night . John and Mary were going together and they were very excited about their big night. They were so excited, in fact, Mary’s Dad was a little nervous about John’s ability to keep keep his mind on driving safely to and from the high school auditorium. That’s why he volunteered to foot the bill for the limo service. As the kids got into the limo to drive off into the night, he leaned over to his daughter and quietly said, (“INSERT YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM HERE.“)

Mary understood the words of her wise father, and knew how lucky she was to have him.

You can, of course, have your Dad character say anything you want him to. You’re making up the story. And whatever you have the father say at that juncture, your client will hear as a suggestion to him or her.

As my students will tell you after this weekend, “Quotes are an easy and effective means of giving an embedded suggestion.”

About Doug O'Brien

Doug O’Brien is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, and a Certified Hypnotherapist. In 1988, while assisting at NLP and NAC training seminars with Anthony Robbins, Doug achieved the designation of Master Trainer. He now conducts numerous seminars of his own around the globe (specializing in the “Sleight of Mouth” patterns of Robert Dilts, NLP Certification Courses, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy) and helped found Columbia-Presbyterian’s Department of Complementary Medicine with Dr. Mehmet Oz.

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