Traveling Hypnosis Road Show
Every year for the past several years I have enjoyed the privilege of working for John Morgan Seminars. Right now, from early January until sometime around early spring, I’m on the road presenting Hypnosis seminars for Smoking Cessation and Weight Loss. As I mentioned in a post from September 2008, these seminars are a very effective means for people to accomplish their goals in these two areas. This even when participants face the challenge of the seminars being presented to groups that average about 50 people at a time. Last week in Colorado Springs we had 110 or so in the Smoking class. This is not exactly an ideal scenario for an Neo-Ericksonian approach that emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual.
How can it work then?
I think one of the way it works is through the use of open-ended suggestions. Open-ended Suggestions are ones that are so general purpose that they’d apply to virtually any one. Statements like Coue’s famous “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better…” could be true for anybody.
You’ll hear Milton Erickson use a lot of open ended suggestions in the second half of his video-taped session with Monde and Nick. In the second half of the video Erickson’s primary patient is Nick, about whom Erickson has very little information. Since Milton doesn’t know Nick or his presenting problem he can be nothing but open ended with Nick.
As an example, Erickson says to Nick,
It’s always a pleasure to do good work
and to do good work with good material
It’s a pleasure
Another example of open ended suggestions are used in what is referred to as “cold readings.” You’ll see this in psychic readings where the “psychic” simply makes statements that could be true for anyone.
I remember reading about an experiment done by the amazing Randi where he took a room full of college students and told them he was going to do a computerized astrological reading for all of them. He gathered all their birth times and locations and loaded it into a computer. Soon the computer spit out individualized horoscopes for each student.
They were amazed at how accurate these readings were. They felt the readings uncannily fit them to a “T”. They became convinced that there must really be something to that astrology thing after all. They felt that way, at least, until they exchanged papers and discovered that ALL of the horoscopes were exactly the same! The descriptions were universal enough to fit anyone. Statements like, “you have wide ranging interests and your true potential is not being fully realized.”
So, in these seminars, when I say to people that they have many patterns that are subconscious and now they can begin to outgrow the old way and grow into a new way, it really is true for everyone in the room.