Using Funny Stories and Jokes in Training and in Therapy.
When conducting Hypnosis and NLP trainings – or any trainings for that matter – I tell a lot of stories.
Story telling is an age old tradition. The use of “teaching tales” can be traced back to the beginning of recorded human history. Milton H. Erickson gained a well deserved reputation for using stories in his therapeutic work but the use stories weren’t exclusive to him. For example, Dave Dobson also told many stories in his trainings and in his private practice that often had a humorous slant. In fact, many of them were out and out jokes, but the were jokes with a point to them.
Dave believed that one could surreptitiously interrupt a client’s dysfunctional set patterns by mirroring back their physical movement patterns while telling humorous anecdotes.
Here’s one he told in class to get a disruptive participant to settle down a bit.
The Farmer and his Mail-Order Bride
Long time ago in the old west there was a practice where upon a farmer of certain means could pay the way for an immigrant woman to come to America and come to his farm with the understanding that she would marry him and be his wife. It was fairly common, actually, for some period of time and a practical solution for both parties.
One time a farmer had come to the train station in town to fetch his new bride. They greeted each other and seemed quite satisfied with the deal so he helped her up onto the horse he’d brought for her and then climbed up onto his horse and they began the long ride to his homestead.
A couple of miles into the journey the horse the bride was riding stumbled and almost threw her.
The farmer stopped both horses, dismounted and walked over to her horse. Looking the horse in the eye he held up one finger and said loudly, “That’s ONE!”
He then remounted his horse and they continued on their way.
A few miles further on the horse stumbled again and almost threw her a second time.
The farmer stopped both horses. He dismounted and walked over to her horse. Looking the horse in the eye he held up two fingers and said loudly, “That’s TWO!”
He got back on his horse and they continued on their way.
A few more miles down the road the horse stumbled a third time.
The farmer stopped both horses. He dismounted, walked over to his bride’s horse and helped her down from the horse.
Then he went back to his horse, took his winchester out of it’s holster, returned to the second horse and shot it right between the eyes, dead.
The woman was shocked! She began screaming and crying and saying what a horrible man he was and that the poor horse hadn’t deserved that cruel treatment, etc, etc, etc.
The man listened for a moment and then calmly walked over to her and held up one finger.
“That’s ONE,” he said.
(Sounds funnier out loud for some reason.)